Danger: Your advisor may be killing your career!
Karen hired a "mentor" coach to help her business grow. The
coach applauded Karen's efforts to design her website. On a slow
week, the coach said, "Clear clutter and learn to dance." After
three months, Karen had a big coaching bill, a multicolored
website, an empty house and a sad little business. Karen wasn't
uncoachable. She chose the wrong coach.
For instance, Western medicine treats the body as a machine to
be repaired; Chinese medicine believes sickness is caused by
imbalance that can be corrected by herbs and diet.
Both models have limits. If you break your leg, the Western
model makes most sense; if you suffer from insomnia, you might
favor the Chinese model.
John's business is hitting a rough patch.
Coach X says, "Clear your life of clutter energing-draining
Coach Y says, "I will teach you mental techniques to attract new
Coach Z says, "Maybe your business does not reflect your life
Coach Q offers, "I will teach you networking and sales
techniques." Only John knows what he needs. If your website
needs an overhaul, you can clear clutter till your house is bare
and nothing will happen.
But if everyday hassles are draining your energies, you can't
focus clearly on the website.
Let's compare four best-selling books. Cheryl Richardson's Take
Time for Your Life exemplifies the "life space" model: people
know what they want and how to get there; they grow by self-care
and personal empowerment. Choose Coach X.
Lynn Grabhorn's Excuse Me Your Life is waiting, suggests that
people will achieve goals when they focus clearly on what they
want. Her techniques can help people change their thinking and
feeling styles. Choose Coach Y.
Martha Beck's book, Finding your own true north, argues that
finding your essential self will bring fulfillment. Choose Coach
Finally, a business book like Michael Gerber's E-Myth series or
Jay Levinson's Guerilla Marketing will assume you are perfectly
capable of applying sound sales techniques once you learn what
they are. Yes -- that's Coach Q.
The key is to be very clear on what you want and to decode what
the coach offers before you commit to long-term relationships.
Karen got Coach X when she needed Coach Q
Read what the coach has written. Ask if you can buy an hour or
two of consultation. Ask directly, "What types of people do you
believe you can help -- and why?"
You don't have to be friends with your coach. You don't have to
eat lunch together or trade birthday gifts. But the coach's
model of human nature has to fit who you are.