• Leadership
  • What to Do When You Can’t Find the Right Mentor

    I’m going to spill the beans on a practice some of my fellow business coaches may not be too happy about its discussion, but hey, it is what it is and it’s not like I’m the bad guy for bringing attention to something which is true. If you’re an honest business coach whose service offerings are as valuable as you make them out to be, then this won’t bother you one bit.

    So what I’m talking about is a sales tactic many business coaches use, some of whom refer to themselves as business mentors. That’s absolutely fine – there’s nothing wrong with mentoring people who are either already active in the business world or are looking to get into it.

    What happens however is that the supposed mentor will create a free course of some sort, usually in the form of a video through which they touch on certain topics, but don’t quite give the full 4-1-1. Fair enough up to this point, but then the sales pitch hits you, encouraging you to get a mentor and guess who that mentor is – it’s either the business coach as an individual or it’s one of the many “mentors” who themselves joined their ranks as prospects just like you, looking for some mentorship.

    That’s where things get a bit murky because it begins to take the form of a pyramid scheme structure. All the institution is doing is recruiting prospects who are looking for business mentorship and then proceeding to train those recruits and turn them into “mentors” themselves, who then perpetuate the cycle. You might have been looking for mentorship in line with your business which focuses on selling garden units for example and yet you find yourself groomed into a business mentor with the promise of making good money selling memberships to the same mentorship program you joined.

    This is what makes it difficult in this day and age to find the right mentor. Ideally, the right mentor wouldn’t be looking to charge you for their mentorship, but you’d be lucky to find someone whose advice and mentorship would actually be of the kind of value you require to succeed. I mean think about it – why would a successful, shrewd businessperson give someone else the kind of business advice that they could rather use themselves to get further ahead?

    It’s a sad reality to have to entertain the thought of, but a reality nevertheless. This is why business coaching proves to be a lot more valuable in that regard since business coaches make their living coaching success, so they never want to tarnish their reputation by providing mediocre mentorship which produces mediocre results.

    That said however, the best form of mentorship comes from the network you construct on your quest to success – a network made up of individuals who are as hungry for success as you are. You will learn on the job, so to say, and as long as you are all willing to share your experiences and points-of-view while you go along, there’ll be no need for the traditional mentorship role to be filled by someone who’s just looking to test their own business theories and ideas.