Should you invest in coaching or mentoring support in your business?
And if or when you do, how do you decide which ‘container’ would be the best for you?
In this post, I want to help you cut through all the noise in the online space so that you can decide what would benefit you most as an entrepreneurial leader and help you grow your heart-led business.
We’re going to cover:
=>What it’s crucial to think about when deciding whether or not to invest in coaching or mentoring support in your business and
=>The format of the popular options you can invest in so that you can decide what would be best for you.
Should you invest in coaching or mentoring support in your business?
I've invested a lot in my business over the years, but I guess that won't come as any surprise to you really, because of the nature of what I talk about in my business. I'm all about development and growth, both leadership development and personal development, and I’ve experienced a lot of different formats over the years.
I want to say right off the bat that I've got something out of everything that I have invested in. By something out of everything, I'm talking in terms of learning, development and growth as an entrepreneur and a leader. I'm not talking about financial return on investment, I'm talking about learning lessons that have helped me in my business. Some of these lessons have been expensive and I learned there are a couple of things that I wouldn't invest in again if I had my time over, but that’s OK. That lesson still benefitted me and my business (and, just to be clear, it doesn't mean there was anything wrong with those containers themselves, this is about decision making, mine in this case!)
In the second part of this post I’ll talk you through the idea of getting support in your business from my perspective and experience and give you some tips about what to think about when you're making your business investment decisions. I want to help you make the best decision for you and your business and help you avoid the confusion, indecision, FOMO, fear of doing the ‘wrong’ thing and spending your money and time on the ‘wrong’ choice.
But to start with, let’s tackle the question, Should you invest in coaching or mentoring support in your business?
First of all, I’m not a fan of the word ‘should’. This is about your choice and your decision based on what you think would be best for you and your business. I want to invite you to start from this premise.
Decide that you don't need to invest in anything at all, if you don't choose to. You are in charge and you're responsible for your business and the decisions you make.
Don't buy into the whole, ‘Buy my thing or you won't succeed,’ message that permeates the online space. (I do believe that's coming from a genuine place most of the time. People want to share what's benefited them, what's helped them, what's worked for them).
But ditch the pressure around ‘Should I be investing?’ for a second.
You don't need anybody to succeed in your business.
Now, when I say that, I mean you don't need anybody to come in and save you to help you succeed in your business. You do need to involve other people in your business as it grows. You'll need a team, you'll need expert support, maybe in tech or in subjects that you don't know anything about. You'll need accountancy support, you'll need legal support. You will need other people. But what I mean is, you don’t need to create a reliance on something or someone outside of you in order to be able to succeed.
You've got this.
You are the leader of your business.
My main intention here is to shift your thinking towards deciding what's best for you and your business from a grounded and empowered place, not from a fear based ‘This isn't working. I need someone or something to help me,’ place.
You may benefit from getting support, but invest in this support when it will help you achieve something specific that you want to achieve, not because you're looking for someone or something outside of yourself to save you.
There are so many options available to us as business owners, remember I've said I've invested in loads of things and I've got something out of everything but, I do also know that it's so easy to get swept up in the energy of good marketing.
So take a moment, take a breath, and make sure you're making your decisions from the place of being the leader of your business.
Yes, you might want support to learn something.
You might want to surround yourself with a particular type of energy.
You might want to join programs for community, for camaraderie.
You might want to learn how to do something more quickly than having to figure it out yourself.
You might want support for a lot of reasons, but none of these reasons have anything to do with being saved or that path being the only route to your success.
You get to decide on the route to your success and making decisions from a grounded, empowered place result in a better quality of decisions than when you're coming from a fearful, ‘What if I don't know what I'm doing/I need help/Let me find someone who will tell me what to do,’ energy.
I do think from the perspective of a leader in a business, it's important to be prepared to invest when you need to and that there will be a need to invest in your business.
That still doesn't mean you have to. Your choice, your decision, your responsibility, always.
How to decide on the best ‘container’ for you
If or when you decide to seek support from a coach or mentor in the online space to help you grow your business, how do you decide on the best ‘container’ for you?
By ‘container’ I mean:
A One-to-one coaching or mentorship relationship
A Group programme
An online course with a spin-off community
Looking back over my time in the online business space (over six years now!) I realise that I've experienced most of the formats available that I mentioned above, so let’s talk about them and what they can offer you.
One-to-one coaching or mentoring
In this format you have individual attention on your business. Your coach or mentor gets to know you and gets to know your business. You can take specific questions to them and receive tailored advice, guidance and answers based on the specific topics that you want to get help with. Some business coaches have specific areas of expertise, such as marketing, time management, productivity, sales or tech and so on, others may be more general or focused on helping people at particular stages in their business.
It's worth taking your time to find somebody who has the experience and skills that you would most benefit from and has an energy that you both want to be around and feel you would benefit from too.
With one to one support, you’re paying for the coach or mentor’s expertise and time in your business individually, so it can often be an investment that runs to thousands of pounds. They take time to get to know you and your business, so it's often a longer term container than other options, six months being popular.
One to one support can be a great option when the coach/mentor has particular expertise that you know you need. They can help you fast track your experience of learning and can help you move faster down the path that you want to be on. They can help you see things that you don't see yourself either, for example, in your business or in your approach and/or mindset. They can support you as you work through gaining competence and experience in areas that you previously didn't have.
Even with a one to one coach/mentor in your corner, you are still the leader of your business and you are responsible for its growth, taking the action and getting the results. A coach/mentor can only do so much and it is important to guard against developing a dependency on one particular person. There's nothing wrong with sticking with one coach or mentor - it’s a good idea because you build a relationship and they do get to know you and your business. But remember, you’re buying their services and support, not handing over your agency or responsibility. It's wise to be actively aware of the responsibilities on both sides of the relationship, and that will help you measure the success of the investment that you’ve made too.
That last part is true of all the formats. So let's move on now to talk about group experiences.
I’ve found these terms can often be used interchangeably in our online space. But to my mind, there is a difference and I define that difference as follows:
A group program can be large, the group leader doesn't necessarily get to know the ins and outs of your particular business, but you still get the benefit of their expertise and/or their energy in a particular area.
Masterminds are smaller groups and tend to involve you learning from the wisdom of all the participants, as well as the Mastermind leader. Perhaps there are some one to one sessions with the Mastermind leader, perhaps not, depending on how they set it up, but to my mind this is the group option with more proximity to support that's tailored to you and your business.
In both Group programs and Masterminds you can benefit from the energy of the collective, the community that develops, the camaraderie within that, and from seeing how other people operate in their business.
You may want to look for group experiences around a particular topic, such as marketing or mindset.
Your choice between a group programme or a mastermind may come down to the relationship that you want to build with the person who is running the programme, whether you want a one to one relationship, or whether you’re happy to have a more distant experience of what they are sharing.
The distance of the experience may lead to a lower price point for the programme, so it’s a weigh up for you and your business.
I'm part of a couple of personal development memberships. One provides new content every month, one delivers content weekly. The monthly membership also includes a live component.
Memberships vary greatly. Again, it depends how they're set up by the creator. There's a wide variety in monthly costs, perhaps reflective of the time that it involves for the creator and or the complexity of the subject matter.
The trend here is that the financial investment increases the more involvement there is from the service provider.
In one to one programmes, you have individual attention, but only the input of that one service provider.
With Groups and Masterminds, you have less one to one attention potentially, but you benefit from the energy and or wisdom of the collective.
With memberships you may have no individual attention. There may or may not be a collective element, for example, a Facebook group, but you may benefit from the regularity of the content. You may benefit from the accountability that new content appearing regularly for you to work through provides for you.
The bottom line is, it depends.
It depends on what you like, it depends on your preferences, it depends on how you work, it depends on what you need and it depends on what your business needs.
If one to one coaching is the most individualised and expensive option, at the other end of the scale we have online courses.
I reckon there are online courses to cover just about every subject you could think of. Again, there's a wide variety in how they're set up, but typically there's a learning module and something to work through and you're investing for the purpose of gaining knowledge in a specific area.
I've seen online courses referred to a lot as cookie cutter solutions and that, ‘You don't need a cookie cutter solution to a business, you need someone dedicated to getting to know your business specifically.’
Again, it very much depends on what you decide you want for the benefit of you and your business based on the content that is offered.
I believe there's time and space for all the options, indeed the flip side of the information overload, overwhelm and the difficulty to make a decision because of all the options that are available, is the opportunities that each format provides and the likelihood that you are going to be able to find something that will meet different needs at different points in your business journey.
With online courses, yes, every participant accesses the same material and is exposed to the same teaching/advice/examples and it's not personalised. Cookie cutter is not a way I would describe it, though, I just think it's another option that meets a need. There are some foundations that we all need to build in business, some questions and challenges that are common and consistent. For example, how many times have you heard a coach say, ‘This is something I have to tell all my clients.’ For some topics, an online course is an efficient way to get information into the hands of those who will benefit from it.
And that's the point of all the formats. There's no one way that's the best way to invest in coaching or mentoring support for your business.
What are your thoughts and feelings when it comes to investing in your business? Do you feel empowered? Or do you feel that you are looking around you for the one thing or the one person that will help you make it ‘definitely work?
No judgement from me, I've definitely made investments from both energies. I absolutely get the desire to have something come along and tell you the answer, save the situation, make it all better. I definitely get the desire for certainty of outcome.
But, as we know, that’s just not the reality of business.
Are you considering investing in coaching or mentoring support in your business? Has this helped you make a decision?
If you're considering investing in support in your business, I'd like to invite you to check out my five week, hybrid programme, Build the Business Owner. It's part online course and part one to one support from me, created in this way because I think it's the most efficient and effective way of getting you my Entrepreneurial Leadership Development training while still being able to connect with you individually to answer questions and offer guidance specific to you and your business. You can find more information here and a link to book a no obligation, no pressure call to chat about the programme with me so that you can make the best choice for you.
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If we don’t know each other very well yet, I’m Elle Turner from elleturner.me and I’m here because I want to help get influence and income into the hands of heart-led business owners like you who want to leverage the potential of business to do good in the world. The way I’m here to do that is to use my skills and experience in the areas of personal development, leadership development and mindset for entrepreneurs in the online business space.
Disclaimer: The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this blog. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this blog. Elle Turner and Elle Turner Creative disclaim all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this blog.