Why Coaches, Mentors, and a Peer Tribe are Important for Every Entrepreneurs Toolkit
How a Tuesday tip about coaches, mentors, and a peer tribe became a Free At 50 article.
On Tuesdays, several Facebook groups I belong to post a thread based on the idea of “Tuesday Tips” and I always engage. I jump on every Tuesday morning to both share a tip and read others’ tips. For me, it is about learning, and importantly, improving something about myself and my blog business. But it is also about doing what I do as kind of a “resource queen” – helping corporate escapees and anyone working to ditch the 9-5 build your entrepreneurs toolkit. This resource: coaches, mentors, and a peer tribe.
I dropped a tip that actually inspired myself!
And thus, this post. My tip was stating straight up: Don’t go it alone.
Then I added these bullet points:
· Get a coach.
· Find mentors.
· Connect with peers.
Clearly, I felt compelled to write more than the bullet points so here it is: my post about not going it alone and why each of these people are vital to have in your entrepreneurs toolkit. Because in all honesty, it is something I feel strongly about.
Note: As a blogger, I use affiliate links sometimes! I may receive commission from purchases I share, but it does not change your price.
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1 Get a coach.
First off: understanding coaching and what coaches bring to the table.
Even coaches will tell you they have used a coach; some use multiple coaches!
If you aren’t completely familiar with the concept (I wasn’t fully understanding of it coming from corporate), I broke it down in several blog posts ranging from the difference between coaches and consultants all the way to explaining the value of a discovery call (and what they are!).
There are SO many types of coaches out there. From technical (how to set up a business step-by-step) to mindset (overcoming blocks, getting clarity etc.) to specific to your industry (there are blog coaches out there! I never would’ve guessed!).
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Ultimately, the goals of working with a coach are:
· Keeping you on track and shutting out distractions. For me, this is the key reason I work with my coach. She’s helped me understand the needs of my business and where to focus my time, energy, and money. I can easily jump down some rabbit holes and Tegan ensures (as much as possible!) that I do not.
· Education. Many of us taking the leap out of corporate and into entrepreneurship may not have ever filed an LLC, designed a website, or published a book. Since every entrepreneur will do many new things, it’s important to know that there exist coaches who can guide you on them, step-by-step. Or at the very least, tell you what you need to do so you can go learn it.
· Motivation and encouragement. Clearly, my goal is to make sure you get that here! That said, working one-on-one with a coach gives you the opportunity to hear that what you are doing is valuable. And that you will succeed. We all have “those moments” and a coach can help you ride out that wave of sheer terror that can happen in your entrepreneurial journey.
· Clarity. It isn’t always easy to see the forest for the trees. Sometimes you know your “why”, but you get caught up in so many facets of entrepreneurship like the legal and financial aspects or staying consistent on marketing and promotion, your mind can really start racing. My coach is a master at bringing me back to my why, my passion, and how to move forward. No doubt, a valuable tool in my entrepreneurs toolkit.
RELATED: Book a discovery call with Angie Aki a sales and mindset coach here and/or with my coach Tegan Marshall here and tell her I sent you because you get a discount on her stuff by mentioning FREE AT 50.
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It's my firm belief that coaches are vital at any stage of your journey.
As I mentioned above, there are SO many types of coaches. Not only for different needs you might have, but for different stages of your entrepreneurial journey.
Let’s break that journey down:
· Thinking about changing your situation. There are coaches who can show you how to use your skills outside the 9-5. You can change your situation, there is no doubt about it. The challenge or “block” may be you don’t know what you don’t know. The possibilities for building a “next chapter” are endless.
· Working on creating a business while busily working 9 to 5. It isn’t what you think: time management. In fact, I want to throw out the notion of time management as I often do in my writing and get you to think in terms of owning your time. Having control and prioritizing.
A coach can help you with this. He or she can help you do the things you need to do in the order you need to do them, efficiently and effectively as you have commitments that fill your calendar, like a 9-5 job.
· Growing your business. In order to grow your business, you will get to a point where you need to focus on honing your craft itself or the individual elements of a “business” every entrepreneur must embrace.
Coaches, like the blogging coach I mentioned, can help. No matter your business, having a coach that has done that exact thing can help you grow your business, taking the guessing out of it and educating you on specific aspects. For example, that blog coach (a good one!) will understand search engine optimization, content planning, and driving traffic to your blog.
Apply this concept to a coach concentrated on any type of business.
Or… a coach can specialize in something you need to grow your business, and they may not be doing the same thing as you. For example, there are coaches for branding, sales and funnel development, social media promotion, and so forth.
· Evolving your business. As you travel down the road of entrepreneurship, realize this: multiple income streams will benefit you. Start with one and be open to expanding and evolving. Coaches can help you determine the time to do this as well as how.
RELATED: Check out this video interview I did with business coach Angie Aki about embracing change.
Determine what type of coach you need, set aside the budget, and get going.
Enough said. In my opinion as a corporate dropout (a term coined by Corporate to Calling’s Nora Luke), a coach is vital.
2 Find mentors.
You likely have gotten mentors throughout your professional life. Transitioning out of the 9-5 and into a new chapter is a time to add some new ones.
Mentors share some of the characteristics of coaches, but you don’t pay them, and they aren’t typically “coaching” as their profession.
I still stay in contact with some of my past professional mentors- who are truly friends for life. In addition, I’ve picked up some incredible mentors I have in my entrepreneurs toolkit: those who I can ask quick questions to about blogging, technology, or using Pinterest effectively for example.
One of the most memorable mentors I had early on in this journey was someone who is a website designer and funnel expert. She helped me move my blog from WordPress to Groove and ensure the back-end technology worked. Fortunately for me, she was assisting me for months as I asked questions and needed to make adjustments.
You also should have “life” mentors because this entrepreneur thing can be taxing on your brain and terrifying on so many levels. Having a mentor that can ground you, encourage you, and has the experience that can show you “how it’s done” is crucial so put them into your entrepreneurs toolkit.
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3 Connect with peers and create a peer tribe.
Whatever you call it, you need a tribe.
Back in my 9-5 days, I had some outstanding mentors and one who has since passed had a profound effect on me professionally. A pearl that stuck with me all these years, was her educating me about a “kitchen cabinet.” In context, it was for a program I was promoting and selling in the community.
Creating my kitchen cabinet meant surrounding myself with people to run things by, motivate, and encourage me. I took this to heart not just in terms of that specific program but in terms of having a peer group I counted on professionally.
Nowadays they call it a “tribe.” And I have a good one.
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay
Not only do they motivate, support, and encourage me, but they often educate me. Everyone in my personal peer tribe has a different experience, let alone a different perspective.
Sharing my learnings with you in this blog is important to me and many of those learnings come from other people, courses I take and, of course, my coach. Connecting with others journeying into entrepreneurship is priceless. They give me ideas and referrals to what I might need to enhance my business.
Create a peer tribe and add them to what is your entrepreneurs toolkit.
RELATED: this video interview with blog coach and entrepreneur Margaret Bourne will help you get started building your toolkit!
Where do you find your peer tribe?
A long time ago, I was told the adage: people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime and that has never resonated with me more than during my Free At 50 journey. For me, the right people came into my life during this chapter from many places, including my past.
It was amazing who reached out to me, or even fell into my sights like Tom Werkman, who founded Werkman Outfitters with his son Max. I graduated high school with Tom many years ago and he happened to share this video on Facebook asking “can a guy still dream at 51.” The update to his story: he has ditched corporate life forever!
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Another place I’ve been blessed to add people to my peer tribe from: Facebook groups! Engaging and meeting some of the most outstanding people, at every stage of the journey, has led me to relationships I value and those who consistently have an impact on me.
Creating my Facebook group based on this blog has been profoundly significant in my journey. Getting to know the members helps me grow in every sense of the word “entrepreneur.”
RELATED: Click here for the Digital Acceleration Academy, because I’m a member of it and it is where I got my Facebook group training, so if you’re thinking about building one, it’s the place I recommend.
Final words: do not go it alone! Take action and add coaches, mentors, and peers to your toolkit.
Whether you read this when it is first published in February (the beginning of “the year”) or any time after as you find it, need inspiration, or have a few moments to check out this blog, doesn’t matter.
You don’t always have to “refresh” at the beginning of the year, any time of year is when you can get motivated or start something new, including building your toolkit.
I only hope you get the goal of this post: know that you shouldn’t go it alone. In fact, I want to do all I can to support you so….
- Join my Facebook group and meet some coaches, mentors, and peers.
- Download my 6-Step Checklist to Escape the 9-5 and contact me any time you need to!