Business Coach : Find A Good Mentor
-What is step one to finding a business coach? Because I did this. When I started the DJ business and I was growing it, I got myself in numerous situations. My wife and I, we got ourselves audited. It was probably my fault. I got us audited, and my wife helped deal with the cleanup– the wreckage, I guess. So we’re getting audited.
Well, I’d never been audited before. I just know that the IRS is calling us to hang out with us. We had a wonderful, nice lady. She would come to our house and look through all the receipts and all that. I needed to reach out to somebody who had been through it. And luckily I was able to talk to a few people, and they said– well, this is how it’s going to go down. This is how you do it. This is how you comply. This is what you need to do. A business coach can help you with this.
If right now I find myself in a bad tax situation, I find myself needing money, I find myself wanting to start a company– somehow I feel stuck– what’s step one to getting a business coach?
-You said it already. You have to look for someone who has been through it. Whether they have been through it or they have knowledge about it or they’re on the journey the way you want to go or they’ve written something that you want to know about, that becomes the first step– knowing what your need is and looking in that marketplace of opportunities. Who best can meet that need?
Now, you may run across five or six people, but five or six people are not necessarily going to volunteer to say– I’ll pick you up in the morning, and I’ll put you beside me, and I’ll share my secrets.
-When I first reached out to you, you were very busy. You’re always very busy. You were speaking. I think it was Doug, maybe, I called. If it wasn’t Doug, it was somebody else. I called. They say, “Building the Community Institute, this is Doug. How can I help you?”
I said, “Yes, I’d like to schedule time to meet with Mr. Taulbert about such and such.” I remember they said something like– “You’ll need to set an appointment.”
And at that point in my life, I wasn’t a day timer guy. So I was like– I’ll just come on by tomorrow.
And I remember hearing– well, you’ll have to set an appointment.
And I thought– oh, OK. And I thought I got rejected. I wasn’t even prepared to have a teacher. They always say when the student’s ready, the teacher appears. What would you say for the entrepreneur out there, somebody who wants to get a mentor who they perceive to be busy? If they call the mentor and the mentor is too busy, what do you do? Do you find another mentor? Do you keep calling? Do you just change your approach a little bit? Because I think a lot of good mentors are busy.
-I don’t think there are any solid one-word answers for this. First of all, if you know what you need, I think you should scout out several people, first of all, who might have answers for you. I got an email from a young man who says, “I’ve got some problems.” He may have sent out five emails, for all I know. I don’t know that. But I answer. And the other four may answer. I don’t know. You really want to somehow know what you need so I’ll be clearly defined on what you’re looking for. And have several people that might be able to help you.
-I always call it the rule of three, but I always try to have three options for anything. You can reach out to multiple ones. Now, when you get there, what’s the proper way to thank the mentor for their time? You’re sitting here preparing yourself to meet this mentor. What’s the proper way to thank them for their time, maybe before the meeting and after the meeting? What do you suggest?
-First of all, when someone is sharing as valuable as time, this is how you thank them. It’s not really verbally. May I borrow your pen?
CLAY CLARK: Yes, sir.
-Let’s say this is a notebook. If you’ve taken somebody’s time and they have been willing to do something for you, you make sure you bring something to write on.
-You take notes. Because that’s a clear sign that you are not wasting their time. Take notes. That’s one of the best thank-yous that you can give. Once you have finished and you’ve got your notes, what you really want to do is look at those notes that you’ve taken. Pick one thing out of that– “Sir, could you just tell me just a little bit more about this one thing?” And that’s going to further tell that person– this guy is really into this. He’s interested. This girl is really interested. This young lady is really interested in this.
-One person told me if you want to make a great first impression on a mentor, you want to have your questions imprinted on a piece of paper. I remember when I met with Chet Cadieux, who runs QuikTrip, the big convenience store. I was so excited to meet Chet. I had been forever trying to get an appointment with this guy.
When I met him, I came with two pages of questions. I don’t remember his exact wording, but was something to the effect of– wow! You’re prepared! And I got there a little bit early, too. Do you suggest that? It that a good idea, to maybe have your questions written out?
-It’s a good idea. It’s a good idea, and then the idea becomes better when you take notes of what’s going on, and it becomes even better when you circle something you’ve written and say, “Could you go back over that one more time for me, please?” And then the thank-you, the handshake, the thank-you, that becomes the icing on the cake. Always take notes when it comes to a business coach