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How to Hire a Coach, Mentor or Program Pt. II

Note: this is a continuation of a series —to read Part I, click here.

THE BEST TIME TO HIRE A COACH WAS YESTERDAY

“I’m interested, but I’m going to wait until life slows down a little.”
“I want to make it happen, but it’s not the right time.”
“I can’t afford it right now, but soon enough I will.”

Facepalm.

(With respect, of course.)

So often, people get the spark of clarity where they know they must hire a coach, mentor or program.

And yet they wait, and put it off. What started as a wildfire of epic clarity is now wrapped up in logic, fear and rationalization to commit at some point in the future.

I want to make this clear: there is no perfect time to hire a coach, mentor or program. You make the time perfect when you make a committed decision and go all in.

That’s it. What I’ve found is selling coaching and transformation is kind of like skydiving: everyone needs to experience it, and yet jumping out of a perfectly working aircraft at 15,000 feet can always be put off for another day.

There are several psychological reasons for this, but here’s what I believe is at the core of the issue:

Because people have often failed when setting goals before, hiring a coach is stepping up to the plate and really putting themselves on the line.

And I know for my programs, the number one objection isn’t money (even if people tell me it is.) It’s not whether they know, like and trust me. It’s not the process of how I’m going to work with them. It’s one thing and one thing only:

Lack of trust and faith in their ability to follow through.

But in order to trust ourselves, we must know why we’re hiring a coach or program in the first place.

WHY ARE YOU HIRING A COACH?

Why are you here?

I asked him, piercing his eyes through a deep eye contact to get one thing and one thing only: the truth. We’d been in the same spot for 17 minutes, and I needed a real answer.

Your first step to get clear on when hiring a coach, mentor or program is knowing your why. Specifically:

Why are you hiring a coach?
What compelled you to want to?
Why is now the right time to do so?
What is the cost of not doing it?
What specifically do you want?

Most people haven’t taken the time to get honest and identify why they’re hiring a coach, and end up surprised when they join the cheapest program they can find and don’t see much results.

Often, before I enter a conversation to see if someone is fit for one of my programs —I’ll have them apply so they can get their why on paper. And there’s either two people:

One, the person who says the generic, Hallmark-card style things such as:

“I want to feel happier.”
“I want to get unstuck.”
“I want to fulfill my potential.”

These sound fun, but they don’t mean anything. They’re fluff, and this camp is usually lacking radical honesty: truly shutting off the noise in life and taking an honest assessment of what’s happening and why it’s affecting them greatly.

(Insider’s secret: most people aren’t willing to get honest about their current position and the frustration and pain it’s causing them. Many coaches also skip over this, because it isn’t always fun or sexy. But if we don’t get clear on today’s pressing issue, we lose the power of urgency and a do-it-now mentality.)

The second camp is long past the world of fluff, and they’re deep in the chaos. Meaning, things are not working and they need a life raft…now. They’re incredibly honest and clear, because they’re on the brink of a breakdown or in the middle of one.

While it’s never too late, I hope you have the foresight to seek help before the breakdown happens. Take time to identify your why and be clear. Be willing to let it all out, you deserve it.

NOTE: This is not a time to berate yourself on why you can’t get things right. This is a time to do what I call taking inventory —which is incredibly empowering.

Once you’re clear, it’s time to understand there’s different coaches, including: informational, motivational, inspirational and transformational.

THE INFORMATIONAL COACH

All coaches are the same, right? Wrong. Although often we’re all lumped into the same category, Lisa Nichols really helped me differentiate between the types of coaches, and we’ll use her framework here.

The first type of coach, mentor or program is informational. This is like it sounds: you’re investing in their information, and it usually leads to a predictable result.

Here are some examples of informational coaches or programs:

A program that teaches you how to start and launch a podcast.
The coach who teaches you how to improve your Facebook ads.
The mentor who helps you in your real estate business to flip homes.

The markers of an informational coach are simple:

There’s usually a systemized path from Point A to Point B
The main selling point is closing the gap above through information
There is usually a very tangible end result part of the process
The area of expertise is usually very specific and niched down

So, who may want to hire an informational coach? I’ve hired plenty of these, and while they are the least transformative —they help you and I get clear by leveraging their experience and expertise.

For example, I’ve hired informational coaches and programs to help with my writing, the podcast, copywriting and much more.

Here are some of the benefits of working with an informational coach:

They get you from Point A to Point B quite easily.
They are very specific in the results they can get you.
The timeframe to completion tends to be shorter than most.

What are some of the drawbacks?

The coaching relationship is largely transactional.
They don’t deal with the most common blocks in the way (the deeper stuff, such as your mindset and beliefs.)
It’s more up to you (it’s always up to you, but in this case even more so) to turn their information into powerful results.

What the informational coach does best is codify and streamline information to you in a way that’s easy to implement and execute on. They hold you accountable (usually loosely) and help you accomplish a hyper specific result.

THE MOTIVATIONAL COACH

So we’ve dug into the informational coach, now it’s time to tackle the motivational coach. As they sound, a motivational coach does one thing incredibly well: they amp you up.

These are the coaches who are fired up and help you get excited, passionate and energetically engaged in your life and goals. The purpose of the motivational coach is to light a fire in your life —helping you reclaim some long lost energy and enthusiasm.

The nuances of a motivational coach are several, and it can hard to describe all of them —but a motivational coach can have a core focus of your business, your career, or a general scope of your life.

What they do best is give you the spark you used to have back, and usually create a plan of action from the emotional state you’ve experienced.

Here are some of the benefits of working with an motivational coach:

They fire you up and get you inspired and excited.
They tap into your passion(s) —and release what’s in the way.
They’re exciting to be around and their energy can be felt from miles away.

What are some of the drawbacks?

Sometimes, motivation isn’t enough —it’s a great starting point, but what happens after?
The coaching relationship is mostly about improving your emotional states, to help you use this energy wisely.
If there’s big mindset blocks, motivation can create surface area results but they can look and feel temporary.

There was a point in my life where I really needed motivation. (I know, can you believe it?) But once I was able to motivate myself, I no longer needed to be amped up. I needed something deeper, which is what the last two types of coaches are all about.

THE INSPIRATIONAL COACH

The third type of coach often gets put in the same category as the motivational coach: the inspirational coach. While both can seem similar, to those who have experienced both —they’re not.

An inspirational coach taps into a deep part of you —pulling at your emotions and help you get grounded and committed from within. Here’s the way I explain it:

Motivation is external, while inspiration comes from within. So, an inspirational coach will help you do the inner work to get you to a place of extreme clarity and personal power.

This is the person who doesn’t rile you up energetically, but instead moves you emotionally. They connect you to what matters to you, and deepens your level of living a purposeful life. They can often make you emotional, and use these emotions as leverage to create something special.

Sometimes that can be to create a powerful vision, remember what matters and compel you to not leave this place without sharing your deepest gifts with the world.

There’s no doubt an inspirational coach can be hard to describe —and there’s certainly overlap between the motivational coach.

Here are some of the benefits of working with an inspirational coach:

They help you tap into a deeper why within.
They get you emotionally invested in your life again.
They give you a sense of inner power back.

What are some of the drawbacks?

An inspirational coach usually won’t have a blueprint for you, they’re about the inner game. You can expect most of your sessions to be about removing blocks in the way of your belief, clarity and identity. What happens next is usually up to you.

Remember, they’re not here to rile you up —they’re here to give you your personal power back. From this place, you don’t usually need motivation, because you’re deeply grounded in purpose and are in tune with your why and burning desire.

THE TRANSFORMATIONAL COACH

We’ve gone deep on the types of coaches so far, and we’re up to the last one: the transformational coach. The way I describe this type of coach is the following:

They incorporate all of the above but are not afraid to go to the dark places to let a part of you die —so you can create from a new place.

Again, for those who have never worked with anyone professionally, this may seem like pie-in-the-sky talk, but stay with me:

A transformational coach will push you, challenge you and spend most of their time taking you to your edge.

This is the most intense type of coaching, and truly isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes tremendous skill on the part of the coach —with an ability to hold space with compassion and leveraging their intuition to truly take you to the next level.

Finding a fantastic transformational coach is not easy, and is not for the dabblers. You’re either all in, or you’re completely out.

Here are some of the benefits of working with an transformational coach:

They literally transform you, and create the space to let a part of yourself go.
They push you to your edge, and encompass the other types of coaching along the way.
They create the highest probability and potential for long term change and results in your life.

What are some of the drawbacks?

Some of the drawbacks in hiring a transformational coach are that they’re not for everyone. Meaning, you really have to be ready —because they don’t always focus on the pretty parts of your life.

They push you, challenge you and help you rise above. For me personally, as I consider myself a transformational coach —I’ve had clients come to me who weren’t ready for real transformation (and that’s okay, too.)

How to Hire a Coach, Mentor or Program Pt. II

So, there you have it. Remember: the types of coaches above can cross boundaries —and may often be more than one type of coach.

But it’s important to recognize what you’re looking for, for example:

Do you simply want someone to compile and simplify information?

Do you need someone to energize you and get you excited about life again?

Do you want to do some deep inner work and remember why you’re here?

Do you want to radically transform your life and go to uncomfortable places to begin from a new place?

Each one of these are a different experience.

During Part III, I’m going to deep dive into how to make your coaching experience successful, and never look back.

If you have any questions, please post to comments and I’ll address them as we go on.

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Written by Tommy Baker.
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