How To Avoid Getting In The Way of Your Mentoring Results

By Sheri McConnell
NABBW\’s  Entrepreneurial Publishing Expert
If you are in need of someone to hold the space for you to take your 2011 leaps, here are a few things you should do before and during the mentoring relationship:

Research Your Mentor

Decisions feel better when we do our due diligence… yes, sometimes, you do have to follow your heart and let it guide you.  I do that, however, I always make sure to research and run the numbers on my mentoring investments.  Has this person accomplished on a bigger scale what I want to accomplish next?  Has he or she been there and done that and do they have the numbers to prove it?  Ask WHY you are choosing them as a mentor?  Is it based on numbers or something more personal. I like it to be both, but not one or the other.

Listen to Your Mentor

For some reason, as long as I have been a coach, I have people each year hire me in the range of $25,000 to $100,000 to teach them methods to grow their business and then proceed to use their valuable time with me having me tell them why methods from other teachers will or won’t work.  If you hire someone, let them teach you their methods so you can both move as fast as possible to those profits. Your mentor will teach her methods the best–they are the ones she or he knows backwards and forwards. Remember, there is indeed more than one path to success, but it is really hard to be on two different paths at the same time.

Know That Your Mentor is Human

Sooner or later, you will see that your mentor is human and if you have been holding them up on a very high pedestal, it could get in the way of the effectiveness of your relationship from that point on.   Do not let that happen. Separate their faults from their results. And by faults, I do not mean lack of integrity…  we are assuming your chosen mentor is full of integrity.  I have seen many clients get in the way of their results because so and so that they were following was less than a God.  It is unrealistic to have those expectations and I believe that some people unconsciously do this as a way to self-sabotage their own success. Let’s face it… isn’t it easier to blame our results on external forces than see how we play a part in them.

Understand the ROI of Mentoring

The mindset I always have when making a large investment with a mentor is that this is a lifetime investment in my career and in the security of my family.  As an entrepreneur, each mentor always helps me to expand much farther than I could alone. That expansion drives my ideas and behaviors for the rest of my life. So remember, even if you make a large investment one year, you may not recoup it in the same year.  A lot of variables (roadblocks) can keep you from moving as fast as you like. Remember that your mentor will not be taking their knowledge back at the end of the year.   You get to keep that knowledge and experience and move forward into the next year of possibilities.

Sheri McConnell is the CEO of the Smart Women’s Institute of Entrepreneurial Learning (formerly the National Assn of Women Writers-2001), which incorporates an Imprint Publishing Program specifically designed for women authors. She is fast becoming the voice of Smart Women Entrepreneurs all over the world.   Her Smart Women’s Institute of Entrepreneurial Learning focuses on teaching various wealth building business models such as information publishing, membership-based companies, and real estate. You can visit Sheri, access her free article archive, and grab lots of free stuff at the Smart Women\’s Institute. Sheri lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband, their four children, a weenie dog, and three hermit crabs.

Sheri McConnell (www.SheriMcConnell.net) is the President and Founder of the National Association of Women Writers (www.NAWW.org). She helps women writers and entrepreneurs discover, create, and profit from their intellectual knowledge! Sheri' lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband Seth and their four children-ages 11, 10, 6, and 3 months. Contact her at naww@onebox.com or her toll free number at 866-821-5829.