I’ve been noticing a higher-than-usual volume of posts complaining about certain types of coaches and ways of doing business, sometimes in the form of thinly veiled digs at specific people.
I feel sad for the people posting these things because I sense that their own BS is taking them for a ride and they are missing the real growth opportunity.
I’ve been there! I’ve been on a wild journey around mentorship, and feel called to share some hard earned gems of wisdom.
To give some context, I’ve had a variety of mentors, i.e. people I’ve learned from over an extended period of time and gone deep with.
…Expert lineage teachers who share their knowledge as a sacred service and charge very little
…Informal apprenticeships where I learn by example and by being around the work
…Highly paid coaches who mainly teach strategy
…Highly paid coaches who mainly teach energy
I’ve had massive success with some mentors. I’ve had uncomfortable ruptures. I’ve had expensive failures. Throughout all, here’s what I’ve learned:
1. SURRENDER FULLY
I get the best results when I fully surrender to my mentor’s guidance. This doesn’t mean I can’t disagree with them, but as long as it’s in integrity for me (and I trust them) I do what they say for the period of time I have committed.
I signed up for their ride for a reason. They likely have a result I want. If I start cherry-picking what I listen to, I’m not going to learn what they know; I’ll just learn more about what happens when I do it my way. This is not useful.
The transformation occurs in my full immersion.
2. INVESTIGATE MY RESISTANCE
If I encounter resistance I ask for help. It is so easy to get lost in my own BS and convince myself that there is something wrong with my mentor or their method. Why? Because
a) they are trying to introduce me to something foreign to my nervous system, which will trigger discomfort, and
b) countertransference is very real, and we are all prone to projecting our childhood wound patterns onto mentors and turning them into our mothers, fathers, etc.
Our mentor can turn from angel to devil overnight if we don’t track this with care, and we will miss the gold if we get stuck here.
This does not apply if our mentor is a cult leader. If the mentor is asking us to do things for them that will supposedly benefit us, this is a different scenario. If they tell us to do things to bring them money or fame, it is a red flag.￼
3. DISCERNMENT IS THE GOLDEN KEY
My preferences may change, but it doesn’t make my past methods wrong.
I once loved super masculine sales approaches. They don’t resonate anymore, but they work. Some people love to be sold to this way.
Some people love ultra feminine, hands off sales. I don’t enjoy buying that way. I like a little push. I love being sold to artfully.
But what I see all the time is people labeling these methods as evil. The method isn’t evil. Some people are crooked though.
And deciding what mentor is aligned for us is a process of learning good *discernment*.
We all need to go through this and mess it up.
We are all responsible for our own buying decisions.
We can blame someone for manipulating us but what do we learn from that? Nothing.
Discernment is one of the biggest and most important lessons I’ve gotten.
It is worth the trial and error.
It is not about the sales method. It is about learning how to listen to ourselves and our own intuition, and decide based on that – especially in moments of feeling pressure.
4. IT IS OK TO MAKE AN EXPENSIVE MISTAKE
As my friend Ali Katz once said after a high ticket coaching experience gone sideways, “I learned a $100,000 lesson”.
I’ve made $5,000 and $15,000 and $60,000 mistakes. It’s ok. I’m better for it. It was worth the risk. I’m stronger because I survived.
Not all mentors are right for me and sometimes it won’t be clear until I’ve finished the ride. Unless they failed to deliver on their contractual promises, it is not the mentor’s fault. I probably didn’t have the right discernment at the time. Now, thanks to this experience, I do.
Summary: I learn more from taking personal responsibility than blaming my mentor.
There is so much more I could say here. But I will pause here.
May we all have gratitude to those who have taught us!