How to Choose the Best Business Coach for You & Your Fempire
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Are you currently working with a business coach or mentor, or considering hiring one? If so, this is an episode that you cannot miss. Drawing on her over 25 years of experience, Caterina shares a wealth of knowledge about not only how to choose the best coach or mentor for you, but also how to make the most out of working with your coach. This two-part episode will provide you with valuable ideas to support you in moving forward so that you can expand your own Fempire!
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Expand Your Fempire Podcast #55 Transcript
How to Choose the Best Business Coach for You & Your Fempire
Welcome to Expand your Fempire with Caterina Rando, the podcast for women in business on a mission. Sharing ideas to support you to grow and thrive. Now here’s your host, Caterina Rando.
[00:00:28] We have a hot topic today. I am blissing to be with you and to talk with you about how to select, pick, choose your next best mentor or coach ever.
[00:00:48] When I started my business, I was in my late twenties. I was active at my chamber of commerce. That’s where I met my friend Irv, who became a huge influence in my life. And one of my first amazing mentors, Irv Spivak.
[00:01:06] I went to tons of seminars. I took tons of programs on coaching, on business, on speaking. It was actually my business coach when I had my cafe who encouraged me to become a coach.
[00:01:26] It is so heartwarming to think back that Laura Whitworth, who was one of the founders of the Coaches Training Institute, she saw in me something I didn’t even see in myself.
[00:01:40] That is one of the things that you want in your coach. You want your coach to have a bigger vision for you than you have for yourself. Laura had that for me. I hired her to help me with my cafe and catering business. At the same time, she helped me learn how to take a day off, a lesson I’ve…a lesson I’ve had to learn many times over the years. She taught me many things. She had me look at my life and myself in different ways.
[00:02:17] I can say that my first coaching experience was an amazing, wonderful life-enhancing, and ultimately life-changing experience. I remember the day that a woman walked in my cafe and she thanked me for some advice I had given her and her gratitude literally touched my heart.
[00:02:40] I felt a pang of bliss in the middle of my chest. And I thought, “this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to help women grow their businesses.” It was only because my coach had already put that idea in my head.
[00:02:56] Now I want to tell you that in the many years I’ve been in business, I have had some amazing coaches. And I have also had coaches that were not so amazing and not so wonderful. And if you’ve been in business a long time, then you probably have to.
[00:03:17] Let’s take some time today, let’s step back. And I want to share with you the criteria I use to pick my coaches and what I want to encourage you to look at to pick yours.
[00:03:31] Because here’s the thing. A great coach can change everything for you. A great coach can introduce you to resources and people and ideas and systems and strategies that ultimately can make a huge difference for you.
[00:03:54] What I want you to gain from coaching or mentoring is not only the systems, the strategies, the ideas. I also want your mentoring and coaching experience to lift you up to have you bliss more in your business, and also to have you become more of the person that you want to become.
What I want you to gain from coaching or mentoring is not only the systems, the strategies, the ideas. I also want your mentoring and coaching experience to lift you up to have you bliss more in your business, and also to have you become more of the person that you want to become. – Caterina Rando
[00:04:21] What I mean by that is somebody who is more confident. Who is happier. Who’s kinder. Who’s blissing more in her business. And any other kind of personal transformation you want, your coach or mentor can support you with.
[00:04:42] Before we dive even more talking about this. I want to shine the spotlight right now on the myth of the seminar.
[00:04:51] A seminar, a workshop, a training… these are all wonderful. And like you, I’ve done hundreds of them. If not thousands. The thing is though that a seminar, a workshop, a training gives you education. You can have “ahas.” Sometimes you can even get transformation. It can be eye-opening and thought-provoking and motivating and inspiring, and then you go home.
[00:05:27] What it is not, is ongoing support, ongoing guidance, a structure that keeps you moving and growing and staying focused and facilitating change. There’s no ongoing encouragement. There’s no community. There’s no recognition or celebration. And guess what my friend? All of those things that I just mentioned are the ingredients to create massive change.
[00:06:01] By the way, Expand Your Fempire podcast #5 is on the “Ingredients to Create Massive Change.” If you have not listened to it, I strongly encourage you to listen to it. Because you can go to all the training in the world. What you’re not getting though, are all the ingredients that you get most of the time if you pick the right coach.
[00:06:29] Let’s look at all the different things you want to consider when you’re selecting your coach or mentor.
[00:06:39] Number one, create a criteria. A criteria are the things that you want in the person that you are hiring.
[00:06:51] Here’s what I’m going to tell you. These are some ideas for you. You of course create your own.
[00:06:56] The first thing is integrity. You know they are operating their business and their life with integrity. You find them to be enthusiastic, uplifting, inspiring, at least one of those. They’re respectful.
[00:07:17] I’m going to tell you something, too. I want a coach that is not super long-winded. I don’t want the 45-minute explanation for my question. I want the five-minute explanation or the three-minute. This is important to me, now may not be important to you.
[00:07:35] Let me tell you what else is important. I want a coach that is accessible, that I can Facebook them or text them during business hours with a quick question, whatever method they prefer.
[00:07:52] I can have a five-minute conversation off the clock running once every blue moon, when I need it. They get back to me and you within 24 hours. They’re respectful. They’re not judgmental. I feel safe with them. Safe to say whatever I want to say without being blamed, shamed, made wrong or belittled.
[00:08:18] Now again, some coaches operate doing all those things. Doesn’t work for me. Your choice.
[00:08:27] Do I feel that the coach has the same values as me? That is the coach I want to hire. I want to underline an underscore and super emphasize this point. You want a coach or a mentor that has the same values as you, because we all teach and lead and coach and live based on our values.
[00:09:01] Number one, create a criteria for the kind of person you want to be your coach.
[00:09:10] Number two, hire slow. Now, if you know me, you might be shocked to hear me say that because you know me, I’m about taking action and making decisions and don’t get ready to get ready to begin to think about getting going.
[00:09:24] The thing is that your coach or your mentor, this is a significant relationship in your life. Just like picking your next life partner. You want to start with a coffee date or a lunch or a dinner. You don’t start with a month-long pilgrimage to India or a cruise around the world.
[00:09:51] You start small and you watch and you listen and you learn and you see what’s here for you. Start with a workshop. Now, people often say, start with a consultation. I don’t want to start with a consultation because I want to see them in action. I want to go to their event. I want to go to their workshop. I want to see how they treat their clients and their potential clients. I want to have a live experience of them.
[00:10:29] For those of you my age, you may remember video dating. Where you would go and watch videos of potential partners. Well, yeah, you watch the videos. You still go and meet the person. You want a live experience. Don’t hesitate to talk to two or three, not more than three, coaches to evaluate who’s a good match for you. You can talk to them, please go have a live experience of them. Talk to their clients.
[00:11:08] Also number three, you’re going to do an online review of them. Hire slow number two, number three, do an online review. You are going to read their testimonials. You’re going to read their reviews on LinkedIn. Some of them might be on Yelp, evaluate that. Do a Google search. And don’t only look at the top five pages. Look at the 35th page. Look at their websites. Look at everything.
[00:11:43] Who do you even choose to investigate to check out to be your coach or mentor? Talk to your friends that are getting amazing results. Talk to your friends that you’ve been watching that have had quantum growth or quantum results, or they’re blissing more, or they’re earning more. Talk to them. Who is their coach?
[00:12:09] I want to really emphasize this hire slow. I took too much time to hire my current coach. What happened was I am friends with my current coach. We met, we became friends. She hired me first as her coach. I started going to some of her live events. And what was happening was I was seeing several ladies over and over that we’re coming to her events. This one lady I met the first time I was there, she was talking about having no money. She was depresso. She was negativo. She had no vitality.
[00:12:49] And then the next year she had more vitality. She was making more money. She was doing really well. The next year she had built quite a Fempire. She had a great team. She was doing her podcast. She was blissing in her business. And I said to myself, what am I waiting for?
[00:13:12] I do not want you to be that slow and to take that much time. I do want you to watch, review, have an experience of them before you say yes.
[00:13:28] Number four, identify specific areas where you want to have coaching and have the most quantum progress. Because all of us coaches, we all have areas that we love to focus on, that we’ve developed mastery in and other areas perhaps that we don’t deem as important, or we don’t have as much mastery in.
[00:14:01] In my own business I believe I have mastery at speaking workshops, events, retreats, sales, strategy. These are some of the areas I have a lot of mastery. When I selected my coach. I wanted somebody that had mastery at scaling, at profitability, at systems, at finances. Because these were the areas where I wanted to develop more mastery.
When I selected my coach. I wanted somebody that had mastery at scaling, at profitability, at systems, at finances. Because these were the areas where I wanted to develop more mastery.
– Caterina Rando
[00:14:35] Make sure you consider that as you pick your coach. What this means, too, is don’t pick your next coach simply because you vibe with them. Although I want you to vibe with them, I want you to resonate with them. I want you to feel that they pass your gut test, meaning your intuition is that they’re going to be a great match for you. Yes. Also though, make sure the skills that they really amplify and really focus on are the skills you want to develop mastery. That’s number four.
[00:15:12] Number five, select your coach or mentor for the long haul. For two, three, maybe more years. Not for five minutes. It takes time to create massive change and also recognize the goal is not only for you to learn things, the goal is for you to master these areas of your business that you seek to master.
[00:15:48] By the way, let me remind you of your five pillars of building a Fempire: speaking, selling, serving your clients, strategy, and self-care. When I say speaking that is in the broader sense, meaning you being the voice of your business.
[00:16:08] Number six, do not let the price stop you. The best investment you can ever make is an investment in yourself.
[00:16:22] Investing in a coach or mentor is a great investment in yourself. Now, I don’t want you to create financial stress for yourself because that’s not good for your business either. I do, though, want you to recognize the importance of investing in yourself. Now, again, you’re going to start with something small, some workshops, a shorter program before you’re going to go all in.
[00:16:53] I will say a caveat here. Many times I have seen people invest in very high-level coaches, too early in their business, creating financial stress. And also your high-level coach is going to expect that you have additional resources to invest in the strategies that they’re going to recommend to you.
[00:17:20] There are really great coaches available at a variety of different price points. If you’re getting too scared from the sticker shock of the price of a particular coach that you’d like to work with, you may want to start with someone else, build up your financial surplus, and then work with that coach.
[00:17:44] I’ve got some more things for you to consider here. Now, some of these points that I’m making and some of these considerations may not be important to you. I do want you though to take a look at each one and evaluate if this is important to you. And then if it is, go ahead and put attention on this area.
[00:18:07] One of the things that I have found makes a huge difference, this is number six, is that whoever I select as a coach has a great team. And what does that mean “they have a great team?” their team is responsive. If I reach out to their team, their team gets back to me with the answers I need in a timely manner. And timely means within 24 hours, occasionally allowing for a little bit more time.
[00:18:37] The idea is that anyone I would have contact with, you would have contact with, on your coach’s team is going to be kind and gracious and has an attitude of service.
[00:18:49] Now, this might seem obvious to you. I want to tell you, I have had coaches where every time I emailed their team, I got no response. If I called, I got a response in a couple of weeks. I’m sure you could tell me similar experiences. A responsive team is very important because that’s going to impact your client experience. And let’s be very clear, you deserve an excellent, an outstanding client experience. Nobody’s doing you a favor by taking your huge or not-so-huge investment in coaching.
[00:19:31] A good coach will have a great team.
[00:19:34] Number seven, look beyond the packaging and the promotion. Many coaches spend a lot of time telling you how much money they’re making, how huge their organization is, how they’re highly profitable. That’s fine. And if they’re being authentic with that bing, bing, I love it.
[00:20:02] Many coaches show you pictures of fancy cars and international travel and exotic destinations and fancy houses and perfect families, and that may all be true. I simply want you to do what we’ve discussed so far to see if everything else is passing your gut test. Remember we talked about that. Before you dive in, simply because you want a bigger house and a new car, more shoes, and exotic destinations.
[00:20:46] Very, very important. Look beyond the packaging and the promotion.
[00:20:54] Number eight since I’ve just mentioned it and I mentioned it earlier, make sure they pass your gut test. Meaning follow your intuition, listen to your inner knowing. Are you feeling like this person can really make a difference for you? Because remember, this is an important relationship that you are stepping into.
[00:21:20] Next, choose someone that is either a certified coach or they have education in an area that is like coaching.
[00:21:34] For example, not only am I a certified coach, I also have a master’s degree in counseling psychology with an emphasis on life transitions. This has taught me how to be a good listener. How to be empathetic. Non-judgemental.
[00:21:55] You are looking for someone who not only has business skills, if we’re talking about your business coach, someone who also has coaching skills. And counseling skills are part of coaching skills.
[00:22:12] Now, there are many former therapists that are also coaches or current therapists that are also coaches. I do want to say that coaching is not therapy. However, sometimes counseling skills are part of being a great coach.
[00:22:33] Make sure, again, this is looking beyond the packaging and the promotion, make sure that they have actually been educated in this area that they are focused on with you.
[00:22:48] Now, this is also where I’ll say that experience counts. Someone who is in the first couple of years of their coaching practice is probably not the right match for you. You want to absolutely have someone that brings a lot of experience to serving you. Coaching experience, consulting experience, in addition to business experience. And related to this is making sure that you like the results that you see that they’re getting in their business.
[00:23:29] All right, we have talked about many things. Let’s do a quick recap. And as we discuss these different things that I want to encourage you to consider before selecting a mentor or a coach, I want to have you reflect in your head right now if this is important to you.
[00:23:48] First one, create a criteria for the kind of coach you want. This is not only about their external results. It’s about who they are as a person. Remember integrity, accessibility, responsiveness. I also am looking for someone who’s kind and loving. Experienced we’ve said. Respectful. I want to be more uplifted when I leave than when I showed up.
[00:24:19] Next one. Remember, hire your coach slow. You may want to look at two or three coaches. Don’t take forever. Don’t go to a seminar and Insta sign up for a big program without looking at these other things we’ve discussed.
[00:24:39] Also, next one, identify specific areas where you want to have real significant impact in your business and move more towards mastery. You might have a great coach. Their expertise though, is where you already feel you have mastery. Not the right place for you. Have a coach that is going to help you expand your mastery in the areas where you want more.
[00:25:06] Remember, you’re going to be with your coach ideally for the long haul. Not for three months. Might be three years. Takes time to create massive change. Takes time to transform who we are into who we want to be. And that’s the guide that you’re looking for with your coach.
[00:25:26] Now, let me say, if you’re not happy, don’t just walk away and complain. Believe me. Let me tell you having been a coach for many, many years. I love it when somebody says, “you know what? I thought I was going to get this and I’m not getting this. Or I would like this.”
[00:25:44] I love it when women ask for what they want. And this is getting into the next section, we’re going to talk about in just a little bit, which is how to get the most out of working with your coach.
[00:25:55] Next thing, remember, don’t let the price stop you. If you feel someone is a great match for you, you may want to take the financial leap. At the same time, we don’t want to create financial distress. Believe me. I want you to have a financial ease. Although stretching is okay.
[00:26:17] You may have to get used to the idea of taking the financial leap. You may have to budget for it and do it later. You may start with a lower, more affordable coach at first, and then go to your dream coach. Very important that you do not create stress for yourself financially when you invest with a coach. However, financially stretching is something that may be right for you.
Very important that you do not create stress for yourself financially when you invest with a coach. However, financially stretching is something that may be right for you.
– Caterina Rando
[00:26:49] Keep in mind when you invest with a coach. Yes, they’re going to help you make more money. That takes time though, before that starts and you also have to ask yourself “if my revenue doesn’t leap 20, 30, 50, 100 percent. Is that okay too? Or is that going to put me in financial distress?” No financial distress.
[00:27:19] Next, we discussed, make sure they have a great team. That their team, that everyone in their business is responsive. Focused on client care. Treats you with respect. Very important.
[00:27:33] Remember to give the gut test. Listen to your intuition. Look beyond the packaging and the promotion. Very important. A lot of times, especially when you’re new, you’re glamorized a little bit by their amazing results. You may leap in when it wasn’t necessarily the best match for you.
[00:27:58] Remember to pick someone who’s actually educated as a coach or certified as a coach or a counselor, or has some interpersonal training. They’re going to be better than someone who’s business savvy, but not interpersonal savvy. Very important.
[00:28:21] Here’s the last thing, which we didn’t talk about before, I’m saving it for the end here, because I think it is so important. Pick a coach, whether or not you’re working with them one-on-one or in a group program, that is going to have a community and an amazing community.
[00:28:41] Because when you have a coach who has an amazing community of like-minded, like-hearted people like you, who are all focused on similar things, you know what happens? You don’t only gain a coach. You gain friends. You gain people to collaborate with. You gain resources. You can gain clients. You definitely have people that you can bounce ideas off of.
[00:29:16] Now, I want you to make sure that you look at their community before you step into it. Because having had several coaches, sometimes I love the coach, but the community is not great. They’re not focused on community building. That’s no fun.
[00:29:36] I want you to get the most out of your coaching investment, and that’s where having a coach with a great community will make a huge difference for you.
[00:29:48] Now, what I want to talk to you about is how to get the most out of your coaching and mentoring investment. Because you know what? It’s a lot easier to write the check, even when it’s a financial stretch, it’s a lot easier to write the check than it is to do all the things that are required for you to get the most out of that investment.
[00:30:17] Let me give you some things to consider and of course implement.
[00:30:22] First thing, make your coaching relationship a priority. Like you make your kids and your significant relationship a priority. You have other relationships in your life that are a priority. Make your relationship with your coach a priority, also.
[00:30:43] What does that mean? How do you know that you’re making it a priority? Well, you show up. You not only show up, you show up on time. You schedule time after whenever your group or individual sessions are to implement what you’ve discussed with your coach. You go to your coaching sessions, prepared to talk to your coach.
[00:31:12] These are all things that will help you get the most out of it and demonstrate that you’re making this a priority.
[00:31:21] Now, the next thing is I said show up. I mean, show up all the time. You may not be able to show up. For everything a hundred percent of the time, ideally though, you’re showing up for everything.
[00:31:36] What I mean by that is if your coach also says you get to come to my workshops, go to their workshops. If your coach says you also get this other virtual training, do the virtual training.
[00:31:52] Get as much as you can out of your coaching investment by making it a priority. Dedicating time to it, scheduling time for it, scheduling time for thinking and planning after it. What is your action plan? That will support you in moving forward.
Get as much as you can out of your coaching investment by making it a priority. Dedicating time to it, scheduling time for it, scheduling time for thinking and planning after it. What is your action plan? That will support you in moving forward.
– Caterina Rando
[00:32:17] Next? Be coachable. One of the things that is a huge indicator when someone is not coachable, when I hear them say, “oh, I tried that. Oh, that doesn’t work for me. That would never work for me.”
[00:32:34] Okay. Let’s be very clear. You may have done something like this before. Let’s look at what you did before and if it didn’t work, how can we make it work this time? Invalidating everything that is being suggested to you is not the way to go. Go deeper, explore. Well, okay. That didn’t work, but then have your coach ask you more questions or you say, “well, here’s how I did it. How else could I have done it better?”
[00:33:07] It’s very important to be coachable when you’re investing in coaching.
[00:33:13] Also related to this is make sure you leave every coaching interaction with a clear plan of action.
[00:33:21] And then as we’ve just discussed that you have time set aside to implement what you have agreed to yourself that you want to be doing, changing, upgrading in your business.
[00:33:37] I was in a high level coaching program, big investment. And one of the other participants said to me, one day, “Caterina, I was so surprised when you stood up to give your talk, because I didn’t really think of you as a serious business woman.”
[00:34:03] And I asked her to say more. And she said, “well, you always come very relaxed to class. You don’t really talk to a lot of people. And I just didn’t perceive you as a successful business woman.”
[00:34:22] And of course it was not nice to hear this. I took a look at it though. I said, “what is the truth in this woman’s feedback?” And here’s what I realized. I was going to class. This was a group program. I was going to the group program meetings to learn and grow my business. It never occurred to me at the time, this is a long time ago, that I also wantedto be going to cultivate relationships, to make friends, to maybe even get clients.
[00:35:03] And when I had this shift in my head, I started to always get there early. Always make sure I didn’t look as much like a relaxed dressed student as a smartly dressed business woman. If you know me, you know I’m not a buttoned up double breasted blazer business woman, meaning that whatever your personal style is, that you look good that you show up as if you could give a speech, even when you’re simply being the student.
[00:35:41] And what happened? Not only did I now have an intention to be more engaged in the community to cultivate more relationships. I also had a better time. Because I was showing up, let me say it this way, as equal to my coach. Of course, I’m going to learn. Not the shy student, which is how I was initially showing up.
[00:36:09] I share this with you because I want you to take a look at this for yourself. When you join a community, are you showing up “schlump a Dinka” because you’re just going to learn? Or are you showing up dressed as if the teacher asked you to take over, you would feel not only that you could take over with ease, you look the part.
[00:36:35] Now, you know, I value authenticity. I know you value authenticity. I’m saying set the intention that you’re going to show up as your best self in appearance and in mind.
[00:36:53] Because guess what? Nobody likes a big complaino community member. Yes, we can talk about, what’s not working. Don’t live there.
[00:37:04] Let me tell you something. There are women that I have had in my community over the years that have been so complaino consistently that other women have said to me, they don’t even want to be in the room with them. Don’t be that person.
[00:37:20] Also do go into a coaching community, recognizing the value of making friends, connecting, collaborating, supporting the other women.
[00:37:31] One of the things I love about my community is the women support each other. They go to each other’s things. They promote each other, they rave about each other. They are each other’s clients. That’s what I want for you. Because then when you go and you show up as your best self, you’re going to get, not only friends and people to collaborate with, you’re going to also gain clients.
[00:37:59] The last thing I’ll say, and I could talk all day about this: how to get the most out of coaching and mentoring, do be willing to be uncomfortable about taking actions that you haven’t taken before.
[00:38:18] Be willing to take risks. Because your program or your coaching is an opportunity for you to try something and then take advantage of that ongoing support, ongoing guidance that is available to you because you’re in this program or working with this coach. Therefore, they can talk with you about how to do it better next time, how to keep upgrading.
[00:38:43] This is very, very exciting. If you’re not willing to be uncomfortable, then having your own business is not the best place for you. Because being an entrepreneur requires a consistent willingness to be uncomfortable.
[00:39:02] The beautiful thing though, is that you then expand what is comfortable for you. You build your confidence.
[00:39:11] Your business can literally take you to places you’ve never been to before. Your business can also give you so many gifts and have you see the impact you’re having on other people because of your willingness to be uncomfortable.
[00:39:31] If you’re listening to this, you’re probably considering having a coach or in a coaching community or a program or working with a coach right now. Listen to this again and ask yourself two things: (1) are you working with the right coach?
[00:39:49] And every year I evaluate myself, I encourage my clients to evaluate. Do you want to move forward next year? What do you want to get out of next year? It’s okay. Whatever coach you currently have, if you’re not feeling the love connection, you can make a different choice.
[00:40:06] Before you do that, though, ask yourself (2) what we’ve just discussed, if you have been operating from the place of having the intention of getting the most out of your coaching. If you have made it a priority? If you have been showing up cento per cento that’s Italian for a hundred percent of the time? If you get there early and you stay late, if we’re talking about live and in-person situations, or when we’re talking about virtual networking that you stay for the after part where everyone’s connecting.
[00:40:44] Are you coachable or are you invalidating all the ideas for you? Are you setting aside time to implement, not just to show up for the coaching time?
[00:41:01] Do all of these things before you pick someone else and say, “it’s the coach that didn’t work” rather than saying you didn’t put attention on getting the most out of it.
[00:41:16] I’m hoping that this has been eye-opening and thought-provoking for you. This is Caterina Rando. I am blissing to have shared these ideas with you today.
[00:41:26] I hope that you will come and enjoy one of our rooms or two of our rooms or 10 of our rooms on Clubhouse in the Thriving Women in Biz Club. Please join our Facebook group, Thriving Women in Business Group if you have not already.
[00:41:43] Listen to the other podcast episodes. They’re all info-packed. And if you have not gone to Catarina rando.com/links, you will find there several free gifts, information on our upcoming programs and retreats, and I would love to talk with you and support you to step into an amazing community, work with a caring, experienced coach who is holding a bigger vision for you than you hold for yourself. By the way, that’s me.
[00:42:22] I’m sending you love. I’m hoping you’re blissing in your business. Wear your heart all over your business. And remember you have massive value to bring. There is a lifetime supply of people to serve. I invite you to recognize -you don’t have to do it yourself. That’s what coaching and mentoring and coaching communities are for. Because I want you to sell more, serve more and uplift more lives with your massive value and your big heart.
We hope you enjoyed this episode of Expand Your Fempire with Caterina Rando.