Guidelines For Choosing A Guru, Coach Or Mentor|
by Chuck and Sue DeFiore
The following tips are meant as a guide for those of you who wish to enter into a coaching or mentoring relationship with a Guru, Coach or Mentor.
1. If you are not going to work with the individual you are paying, don't do it. You need to work with the individual who's charging you, so you can have accountability from him/her.
2. Take a very close look at the cost/benefit ratio of the relationship. Is similar information or help available at a lower cost or from other sources. Please understand that most of the information needed to succeed in Creative Real Estate or Home-Based Businesses is available for free if you have the time and ability to research it yourself.
3. Be very careful of those who claim to have secret or proprietary ways of doing business. The dictionary defines proprietary as made and sold by one with the sole right to do so; exclusively owned; private; benefiting an owner; owned by a private individual or corporation under a trademark or patent.
Now ask yourself, does anyone in the field of Creative Real Estate own an exclusive method of doing business. The answer is no. It is just marketing hype designed to entice someone into parting with his/her money.
Most of the methods for finding, acquiring, renting, selling, optioning property have been around for years. Can someone bring a slightly different twist to these methods, yes; but this is hardly proprietary.
Take Lease Options, people have been doing options for well over one half of a century. There is nothing new about sandwich leases, assignments, etc.
Wouldn't you think that if someone had a proprietary method and he or she shared that method, that it would no longer be proprietary. Of course! Once shared, it is no longer exclusively owned, therefore not proprietary.
Which really leaves the part of the definition about benefiting the owner. As we have seen, there are truly no proprietary or secret methods; so who does this claim benefit? Why the one trying to separate you from your money with this hype.
4. Be careful about long term relationships. Be sure any contract you sign can be canceled if you are not satisfied with the service being provided to you. You should be the final arbitrator of whether or not a relationship is worth your money.
Do not pay for the entire period up front. Many Gurus, Coaches and Mentors have a non-refundable clause in their contracts. By paying the entire fee up front, you lose leverage in case of dissatisfaction with the services provided you.
5. Be sure any material supplied to you and any services to be provided during the course of the relationship are covered in detail. Get a listing of what will be covered and the order in which it will happen. Do not accept generalities or vague comments like "We'll get to that". Know exactly what you are paying for.
6. Don't be led on by overly high prices. The most expensive is not always the best, especially for you. This is one area, where cost does not equal caring or commitment to your needs. Nor, does a high price indicate quality. Don't be fooled by the "I'm worth it" line.
7. Speaking of quality and caring, don't settle for lip service that someone cares about your future, make them demonstrate it. Speak to them a number of times. Do they give you the bum's rush if you can't afford their services right now, or do they take some time with you. Do you get the sense that they are more interested in selling you something? If you do, think very carefully before agreeing to enter any relationship with someone like this. What makes you think that their underlying attitude will change with the passing of money.
8. Do they seem to get more benefit from the relationship than you do? By this we mean, do they ask you to help promote their activities or products in your marketing material or promotional material. Do they ask you to do things for them, but are reluctant to do things to help promote your business? If they do, these are warning signs that this could well be a one sided relationship. Don't fall for the line "Well, you'll receive some back end benefit from this". Remember, you're in business to promote yourself, not someone else.
9. If your Guru, Coach or Mentor makes a promise to do something for you, get it in writing, particularly if it has a monetary consequence to you. By getting it in writing, you avoid any misunderstandings and you have recourse if he/she does not follow through.
10. When you speak with your Guru, Coach or Mentor, does he/she remember the details of your last conversation or do you need to start at the beginning each time. If you need to start over with each conversation, this may be a sign that he/she is too busy to keep track of all the people they are working with. Is this what you are paying for? The last thing you need, is to feel like a part on an assembly line. It's common sense that anyone can only work with so many individuals before the quality starts to suffer. You may want to ask before you get started, how many others the person you are considering is currently working with.
11. If your Guru, Coach or Mentor provides material for you, be sure you understand where and how it can be used in your business. Get it in writing. Don't depend upon verbal representations as to its use. You want to be sure that any material, particularly contracts, can be used in all facets of your business. If the material can't be used in all facets, what are the restrictions? Can you live with them? How this material can be used, may well influence what you are willing to pay. If you can, try to arrange to examine the material included before you make a final decision. You want to avoid material that is more fluff than substance. Understand, most Gurus, Coaches or Mentors will not mail this material to you first. Unfortunately, there are too many individuals who would take and copy this material with no expectation of ever working with someone. If you don't live in geographic proximity to the person you are considering, they should at least be able to provide you with a very detailed Table of Contents and Sub-Headings for their material. If they are not willing to do that, Pass.
12. Does your Guru, Coach or Mentor give you realistic suggestions to help you, or are they unfeasible given your situation. In other words, are the suggestions given within your financial means to carry out. Will they have an impact on your bottom line within a reasonable time frame? Do you have the technical expertise to carry out the suggestions? Or, do you get the feeling that everyone your Guru, Coach or Mentor works with receives the same suggestions. Remember, he/she is there to help support, guide and nurture you. Any suggestions given should have those principles in mind.
13. If suggestions are made, be sure to get specifics. Don't accept generalities. If a suggestion is made to write a book, do a tape set, give a seminar, etc., be sure your Guru, Coach or Mentor gives you details as to how to do it, if you've never done something like this. He/she should be able to give you a step-by-step plan of action to implement these suggestions. If they can't or won't, this is red flag. After all, you are paying for their expertise, be sure you receive it.
14. Be careful about references. No one in business is going to give you the name and telephone number of someone who is dissatisfied with their service as a reference. So understand that any references you receive are going to be positive ones. Also, if the Guru, Coach or Mentor claims to have been doing this for a years, get a range of people going back over this time period. See how many of these people are still active. What type of long range success has this person been able to generate for the individual he/she has worked with. Don't expect everyone to still be active, but this will give you some idea as to the effectiveness of the training provided.
Be especially careful if the prospective Guru, Coach or Mentor gives you predominately new individuals to call. This is a big warning sign. Obviously, this last wouldn't apply to someone relatively new.
15. Most Gurus, Coaches and Mentors will look to sign you up for one to two years, or longer. One thing most will not tell you, is that they expect that your calls will diminish over the first few months. Therefore, you may be paying for service that you will not need in the long run. Avoid long term contracts if at all possible. It may be better to pay as you go if you can. The extra money you save may be better spent on your business.
We hope these guidelines will help you in choosing someone to work with if you decide that is the best way for you to accomplish your goals. The bottom line, be very careful before committing yourself to a long term relationship. A good one can greatly accelerate your learning; a bad experience can set you back years, and possibly even kill your dreams.
We wish you the best.
Interested in having your own successful, home based creative real estate investing business? Chuck and Sue have been helping folks start successful home based businesses for over 17 years, and we can help you too! To see how, visit www.homebusinesssolutions.com for the latest FREE tips and tricks, educational products and coaching in creative real estate investing and home based businesses. No time to visit the site? Subscribe