As a lone wolf, I take great pride in doing things by myself. But since I became a father, the stupidity of that was obvious. While it can be fun and challenging, it is also very slow and inefficient. We don’t have unlimited time, so the choices we make on spending time matter!
Learning from other people’s mistakes and hiring coaches and mentors makes a lot of sense if you want to progress fasters.
But how do you choose a good coach or mentor?
I used to believe that you need to go for world-class coaching. Because you can advance the fastest if you learn from the best of the best:
- They’ve tried it all.
- They know what works and what doesn’t.
- Since they are world-class, you won’t find this knowledge anywhere else.
But there is a serious flaw in my thinking! And that is: I am asking a word-class coach to teach me how to most effectively swim across the wide canal, without ever once entering a swimming pool.
Simply put: there is absolutely no way for me to apply the advice they give me, and it is a high chance I may not even understand it.
I realized that you need to start at the beginning, not at the end. Meaning: if you want to beat the world record at swimming across the canal, you will need to start with learning how to swim in the first place!
So my revised definition of a good coach or mentor is someone who is way ahead of you so they can challenge you and point out your mistakes, but not someone who is so ahead of you that what they are saying makes no sense!
Think about this for a moment: even if you can afford a one-hour call with the best swimming coach on the planet, you don’t know what to ask. It is improbable that you will ask the questions that would get you the most value.
It is the same when building your online presence. Trying to do it alone is slow. But trying to hire the best team to make you a mega-website as your first project is not the best idea either.