Finding a Mentor, Coach, or Accountability Partner

By Lee Collins •  Updated: 03/06/19 •  8 min read
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Want a killer strategy for success – find yourself a mentor, coach, or accountability partner.

Yes, it’s very exciting to have your own business.

You get to make decisions yourself, live life on your own terms, and determine how successful you become. We live in a great time for entrepreneurs – it’s extremely exciting, whether you’re new or experienced.

But, at the same time, working for yourself can be very isolating.

It can be hard to stay motivated and have the right mindset when you’re relying on yourself. If you’re finding yourself procrastinating, feeling confused and overwhelmed, and feeling isolated… then the chances are good that the dream of working for yourself isn’t exactly what you thought it would be so far.

The operative phrase in that sentence was… so far.

Here’s the good news…

You Don’t Have to Work in Isolation

It can be scary to realize this. Many people dream of working for themselves all their lives. People want to own their own business and dream about how wonderful it will be. But then reality hits. The grass isn’t always greener. It’s not uncommon to run into mindset issues and problems when you work for yourself.

Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t have to work in isolation, struggling on your own. There are people out there who can help motivate you, help you stay on track, and help point you in the right direction.

You can bounce ideas off of people. You can hire people to hold you accountable and to show you the way. Whether you need a little bit of handholding or a lot of handholding, there are people out there who can work with you and help you.

In fact, it’s a really good idea to find a coach, mentor, or accountability partner. In some cases, you’ll want all three. It doesn’t matter where you are with your level of experience or how successful your business is, it’s important to connect and work with others.

But which one is right for you? Let’s take a look!

What Is a Mentor?

A mentor is different from a coach in some important ways.

A mentor is also an expert who can help you achieve what you want to achieve but a mentor isn’t always someone you hire or pay. In fact, a mentor doesn’t necessarily need to know that they’re your mentor.

There are people out there you admire. You look at their journey and find that you’re on a similar path. They inspire and motivate you. This is a great thing and can help you keep going when the going gets tough. They can help you see things you wouldn’t see on your own.

You can find a mentor by reading blogs, websites, and books. There are people out there who document their journey and steps and invite you along for the ride. This can be highly inspirational and motivational.

You can find a mentor on forums and on social media sites. These are people who are helpful and knowledgeable and who really stand apart from the crowd because of their success and how they help people.

Again, you don’t necessarily have to pay for a mentor. A mentor can be someone who knows they’re your mentor or not. They can be someone you communicate with directly or not.

And for all you know, you might be someone’s mentor if you have some experience and have been helpful to others already.

It can be as simple as you posting a question in a private forum or Facebook group and there they are, giving answers.

I suggest you find yourself a few different mentors. These are people you look up to. These are people who motivate and inspire you. We all need mentors in our lives to help us reach the next level.

The important thing with a mentor is that you should be careful that you do as they do, not just as they say, because there might be a huge discrepancy there. It might also be difficult to determine the difference with some people, so don’t rush to select a mentor just because he or she says they’re doing fabulously.

What Is a Coach?

First, let’s go over what a coach is.

A coach is someone you’ll typically hire because they’re at a higher level in business than you are. They’ve been there, done that, and you’d like to learn how they got to where they are so that you can follow in their footsteps without taking too many wrong paths yourself (Like they may have in the beginning).

They’ll help you take stock of your business and figure out what you should be working on. A good coach will help you apply the 80/20 principle – knowing that just 20% of your efforts are leading to 80% of your results.

A good coach will help you cut the fluff and only focus on what’s most important in your business. They’ll help you stay motivated and help to hold you accountable.

They can give you business advice that only comes from experience. This can help you get to where you want to be much more quickly than if you were to do it on your own. There’s something to be said for following in the footsteps of success, and that’s exactly what you’re doing when you hire a coach.

Experience is a great teacher, it’s even better when you’re learning from someone else’s experience, so that you don’t need to make the same mistakes and have the same do-overs that they did.

Of course, as is the case anytime you work with someone else, you have to make sure your coach is compatible with your personality and your needs. Sometimes, your coach will need to show you tough love, and that’s okay, and don’t be annoyed when that happens. But overall, you should really enjoy working with your coach and you should find that they help you get to where you want to be.

There are many different types and styles of coaching. You can have business coaches that will meet with you in person. Many others operate solely online.

Sometimes, coaching is offered one-on-one and other times it is offered in a group setting, which will be much less expensive, depending on how and how often you get to communicate one on one with the coach (such as via teleseminar or webinar, email, phone, etc.).

Do some digging and figure out what will work best for you. You can find the ideal coach who will help you earn more money much more easily.

What Is an Accountability Partner?

An accountability partner is someone who can help you stay on track in business. They might be on the same level as far as business is concerned or they may not be. Really, it doesn’t matter as long as you keep each other on track. It can be helpful to choose someone who’s going through the same things you’re going through.

You and your accountability partner might communicate with each other back and forth, talking about what you have and haven’t accomplished. You might email or Skype each other to make sure you’re on track

Your accountability partner that’s online or offline. The only important thing is that you hold each other accountable and help each other achieve your goals much more quickly.

It’s hard to stay on track when you’re the only one who cares about your business. When you find an accountability partner, you both care about each other’s business. It helps you stay connected and on track.

No matter what level you’re on, it can help to find an accountability partner to check in with.

I don’t recommend that you choose a spouse or friend as an accountability partner, because it can cause friction in your personal life if your accountability partner (or you) has to call one or the other out for failure to accomplish certain tasks that you were supposed to.

Your accountability partner should be someone who understands what you’re going through, and the technical language you use. They don’t necessarily have to be more experienced of more successful than you are.

Which Role Do I Play?

As a Top-Down Consultant, I’m more of a Trusted Advisor and, at different times, can play different roles depending upon what you need – including the role of consultant (which we will discuss in a separate article).

Whichever one you need…

Hopefully, you’re inspired now and know that you don’t have to go it alone.

It can be hard to work for yourself, even when you know you’re finally living your dream.

You’ll achieve whatever you want to achieve much more quickly if you find yourself a mentor, coach, or accountability partner… or all three. There’s no shame in reaching out and getting help. In fact, it’s one of the things very successful people have in common.

You want to be more successful, right?

So, don’t hesitate to reach out and connect with someone who can help you.

Lee Collins

Lee Collins is a former Air Force Network Systems Engineer and Fortune 500 Corporate VP - who is best known as an early pioneer of Direct Response Marketing on the Internet. He has over 24+ years experience running operations for multiple multi-million dollar marketing, software, SEO, financial, and business coaching companies. When Lee isn't helping his private clients solve big (and small) marketing and operations problems, Lee is most likely heading up into the mountains in his fully-equipped Jeep Gladiator. Or just gone fishing.