Episode 002 – Why do you need mentors and coaches more now than ever?
In episode 002 of the Seekardo Podcast Dr Ro & Harms spoke about why you need a mentor coach now more than ever. And gave examples of how mentors and coaches have served them in their life to date. Dr Ro benefited from a mentor from the age of 13 whereas Harms worked with his first mentor at the age of 25.
This show explores four key areas:
Why we need a coach or mentor now more than ever
How do you find a coach or mentor?
How should you turn up to your meeting with your coach or mentor?
And one thing you can do today to get you started with a mentor or coach
In a world where ego is greater than humility, many dismiss the need for a coach of mentor. Listen to this episode and explore the idea and determine if you need a coach or mentor now more than ever.
For a full read of the podcast, here is a full transcript of everything Dr Ro and Harms covered in this episode of the Seekardo podcast.
Want to read Harms person thoughts on this episode? Head over to https://toortalks.blog/podcast/
So, it’s Harm’s here with Dr Ro, and the question we are tackling on today’s episode is, why do we need mentors and coaches more now than ever? And Ro you’ve got the lesser hair of both of us, so rather that going to that question directly, how about we tackle the definition of a mentor and a coach. Because quite often people get confused between the two.
I’ll have you know that the lesser hair started when I was about your age Harminder! Admittedly, I didn’t have quite as much hair as you even then, but I chose to shave it off. I think, I’ve probably got a lot more grey hair right now, than you have for sure. It’s a great question, and it is a question that has been battling around for years actually in this industry of personal development and business. And I’ll give you what I believe for the listeners, whether you’re older or younger. As far as I’m concerned, the difference is fairly clear. A coach by definition, my side of the fence is, somebody that guides you through questions, through asking you specific questions about your current situation, but is not necessarily giving you clear direction. They’re not giving you answers to the question; they’re leaving you with the opportunity to go away and gather information to process it. If it’s a face-to-face coaching session to elicit the answer out of you. So, as a coach and I operate as a coach as well when I’m working with people, I’m there to ask a question, but leave the space for them to fill that space with their answer. And then another question comes in and slowly we are narrowing down to the answer, it’s ultimately coming from the person who is being coached with some guidance from the coach, does that make sense Harms?
That makes absolute sense and if I can jump in and add maybe a summary to that as well, which is something I learned quite recently, which is, a coach is really there to leave you with the power. So, imagine I was coaching you, the listener at home, it’s my role as a coach to leave you with the power and to empower you to do it, whatever it is. Me as a coach, I don’t necessarily have the answers. The technical answers you may be coming to me with, but what I do have is the ability to ask the right questions as you said Ro and leave them with the power, and I think that’s a big, big factor being a coach.
And this is a huge distinction because when you’re choosing a coach a lot of people go, “I have to find a coach that does exactly what I’m looking to do.” Not so. You’re looking for a coach that has a really good skill set, on how to elicit from you the best that is from inside you and to help you choose the direction and pick ideally the right mentor. So, the coach doesn’t necessarily have to have the skill set in the field that you are looking to be coached within, although it’s certainly a huge benefit.
Whereas a mentor by definition is someone that has done what you are looking to do. They have been down that path, they have experience with others in business, whether it’s in relationships whether it is in health, physical fitness, whether it is in money management. Whatever the area that you want to specialise in that person has been there. As a rule, they’re older than you, as a rule they’ve had the knocks, the setbacks, the successes and they have the skill set that a coach might have to at least guide you. However, they are going to say to you right, under these circumstances, you do not need to go and do that. What you need to do is X, Y, and Z and they’re almost instructing you at times and also guiding you. They will certainly coach and ask you questions. But there may be a point where, whereas a coach might give you a month ago, find an answer and come back to you in a month, mentors are like, “Right you don’t have a month to this, we need to correct this problem right now in your business. This is what you need to do because when I was in your situation 10 years ago, when we then went down the wrong route. We made a lot of money in terms of losses or profits, and we don’t want you to make the same mistakes, so these are the steps you need to do.”
So, a mentor in my mind has been there, has done it, has the tools and the tips and the people around them and they’re going to accelerate your journey. However, you may not have the same emotional growth or intellectual processing that you might do with a coach, which is why the two working in hand work very well together. Mentoring is more about the actual physical direction, as opposed to a coach eliciting the answers within you and you’re the person physically finding the solutions. Does that distinction make sense to you? And there is a crossover Harms.
That makes absolute sense and my follow up question is going to be, can you find one person who can tick both boxes? Is that a possibility? I’ve met a few of them but I haven’t seen many of those around. I’m asking you, because you’re actually one of those people who ticks both of those boxes.
It’s a cracking question, because I think especially at, and I’m going to take the mick a little of the younger generation. People of your generation, and you’re in your 30s now, but 20s to 30s to 35s, and I know that because I remember what it’s like to, “Fuck, I just want to get it done now.” So, for someone who is older, my generation, if you’re listening to this, you’re actually of the opinion, “Yeah I want to get it done quickly, but I’ve learnt from the past, trying to rush stuff through too quickly, I get screwed up. I don’t want to have that screw up situation again.” Whereas somebody young is, “Like yeah just get me a combination coach, I want to find someone that has done everything.”
But to find a 25 to 30-year-old mentor coach it’s not that easy. To find a coach who is in their 20s and 30s, actually, there’s a lot people trained up to do coaching and have really good coaching skills. But if you are looking for someone and it’s a great question that has both a combination of skills of having the life experience in a specific field, and the ability to coach, now you’re narrowing right down. And that’s for you, picking your 45 50, 55-year olds, my generation because we’ve been down the road of having the bumps, and the knocks, and the successes. And there’s a few of us that have picked up the skills to be able to coach as well. So, the answer is yes, but you have to be really selective in finding that person, or those people. You’re very good at that. I think you’ve honed the skill of doing that, and I might reflect the question back to you, a little bit later before we finish. I’ll ask you the question how do you go about doing that, but I do agree it’s not as easy to find them. But if you find them latch onto them and just suck their brains, because having a coach/mentor is a really powerful tool.
And maybe how to find them, maybe specifically this type of person. We can include them in the action points, we can cover that later.
So Harms, I’m going to ask you the question, you are representing the younger generation in these Seekardo podcasts, why do you think that your age, looking at your age and below, why mentors and coaches are needed right now at this moment in time in history from your perspective, looking out into the future as a 30 year old and below.
That’s a good question, I had a feeling that you were going to ask me this first, put me on the spot first but that’s totally cool. So, I’ve got two points on this, but what I’ll do is cover point number one first, then to point two later. So, point number one is and this is actually from personal experience. So, one of the things that I think most people are, maybe both burying their head in the sand a little bit and hoping somebody else deals with the issue for them is the topic of automation, and the topic of technology very much destructing an entire industry in multiple industries. So, to put it into perspective, there’s a few books out there now, which are really honing in on this, and there are some studies done which is talking about certain industries will be completely wiped out by automation, which will leave, and we are talking hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk. And those people have a choice, they’re either going to be jobless or they’re going have to change career which involves the change process. So why having a mentor now more than ever it’s just so important, and a coach, it’s to help that transition and that change for hundreds of thousands of people in the future.
So, one I think there’s a massive opportunity for people who want to go to become coaches and mentors into the future because believe me, there’s going to be a lot of people that need help. So, how this links into your personal situation is when I transition from being an employee in a job, as an engineer to transitioning over to being a business owner and an investor, that transition was very difficult. And yes, it sounds lovely on paper, where okay you go from a job and now, you’re a business owner, but that requires a completely different set of skills. It requires three different sets of, how you handle relationships, how you handle the day-to-day. What you do when you wake up in the morning, to what you do when you go to sleep. And for a lot of business owners in their early start-up stage, you’ll know that sleep is something, sometimes it’s a myth, it doesn’t exist at the start up stage.
That’s a subject for another podcast I think.
Yes, that’s definitely a subject for another podcast.
Also, Harminder, just to add to that, I think it’s different for myself in my 50s. But when you’re in your 20s and 30s, and you’re suddenly breaking out. The other factor to add to what you are saying is, how do you handle the reaction of the people around you’re your parents, your brothers, your sisters, your uncles, your aunties, your peer group. When you’re literally uprooting out of that social environment, not leaving it, but your mindset is leaving it, to do something different. How do you deal with that? That’s another massive area that needs coaching and mentoring.
Exactly, so that is exactly where I massively benefit from a coach and mentor. And you personally were a part of that journey for me as well. Which is helping somebody transition from career one to career two, or point A to point B. And that can be from one job to another job, that can be from a job to a business, that could be a job to investment. It requires change, and I think everybody does need help changing because of all the social pressures involved. All of the new skills you have to learn. All the soft skills and the technical skills. I mean, if you just take one element for business, which is negotiation and sales, you’re going to have to at some point if you’re business owner, pick up the phone and speak to somebody. What if you’ve never done that in your career before, but now you’re a business owner, you need to do that because you haven’t got a sales team, so that is just one specific example.
But the mentor and coach can help guide that entire process in their own way, which is how you defined it at the start. So, I think that’s the point number one, on why we need mentors and coaches. And if you are in any situation of change, go and seek one out, and we’ll talk about that later, how to seek one out. But that’s point number one for me, any additional comments that you want to add to that?
I think you nailed it. I guess the other thing I would say for the for those of you that are listening who are older, my personal experience is, you have to be pliable. You have to be able to accept that with change as you’ve just talked about, and this is the big thing it is change management ultimately, we are talking about here.
It’s how do you manage that change?
You’ve got to dust down all of the old set of rules that you have about the world, “I’m an employee, I’m the director of the company. I’ve been here for 15 to 20 years. Now I want to make a change.” Don’t look back at your old patterns of behaviour and assume that those patterns of behaviour are applicable to the new world. The new circumstances that you’re in. That’s not the case, which means you’re looking at a blank canvas. In order for that blank canvas to be filled with a new picture, you’re going to have to find someone to help paint that picture with you and it’s most likely that it’s not somebody from the past. I discovered this over the years. Each time I was faced with a blank canvas, it was like, “Right, who do I need to help me paint that?”
So, for the older generations it is about dusting egos and I’ll come back to this at the end and saying, “Right, who do I need to have around me? And what does that picture look like in order for me to get there? Who do I need to have in that picture to help facilitate that, and make it happen as quickly as possible?” Because quite frankly, I find if you’re 50,55, 60 and you want to make a change, you don’t have the next 30 or 40 years for the privilege of making mistakes and screwing up and fucking up on certain things. Whereas if you’re 20,25 they can be and you might agree with this a little bit Harms, a little bit of. “Ahh you know what, so what if I mess up? I don’t necessarily need a mentor; I can pick myself up and dust myself down.” Somebody 30 years old is like, “I don’t have the time for that, I just need to get it done now.”
Agree, and that last point you made that is actually linked to my point number two. So, I will cover that after I fire the question back at you. Right from your experience and your time on this earth. What’s your thoughts on why we need a mentor and coach more now than ever? And it could have been the case, that it was just as important in the past, but also now.
It is a good point. Okay I’ve got a very brief history and I think this is an important point to make is that the term even mentor has come into our modern-day language, but it didn’t exist back in the 60s and 70s. You didn’t really hear it. And my father passed away at 13 as you know from my story and so very quickly. I lost a big mentor in my life, a big coach in my life. Our parents are those people, we model our parents, so I was looking around, I became like a sponge trying to find a male figure that would fill my life that had experience. And could give me wisdom without me consciously looking for it, that’s what I was doing. So, I very quickly sought that out. So, I think with my father’s death, I became a bit of a mentor hunter, a bit of a coach hunter. I was looking for people and there’s probably three or four people that came into my life quickly over the next 10 to 12 years that made a huge difference to where I am today. One of them was a schoolteacher who at school I had a passion for climbing and outdoor pursuits. His name was Julian Cottondon, right at the time my father died, he took me under his wing and without me realising it, he literally mentored me on how to become better at going out into the world and walking, climbing, mountaineering outdoor pursuits. It built up my self-esteem, where I was wounded, because I lost my father. I found my strength and he showed me that I could take control of my life in so many different ways and that he became a mentor for next five years, from 13 to 18 and a friend as well, and in fact showed me how to then go out and coach and mentor young people.
By the time I was 15-16 I was actually teaching young people about outdoor pursuits, how to climb mountains, how to canoe, how to spin a canoe, capsize and all those things. A very early mentor. I then went on to university and again was seeking people out, messed around, partied very hard at university for the first couple years. My grades weren’t brilliant, old friend of mine who is still a very dear friend for last 35 years or more, he said to me, he is West Indian originally, “You’re growing up into a profession, where there’s very few Asians, very few black people at the head of the profession. You can’t afford to have average grades, step it up, you need to slap it on, stop messing around and go out and do this. I will guide you; I’ll tell you exactly what I did to get a degree to enable me to get a PhD. If you get a PhD, you’re going to stand out. If you stand out people will treat you differently.”
And I was like in my early 20s, and he’s shaking me by the neck and saying do this and he literally laid out how he prepared for his final year project, how he prepared to get to do is PhD. And said, “If you duplicate what I did and you put the passion behind it, you’ll get the results you want.” And it led me to getting, I went from a third in my part ones in my degree, to getting a two, one and that was a massive kick. Then as a result of that, he put me in touch with a general Professor called Littlejohn, who was the number one academically in the world, in the field that I became a PhD in, which was geotechnical engineering. He was my first official like formal mentor and alongside him I had the number two, who in the contractual world in engineering, the practical world, he was the number two. So, these two people they mentored me for the next 5 to 10 years, right through to the point where I was charging £500 to £1000 a day as a consultant. They took me through that journey, so I just constantly was a sponge. But none of them were very good at business, so I then had to go find somebody else to mentor me on the business front and it became an ongoing process but allowed me by the time I was 28, 29 years of age, to be in the top four people in the world in my profession. There’s no way I could have done that, trying to do it on my own. It would have taken me about another 15 to 25 years in my profession to get there.
So, if you asked me one simple reason why, it’s speed, speed, speed, why would you want to make mistakes in the world around you when you’ve got people that have said, “Don’t make the mistake, do it this way, do it that way, let’s get you to a level where I am now, but now you take it to another level.” And I’ve said that to you all the way along our journey together. I want to teach you Harminder, what I’ve done so that by the time I’ve left this earth in five, ten years’ time, you are way above where I got to at my age. Because a great mentor says, “Stand on my shoulders and take it to another level.” And that’s exactly what all of my mentors have done over the years, not any of them have had any sort of ego that has made them afraid of me surpassing what they’ve done in their field, and I think that’s a really important thing to take on.
That is an incredible condensed version of that journey and it’s just phenomenal. And I’m loving this because a lot of these stories I’m hearing for the first time. So, for many of the listeners at home, I am actually going to be leaving this podcast processing the story myself thinking, wow, there’s incredible amount of lessons in there. But I’ve got one question off the back of that, and we’ve had the question fired back at us multiple times and there’s going to be people listening to this, for people who are friends of friends and they’re going to ask that really critical question which is, why would someone do this? Why would a mentor, a coach why would somebody want to help you? Knowing that the outcome for you, you are going to make more money, you will be more successful. Why would somebody do this? I mean, we know the answer, but could you share your thoughts on that business.
Okay, the fact that you’ve even asked the question I think is great because we do hear this a lot, but for anyone listening to this and understand the philosophy of where Harms and I come from its, as individuals as human beings we have to stop asking the question why would somebody do that because it comes from a negative lack philosophy. Because my reflective question is why wouldn’t they want to do that and then people go, “Oh, that’s a good point actually.” So, why wouldn’t they want to do that then leads to a whole different conversation, but keeping it to your point, the reason that I have done it over the years I think it’s because I inherited it from my mentors, because as a human being, how can we make the world a better place if we don’t share our generations, our if you go back through your generation as Harminder Toor, going back to your ancestors all the way back through to Malaysia into Asia, and then your grandparents and your great, great grandparents. Each individual listening to this recording right now at a cellular level, a biological level at a historical level has a history of all of the ancestors of knowledge inside you, so that means that our children if we are clever, we impart our knowledge and our history onto our next generation. But why does is it just have to be our children? Imagine what the world could be like if we could give beyond ourselves, so that when we’ve left this earth physically there’s another level of consciousness, and I think anyone that has any level of emotional and spiritual development who has an experience in the world, in any field they are actually genuinely, it is a human need to want to give beyond themselves. But what happens is people don’t ask them.
So, someone like myself I’ve got my head down, working on my business, yes, I go out and consciously do it, but then suddenly a young man called Harminder Toor comes along and asks me a question and keeps asking the question and before you know it, you’ve opened this huge vault. You’ve opened the vault to what’s in my head because you’ve just kept pushing, you’ve kept pushing the door open and actually if you’re listening to this thing, go out and try this as an exercise, go and just share with somebody one thing that you know, that most people don’t know that could help them and see how it feels. It feels amazing to be able to give beyond yourself. So, I just stopped even asking the question, why would they do that, I just go and ask, could you help me? And if you keep asking that question and knock on enough doors, some doors will open, and they’ll stay open. It’s all about giving beyond ourselves and that’s why we continue to mentor and coach, those of us who do it.
And I am almost certain that our audience and our listeners are of that emotional development and they will really resonate with this. And I think just to close off your point that is fantastic point is, we can’t assume that these mentors and coaches are going to come out there and give you this information. They are head down they are building their business, their family, their life, improving their world and it’s okay to ask because the worst they can say is, “Not the moment” or “Not right now” or “Actually connect with me in a months’ time and have a coffee or conversation then.” But we’ll talk about access to mentor’s later, but that’s a fantastic point.
Can I just jump in and ask you the question because you’re 30 now and you’ve accelerated to a point now where you’ve got your multiple businesses, yes you and I have a friendship, but also you have a way of respectfully asking me questions and it doesn’t broach the friendship either which I think is very rare by the way. But how do you feel now at 30, when it comes to a chance to help other people? You can almost mirror the question back to you, you’re a 30-year-old with a skill set. How do you feel knowing that you have the ability to coach, mentor other people? How do you feel even in the process of doing it? Do you feel uncomfortable with it? Do you still have a bit of resistance to it? Just share that with the listeners, because some of the people listening to this will ultimately go to be amazing coaches and mentors, so how do you feel about it?
Really good question, I’ve actually not considered it and you’ve got me on the spot. So, I think originally, I was uncomfortable with it. Because I started investing, I started a business about four, four and a half years ago now and I just came from the place of a career. I came from the place of a job. I had one job to do on a daily basis and that was it. So, once we opened this world and it was like okay, now we’ve learned an incredible amount and at first I was uncomfortable with it because in all honesty, I was like woah why are you asking me these questions, like, there’s even more amazing people to ask these questions. And I think once I got over the fact that actually it’s okay to be proud of the knowledge that you have and be proud of it. As long as it doesn’t come from a place of ego and what I’m gaining from that conversation is not, “haha I’m right.” Instead it’s I’m so glad I could help you with that because it’s probably going to save you six months. And I think right now, I just feel incredibly blessed to be in a position where I can with the skills we have, with social media and digital marketing as well to get a positive message out there to the world. And for me that’s a simple summary, it just feels fantastic, especially because and this is the rebel part of me and the pirate within me. There is so much negative stuff out there, the rebel in me is saying no, thank you. And if we can get positive message out there we are fighting them, and it’s a battle that the light is going to win. Win it with our positive vibes, and if we can just touch one person and that shifts their world, they will now be a part of positivity versus that question, why would someone do this, when we want them thinking why wouldn’t somebody do this and now I truly believe I come from that place, why wouldn’t you want to share a positive message with somebody and help somebody out.
Yeah, and I think when you come from that place you attract different people. I mean just to try and reflect this further for everybody listening, so I as a 53-year-old now I go to Harminder who is 30 and I want to make a point about mentoring and coaching and for the older ones in the room. It doesn’t have to be somebody that is older than you. It can be somebody that has the experience that you don’t have, albeit that they’re younger. So, Harminder, I’ll go to and ask some of the stupidest questions and he has never ever said, just check this Ro, just do this and do that. I’ll ask questions about social media about some of the technology on the phone, the computer and it’s not that I’m not computer literate, I actually do have the ability to do it, I’m quite a left-brain guy. But I’ve got somebody here, that we’ve got a working relationship and a friendship I can go right I need you to coach me on this, and I actually use those words. Or I’ll say mentor me, he might ask the question and get me to go away and do it. Mentoring I’m like shit I just need an answer right now and I think if you’ve got the ability to go to someone who is younger than you, but has more experience in that particular area, it’s not about life experience. It might be that Harminder’s certain areas his life experiences are less than mine which is why he comes to me, but there’s other areas where he in a short space of time has got a concentrated set of knowledge which I don’t have and don’t have the time to go and look at right now, and that’s a very important point to bring out here is that age is not necessarily the criteria for choosing your mentor.
It’s about what does that person have, that I don’t have that they can share with me that I can use now, to get the results I want to get. And that probably is going to tie into one of the last things that I am going to cover with everybody. I don’t know if this makes sense Harms, but you know me, I’ll come to you and go I need some help with this. And that’s reversing the roles.
Some of the questions I do have a private giggle. And absolutely I think that is the case because why would you not want the best of both worlds? You’ve got the older generation wisdom but now you’re staying completely up to date with what’s happening around you, which is I think what some people detract from, they’re like, “That’s not my generation. I’m so anti-year. I I’m scared of it. I’m scared to try it”, but it is a case of, and even children. If parents position the questions to their kids and said, “Could you mentor me on how to work this thing on my phone, I want to use the cloud, I want to store my photos on the cloud.” Whatever the question is, the kids will be like, “Oh my god, I am mentoring my parents, I feel good.”
It’s done in a respectful way. And one of the questions that you and I have is, and you know that about my nature is, if I ask Harminder a question, he knows that Ro doesn’t want the long answer it’s just like, “Do this, do this and do that”, and what I need to do, to get the results as quickly as possible in this particular area of, for example, social media or with technology. Equally he’ll spin it on this head and he’ll say to me, “Right I’m looking at this type of property business at the moment, we haven’t gone into this, you’ve done this before Ro, tell me how to get to the answer as quickly as possible.” So, it’s that level of mentor coaching that you need and really in this day and age information is coming at us so quickly, there isn’t time for the old style of mentor coaching, in the old days where it was like t okay things are at a 50% pace. None of that now it has to be quick, efficient but getting the results with authenticity and without the ego as you mentioned as well.
Agree so on that note, can I cover my final point?
Yes, please do.
I had a bullet point prepared actually which is, it starts at the topic of ego and then I’ll let you take over. Which is I’ve come across now quite a handful of scenarios of people that have approached me personally, in conversation, and also just out there online. Which is, this really bizarre phrase which I find bizarre, but I have to respect them because it’s come from there space where they’re at, at the moment. Which is, they feel like they want to make their own mistakes. They don’t want a mentor; they don’t want a coach. They don’t want a service that somebody provides because they want to make their own mistakes and learn their own lessons.
Can I add, they don’t want to pay for it, that’s the other thing. They want it for free.
They don’t want to pay for it, they want it for free, absolutely. And their excuse potentially for not paying for it is, “I want to make my own lessons.” And that’s maybe a defence mechanism I don’t know. But for me, I generally take a second to pause and I’m like, knowing how much a mentor and a coach has benefitted me in my life, and how you said speed, we’ve got results so quick compared to if we hadn’t had a mentor or coach. It would’ve probably taken us 20,30 years in all honesty. And especially with the stuff now that we know. So, I pause, and I just think, I just say to myself, why on earth would you set out to fail? Because what they’re saying is, “I don’t want a positive outcome. I’ve planted the seed in my journey that I’m okay with failing.” And I just want to make it clear, I don’t think it’s okay to set out being okay with failing. If you happen to fail at a specific mission, specific goal or task that you have set yourself, then you have to have humility to analyse the situation and say, what went wrong there? And one of the questions will be is, actually there was a blind spot in my knowledge, which a mentor and coach could have potentially plucked. That’s normally where I have failed is because we just haven’t reached out and asked the right questions.
So, just to summarise the point that I’m really making is, don’t set out to fail. It sounds crazy when you think about it, you set out to fail. Whereas everybody should set out to succeed with as much guidance as they can to get there quickly. Nobody wants to wait 30, 40 years to get that positive outcome. You want it quick and we are not talking about getting rich quick, we are talking about getting to your outcome as quickly as possible. And mentors and coaches just really make that so much easier, rather than failing and thinking asking somebody the question retrospectively, and they said, “Did you consider doing this, this and this?”. And you’ll say to them, actually no, I’ve never even thought of that. Their response is, “Well if you had come to me six months ago and asked me that question, I would have been more than happy to give you the information.
So, I think if you are thinking about trying to go out there making mistakes, yes it sounds very noble, but trust me, in practice, it’s something that you may regret. Because if somebody could have given you that little nugget, asked you the right question, you will not regret it when you got a successful outcome. So that’s my final point, which I want to leave listeners with.
I would like to add to that, and I totally endorse what Harminder is saying. And let me give your four names that come to mind immediately and tell me if you think they’re inspirational. Warren Buffett, we know global phenomena in what he has done in this industry. There are four different areas right. Tony Robbins, incredible person in the personal development world. Richard Branson, billionaire. Okay, so again, a name that comes to mind immediately, Michelle Obama. Every single one of these people, phenomenal woman as both as you know the first lady when Barack Obama was president, but also in the background an incredible woman and now, even more prolific in the messages she is sharing. Every single one of those four people, and I could keep going and keep going, and lots of other names of famous people saying the same thing. Those of you that like music you look at someone like Jay-Z has had the same message for years. Find yourself a mentor. I actually shared the stage years ago with Richard Branson in South Africa, where I was up first doing property and he came up onto the stage after to talk about business. And one of the things he said was, “If I’m ever asked the question what’s the difference between a successful and unsuccessful business person? First thing that comes to mind is mentoring. Those with mentors accelerate efficiently and they get the results they want quickly without the costly, two things for those of you listening, time and money. And unfortunately, particularly for the younger generation today, you walk out your door and there’s thousands of different little footpaths going out into the future. Whereas when I came out there was one or two or three key footpaths, that were well trodden, there wasn’t the need for somebody to guide you as much, but now there are too many choices. And if you go down one of those choices bang five years has gone, bang 10 years has gone and you look back and you say fuck I regret that. You can’t afford to do that, the cost of that time is worth hundreds of thousands if not millions of pounds to you in the future, so take the guidance from some of the most inspirational people and just trust the importance of having those people in your lives. Put the ego aside, I mean I’ve got a set of four things that I was going to read out, I don’t know if you want me to do that now or later, it’s just what to look for. But please put the ego aside and just allow yourself to be taught by someone that has been down there.
Now once you get to a certain level and there’s a lot of income coming in, and you’re safe and you’ve got protection, there are certain things you could start to go on your own path maybe. Invent and come up with new ideas but get the financial stability first. Otherwise years just flow by quickly.
So, just to wrap up that last point. If somebody is thinking about approaching a mentor or coach, or on any sort of level, a question that is useful which I mean I made errors in my past when I turned up to a mentor meeting and a coach meeting is, how should somebody show up to be mentored or be coached?
I think that’s a very powerful question. And actually, although you might say you didn’t necessarily show up that way, I am going to use you as an example of this and say if I look at the characteristics, certainly working with me and in the early days when you started. There are four things that I look for and this is what I think anyone who is looking to be mentored or coached, write these four things down. Number one you’ve got to rock up to the table and you’ve got to be completely open to learning, that means you comes as a blank page and you just say to your mentor or coach, “Write all over my blank pages and let me absorb that.” That’s the first thing. The second thing is drop the ego. Doesn’t matter what experience you’ve got, I’ve just run an event recently which was a communications event and I had people in the room that I taught how to speak in the last 5 to 10 years, and yet they came back in the room and said yeah we’ve been out in the industry for a while, but we want to up our game to another level, and they were humble enough to let their egos go. Sit in a room with other people who weren’t communicators themselves effectively, but still had the humility to learn from that.
I’m just going to jump in there Ro, because point number two, just quickly define how to know if you’re coming from a place of ego.
I knew you were going to ask me a question like that, it’s a good question actually because I’m making the assumption in my mind, I know it. This is a great question to ask a coach actually.
Here’s the thing right, when you’re being coached and if they say something and you don’t understand it, and I don’t know you that you don’t understand it because I assume that you do, so that’s a very good question. Egos, okay, so I’m going to be really honest because I had a massive ego back in my youth before I had it rounded off. “I can do it myself, yeah I know you’re saying that to me, but I reckon I can still go and do it on my own.” When you’re talking to somebody and I’m mentoring or coaching them, or starting to, and I notice their eyes glaze off, or as I’m talking they’re not actually listening to what I’m saying but they’re thinking about what they want to say back to me in response to something. It’s usually a “yes, but what if I do this, or what if I do that.” They’re not absorbing it. They’re just literally preparing themselves to say something back to you. If ever that situation happens, it’s usually somebody’s ego, it’s a sense that they need to be right. The “I” word comes up a lot in the conversation and you will see it from the way the language they use to present themselves. They go onto stage and instead of making it a share, it’s about “I will tell you about me, I will tell you about what I want to do.”
So, you’ve got to listen out to that voice inside you and just be silent and allow the other person that’s mentoring you to share, and don’t even think about, “yeah but, yeah but”, just say okay, this is a more experienced person, I’m just going to absorb that for a moment. Process it.
You don’t necessarily need to have the last word.
Exactly it’s the last word conversation speech. The third thing is apply what they say. So, my philosophy was okay, you’re mentoring me, tell me how high to jump, how long I should stay in the air, and then tell me when to come down from the areas. That philosophy just, you’ve told me to do it this way, I’m going to do it this way. You’ve been there, I want to be where you are, just tell me what to do. If something doesn’t work out, I’ll come back to you, work out and we will refine it.
But apply what they say, that’s the third thing. And the fourth thing is, no distractions, no excuses. Simple rule of thumb I have. Don’t let anything in your world, distract you from what your mentor is guiding you on. Don’t go back to them a week later and say, “yeah but this happened, and this happened, and this happened.” So, we don’t make excuses and we don’t allow distractions to stop us from our path. Those four things are the best way to shop to any coach mentoring experience that you have with anybody.
Fantastic. That’s some fantastic four points there. So, there’s four points on how to show up and with the last point, please don’t go back to your mentor and say, “I know you told me this to do this two weeks ago, but I spoke to somebody else and they said that I should do it a different way.” Trust this person, so trust them and see the process through.
Yeah, and you’re paying for it. If you’re not paying a coach, people go I don’t want to pay my coach £300 for an hour, or whatever they’re charging. You’re not paying for the hour, you’re paying for the last 35-40 years of their experience, all the mistakes they’ve made could be tens of thousand pounds worth of mistakes and they’ve just helped you save £5000 worth of error by doing one thing, by doing it a different way. So, understand the value of what they’re offering you, not the cost of it.
Right Ro, so we have covered this question in detail, we’ve started with the description and we’ve given them some personal share examples as well. So, to wrap up I think this is a great thing to leave the listeners with something actionable they can do. So, if you can give them something actionable to do and I will do the same as well.
That’s a great question.
So, essentially as you’re listening to this right now start to think clearly about the direction you want to go. Whether it’s on a personal professional level, financial level, business level, whatever it is it doesn’t matter, you just choose what that is. Once you’ve decided on what that picture looks like and where you want to get to, I want you to go out into that field. Let’s say for the sake of argument it’s business and look into that field of business, go online, look at the people around you, attend some networking events and business conferences, or whatever it is necessary to give yourself exposure to people that are already successful in that field. And given a choice, I’m going to look as far up as possible who is really excelling in that particular area. Male, female, what their background is, how long they’ve been doing all those things, start to look into that.
I would focus on three things, number one look at people who have a set of values that you resonate with, so I really connect with that person because I love the way they approach the business that I’m inspired by. Okay, that’s the first thing I’m looking for. Number two, their beliefs. Have they got strong, positive beliefs that you think, great I love the way they see their business; I love the way they action their business, they’ve got a really strong set of personal beliefs as well. I love that person.
And then the last thing is, in terms of their persona, do you relate to the way they can conduct themselves in business? Do you feel that that’s part of at least part of who they are, is how you want to sharpen business in the future, and if those three things resonate for you, seek them out. Phone them, email them, contact them, be respectful of course, but be honest, find a way to get to that person and then see how they operate. Do they do it privately? Would you have to pay them for that time? Could you shadow them for free? Could you offer a service in exchange? But get into that space, because the more you’re in their environment all those values we’ve just talked about will rub off on you. At the moment, that’s the most important thing to do in terms of finding the next person to mentor you.
That’s an awesome, awesome action point. And I’ll just add to that, we do have a bias towards business because we are both multiple owners. But that can also be done on a relationship level, that can also be done in your job, your career. The person you seek out as a coach and mentor doesn’t have to be in your department, they can be in a different department, so seek them out. Based on those rules that Ro have you about values and beliefs. So, that can also be a possibility, it’s not just business orientated.
And Harms just to add, because I’m passionate about this, show up in an authentic way. Don’t come too polished, be real, be honest, be yourself. Because the minute you try to be somebody you’re not, they’re not going to relate to you. They’re going to love that. That’s what you did when you came to me like this is who I am. As a mentor you want to see the truth in a person, you don’t want to see their façade. You don’t want to see their public image; you actually want to know who the person is that’s coming to you.
I agree. And also, for the mentor and coach. If you come to them raw, open, from an honest, authentic place, they will get you to the result 10 times quicker. Otherwise they’re going to spend the first 6-7 coaching sessions trying to get through the façade and then they’re like, you’re not the same person you were six weeks ago.
Okay, so I will leave them with an action point and for many people listening, this may be the first time you even heard about the concept of a mentor and coach. So, for me it’s a very simple action point. I would treat myself and Dr Ro, and the Seekardo podcast as your personal mentor and coach, but on a whole varied list of subjects which we are going to be covering in the future and also past episodes.
So, my simple action is just keep listening and if you are implementing the steps slowly that Ro has told you about seeking the mentor out, that’s fantastic. And in addition to that, just treat us as your mentors and coaches through your ears, through this audio experience, and that’s one of the things we want to get out of this as people. We want to help all of the listeners listening make a shift in their life in a positive direction. So, that is the action point that I would love to leave you guys with.
I just want to add Harminder, I think this is a great subject to choose, because I know it’s one you chose and well done, because I think this is such a strong topic and any one listening to this has got massive value from this conversation, so good job.
Absolute pleasure Ro. And just for everybody listening, the reason I chose it was I have personally benefited massively from mentors and coaches, through many different mediums. And Ro being one of them, yourself being one of them Ro.
So, on that note we will wrap up, we will say bye-bye, and we will say thank you for listening to today’s episode of Seekardo. We hope you had massive value and we will see you on the next episode. Hello, it is Harms again, in my excitement I completely forgot to mention that all of the useful things myself and Dr Ro have spoken about on episode two of the Seekardo podcast will be available on the show notes and you can find those at the same website, growthtribes.com/podcast, so that’s growthtribes.com/podcast.
Anything useful that we spoke about in today’s podcast will be featured there, including some of the amazing coaching questions, the four key points on how to turn up to mentorship, all of those useful things will be available there. So, this is now me officially signing off and I will leave you with the outro.
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