I have found 10x more value from mentors who tell me what I don’t to hear rather than cheering for me when I do well.
I love hearing applause as much as the next person. But where do I get the best results? Listening to the advice “I don’t want to hear”. I’ll share a problem with a mentor and they hear the solution before I even get the problem out.
This happens frequently when I supporting fellow entrepreneurs. They describe their situation and I listen both to what they share – and what they don’t share. Often what they don’t share is a blind spot. Once you identify the blind spot, the solution is close at hand.
Let me share a recent example in my own business. My prior business model was to sell to companies, organizations, not for profits – a B to B model. However, as I am revising the Malla 2.0 edition, I realize the importance of developing more individual customers or a B to C model.
I spoke with a friend – in this case a mentor- who mastered the art of branding within her industry. She shared a solution that was quite different from what I was comfortable with.
I wrestled with the idea. Didn’t see where I had time. Couldn’t figure out what to focus writing on. And sat on it for a at least 6 months.
Every time I kept complaining to her about my lack of a fan base, she shared the same advice. Start blogging. Promote it. Find out what interests people.
But I kept dragging my feet.
Then I got fed up. I paid for a new marketing program designed to help me develop products to sell to my market. And I hit the same brick wall I’ve been running into for months – who is my fan base?
So I got pass my own resistance, fears, hesitations, doubts….and started blogging.
And in one week, I had more visitors to my site than I did the entire year before.
Week two – the data speaks for itself. It’s crazy to see the results.
There were many reasons why I was hesitant to start. And the act of blogging isn’t the lesson here. It’s listening to your trusted mentors and being willing to take action …even when it’s uncomfortable.
I must add – my mentor is someone who has my best interests at heart. She isn’t some jealous friend who doesn’t want me to succeed. Or fearful that I might take risks that are too big for me.
No, she is someone who has used this technique herself. She’s now established in her industry . She gets sought out to share industry trends and insights at conferences worldwide.
So I encourage you. Find someone who will tell you what you don’t want to hear about your business. They need to do it with love. They need to be doing it with your goals, values and business plan in mind. They need to have done it/experienced it for themselves.
But take a moment and be wiling to put it into action. No matter how hard it may seem. No matter how outside your comfort zone it takes you.
Because it may be the thing that is keeping you back from realizing your real business goals and dreams.