Do you need a mentor?

We're all familiar with the idea of working with a yoga teacher to develop our practice on the mat, but I hadn't really ever thought about working with someone off the mat to develop my own business.  It wasn't something that was given much time in the Yoga Teacher Training I did way back when, and in a saturated market where yoga teachers are everywhere the need to have a business coach is actually pretty strong.

I remember my first chat with Liz from Answers on a Postcard back in the early part of 2018.  It was a gloomy day in the Algarve and I was feeling just as miserable as the weather.  We’d been touring around Europe and the UK for a couple of years trying to establish a free range lifestyle and I wasn’t feeling the love.  My career as a travelling yoga teacher wasn’t giving me much satisfaction and my self-esteem was at an all-time low. 

One of my colleagues gave me Liz’s number and said we should connect.  I checked her out on line and thought she looked pretty approachable and I loved what she was offering but I kept making excuses:  I didn’t have enough money, I didn’t have enough energy, I didn’t have enough time and more of the same.  But something kept nagging at me and eventually I just called her and the rest, as they say is history.

I'd been nervous about the phone call and was dreading actually having to ask someone for help but she immediately put me at ease and made me laugh so I knew things were going to be okay.  She asked me some tricky questions that made me wince a bit with self-realisation but they were the ones I really needed to hear the answers to and it was really essential for me to actually say it rather than just think it.  It was so good to be able to voice my career concerns to someone who actually really understood where I was coming from and someone who wasn’t put off my apparent lack of ability to sort it out myself.  Looking back, I wonder why anyone actually thinks they should try and work it all out by themselves when you can have a Liz on your team. 

I remember saying at the beginning of the call that I wouldn’t be able to start working with her for a while as it just wasn’t the right time for me.   About five minutes after I put the phone down I was ready to take the plunge.  I needed her support and I felt total confidence that she was the right person to pull me out of my grumpy rut and get me back on the straight and narrow.

We started working together almost immediately - meeting ‘online’ for our coaching session at the beginning of the month and then two weeks later for a check-in and progress monitoring chat. 

So how did it work?  We started, as is often the way, at the beginning.  Liz threw me loads of questions about myself and my lifestyle and what I really, really wanted <insert sound-track of the Spice Girls singing 'Wannabe' here>.  And I had to work some stuff out and ask myself the questions and be pro-bloody-active rather than just wishing life would sort itself out without my input. 

And then as if by magic, Liz came up with a focus for the first month's session from the stuff I'd spewed out and she made it all make sense and I didn't feel like such a doofus afterall. We chatted and planned and chatted some more.  She asked me more questions and I tried to answer stuff and we made progress.  After the session Liz sent me our notes with the targets we'd set and off I went into the big wide world but with someone totally watching my back.  It felt nice.  I wish I'd had it sooner.  Then a couple of weeks later we met again and caught up with what I'd been up to.  Liz helped me with stuff I was struggling with and I knew she totally had my corner.  She was like the big marketing guru sister I always needed in my life.

And in the short space of time we’ve been working together I have totally reinvented my business and am feeling on top of my game.  The transformation has been incredible and I applaud Liz for her ability to motivate me at a time when I was ready to quit.   With her expert guidance, I’ve created a new brand, built my own website, designed a logo, become conversant in SEO and analytics, developed an online course, scored a brand ambassador position, changed my pricing and generally just become a person who really, truly believes that their business can work.

We have so many plans in the pipeline for Yoga Sister and I couldn't have done it without Liz.  She is really rather incredible.  She makes me laugh, she bigs me up when I'm feeling a bit meh and she reminds me of all the amazing stuff I've achieved in just a few months.   I totally recommend her to anyone who, like me, just needs someone to help them see the way into the future. 

Everyone in a business needs a Liz.  Don’t put it off like I did.  Bite the bullet and do it today. You will certainly never regret it! 

If you're a new yoga teacher and you're wondering where on earth to start in this crazy and wonderful world of teaching, or you just want to raise your game a little, you might be interested in my new teacher mentoring programme which combines business development with best practice yoga teaching.  Click through on the link below.