I can still remember the day I made my first sizable investment in myself.
Excluding college, of course, which I also paid for myself. For some reason, social conditioning allows us to view that as less crazy. We’re primed for our entire lives to take out student loans and fork over tens of thousands of dollars without the promise of any results. In fact, oftentimes, we’re left thinking, “Damn. What the fuck did I just pay for?”
But that’s another blog for another day.
Anyway, it was 2014, and I was dead set on becoming an online coach. The issue? I had NO CLUE where to begin. But given my sports background, I figured that having a coach to help me wouldn’t hurt.
I mean, coaches need coaches, right?
Want to improve your golf swing? Hire a coach.
Want to get better at driving? Hire an instructor.
Want to learn how to play an instrument? Hire a teacher.
But for some reason, when we decide to start a business, we think we can just figure this shit out on our own. That always seemed crazy to me. I knew that if I wanted to be successful, I needed to learn from someone who had been successful before.
So I began searching for my own personal “Phil Jackson.” An illustrious mentor who could help guide me, step-by-step, towards success.
Seems simple enough, right?
But then I realized…this type of coach is hard to find. I resorted to sending cold DMs to about a dozen coaches in the space who seemed to be having success. I pleaded with them to allow me to mentor under them. I would do anything—pay anything—to have them share their knowledge with me. And as far as the responses I got?
I couldn’t believe it. There wasn’t anyone out there who wanted to coach me? (Silly ego)
But then, I found “the one.” A business mentor who specialized in helping online coaches get their start. I found myself signing over a check for $5,000.00. $5k that I had to borrow at a massive interest rate using credit cards. But I didn’t care. I knew I needed the help.
I did every single fucking thing that the coach told me to do. I posted the way that they taught me to. I set up the systems they created and swore by. I even starting speaking the way they spoke. I gave it everything I had.
And guess what?
It didn’t work.
I got scammed.
The principles that they taught were cookie cutter and generic. They had no proof that their methods actually worked—and they didn’t.
What if I had done more research?
How did I waste such a huge amount of money?
I gave myself a lot of shit after this “mistake” until I realized it wasn’t actually a mistake at all. Looking back, I would do it all over again. 100%.
Because it opened doors for me. For learning, for mentorship…for learning what I SHOULDN’T do so that I could eventually learn what I SHOULD do.
And that, my friends, is why I’m so pumped to share the lessons that I’ve learned over the years with you. I’ve spent close to $300k on coaches, mentors, and courses. I’ve mentored over 200 online coaches in how to start, grow, and scale their businesses. And I’ve got the evidence to prove it.
But before we get into that, though, I want to share a cool story with you as to why mentorship is a no brainer.
In the book “On The Origin of Species,” Charles Darwin (you know…the evolution guy) shares a FASCINATING observation. He spent a great deal of time observing living organisms operating in a dynamic community, where it all came down to survival of the fittest. His goal was to determine what factors were at play when it came to who survived…and who died.
A common factor for survival came down to this:
❌ Organisms who operate by trial and error = low rates of survival
✅ Organisms who OBSERVE the ‘trial and error’ groups = HIGH rates of survival
And this applies to all areas of life, but I want to relate it to our current situation with a rapidly changing economy.
If you want to become an online coach, or if you’re trying to pivot your in-person gym or training business online, you can probably figure this out on your own…eventually. But you can also use printer paper to wipe your ass.
It might get the job done, but it’s dumb. And painful! And using TP (if you can find it) is much more efficient.
Now, let’s get into what you should look for when choosing a mentor.
Erin and I recently put out a podcast episode on Flow State of Mind about how you should pick a coach and why it’s so important. You should definitely listen to the full episode here, but I’ve also broken it down for you below into the five main points.
So what questions should you ask yourself before choosing a mentor? What is most important when choosing the right coach for you?
1. Experience matters.
Erin’s big secret to success in 2017 was figuring out how to turn her investments into a slot machine. She’d put $1 in and get $2 out. So how do you make a slot machine like that? You find the coaches who are actually trustworthy and worth paying for.
Sometimes you’ll see fitness coaches who have success for a month or two and then decide to hop over into business coaching, because they know they can charge five times as much. What ends up happening is they ruin their reputation because they don’t actually help anyone. They don’t know what they’re doing, so they don’t have any impact. And it’s important that you avoid these types of coaches at all costs.
Learning from others—from everyone you meet—is powerful. Like that quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson goes…
But if your ego gets in the way of your advancement, or if you aren’t learning from the right people, it might end up feeling like a wasted investment.
So ask yourself—has the coach you’re considering hiring actually succeeded? Does their business have longevity and a history of success? It’s not hard to gain momentum in the beginning, but being able to sustain that is important.
And it’s not easy.
See, when I teamed up with Erin she had already been on online coach for 6 years. Having started her business in 2013, and already helped transform over 3000 bodies.
I knew at that point she was legit LOL. For me, I’ve been personal training for years, and just starting to pivot online.
With Erin having 6 years sustaining multiple six figures in revenue, and my buisiness experiene, we were able to scale quickly.
Since 2017, we’ve taken our coaching companies from just her, and I, to a team of eleven rockstars, and approaching a 1.7 Million Dollar Run Rate. We’ve seen it all. If there is one thing that is certain about the fitness industry, is what it looks like today, will be different tomorrow.
Affiliate marketing used to be the thing. Not anymore.
Posting random content, and people cliking the link in your bio used to work. Not anymore.
Selling e-books at one time, was a profitible move, not anymore. So you must learn to adapt, be willing to test things, and most importantly, have people in your corner who have paved the way before you.
So not to bring it back to Darwin, but you have to learn how to adapt.
We’ve seen other coaches step into the space around the same time as we did, and because they couldn’t adapt, they just faded out. You’re going to come across diverse people who learn in different ways, and if you can’t customize your approach to them, you’re not going to be able to coach them.
When you’re looking for a coach, you need to find one who has been doing this for a while. They’ve helped different kinds of people. They’ve encountered problems like yours. And they have the experience to know how to solve them.
2. Another thing that matters?
Hard physical assets.
There’s a big difference between a hustle—a hobby—and a business. Sure, if you can post good content, or send out cold DMS and get potential clients on a sales call, you know how to hustle. And don’t get me wrong—you might find some success using that approach. But what longterm, viable systems are in place to build longterm, viable business assets?
When I talk about hard assets, I’m referring to a multifaceted approach. Email lists. Social media communities. Revenue-driving ads. If the coach you’re looking to hire doesn’t have those kinds of effective tools, they’re relying on nothing but posting and praying. They’re the dancing bear—and that’s probably all they can teach you to be, too.
That’s not to say that being attractive and capitalizing on your visual appeal is wrong. When Erin started out, she was a 25-year-old blond with abs. I’d like to think that I’m not too bad to look at, either. And that’s definitely an advantage for us. It gets people in the door. But what will keep followers (aka potential clients) around is the ability to teach them something beyond how to look ripped on Instagram.
So search out those hard assets.
What do they know about copywriting? (Which, by the way, we teach in IFCA…)
Do they have compelling ads?
What do they know about email marketing?
Email marketing has been around since the late ‘90s, but Instagram just started in 2012. And it’s constantly changing. So on top of being able to adapt, a good coach is going to put stock in tried and true methods even if they aren’t as “trendy.”
I recently read that for every $1 you put into email marketing, you receive $42 in return. And that’s just the beginning of the benefits.
A lot of coaches don’t teach this because it’s not going to show an immediate return. And I know that we live in a world of instant gratification, but those sales funnels take time to build and develop. They take time, but they’re where all of the best copy, all of the social proof, and all of the client transformations live. It’s what does the work for you and gives you credibility…beyond your nice ass.
Hot content and DMs = short-term gains
Actual business assets = long-term growth
I recommend that you look for a coach who has it all—the short-term traffic-driving posts AND the long-term client-retaining assets—if you want the best bang for your self-investment buck.
3. Do they share your values, morals, and interests?
Take a close look at how any prospective coach tries to sell you. Are they twisting your arm? Using high-pressure tactics and not letting you off the phone? Or are they actually listening to your needs and concerns and offering help that is catered to you? However your coach sells is going to be the same way they teach you to sell, so if you’re not down with it, walk away.
You want to be working with a coach who has an approach that feels aligned with your morals and values. If you want to be a high-pressure coach, that’s fine! Find yourself a coach who brings that energy. If you’re more comfortable with a low-key approach, then look for a coach who relates with you on that level instead.
You’re way more likely to learn from a mentor who you like personally. And the same goes for your clients. You don’t want to be leading in clients who don’t love you, because they’re probably going to do better learning from someone they actually vibe with.
Your mentor should feel like a friend. Of course, since this is someone you’re going to look up to, you might not always feel like you’re on exactly the same level. And that’s okay. But you want to be comfortable enough with them to speak your truth. Ask questions. Hear and really implement their feedback. So if you’re skeptical instead of trusting when you speak with them, they’re probably not your “Phil Jackson.”
4. Do they have a team?
You might think that just being a good business owner would be enough to be a good business coach, right? Wrong. Your goal probably isn’t limited to finding enough clients to coach all on your own, so your business coach shouldn’t be doing that either.
Look for a business coach who has already successfully scaled their enterprise. They have a team because they know the importance of outsourcing.
When you’re first starting out, your #1 priority should be building out your product. But once that’s solid, you’ll need to transition into sales and marketing. If you do that well, you’re going to move on to team building so that you can be spending your time doing what you do best.
If you come into an enrollment call with a coach, and they’re the ones taking the call, I suggest that you ask them what else they do with their time. Enrollment calls can be time-consuming and draining, which is why we brought on Hayden to work as our enrollment director. He takes on those calls as his main focus, so it goes like this:
Hayden becomes an expert at calls because it’s all that he’s doing.
Hayden condenses the information for us, which saves us time.
Erin and I focus on coaching IFCA students.
For us and IFCA, we took our own enrollment calls for round one, and I’m not ashamed to admit that! We even did a beta round, but we only charged 1/3 of the price, because we didn’t feel right taking money for something that we didn’t already have proven results for.
We were growing and learning then, and still are now, and IFCA has become bigger and better as a result. But your coach should’ve already gone through those growing pains. They should be beyond taking the calls themselves, and they should have a team that you can trust as much as you trust the coach.
Ultimately, a coach without a team should be a major red flag. If the coach you’re considering doesn’t have a team, how much time do they have to dedicate to you as a client?
Don’t be afraid to really vet them on these calls, because it’s as much about finding a good fit for you as it should be for them. Ask them to show you their proof. And if they don’t have it, think long and hard before giving them a fucking cent.
5. The proof is in the testimonials.
So…what is social proof? Exactly what it sounds like. Testimonials. Reviews. Case studies.
This kind of information should be easily accessible, and any coach should want you to see it. It’s not just Instagram before-and-afters, either. A good business coach will have been there, done that, and built relationships with real people like you who can vouch for them. And seeing the numbers about revenue and business growth is great. But who are their clients? Where did they start off? Where did they end up? How long did it take for them to get there?
Details, details, details.
Your prospective coach should have a consolidated sales page where you can easily check out the people they’ve helped and get concrete examples of how their growth really happened. I think we have over 50 case study videos up on the IFCA sales page, and we use these to show rather than tell exactly what you’re going to get when you join IFCA.
Your mentor should have ample social proof—the more, the better.
But if you’re still on the fence about seeking out a mentor, I want to invite you to chat with our team about Impact Fitness Coaching Academy.
Because you deserve to be paid well for the things you do. You must value your worth. One of the best ways to do this is to invest in yourself.
If you don’t invest in yourself, how can you expect clients to do so?
We’re only open for a limited time, so make sure not to miss this chance.
Right now, you have two choices….
Do nothing. Don’t bet on yourself. It’s 100% risk-free and nothing in your life or business will change.
Take a chance on a free strategy call. It’s also 100% risk-free, because it’s a no-obligation call that will allow you to gain clarity and get direction in your business. The difference? It has the potential to help you create the same results you’ve seen us share before.
Scroll down on the page to see DOZENS of past client results. Don’t take our word for it!
And if you’re still not convinced, just look at what Warren Buffet had to say. In the fourth quarter of 2019, he earned $29.2 BILLION in investments. Yet, when asked about the best investment he ever made, he says…
Click HERE to learn more about IFCA today!