Rich Litvin says this is the coaching century. The understanding of the importance of mentorship will be so great that everyone who can will regularly invest in working with someone who can point out their blind spots and challenge them to succeed beyond what they thought possible. Rich is one of the most well-known coaches in the world, so he would know. I personally have to set the word “coaching” aside. It's made me cringe from the beginning, maybe because all of my mentors have been so turned off by it. I also hesitate when people say oh, so you're a coach? Because I can feel them putting me in a too-small box they can shrink down and fit to their own limited understanding. But it's mostly just semantics. Call it what you want. More and more, people are seeking out one-on-one executive, wellness, fitness, speaking, creativity, and healing mentors. The yogis know this is the age of experience. The age of Pisces (the 2,000-year span that just ended) was one of knowledge. Knowledge was guarded and only the select few had precious access. Now, we have no shortage of knowledge (just get online).
But only those who have the experience can successfully understand and teach. This is why arbitrary certifications are obsolete. People are intuitive enough now to seek out those who have the experience of overcoming an obstacle - not just theory practiced in a class setting.
We want to know EXACTLY what's going to work for us based on practical experience. And more and more of us are investing a lot of time and money in the teachers who know what they're talking about because they've lived it. SO, with that out of the way, I have an important message for those called to be mentors (it could be any of you - not just those who formalize their mentorship into a career). When you've successfully navigated a lot of life experience, and spent lifetimes strengthening certain gifts, and invested in hours and hours of experiential training on a number of topics, it's because you're meant to be a well-rounded teacher and mentor here in the age of experience. Your challenge in the short-term will be condensing your vast and varied wisdom into a packagable offering others can understand. It will be one part revising and sorting your content into a translatable offering, and one part refusing to dumb it down or present it in a way that's been done before just so others feel comfortable. You're ahead of your time. That's a blessing and a curse. You could probably serve anyone, anywhere, at any time. But your challenge is to tell the story of what you do and how you do it in a way that's not cliched, not well-worn, and not reductive. You have to translate your infinite capacity into something so obviously valuable that people will buy it. And you have to do it not because you're transactional and just want to make money, but because it's your responsibility to translate what you do so that the people you are meant to serve - the people whose lives you're meant to change - can find you. It's a lot of responsibility! And it's not easy. It never is, when you're breaking new ground. Resist the urge to reduce yourself into a dumbed-down offering others can easily understand. Resist the urge to seek out yet another certification just to legitimize yourself in others' eyes (but always seek out continued training for your own enjoyment, learning and benefit - the best teachers are those who are perpetual students). Hold firm to the newness and uniqueness of what you represent. There are no shortcuts. You will be misunderstood, for years if not decades. But you will be satisfied with nothing less.
~ Mary Margaret
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