Mentors, Coaches, and the Freelancer

Workspace From different origination points and paths, we arrive at the door marked “Entrepreneur”. Some entrepreneurs have the knack for handling business decisions seamlessly.  No deadline is too short or issue too intimidating for these lucky few.

I arrived at my white paper writing business after many years of wishing and stalling.  Finally, I knew I had to re-define my professional focus and recapture the joy of using my knowledge and skills.  In short, I needed to begin a new journey  — one that gave me the flexibility I desired.

Making that decision was the easy part.  I didn’t expect to feel such relief and euphoria, but I did.  Of course, there was also the kill-joy fear and doubt, but overall, I felt liberated.  I created a timeline, which I hoped would keep me on a clear path.  For the most part the plan worked and I stayed the course.  However, there were detours and distractions — periods when it seemed I was aimless.  Granted much of what I was doing fell under the category of research, but the truth was it could also be classified as feeding inertia.  Stalling.

It was time for serious  structure.  For me it meant finding a mentor or a coach, someone to hold me accountable for my plan.  Looking back now, I know I made the right choice in Nick Usborne.  He is just the kind of business coach who knows how to help you turn on the switches, process your fears, and move on with realizing your business goals.  I teased him by calling him the “king of subtle” — Nick’s mentoring/coaching style is effective without being burdensome.  The business plan is yours; he provides the insightful prompts.  He lets you savor your AHA moments.

Well, I am now convinced of the benefits of having a mentor or business coach regardless of where you are in your status as an entrepreneur — doing so early in the process might save you some anguish, but better late than not. A good mentor or coach will help you channel your energies productively.

So if you find yourself stalled or unsure where next to take your business ideas, it might be time to consider getting the input of a mentor or a coach.  Here are a few options you might want to explore:

  1. Get the names of two or three reputable business coaches and contact them.  If you are a freelance copywriter, I wholeheartedly recommend  Nick Usborne.  You can reach Nick at www.asknickusborne.com.
  2. If you are a member of the American Writers and Artists Institute (AWAI),  I understand AWAI is starting a new mentoring program for members.  Check with Katie Yeakle at www.awaionline.com.
  3. If you are a member of the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP), check with member services about the mentoring program (www.aiip.org).
  4. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) sponsors a type of mentoring program for small business owners.  It is called SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives).  Many local SBAs have SCORE chapters.  While not directly targeting writers, SCORE  counselors might be able to help you with general business management issues.  The service is free.  Check www.sba.gov for what’s available in your area.

One last tip:  It is important to keep reminding yourself why you started out as an entrepreneur.  Running your own business is a  journey, not a destination.  Embrace the experience.

© Copyright Rachel Agheyisi and Report Content Writer’s Blog, 2009.

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