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Why I Use Mentors and Coaches

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I was working out with my trainer, JR, at the gym the other day, and he said, "Kim, pick up the red ball for your next set of exercises."

I walked across the gym, and leaned over to pick up the ball, expecting it to be pretty light. I slowly stood up, realizing it was a lot heavier than the blue or yellow ball I was used to. I hesitantly walked back to JR, red ball in hand.

"Okay," JR said, "I want you to do 40 lunges with the ball over your head. Next, do 20 sit-ups on the incline holding the red ball. And last, 20 squats with the ball." I gave him a questionable look and set off to do my lunges. After the lunges, the sit-ups, and the squats, I came back to JR huffing and puffing, but quite proud of my accomplishment and ready to move onto the next, and hopefully easier, exercise.

Instead, JR said, "Good job. Now give me two more sets."

"Two more sets?" I protested. "This red ball is heavy! And you want me to do this two more times?"

JR just smiled and said, "Do you want me to take it easy on you? Are you paying me to hold your hand, or are you paying me for results? It's up to you."

The reason I have coaches and mentors is because I like to win. I like to achieve my goals. In order to win, sometimes you have to do things that are uncomfortable, difficult-and even scary.

The difference between a mentor and a coach

The terms mentor and coach are often used as one and the same. The slight distinction between the two is that a mentor is typically someone with more experience and success than you have in doing what it is you are doing. Think of a mentor as a trusted wise man or woman. A mentor guides you. A mentor will relate to what you are going through because they've probably been through it themselves.

A coach works with you towards a specific outcome. The training is more structured and defined. This is my goal, and I want to accomplish it by this time. A coach will hold you accountable to do specifically what you say you will do, when you say you will do it.

Why good mentors and coaches are important

My coaches and mentors keep me on track, especially when things get uncomfortable. I know my weaknesses, and I get lazy at times. I have coaches and mentors because sometimes I need people to push me harder than I will push myself.

Mentors and coaches can be the difference between mediocrity and excellence. Professional golfers, the best of the best, have coaches to keep them at the top of their game. It's the amateurs and hackers who think they can do it on their own. It's the same with investing. Mentors and coaches can keep you on track whether you're having a winning day… or a "learning" day.

Reach for the red ball!

That day in the gym with JR, I quietly walked away with my red ball and began my next set of lunges. That's when I remembered that, in order to get results in anything, there are times you've got to reach for the red ball.

So often, we (myself included) go for the lighter yellow or blue ball because it's easier and more comfortable. It's familiar, and it keeps us where we are and with what we know. But in order to get the results that we want, to be willing to do what it takes, we've got to stretch for the red ball. So ask yourself: Where in your life are you taking it easy and where are you reaching for the red ball?

If you're ready to reach for the red ball, I encourage you to find a mentor and a coach who can help you stay on track and make sure you do your "sets" even when you don't want to. It will make a world of difference.

Here at Rich Dad, we offer many different ways to succeed in gaining your financial independence including coaching services. If you're serious about the red ball choice, I encourage you to check out our Rich Dad coaches.

Learn more about Rich Dad Coaching

Original publish date: December 12, 2013

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