Outcome-Based Mentorship

Don’t teach what you know, give people what they need.

This is BusinessIsGood. I’m Chris Cooper. And today we’re going to talk about outcome-based coaching. I’m going to cover this in three big topics.

First, we’re going to talk about what outcome-based coaching is, then we’re going to talk about elegance. And then we’re going to talk about speed.

Building a successful coaching business means starting from your clients’ ideal outcomes and then working backward. So here’s how we do it.

If this is helpful to you, please just go to businessisgood.com. And join our community where you can talk about stuff like this building your coaching practice, and anything else about entrepreneurship that you want to talk about.

 So first, today, we’re going to talk about outcome-based mentorship. What is this? Well, it’s basically starting with what your clients want to achieve, and then working backwards from there. Instead of starting with “here’s what I know; how can I sell this to other people?” we want to think about what our ideal client’s goals are. And so if you’ve got a specific niche (my niche is the fitness industry) you want to look at the people in that industry and ask “what do they really want?”

One great exercise I’m going to share with you right now is called the Perfect Day exercise. This will help you get a broad sense of what your clients’ goals are, and then you can build your mentorship program or your coaching practice for your fitness business or whatever it is backward from those goals to make sure that your clients are achieving those outcomes.

Here’s the Perfect Day exercise.

What we want you to do–and you can do this yourself right now– is imagine you’re living your perfect day. You don’t have to worry about money or anything else like that.

What time, in a perfect world, would you wake up in the morning? What’s the first thing that you would do? What would you do after that? What would you eat? Who would you do those things with?

Would you go to work or not? Would you go to the beach? paint a clear picture of all that? Would you have a nap in the afternoon? What would you do for lunch? Where would you go for dinner? Would you be alone? Would you be with friends? Would you be reading a good book?

Describe that perfect day, including what time you go to bed at night, in great detail. Now just the act of visualizing this perfect day and thinking through it will help your clients understand what it is that they eventually want from life. And then it’ll help you understand in a more objective way how you can help them get there.

Then after they’ve done the exercise, you can work backward and you can define the outcome a little bit more clearly. So you can say, “Okay, what kind of income would it require for you to live in this perfect day all the time? Who is in this perfect day with you? Where are you living? From there, you can say okay, so these are more specific outcome. If somebody says, well, to live this kind of lifestyle, I need to make about $150,000 a year, that’s perfect: you’ve got an ideal outcome that you can coach them to. If they say “to live in this perfect world outcome, I would need to be about 20 pounds lighter, so I’m not embarrassed to go to the beach,” wonderful. 20 pounds is a great outcome, we can work backwards from that goal, to create a plan to get you to be 20 pounds lighter. Okay? This is one way that you can help define your client’s ideal outcomes.

And after you’ve done this with enough clients, you can see the commonalities and say, “Ah, all the people in my niche seem to have this similar goal!”

For me, working in the niche of gym owners, that goal was making $100,000 a year. Now that’s not their ultimate Wildest Dreams wealth goal. That’s just where they think they would be comfortable and start living a perfect day. It is very different from the day that most of them were living.

And so we made that one of the goals of our second stage in the Two-Brain Business  program is make $100,000 per year.

Then what we want to create is a path to that outcome. Now I want to talk to you about elegance. Elegance means the straightest, clearest, simplest path to getting that outcome. It means that while there might be 50 different ways or 500 ways to get to that outcome of your client’s perfect day, we want to pick the straightest path that requires the least misdirection and wrong trails. We want the straightest and fastest way to get there.

In the gymnastics world, this is called elegance: the simplest, purest form of movement. In the business coaching and mentoring world, elegance means getting them there fastest with fewest wasted efforts. It’s like trimming the fat off the journey. And the way that you trim that fat is data.

So we collect a ton of data at Two-Brain Business from all of our clients and industry wide from our partners. And we publish it every year in something that’s called the State of the Industry. The reason that you want this data is that data is the scalpel that cuts through the fat.

Should I be running TikTok ads? I don’t know, let’s look at the data. Or you can just guess. You can try your own experiment. you can run Tiktok ads for three months, change the TikTok ads, run them for three months, keep the TikTok ads that work the best and then double your ad spend, and repeat. If you have data, you don’t have to go through all that wasted process and take all these side journeys, you can take the simplest, fastest, straightest path to success. And that’s what elegance means.

Of course, it is tough to collect data. Most industries don’t have it. And if people find it, they usually don’t publish it for free. But we do; we publish our State of the Industry Guide every year for gym owners, because we want gym owners to have this data for themselves. Like, “How much do gym owners make?” we publish all of it.

If you are collecting data in your coaching business, that can guide you away from  wasted time, wasted effort, wasted energy. It can guide you to the straightest truest path. And if you’re a business coach and you possess that data, you are far more valuable to your clients than anybody else. When a new business coach comes up in the fitness world, the first thing that they do is they try to get our data.

Side note here: what’s really funny is if if you go on YouTube, for example, and you look for  fitness business data, or gym business data, you’ll find YouTube videos of people literally reading our guide verbatim, but not saying Two-Brain Business. That’s how important data is to getting your clients results: people are actually willing to compromise their own values, and just use our stuff without credit. But this is not a slam on them. It’s just an example of how important data actually is to getting your client to their outcome faster.

Now, I’ve screwed this up in the past. This guide costs us probably about a quarter million dollars to collect and then publish every year. And a few years ago, I took a wrong turn with this data. What I did was I mapped out this client roadmap. I said, “Here’s how you get from where you are to earning $100,000 per year, and this is going to be true for everybody. So I had steps 1 to 10 in about 40 different categories. And this roadmap had about 400 steps that people had to take step by step. It was interesting, but it wasn’t elegant. And so what happened was that people started looking at the roadmap as the game. And if they just filled in all the squares, checked off all the boxes, bam, they would be at 100k in net owner benefit. But that wasn’t actually true.

Some of our fastest clients reached 100k in Net Owner Benefit, and they only did  about 1/10th of the roadmap. Because what they did was they found the most elegant solution. What happened was that some people tried to just check off every box and they thought that completing the entire roadmap was what would make them successful. If they checked off all boxes, if every square was completed, they would be earning 100k a year. That wasn’t actually true. What they were supposed to do is find the fastest path through the roadmap, and a few of them did. Some of them said “I don’t need to do everything, I just need to find the five things that will work for me, and double down on those things. They got to the goal faster because they found the most elegant path.

And so what would happen unfortunately, is that the top 10% of clients would see the roadmap and say, “Okay, let’s find the fastest path to 100k net owner benefit. Let’s go!”

Some clients though, would say, “Oh, the roadmap is the path, and completing the roadmap will earn me this money.” And so they would spend a lot of time just checking off boxes, basically doing work that they didn’t have to do, getting distracted from the most elegant, straightest, most focused time.

Now, of course, we’re a mentorship practice. So their mentor would bring them back on track, but I hate wasting time. And even though these gyms were growing, they weren’t growing as fast as they possibly could.

And so we removed the roadmap. And now we have a toolkit instead. So the mentor’s job is to get on the phone with a client or on a zoom call, and say “here’s the fastest path of growth for you. Here’s exactly the tool that you need. We’ve done most of the work for you. Here’s a template, fill it out, execute, follow the steps, do it just like this. And you will get ahead much much faster than try to do it on your own.”

So mentorship creates elegance and creates speed. And I’ll come to that in a moment. What it does though is allows people to cut off the fat to be razor-focused on the outcome that they want. After you’ve defined an outcome, having a mentor means that you can stay focused on that outcome, not waste time or energy or make bad guesses and not do all the crazy stuff that you could do, but only the stuff that you need to do to get there faster.

So this is my third point: speed. When somebody buys mentorship, what they’re actually buying is speed.

If they were to think it out on their own, they might actually be able to do it, if they can stay in business long enough and just try everything. Eventually they’re going to find the one thing that works. A mentor’s job is to save them all of that effort, remove the risk of closing before they figure it out and just say “this is the right thing to do.” keep them on track and focused.

Mentors create elegance. And that’s how mentors create speed. So the question you want to ask yourself is: now that you know their ideal outcome; and now that you, as the trusted expert, have tried a bunch of these different options, how can you get them to their desired outcome as fast as possible with minimal wasted time?

That means saying not just “do this thing”, but also “now you don’t have to do that thing or that thing or that thing”, or “this is something you can save for later. You don’t need it right now.”

There’s a couple of ways that we do this in Two-Brain Business. First, we teach models–for example, the simple six. We teach people, if you’ve got 30 minutes every day to grow your business, that is enough, as long as you stay focused on doing one exact thing at a time.

And that’s why I wrote a simple six. It’s the operating system on which we mentor thousands of gyms around the world. Another great model that we use in our mentorship practice is called The Momentum Model. So this is a coaching model that we use when we get on calls with people.

Usually when people like a gym owner gets on a call, they have to ease into the call. And they want to tell us what’s going on in their life. And  what all their problems are, and this becomes a cycle of rumination. And so they’ll take 30-40 minutes to just  vent a lot of the time. Instead, we want to get them out of that story state as quickly as possible. We want to get them focused on the future. And we want to have them tell us exactly what’s wrong so that we can tell them how to fix it.

If they’re already doing well, then that’s great because a mentor is not just a lifeguard, they’re also a swim coach. So the mentor can then say “you’re doing well, we’re at this level, we started down here, here’s what you need to do to go to this level”. And they can make a prescription. Then the mentor breaks that desired outcome down into small pieces and says “do this right now.” 

A third model that we use often is a focusing model, where we have more frequent check ins and higher accountability to ask people, “What did you do to grow your business today?”

The momentum model has three phases. Number one, it’s get people into a future-focused state. Number two is to create the correct diagnosis. And number three is to prescribe action.

My rule for myself is: every day, do one thing to grow your business before you do anything else. This is the core of the focus model. And a mentor can keep checking in on people.

Think about it this way: you’re an entrepreneur, and you’re just trying to grow your business. And you’re thinking, “Okay, what do I need to do?”

You don’t know if you need marketing, or you need retention, or you need sales or you need ops, or systems, you don’t know if you need staff, it can be hard to even decide what to do. So you’re already paralyzed. Then you start looking at the options for each one of those. You probably need marketing, but there’s 30 different options. You don’t have time to choose what to do. Or if you’re hiring staff: what staff do I need to hire, there’s 10 different options. And then before you know it, you’ve taken no action.

It’s so common in mentorship to start working with an entrepreneur who knows what to do, but can’t actually implement because they’re just so overwhelmed. And so starting with the outcome that they want, and working backward creates an elegant path that allows you to coach them to get there faster.

So these are the three parts that we talked about today: 1) creating outcome based mentorship; 2) the value of elegance– the fastest, clearest, straightest path; and 3) then building in speed by creating momentum and getting quick results.

Here’s the bottom line: If you want to keep your clients longer, if you want to be worth more to your clients and get better clients, then you need to get them results. That means starting from the outcome they want and working backwards to build your program. That means instead of just teaching what you know, learning the skills that will actually get your clients the result that they want. That means constantly auditing your process, your education, your curriculum, your content, and cutting away the fat and so that what is left is the most elegant path.

I’m Chris Cooper. This is the BusinessIsGood podcast and if this is helpful to you or you want to ask questions are discussed go to businessisgood.com and click Join the Movement. We can help, we can discuss and we can even find you a mentor if you’re ready for one.

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