Top Questions to Ask Yourself Before Paying for a Coach, Mentor, or Course



Hey there and welcome to another episode of From Better Half to Boss. I am your host, Tavia Redburn. And here today, we are going to talk all about what to look for in a coach, a mentor, or a course. So if you’re looking at spending some money on any of those things, this episode is for you. I’m going to share why you should consider investing in yourself in this way, as well as some questions to ask yourself and the mentor you’re thinking about working with.


So I actually was going to deliver this on Facebook Live because I love Facebook Live. I get to interact with you guys and hear your questions and just I love Facebook Live. But we recently invested in something ourselves and I thought I would share it with you. And that’s why I’m delayed and ended up not doing the Facebook Live today. And that is a house cleaner. I am super excited because when my husband was working full-time, we had a house cleaner because I was working two businesses, homeschooling the kids, he was working full-time–I needed help. And then when he quit his job, in order to just kind of cut back on the extras and for finance reasons, we didn’t have a house cleaner anymore. And oh my goodness, I have missed having someone come clean the house so much. What an awesome gift it is to just be able to walk through a clean house and like freshly-mopped floors. So anyway, today was her first day coming to clean and maybe it needed a little extra time. Maybe things are a little dirtier than I thought they were, because I definitely thought that she would be done by the time I was supposed to go live.


So anyway, I share all that to say, you know I talked to you guys about how my husband retired and came home and how I was running both businesses and homeschooling and all the things whenever he was working a nine-to-five, but I had help. Somebody was cleaning the house and we spent money on meal delivery services like Hello, Fresh and those kinds of things, so that I didn’t have to meal plan every single meal every single night. We definitely purchased a lot more expensive convenience foods at that time because, you know, it’s just food and keeping things clean and picked up are always two of the big things. So anyway, I just wanted to share that with you guys just to say that, you know, I don’t want you to hear me talking and think that I’m like doing it all. You know what I mean? And I wasn’t back then either.



So that’s kind of what we’re talking about here today is a little bit along the same lines of how to pay for help. Why do you need to pay for education or mentoring? Let’s shift into that conversation right now, because I know a lot of you are just starting out in your businesses or maybe you’re in the first year or so of your business and money can be really tight in that phase. And that’s why I can’t invest in my business right now. I can’t hire a coach. I can’t hire a mentor. I can’t buy a course because I just can’t afford it. And the truth is there is a lot of free information out there on the internet, right? There is a lot of free stuff. This podcast is a really good example of that. You can go back and find out a lot of information about how to start your business and run your business on this podcast. Same with my YouTube channel and then multiply me times like 5 million, there’s people out there constantly willing to help you grow your business for free with free resources.



So then it comes down to like, “Okay, so why should I pay when I have access to all these free resources?” And the truth is every single business owner has a choice. They can spend time or they can spend money. You and I, as business owners, can choose to spend our time or we can choose to spend our money. So when we’re looking at should I pay someone to help me or should I just DIY it, which one costs more time?


DIY a hundred percent! There’s a lot of trial and error with figuring things out on your own and figuring out what you even need to Google or search for, right? In determining “is this quality information or is this somebody I can trust?” You don’t have the ability to get feedback when you’re learning from YouTube videos and podcast episodes, right? Nobody can say back to you, “Here’s what I would do if I were you.”


And then a lot of times people, for example me, whenever my husband was working his nine-to-five, I had more money than time. By no means where we just like rolling-in-the-dough wealthy, but we had disposable income. We had extra money to spend on things like Hello, Fresh and a house cleaner and those kinds of things, right? So we had more money than time, which afforded us the ability to make those choices.


And it’s the same with you as a business owner. You can look at “do I have more time than money or more money than time?” Now, here’s what you can’t say: “I don’t have either. I don’t have time and I don’t have money.” I’ll challenge you on that because I will say that you’re either wasting time or wasting money somewhere that you don’t quite realize. I realized there are probably really, really rare exceptions to this, but 9 times out of 10, you can find the money or you can find time somewhere.


So thinking about, do I want to spend time or do I want to spend money? When you hire a coach or mentor, you’re paying to condense someone else’s experience and knowledge. And that is what is so amazing about paying for something like an online course or hiring a mentor because I can spend hours Googling and searching to learn Pinterest. Let’s use learning Pinterest as an example cause that’s something that’s been on my to-do list for a very long time. There’s a lot of free information out there about how to grow Pinterest, right, as a business owner. So I can spend a bunch of time for free looking and researching how to do that or I could pay for a course and get the information that I need quickly and keep moving forward.


Hopefully that makes sense to you guys. One other kind of level that we haven’t talked about here yet is paying for somebody to do it for you. That’s sort of the top level. That’s like, you’re not necessarily learning to do it yourself. You’re paying an expert, not someone you’re training, not outsourcing, you’re paying an expert to handle it for you. I could hire a Pinterest expert to just take over Pinterest for me. And that would definitely be the most expensive option.


And then the next level down could be, I’m going to pay for a course or something along those lines so I can learn how to do it. And then the cheapest would be just DIY and try to figure out and piece it all together myself. But what’s lacking in that, for me as a consumer thinking about Pinterest is I don’t know what to Google, you know what I mean? And when I find information, it’s like, “Okay, well, is that actually useful? Is that what I actually should be doing? Is this outdated?” I am just a big advocate, as you guys know, for paying for education from someone who knows what they’re doing. And that’s what we’re going to talk about here today is how to figure out what you actually need help with and how to find the right person to help you with that.


One other benefit of having a coach specifically is that we all have blind spots. We all have blind spots in our business that we don’t even know to search or Google because we don’t see them ourselves. And that’s what’s so great about working with a coach and that’s one of the things I love about being a coach is chatting with my students and pointing something out that they didn’t even see or recognize what’s going on in their own business or in their own life.


I remember, you guys, the first time I invested in online education, I remembered exactly what course it was. It was the year 2015…might have been 2014. I can’t remember. It was 2014 or 15. I remember the course that I purchased and it was a marketing course specific to photographers. And you guys, online courses back then were not what they are now. Like there was still shady stuff going on. There was a little bit of that sketch factor of like, “Okay, this is a lot of money. Can I trust this person?” You know, all of that kind of stuff. And it was $800, which might’ve well been like $800,000 to me at the time. It just felt like so much money to invest in myself and in my business. So after I purchased it, something that I noticed then and I still notice now when I pay a lot of money for education, because I pay a lot more money than that for education these days, is that being a little bit scared of that investment pushed me to prove to myself that the investment was worth it. And that still to this day, when I invest more than like $500 or a thousand dollars in something, I want to prove to myself that this investment was worth it.


And that helps me show up in a different way when it comes to that course or that product or that coaching program or whatever, because the truth is if you pay, you pay attention. I actually shared something similar in a previous podcast episode where I talked about 5 Lessons I Learned from a $15,000 Group Coaching Program. And so if you haven’t listened to that, go back and listen to that episode after this, because I shared some really, really good nuggets that basically condensed everything I learned from $15,000 in a year of coaching into like five main points.


So go listen to that if you haven’t already, but I want to come back to this point of if you pay, you pay attention, because if you paid for this podcast episode, let’s say I only release this podcast episodes to people who paid me $5 or $20, let’s say $20. How differently would you consume this podcast if you had paid for it? Chances are you’re multitasking right now. You’re probably in the car. You’re probably cooking dinner. You might be exercising or out for a walk. If you paid for this, would you be like sitting down at a desk taking notes, right? Or would you listen to it multiple times to try to get new information from it? When you pay for something, you just pay more attention than you do when it’s free. So that in and of itself is valuable when you’re investing in education, because you’re forcing yourself to pay attention. And that paying attention piece usually comes in when the money is almost a little bit painful when the money is like, “Oh my gosh, can I really spend this? Is this a wise investment?” You know, when you spend $5 for something, you’re probably not going to quite have the same feeling or impact in that investment as you would, if you pay, you know, 50 or a hundred or more for it.



What Types of Education Are Out There?

Free Content

So I want to briefly touch on what type of education exists and what you can expect to pay for that. So we’re going to start at the bottom with free content like we talked about. Podcasts, YouTube, digesting free content from people.


Low-Cost Templates

The next level up is something like a template, something that is mass-produced, done for you. Whether that might be like some social media captions, e-mail templates, or Lightroom actions for photographers–those kind of things that are not customed to you. They’re just created by somebody one time and mass-produced. They can be very, very valuable and they’re typically less than $100.


DIY Courses

The next level up is a DIY course. So this is typically where somebody has laid out some sort of framework or system or methodology that has worked for them. So they’re showing you like a step-by-step system to get to the result or to get to the transformation. But usually in a DIY course, you don’t have access to the course creator. So you’re not doing Q & A calls with them. You’re not e-mailing them with questions. You don’t have the ability to ask the course creator questions, you’re on your own with this DIY course model. And typically that can be anywhere from a $100-$1000.


Courses with Coaching

Course with coaching, so an online course with coaching is basically everything from a DIY course, but now you have access to the coach. So now you’re doing Q & A calls, coaching calls, or you have Voxer support or something where you can ask the course creator questions. Typically you can expect to pay $500 to $3,000 for a course with coaching.


Mastermind Courses

The next level above that would be like a smaller group coaching environment or a Mastermind. So that would be where you have maybe 5-15 people who are your same level of business. And then you have a mentor or a leader of some kind who is facilitating that group. And because that is usually a higher touch experience, you could expect to pay $5,000-$30,000 plus, honestly, for something like a group coaching or a Mastermind experience. But what’s cool about that is you have such close access to the mentor or the coach, and they’re giving you direct feedback on your business really, really frequently. So I absolutely love group coaching and Masterminds.


One-on-One Coaching

And the very top tier would be one-on-one. So this is where you’re paying for one-on-one calls with your coach or your mentor. And that can be $10,000-$100,000, depending on who you’re hiring, it can be like six figures in and of that of itself. So I just wanted to give you a point of reference for what kind of education that I’m talking about here and what your different options are. We’re primarily going to be talking about the top three. So online course with coaching and group coaching or one-on-one because that’s when you have an opportunity to work with a mentor and you can start to ask yourself these questions.



Questions to Ask Yourself When You’re Considering Working with a Mentor


Question #1: What is the result am I looking for?

I know that sometimes we can read their sales page, hear their pitch, and read their e-mails, and it all sounds so good. And it’s like, “Okay, I need this.” But I want you to ask yourself, what is the end result that you’re looking for? What is the end result that you’re looking for? Is it to speed up your editing? Is it to figure out how to hire your first team member? Is it to increase your monthly revenue by $5,000? Is it to increase your organic social media following?


Get really specific about where you are in your business right now and what result you need to get yourself to the next level.


And hopefully, you know that about yourself and your business, you know where you are and you know what you need specific help with, so that you can get really, really clear on what result you’re looking for. So that’s the first question. What results am I looking for?


Question #2: What is my budget to get this result?

So we’re going to go back to the very beginning when we were talking about time versus money. Budget is a big concern. Obviously you can spend $30,000+ to have one-on-one with probably whatever mentor you wanted. Or just about, you’re probably not getting Tony Robbins one-on-one for 30 grand, but a lot of mentors you could get for 30 grand. But it’s like, “What is my budget to get this result?” And honestly, you guys, I’m not paying 30 grand for organic social media following, unless I know that is going to yield a $30,000 or more return over time. Does that make sense? So I want you to think about what you’re paying and what result you’re getting as a result of investing that money.


Question #3: Are my potential mentors ahead of where I want to go?

Unfortunately, what has been happening in the online marketing space is people will throw out false claims. I just can’t, as a human, believe that people would be intentionally deceptive. And I know that people are intentionally deceptive, but I think that what happens is a lot of times people throw out these results that they want to help their clients get and they haven’t gotten those results themselves. And so I really want you to look at are your potential mentors ahead of where you want to go or have they achieved something that you want to achieve? Have they done it themselves? Because it’s one thing for someone as a course creator to just regurgitate what everybody else is saying. And it’s another, if they’re speaking from lived experience, if they’re speaking from what has worked for them in their business and in their life. So is your potential mentor ahead of where you want to go?


Question #4: Do you like your potential mentor and their teaching style?

Consume some of their free content before you make a purchase. Listen to their podcast, watch their YouTube channel, watch them on Facebook Live, DM them, interact with them a little bit and see, “Do I actually like this person?” And you know, they don’t have to be your bestie, but just to be able to interact with somebody that you actually enjoy is really, really critical. So do you like them and their teaching style? So those are the questions I want you to ask yourself.



Questions to Ask Mentors


Question #1: Do you have a case study or a testimonial from a client who had been in the same level as I am now?

I highly encourage you to ask for testimonials or case studies from someone like you. So if you’re just starting out as a birth photographer, let’s say, do they have case studies or testimonials from someone who was where you are now and where they’re going and where that mentor has helped them get, right? Asking for testimonials or case studies is huge.


Question #2: Do you offer a money-back guarantee if I get inside your course?

And “I realized it’s not for me or it’s not what I thought, do you offer a money-back guarantee?” And that’s really important to get clear on how and why you would qualify for a money-back guarantee or refund.


We offer a refund and a money-back guarantee. Same thing on both of our courses, Marketing School For Birth Photographers and The Beauty in Birth Photography Certification. However, I always say this isn’t going to work if you don’t do it. Buying a course or working with a mentor or coach, isn’t a magic pill that’s going to fix your life. You have to actually get in there and do the work. If I’m laying out stuff for you to do, and you’re not doing it, you can’t come to me and say, you want a refund. You didn’t do the work. So that’s the caveat that I and many other course creators and mentors and coaches will say is like, you know, we don’t want you to give up on yourself. You purchased this for a reason, and I don’t want you to give up on why you purchased this in the first place.


Don’t give up just because it got hard, right? But in my opinion, and that’s strictly what it is, an opinion, a quality course creator or mentor will have a solid money-back guarantee that works for both them as the content creator, as well as the person consuming that content.


Question #3: What is the promise of this course or experience with you?

“What’s the result I can expect to get after working with you?” So the promise for Marketing School for Birth Photographers, just to give you guys an example, is that you’re going to create a 7-Step Marketing System. And I use that seven step marketing system to fully-book my calendar and retire my husband. So by the end of the course, you’re going to have that marketing system fully laid out.


The promise for The Beauty in Birth Photography Course is that by the time you complete it and get your first few model call births, you’re going to apply and become a certified birth photographer. So ask the mentor or coach or course creator, “What’s the promise of the experience or the course? What can I expect to get at the end of it?” And that’s really important because then you can start the course with the goal in mind, the end result in mind.



You guys, investing in education is your fast track to your goal. It really is. But only if you do the work. A course, a coach, a mentor cannot do it for you, but when you follow what we talked about here and you find a trustworthy person to invest in, I promise you’ll find the same results I did, which was spending money on education and coaching is the best money I have spent in my business.



Because I couldn’t present this on Facebook Live, if you have questions about anything we’ve talked about today, please DM me on Instagram @_thebeautinbirth_. I would love to connect with you and answer any questions I can. I also go live every week on Instagram and answer questions. So I would be happy to answer those questions on an upcoming Instagram live.



Thank you so much for being here and listening to this episode. And remember if you have a passion, it is there for a reason because not everyone loves the thing that you love. So whatever your passion is, I hope that you will get out there and make it happen. Have a great week.


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