Choosing an Apprentice

Along the path from where you are now to millions in revenue, thousands in readers, tens of thousands of prospects, or hundreds of clients -- whatever criteria you use to define success for your coaching...there us is one key speedbump which is seldom talked about.

That is capacity.

This is especially true as your revenues grow up to six figures and you set your sights on building a seven-figure legacy business with a global impact.

How do you get your head around this problem? What secrets will ease your way through the growing pains?

In all the many thousands of hours of consulting, coaching and training I've done, there is only one key I've found to date that doesn't require significant cash investment. And that is the concept of apprentices.

Several years ago I was one of those apprentices.

I'd been running my own recruitment business for some time, and had become disgruntled by putting great people into heirarchical organizations that stifled creativity and disregarded the whole person.

I decided to take a sabbatical and paid for supplies to begin volunteering with the Coaching Scoop's Real Interviews project for Steve Davis and Thomas Leonard of CoachVille.

Some might say I had found myself a real winner of an apprenticeship program.

I tell you this story for two reasons.

(1) You may find yourself wishing for an apprenticeship for yourself, from time to time. It's a great way to move quickly into new areas by finding a mentor who will trade you a lifetime of wisdom for your legwork.

(2) Regardless of where you think you 'are' in your work, you are ready for an apprentice. Because the benefits of an apprentice are in fact much greater to you than just the added pair of willing hands.

What you teach, you become.

And what you teach, also becomes your legacy.

As you mentor your apprentices, there is a point at which they become your proteges.

This is a tipping point that occurs when the apprentice graduates from learning to creating.

A few things to bear in mind as you prepare for apprentices:

(1) Don't change what you do.

Design the apprentice relationships so that it doesn't disrupt your productivity. Allow your apprentice to come into your existing set up. The key at the beginning is to increase your capacity, not add capacity.

Your apprentice is someone you invite to your house without cleaning up first. Soon enough, they'll be helping you tidy things.

(2) Pick certain people for your apprentices. There are two main criteria.

You must like and respect them.

They should be entrepreneurially minded, meaning either they have run a business of their own OR they were brought up by familiy who did.

The latter covers just about every other characteristic you could want: loyalty, hard work, a sense of urgency, and a problem solving orientation.

(3) Use technology and systems to support the addition of new people to your business.

The most basic and essential way to induct an apprentice is to set up a system of shadowing. The simplest way is to set up your email so that a copy gets sent to your apprentice.

That's a natural part of the selection process because the apprentice - mentor relationship can rely quite a bit on personal chemistry and whether or not the visions align.

Andrea J. Lee coaches entrepreneurs and online business owners. As Thomas J. Leonard's General Manager, she helped build and manage the largest network and trainer of personal and business coaches in the world. Now the CEO of Andrea J. Lee Group of Companies, she writes, speaks and consults on Marketing, Internet and Business systems. This is an excerpt from the her NEW BOOK - Multiple Streams of Coaching Income, http://www.multiplestreamsofcoachingincome.com

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