I changed out of my Nikes in the taxi and put on one of only two pairs of heels I own. They weren't high, but I still teetered the short way from the taxi to the restaurant like a child playing dress up.
We were meeting at Hélène Darroze, the Michelin starred restaurant inside The Connaught Hotel in Mayfair. The doorman greeted me and showed me inside. At the restaurant's reception desk I was greeted again and my overnight bags were whisked away for safe keeping before being shown into the dining room.
I was meeting with a small group of powerful entrepreneurs and their collective mentor. An interview, of sorts, to see if I was "suitable material" to join the group. I'd been looking for a new coach/mentor/guide for some time but messing around wasn't on my agenda. I knew that the next step for me in business was a spiritual one and I knew that what I was working towards wasn't going to come from more of the same. Unfortunately, when I looked "out there", most of what I saw was, in fact, more of the same.
For the next several hours I sat in conversation the likes of which I've never experienced before. Afterwards, I was unable to articulate what had just happened. All I knew was, yes, this was the work I'd been searching for.
Last week I travelled to meet with them again, this time in a beautiful suite at The Savoy Hotel, overlooking The Thames and many of London's iconic Landmarks.
In the last couple of months alone, since I began working with and being in conversation with this group, I've stepped up in totally new ways. The changes are already filtering through to my business but what's really changing is what's going on on the inside. A more complete, ownership of my power. A deep knowing that all of everything is available to me. Stepping into my role as a conscious leader. More peace, less stress and an underlying confidence in the work I do.
It's not uncommon for entrepreneurs, and especially those in the coaching (or similar) industry to talk about how important it is to invest in your own development. I've always treated that talk with caution - aware that sometimes it's nothing more than a marketing gimmick to have you feel that you're going to flat out fail unless you spend your cash on a coach or mentor.
But it's fair and true to say that my biggest growth has always come through investing time, energy and yes, significant money in working with coaches, guides and mentors who are several steps ahead of me.
This is some of what I've personally found from working with coaches and mentors:
You'll benefit and learn from their experience. They've been at it longer than you have. Or if not longer, they've achieved more in shorter spaces of time. That experience is valuable. It saves you time and paves the way. Your growth can be rapid.
You'll have a person in your life who'll care so much they don't care. Last week I sent a client away. I told her we wouldn't continue our conversations until she'd seen something she needed to see. My truth told me that serving her most powerfully in that moment was about sending her away - so I did. Not a comfortable conversation for me. But I'm committed more to my clients' growth than I am to my own comfort. A great mentor will care so much that they don't care about what they need to tell you. Their primary concern is always your growth. My client thanked me for having the courage to speak my truth and send her away.
You'll get to stay in the conversation. There's so much value in having people in your life who speak the same language. It's very easy to find yourself feeling alone in your endeavours when those around you don't get it or are simply walking a very different life path. When you work with a coach/mentor, and especially when you work with a group, you're allowing yourself to stay in the conversation more of the time. And that conversation is what will keep you lifted and moving towards whatever it is you want to create.
You'll raise your standards. There's a reason this group meets at places like The Connaught and The Savoy and it has nothing to do with money. Impeccability and high standards ooze from these places. Nothing more than standing in the lobby of The Savoy shifted something in my core and had me commit - again - to bringing my A game. It's not about the money or the fancy surroundings. High standards apply to everything, everywhere. A good coach will always be helping you see the importance of raising standards and going further than you currently are.
You'll be shown your blind spots. You don't know what you don't know. And until someone points you in the direction of something you're not yet seeing, you can't learn what it is you need to learn to become more impactful and therefore more successful, at what you do.
You'll make friends for life. Coming up to my birthday last year, I sat and reflected about who I'd like to spend my day with. I called the three people I'd been part of a coaching group with back in 2014. We spent only four or five months working with one another but these people know me. Being with them is uplifting, inspiring and constantly motivates me to up my game.
No matter what your dreams or goals in life, take today and recommit your energy to those dreams. You are limitless. There is an unending well of creative potential inside you. Your power is so great you cannot even begin to fathom where it could lead you. When you begin to recognise the truth of who you are, you'll see just how much is available to you.
Find someone (or several someones) to help show you that truth. Find a way to stay in the conversation and be around those who will lift you up, support and guide you. Investing in yourself can totally change the game.
Love and courage,