Should a business mentor “give up” on a client?

I came across three situations in the past few weeks, each raising different challenges to my position as a business mentor.  All the individuals are located in separate arenas of activity and each one posesses academic and commercial credentials.

Yet the scenarios left me wondering; when do leave a client to get on with their own devices?

Let’s call her Anita, who is desperately trying to rescue her business, which she very much believes in. However, due to family commitments, her work hours are limited. And due to a personal issue, she does not respond readily to pressures of time and responsibility.

Anita is very close to making a major positive difference in her operations. My task recently has been to show her how to make subtle yet potentially significant changes. On the previous occasion that we met, I could see that my encouragement was in danger of being counter-produtive. We mutually agreed that it would be best to end the session early. I left frustrated and anxious.

One week later, a happy Anita sent me an sms – her next big client was signed, sealed and almost delivered. She had shown herself a way to move byond her restrictions.

David has built up an excellent business with a continuous pipeline of clients. As I probed for issues to tackle, all the obvious subjects were gradually ticked off as irrelevant or under control. I was beginning to wonder if I could add any value at all to his workflow.

However, when I asked him to define and measure the success he is striving for, I seemed to strike a raw nerve. And this was particularly interesting, specifically when it to the fact that he never had established a proper vision for his company. 

For all of David’s achievements, he is left wandering for “something”. He is now considering how to manage the concept of “continous success” and why it bothers him. 

Simon described his background to me in great detail. With a deep belief that this was enough to set up in business, he demanded to know how I could help him. Can we construct a business plan in two hours?

I tried to understand Simon’s vision, but was asked not to go down that track. I began to move towards the subject of set up costs. After 20 minutes, he told me that he had done all this by himself, but had not brought the details to the meeting. I spoke about cash flow, but did not get too far with that.

Towards the end of the conversation, Simon rebuked me, saying that a mentor is supposed to listen. After that, he found difficulty in letting me finish any of my statements. Sic!

At that point, I realised that I would not be meeting Simon again, for his sake if not for mine. He had probably transposed his main problem – he had an issue with listening to others, but is refusing to acknowledge it. It will be interesting to discover if he uses another business coach or looks for a more personal and individual form of assitance….. will help him understand his own clients.

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One Comment on “Should a business mentor “give up” on a client?”

  1. gundam Says:

    thanks.very good blog and very good share.

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