In order to keep my inbox at a level of activity that fuels and not drains
me, I limit the newsletters I receive to half a dozen. These include two
newsletters that hit on Sunday from colleagues I greatly respect – a
psychologist and a psychotherapist. Both experienced, knowledgeable and compassionate

Last Sunday – the same day I excitedly announced bringing my Performance
Psychology work to our online community – similar announcements came
through in their newsletters. They do great work and I wouldn’t hesitate to
refer people to either one of them.

This got me thinking…

How do you choose which resource will best support your growth at this time?

Choosing the right program and coach is hugely important. Not because they
have all of the answers. But because when you get it right, your collaboration
will produce serious business and life-changing results way beyond what you
could even imagine on the front-end of your experience.

To create the magic, there has to be a match in expectations and philosophy.
As a client (who’s made some great decisions and also some doozies…), I’ve
found that my best decisions are made after a check-in with my intuition, a
realistic look at my needs, and a close look at what is being offered.

Here are specific questions that you may find helpful to ask yourself when
making your next decision.

1. What Does Your Gut Say?

We all have intuition. You have a place within you that makes a split-second
decision about whether or not you trust someone. Never, ever override this.

If you get an initial green light on the “like and trust” factor, take
a closer look at the style of the coach and the program. Get a vibe on how they
live, teach, and share themselves with the world. Have they created the
lifestyle you want – or do you want totally different things in life?

Then do a gut check on the program itself. For example, in my Focus 6 Program,
we have a strong emphasis on lifestyle, family, fun, and doing good — in
addition to the business components. This may completely light one person on
fire while sending another running.

That’s a good thing.

Your answers lie not on any glitzy sales page, but with your own internal
truth. Do you vibe with the program creator and what’s being offered? If you
don’t trust it, don’t waste your time getting more details and trying to convince
yourself otherwise.

2. Where Are You?

First, are you ready to do the work? You won’t grow without consistent
action. A lot of it. A good coach will provide brilliant feedback and ideas,
expand your mindset, help you put systems in place, and support you to
move forward.

But the bottom line is in order to create success, you need to implement.
You need to embrace a way of being that embraces both dreaming big and
taking smart action each day to make things happen. No one can do this for you.

Second, how much personalized attention do you need? Be honest about what
you need and your style of working.  Do you like to dig in and find your
own answers or are you looking for a resource for quick short-cuts? Do you want
a flat group, with all members acting as coaches to each other, or do you want
an experienced mentor focused on taking everyone’s game to a higher level? Do
you want a coach who’s on call to answer your questions or are you okay just
touching base on a regular basis?

The more clear you are about what you need, the more quickly you’ll be able
to decide what structure will best support you.

3. Ask Questions

When exploring the match between your needs and what the program offers, ask
questions. A lot of them.

Ask about access to the group and coach, ongoing resources, what to do when
you get stuck, and how you’ll be held accountable. The better questions you ask
the better answers you’ll find.

As you grow, you will find yourself in a position of knowing what you want
to do, but not knowing how to do it. Get honest about the level of help you
need to do what you want to do – and then be sure there is a fit with what
the program offers.

If you decide you want a coach in addition to group work, do your homework
on their track record. The best place to start is to check in with past
participants. If they aren’t singing the praises of their mentor and how much
the experience over-delivered in value, move cautiously.

[Personal bias warning:  I’m a big believer that to stay on your A
game, you need a coach. Even when coaching others, I’m actively working with my
own. A coach is not simply someone with extensive knowledge in business, but
someone who can see things in you that you can’t yet see in yourself – and they
know how to help you bring these out. A coach taps into what you need in the
moment to move forward. A coach believes in you, pushes you, inspires you, and
demands from you – always from a place of wanting only the best for you. OK,
rant over :)]

4. Listen Up

As you get your questions answered, don’t simply listen to the
answers…listen to your body.

Does thinking about saying “Yes!”  light you up?

When you commit to any new level of personal growth, you are declaring that
moving forward you will be comfortable … with being uncomfortable. You are
stepping into full ownership of your life. Accept that this will create some

You are preparing to shake up your world as you now know it and learn how to
take negative feedback from others (who are not comfortable watching you move
ahead as they stay behind) as a good sign that you are on the right track.

Don’t underestimate this.

It takes a great deal of courage to invest in your business and life at this
new level. It feels like a roller coaster. You may be scared. That’s part of
the process of leaving your comfort zone. The key is for the exhilarating, fun,
and heart-thumping thrill of the experience to far outweigh any fear.

If the idea of a particular experience (this applies to every type of
opportunity in life) doesn’t light you up with excitement, why do it?

Author's Bio: 

Mollie Marti is a psychologist, lawyer, and adjunct professor of psychology at the University of Iowa. She brings years of experience in coaching a prestigious list of clients, including Olympians and business elites, to her mission of helping leaders thrive and serve.

Dr. Mollie speaks around the globe on servant leadership and mentorship, resiliency, life design, and business ethics. In addition to numerous academic articles, her business success books have been published in several languages. Her most recent book, Walking with Justice: Uncommon Lessons from One of Life’s Greatest Mentors, is being welcomed as “a timeless handbook for being human.”

She is host of the popular Make an Impact! event, bringing together internationally renowned thought leaders to raise philanthropic funds while empowering innovative attendees to make a bigger impact in a way that fuels their health, relationships, and life priorities.

A passionate advocate for youth and communities, Dr. Mollie directs the non-profit Community Resiliency Project to help communities support their youth and grow their capacity to thrive.

With her unique ability to combine the science of success with the art of exceptional living, she is a frequent media resource ( and was recognized by The Entrepreneur Blog as one of the Top 25 Business Coaches on twitter (@DrMollieMarti).

Having graduated first in her class in both undergraduate and graduate school, Dr. Mollie continues to learn – and unlearn – on a daily basis. She walks out these lessons from an apple orchard in scenic northeast Iowa where she lives with her husband, their three children, and a large family of pets. Join her for weekly musings on this grand experiment at