The shortest period of time I ever dated anyone seriously was 2 years. I’ve had five serious relationships in my 40 years of existence.
I’ve had my business for 8 years without getting rid of it and starting a new one.
I have t-shirts in my pajama drawer that are 6 years old (and no, they don’t have holes in them nor do they look ratty — but they are super soft and comfy!).
My favorite piece of jewelry is a gold bracelet my grandmother gave me when I was 12. And I still have it and wear it all the time. Because it is high quality, timeless, and beautiful. Trends will come and go, but that bracelet will always be timelessly elegant.
There are classical pieces of music I have been listening to obsessively for over 20 years (and I still get chills and tears when I listen to them). Good music is always good, period.
The other day a client asked me about “all the different mentors” I’ve worked with over the years. I knew right away I wouldn’t be giving her the answer she expected.
Because the truth is, like my relationships, the bracelet from my grandma and some of my pajama t-shirts — I haven’t had that many mentors over the years.
The last mentor I had, I worked with for over 6 years. And I have been with my current therapist for about 3 years, and I plan on continuing to work with her as long as it feels right.
Yes, I’ve hired people for “one-off” kind of jobs. If I needed a very specific funnel set up for my business, that wasn’t a long term thing, obviously. But aside from hiring for very specific projects, I usually stay with the people that I’ve added to what I call my “support team”. For many, many years.
In addition, my clients, on average, stay with me anywhere between 2-5 years. I’m looking forward to the day when I have clients who stay with me on retainer for 10 years.
Does that mean I’m boring, don’t have any variety in my life, and there’s no excitement? Nope!
I’m also constantly shifting things up as I grow. If you’ve been here since the beginning and are reading this, you know how the “branding” of my “message” has grown, evolved, and shifted over the years. Every year, another piece gets added to the puzzle and my purpose becomes even clearer than the year before. This year it feels the clearest it has ever been. I’m sure next year, more information will come my way again to make it even clearer. This is just what innovative, high performers do, we grow rapidly.
You can have both variety and stability. Short term fun and long term depth.
But sometimes that innovation and love of growing and changing can really come back to bite us in the butt. You see, there is a value to having certain things in your life being constant, consistent, and stable. And that stability makes a hugely important impact in the success of your life & business.
I have all sorts of sexy, silky and/or fun pj’s… but I know I always have my cozy, soft, 6 year old t-shirts to reach for when I want an extra dose of what is deeply aligned and pleasurable for me. The way I talk about what I do may evolve and shift, but the work I’ve always been doing with womxn hasn’t changed much at its core.
Now, I know what you might be thinking…
“Won’t it stagnate you to stay with the same coach for 6 years? Doesn’t it mean you’re codependent on your mentor and can’t think for yourself?”
“Doesn’t it mean the same for the clients that work with you for so long as well?”
“Shouldn’t you be able to be without a mentor/coach/ therapist after a while as a sign of being ‘evolved’?”
The answer to all of those questions is: NO.
I teach independence, self-trust, and sovereignty to my leader clients… so NO, I am completely against encouraging codependency in my clients. (They will all tell you that I don’t allow that in the container. They wouldn’t stand for it either).
My clients are not codependent on me just because they work with me for 5 years or even 10.
Am I unable to live without my mentors/therapist like some sort of crutch? Nope, that’s not the reason I stay with my support people for a long time, either.
There’s one thing you’ll learn (and probably already have, since you’ve already been in this game of building your mission for a while) over your years as you grow, evolve and build success on top of success. Something deeply important.
Something that is actually one of the secrets to long term, big impact…
It’s this → In this world, I have found it is rare to find people who:
a) really GET you down to your core.
b) really SEE you and can call you out with love when you aren’t seeing yourself.
c) really KNOW you and what you’re capable of.
d) are honest, high integrity, and truly can grow with you as you grow.
And it’s putting THESE kinds of people on your “support team” for your life and work that will guarantee you stay in this for the long term. And not just stay in it. Because you can stay in the game for a long time and be exhausted and miserable.
No — I mean “stay in it” with a deep sense of fulfillment, joy, and a feeling that you have people that have your back, are experts on YOU and will see you during the moments you have forgotten who-you-effing-are.
That specially curated support team will help you get through the toughest times as a leader and the ups and downs. They will have been with you long enough to know you intricately. A new coach or mentor won’t know you that well. They will spend a year or two getting to really know you and then you have to start all over when you move to your next coach just because you think you “should” be finding new coaches.
A long term, curated support mentor that has known you for a while will know the most nuanced ways you’re sabotaging, know when to pump you up even when you’re hiding that you’re bummed, when to call you out on your BS, and they will keep you grounded. Again — hiring a new person to do this when the one you have ain’t broke, means you are constantly starting over and losing valuable time.
Your long term support mentor or team will prevent you from burning out or getting off track from your mission. Because they CARE and WANT to see you succeed. And they are ALIGNED with you at the soul level.
Having a support team that helps you stay in the game for the long term = leaving a legacy behind, long after you’re gone.
So, when you find those people, STICK WITH THEM. I do.
When I find mentors, coaches, a therapist, or practitioners who GET me, and who get me amazing results… whose calls and sessions I walk away from always feeling more empowered and connected to myself…
I STICK with them. Because it’s rare to find people like that. We are gifted just a handful of people like that in a lifetime. Friends, lovers, mentors — whatever the relationship. Cherish them.
I know that when I don’t have people like that around me, my mission always suffers, my revenue always drops a little and things just feel a little harder.
Building a legacy that will impact many people is hard enough — why would I want to make it harder for myself by not having a proper support team on my side?
So I will always, always, have a coach, a therapist, and a group of friends at the same time (not one or the other — all of them at once!), to ensure I stay on track with my own legacy. And that “roster” of people won’t change much — because I make sure to only choose people who I feel “get me” to work with over the long term.
Please note: I DON’T mean “friends” to support you. Friends are great support, but friends do not support you like a mentor will. Mentors aren’t attached you to “liking them” so they will always tell you the truth and see you through a “coaching eye” and catch things that your friends won’t. Friends are also more worried about you liking them. Who I am as a coach is VERY different than who I am as a friend. I don’t coach my friends.
Leaders need LOTS of support.
There’s a reason Oprah has Gayle. And vice versa.
There’s a reason why one of my dear friends has had the same celebrity client for over 10 years. Because he knows that having her (a person who knows him inside and out AND who does great work with him) in his corner as support is one of the secret sauce ingredients to his success. He has her on staff, permanently.
And no, you don’t have to be a celebrity to do this. I have many clients who literally budget for me every year when they plan their business revenue, because it is a non-negotiable having me by their side as they navigate the higher realms of their success.
Of course I won’t die without having my team of long term mentors/support around me. Of course I am a sovereign woman and badass CEO who is perfectly capable of making decisions on my own that benefit me and my community. But why would I choose to go that path alone? It doesn’t make me tougher or stronger. In fact, I think it would make me quite short-sighted to NOT have that support..
My clients won’t DIE without me. It’s not that dramatic. It’s not about codependency.
They choose to stay with me for a long time because it is SO much easier to get good work done when you’ve found someone who gets you, who does work like no one out there and who grows with you as you grow.
I find that for my clients who have stayed with me for 3+ years, the work we are doing is so profound and so incredible, even more so than what I did with them in their first two to three years (and that was already amazing). Because they fully trust me after working with me for so long and I know them so well. And that means we can go all sorts of fun places with their work.
Beyond that… a lot of my clients stay with me for the long term (and I stay with my mentors for the long term) because they KNOW the LARGE impact they are here to make and they VALUE having someone who knows how to support that in their corner at all times. They understand the importance of having the right “team” with them, always. And they want me as part of that long term team.
Why do you think some big time leaders still have their old posse from before they were famous with them still? Because it it works, it works.
The top high performers in our world ALWAYS have support people in their corner. Not because they’re “nothing without them” but because it’s SMART to have people who know you well, and will support you as you expand more and more.
High impact leaders understand this. They value long term relationships. They value and understand the importance of having someone essentially “on staff” to support you. When they budget for the next year, making sure they have the money for their support people is top priority.
In my years working with womxn, I’ve come across a few people who change coaches every year, always thinking that they need a new coach for the next level. They either end up interrupting really good momentum they had started to build, or they end up paralyzed because so many different coaches have given them conflicting information.
It can also be a waste of time, energy, and money. Imagine everything your coach knows about you after a year. Now imagine needing to take a whole other year for another coach to know you that well and just when you’ve gotten there, you’re now switching to another coach.
It’s like changing spouses every 2 years — you’ll never experience the magic that happens when you really get to go deep with someone.
Of course, if you genuinely feel your values are no longer the same values as your coach or your client — change to someone who aligns more with the woman you want to become and already are.
But if you are constantly changing coaches, business managers, or lovers because you have some idea that “you SHOULD just change things up just to change them,” perhaps you might want to ask yourself…
- Why you are avoiding depth?
- What might you be running away from?
- What might you be chasing that can be found in what you already have?
- Why do you assume that staying with the same always means stagnation?
- Why do you think changing coaches always means “leveling up”?
- Why can’t it mean instead the opportunity to explore more depth vs. cutting off things right before you’re about to reach another level of breakthrough that your mind cannot even fathom right now?
I’ve left a few mentors because a year in to our relationship, it became clear that our values were not aligned. I blessed them and went on my way, thankful for the time we did have together. I’ve not renewed a few clients for the same reasons.
If you have been with the same coach for a long time BECAUSE they encourage codependence and say things to you like, “you’ll never be able to leave me because only I know what’s best for you,” then please leave that relationship immediately.
But if you find people who grow with you, who see you, who can walk beside you on this powerful journey. AND they are doing unique, in depth work with you that has made you a better leader — it’s the consistency and strong foundation of their support that you can always come back to that will ensure your long term success.
It is not always a sign of “not being able to be dependent on yourself” if you have a coach for a long time. Or if you keep hiring them year after year. Often it’s a sign that you know what works for you and you’re going to trust in what works. Instead of getting seduced into the constant changeability of the outside world that is obsessed with a constant stream of “new” superficial, quick-hits.
Maybe it’s a sign that you are serious about your impact, and therefore, you’re carefully building the support team that will hold you as you get there, and go beyond your wildest dreams. You’re making space to always have those people by your side, supporting you, as long as they feel aligned with your values.
Some of the best creations in our world have come from long-term relationships.
So, if it ain’t broke…
P.S: Did this resonate with you? If so, let me know in the comments below.