15 May What do you need – a mentor or a coach? – Matthew Bateman
When it comes to investing in property, many think they can do it themselves. Looks easy – right? Matthew Bateman is from ThePropertyMentors and he joins us to discuss the difference between a property mentor and a property coach.
Kevin: When it comes to investing, sometimes you’re much better off not doing it on your own. I know that’s great temptation and many people will think “Well, do I really need someone to guide me in this?” We’ve spoken in the show in the past about putting together a team, who goes into that team. That’s not what we’re going to talk about right now; we’re going to talk more specifically about getting a mentor.
I’m talking to Matthew Bateman. Matthew is from ThePropertyMentors.com.au, so you’re probably going to guess what he will be saying.
Matthew, what’s the difference between a mentor and a coach?
Matthew: That’s a really difficult question to answer because they have so much overlap. I guess come back to your question “Do people need a mentor?” No, absolutely not. What they should want is they should want to have a mentor.
The reason I say that is if we look at the similarities between a mentor and a coach, a mentor and a coach are both there to help you get a better result. That’s the bottom line. Now, obviously, coaches typically work in the fields of sport or business. Mentors also work in the fields of business, and in our case, we focus on property and property investing, and actually help to guide people through the myriad of choices and decisions that they need to make to be able to get the best results in the investing space.
So, do you need a mentor? No. Do you want a mentor? Yes. The only reason you’d want to is if you want to get better results. If you want to take your investments from where they are currently to the next level – and there’s always another level of investing – then finding the right mentor to guide you through the process, I think, is invaluable.
Kevin: I guess I’ve often wondered about that question – the difference between a mentor and a coach – and I’ve always thought that a mentor is someone who can guide you, whereas a coach is someone… And I don’t like using the word motivate, but a coach is someone who will try and move you along, whereas a mentor sits down and helps you and guides you. That’s the only difference I can see.
Matthew: I guess if we use that analogy, it’s a little bit like trying to climb Mount Everest. Using your analogy, a coach would be behind you trying to push you up the mountain, whereas a mentor would probably be beside you and just giving you a helping hand when you need it along that journey, and just giving you the advice as to what to look out for, where the danger zones are. If the weather is coming in, do we turn back in order to make sure that we’re safe?
These are all the things that I think a mentor does. They’re not there to do all the work, and they definitely shouldn’t be there to motivate you, because when we’re talking about finance and wealth – basically people’s lives – we’re really talking about all of the dreams and goals that people have for their lives, of which they need finance to be able to complete, really, we’re getting very much into very real conversations and very real relationships as a mentor with people to help them to achieve everything that they want to achieve in life.
Kevin: A mentor is a bit like a co-pilot. If you’re in a plane, the co-pilot sits besides you and helps you check off the list, the things that you need to get done.
Matthew: Absolutely. That’s a really good analogy, actually, because yes, the co-pilot is not necessarily there to fly the plane unless you as the pilot start to get into trouble. Then, obviously, once the plane has leveled out again, then the co-pilot hands the reins back over to the pilot and, obviously, the journey continues.
Kevin: I love what you said earlier, Matt, about not necessarily needing a mentor but wanting one, because that’s a big difference, isn’t it? If you really want one, you’re recognizing the important role they’re going to play.
Matthew: I’m a classic example of this. When I first started investing, I thought “I’m an alpha male, I’m six foot tall, I’m bulletproof, I can do it all myself, I don’t need any help.” And in fact, for me, early in my investing career, it was seen as a sign of weakness to actually put your hand up and say “Look, I actually need some help.”
But the point I got to was I was trained as a chiropractor professionally, I started running health and wellness businesses, started generating good income, and I went out and started investing that income without really knowing what it was I was doing and probably also importantly, without having a really clear plan as to what I was doing.
What I did was I just do what a lot of people did; I went out into the market, tried to do it all on myself, and unfortunately, lost both bucket-loads of money but also more importantly, I think, I lost a lot of time doing things that I shouldn’t have been doing.
Now, had I recognized earlier in my investing how valuable a mentor was, my results… I’m really comfortable with my results, they’re fantastic, but they could have been so much better had I put my hand up earlier in the piece and say “Hey, look, I don’t have the education, I don’t have the networks, I don’t have the experience or the skillset to necessarily be going out into financial markets and making an absolute killing.”
Kevin: It’s so much better to learn from others’ mistakes, so you’re not going to make yourself. The mistakes you make in the market, while they won’t all be crippling, some of them can be.
Matthew: Absolutely. We get to see, unfortunately, both the good, the bad, and the ugly in the property investment space. And having been an investor myself for nearly 20 years, I’ve been through it all on both sides of that. I’ve been through it as an investor. I’ve been through it learning on the way and learning, I guess, at the school of hard knocks and making lots of mistakes and losing lots of money.
Don’t get me wrong; those experiences were invaluable because they helped me to get to the point that I’m at today, but had I had the choice, and somebody said to me “All right, do you want to do things the slow way or the fast way. Do you want to do things the safe way or the unsafe way? Do you want to do things predictably or do you want to just leave it all to chance?” then obviously, my decision processes might have been a lot different to what they were over the last 20-odd years.
Kevin: How do you find a good mentor? How do you avoid getting a bad one?
Matthew: Actually, that’s probably a good question to ask, and it’s probably a difficult one for me to answer because I’m going to have a little bit of bias here because, obviously, our business, The Property Mentors, is directly involved in the space of helping other investors get better results.
Kevin: Let me cut you off there. Surely, you’ve had people come to you who have been skeptical because they’ve been with someone who hasn’t given them good advice, and you’ve seen what those people are like. Tell me what they demonstrate, not what you demonstrate.
Matthew: All right. Here are the traps you need to look out for. There are a lot of people out there who will call themselves mentors or coaches or financial advisors or guides, but really what they often are just salespeople in disguise. Really, what they’re trying to do is they’re trying to promote a particular product or service for you, the investor, to move into.
Now, oftentimes, they’ll be very charismatic. Oftentimes, the opportunities will look amazing. At the end of the day, though, realistically what you want to be working with to find a good mentor is somebody who’s probably already been there and done it and actually doesn’t really need to be doing it, if that makes sense. They’re not there to earn the income.
Obviously, as any business and our business is no different, we’re here to make some money, but at the end of the day, we don’t need to make that money, if that makes sense. We make money in many ways in our investing space, including property development, subdivision renovation.
What we highlight to a lot of members is really understand the motivations of the mentor. All of the people who we work with in our business are not salespeople; they’re actually experienced property investors in their own rights. They’ve built multi-million-dollar portfolios. And they now get as much joy and satisfaction out of helping other people get that result as they do continuing to build their own wealth.
Kevin: Yes. You know what worries me about all of that is the fact that good salespeople will sell you on a concept and you won’t even know you’re being sold on it. That’s the difficulty I have, and the difficulty I think a lot of people in trying to find someone, Matthew, is cutting through the BS is really very hard.
Matthew: Look, at the end of the day, the only way you’re going to be able to do that is to have some conversations and start doing some level of work with some people. For example, in our business, we’ll usually have two or three or four phone conversations or meetings before we’ll even ask for any business.
What that does is it gives us an opportunity to learn more about you the investor but also gives you the investor a chance to learn more about us and what we do and why we do it, and hopefully, you’ll be able to see and your BS meter will rise to high levels if we’re not authentic or we’re not genuine.
These days with social media… If we go back to the 1980s and the cowboys of the 1980s and the flights up to the Gold Coast and all of that sort of rubbish that was in the industry, these days with social media, you cannot afford to not be authentic and not be truthful because your reviews will just suck.
One of the great things about social media these days is it helps to keep businesses accountable and holds people to a higher standard. That helps to weed out a lot of the bad eggs in the industry.
Kevin: Great talking to you, mate. Thank you very much for your time. Matthew Bateman is from ThePropertyMentors.com.au. Thanks for your time, mate.
Matthew: My pleasure, Kevin.