To 300+ clients in one year. Insights from a winning mentoring strategy that breaks the norms.
One of the many things that launching my own mentoring business has taught me is that forging your unique path is the secret to finding success and fulfilment. Though many marketing experts will advise replicating the success tactics of others, I want to share how identifying and committing to the strategy that works best for you will set you apart.
My mentoring strategy is the result of experimentation, feedback, and refinement. It centres around three essential components: continuous learning, mentoring, and advisory.
Pinpointing your business strategy takes time
I shifted my strategy several times before it finally clicked — the key isn’t seeking perfection from the outset but rather diving in, experimenting, and leveraging feedback for continuous improvement.
Initially, I intended to focus solely on mentoring, but this lacked impact since I was mostly discussing theories from my business background. I felt compelled to make it more practical. While securing my first advisory clients was challenging, it was a path worth pursuing. In the end, I scaled back my mentoring to accommodate this shift.
TIP: Remember, your first strategy idea isn’t necessarily unique or a guaranteed win. Usually, you need to get in the field, experiment, learn from trial and error, and adapt continuously to discover what works and what doesn’t.
My “Mentoring 1+2+2 Triangle” of strength
The triangle is a deliberate and strategic combination of three elements, each playing a crucial role in my professional growth.
I firmly believe that the synergy created by this combination puts me in an unbeatable spot.
- Continuous learning = cultivating my knowledge
- Mentoring = talking experience
- Advisory = putting theory into practice and gathering feedback
So let’s dive into the strategy.
1. Learning: Fueling the mind
One day a week, I dedicate my time to continuous learning. This involves reading articles, blog posts, and other materials, writing, listening to podcasts, and actively participating in events, meetups, conferences, podcasts, and panel discussions.
Continuous learning is the foundation of my strategy. It’s what helps me stay at the forefront of my field, possessed with the latest knowledge and insights that I can then share with those I mentor and advise.
2. Mentoring: Strengthening leadership
Two days a week are set aside for mentoring. I allocate 3–4 1-hour mentoring sessions each day, with the remaining time spent on preparation and operational work.
Mentoring isn’t just about knowledge sharing. By devoting substantial time to mentoring, I ensure that I stay connected with aspiring leaders, strengthen my network, and continually refine my leadership skills.
3. Advisory: Practical application
The remaining two days of my week are devoted to advisory roles in the capacity of a fractional advisor or CTO. This is where I put theory into real-world practice.
Advisory work allows me to apply my insights and provide practical guidance and solutions to the challenges faced by client companies. Through this, I gain firsthand experience that expands my knowledge and perspective.
This synergy of continuous learning, mentoring, and advisory is my third eye.
Stick to your game plan
It’s tempting to abandon my learning day to earn more.
But this would be a short-sighted decision. Without continuous learning, I risk becoming out of touch and would end up discussing concepts like waterfall, mainframes, and agile manifesto.
Giving up on mentoring would weaken my network and individual leadership.
Leaving advisory behind would mean missing out on experiencing different situations and client models, limiting my capacity to learn from real-world scenarios and develop my practice in the field.
This is why I have made a conscious choice to uphold my commitment to my “Mentoring 1+2+2 Triangle” strategy. It’s the synergy of all three elements that makes my approach unique and brings me both joy and success in my work.
Forging your unique path
My awareness strategy is built around being in the field, not online.
Many marketing experts recommend creating momentum on LinkedIn through frequent posts, gaining followers, and monetizing your digital presence, streamlined by the rise of AI tools like Taplio.
I understand the importance of visibility, but this strategy doesn’t resonate with me.
Instead, I dedicate my time to being in the field and building a community through physical meetups, speaking engagements, panel discussions, and so on. This is driven by my belief in the power of personal connections. Why? 80% of my potential leads come from word of mouth.
My “Mentoring 1+2+2 Triangle of Strength” isn’t just a strategy — it’s a philosophy. Instead of trying to replicate the success of others, I have built a personal approach that aligns with my values, guarantees joy and success and sets me apart. A path that allows me to channel my commitment to the pursuit of knowledge, leadership, and industry experience to achieve my goals and help those I mentor and advise do the same.
While I’m certain there are alternative winning strategies, this is what works best for me. I’m sharing it with the hope that it might inspire you to forge your own unique path to success and fulfilment beyond mainstream practices.
You can read the full story of how I set up my mentoring business in my previous blog post: From Corporate Job to Solopreneurship — Insights From Building My Mentorship Business.
The more we help to raise first-time engineering managers in our 🇨🇿 territory, the faster we elevate local companies and the talent 🚀, getting us on par with software citadels like Berlin 🇩🇪 or London 🇬🇧.
About Marian Kamenistak
Marian provides coaching and mentoring to engineering managers and leaders across various levels, helping organisations to succeed in building products.
Stay tuned for the next post! 💪