Mentoring Moments at the Coffee Clatter

When your best friend calls and can’t breathe on the phone, the only way you know it was her calling is you recognize her number… Mentoring moments happen in the blink of an eye, and you’ll need to be ready.

mentoring momentsIn a calm whisper, you say her name, followed by “just breathe, I’m here.” Chugging sobs replace gasps for air, and she stumbles out a few words. The words continue and slowly you can understand a few more of the words in each sentence until you realize you don’t have to dial 911. You can calmly talk her through the moment.

A few days back I posted in reference to my ‘mom tone’ and hours later when the above phone call came across my phone nearing midnight, I wondered if it was the ‘mom tone’ that had her dialing my number. I didn’t ask. I listened. She’d called long after I’d turned in for the night, as I was dozing off to sleep.

I waited for her to tell me what was wrong, and when she finally made me understand the reason for her call. My response might have been less than encouraging… “Why didn’t you call a locksmith?”

“I don’t have the number. I just had yours.” And the sobbing started again, “don’t be mad at me?”

“I’m not mad. I’m sleepy. Hold on a sec… Let me get up.” I scramble my way out from under the blankets and find my feet, then the door, then make my way to the computer so I can look up the number. She’s too far for me to drive to help her – although I would in a heart beat. She’d freeze before I could get to where she is, so logically sorting through the screens, searching for the lock smith who can get her into her car.

Then I realize, if I can find her a ride home, she’d be better off doing the lock smith the next morning. And I post a message to a friend still online. The friend is only a few blocks away, and glad to run over and give her a lift home. In my best ‘mom tone’ I tell her to go home, get some rest and go get her car the next day. We talk until the other friend arrives.

And I go back to bed… 

For the next two hours, I watch a video on youtube – one of my favorite Christmas shows – and replay the conversation over and over in my head… Comparing it to the earlier post about me being ‘angry’.

If I’m angry all the time, why am I the one people call? What’s the key to this mentor/mom/coach position where I am placed by others, and many PAY me to be their mentor – I sell it as a package deal. And people buy that package.
Why do they call me? 

It was sometime the next morning, after a couple of articles were completed, and the day was well on it’s way to being part of my reality (past, present, or future – something real)… When the phone rang again, “Jan, have you talked to him?”


“Chest pains in the night. I’m on my way.” And we hung up. I started making calls, connecting, making arrangements with those who needed to know, and waiting. The waiting. Goes on forever.

The day blends into afternoon, and the phone rings, “I really need chocolate cake.”

I sigh. I breathe. I know the day is good. Life will be good. He needs chocolate cake. He called me.

I call her back. The woman who sent my heart pounding over the edge. Turbulents of terror scratching at my throat. We talk.

Solution in a crisis is divided by two.

She said, “I started not to call you, because it seems we only talk when there’s a crisis.”

I shrug it off. “You know who to call in a moment of fright. You know who you trust.” We laugh. We share the moment of respite, relief flooding our veins as we realize this day is good. We’ll all be okay – another day.

Then it hits me like hot lead… The friends call me, because they trust me. I’m their calm in a storm. I’m their resource in a time of trouble. I’m who they turn to, because they trust me. But it isn’t just about me… I turn to them too. These mentoring moments, I call them when I need that strength, the voice I can trust. I call them when I need to hear that ‘tone’. The ‘mom tone’ rings true. I call too.

And that’s the reason why my clients buy my time, pay me to listen, to help them put their businesses together. They pay me to coach them through their troubles. To coach them through the challenges they face in business, because I find solutions. I find ways to fix the problems. I find ways to meet their challenges head on and grow their business in the process.

It isn’t about me…

Mentoring moments are about having someone you trust, who cares enough to be there for you, to do what needs to be done, no matter the hour. It’s about knowing who has your back.

coffee coach


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