The Extra Mile
Recently I've started coaching a beginning teacher. This sounds easier than it actually is.
Yes, I charge private tuition fees if it's one-on-one, as one must pay the bills, but not everything is discussed within the limits of that hour.
In fact, it's very much like having your own mentor class in a school setting. A lot of time is spent reviewing work, messaging back and forth asking and answering questions that can't wait until the next session, and reassuring when emotions flare up, giving advice on how to communicate with colleagues, and much more.
Yes, in the business sector advice is not given for free, and that's how it should be.
However, as a coach or mentor, one simply cannot do away with: " Let's discuss that next time, please". Or: "Sorry, it will have to wait."
Questions arise such as: "Should I go the extra mile, or should I tell them they will be charged extra for time spent outside their curfew?"
I've always said I'm not a businessman. I've improved on that, but I do strongly believe in
"The Extra Mile".
In fact, I'm a big fan.
So yes, I do put in extra time (although I do mumble under my breath at times when a message pops up after 11pm) and my wife thinks I'm nuts. I always reply when I'm awake, -although I do not mark papers, or review passages and whatnot after 12pm- even if it's just to reply that I'll review their questions later, or tomorrow.
A message or e-mail is never left without a reply, even if it inconveniences me.
When on holidays, people often wonder why in the world I bother with messages and e-mails in my free time?!
Yes, students contact me often on public holidays, Sundays, after 12, and one time, even at 03.15. I did not catch the latter, as I was well away in a different dimension, but anything else gets a reply.
I've often wondered if I would behave the same if I worked in an office, or a different setting, and I'm afraid the answer is yes.
I always say: "One must put energy into something, in order to get anything back".
Whether it's looking for a job, taking care of children, doing groceries, coaching or anything else that might make a difference in this universe, invest energy.
I say invest, because there's not always immediate revenue. in some cases, it is deflected towards something else, even if we don't see it.
I can remember most cases where I did not put energy into what I was doing, and it never ended well.
Go the Extra Mile.
It's worth it.