The 4 Qualities That AMAZING Teachers, Coaches & Mentors Possess

Table of Contents

A good mentor, coach, or more broadly speaking , “teacher”, can literally be the difference between whether we fail to learn something, or whether we develop an intense passion for it. 

Over the past few years in particular, I’ve learned from hundreds of different teachers as I’ve sought to reach mastery levels within business, personal development, spirituality, salsa, boxing and overall health and nutrition, and that’s just naming a few things. 

Good teachers are rare, legendary teachers are like unicorns, and bad teachers, well, bad teachers are everywhere. Classrooms, Books, Social Media, YouTube, and here’s the thing, learning from a “bad” teacher could irrevocably damage our lives. Some of them might just drain our bank accounts without imparting any real value, while others can actually lead us off of our paths entirely, where we can spend months, years, possibly even our entire lives having never discovered our true essence or potential. 

Nowhere is this more true than within the “self-improvement” industry, where most mentors, coaches, and again more broadly speaking “teachers”, literally don’t know the first thing about true personal development. What they do know how to do is promote the same “toxic positivity” and “momentary motivation strategies” that only end up creating a false sense of improvement, which is why when you look at the broad population of people who are trying to improve themselves, most of them are like zombies, all repeating the same things but with no actual improvement to show for all of their supposed efforts. 

This is the illusion of improvement, and it originates in bad teachers. 

In this video, I’ll show you the 4 qualities that all legendary teachers have in common, so that you can separate the “good” from the “bad” to cultivate true learning and passion in everything that you do, and maybe one day even become a legendary teacher yourself. Let’s begin. 

1. They’ve already excelled at what they’re teaching

The most dangerous teachers are ones who teach entirely from textbooks, or what they’ve read or seen online because these teachers exist only within the world of “theory”. Trust me when I tell you that the reality of something is very different than the idea of it. 

You can’t be a good millionaire mindset coach if you haven’t already earned a million dollars. You can’t be a good business coach if you’ve never built a successful business. You can’t be a good fitness coach if you yourself aren’t in great shape. While they may have read tons of books or even have college degrees in these areas, they are all missing the key ingredient, which is how to actually translate that knowledge into reality.

When we read, the best we can hope for is to memorize. To truly learn something is to take it from the world of “theory” and successfully  manifest it within “reality”. To know the path is not the same as to walk the path, to walk the path is to know the path. 

Unfortunately, many people choose to “teach” as a way to seek validation for being good at something without actually being good at that thing. If this sounds like you, don’t feel bad. When I first started my personal development journey I would post motivational quotes to all of my social networks and give all my friends “success” advice that they never asked for, because I was trying to externally validate the ‘idea’ that I was successful, instead of doing the difficult work required to actually become successful.

Good teachers have already done the thing that we’re seeking to learn, and the higher their level, the more they’re able to see with clarity what lesser teachers are unable to see. 

2. They love to teach

For the longest time, I used to hate dancing salsa. I knew that I wanted to learn how to dance, but lacing up my salsa shoes felt like a death sentence, most of my teachers hated teaching, I imagine because they mostly taught the same steps over and over to sandal-wearing foreigners who smell like sweaty cow shit, most of these teachers only taught me how to memorize steps, which is not only boring, but it doesn’t make you a better dancer. 

I wasn’t seeing any progress from which to feel motivated from, and so I struggled to take classes with any sort of consistency, then I found teachers like Daniela and Mayra, who not only love salsa, but also love teaching. They celebrated every little improvement I made, while giving me enough room to safely fail and try again. 

They taught me how to move my body with the music, how to express myself through movement, which was the result I was pursuing in the first place, and in doing so, they helped me to learn to love the journey of salsa, which is the most important thing when it comes to not giving up something. 

Anyone can force themselves to do something for a brief period of time in the pursuit of a specific result, but unless we learn to love the journey, it’s not likely that we’ll ever see the destination, and this is why it’s so critical that we learn from people who love what they’re teaching because their love of the process is contagious, through them we can vicariously develop a similar love of process, even if we haven’t yet tasted the sweet reward of what’s waiting for us at the finish line. 

Get the Dark Mode guide

The Dark Mode Guide

is a simple system designed to help you achieve a specific goal by facilitating the development of relevant habits and creating the perfect environment to make failure impossible.

This guide is about actually walking the path. It creates a perfect environment devoid of excuses and forces you to face who you are and what you need to do in a way that’s sustainable.

3. They push us to be uncomfortable

Most teachers will just talk and talk and talk, as if their words are somehow translating into knowledge, they try to make the experience of learning “easy”, providing answers instead of using questions to provoke critical thinking.

Learning should be uncomfortable, here’s why: We only learn through application. 


When we are taught by a teacher, a book, or a video, and then we apply what we’ve learned, we’re always going to initially feel uncomfortable since initially, we have no experience doing that thing. Over time, the more that we apply teachings, the more comfortable we feel, because we become good at those things, but unless we want to remain at the same level, we need to continually push ourselves to apply new information, to try out new techniques, to once again be uncomfortable.

To repeat this process over and over is to move towards mastery, and a good teacher will thus teach us in a way where they’re constantly “pushing” us to always exist within the uncomfortable frontiers of our limits. 

4. They help us discover our unique style

Early on, a teacher who is still learning who we are, will teach us their style, which is perfectly fine, this is actually just one of many ways that the teacher can begin to observe our tendencies, predispositions, and our overall “essence”, but as we develop, the job of the teacher is to help us find our own unique path, our own unique style, instead of just always imposing themselves on us. 

There are nuances here, in boxing and salsa for example, there are certain fundamentals that we need to learn, how to rotate the body to generate power in our punches, how to maintain our gaze on a fixed position to properly execute a spin. But when it comes to “style”, which has less to do with fundamentals and more to do with how our essence translates into our actions, a bad teacher will demand that we do these things according to their style, while a good teacher will help us to discover our own style.

Style is not specific to physical activities like salsa and boxing, it is universal. It is a manifestation of our “essence” within the specific thing that we’re doing. Within business and self-development there are fundamentals as well, we should learn how to love the process, how to seek discomfort as we move towards mastery. 

A good teacher will help us establish these fundamentals as a platform that we can use to reach our potential, while a bad teacher will try to guide our growth even after the platform has been established. 


Alright guys, let’s wrap this up, these are the 4 ways to identify a “good” teacher from a bad one.

1. They’ve already excelled at what they’re teaching

The world of theory is extremely different from the world of reality. What sounds good isn’t necessarily what works. Bad teachers teach from books. Good teachers draw from a wealth of experience. 

2. They love to teach

The most important aspect of learning anything is to learn to love the journey of learning that thing. Bad teachers don’t enjoy teaching, and cannot teach love of journey. Good teachers love teaching, and in doing so, share a love of the journey with their students. 

3. They push us to be uncomfortable

Growth is only possible through discomfort. Bad teachers strive to keep us comfortable. Good teachers push us to be uncomfortable.

4. They help us discover our unique style

Style is the expression of our essence through action. Bad teachers force their style on us. Good teachers help us to discover our own unique style. 

Alright guys, make sure to follow me there @NelsonQuest, virtually everything I upload there now includes longer-form explorations of interesting personal development themes and stories that you guys seem to be really enjoying and getting a lot of benefit from. 

In the comments below I’d love for you guys to take some time to reflect on who the best teacher is that you ever had, and what is it specifically that you feel made them special, and allowed them to have the sort of positive impact on your life that they did. 

Anyway, if you want a productivity system that can teach you how to be your own teacher, make sure to check out Dark Mode. And if you want to be notified first when I release new videos, don’t just subscribe, but make sure to click the bell icon, unless of course you are one of the bad teachers that I described in this video. In that case, I imagine that you might be pretty upset.

This is the path. Ciao and cya in the next post.


Subscribe to e-mails

Join 100k+ others and receive weekly tools, tips, and secret resources directly from Nelson.

Related Articles