Good question and the answer to it is why I decided I was definitely more a business mentor than a business coach.

But first, let’s look at why people have business mentors and coaches?

Why do people have business mentors or business coaches?

When you become a small business owner it’s a massive leap from being an employee, you become every department, not only trying to juggle life and all it brings but also juggling running a business and worrying about that business.

There’s so much on Google to help you be a success, but what’s right for you? What is nonsense? What was written by someone who once sold something on eBay and now calls themselves a business mentor or business coach?

Business owners invest in business mentors or business coaches to help guide them to grow themselves and their business the right way, without overwhelm, without the costly mistakes so that their passion is reignited and they can create / re-create the dream business they desire.

Now which one is for you? A business mentor or a business coach? Let’s look at the difference between the two as I see it.

What is a business mentor?

Mentors traditionally act like a trusted advisor sharing their knowledge and experience through guidance, supporting business owners with the many challenges they may experience throughout their own successful journey.

While not essential, business mentors tend to be people who have experience and a background in the areas they advise their mentees in.

Mentors tend to have an all round level of experience in many areas of business, and so are the choice for those who want to work with one person in their business and personal growth.

What is a business coach?

A coach generally helps you find the answers yourself by asking leading questions.

A business coach sometimes doesn’t have the same level of all round business experience as a business mentor and will focus on one thing, perhaps mindset, confidence, etc.

Do you need a business mentor or a business coach?

Good question again, and that depends on how you prefer to work and what you need.

A business coach is for you as opposed to a business mentor if;

You can identify one specific need – perhaps money mindset – then a specialised coach would be for you. But bear in mind that if you need work in another area you’d need to likely find another coach.

Coaches use coaching or therapeutic techniques to explore the issues in your business and allow you to work out the solutions yourself.

I recommend you ensure your coach has experience in the business world and not just corporate as the two are very different.

A business mentor is for you, as opposed to a business coach if;

Using the example of money mindset again, a mentor can help you with that if they’ve experience in it – don’t ever be afraid to ask people they’ve worked with previously and check out their testimonials and case studies – but they can also help you with other aspects that might be hindering your money mindset, because it’s sometimes not just one thing.

Mentors tend to be more in the ‘let’s get this done’ camp as opposed to the softly softly approach – hence why I am a business mentor!

Mentors have successfully run their own business/s, not necessarily in the same field, and are usually where the mentee wants to be.

When is the best time to work with a business mentor or business coach?

You can work with one at any time in your journey, the very start or after years of running your own business. The best way to gauge whether you’re ready is if you’re overwhelmed with everything you feel you need to be doing or find yourself stuck, or at a cross roads, and need help, guidance and support to get you where you need to be.

Some business owners work with a business mentor or business coach for years – I’ve worked with some of my mentees for almost three years now and it’s not because they’re not achieving, on the contrary, it’s because they continue to work with me that they continue to achieve and grow because they always have someone there for impartial advice, guidance, knowledge and a sounding board.

When not to work with a business mentor or business coach

Please always do your due diligence. Check companies house, ask for testimonials and speak to previous mentees if in any doubt – there are sadly some people out there who use the word mentor or coach without any business experience at all despite what it says on their LinkedIn profile!

How are business coaches and business mentors the same?

We’re there for our clients. We get to know you over the period of time we work with you and your success becomes our success. It’s never about the money – well not the people I surround myself with anyway – it’s about enabling people to achieve the working life they deserve, the life we all deserve.

Whichever you choose, having someone in your corner is invaluable and incredibly huge in moving you and your business forward. We all need and deserve a cheerleader.

Are you ready to work with a successful business mentor?