Business Mentoring Vs Business Coaching

Business Mentor vs Business Coach: What is the difference between business mentoring and business coaching? And why do I think mentoring is better than coaching.

This is my opinion based on experience…

A business mentor is someone who has been there before you and can show you the way. A business coach can help you to see possibilities and breakthrough.

A business mentor can help you with the steps and knowledge. A business coach will help you with communication and personal roadblocks.

My personal experience working with coaches

In my own business journey, I’ve hired a number of coaches and mentors. And my experience with coaches wasn’t really that great. I found the coaches tend to focus more on me than my business and in the seasons where I needed a mentor I ended up with a coach instead – simply because I didn’t know the difference.

Many coaches have never actually run businesses before except their own. Often coaches work solo, and have never had the experience of growing and building a business and a team. So I found coaches to be limited in what they can offer in the practical business sense.

One thing I haven’t liked about business coaches is they tend to be into weird mumbo jumbo like NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) and Psychology. For me, if I want help with my business, I need practical advice from people who have been there and done that. Not people who have done ‘how to become a coach’ programs and learned all about coaching from psychology-based textbooks and classes.

I don’t have anything against psychology or psychologist per-se, it’s more the fact that if I wanted someone to perform psychology on me, I’d book myself into seeing a psychologist!

Because business coaches often, not always, lack of business skills and knowledge that ‘business coaches’ actually have, they may have little understanding of business finances and management, marketing and sales, and all the other things that make a business work.

The other thing is the coaching language, it’s all a bit too fluffy and rah-rah for me. You’ll hear words like ‘transformation’, ‘thought leaders’ and ‘breakthrough’. These buzzwords scare me.

My personal experience working with mentors

I’ve had a number of mentors. And often those mentors had large successes and epic failures. They’d experienced the highs and lows, they’d burned out, lost everything, recovered and learned from many, many mistakes. These were authentic people able to speak into my business and life with credibility. They were easy to trust, easy to listen to and just nice to work with. I hope I have answered some of your Business Mentor vs Business Coach questions. Here is a summary of when to engage with either one:

When to hire a business mentor?

  • If you want someone who understands numbers
  • If you need help with structuring your business
  • If you’re trying to find out the best approach to growth or improving your profits

When to hire a business coach?

  • If you need a personal breakthrough in roadblocks affecting your business
  • If you have communication issues with your team or clients
  • If you want to explore vision and possibilities


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