Monday, 12 December 2016

Coaching, Mentoring or Some Advice? Which is Best for You?

Coaching and mentoring are certainly buzzwords right now. Mentoring is in the workplace, schools and even entrepreneurship. 

And then you have those people who just simply dish out well meaning advice. But which one suits you best? What are the differences between them?

In this post I am only offering my opinion of how I see it. And, I will be keeping it simple. Very simple.

Both the coach and the mentor are similar in the fact that they both want you to succeed and help.

The major difference in both, is a coach will help you for example, eliminate limiting beliefs that are holding you back whereas a mentor won't.


Mentoring is when you seek help and guidance from someone who has already achieved what you want to achieve. You cannot possibly seek help from a mentor who has not got (or once had), what you want.

  • If you want to become a millionaire then you need a mentor who is a millionaire.
  • If you want to run a successful business then a you need a mentor who has a successful business.

(Or a mentor who has built one or more businesses before. She may be now retired for example, or doing something else with her life)

You cannot get mentored to financial freedom for example, from somebody who is not already financially free. How could you? They have never achieved it and therefore do not know the steps to get you there.

When I used to introduce a friend of mine on stage at events for a financial freedom mentoring programme, that had hundreds of people attending (I did the marketing for these events), we would often have other people there to network their own business and steal our potential clients.

I used to emphatically state to the audience that if anyone approached them to tell them they could show them a better way to achieve financial freedom than the speaker, just ask them one question: "Are you financially free through successful property investing?"

coaching can help you get that breakthrough
A coach or mentor can help you get that breakthrough
 I can mentor you back to your best, or out of adversity because I have done it twice. I cannot mentor you to millionaire status as I am not a millionaire and never have been. But I can mentor you from a 5 figure income to a high six figure one. 

The relationship with a mentor will probably be for a longer duration than with a coach. They will also spill over into a coaching mode to some degree; as in helping you with business goals etc.


In NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) we have a presupposition that states, "You have all the resources needed to succeed" 

For me, coaching is about helping the client find those resources, tap into them and then use them to start achieving what they want to achieve.

“A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could” Zig Ziglar

For my own style of coaching, mainly performance coaching or coaching people back to their best, I can coach anyone regardless of their business, profession or sport.

I don't need to have played football as a professional to help a professional footballer improve performance or recapture previous winning ways. 
a good coach or mentor can help you succeed
Discover, unlock and unleash your inner resources

I help their mental approach, as in self-confidence, belief, resilience, all inner resources of course, that they already possess in abundance. 

I then set them tasks to achieve those goals and give honest feedback and encouragement.

I have never run my own leadership development business. 

But when a female entrepreneur came to me for coaching, she was up and running her business and getting clients within 3 months; charging 3 times more for her services than she thought she could; and had her ebook finished, submitted and subsequently published and successfully selling with a local, major bookstore.

And this was after having the idea for some 18 months but found herself unable to get her business started, finish her book and take the steps needed to become successful in her field. 

(She is doing extremely well, incidentally)

To me, these then are the main differences between the two. 

  • A mentor has already achieved what you want
  • A coach helps you discover, unlock and then unleash your own inner resources to improve a certain aspect of your life, business or sport
So what you need help on specifically will determine which is best for you: a coach or a mentor.

Whichever you choose, ensure that they have a proven track record of getting results for their clients.

There are hundreds of new coaches joining the industry each week. Some outstanding, some great and some, well, not so great.

Whichever you need, if you stop and wonder why both coaching and mentoring are booming, it is because they work. They both get massive results and improvements for their clients.

And as for advice givers? Well, who needs advice? Even well meaning advice is rarely listened to. But I would say, only take advice from someone who has achieved what you need advice on and who doesn't have a personal agenda in the outcome of that advice!