I have had both mentors and coaches in my business and I highly recommend both. Mentors and coaches are important to learn how to make your business (and yourself) the best it can be. Reba McEntire said, “It’s very important to surround yourself with people you can learn from.” So what is the difference between a Mentor and a Coach?
A mentor is someone who voluntarily takes an interest in your business and you, they are often older and more experienced and they don’t have to be in the same industry but they want to help you grow as a person and as a business.
I was lucky enough to have a great mentor, her name was Nancy. She was not only my mentor but also my first client. As a first time business owner I was wet behind the ears and she gave me a chance and she was willing to share her knowledge. Nancy showed me everything from how to keep top of mind awareness with clients to what clients expected to get from the services I offered.
A coach on the other hand, is generally someone you pay to help you be objective in ways to grow your business and to hold you accountable to move forward with those plans. I have had several coaches in my business and have learned much about myself, my sales coach is Hugh Liddle and he taught me how to present my services to sell, my life coach is Sean McCarthy and he taught me how to present myself. Currently I am working with Darla LeDoux on how to align my business with my values.
I have found that when I don’t have a coach or mentor I get complacent in my business, revenues go down and I lose that all so elusive balance in my life that allows me time to have fun to do craft projects such as knitting and scrapbooking while still keeping my business moving forward and bringing in revenue. My recommendation is to find someone to be a mentor to learn from and model yourself on and get a coach (or two!) to help you move your business and life forward. Always spend time with your mentor and coach at least every three months to keep you moving forward.