Small Business Owners need to think about the network of information they will have around them.
\ ˈmen-ˌtȯr , -tər \
Merriam-Webster tells us that a mentor is someone that is a trusted counselor or guide. Mentors are usually successful people who will share their wisdom and guidance, compensated or not. Mentors may not have the expertise specific to what you are looking for but can offer a more general business knowledge. Your mentor will work as a sounding board, offering advice when it is needed.
A coach, on the other hand, is there to help you reach your goal. They often have expertise in the same field as the people they are coaching. Coaches possess strong process management skills and are there to help you tackle industry specific challenges. They will not offer advice but will help you come to your own conclusions.
A coaching relationship is usually short term and goal oriented, where as a mentoring relationship is an ongoing relationship that can last over an extended period of time. This doesn’t have to be an either-or situation. Having someone in your corner who is both a coach and a mentor is extremely beneficial.
Both types of relationships in work are important and I have had the pleasure of being both a mentor and a coach. When I offer my consulting to new clients after they purchase the Let’s Clean Blinds Business System I will often allow the client to take the lead on whether they are looking for a mentor or a coach.
“Our chief want in life is somebody who will make us do what we can.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson