Ant Hodges Mentoring

The Difference Between a Coach and a Mentor

Anyone that has spent any time in the personal development world will have heard many people speaking about how a “coach or mentor can help you accelerate your growth and success” - with your relationships, in business and in your career. There is some truth in this, but there needs to be some explanation. Coaching is great, mentoring is great, but they are not one and the same. If you are looking for someone that can help you get to where you want, faster, find a mentor, not just a coach.

What is the Difference Between a Coach and a Mentor?

Coaching is all about helping to get someone to a point of realisation that change needs to happen. Through training, coaches can qualify and start coaching fairly quickly and there is no need for a coach to have any experience with the challenges that are leading you to look for someone to assist you. 

Mentoring is totally different. A great mentor, and one that stands out from the crowd, will be someone that has walked the path you want to walk, with evidence of success and someone who possess both training and coaching skills to help you get there. 

If you are looking for a “coach or a mentor”, look for someone who is truly on fire that offers coaching, training and mentoring - this tri-factor of skill and services will serve you best to get to where you want to get to, fast! 

Two Characteristics of a Great Mentor?

Let me start with what is clearly an obvious virtue that you should look for in the make-up and character of a great mentor - Integrity. What have others been saying about them in the public domain? What do mentees and clients say about their mentoring? Do they really live and outwork their own personal values in life and in business or do they just look good on the surface living a double life when it comes to the difference between their business and their “real” life? High on the list of things you need to look for is honesty, truthfulness and integrity. Your due diligence here will be so important when looking for a mentor. Don’t do the homework and you could end up in a whole lot of trouble and ultimately with a lot of wasted time and potentially wasted money.

A great mentor should be a font of knowledge when it comes to your niche or the challenges you want to overcome. You don’t want to find a weekend-warrior type of mentor who has never experienced what you are trying to learn and that has just completed a weekend course and got a certificate to hang on the wall. When you come across obstacles that you need to find a way around on your journey to success you need to have a mentor that has the answer or at least some kind of knowledge about how to push past it. 

Avoid the Mentor Wolves Dressed in Sheep’s Clothing

A few years ago, I remember buying into a private mentoring package with someone, who on the surface, seemed to know a lot more about the challenges I was having in my business, looked like they had it all sorted and was offering a package to be mentored to achieve the same kind of success. What was presented as an all-encompassing package that would help level up my own knowledge and help me to smash my goals, turned out to be a regurgitated mix of other people’s content that I had bought into over the years of my own business training. Within the first six weeks, there was nothing new that I didn’t know and the real challenges I was facing in my business were being sidelined with comments like “we need to lay the foundations first” and “we’ll get to that” - so I decided to cancel. In cancelling myself, I lost what I had paid due to being outside of a thirty day refund period.

There was me thinking that the potential mentor that I had been looking up to for a few months, been to events and chatted with them personally, could really help me. In truth, I had the same knowledge base, and in chatting with others, many had not got great results working with this mentor. Some had, but they were in the minority. I hadn’t done my homework well enough and I paid the price for a wasted six weeks and a few thousand out of pocket financially.

Find a Mentor Who You Connect With

Values are key. If your values and the values or beliefs held by your mentor are opposed to one another, you will find a fork in the road ahead of you that will result in you parting company. At first, you might think the mentor is on your wavelength, buying into the same values you hold, but under the surface, there could be some huge disconnects with what you both believe to be morally and spiritually true or correct in terms of business practice or lifestyle. The friction this can cause and the fall-out from it can be disastrous. 

Finding a mentor that is just like you though, is not the way to find a great mentor. You need someone who completely understands you and your goals, but at the same time, compliments or brings balance to you in a way that supports your growth and the challenges you want to overcome. If a mentor is too much like you, I am not sure that you will gain the perspective needed at times to see things from another angle to find the right solutions.

Pay and Invest in Mentors

When starting out in the mentoring world, many mentors are encouraged (by their trainers and mentors) to offer free mentoring sessions to build up experience and practice their skills. Avoid this kind of arrangement. There are many mentors out there in the world today who have been where you are, have got the right experience you need to move forward and will be willing to work with you - it might just take some time to find them. When you invest in yourself it puts some skin in the game too. You find yourself being motivated and more inclined to get on with things to achieve greatness. If you haven’t invested, how much are you really valuing the mentor you are signing up with? 

Can I Mentor You?

If I can be of help in that search, or even if you want to consider applying for mentorship with me - click here and answer a few questions, then choose a date and time for us to have a FREE 20-minute call where we can chat things through, you can see if we are a good fit and then maybe we can start this journey together. 

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