Do you really need a coach or a mentor?

The lines between what a coach and mentor do can at first seem a little blurry, so let’s start with talking about the differences between the two.

Coaching is usually carried out over a defined period, say 6 to 12 months, to develop skills or help achieve a specific goal, to help you work towards the goal and to hold you accountable.   

A mentor is a less structured and typically longer term relationship; someone to turn to for advice and run ideas by; someone who may have been there, done that and can give you advice that others may not. 

You’ll find great value in both options, but only if you choose the right person for you. Both coach and mentor create close working relationships, and a successful partnership means you need to be able to communicate openly.  

A coach will want to know a specific goal you wish to achieve which will mean structured and well-planned sessions – if you’re not sure about your goal, then that is sometimes the perfect place to start with a coach! You’ll be asked to prepare for each session and your coach will hold you accountable for hitting milestones and completing tasks to reach your goal. 

What makes a good coach? 

Look for a coach who is motivated, challenging, upbeat, enthusiastic and confident, without a big ego or a salesy ‘I’ll make you a millionaire in 6 weeks’ vibe. 

A mentor will likely have a more informal approach and is someone that you can turn to for guidance and advice, usually based on their own experiences and success. You will need to be prepared to open up and share your own experiences, being a closed book will not help you achieve your desired outcomes. It’s time to drop your guard and trust in a mentor long term. 

What makes a good mentor? 

A good mentor needs to have a proven, successful track record in their field. They need to be present when they are in session with you, not distracted, and they need to find out what makes you tick, before embarking on the journey to success together. 

So, do you really need a coach or mentor?

If you want to change bad habits, grow in confidence, nail that presentation, be a business owner in 12 months or any other personal or career challenge a coach or mentor can certainly bring great benefits by holding you accountable and keeping you on the right path to success. 


If you’re ready to discuss your individual or business goals, get in touch today!  We’ll help you create your success plan, keep you accountable and be your support. 

Make 2019 your best year yet with Capital Idea.