A coach or a mentor? You need both to run a successful startup
Posted: Mar 31, 2016
For a very long time, people have been confused about the difference between a coachand a mentor. Coaching and mentoring may sound similar, but both are the exact opposite of each other like night and day.
Your mentor is the person who makes you sit down and works with you on your startup and business strategies. They are the one’s who help you understand and identify your pipeline partners. They also work with you on your pitch and most importantly they are the ones who will open up their telephone book to connect you to the right people. Usually, you find them from your professional field, who know you and your work to some degree. With their extensive knowledge in their field, they spend more time in imparting knowledge to you.
A coach, on the other hand, is the person who calls a spade a spade and makes things easier for you. Instead of giving advice or answers, a coach asks you questions and helps you to find answers within yourself. Coaching does not necessarily means looking backward to examine how and what happened in your past that is currently affecting you, but also to look forward and consider how to get you on your path to achieving your desired goals.
Coaching is more like an inner journey. Coaches believe that all answers you seek are within yourself and they help you in channeling it, they act like your mirror to keep you honest and also act as sounding board for ideas you wouldn't share widely, even with your mentors. They work with you holistically because they know that something going on at home might be holding you back at your work and, vice versa.
If you have the right kind of coach in life, he or she can become instrumental in making you realize that you need to find a mentor for a particular situation or a problem.
As entrepreneurs and business leaders, we often get to points in our lives where we feel we are no longer challenged on an individual level. A coach, unlike mentor, pushes you to be the best version of yourself at all time. Mentors do help in certain situations, but it's often only to the extent that will be limited to your company. A coach is a partner in crime. A coach will push you to truly understand your core values and make you reflect on them, they will embrace your strengths and will support your instincts.
When you chose to become an entrepreneur, you wittingly chose to play a bigger game. Now, its more than important to have a coach and a mentor in your team. They will help you learn the ropes and eventually help you in winning this game.