Steve Wagenheim’s Home Business Blog Everything You’ll Need To Run A Successful Home Business
  • Nov

    There seems to be some confusion as to the difference between a coach and a mentor (yes, there is a difference) and because of this, I’ve decided that this article was one that was long overdue. If you’re one of those who is also confused between the difference, you might want to read this.

    Let’s start with a coach. A coach is somebody who you go to for specific instruction on how to do a certain thing or things. They give you this instruction and that’s it. You follow it. End of story. That’s where the coach’s responsibility ends.

    For example, let’s say you want to learn how to do PPC advertising. The coach will show you how to use the Adwords system, how to do keyword research properly, how to write your three line ads, and so on. After he does this, you’re on your own. You’ve paid for his time to teach you these things and he’s done.

    Okay, so what’s the difference between a coach and a mentor? A mentor goes one step farther. And it’s a BIG step. After teaching you all the things that you need to know in order to do a certain thing, the mentor will then stick around to see that these things are done properly. He will go over every inch of your work and make whatever corrections and/or additions need to be made.

    In short, he becomes your best friend in the whole world. He will eat, sleep and breathe your business with you. He will leave no stone unturned. He will teach you how to think on the fly. He will point out things that can only come up in real life an real time scenarios. He goes above and beyond the call of duty.

    And yes, he does this for quite a hefty price tag if he’s worth his salt. While a coach may have a coaching program that goes for $500 or even $1,000, a mentor will charge you, depending on how good he is and what your needs are, thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars, every month. He will work with you for months on end.

    Most people can’t really afford a true mentor and as a result “settle” for a coach, which is fine. But there is something you need to understand if you’re going to do this. And that’s what I’m going to be covering in the next section of this article.

    Either way, whether you use a coach or a mentor, you ultimately have to do the work. That’s the same regardless of who you use. However, with a coach, you are even more on your own. If you get stuck with something down the road that maybe didn’t come up in the normal coaching session because it’s a corner case or something off the wall, the coach is long gone. You need to somehow muddle through it. This of course applies to the general knowledge imparted.

    With a mentor, you don’t have to worry about not “getting” something. If something isn’t clear as you’re doing it, you can submit your work to the mentor and he will go over it and make any corrections needed. And he will keep doing this UNTIL you get it.

    It’s kind of like having your mother around to help you with your homework. She’s always going to be there. No matter how many times you need her to help you, she’ll be there. Your teacher, on the other hand, gives you the instruction you need in class and that’s it. Sure, he may give you a few minutes after class to go over a few things, but he’s not your mother.

    A coach is NOT a mentor.

    Okay, so having said all that, which is right for you? How do you know which one you need or DON’T need? Ah, that’s one of the most difficult questions for most people to answer.


    Because self evaluation is one of the hardest things in the world to do. Most people want to think that they can learn a particular skill and then just go off and do it. For starters, most people will learn the skill and do nothing with it. Sad but true. It will sit on their hard drive and collect dust. Or it will sit in their head and they’ll never use it. The ones who DO use it, never get anywhere with it because once the coach is gone, they don’t have the smarts to make it work.

    But most people can’t admit this. They want to believe they’ll absorb the information, understand it, use it and master it without any additional help from their coach. And when this doesn’t happen, they blame the coach, even though he’s done his job.

    For these people, who can’t motivate themselves, they need that somebody who will say, “I want you to do THIS and I want it done by Friday. No ifs, ands, or buts. And if it’s not done, WE’RE done.” And he cuts off ties with the student forfeiting any monies paid up to this point.

    And yes, all this is made clear right up front BEFORE they even begin. And sadly, some people, knowing that they can’t follow through, will agree to this and when the time comes to put up or shut up, thinking that the mentor was “kidding” discover something entirely different.

    So this is what it comes down to. First, you have to be able to HONESTLY evaluate yourself as a person. Can you work on your own once given the instruction you need? If so, then a coach is probably all you’ll need. If however, you know you’re a lazy bum who can’t even drag himself out of bed in the morning, you might want to consider getting yourself a mentor who WILL kick your butt if need be.

    Mentors generally cost more than coaches.

    The good ones are worth every penny.

    To YOUR Success,

    Steven Wagenheim

    Want some more great home business and marketing tips? Get my 4 Steps To Business Success and you’ll be on your way to a successful business in no time flat.

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