Mentor: “a wise counsellor; a tutor; a trainer; a more senior or experienced colleague appointed to help and advise”.

Coach: “Tutoring or instruction”.

This is a question that I am often asked.

Sitting here with the 10th edition of the Chambers Dictionary I think I’ve found a very clear explanation of the difference between a person who is “appointed to help and advise” and one who gives “instruction”. I am a business coach, but I am a business mentor first and foremost.

I found myself a mentor after years of experience developing my own businesses and learning all the senior roles within SME’s. My philosophy was that when I sat at the board table with various departments listening to reports, I wanted to understand the details, I mean REALLY understand what they were talking about and what the follow up actions should be. I didn’t want to have the wool pulled over my eyes and to have the confidence to challenge any report

Because of this, I studied then held roles covering business strategy, marketing and sales, finance, operations, health and safety and people management. This resulted in people within my network utilising my broad knowledge whilst looking to me for straight forward explanations and advice in their businesses.

This breadth of understanding; of people and their roles, their desires, successes and failures, is at the core of The Entrepreneur Mentor method of business counselling. I could have been a consultant, or I could purely coach my clients, but I wanted to share my experience to spark or fuel the thoughts of other business owners.

I am an entrepreneur. I am a Mentor. The Entrepreneurs Mentor.

For the entrepreneurs I work with there is no ‘out of the box’ solution, no formula that every person can follow. It should go without saying that every person is different, they respond to different stimuli, react differently to similar situations, and define success in a myriad of ways.

How does the combination of coaching and mentoring benefit you?

We could say that coaching is knowledge, and mentoring is experience. Those two things combined can be a very valuable influence on your decisions and your motivation.

Take one client, let’s call him John. Initially I coached John to get an understanding of his current sales process, then coached further to get an idea about how he wanted to approach his new process, so he had confidence in executing it. The mentoring came when I could share my own thoughts, experience, and some case studies of past clients and how they tackled sales processes, so we could fuel John’s thoughts and make sure it was right for his business and his personality.

It was John’s process through and through.

“Mike has a wealth of experience and knowledge which shows in every meeting and phone call. He has helped me map out the life I want and how my business will get me there.” – John

10 steps to significant business growth

Whilst there is no set formula to follow, we can’t re-write the ‘book on building a business’. There are certain steps to take that will provide significant business growth. The 10 steps to significant business growth that I have identified however, can vary in size depending on your comfort zone and willingness to move out of it. Step 4 may be more of a landing platform for you, or you may deftly skip up most of them. For example, John came to me with help on step 7: How to win more customers.

You define the success, you set the goals, and together we make tweaks to your steps, so the top of the staircase doesn’t feel so high.

I have several free business support resources to help you along your entrepreneurial journey. They include the knowledge base full of answers and tips, e-books that go into greater detail of every step to business growth, and my 5-minute questionnaire to discover how to take your business to the next level. Please take a look around.

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