60 Second Snippet #5

Aaaaargggghhhhhhhh, I am not a Business Coach!!

This is a repeat of a post I made on LinkedIn recently.  I was introduced at an event on more than one occasion as a Business Coach! I told them I am not a Business Coach, I am a Business Mentor.

This is probably the face I pulled!  Now to some, this may seem pedantic but there is a reason.

Let me explain…

There is a subtle difference between the two disciplines and depending on where a business or a business owner is on their journey, what hurdles they face, what their goals are etc, they will either need a business coach or a business mentor.

The two are not interchangeable.

Usually speaking, a Business Coach cannot mentor. Coaching is a questioning technique, usually used to overcome a short term issue and assumes the coachee has the answers but has a blockage to use them. You don’t need experience of running a business to be a coach and so most don’t. A coach cannot be trained to mentor.

A Business Mentor can empathise because they have experienced the mentees’ issues, primarily because they have run their own business and therefore speak from experience. Because of this experience they can also bring answers that the mentee doesn’t have. A Business Mentor can coach if they have been taught how to coach.

Twice recently I have been approached for help. Each had circa £10k to spend and on both occasions, I directed them to somebody else that would be better placed to help them.  One needed a mentor (not a business mentor – that’s a whole further story) and one did need a Business Mentor but one with a specialised skill that I don’t have experience of.

I often see and hear of business owners who are in need and asking for help from a Business Coach when they in fact they need a Business Mentor or vice versa.

I want to educate as many small business owners as possible what the difference is, so they can ask for the correct help when they need it and get the results they desire.  If they choose the wrong option, they often don’t get the results and not only does that impact their future, it further damages the reputation of my sector because they blame the trusted advisor.

If I let the “Gary is a Business Coach” introduction slide, I lose the opportunity to educate two people and I lose the opportunity for more small business owners to get the results they seek.

This is a key reason I am a member and director of the Association of Business Mentors (ABM) where we are wanting to educate business owners and advisors in what is an unregulated market.

If you are not sure what help you need, don’t put a label on it. Ask an expert who will signpost you to the correct help.

I will keep beating my drum and make no apologies for it.  Do you get labelled incorrectly and if so, how?