coaching vs mentoring

Since leaving the corporate world of working with Disney, New Look, and Walmart, I have focused my last 8 years on SMEs and through this process I’ve built 3 technology companies and helped educate 1000s of business owners, either through my workshops/courses or on a 1-1 basis.

I get asked by a lot of my clients about the difference between mentoring, and coaching and which type of “help” they need. When choosing a coach or mentor to help you, you must understand where you are now and where you want to be and then decided on what area of business you want to focus on.

As I have spent the last 8 years both mentoring and coaching 100s of business owners, I wanted to share with you how I feel they are different.



When it comes to coaching, I will always have a 30 minute discovery call with a potential coaching client to see if they do actually need a coach. If we agree to work together, one of the first things I will do is set a task so that they are laser-focused on achieving a specific goal.


I have some clients who would hire me for just two hours of coaching, and I have other clients who would want to work with me for 4-6 months but I rarely carry on after this period of time, unless there are specific goals that need to be met.


My role as a coach is to improve the performance of my client, and their business based on where my expertise lies. This can sometimes involve the teaching of new skills but it will always be performance, task driven work.



Mentoring is relationship based, regardless of whether it is business mentoring, or personal mentoring. As a mentor, I focus on work/life balance, increasing self confidence within my client and the more personal side of being a professional with a small business.


When I first started my Social Media journey, I had a mentor whom I worked with for 18 months. I had another mentor who I worked with over a 12 month period. Both of these relationships required time to build trust and being a mentor, or being mentored requires a lot of time (and patience).


Mentoring is all about developing as a person, and this is one of the big differentiators between mentoring, and coaching. Mentoring is all about learning, and improving the way you approach your life which is why it is a long-term process.

As you can see above, there are some big differences between coaching and mentoring. Coaching is task orientated, whilst Mentoring is based on relationships. Coaching is short term and performance driven, whereas Mentoring is long term and development driven.

There are of course different reasons for having a Coach or a Mentor. I am going to share with you when I feel you need to consider bringing in a Coach for your business, and when you should consider hiring a Mentor.


  • When you have a specific goal in mind, and need help expertise where outside help is needed
  • When you are bringing in new members of staff, and you need to increase productivity
  • When you need to teach a new skill and improve expectations
  • When you want to expand your business but don’t know how


  • To improve morale in your company, or to work specifically on a 1 to 1 basis with employees to remove barriers that may hinder their success.
  • When you want to work on personal development as an entrepreneur
  • When you want to create a more balanced professional/personal workforce

As a Business Growth & Digital Marketing Coach, I will have around 6-7 calls a week with small businesses but I won’t work with all of them if I know I cannot meet their needs or expectations, or I am not the right person to deliver what they are looking for.

What do you think the difference is between Coaching and Mentoring?