The title of “Coach” seems to be a buzz worthy descriptor in the modern era. But what exactly does a coach do and do you need one? Is a “Mentor” just someone that you look up to with more experience that can help you? Perhaps you just want a “Consultant” to give you the best advice possible on your business or personal life. Differentiating between the three terms can be helpful towards your personal and professional personal growth. They all do overlap some in defination, but understanding the key points can help you decide which is best for you.

Defining a “Coach” for Personal Growth

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The term that gets thrown around most in the personal growth space is “coach.” But how exactly does this term relate to your personal or professional life?

A coach is definitely someone that is playing on “your side” in life. They are close to you and know what you are working through. Coaches have a level of expertise and tend to know more than you on the topics you are seeking to understand. A coach is someone that is going to play the game of life with you, not above you or below you.

Coaches “sponsor” you – they help bring you along in life. They work with you on the specific areas of personal growth you feel you most need. A good coach isn’t going to alway tell you how to achieve what you want. Rather, they guide you along your authentic path towards your goals. Often, they have walked similar paths and can provide necessary perspectives.

Ten plus years ago, people that needed coaches were typically behind in their business or personal aspects of life. This has changed in the recent past. People that seek out the expertise of coaches today are some of the most successful and ambitious people. They aim to achieve the highest level of impact, purpose, and meaning in life.

Many of the most successful people today ALL have “life coaches.” This encompasses Executives, Entrepreneurs, Writers, Influencers, and many more walks of life.

How Mentors Impact your Life

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“A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.”

Bob Proctor

A mentor is an individual that you will aim to share 100% of your life with. This includes the good, bad, and ugly. They are going to support you regardless. Mentors may not necessarily know more than you around what you are bringing to them.

Often times, mentors are people that are older than you and have more “life experience.” They differ from a coach in this regard because a good coach doesn’t have to have a particular age. However a good coach needs to have a deep understanding of the topic you wish to grow within.

Mentors need not give advice simply on professional careers. Like coaches, they can provide insight and guidance on personal lives too.

You go to mentors with all sorts of aspects of your life. Perhaps before committing too much in a relationship. Or possibly before investing into a certain business. They don’t tell you what to do – but through their experience they help you figure it out.

We need mentors in our lives that we can bring ideas, problems, and needed points of perspective from all aspects of life. They may not always have the perfect answers, but their level of experience often outweighs yours due to the time they’ve experienced life over you.

Does this mean that ALL mentors need to be older than you? Not necessarily – but this tends to be the norm to the definition.

How Consultants fit into Personal Growth

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Coaches and mentors tend to be more personal when it comes to their services and advice. This is one of the delineating factors between those two titles and that of a consultant.

Consultants tend to be “less personal.” You generally aren’t going to hire a consultant to give you personal advice regarding your love life. The relationship with a consultant is more business to business and more “transactional” in nature.

Consultants often have a level of expertise that pertains to certain aspects of business. They are hired to provide you a level of view that perhaps you aren’t seeing. Often they possess a knowledge advantage that can assist you.

Maybe you want more understanding of how to maximize labor in your business? Perhaps better marketing? These are avenues most left for professional business consultants.

You would likely want a consultant when it comes to higher levels of your business over your personal life.

Summary

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The modern world and the smart people within it are always looking for the edge when it comes to achieving their purpose.

As we seek to live more as our authentic selves we should aspire to seek the knowledge others can provide us. It comes down to understanding what you most need and specifically what aspect of life or business you are aiming to improve within.

I define myself as a “Possibility Mindset Coach.” There are many, many different types of coaches out there. The term “life coach” has the most uniform understanding for coaches that aim to help people in different aspects of their lives.

But remember that our lives have many different bridges we are building towards our success. Be sure to identify what specific area you most want growth and coaching in. Ensure that your goals align with those of your coach, mentor, or consultant.

What areas of life do you find yourself needing the most advice, support, or perspective within?

I’d love to hear from you…