Mentors are not coaches and coaches are not mentors.
They often cover similar topics and yet there are significant differences.
You are best served by utilizing both.
Mentors have already accomplished what you want to accomplish. They have first-hand experience.
Coaches may or may not have first-hand experience and do not need it in order to coach you.
Mentor-mentee relationships are less formal, somewhat ambiguous and organic in their focus.
Coach-coachee relationships are formal, structured, and have a concrete end goal to strive towards.
Mentor relationships can last a lifetime and often do with a broad holistic attitude.
Coach relationships are typically used for a short(er) focused time with a specific outcome in mind.
Think of it this way…
Let’s say you’re a boxer or MMA fighter.
Your mentor is the battle-tested retired fighter who gives you insights and words of wisdom when you are lost, going in the wrong direction, and need encouragement from somebody who has “been there and done that.”
Your coach is the person in your corner during the fight. They have trained you day in and day out, designed your training plan and fight strategy, and held you accountable and pushed you in an effort to maximize your performance.
To optimize your life ensure you have these three categories of people in your life…
Brett “Supporter, Coach, Mentor” Denton