Mentors, Consultants, and Coaches: What’s the Difference?

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all having a fantastic day. It’s great to have you back for another exciting blog post. Today we’re going to discuss some differences among mentoring, consulting, and coaching. All three are important and have their purpose, but they also differ from each other in many ways. We encounter questions about the differences on a regular basis, so let’s take a look at some of the main ones below:


Mentoring is different than consulting and coaching in that mentors are people who have “been there, done that”. It’s someone who has been where you are and knows first-hand what you’re going through. A general life example might be if you’re the parent of a 5-year-old and you’re being mentored by someone whose children have already left the house. This person has been in your shoes before.

Let’s say you have a million-dollar business with 10 employees but want to have a multimillion-dollar business with 100 employees. If you’re mentored by someone who has a 250 million-dollar business with hundreds of employees, that’s a great example of business mentoring. This person is willing to tell you what it was like to get to where they’re at.

Another distinction to consider is that a mentor isn’t really acting as an accountability partner. They aren’t holding you accountable for specific action items and they aren’t necessarily talking you through processes like a consultant would. They’re most definitely not creating processes or doing other types of consultant work for you. They’re basically giving you their feedback, potentially providing some ideas and resources, and sharing real-world experiences with you.

A third difference is that mentors aren’t typically paid. You might take them out for dinner, get a cup of coffee, or grab a beer while you talk things over together, but it’s not a paid position.


I don’t want to get too much into coaching and consulting because we’ve talked about it previously, but coaching is about empowering you and working on yourself. There might be a holistic approach to it. Coaching involves providing the right tools, working on your mindset, creating accountability, and sometimes motivating or inspiring you. Yet you still do most of the work, and the coach holds you accountable by asking plenty of questions.


A consultant might be an expert in their field who does a lot of work for you. They create the processes, roll up their sleeves, and do the system creation with (or for) you. They might also be someone you hire instead of taking on a new employee. That’s an example of a seasonal situation where someone comes in for six months to two years, does their thing, and then leaves.


You now know the main differences between a mentor, coach, and consultant. You might have different seasons of your life where you need all three or a period where you need one more than the other. At EntreResults, we can act as all three. We can lead with coaching to empower you and work on your mindset, but also engage in some consulting. There may also be times of mentoring depending upon the situation and your needs.

Now that you’ve got these basic differences down, it’s time to get out there and reach out to mentors, coaches, and consultants. Above all, make it a better than amazing day!