Do I need, a coach or a mentor?

Today I want to dive a little deeper on a subject, really more of a culture-shift or trend…If you listened to the last couple week’s episodes (hopefully you did, but if not, go back and listen to #42 & #43) I highlighted the critical need for mentorship in the collision & auto repair industry…. And also provided some great insight & advice from one of my mentors, Tony Robbins.

This week, I want to explore what it means to have a “coach” or better yet, to BE a “coach” for others.

One thing I’ve noticed this past 15 months, and you may have too, and that there seems to be a lot more ads and discussions on social media & in email campaigns for all types of coaches, but not so much for mentors, right?

The mere fact that we all went through such a dramatic shift in our world, and our way of life in 2020, really brought to the surface the need for those that have either lost so much, were depressed and need the benefits mentoring or coaching offers, or others that have decided to move up a level or two in their life, their business or committed to complete change in careers, and know they need the assistance of someone that can shorten the curve on getting there.


What’s the difference between the two??

But aren’t they the same thing?” you may be asking yourself, although they are very similar, there ARE some distinct differences in what they are & what they can do for you.

You can be a mentor & not even know it, where coaching is always intentional!

Mentoring is more long-term and broad-scoped, while coaching is usually a little shorter-term and task-specific, but both can be very effective and some people benefit from a combination of the two, depending on their individual goals.

When deciding whether to use a coach or a mentor, consider the goal you wish to achieve. The coach and the mentor will help professionals in different ways to accomplish their goals. In fact, some professionals use multiple coaches or multiple mentors throughout their careers, depending on their desired goals. In both coaching and mentoring, trust, respect and confidentiality are at the forefront of the relationship.


So, does everyone need a coach?

  • Are coaches only for the ones who have problems?
  • Who have performance issues?
  • Who are not successful?
  • Is it even going to be worth my money and time?
  • Do I need to lay down on a sofa and tell my life story to a coach also?


These are good questions; coaching is still not understood by everyone, and that is entirely normal.

No, it is not a must to have a coach, and yes you can get yourself to a higher potential without a coach…  but with a coach, you will get there quicker, better and most importantly with more confidence and no you do not need to lay down and tell your whole life story. That’s more the function of therapy or counseling.

Therapists or counselors deal with the past…. Coaches or mentors deal with the future!


The best athletes would NOT be the best athletes if they did not have a coach/trainer, you train better with a personal trainer, someone holds you accountable and gets you faster out of your comfort zone than when you do it alone.

You want to hear something crazy? …. Even the best coaches have a coach!?‍♀️

In coaching, there is an unlimited number of areas people focus on. You can find a coach for everything. Make sure to find a coach that aligns precisely what you need and looking for. Schedule a discovery call, usually, this is 15 to 30 minutes, free of charge and gives you an idea who the coach is and if he or she feels right for you.

Actually, when you think about it, your parent(s) were your first “coaches”, but they didn’t raise you from a “coaches” mentality… they taught and guided you from a more protective and limiting mentality…. Play it safe…. Don’t take risks…. Don’t get hurt… right?… but the ones that coached sports in school, they had a little different approach, didn’t they?


SO…. What are the benefits??‍♂️

Well, while there are many benefits to this, here is a few that stand out with great impact:

  1. A coach sees and believes in your potential ?

Lack of confidence or fear of failure is one of the most significant issues I see as a coach. With a lot of questions, your coach will understand, and help you understand, the source of the lack of confidence and fear of failure. Once you identify the cause, a coach can give you resources and strategies to get you where you want to be. You will begin to understand that you create potential, and your coach sees that you can reach it and sees no limitations. Together you can develop a plan of action to reach your goals.

  1. A coach holds you accountable

Some like it and others find it annoying that a coach holds you accountable.

“I do not want a coach because I do not want anyone telling me what to do.”  Does this sound familiar to you?  Many professionals do not want to be told what to do – but we do want someone to support and encourage us to reach our goals. A coach is this ‘accountability partner.’   This accountability could be in the form of assignments or motivation, inspiration, and encouragement.  Each coaching session, the coach can ask you for an update on your progress towards your goals and plan.  Sometimes you will be tempted to make excuses as to why you did not stick to the plan, but your coach will help you move from giving reasons to taking accountability for what was achieved and adjusts the plan to ensure success.

  1. A coach gets you out of your comfort zone

Getting out of our comfort zone is something that takes effort, pain, and a lot of discipline. It is so easy to stay in our habits because it is something we are doing already for a long time. To change habits, it takes time. A good coach will push you more than you will push yourself. Therefore, getting out of your cozy, familiar comfort-zone is with the help and support from a coach, much easier to achieve.

  1. A coach expands your thinking ?

With the questions your coach will ask you, you will start to think about more and more things and can see things differently. This means that your vision is getting bigger; your way of thinking gets expanded. You will start to see your full potential is greater than you first thought was possible!

  1. A coach helps you build personal awareness

A coach can help you become aware of your blind spots. These blind spots are areas in your work or personality that you do not see, but that does need improvement. Once you are aware of these areas, they can work with the coach to begin improving them.


When should I use a Coach?

When you have the need or desire to:

  1. Develop new talent that requires a specific new skill
  2. Help individuals who are not meeting expectations or goals
  3. Assist leaders in coping with large-scale change through a sale, merger or acquisition, like managing new “blended” work teams and adapting to the merging of company cultures (like MSO taking over a shop)
  4. Prepare a professional for some type of advancement in the organization
  5. Work one-on-one with leaders who prefer working with a coach rather than attending “public” training programs

When should I use a Mentor?

When you have the need or desire to:

  1. Motivate talented professionals to focus on certain aspects of their career/life development
  2. Inspire individuals to see what is possible in their career/life
  3. Enhance the professional’s leadership or personal development
  4. Transfer knowledge from senior technicians or management to younger or less experienced professionals
  5. Help find some direction in life or uncover your “superpowers”, those unique skills or talents that we all possess, but not sure how to get the most out of

Throughout my career, I have been both mentor & coach, in fact, I didn’t even realize

until a few years ago, how often I had done so… I mean even in my 20’s, my early years as a paint tech, I had hired several helpers and mentored them, taught them what I knew, helped them develop the necessary skills to be a quality helper, and eventually ready to go on their own as a painter, or out the door because one of us discovered this is NOT the profession for them!… hey, it happens!


Over the years this process repeated with thousands of painters & thousands of helpers… but, not all painters mentored their young recruits, some taught them just the skills needed to get jobs prepped & keep the painter in the booth, but not the spraying skills they needed to grow into a painter… you see I grew-up in this industry back in the 70’ & 80’s when acrylic enamels were the prominent topcoat, Delstar & Centari ruled back then & many dealerships in the Metro Detroit area had collision work lined out the door on a regular basis.

Those dealership painters did not mentor, they coached the helpers to the level of proficiency of great prep work, just the skills needed to keep those painters pulling a trigger (and raking in the dough) all day.

Unfortunately, some of those helpers made a good enough living, that they never advanced, never had developed the skills needed to become their own boss… never enjoyed the experience of being “the one in the booth pulling the trigger”.


Once I left the shop and stepped into the jobber sales side, I quickly started gaining more knowledge, and interacting with other sales professionals, as well as customers, is when my opportunities to mentor & coach really started to grow.

Over the next 30 years, I coached many shop owners & technicians, in several areas… some of them I still coach today.

As I became a sales leader, in a couple companies, and an automotive instructor in a local community college, my opportunities to mentor grew as well. I found myself not only mentoring the young folks just coming into the industry, but some of the more seasoned sales professionals as well.

So why be a mentor or a coach?

For me, this is really super-simple…. The feeling I would get every time someone I’ve mentored or coached would follow my direction, advice or guidance and have success, accomplish a goal, or realize a dream… was beyond any other accomplishment I had achieved. That feeling of pride… of helping another human being reach some level of their potential is a high, that is more addictive than anything else I can imagine!

Feels good for them… feels GREAT for me!?


One of the best things I’ve been blessed to experience, is hearing one of the painters that I spent time with, whether as their “paint sales guy”, instructor or former boss, tell me that I made a difference in their life, or that I inspired, motivated, taught them “everything they know” (you know what paint fumes do to the brain, right?.. lol)

Or a shop manager or owner, thanking me for helping them get through to their next level, or solving a problem they could not alone….

When they refer to me as their mentor or coach…. That’s what makes it worth it! ?‍♂️

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