First, what is the difference between a mentor and an advisor. A mentor is someone who has done something similar to what you want to do and helps you navigate the road. An advisor is an expert in a certain area that gives you advise about particular issues or parts of your business (think financial advisor, legal adviser, etc.) A good picture of the difference is in Science Magazine.
Why are they both important?
Both mentors and advisors are important:
- They have experience you do not have
- They have particular training or information you need to make the best decisions
- They have outside perspective
- They offer accountability
Why a Mentor is Important
A mentor is a lot like a coach. They are someone you trust that helps you grow and develop as a person and a professional. Often times they work in the same industry and can help you navigate moving up in your career through reaching for promotions, education and opening their book of contacts. Mentors can help feed you with confidence because they have been there and done that so you are able to use their knowledge and understand instead of leaning on your own knowledge and understanding alone.
Why an Advisor is Important
The most common people that come to mind with the term advisor are lawyers, accountants, and financial planners. Advisors can be in any industry but these are the obvious things you should outsource to a professional.
No one can be an expert in everything so hiring a professional to help make decisions in areas you don’t have the experience and training can help you make profitable decisions. Another reason for hiring a professional is that when you pay for the advice you are more likely to take that advice.
Both are important on the road to success but how do you determine which to choose? They type of advise you seek or problem you need to solve, the people around you and the resources you have available will all play into whether you use a mentor or advisor for that particular instance. Either way, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Success is not accomplished in isolation.