From time to time, everyone needs a little advice, especially when they are starting out. Heather Wilkinson has built an entire business on this premise.
Striding Out is a service that provides mentorship and motivation to young entrepreneurs. At 27, Wilkinson knows exactly how difficult being a young business owner can be. "My main motivation is to help empower people to develop their own beliefs and ideas and create an action plan to move ideas forward," she says.
She feels she understands the importance of being able to talk to peers about business issues. People running their own businesses are constantly overwhelmed, Wilkinson says. They find it difficult to stand back and think about the problems they are experiencing.
"You can get bogged down with day-to-day things," she says. She finds that the biggest roadblock to mentoring is how to begin "creating a space where you can take someone away from their business to reflect."
Once Wilkinson manages to get entrepreneurs focused on the overall picture, instead of on the daily hassles, she guides them through strategy planning, including branding, marketing, public relations and management, to help business owners reach their goals.
Aside from making time to tap into advice, another skill Wilkinson says young entrepreneurs need to develop is delegation. "As entrepreneurs, we're expected to do everything," she says. The key is realising what your weaknesses are and giving tasks away to people who are better suited to deal with them.
The real value of mentoring, Wilkinson says, is giving people the time to stand back from the day-to-day running about; analyse their business and discuss future goals with someone who has "an independent voice and a listening ear," without the bias that someone from your own business would have.