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You can spot me in the Red Dress too funny

I was truly humbled last night at the Eastern Region Ernst Young Entrepreneur of the Year celebration event to be honored with winning the ‘Industry’ Category. This means that I on behalf of RedBalloon go on to represent that category in the National Awards in November 2011.

Peter Berner was the MC last night and as I took to the stage he quizzed me on the why and how of being who I am. I have clearly said that it is great to be a role model for others – particularly women who want to be great parents and also having a fulfilling career (or even run their own business).

Peter asked me who had been my role models and mentors. The reality is that I gather information everywhere… and you never know where you are going to find the gold. I commented that the other nominees at the event had given me gold in their presentations.

I have and continue to mentor all sorts of people in all sorts of capacities. But I must admit that I am in a bit of a state of overwhelm… I have lost count of the number of requests I have in my inbox for mentoring. So I need to work out a way that I can be more effective and supportive whilst still getting on and doing the work that I need to do.

So a message to potential mentorees:

  • Firstly I do write this blog to contribute to others and share what I have learned and there are now close to 600 different posts on all sorts of things
  • I did write a book about the early growth phase of RedBalloon – that you can have an electronic copy of simply by subscribing to this blog.
  • Thirdly what is your purpose? Are you clear about what it is that you want from a mentor? What is ONE question that you would like to ask? Where are you stopped? (I struggle with long emails – short and to the point make it much easier for me)

I think that it is the role of a mentor to ask a lot of questions…

I will send this blog post to each of the people in my in tray. Then after you have used the resources that I have already created… if you still have one key question? Send it to me via this blog with your mobile number and I will give you a buzz to discuss that question.

I really think that mentoring is not necessarily a long term relationship – more you need the right people, asking the right questions, at the right time.

Reader Interactions


  1. As well as considering having a mentor, I think that each of us should surround ourselves with friends who will gently push us further when we’re at our edge and call us on our bull—t.

    A mentor can help you from A – B, sure

    However I believe that a lot of the time it’s not knowledge of the process that stops us from getting to where we want to be, it’s our personal barriers. A group of friends who care for you enough to hold you accountable to your own purpose is often a much more effective way forward.

    Personally, I’ve read 100 books to develop my business skills and I could read 1,000 more (I probably will!) I could become the most textbook smart businessman in the world but it would be for naught if I didn’t have friends that helped me put my own skills into practice.

    My 2 cents!

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