GUEST BLOG: "Could you mentor a creative entrepreneur?"

If someone handed you a map directly to your specific dream avoiding all the danger zones and indirect routes, would you turn it down? Me neither. In fact, I really could have used a cheat sheet in life when determining what I was after and the best plan of attack.

Later in life, after a major career and country change, I accidentally found a mentor - or rather he found me. I suppose he sensed something in the realm of unfocused potential and very raw talent. This person opened doors for me that I'd never even seen before (I am that girl who walks into glass walls at parties). Being taken under the right person's wing is like being allowed to drive in the carpool lane for the first time, whizzing past all those suckers sat in traffic not moving forward.

Having an experienced expert in my field show me the shortcuts and make introductions for me certainly helped my career, but having someone at the end of the phone, with no familial obligation to encourage me, when I was ready to pack it was a game changer.

This person certainly had more important things to do then invest time and emotion into my success, but he found himself increasingly committed to seeing me flourish and invested in aiding me to reach my potential.

Now he shares in my success and is proud of the professional I've become. These days, we work together on occasion and it's a real treat to be a peer and to be able to give something back.

I my new role as programme director for Doug Richard's School for Creative Startups, it's my turn to pay forward what I've learned. Although this programme incorporates many important teaching techniques, I personally think that the mentorship element will be key to its success.

School for Creative Startups is an innovative one-year programme for creative people, with unique ideas, wishing to start a successful new business. The inspiration of serial entrepreneur and angel investor Doug Richard, the aim of the programme is to teach the critical skills that new creative businesses need to succeed and to provide support throughout the vulnerable first year of business.

We are currently in the process of recruiting a range of highly skilled mentors to carefully match with each programme participant, giving them a wide variety of guidance in the legal, financial and creative sectors. We endeavor to provide each student with a appropriately suited and very committed mentor from each sector.

We ask that each mentor commit to a maximum of one meeting per quarter with his or her student, although it's my hope that the mentors become so invested that they are eventually initiating the contact to check in on their students progress.

I know that there is a large pool of successful creative people out there, who like me, took the long route to success and remember every mistake a long the way, who would make perfect mentors. Equally there is probably also a good group of lawyers, financial advisors and accountants who made a few less errors on their journey but would have a great deal to offer these creative minds. All interested parties need to do is contact me at creative@schoolforstartups.co.uk to learn more about getting involved.

School for Creative Startups' overarching mission is to create a vibrant, dynamic culture and economy in the UK that supports and promotes innovation and entrepreneurialism. Our aim is to increase the number of creative small businesses in the UK and provide them with access to world class business advice to help them succeed.

Click here to find out more about the launch of the School for Creative Startups

Or visit the School for Creative Startups website

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