About Avril

Monday, 2 February 2015

How to find the right people to help you transform your ideas into reality...

If you want to transform any idea into a reality (or start a business), I really believe that you need other people to help navigate your journey which can be long and gruelling.  Mentors can’t magically make it happen for you (you have to do that yourself), but they can help you pivot or tweak whatever product/service it is that you are trying to sell.  Sometimes just their encouragement can help you out during testing times and give you the self-belief to ‘hang in there’ and keep going. 

I was introduced to something called ‘The Science of Achievement’ about twenty years ago by Anthony Robins http://www.tonyrobbins.com/experiences/personal-development-process a world famous personal coach who's ideas and strategies for transformation are just as relevant for me now as they were then. 
The Science of Achievement is the theory that you can pretty much achieve anything you want to in life, you just have to find someone who is doing it well and ask them for their recipe and model their behaviour.  I really believe in this science and have always pushed myself to be a little brave sometimes and just ‘ask’ the right people for help. 
In my four year journey creating www.feelbrave.com I have treasured the precious mentors and networks that have helped me find my way thus far and continue to help me (as I am certainly not ‘there’ yet and still have a long long way to go). 

Last week I was extremely fortunate to have a mentoring session with Annabel Karmel http://www.annabelkarmel.com/annabel/biography the UK’s number one parenting author.  Annabel has written 37 books and has sold over 4 million copies.  She is passionate about improving the way children eat and also enjoys helping upcoming entrepreneurs.  Her latest book titled Mumpreneur - The complete guide to starting and running a successful business, is due to be released in February 2015.  Annabel’s experience, wisdom and advice was invaluable to me.

Mentors come in all different shapes sizes and even digital formats these days (e.g. ‘Horsemouth’ http://www.horsesmouth.co.uk/  a crowd sourcing mentoring and coaching site), but how do you find the right mentors and people to help you on your journey?  Here are some ideas I thought I’d share that have worked well for me:

1.    Why are you doing this?

People don’t buy into ‘what’ you are doing, they buy into ‘why’ you are doing it.  The why is the passion, the integrity, the emotion and intention behind it and is the ‘yes’ trigger for people to want to help you.  For some great information about the ‘Why’ check out Simon Sinek’s awesome TED talk http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action?language=en 
Spend time on making sure you know your ‘why’ and consider that (as the inspirational Zhena Muzkya who made a multimillion dollar business out of tea said recently in an interview)... With a mission to serve others, you cannot fail’. http://parade.com/337641/nancyberk/tea-entrepreneur-and-author-zhena-muzyka-shares-her-thoughts-on-lifes-challenges-success-and-hollywood-opportunities/

2.    Research

It has never been easier to find people who may potentially help you through the Internet and to find out as much about them as you can before you meet them.  An excel spreadsheet is helpful as a living breathing document to keep track of everyone you contact, dates you’ve contacted them, next actions e.t.c and makes you look professional by helping to avoid any embarrassing slip ups of accidentally contacting someone twice or not following up on an agreed action as the list continues to grow. 

If you are lucky enough for a potential mentor or contact to meet with you, researching everything you can about them before you meet not only will make them respect you for doing your homework and prove the right intentions behind your meeting with them but it will also save time on trying to understand their back story that you could have found out before the meeting. 

3.    Talk about your idea

Without compromising any of your potential copyright (being careful to make sure your idea is not easily duplicated by someone else), if you can talk about what you are trying to do with as many friends and new contacts as much as you can, you and your idea can be top of mind for people who then may easily make a link with someone they know or have met which may help you. 

4.    Respect others time and trade creatively

Our world has never been more fast-paced and distracting.  Time is such a precious commodity with people over capacity in what they are trying to fit into their day.  For this reason, if you do manage to get a meeting with someone, I think it’s helpful to remember to respect the time they are giving you.  A nice way to do this is to just allocate 30 minutes for a quick coffee which says ‘I respect that you are busy’ and is always greatly appreciated.  Usually people will happily run over that time but it sets a nice tone. 

Another nice gesture is to creatively trade.  If someone is giving up their time and sharing their wisdom and advice with you, it’s nice to return the favour somehow but if you manage to meet with someone who is really successful, you might feel that there is no way for you to give the same back to them.   Don’t underestimate the value you might be able to give them some day in the future.  Most people actually really love to help and share their success and wisdom.  Sometimes if there is no way to pay them back immediately, you can always ‘pay it forward’ by helping someone else or just taking a nice bottle of wine to say thanks for your time. 

5.    Network

Networking has never been easier with social networks such as Linkedin where you can join online groups in your industry and find new connections.  It’s never too late to start by building your profile and starting to connect with people.  Also joining organisations or societies in the area that interests you and getting out and meeting people is a great way to find help. Try and find organisations that offer mentoring.  Being a New Zealander, I am a member of the New Zealand Business Woman’s Network https://www.nzwomen.co.uk/ who offer mentoring programmes.  Some other examples of great organisations that offer mentoring are ‘Driven Woman’ www.drivenwoman.co.uk or ‘Start up Loans’ http://www.startuploans.co.uk/mentoring/

I hope this has given you some value and ideas (for starters) in finding the right people to help you transform your own ideas into reality or as Derek Silvers says in this wonderful and entertaining TED talk, ‘Turning you from a lone nut into a leader’ http://www.ted.com/talks/derek_sivers_how_to_start_a_movement




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