Get Mentoring

Posted on by natalieparker

After a random first encounter with the art of pole dancing in 2005, Aimee Lawson from Newcastle fell into practising and, soon after, instructing pole dance fitness classes. From renting a gym space on weekends so that she could teach small classes and hen parties around her job as a paramedic, she has now grown Northern Pole Dance into the region’s leading centre with her own premises running up to seven classes every day of the week. Of the challenges she faced when growing her business, Aimee says,

“It’s really been a long, hard slog to make it work. I think being terrified of failure is what spurred me on. When I took on my first instructor it was basically because I was preparing to go on maternity leave. It wasn’t an ideal scenario, building a company whilst pregnant, but it’s turned out well – we’ve now got eight instructors who work as subcontractors across disciplines from Pole Dance Fitness to Aerial Yoga to TriFly. Throughout the week we run events, workshops and masterclasses.”

As a paramedic Aimee was familiar with the concept of mentoring, as trainees are often required to shadow more experienced colleagues. But as a business owner, the 31-year-old felt much more isolated. She says she would have jumped at the opportunity to become a mentee had the Get Mentoring scheme been running in the early days of Northern Pole Dancing:

“Unfortunately I was forced to learn everything from the mistakes I made. If a mentor had given me the support and guidance I was missing, I’d have saved myself a lot of time and money, not to mention headaches. That’s probably the main reason I decided to take part in the scheme. I don’t think that others should have to make those same mistakes. Through my own line of work I’ve discovered that there’s a great deal of satisfaction in helping others to achieve things, and that’s something I’d like to experience through the initiative, too.”

Aimee believes that it isn’t just getting help with the technical details and day-to-day running that entrepreneurs need. As an international judge travelling around the UK, Europe and even South America to competitions, the Mumpreneur says that the guilt that comes with devoting time to a business is something mentors can help mentees to handle:

“Sometimes you need someone to tell you that you’ve earned a day off. It’s important that when I am home I can switch off – it sounds simple but it often takes somebody to put it into words for you. It’s extremely hard as a parent. You want your business to succeed but family comes first. It goes without saying that you need a mentor to bounce ideas off, but there’s something to be said for the moral support that new business owners need.”

Posted on by natalieparker | Posted in Case Studies, Get Mentoring Monthly