Get Mentoring

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Elaine Murray from Aberdeenshire runs a successful interior design, painting and decorating company, The Shadecard. She came across the Get Mentoring scheme through links with Mumpreneur and Moray Business Women. We talked to Elaine about the importance of supporting new and growing businesses, being a ‘mumpreneur’ and how she would like to develop her mentoring skills in the future.

Elaine Murray owns a successful interior design, painting and decorating company with her husband Andy. But she didn’t want becoming her own boss to stop her from passing on the benefit of her knowledge in the way that she was able to when employed as an accountant, and then later as a restaurant manager. Elaine says,

“As an accountant I always felt that part of justifying my fee was to work as hard as possible to help businesses find financial solutions, save money and achieve greater success as a result. And as a restaurant manager a large part of the job was about helping younger employees along the way. I’ve always enjoyed this element of work, so mentoring has been a good outlet for this now that I don’t work in those industries any more.”

Elaine has worked as both an employee and as her own boss whilst raising her two boys and she suggests that too often people focus on the negatives of having children and trying to start up a business at the same time:

“The flexibility of being able to take time off when your children are sick or on holiday without having to ask an employer is a great advantage of owning your own company. You have the ability to make your business work for you, rather than the other way around. One of the reasons I wanted to become a mentor was because I didn’t have that assistance myself. In difficult financial times some people don’t want to take the risk of setting up if they have kids, but if a mentor can help them to make a success of it, then they will get to enjoy those other advantages too.”

And as a new member of Mumpreneur, the UK’s leading support network for mums in business, she believes that the more people share their experiences of balancing career and parenting the better:

“Mumpreneur and Get Mentoring are both about being supportive to people in business. I think it is important for those mums and dads who have been through the process to share those experiences with others. I got involved in Get Mentoring through the Mumpreneur site, and I would hope that sharing knowledge through mentoring and working with new enterprises will end up making me a better mumpreneur in the future.”

Elaine says that the course she attended provided a very helpful introduction to mentoring and demonstrated how those skills she already possessed could be put to good use. Now Elaine wants to further her mentoring by doing more training and she plans to get involved with mentees through Moray Business Women. She says,

“Sometimes I do look at businesses and think, ‘I wonder if they’ve tried doing this,’ or ‘Maybe they’d be better off doing that.’ There are times when I get ideas that aren’t quite right for my own company but could be used by others to good effect. That’s the kind of thing I hope to be able to do as a mentor; those moments when you see the light bulb go on in people.”

And who would be Elaine’s ideal mentee? “I’d love to work with a small business in the hospitality industry. It would be nice to help a little company get results in this area.”

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