Get Mentoring

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Elspeth Thorburn from East Dunbartonshire delivers health and wellbeing programmes to clients, including yoga and empowerment programmes within educational facilities in Scotland. She is also a distributor of Forever Living products as part as her work in the health and nutrition industry. Originally encouraged to mentor by friends and acquaintances who found her informal business support to be invaluable, Elspeth has not only taken to volunteer business mentoring through the government backed Get Mentoring training, she’s also now taken up mentoring on a professional basis. She says,

“I’ve been mentoring people on a voluntary basis for some time now – people wanting to start up a business, branch out or take a new career path. I’ve worked with business owners in network marketing, holistic therapies, childcare and specialist retail shops to name a few. And the experience has been such a positive one that I’m now taking to mentoring on a professional basis too.

“One thing my mentees have all come to realise through mentoring is that they have the skills, knowledge and abilities needed to run their enterprises. The key thing for a mentor is to unlock that potential, by supporting them and leaving them with a sense of empowerment.”

One of Elspeth’s current mentees was found through the IOEE’s online platform. Because of the distance between her and the small business owner, Elspeth arranged to carry out their initial meetings over the telephone – something that has proved to be very successful. She says,

“We’ve covered the basics so far, looking at what type of clientele they want to attract, the basic methodologies involved and also clarifying what the mentor’s role actually was. For entrepreneurs who haven’t been mentored before, I find this is a good starting point because people aren’t always sure what the relationship is all about. The IOEE website has proved to be a great place for me to communicate with individuals looking for that little bit of support with their enterprises.”

Another of Elspeth’s mentees came to her lacking belief, a feeling that was exacerbated by her fight with mental health problems. They described Elspeth’s mentoring as a positive influence and something that actively helped them to succeed:

“Elspeth’s mentoring is helping me to realise my full potential. I’ve set achievable goals and my confidence and self esteem have really been built up. I now believe that the goals I set out to achieve are possible.”

For her part, Elspeth believes that her listening skills and focus on the bigger picture, or keeping a “helicopter” approach as she calls it, have made her more accomplished as a mentor. And her early successes with business owners have inspired her to be proactive and get in touch with other entrepreneurs now. In addition to the IOEE, she is also been using the Mentorsme portal to investigate other mentoring organisations as well as working with Children in Scotland and Young Scotland. On using her mentoring skills to work with the next generation of entrepreneurs, she says,

“Earlier in my career I trained and coached young people in sport, and from that I’ve always felt it is important to empower youngsters from all walks of life. Mentoring can help those children realise their full potential and get them on the road to success as adults.”

Although she is based in Scotland, Elspeth is also keen to attend her nearest Meet a Mentor event run by the Get Mentoring scheme:

“I believe that there could be an event in Newcastle so I plan on attending that if it goes ahead. I think these events will be beneficial – it’s important for both mentors and business owners from the small and medium sized enterprises to ‘get out there’ in as many ways as possible. It’s always good to link up with other mentors and share experiences and best practice with them too.”

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