Get Mentoring

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Although he is a relatively new business owner himself, having only set up his own business Luckywebs in 2012, Rafi Akbar nevertheless has plenty of experience to share, having worked across many different industries over the course of his career. He says,

“I’ve worked in call centres, done door-to-door selling, email branding, affiliate marketing, web analytics and social media enterprises. And in many of these businesses I’ve found myself benefitting from mentoring. One person who stands out in particular is a more senior member of staff I worked with at a marketing agency. We’d sit down and have a chat about work, and he’d always encourage me to think about where I wanted to go and what I wanted to achieve next. Just having somebody ask you that can help you focus the mind; in my case I knew I wanted to run my own business whether it was a global online company or a McDonald’s franchise.”

Rafi signed up for the online training in November and found that the combination of videos and interactive materials on the Get Mentoring website made it easy for him to work his way through the units in just one day.

Rafi isn’t new to the idea of helping other individuals. Having taught O-Level students to help pay his way through university and then later as a martial arts instructor he is used to guiding others. But it wasn’t until he started the online training with the Get Mentoring scheme that he realised what the role really entailed:

“The first thing that became clear was that I shouldn’t be spoon-feeding people. Allowing other people to make their own decisions and retaining a level of independence and autonomy in the mentoring relationship is really important, and I think it’s something that I will look to work on in the future in all aspects of my career.”

Through Luckywebs, Rafi runs WordPress workshops at Google campus in London and helps new businesses to create highly customisable, self-managed WordPress websites fit for purpose, giving them the ability to maintain and develop their content without the expense of employing developers and digital experts. Although his free time is limited while he is still growing his own business, Rafi believes that he has an obligation to mentor and impart the wisdom he has accumulated over the course of his career. He says,

“Anybody who has knowledge to share should give it. Even if it’s 1% of their time, it is worth them taking the opportunity to inspire others. Maybe it’s because of Dragon’s Den or The Apprentice, but people are becoming more aware of the need for a support network and a guiding figure. Perhaps part of its popularity is because we can all identify with that.”

And Rafi certainly hasn’t wasted any time getting into his own mentoring stride. He’s already begun working with the Brent Active Citizens initiative, providing opportunities for “the most disadvantaged and hard to reach people in Brent”, and he’s just signed on to mentor students at the London College of Fashion. The only question now is whether he can find mentees who can match his enthusiasm for entrepreneurship.

Rafi is currently running free WordPress workshops at Google campus in London.

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