What have you learned about leadership, entrepreneurship and mentoring others?

Nikita Ladwa

Founder of The Naked Laundry

Believe in them. To whoever is dedicating time and effort to your business, whether that is an employee or an external agency, they are using their energy and brainpower to help your business succeed. Show them the person who runs the brand is just a normal human, and allow them to connect and feel inspired in your presence.

Shazia Mustafa

Founder of Third Door

The women I look up to most are those who support and nurture other women’s successes. I personally live by the famous Madeline Allbright quote “There is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women”. Being surrounded and supported by other amazing businesspeople is essential for leadership success and is a key ingredient when mentoring others.

I have learned a lot from my father, who himself is a great public speaker and an entrepreneur too. He faced many challenges right from his childhood days, as he was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Some of the books, I read so far, are on the lives of Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Jack Ma, who have motivated me to a greater extent. I try my best to motivate my friends, brother, and cousins to do the things that they are best at.

Tatjana Apukhtina

Co-Founder of TeaPro

I am still learning every day. Thanks to the support of my partner Tom, I've recently started to think much more visionary - looking for the big picture (my tendency is always to get bogged down in detail).

Once you have a clear vision of where your business needs to be, it's so much easier to bring on new team members.
With regard to mentorship, I'd say it's kind of similar to what I've said about the imposter syndrome question - you don't have to teach your mentee everything. Just teach what you're passionate about (that's most likely going to be your biggest strength).

Laila Datoo

Founder of a.life.more.mindful

To me, entrepreneurship is not what we all do - it's about coming up with something new / different. I don't see myself as an entrepreneur - I see myself as a business owner! I admire people who create a new product or service as it's harder.

Leading others is also a privilege, a gift and a learnt skill. Leaders have a big responsibility to take their teams on a journey and look after them / support them on it. It's not enough to lead a business - you lead people.

Mentoring is an interesting one. I wouldn't be where I am without the wisdom, advice and support of people ahead of me. and yet so many people contact me wanting free advice / well-being advice. I have paid for many business coaches and mentors as I try to respect people's time and experience - there's a limit to what you can ask for free. The biggest thing I have learnt is that most of the journey is slow, takes time and there are no shortcuts to be picked up from people- you just have to do the work!

Rani Malik

Co-Founder of Venue 5 and Social Dhaba

Our kids need a stable comfortable future it is up to us as the adults to prepare them, through self awareness, business and to help others if they can make a difference

Teresa Faley

Founder of Letterbox Brownies

I've learnt that you never stop learning!

Sarah Asgaraly

Founder of Beyond Sarah

I have learned that you learn new skills, every single day. I feel like I am back at university, learning a new course everyday. You also need to be passionate about what you do, as you will get rewarded.

Fei Yao

Co-Founder of NewCampus

A mentor of mine used to say, entrepreneurship is hard, but it doesn’t have to be lonely. Find your people. They’re out there! But it just takes a little bit of work to find them. If you’re an introvert and not much of a networker – put yourself into situations where you can organically form relationships. It might mean online communities or attending some group workshops.

Praneeja Roy

Founder of Roy Events

In the past few years I have encouraged some friends to take the plunge, entrepreneurship is very much risk oriented than anything else. As a mentor I have learned you have to have clear communicating skills, supportive of others and their ventures, honesty and self-belief. Having started my business at the age of 24, I would love to help more young entrepreneurs to take that step towards starting their own business.

Shabari Saha

Founder of the London Vegan Business Network

When I was at school, college and university, I was not a natural leader. Through my business, I’ve learned that leadership is not about whoever shouts the loudest. It’s about working together as a team and knowing and utilizing your own skillset and the skillset of others.

I’ve also learnt that there are skills that you can learn as an entrepreneur, but you also need to listen to your gut instinct. There will be a lot of time wasters, so it’s about spotting them quickly and sifting those out so that you are not wasting hours of your time on activity that is fruitless or unproductive.

In regard to mentoring others, how you can motivate them is key to their and your own success. There is a quote by Joel Osteen, which encapsulates this very well:
“Being successful doesn’t necessarily make you great. What makes you great is when you reach back and help somebody else become great”.

Tenesia Pascal

Founder of Earth To Earth Organics

To listen and to speak with intention, it’s so easy to rush in with a million great ideas but someone else in the room may build on it or have a more practical idea. To walk the talk, people invest in you when you live your ethos. You aren’t alone, to lean on others, there’s so many people who are willing to sit with you and share their business knowledge. Give back, a big part of starting our business was finding a way to help young people, mentoring is a great way to do that. We work with our community in Harrow to speak with young people about their futures, it’s such a lovely way to keep ourselves connected in our community.

Carly Thompsett

Founder of Anaphase Store

I have found that people think it’s an easy journey and it isn’t – sometimes far from it. I mentor others because when I started my business I didn’t have anyone to help me even with the basics sometimes and it was so frustrating – so I like to let people know I am here if they need assistance but I don’t just give the answers out. I point people in the right direction.

Priya Shah

Founder of BAME in Property

Be fun but firm – balance is key. No one wants to be working with someone who is set in their ways, so being open to ideas is important. My mum always says that ‘no five fingers are the same’, and I never really realised this until I was leading a group of different personalities. I’ve embraced this, as bouncing ideas of colleagues has been a testament to BAME in Property’s success. There is no right way of being a leader, as everyone has their own style, but for me, a relaxed approach works.

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