7 August 2018

Lawrence Jones MBE with Sean Brown of Mercarto.

With Sean Brown of Mercarto.

You’ve got your business idea, you’ve set your goal, so how do you make it a reality? There are so many different ways to build a business it can be nerve-racking to know the best route to take. To put it simply, no path to success is the same!

I am learning every single day what it takes to get to that next level. One of the greatest lessons that I have learned is to learn from others. At every single level of your career, you can learn something from someone else. Eventually it becomes a reverse mentoring process. I remember, years ago, receiving a call from a huge entrepreneur, the head of a massive brand. He called me to ask what was new in the tech space as he was about to speak to the world’s press in 20 minutes!

As an agile startup, UKFast was much more in tune with the latest developments than the giant business he headed up. Whilst I was learning a lot from him about growth, he was learning from us about how to stay agile and up to date with the industry.

Reece Douglas, listen to his story on my podcast.

When I set out, I didn’t have a mentor. Networking groups and mentoring programmes were not as openly available as they are today. I sought out the most successful people – Richard Branson, Chet Holmes and fast-growing British business people. From these, I learned so many lessons from people who had been in my shoes; I have no doubt that this helped me navigate the pitfalls of growing a business.

Collaborating and learning from others

Knowing the value of collaborating, and how difficult it can be to take the step of reaching out to learn from others in those early days, we launched the mentoring scheme at Tech Manchester. The programme reached the 100 mentor milestone this month and is having a huge impact.

Hearing the many stories of growing entrepreneurs, I knew we needed to share them! Hearing the similarities between widely different business models and people, it’s clear that there is a formula for success.

Over the past two weeks I have published the first two in a series of podcasts. The first with a young man called Reece Douglas; the former actor is now building a flourishing social influencer business. The second with Sean Brown. Sean has launched new eCommerce platform, Mercarto, to make setting up shop on the internet as easy as a few clicks!

Both have the entrepreneurial spark, a certain energy that’s infectious and inspiring. Listen to their podcasts on iTunes and hear for yourself. We’ve got a couple more in the series coming up soon too. I’d love to hear your feedback, and share your tips and advice, or questions, in the comments and on social media.

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