Female Entrepreneurs: Mentoring and Lifelong learning across Europe

Mentoring Circle Blog - Part 6 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sandra   
Wednesday, 31 August 2011 09:24

Today it was good to hear everyone’s plans and hopes for their businesses. There were one or two people who admitted that it was not quite the right time for them to begin their business but it was clear that coming to this conclusion was very useful for them that they valued the time spent attending. I feel a real warmth for the other women in the circle and really wish for their success.

On occasion I have had to stop myself from being too enthusiastic and directive with someone, really wanting them to do this or that to make their idea work. Marina has encouraged us to really listen to people and to the process that they are going through, to offer them our ideas but not to tell people ‘I think that you should do this.’ This is a good lesson.

Since the last session I actually had a commission to write a song. You may remember that my business idea is for a ‘bespoke song writing service’. This commission really gave me an insight as to how the process will work in the future. I really enjoyed writing the song and lyrics and getting the sense from the client of what they wanted the song to express. It is lovely to hear people’s sentiments and feelings about the person who the song is intended for. My biggest lesson was realising that I could not achieve the song recording process on my own so I had to ask a musician friend to help me out. My friend was impressed with the business idea and offered to help out in the future. Since that time we have decided that he will become a partner in the business which is ideal for me as it will make for a much speedier and efficient process.

Another thing I did was to get an appointment with an agency that helps people with the practical side of setting up in business in Sheffield. They thought my business idea was viable and said I should go ahead with the idea. They gave me information about tax and registering as self-employed and said I could ask for their help at any time.

My next step is to create a website for the business and I will need to get advice from a lawyer about copyright- obviously we need to protect our music and do not want people selling on our music as their own! And then there is the pricing issue; Marina has warned us that it can be hard, as women, to sell our price our products. I enjoy the song writing process so much that I might be inclined to not charge so much for it but when I look at other websites with the same business as mine I can see that people do charge a fair amount. Again it is a matter of self-esteem!

So there is plenty to be working on and put into action now that the mentoring circle is complete! I can see that I am going to keep on learning so much about myself. I want to be a supportive and positive force in my business!

In all honesty I did not expect to get this far just by attending three sessions of a mentoring circle. The main thing this process has done for me is to give me permission to think about my business idea, which was at the beginning a rather unformed dream, and to begin to shape the idea and to take myself seriously. I am so very grateful to the FE:MALE project and to Marina for helping me start on this exciting journey. Thank You!