Karen Gould is the Founder/CEO of a Business Finance Solutions and Service Provider Platform in the UK which is going International for 2016 with over 25000 members.
She has mentored over 2000 businesses from Start up to Growth in the last 10 years’ and of course, has grown her own companies and took her first one from 0 – to a £10m turnover within 5 years. She has through her Mentoring skills supported many sustainable growth SME’s and many have won National and International Awards. Recently they were Runner up Google Innovat8 Digital Award UK 2015 and a Finalist for the Forward Ladies Best Start up Business for Women 2015.
Karen also sits as a Judge on the Midas Touch Panel in London and Fusion and MMU Manchester for Entrepreneurs/Dragons’ Den and is a VC Business Angel and advise other VCs on suitable businesses to invest in.
Why did you become a mentor?
Because I had a very successful business in the early 90’s that I took from £0 to a turnover of £10m but had to sell up because I did not have a Mentor to sound out my ideas and for advice and thus other dot.com companies who were my competitors blew me out of the water.
Were you/have you ever been mentored? What was your experience? Do you still have mentors now?
I have 3 Mentors one in my own field who is the lead in Alternative Finance another one who I respect as he is a true young Entrepreneur and we have a similar mind set and another who looks after my balance of work and life.
I would not enter into business without a Mentor and that is how I can grow my business quicker as I listen and rely on my Mentors for advice to enable me to move forward.
What one piece of advice that you’ve been given has made the biggest impact on your business career?
Always listen to your gut instincts and trust your judgement and act upon it sooner rather than later.
In your experience, what’s the biggest benefit of being mentored?
When you have a problem, or want to make changes in your business, or need to grow, you can rely on someone or some people for advice and support to enable your progress quicker than your competitors.
What’s your most recent success story from one of your mentees?
I have had so many as I have mentored in the last 3 years over 2000 mentees.
It depends on how you measure success of your mentees – if it is growth re financial success, then it would be the Tea Company or Oil Monster.
Or if you measure the journey on which that Mentee takes then I have too many to name but a few: One is Freshrb who now delivers my Social Media, Events and Video.
This young man who overcame a life threatening cancer and survived, supports other young people in schools and just keeps going from one success to another I am so proud to be part of his journey.
Why should more business owners seek a mentor like you?
You can only successfully mentor a business from a start up to growth if you personally have been on that journey and more recently and learnt from your experiences so you can share your skills and expertise and contacts to enable that business to succeed.
What are the biggest opportunities in business that you see emerging in 2016?
Fintech is here to stay and Alternative finance will grow but other markets in this arena are to add value from Insurance to digital videos to cloud based systems.
Also Apps will continue to grow.
What’s the one book you’ve read that has made the biggest impact on your business?
Richard Templar – Rules of Success or Money.
He is also the first Author that mentored me to have 6 books with my one out in 2016 ‘WOMEN WARRIORS.
What are the business or work apps on your phone or tablet that you couldn’t be without?
Mentoring – finance – communications and travel.
If you had to start a business from scratch now, with no brand, no name for yourself and only limited cash, how would you do it?
Set up a free website one page using the Government free platform to create your own.
Then use free Social Media from Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn and then Network only where my ideal clients hang out on line and off line.
I would also make sure I had a Mentor that could open doors for me and enable my journey acting as a gateway to knowledge and information and contacts.
Karen Melonie Gould
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