My Career Path has been somewhat unusual having started out as a young builder/civils worker. After studying higher education and leaving university in the early naughties I ventured into civils, more specifically ‘Utilities’ where as a young man / man manager I cut my ‘man management’ skills on working with a large ‘Irish’ workforce.
I started my own business with an old colleague in 2005 at 31 years of age, my colleague providing funds and contacts with my attributes applied in areas of project management, processes, sales, delivery…. to name a few. That was it, we were on the launch pad and soon to take off!!
A long story short… not long after the last recession… 2012 our business had stagnated, circa £6million t/o with small profits. My partner and I knew we needed help but from who & where? By chance an old colleague (Ian Bell) had called in to see us, to advise that he’d exited his business and was semi retiring, partly due to a major health scare and subsequent major operation. Ian explained that he was looking to wind down his working life and had already agreed to work with another ‘Sheffield’ company providing mentoring and business support.
Ian shared objectivity both within and out of the business, asked tough questions of me, took me back to basics and showed me what the badge ‘Managing Director’ meant. In effect, Ian got a hold of my belt and pulled me away from hugging the tree – he became what I now appreciate and refer to as my physical conscience.
It’s fair to say we and the business were nervous at first employing Business Support / a Mentor / Coach. Speaking as a recent SME owner, you have a ‘consultant’ in front of you who wants you to part with hard earned money! Once we became comfortable with the ‘baby steps’ in the relationship, we soon swiftly ploughed through ‘change management’. I learnt as a leader, even ‘we’ need to ‘soundboard’. Staff below us, are looking up at the badge; expecting you to have all the answers when sometimes, you may not or doubt yourself.
The first 18months of engagement with my mentor (now partner…Ian) was amazing and I lapped up the new teachings. Our relationship changed eventually to purely ‘sound boarding’ or ‘conscience’ as I prefer to call it. I gained lots of objectivity and was constantly challenged as to my thinking, direction, planning and decision making. We implemented a ‘roadmap’ and changed the ‘adventure’ we were on to a ‘journey’. The journey was to challenge me as to why I went into business, think about the personal sacrifices. Indeed the exercise aided me improve communication with family in particular. For me, I was ready to change, I embraced change but only you can make the decision for you. Once made, its liberating, at least that’s what I found…. also it aided me get my ‘mojo’ back having new direction and purpose.
I very much hope that we can inspire you!!
ON OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH CLIENTS
“Our CV’s should provide some assurance and insight as to whom and where we have come from”
At Four MIME our aim is to remove the perception of Mentoring/Coaches being texted book trained or using ‘American’ systems/Analytics. We’re wanting to bring a more relaxed approach to business support, leaning on our credibility/experiences which we feel comes from our time in real industry as late as December 2016…Our Cv’s should provide some assurance and insight as to whom and where we have come from. First impressions last and we recognise that different approaches and triggers affect everyone, after all there are 3 senses that we develop in business: ‘Head’ Heart & ‘Gut’….we’re all different but it’s all about trust…you need to go with yours.
ON OUR PROCESSES & APPROACH
“We can only be ourselves”
Being involved in ‘project lead’ businesses for so long, I had the light bulb moment through my learning that business is ‘project management’. When wearing the ‘MD’ badge I hadn’t recognised that fact, that’s because looking back I was comfortable wearing the ‘project manager’ badge (this was my natural instinct). We can only be ourselves, real people from real industry. Being a projects manager helps though in this field! As a project manager, you need to gain an understanding of the problem, after all a project managers role is to deliver a solution! We therefore aim to ‘poke and prod’ the business, owners, managers & key people to understand the dynamics of the problem – once the problem is clearly understood recorded and discussed with you, can we deliver a solution. As can be gleamed from this approach ‘communication’ and ‘trust’ is the key and that is something which is a fundamental in our approach.
ON THE FOUR MIME ADVANTAGE
“We like to be hands on…..”
Our engagement needs to be: inspiring, engaging, ‘thought provoking’ and at times challenging. Wanting to be hands on, we encourage business and its people to think out of the box, with our flexible and informal approach. You or your team can have as much or as little support as you want, as we believe our key advantage is having real practical business cv. Most importantly as an ex SME we feel its good to share experiences and give something back to like minded people.
GET IN TOUCH
Contact me directly to discuss how we can help your business step up to the next level.
t: 07880 700900