Free brain Vicki Stone Marketing


Being a marketing person, I’m always using the creative side of my brain on a regular basis for clients’ and our own business.

I’d never done any ‘official’ mentoring and always thought of it as being a bit ‘namby pamby’, and I thought I couldn’t waste my precious time giving free advice.

I saw a tweet about the first startup weekend which was being held at Newcastle Business School. I’d always mentored our clients on a day to day basis. I thought what the heck, I’ll give it a go.

I’d figured that after having run two businesses and with my x-ad agency background I could help. So I picked up the phone and persuaded Howard Kingston to let me come along as a mentor.

To be honest I was dead nervous and all the week before I swotted up on ‘lean business principals’ and top tips for mentoring.

I turned up at 11am on the Saturday and jumped straight into it for a full day of mentoring the groups, after a brief welcome and what I blast I had. I came away from the end of the day (without sounding too cheesy) really inspired and ready to take on the world!

On the Sunday I came back for the pitches in the evening and was so pleased and proud to see my top 3 groups come up trumps, winning 1st 2nd and 3rd prize.

If you’re thinking of trying mentoring for the first time, I’d say just go for it. You don’t have to spend days and days, it could be just a one-off weekend or a couple of hours at a time.