In the latest issue of Military in Business® magazine, Paul Killick – a seasoned mentor supporting budding entrepreneurs through the XFE Knowledge Exchange Hub – shares his insights into the support required by enterprising ex-military personnel…
Mentoring and networking are central to developing essential business connections and knowledge. The mentor aims to inspire, empower and guide in achieving career and personal objectives. Mentoring:
– inspires by helping a mentee to discover and understand something within themselves upon which they can build a new future.
– empowers by setting an environment within which a mentee takes responsibility for their life and are encouraged, challenged and held accountable.
– guides by keeping a mentee on track and advocating on their behalf.
Starting and running a business is a very different direction to military life. It can be exciting, full of learning, rewarding and, in some cases, become the purpose and focus that is required to aid recovery from injury. However, it is not without challenges and can be risky, ambiguous, time consuming, and frustrating.
A specific challenge for service leavers aspiring to start and run their own business will often be understanding the commercial world. A business is much more than an idea and needs to be based on a product or service that creates value for customers and makes money for the owners. This is where an experienced business mentor can really help the service leaver to validate that their business concept is commercially viable and to create a model that is functional and sustainable.
A mentor can also help the service leaver to appreciate how the values, skills, and experiences they have acquired during service can be useful assets in a business venture. Qualities such as determination, courage, and strength of mind are ingrained in military life and can also form the basis of making a business successful.
Transferable skills, such as leadership, planning, and risk management can be important ingredients in the development of a product or the operation of a business. Experience of different people, cultures and situations can also be great preparation for life in business.
The mentoring available through experienced business owners on the X-Forces Enterprise Knowledge Exchange Hub is an ideal resource to call on as many of these entrepreneurs will have been in the same situation, and those that operate in the commercial world will be able to bring additional value.
Read the rest of Paul’s thoughts in Military in Business® magazine at https://bit.ly/mibmag7