Two blogs in less than one week – if I keep up this kind of pace, I’ll be burnt out before I’m thirty. Or you’ll all be begging me to stop, one of the two.
Following our ‘Lunch and Learn’ with Martin Glenn on Monday, later in the week I had my first mentor session. The Marketing Academy offers scholars the opportunity to have twelve, hour and a half mentor sessions with some incredible people. My first was with Beth Broughton.
Beth is Senior Strategy Director at SCB Partners, a strategy and insights consultancy in West London. Before this, she worked in big corporates (an incredibly successful career at British American Tobacco), small start-ups (she launched Oscar Marketing Solutions, a company that allowed her to leverage her skills and work freelance) and was Interim Marketing Director at One Alfred Place.
As always, I came out with copious notes and more golden pieces of advice than I could have hoped for. And she bought me breakfast, even more tasty than the fish finger wraps at Birds Eye earlier in the week. I won’t share any more about the meal (interesting as it is for you all), but I will share a few key take-outs…
Connect the Passion with the Numbers
The moment you meet Beth, you know how charismatic and warm she is. But within ten minutes of talking to her, I understood how her success has also been founded on incredible analytical rigour. I’ve ‘grown up’ in a company where passion has become increasingly important and highly valued, but Beth helped me to remember that passion will only get you so far. In a big corporate environment especially, being able to “connect the passion with the numbers” is critical to both personal and business success.
There’s no Room for Self-criticism in Entrepreneurship
I’d asked Beth to tell me a bit about the types of people who succeed in the various different environments she’s been involved in, and one of the things that really struck me was this point – good entrepreneurs can’t afford to be insecure. They simply fail too often to beat themselves up about it, instead they just have to pick it up and try again. So if you’ve got a self-critical bone in your body, you’ll find being an entrepreneur incredibly tough.
Treat your Career like a Story
I liked this analogy – think of your career like a story. If you know what you want the last page is going to say, great – you can then work out the ways in which the narrative can get you there. Or alternatively, you might only be thinking about what you’re going to do in your next role, and in which case thinking about your career as a story can help you to analyse what that role will say about you in two years time (and where the narrative might go from there). My added take out from this analogy is that you want to make sure your story is one you’d be happy to read – whatever decisions you take, you need to make sure they’re interesting enough to keep you reading.
So, another great experience with the Marketing Academy. Things are ramping up over the next few weeks, two more mentor sessions, a coaching session, and the eagerly awaited Boot Camp Part II at the beginning of September. And a few quiet beers with a few of the other scholars, undoubtedly. I’ll probably not blog about the latter…