Seth Godin said, “Why waste a sentence saying nothing.” Tonight I’m hopefully not going to waste too many sentences. So keeping in mind the 80/20 rule 20% of my sentences will probably account for 80% of my actual message. Which 20% will be up to you.
How cool is it being a business super hero? I know it’s something Carley and the team at ATEED take very seriously.
It’s a big job. Not only are you mentors and sounding boards. You are therapists, shoulders to cry on and truffle connoisseurs.
I was honoured to be asked to speak here tonight because I think mentoring is a big responsibility and a role that can make a huge difference to New Zealand business.
I’m passionate about small businesses in NZ and the impact it can have on the economy. There are 374,000 odd businesses in NZ with less than 19 and under employees. I’m not sure of the exact numbers of employees that adds up to or even how much they put into the economy. But considering there are 450,000 businesses in NZ they must account for a huge amount of money and employment.
When I first saw the number of matches this year I have to say I was surprised at what I thought was a low number. It isn’t though, right? 150 matches is a great effort on everyone’s part and as there is still some time left in the year I’m sure that number will go up.
I’m not sure what the goals of BMNZ are for 2014 but wouldn’t it be cool to see 200 matches at this time next year? As the word gets around more and more about the great job you are doing this has to happen.
The key theme for BM is Kiwi’s helping Kiwi’s. Great theme.
In my opinion DIY is only good for so long and then it starts to hold you back. Problem is asking for help can be hard for a lot of Kiwi’s. We’re not so good at investing in ourselves. The Tall Poppy syndrome might have something to do with that. The small number of us who inhabit these beautiful islands might too.
The kinds of excuses I’m sure you’ve all heard are, “We’ve always done it that way” or a classic for hardened DIY’ers, “I’ll just get Harry’s wife’s cousin’s son to do that. George, he’s into computers”. These excuses just doesn’t cut it any more if we are to be a successful country. Unashamed of our success on the national and global stage.
I feel strongly that, that ideology is really holding up a ton of NZ businesses. In my business I hear it all the time because there are products out there that have commoditised part of what we do. But that part isn’t where the value of our business is. And the end result is not always where your businesses value is.
That’s where mentors play a really important role. They are a fresh set of eyes that can point out the things you are good at, the things you should delegate and the things you shouldn’t be doing at all.
Kiwi’s are shit at delegation. Why? Because, Look you’re taking too long, out of my way I’ll do that now. It’s a familiar cry in a lot of NZ businesses.
How did I come across my mentor? Through the NZTE Voucher scheme [mention Dave if he is there] and the pilot Business Domino’s course at ATEED.
The value he provides is not only advice and being able to zoom out of my business but he even provides referrals. That’s awesome. He’s also the first to get the emotive response out of the way and move onto a response or decision that will actually make a difference.
Before I finish tonight I’d like to reiterate that your support is invaluable to the local business community. You are super hero’s. And the truffles are well deserved.