Mentor Stories

Tech high-flier returns home and gives back as a Mentor

Sep 21, 2021 3:33:21 PM

Angela Finucane’s corporate career took her around the world, through the executive suite of IBM and to the management team at Ericsson. Then, she brought that experience to entrepreneurship, growing her Kuala Lumpur-based tech start-up to become a global player. Now, she’s giving back by sharing her experience and time as a Business Mentor.

Angela connected with Business Mentors upon her return to New Zealand six months ago when she settled in the beautiful Hawkes Bay. The idyllic location hasn't prevented her from staying connected; Business Mentors virtual mentoring and offering allow access from anywhere.

Technology made connecting easy

“Once I became aware of the Business Mentors programme, it was a no brainer to get involved. I’ve met some incredible people among the other Mentors. It’s exciting to connect with such capability and see calibre of talent.”

Angela began with the Effective Mentoring Workshop online. She was impressed with the experience.

“It was well-pitched and well-paced. Using breakout rooms allowed us to make genuine connections. We shared lots of insights and found like-minded people wanting to support others.”

Passionate about the power of a plan

Angela is excited about the opportunity to make a difference to small business owners. She has a lot of wisdom to share but mentoring others with Business Planning is a particular passion of hers.

“I know first-hand that business owners get drawn into managing operations and ‘firefighting”. When you’re bogged down by the day-to-day, it’s hard to retain perspective.

“It’s critical that business owners take time to plan, and I love being able to help others do that.

“A business plan doesn’t need to be complex to be powerful. Done well, it can support you to reach your goals over the next 3-5 years. It should be realistic, achievable, and have measurable KPIs,” says Angela.

Together teams can move mountains

According to Angela, what’s most important is that a business plan is not left to languish on a shelf. It must be reviewed regularly – at least quarterly. A Mentor is an ideal person to do this with you. They can also help you think about how you can get buy-in from your team.

“A business plan helps leaders get their vision out of their head. Then, others can embrace it and get behind it. If you can build that motivation, progress can happen more quickly. Team spirit then grows.

“When a team of people are focused, you can move mountains.”

Angela has experienced team cultures where people are empowered to take strategy from inception through to implementation. She credits much of her success with learning how planning, processes and customer focus can create real impact in business.

“When I set up my SAAS business over a decade ago, it felt like we were just delivering what customers wanted. Looking back, I realise it was incredibly leading-edge. It was a fast learning curve.”

Experience is sharable and transferrable

Angela found the technology industry moves at an incredible pace. This equipped her with a wealth of transferrable expertise.

Angela believes matching the right skills to the task is essential in all areas of business. mentoring is no exception. She makes three suggestions for others who are thinking about mentoring.

  • Be open to meeting the person you’re matched with before you start so you can make sure you’ve got synergy and chemistry.
  • Be ready to spend time listening as this will give you incredible insight into how someone thinks about their business.
  • Be disciplined about meeting regularly, engaging consistently and making focus a priority because that’s how you’ll give the best through mentoring.

Above all, Angela encourages others to get in touch with Business Mentors and find out about getting involved. She’s enthusiastic about the shared benefits of sharing experience.

“I can see that Business Mentors offers as much to the Mentors as it does to all the small businesses they support. It’s just such a valuable thing.”

Topics: Mentor Stories