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Every year, many couples take on the challenge of starting a business together. For some, it is the best decision they have ever made, which is the case for Lindsay and Shelley Mentor.
Whilst working together can be stressful, this power couple, Lindsay and Shelley Mentor have managed to create their perfect balance between business and their relationship. As business partners they not only get to spend more time together, but also get to pursue their passion for success whilst sharing the common goals that drives them.
‘Our secret is that which very few people share, not only are we best friends ,we are equally life and business partners. We live together, work together, dream together and build success together, this is essentially what makes us who we are,’ says Lindsay.
Both Shelley and Lindsay started out in the corporate environment. Shelley pursued a career in the financial industry directly after school, while Lindsay entered the retail industry firstly with the Clicks Group and then moved into the furniture industry with the JD Group.
After spending many years in Corporate South Africa and having attained senior positions in their respective industries, both of them decided to pursue their journey and dreams as Entrepreneurs.
“I definitely felt stuck having spent years in the same industry and the time had come to start something new, something that I could call my own.” Shelley says.
The transition from having a corporate job to owning and managing our own business was not an easy one, but a period that moulded them for the road ahead.
“When you leave a corporate structure, you don’t realise that you are leaving a brand with an existing reputation and infrastructure, you are now on your own. In our first year we worked tirelessly on one of the biggest asset finance transactions the country had seen for a long time, it took us 18 months to close this deal,” Shelley reflects.
“If you want to be more tomorrow than you were yesterday, it starts with taking action today.”
After that first successful deal was concluded it was time for re-evaluation and the two entrepreneurs decided on an alternative path with a new challenge in a new industry that created new and fresh opportunities for growth and further success.
They negotiated and acquired a small marketing company, Brand Soldiers, and so a new chapter began.
“We successfully went about re-engineering and repositioning the brand and company structures to ensure its future success and sustainability. We initially gave ourselves 6 months to evaluate the operational procedures before making changes and set forward pioneering change in this industry, opening offices in Cape Town and Durban, thus eliminating the need for partnerships and outsourced relationships. It was important for us to ensure that the services we delivered to our customers were consistent and of the highest standard,” Lindsay explains.
Lindsay and Shelley also opened offices in Port Elizabeth, Polokwane and Bloemfontein, making Brand Soldiers a one of a kind truly national experiential marketing company in South Africa.
True to their nature of constantly re-inventing themselves, both Lindsay and Shelley have ventured into new areas of business interest. Over the last few years, Shelley has studied, qualified in and established herself as a renowned Business Coach and Speaker with a passion to drive the success of Small to Medium Business in South Africa and now works with Business Owners in 8 Cities across South Africa, creating winning formulas to take their businesses to the next level with accelerated growth and profit strategies.
“It was a natural process for me to move into Business Coaching, as I am able to draw on my very successful personal experiences and learning in business when delivering my seminars or coaching Business Owners across the country,” Shelley states.
Shelley is often asked her views about taking risks as an entrepreneur. “Without Risk there would be no Reward, however risk must be calculated and you should always weigh the opportunity against the gain and look to mitigate risk wherever possible. You must always seek the open lane of opportunity. As an entrepreneur you need to get to that stage where you can see the opportunity, capitalise on it and implement the structures for growth as a leader in innovation, creation and awareness.”
She says it is important to be in charge of your own destiny by identifying the changes in your particular industry, adapt accordingly and thrive.
“If you want to be more tomorrow than you were yesterday, it starts with taking action today. The choices you make will define the success you create, never want it more than you are willing to work for it, set your goals with plans aligned to achieve them and ensure you have a mind-set for success. Don’t let anything hold you back, challenge yourself and don’t forget to celebrate every win along the way.”
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First published on: ForbesAfrica