The Business Founder Mindset
A series of podcasts with business founders
I became a member of the ABM (Association of Business Mentors) in October 2022, originally joining as a mentor for the Help to Grow: Management Course. It has been a rewarding experience, allowing me to engage with some exceptional businesspeople. I am delighted to share the first three in a series of recent podcast conversations with founders of small to medium-sized businesses.
Throughout these conversations, my primary focus has been to gain deeper insights into the Founder Mindset: the sense of purpose that drives them. No matter what the nature of their business, all founders share two key ingredients of far-sightedness: Vision and Mission. They all have a Vision – how things can be – and they have a sense of Mission – the role they can play in moving towards and realising that vision. Although their individual journeys and backgrounds may be different, they share a distinctive set of essential entrepreneurial traits: self-motivation, a strong work ethic, and a willingness to embrace risks. They have great perseverance and resilience, they have proactive, action-oriented mindsets, and they are inspiring leaders. Moreover, their flexibility and adaptability has enabled them to navigate internal and external challenges – particularly around DOVID-19 and lockdown - with agility.
From talking with these founders, it’s clear that while they certainly strive to create profitable businesses, their true motivation lies in the profound impact their products or services can have on their customers and the broader society. In the words of film director, Terry Gilliam, "I'm not interested in making money. I just want to be wonderful." This sentiment resonates with many founders who are energised by the opportunity to create something exceptional and make a positive difference in the world.
Collaboration often plays a pivotal role in the entrepreneurial journey, with many founders seeking partners who share their vision and possess complementary skills, knowledge, and experiences. Simon Sinek says: "If you hire people just because they can do a job, they'll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they'll work for you with blood and sweat and tears."
The stories and insights have been incredibly inspiring. The founders’ unwavering commitment to their vision and mission serves as a testament to the power of aligning personal values with business goals. As the podcast series continues, I’m looking forward to uncovering further perspectives from these remarkable people and reflecting on how, as a business mentor, I can play a part in their success.
The three founders included in this first podcast series are:
Rich Taunt: founder of Kaleidoscope Health and Care click this link to the podcast >>
Rich Taunt founded Kaleidoscope as a social enterprise, a business that wants to do good and make the world better. Their aim is to help build a health sector that is kinder, more connected and joyful. They are also a Teal Organisation which means they run on the principles of self-management, purpose, and bringing their whole selves to their work. It is a model that allows them to work together, pool their skills and be greater than the sum of their parts.
Kaleidoscope’s expertise lies in understanding how change in healthcare works, how people collaborate and how to use creative processes to change cultures. They have a multi-disciplinary team including clinicians, policy makers, NHS managers, specialists in research and evaluation, communications and digital technology.
Before founding Kaleidoscope in 2016, Rich was Director of the UK Improvement Alliance, Director of Policy at the Health Foundation, and Head of Regulatory Change at the Care Quality Commission. Prior to that he was Deputy Director at the Department of Health, where his roles included advising Ministers on health strategy. He also spent time at the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury.
Bianca Miller-Cole: founder of Bianca Miller London and The Be Group click this link to the podcast >>
Bianca Miller-Cole is an award-winning Entrepreneur, who first came to fame as a contestant on the TV show The Apprentice in 2014. She didn’t win but that didn’t stop her going on to found a number of businesses including ‘Bianca Miller London’ and The Be Group, a business that has an impressive list of clients including HSBC, Accenture, AMEX, Clifford Chance, Facebook and Google.
Bianca has featured on numerous lists for the top entrepreneurs in the UK, and she won the accolade ‘Forbes 30 under 30’ in 2018 and continues to be nominated and win awards for the work she does. She is a motivational speaker and author and followed up The Definitive Guide to Startup Business Success’ with ‘The Business Survival Kit’, published in September 2021. In its first week of publication the book became a ‘Sunday Times Bestseller’ in two categories: non-fiction and business.
Abi Selby: founder of Spabreaks.com click this link to the podcast >>
Abi Selby is the founder of Spabreaks.com, a spa booking business she started in 2007. They now work with more than 800 spa destinations in the UK and overseas, and arranges spa days and breaks for up to 13,000 people every week. They’re headquartered in Brighton and have grown from a small team of three to 100.
Abi says, “Our founding mission was to make spas more accessible” and she believes that there’s much work to be done within the spa industry around diversity. She is also committed to opening up the benefits of spa treatment to people recovering from cancer.
Abi is an award-winning entrepreneur and she also finds time to be a mother to three children and to take early morning walks with her dogs.
Steve Paul: founder of CESURA Mentoring and Coaching
Steve is a business mentor and leadership coach working with small to medium sized businesses in the Southeast of England. Prior to founding the CESURA practice in 2016, Steve held senior marketing, sales and strategy positions at Philips Electronics, IBM/Lotus, Harper Collins, and the BBC. As Client Director, Strategy Director and Head of Digital he has led diverse teams at a number of independent brand and digital agencies.
Steve is a member of the Association of Business Mentors, the International Coaching Federation and is a volunteer Digital Champion for Kent Count Council. He is also chairperson of a symphony orchestra.