I like getting involved in new things. It might be my fickleness as a Gemini or my magpie like approach to life but there is always something else interesting to have a go at. Lots of people ask me if I can help out and my default position is yes, if I can spare the time. After all, paid work must come first as I have made a promise.
So it was that I attended my first 50:50 Future event in the Bridge Tavern in Newcastle. That was another first for me and I was amazed at how busy it was as the evening wore on. Clearly I don’t get out much.
I knew the people running the event and the company, from their time at the now defunct Campus North. At the time this was the beating heart of the Newcastle tech startup scene. When they asked if I could help out with some mentoring I was more than happy to say yes.
The format of the event was very interesting. It gave a number of people an introduction to some of the help that is available for people wanting to develop their businesses and ideas, a sort of speed-mentoring. During the two hours there were four slots and so each person, or business, was allotted 30 minutes before they moved on to the next adviser or mentor.
I had some fascinating conversations with a pharmacist, two people working on generating sales leads, a friend working to help men help women in work and someone just about to give up their job and try something new. Each conversation was fascinating and I learned so much. Hopefully some of the questions I asked helped the conversation along and gave my interlocutors, as they say around my way, something to think about.
It was great event and I hope that there are many more to come. At times like this I am reminded that humans are social creatures, that businesses are built by people for people and that there is no substitute, in the end, for face to face conversations.