Idols, mentors and inspiration

By Jenn Brown, Brand Builder, Harvey and Hugo

Ideas

They say you should never meet your idols, but is that true? At Harvey & Hugo, we believe that everything you do should be inspired by who you want to be, who you aspire to and what you’ve been inspired by.

Poet and novelist Jack Kerouac said that “you are equal to the idol who has given you inspiration”, but what form do your idols take? And how important are they? Do you have them at all?

In business it’s easy to look at others and compare yourself, or your business, to them. Their success, failure, development and growth can all be yardsticks to judge – but does this become inspiration or another way to see your (often perceived) failure?

Taking inspiration and looking for idols and mentors is so important in business, so let’s look at why.

Idols

Noun; a person or thing that is greatly admired, loved, or revered.

In business, this could be any part of the people around or preceding you. Bill Gates’ money, Steve Jobs’ ingenuity, Richard Branson’s friendliness – all things you aim to be in your role as a business leader.

But don’t see these idols as competition or a ‘dream’, use them as a goal to improve your business. Read about them, understand what makes them tick, find out more about the tools they use to not only create, but develop great businesses – and most importantly, teams.

Mentors

Noun; and experienced and trusted adviser.

Unlike idols, mentors are more present and personal. They are still incredible in their achievements, inspiring in nature and, often, self-less in providing opportunities to businesses.

As a small business, often working alone or with a very small team, you may often find yourself with nowhere to turn for realistic advice from someone who has been where you are – this is where mentors come in.

Just as you do in your personal life, you need those cheerleaders, shoulders to cry on or tough cookies to tell it straight. And, just like in your personal life, as soon as you turn to them, you’ll immediately feel better with the support and guidance of your mentor.

A mentor doesn’t have to hail from your industry or be ‘miles ahead’ in business, choosing a mentor is about what you want to learn. Is it marketing? Management? Leadership? Finance? The right people will gain the right results for your business, so take time to find the right one for you, to take your business to the right place.

Harvey and Hugo

Inspiration

Noun; the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

The beauty of inspiration is that this can come from anywhere; your commute, peers, celebrity, charity, even the world around you. And often, this inspiration comes when you least expect it.

Shutting yourself off to inspiration can make a huge difference to the way you run your business, lead your team and ultimately how much success you achieve. As a business, we’ve been inspired by our founders and namesakes, Harvey and Hugo, who’s personalities formed some of our core values – integrity, teamwork and, of course, fun.

When it comes to inspiration, don’t forget your team. The people you have selected to join you on your journey, who have dedicated their careers to you – in our case The Pack – can often inspire more than any celebrity or global business leader could – so make sure they’re inspired in return!

What’s important to bear in mind for a business of any size is to make sure that whether it’s having an idol, mentor or finding inspiration, to make it work for you – not work for it.

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