Anna Verghese standing in a doorway

We’ve talked a lot on this blog and on our socials about the importance of people when you run a business. But entrepreneurship isn’t just about people to meet and to work with. Or people who can support and help you as you move through your business journey. It’s also about finding people to learn from, whether that be in person, or indirectly through books, interviews and other media.

Without learning from others, particular those who are already further down the path you’re following, how can we be expected to grow and to make progress as entrepreneurs?

My learning journey

Everyone’s learning journey is different, and there’s no hard and fast way forward. So there’s no point us telling you what you should learn, why you should learn it, and from whom. All I can share is my own story.

My grandfather

My grandfather passed away when I was 11 but he continued to inspire me throughout my whole life. Despite living with polio, he became a tailor, and was known for the high quality of his work. And in his spare time, he made wooden toys for the local children’s home. He was a man who had to deal with significant challenges in his life, but he was a man who always did so with a smile on his face, and a bow tie around his neck.

But what does his story mean to me as an entrepreneur? Well, it’s a story of resilience. Of being strong in the face of a challenge. And of not letting things hold you back, no matter how bad they seem. A truly amazing man, whose lessons will stay with me forever.

My mentors

There are several people who I have considered a mentor over the course of my professional life so far. A manager that I had in my 20s saw my potential and did everything he could to help me to grow and develop. My supervisor for my Master’s degree pushed me and gave me the confidence to aim for, and achieve, a Distinction.

Most recently, our business mentor, Mike, has been instrumental in making Tabono what it is today. He pushes us to think bigger and better, sharing his knowledge and experience to inspire and motivate us along the way. His perspective and advice is invaluable.

My inspiration

As well as those we know, there are a huge amount of people to learn from out there, that we will probably never meet. Activists and thought leaders. Celebrities and global figures. Innovators and change makers. There are so many of them out there.

A few of my personal favourites include Michelle Obama and Ant Middleton, who I have already written about in earlier blogs. Paul Lindley OBE, founder of Ella’s Kitchen, who I have been fortunate enough to meet – because of his passion and purpose. And Tej Lalvani, CEO of Vitabiotics and current resident of the BBC’s Dragon’s Den – because I like and respect the way that he does business.

But what about you? Who inspires you to make your business the best that it can be? Who are your key people to learn from? We’d love to hear more about them and why they’re so important for your entrepreneurial journey.