This week Futurpreneur Canada is celebrating National Volunteer Week with the rest of Canada by showing our appreciation for our almost 3,000 volunteer business mentors who work with our young entrepreneurs to help them succeed. To celebrate, we’re sharing some of the stories of our mentor and mentee matches to showcase just how valuable mentors can be to new entrepreneurs.
Twin River Travel was created to help people enjoy unique travel experiences and opportunities in Manitoba. The company is based in Winnipeg and was founded by Samuel Anthony and Tristan Schneider with the principle that wilderness travel should be available to everyone.
Sam and Tristan are two young entrepreneurs who share a love of camping, traveling and the great outdoors. They both have been traveling their entire lives and combined have been to over 50 countries. It’s obvious that with their sense of adventure being part of their lives for as long as they can remember, that the inspiration for Twin River Travel came from their constant wanderlust.
The business duo is part of Futurpreneur Canada’s program which has helped them raise capital for purchasing the equipment they needed to run their tours (boats, gear, etc.) and forge connections within their community. As part of the program, they were also matched with a mentor, Jeff Consul who just transitioned out of College Pro Painters as a business coach and general manager for Manitoba. Jeff had worked with College Pro Painters since 2011 where he held roles ranging from entrepreneur, coach, facilitator, manager and even janitor. You name it, he’s done it.
Jeff decided to become a mentor as he was inspired by the next generation of entrepreneurs and their incredible ideas. However, from his experience he knew that the softer skills that a person needs to work well with other people is one of the largest obstacles he saw young people facing. Jeff’s approach as a mentor is to ask hard questions and help entrepreneurs identify their weaknesses in these soft skills. “To me, a mentor provides a mentee with another person to journey with them through difficult challenges, growth and learning,” Jeff explained.
Being matched with Jeff, Sam and Tristan have also reaped the rewards from his approach. “Mentoring has given us the critical edge needed to push through the barriers that exist for young entrepreneurs,” Sam explained. “The world of business is often dominated by older demographics and our mentor has given us the skills and confidence to overcome the barriers of being a young entrepreneur.” Sam shared a specific example when the pair wanted to move into corporate retreats. Jeff had experience planning corporate events and was able to guide them through the differences in advertising to individuals and advertising to corporate groups. He also helped them structure their prices in a way that was suited towards corporate trip planners and helped us understand how to approach these people.
Lucky enough to have a mentor himself from a young age, Jeff has become an advocate for business mentorship. He encourages other people to get involved and become a mentor because it is a great learning opportunity for not just the entrepreneurs but also yourself. He explained that being a mentor can prevent you from being a hypocrite since you can’t someone to work harder if you’re not working hard yourself. He also said that it can help you learn to articulate your thoughts and ideas, as well as get better at giving feedback in a tactful and healthy way.
Sam and Tristan said that Jeff have been instrumental in their business journey. “His sales and financial knowledge has helped us refine our business in many ways. We understand the sales process better, we learned important goal setting skills, and were guide through all sorts of financial skills we will need to further our business.”
Written by: Lauren Marinigh, Social Media & Content Specialist, Futurpreneur Canada