The Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) and mentors at QUT Entrepreneurship support QUT students, staff and community that are interested in developing entrepreneurial skills. This week, we hear from Adventurer in Residence Eleanor Carey.
Eleanor Carey is a dual world record holding adventurer, entrepreneur and author. In June 2018, she spent 62 days crossing the Pacific Ocean by human power in a 25 foot ocean rowing boat, and prior to this cycled solo across Europe. Originally a physiotherapist, Eleanor shifted gears into the business world becoming the Co-founder and CEO of The Generator Innovation Hub which she successfully sold in 2019.
Eleanor now shares her experiences of adventure and entrepreneurship - the good, the bad and the ugly – as a professional speaker. She is also the Founder of Vokser, running corporate microadventures to improve wellbeing in the workplace.
What is your role?
Eleanor is the Adventurer In Residence for QUT Entrepreneurship. At the core of this role is the understanding that epic outdoor adventures and the journey of starting your own business have so many similarities. Being willing to step into the unknown, building strength and capability along the way, how to build a team around you and how to back yourself when times are tough. Once you have these foundational elements of the adventure and entrepreneurial mindset down, there is so much you can build upon from there.
Mentoring and having good support networks around you is a key part of any journey. Mentors can help you see what is possible and imagine things that are beyond your current realm of understanding and knowledge. They can help you identify knowledge and skills gaps and then give you strategies on how to fix them. But most importantly, mentors can support you to keep taking the next step when you feel like you have no idea what you're doing and when everything feels like it's falling apart.
How can I find a mentor and what should I expect?
There are a few ways you can find mentors and a key part of it is finding the right one for you. With QUT Entrepreneurship, you can start getting to know potential mentors by coming along to our events like Community Coffee and Open Pitch Nights. You can also request direct meetings through QUT Orbit, particularly if you have a particular question or roadblock to work through.
When you're working with a mentor, what they're looking for is that you are open to taking alternate ideas and points of view on board. If you have a mentoring session and identify tasks to keep progressing along, make sure you go out and actually do them. Execution is everything, and if you show the mentor that you follow through then you will be more likely to build an ongoing, beneficial relationship with them.
QUT Entrepreneurship identifies and solves commercial and social problems. Our programs, courses, mentoring and events are designed to teach skills and processes, develop capabilities, and foster a community within QUT and the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
We need more mentors! If you have startup or deep domain expertise and are willing to volunteer some time, please sign up to become a mentor.