KATIE BULMER-COOKE: Mentorship is a massive help

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Ahhhhh, did you watch last week’s The Apprentice? Goodness me, I’m so pleased I never had to take part in those interviews.

I’ve never had a proper interview before and I’m certain I wouldn’t have liked my first one to have been with Claude!

Although I feel a lot of the candidates this year haven’t all been in it for the right reasons, I do think the right people were in the final five, and now the right two have made it to the final.

I’ve decided to back Joseph the plumber. My husband is a plumber and gas engineer and I know how much hard work it is and the expertise required and I’m a huge fan of anyone who puts in that amount of graft everyday, so he firmly has my vote!

I’ve finally done my Christmas shopping and I think leaving it until the last minute was actually a good thing. It made me way more efficient.

A cheeky trip to Sainsbury’s, The Bridges and a quick look on Amazon and I’m all sorted, except there’s one thing I’ve ordered that hasn’t arrived yet – Pie Face!

For all the parents reading this, I’m sure you’ll have heard of this new board game that keeps selling out everywhere. I finally found it online and it was £15 more expensive than the shops had it in for (the Budget Bulmer in me was not happy!), but I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for it to arrive, so please keep everything crossed for me.

Now that 2015 is starting to draw to a close, I’m sure we are all starting to look ahead to the new year and what we want to experience and achieve. For me, I’ve got plans to launch a new business in the city (I’ll tell you more in the New Year) and I’m really excited.

I’d love to see more more happening in Sunderland to help young people trying to start their own business and I think mentorship is a massive help. Having someone who has been there, done it and can advise on the best steps to take makes such a huge difference.

I was extremely lucky this year to spend some time with Sir Peter Vardy.

The lessons I learned from just spending an hour- and-a-half with him have made a huge impact in this final quarter of the year and I keep the notes I made during our meeting stuck to my white board in my office to keep reminding me.

I think a lot of successful people are guilty of keeping their strategies to success to themselves and not sharing with the next generation and I’d love to see more people doing for young entrepreneurs in the city, what Sir Peter was so kind to do for me.

Yes, it’s great to go to events and conferences and hear how amazingly well someone has done but to be honest, I’d rather hear about the mistakes they made and how they learnt from them.  

I want to know EXACTLY what they did, not just the end result. We have a lot of great businesses in our city, so come on guys, where are you? It’s time to give back to the next wave of business owners.

Now I’m not claiming to be a big player or mega successful, but I’ve done canny with my business and feel I’ve got stuff I can share, and I’m beyond grateful for the support I’ve been shown in Sunderland over the last year in particular. So, if there’s someone reading this who is starting their own business then I’m happy to help where I can, just tweet me @KatieBulmer1.

Let’s make big things happen in Sunderland next year!