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Thursday, 10 August 2017 13:26

Mentor Profile: John Seymour, Cowrie Investment Partners

John Seymour is a seasoned mentor of Endeavor Entrepreneurs. He has mentored an assortment of entrepreneurs from various business backgrounds during his time with Endeavor South Africa. Six years later, and John is still enthusiastic about his role as a mentor to some of the most extraordinary entrepreneurs this country has to offer.

How many Endeavor entrepreneurs are you currently mentoring?

For the past two years I have been very privileged to have focused much of my energy on a single mentee who is an incredible person and has just been selected as an Endeavor entrepreneur at the London ISP. I also have several shorter ongoing interactions on specific issues that other entrepreneurs face, ranging from strategic issues to fundraising.

How does the mentoring experience benefit you?

It is incredibly rewarding to share in any part of any entrepreneur’s journey. True entrepreneurship often redefines the way in which business is traditionally done or the way people see the world and I enjoy being part of the process.

What have you come to learn about yourself since becoming a mentor?

This is a big question! I think I have realised that everyone could do with a mentor no matter what path they are on. Doing anything great is an emotional rollercoaster which looks linear in the rear-view mirror, but in reality has some serious ups and downs along the way.

Having someone to share with and mentor you keeps you out of the classic “dark swamp of despair” and helps you see the wood for the trees.

What do you enjoy most about the role you play in the lives of the entrepreneurs you interact with?

I feel very privileged to play a role in the first place with people who will have a meaningful impact on the world they live in. I get the most enjoyment out of seeing people grow beyond where they thought they would ever end up and having a more meaningful impact than what they ever thought they would.

What do you think of Endeavor and its impact on entrepreneurs?

Endeavor is an amazing organisation that can help any entrepreneur fulfil their true global potential. I think as South Africans we live in a complex society and have the opportunity to create businesses which deal with our day to day challenges, but also have incredible opportunities to be leveraged on a global basis. Endeavor is an incredible enabler in this regard.

What motivates you to rise every day?

A quote from Nelson Mandela which inspires me … 'There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.'

What are you currently reading?

I am a recovering bibliophile - at the moment I am bouncing between “The Small Big - Small Changes That Spark Big Influence”, “Tools of Titans”, “At Home: A Short History of Private Life” and “Stoked!” by Chris Bertish.

As a mentor, what advice do you have for entrepreneurs trying to catch their big break?

Look at yourself in the mirror and congratulate yourself for starting your journey, getting it done is better than getting it perfect and most importantly remember to keep having fun!