The value of having access to someone to discuss issues with, to lean on for moral support or for well-timed advice based on their proven track record (particularly in business) cannot be overemphasised. Experts in the wellness industry believe that the role that this person plays in helping to shape existing and future entrepreneurs is without doubt one of the most significant in the market today.
Martina Laurie is the CEO of Hands On Treatment, an established Mobile Massage Company based in Johannesburg. It provides on-site neck and shoulder chair massage service to the corporate sector, covering specialised labour-intensive areas such as call centres, events and exhibitions, among others.
The company has been a Proudly South African member since 2003 and in 2007 received the Proudly South African best SMME Service award.
Laurie made a decision some years ago to move from the world of chartered accountancy and auditing to successfully break into the wellness industry and establish a sustainable massage venture. Aside from a healthy dose of courage, to do this Laurie relied extensively on support and help from Ian Haggie, a business partner and one of her first clients of a previous auditing business.
The core focus of the business is to provide employees and personnel in businesses with professional massages – an offering that is done at the client’s premises, with no impact on operations or requiring any downtime.
Haggie became her coach and mentor, transferring knowledge and critical skills sets including structuring asset bases, business ethics and application.
“It was from Ian Haggie that I learned the benefit you gain from having a mentor. This person does not receive payment, it is usually someone who is retired, who is in a different time of his or her life, who is in a position to transfer skills to someone younger. The big thing is to look at someone in your family or friends or client base and just ask them for “help.
"You can have different mentors in business, self-development, assist you in your health but it is the big step, is to ask for someone to be your mentor you can find a lot of mentors in the church,” Laurie adds.
However, she continues to say that being a mentor is “a massive responsibility” and one has to be available and offer guidance where necessary.
“It takes a lot of patience and a genuine desire to help and empower people,” Laurie adds. “The return is a satisfaction that you have impacted positively on the life of someone who needed help. From a wellness and personal development point of view, this is most definitely a win-win scenario. From a business point of view, this type of direct and consistent support can only lead to bigger and better things … a definite way to open doors.”