13 Aug The Story Behind YVM & The Road Ahead
One of the most common things I’m asked is about how I came to setup Your Virtual Mentors.
I felt sharing this story would make the ideal first entry into the Paul’s Journal category of the YVM blog.
So here it is…
Made Redundant (July 2010)
In 2010 I was made redundant from my first ever job, a marketing role with a startup business in the North East of England.
The owners suggested I could go freelance and have some regular hours with them.
I’d always wanted to run my own business and didn’t give it a moments thought.
I setup Bassi Marketing Limited and moved back in with my parents.
For the next five years I was a marketing guy for hire (don’t worry I didn’t put my parents through five years of living with me)
I was doing anything and everything from SEO to Social Media to Web Design.
After two of those five years I found myself mainly focusing on web design. My approach of just looking to keep things simple and help people seemed to resonate well with other business owners.
By 2014 I grew the business to around £40K per year and decided to try grow it further.
It didn’t work…so I decided to keep things simple and just go back to doing it all myself.
At the same time I started to journal about my journey, just as a self help exercise really. It quickly became much more than that…
I Published A Book! (Dec 2015)
Skip forward a bit and after six months of writing I published a book called An Everyday Entrepreneur.
The book was about my journey of those first five years in business along with as much help packed in as possible.
After publishing the book I thought I was going to be a speaker going round promoting my book.
It didn’t happen. It didn’t feel right.
I spent the next 18 months trying out lots of other ways of helping people…
Being a coach. Being a mentor. Running workshops. Creating courses.
None of it stuck or felt right.
I realised that while I wanted to help people I wasn’t best suited to being the coach nor was being the centre of it what I wanted.
I realised I would be great at creating the platform to facilitate the advice, support and inspiration to small business owners.
In mid 2017 I was promoting myself as a Virtual Mentor. Around the same sort of time I had a thought…
“Wouldn’t it be amazing if small business owners could tap into the collective knowledge of 50+ mentors plus have access to key support and opportunities all at an affordable price.”
It would be like having YOUR own team of MENTORS who you could access via VIRTUAL systems.
…with those thoughts I then came up with the name… YOUR VIRTUAL MENTORS. Or YVM as it is commonly known nowadays.
The First YVM Community Launches (June 2017)
Having the idea felt amazing. It just felt right. And I was ready to go all in on it.
It played to my strengths and I knew it would offer better virtual mentoring than I ever could alone.
So, it was time to see if the idea had any legs…the fact you’re reading this a year on tells you it did.
Over the following year I would spend every day building the first YVM Community, understanding what help members wanted, building a team of mentors and developing various online systems.
To do this I heavily relied on the willingness of community members to contribute and wherever possible explored collaborations.
It wasn’t always easy. I had to get creative. There were a lot of mistakes.
But even when things weren’t going quite right on any given day, the more time I spent on YVM the more certain I was it was the right direction.
I knew I would find a way to make it work.
YVM At August 2018 & Beyond
Today…we have a range of online systems providing virtual mentoring; YVM Community Group (2000+), Business Challenge Group, Blogs, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Virtual Classes, Virtual Events (masterminds/networking), Mentor Q&A, Interviews and so much more.
I set out for YVM to provide advice, support and inspiration to small business owners. It’s definitely doing this every day, but we’re only just starting…
…over the past year the vision I have for YVM has evolved and expanded.
My vision for YVM is for it to become a brand known worldwide for amazing Virtual Mentoring.
The big change for this vision is that the above doesn’t solely focus on small business owners. We would expand the remit to cover a whole range of audiences such as Aspiring 6/7 Figure Entrepreneurs, Network Marketers, Freelancers, Corporate Employees and possibly non business related audiences too.
Writing this post has made this expanded mission even clearer. We’ve taken the first few steps of a thousand mile journey, and I am personally so excited to spend the rest of my life making this a reality.
Thank you so much for reading about my story and the start of the YVM story.
If you’d like to reach out to me about anything, please email Paul@YourVirtualMentors.com.