Meet Mentor – Robyn Pulman
Meet Robyn Pulman
Public speaking & presentation skills coach - Speak with Impact
At the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast we are so privileged to have a diverse group of mentors to help our members. Whilst you can already read their professional bios via our mentors page we will be sitting down more often with our mentors in 2019 to gather their insights and sharing across socials and here, our blog. So, if you are an entrepreneur, small business owner or work within a startup and looking to be more strategic grab yourself a coffee and enjoy this read to learn more about Robyn.
"Just be real, honest and hard-working"
How did you get to where you are today?
As a little girl, growing up on the wrong side of the harbour in Sydney, I decided that I was going to 'make my mark on the world'. From those humble beginnings, I chose never to see 'brick walls' and thank my mum for never putting ceilings on my potential. "Whatever you want to do, darling, you can do. Just be real, honest and hard-working".
After a short-lived teaching career in Sydney, I made my mark on the world by working for fifteen years in Europe, Middle East and Africa in senior regional marketing roles, returning to Australia in the late 1980's - to climb mountains here.
How long have you been mentoring businesses? What areas do you specialise in? And, what do you learn from the process of mentoring?
Mentoring is a privilege and it has been joy to support individuals and teams over the past 26 years, focusing on leadership, communication and professional development. In the past two years, my focus has been on helping entrepreneurs and executives refine their pitches and presentations, appreciating that clear, concise communication is critical to success.
How do you approach risk?
Interesting question. I will only risk when I am not attached to the outcome. With age comes the realisation that if something sounds too good to be true, then that is the case.
Having literally lost 'everything' at age 50, I am now extremely considered and cautious and will only take risks if the potential of a failed outcome will not negatively impact myself or others.
Was there a time you messed up and felt like you’d failed? How did you bounce back?
Was there a time? Many a time. Life is a series of STOP, CHECK, CORRECT. There is no such thing as failure, only feedback. You do not drown if you fall in a puddle; you only drown if you don't stand up.
My life is a daily reflection of what I did well and what I could do better. We grow, not go to success and my intent is to always observe and learn from every action and interaction.
Who mentored you, early in your career? And, what impact has it had since?
My first boss in London dug a hole 7metres deep, (metaphorically speaking), threw me in it, piled dirt on top, asked me to climb my way out and every time I reached the surface, threw another ton of dirt on me.
I learned persistence, resilience, fortitude, belief in myself and a never-say-die attitude.
What doesn't destroy us, makes us stronger.
What’s the most important leadership lesson you’ve learnt and how is it valuable?
General Schwarzkopf inspired me with his talk on leadership, citing his two guiding principles:
1. Be prepared to make a decision when no one else will
2. Do what's right
To this day, I am prepared to step up, speak up and make a decision as long as it is in alignment with my moral compass and, at night, I can look at 'the man in the mirror'.
What benefit/s can mentoring have on a business looking to scale?
The origins of mentoring come the ancient Greeks. When Odysseys, King of Ithaca, went to fight in the Trojan War, he entrusted the care of his son, Telemachus, to his friend, Mentor.
In time, the word MENTOR became synonymous with a trusted friend, teacher or wise person. You can only benefit by learning from a mentor who is independent, detached and objective about your business.
Looking for more business insights or inspiration?
How do you manage risk? Who is mentoring you and supporting your businesses journey? We are always on the lookout to support our members, share mentor insights to support our growing community.
Community is everything to the Innovation Centre, as human beings, we need a sense of belonging, and that sense of belonging is what connects us to the many relationships we develop. Join the Innovation Centre community and let us help your startup grow!
If you find yourself looking for a passionate community of startup founders and employees and want to know more about the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast, join us for one of our upcoming events, or apply for a membership here.