In Your Shoes - Lynn Erasmus

Lynn is a multi-award-winning entrepreneur & journalist, international keynote speaker on culture & change, author of Break Those Damn Rules, and CEO of SYMBL – (Social Young & Multinational Business Leaders CIC) – growing inclusive business leaders of tomorrow. She helps companies create a winning culture by sharing insightful knowledge, strategies, and actionable results that will allow their teams and leaders to adapt and embrace change. She transforms apathetic, procrastinating, and toxic work cultures – into happy staff members, who take ownership of their roles and support your values and vision. This, in turn, leads to an increase in profits and high retention rates of staff and customers/clients.

What's the problem you are passionate about?

I woke up bright and early and did my morning ritual again. It has been 32 days since I started my revised morning routine again. When you build something from the ground up, you need to invest more time in the early stages and this book, “The 5 am Club, reminded me of the importance of balance and getting up early. Lots of planning, following up, and execution over the next few weeks. We are launching SYMBL CIC on 21 March and I am exhausted but buzzing with excitement. “Keep reminding yourself of the problem you are passionate about.” I fondly remembered my annual ‘Your Money Novice Entrepreneur Competition’ I hosted in New Brighton, a township in Nelson Mandela Bay in 2016. It was almost winter in South Africa, (which means 17degress by the way…) and on this day, we had nearly 2000 young people walking through those doors, eager to learn about starting their own businesses. We shared information on how to get it off the ground and then 10 young people could pitch on stage to our judges, (Dragon’s Den-style). The young man that won, cried as he ran on the stage. His mother is a cleaner, who worked three jobs to put him through school, many a night not eating so her growing son could eat. This is why SYMBL was created, to do the same work I did before, just a different name and new country, but the same vision and values. If you have the ability to inspire change around you, then it is your karmic duty to do so. “Be the change you seek,” Mahatma Gandhi.

Do what you love.

Woke up at 5:15 and had my first networking session at 08:00. I have three more sponsorships for my young entrepreneurs, so excited! My next meeting was with a charity that does amazing work with the data community, and we discussed ways of helping each other’s beneficiaries. Love it when we can come together for the common good and collaborate on important projects. I drove to Fenwick for the Women’s Lunch hosted by Ayrshire and Glasgow Business Chamber. It was incredible. I was a bit nervous to be honest, as it has been a while since I have been in a large group of people. I never know what will come out of my mouth, sometimes I truly surprise myself with what comes out, but I was well behaved… The keynote speaker, Fiona Doherty, MD of Stagecoach, West of Scotland was inspiring, sharing her journey with us and ending with this quote: “Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you will be criticised anyway,” Eleanor Roosevelt.

Collaboration is key...

I was knackered this morning but managed to kick myself out of bed by 05:36. When you have a problem you are passionate about, then being motivated to get out of bed is easy right, right? Met with another charity that does exceptional work in Dundee – potential partnerships blooming… I attended the BBC Scotland Debate Night in Dundee. What fun that was. Great to see robust and diverse arguments being put forward. My only question is: “Will the people responsible for helping start-ups have first-hand experience in starting a business - and have seen it through till the end?” You see, many of us have started a business one time or another. It is not at the starting point, that you succeed, but through the many failures that you encounter, that creates your grit and determination. Too many times I have seen those who have “dabbled” with entrepreneurship and failed, put in charge of making important decisions for start-ups. We can’t do “same-same” anymore, we need to be bold, brave, and fearless in creating and implementing these new Entrepreneurial strategies set out by Kate Forbes, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, and the Economy.

SYMBL is almost ready!

Today was better, I woke up before my alarm went off and I was ready to go go go. I have some more training with the interns this afternoon. I have six interns from three different countries working on SYMBL. We are nearly ready to launch. Website – 60%, social media – 90% complete, Crowdfunder set-up – 50%, Legal and paperwork – 75%, Communications plan – 80%, Press releases – 65%, Passion and Excitement – 100%! I attended the Perth Leadership Forum, a fantastic initiative by Invest in Perth, as part of my Ambassadorial role today. I am a fierce supporter of equality and diversity and one of the panelists, Morven Smith, Head of Community Investment (Sustainability) SSE is the complete package. She speaks with compassion and has great knowledge as to what it takes to be innovative in a modern world.

Friday is funday.

I like to treat myself on a Friday. I got up normal time, enjoyed my visualisation, and journaled a bit more. Now let’s get some work behind me so I can go and play with my family. I met with great leaders to create a strategic partnership between them and SYMBL – excitement much. Then it’s time to let the hair down and have some fun. The family and I are attending the Comic-Con in Aberdeen this weekend, my husband will be selling his gorgeous leather creations while the kids and I play ‘dress-up’ and meeting Mark Williams – aka “Ron Weasley’s dad” in Harry Potter – eek, can’t wait. “I don’t think of work as work and play as play. It’s all living,” Richard Branson.