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Lifeline Mentor Q&A: Kadian Pow

Lifeline offers development and support to 16-25 year olds looking to start up their own business. After an initial training course some participants are selected for additional support, including access to a business mentor.

Here, we give you the chance to meet one of these mentors – Kadian Pow. You can also download a copy of the interview here: icon KadianPow_Q&A (484.98 kB)

With a passion for informal education and lifelong interest in beauty, Kadian set up beauty company Ace Your Face in 2011. Whilst she still undertakes the occasional beauty-related project, Kadian’s main focus is now her community engagement company, Kadian Pow Consulting (KPC). Having worked for organisations including the University of Birmingham, the Barber Institute, and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, KPC draws on Kadian’s expertise helping diverse communities engage with arts, culture, education, heritage, and much, much more. See www.kadianpow.com.

DESCRIBE YOUR BUSINESS STRENGTHS IN 10 WORDS OR LESS
Presentation, liaising, conducting workshops, event planning, and writing. If I could have a
few more words I’d also say conveying complex material in a comprehensive way,
especially on matters of social education and social sciences!


AND YOUR BUSINESS WEAKNESSES?
Being ‘cut throat’ and terribly ambitious. The quest for more and more money is not my
number one priority (obviously I need to afford living!). Procrastination is a problem.


WHAT HAS BEEN THE HARDEST PART ABOUT STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
A lack of predictable monthly pay, especially when clients have glitches or are irresponsible
with timely payment. Also, I cannot rest on my laurels else I will get nothing!


SO WHAT LESSONS HAVE YOU LEARNT ALONG THE WAY?
Not asking gives you only one result. Be more confident.


HOW DID YOU GET WHERE YOU ARE TODAY? WHO HELPED YOU ALONG THE WAY?
This is a difficult question. Mostly I would say, the support of my family and friends for
believing in me, but also acting on my instincts and following the things that make me feel
passion. It took me until my 30s to understand that I should build a career around what
motivates me rather than what I have a knack for.


WHAT ARE THE MAIN ADVANTAGES OF CREATING YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
The flexibility, being able to work from home (sometimes), and being able to have an impact
in the subject matters I care most about.


ARE THERE ANY DISADVANTAGES?
Yes, you must be very pro-active. You do nothing, you get nothing. Also, not having a
steady income sometimes and having to devote time to chasing up payment from some
clients.


WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE STARTING A BUSINESS?
Start out with something that you know very well, or at the least, doesn’t feel laborious.
Always think about how your business is going to serve people as the end-users, even if
you are developing something technical for machines. It’s still for the benefit of people.