Five-time x AFR young rich-lister Nick Bell, says he’s leveraging COVID’s transformative impact on business communications, to propel the ‘age old’ mentor-mentee relationship into the digital age.
The owner of 12 global digital agencies says he was forced to change his management style during 2020 when he could no longer meet in person with his international business leadership teams.
“Pre-COVID I was on the road two out of four weeks every month, because I thought I had to be there to speak with the team, show I was present and run meetings in person,” says Bell, who sold his Australian digital marketing agency WME in 2017 for $39 million.
“However, in reality I only need to be there in person twice a year, and still have the same impact by running management meetings via Zoom.
“That’s what we do now, and it’s far more efficient and cost effective; and we’re still getting the same great results. It’s been a game changer.”
As he adjusted to leading and coaching via video conferencing, Bell says he realised the future of mentoring and leading teams was undergoing an enforced evolution and new digital platforms were required.
Bell is now launching Lisnic, an online marketplace, connecting mentees with a diverse range of mentors from across the globe through the platform’s secure video conferencing.
Bell says he and cofounder, Lisa Teh have already attracted the likes of Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph, as well as, Elaine Culotti, Laird Hamilton and David Sinclair.
He says technological and behavioural communication shifts as a result of COVID-19 mean the mentor-mentee relationship is now unbounded by geographic restrictions.
“Finding a mentor traditionally relies on having the right networks or access to people, which is damn hard when you’re just starting out in business, or living in a remote or regional location, where you physically can’t get to meet people,” Bell says.
“Lisnic solves that problem by not only giving mentees the opportunity to connect with mentors from around the world, but also allows you to set your budget and choose more than one mentor if you like.”
Bell says mentees can specify a budget, and and post their requirements in a job alert to seek a particular skill set; then browse the profiles of mentors who have bid for the job, and award the work to their choice.
“I’m a huge advocate for having multiple mentors. I have a What’s App group with 10 business owners who have created multi-million dollar companies, and shoot off a message whenever I need advice.”