It's never too late to have a mentor
JANE Meredith may be 57 and has already achieved national success in the competitive jewellery business, but she still feels having a mentor and role models will continue to assist her grow and develop.
"I have a personal mentor who teaches me to take responsibility for my actions. She also tells me to do everything with ease and grace," Jane said.
Jane is the founder, owner and operator of Secrets jewellery. She started the business with a belief that all women should have access to designer jewellery even though diamonds were out of reach for 90 percent of women. After extensive research into diamond stimulants she found a stone that looked and sparkled like a diamond and had the brilliance to last a lifetime - but came at a fraction of the cost.
Starting with one store on the Sunshine Coast, Jane now has 10 outlets across Queensland and in Sydney, Perth and Melbourne as well as an on-line store. She recently opened her latest store in Carindale and now employs 51 staff.
When asked what still drives her despite her success, she replies with passion.
"The original desire was to have two to three stores and that felt really big," she laughed. "But then one day, within the first six months of opening our first store, I went in to the store early. As I stood surveying what we'd already achieved, I had an overwhelming feeling that the business was going to be bigger than I had imaged. That's when I made a promise to myself to be forever passionate and committed."
Jane's advice to any woman over the age of 50 who might like to start a small business or apply for a job should put fears aside and go forth with confidence.
"I had no formal training in how to start a business," she said. "I believe the most important thing is to know why you are doing it, that you believe in it and that you are passionate about it. You know you will be challenged. Be determined to climb the mountain, surround yourself with people who can do things better than you. Be careful who you take advice from, look at what they've achieved and make sure it sits well with your philosophy. Trust yourself, have faith and be prepared to work hard and enjoy the journey."