Juha Österlund offers his experience to a company

Juha Österlund was selected as the Business Mentor of the Year 2022 by Pirkanmaa Business Mentors

Juha Österlund stopped running in the rat race a couple of years ago. He left the banking sector to become the leader of his own company. Österlund considers himself a salesman with 35 years of work experience in the trade chains, IT sector, and service of banks in Finland and Europe. Juha has strengthened his skills as a business mentor by completing a professional qualification as a business advisor.

– “My company has been very quiet for the past years. I have participated in a multitude of Business Clinics. This is really enjoyable and rewarding work. More seasoned mentors wisely say: here, you can occasionally use your brain.

– “Instead of giving advice, I share examples from my own experiences. What has actually happened is the best example, in my opinion.”

Satisfaction and positive feelings as a reward

J.P. Kinos persuaded Juha Österlund to become a mentor. The men happened to sit next to each other at an event organized by the Tampere Chamber of Commerce, and here we are. J.P. Kinos talked about business mentors, and it started to interest Österlund. He had already thought about sharing the experiences gained in working life with others.

– “Satisfaction and positive feelings is a good reward in this. Since I have never worked a day in Tampere, this is also a good way to create a network in the city and the region. In addition, I have the possibility to utilize the network of mentors and the professional competence and contacts thereof. ”

Mentors do not receive a salary or fee for their tasks. They are voluntary professionals.

– “That’s one of the finest aspects of this activity,” says Juha Österlund.

Interesting small and big challenges

Business Mentors Pirkanmaa has solo entrepreneurs as well as small and medium-sized businesses as clients. Juha Österlund has been an active mentor for almost two years, and he has encountered all sorts of interesting situations.

– “For example, in our Kasvun Eväät -project (finished 2023), entrepreneurs were still seeking a direction for their business. The problems are relatively small, but the discussion is still beneficial. In larger or longer-established businesses, really interesting issues come up, where I have been able to share my experiences in a way that benefits the entrepreneur. The satisfaction and fulfillment of both is the best reward.”

Juha Österlund recommends mentorship for individuals who are not in the busiest phase of their working life, as being a mentor takes time. For retirees, on the other hand, it keeps them engaged.

– “We need all kinds of mentors because, above all, experience is shared here. From every meeting, you always get more than you give.” According to Österlund, having a business mentor adds value, especially for a business with one or two shareholders whose expertise is tied to the company’s everyday life.

– “For many entrepreneurs, all their time goes into the ‘thing’ for which the company was founded, and everything else – marketing, planning, financial matters – is secondary. In that case, having a business mentor as a conversation partner because you need to look at the business more broadly.”

Text Juha Kosonen


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