By August 18, 2016 Read More →

The Floating Mentor

Archie Workman The Floating MentorWe’ve met Archie Workman before on the blog, and he’s kindly returned to tell us about his latest incarnation as the Floating Mentor:

Archie, tell us about the floating!
We’ve had a narrowboat for about 14 years now, 7 of which were on the Shropshire Union canal. But 3 hours on the M6 there & back forced its return 3 years ago to the beautiful tranquil Lancaster Canal and a mooring right in the centre of the busy market town of Garstang in Lancashire.

I call it my ‘Man-shed’ as at 50ft long I always seem to have a paintbrush in my hand!

How did you originally come up with the idea to take your clients on board your narrowboat?
Joining the local Chamber of Commerce, I noticed there was a niche for someone with my talents as a personal or business mentor helping start-ups or sole traders develop their business ideas.

I came up with the idea of being the ‘Floating Mentor’ as when you step aboard a narrowboat and glide slowly along the canal, you really relax and think more clearly about problems than when you’re sitting in an office or cafe surrounded by distractions and mobile phones.

I don’t have a website as I tend to advertise on Twitter through various #hours such as #Lancashirehour or #Northwesthour as it is instant and free!

What kind of challenges do you help solve?
Modern mentoring is an active learning methodology that helps by gaining, passing on and developing the skills in a person or business to take them to the next level in their career or business plan.

I have an uncanny knack for polishing people’s CV to get them in front of an interview and I teach body language skills. Not only how to behave in the interview, but to read the body language of the interviewer which can give a competitive advantage.

Some of my clients find it hard to get in front of the right person so I often ‘broker’ introductions through LinkedIn and personal business contacts.

The Floating Mentor - pubHow much time do you spend afloat?
I try to put one day a week aside. I should be slowing down now as the grey hair appears and spend more, but currently two part-time roles limit my mentoring hours.

Weekend sailing is strictly pleasure and involves a waterside pub or a barbecue on the tow path.

How do you think the narrowboat experience benefits your clients?
You only have to step aboard and feel the gentle sway of the water around you to realise that this is an experience. It helps balance personal and professional lives as you help someone steer through the bridges of life or the development of their business.

My Floating Mentor style is very much one of listening more than talking. I find people today do not have that ‘special person’ they can confide in, or one that can stimulate their creativity or help see life from outside their personal and business life, looking inwardly at them without criticism.

I have helped several people find new jobs, new clients, new business. It’s always a very positive thing for them to be able to say ‘I have my own mentor’, and I am very proud to be their mentor.

The boat amplifies my personality and enables me to use several analogies such as ‘slow down and take a good look around your life or business’ as the world we live in today seems to spin ever faster.

The Floating Mentor - Archie Workman - drinksWhat are your favourite parts of life on the canal?
It is without doubt a wonderful way of life and many aspects stimulate your thinking, being so close to nature.

The ever-changing scenery out the window when you wake up in the morning, or see a kingfisher or heron close up, is why I always have my camera with me.

All the people on the canal are very friendly and you meet some very interesting people from all over the world.

I don’t get any of this from my shed in the garden…

work from home secrets

You can find out more about Archie at his LinkedIn profile. And if you like the sound of a narrowboat trip with the Floating Mentor you can also read more about boatworking and in particular the refreshments Archie serves aboard The Why Aye Man!

2 Comments on "The Floating Mentor"

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  1. Archie, I have just seen your fine longboat which allows you to be the Floating Mentor. What a good idea! Your office windows provide varying views, I would expect, as you travel along. A new take on the Home Office. My little corner (home, nonfloating) office has a window with 4 variations on the view (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter). They work well. Again, I am quite taken with yourInnovativeLongboat Office.