News | Flashback to 1985: catching up with Robin Mitchell
In 1985 Robin Mitchell and Colin MacPhail won a Shell LiveWIRE regional award for their walking tour business, Cadies. We caught up with Robin some years later to find out what has happened since then...
What can you remember of your involvement with Shell LiveWIRE?
I remember our time with Shell LiveWIRE as a positive and exciting time. We were in our early 20s in 1985 when we won the Lothian heat of the competition. The business support, publicity and subsequent trips to Glasgow and London came about due to our involvement with Shell LiveWIRE. As a fledgling business it was a real boost.
How have things changed for you since you won your Shell LiveWIRE award?
I think the biggest change in our time is with technology. In the early days of our business we used a trusty old typewriter to type our letters. I don't remember having a computer at the start. The idea of using something like a Smartphone would have been completely alien. The key, of course, is to keep up with changing technology, which I feel we continue to do.
How have you had to adapt as an entrepreneur over the years?
We have adapted by continually developing new ideas. We initially began our business in 1984 as an Edinburgh walking tour company. It has since developed into a business that produces films and publishes books.
What has been the biggest obstacle you have overcome in business?
The biggest obstacle to a small business is competition. You must be aware of new organisations starting up in your area, competing in the same market place.
What are your top 3 tips for a young entrepreneur who is about to set up in business?
1. Do something you REALLY want to do.
2. Make sure you control your business. Don't let your business control you.
3. Watch out for the obstacles, especially people who say it will never work. Use negatives as positives.
Shell LiveWIRE UK has been running for 30 years. If you have been involved with the programme at any point over the years and would like to share your story, please contact Alba Griffin at firstname.lastname@example.org.