We are so excited to introduce you to an ongoing series where we celebrate the success and achievements of the amazing members of Woman Achieve. Meet Marla Johnson one of our mentors!
The Venture Center: What inspired you to participate in VCWoman Achieve?
When I started Aristotle in 1995, I received a lot of support from businessmen and women in the Little Rock community. It meant the world to me and made a huge difference in the success of our business. Not only did it help the business thrive, it helped me to thrive personally. I made lifelong friends who are important to me today. I know how much it can mean to tap into wisdom from someone who has been there and to gain access to a larger network.
What value has this mentorship program brought to you both personally and professionally?
I have loved meeting both the mentors and the mentees. It’s never too late to learn from others, and I have learned a lot and gained important contacts. The programs are not just great for the mentees, they are great for the mentors too! I really appreciate the thought that has gone into the educational programming.
What growth have you seen in both your mentee and yourself throughout this program?
My mentee is much like I was when I started my first business — so passionate about the avocation of the work, but not too thrilled about the business details. We have both gotten better at being open listeners and asking better questions to get to the heart of what success is both professionally and personally.
What advice would you give to those interested in applying for this program?
For mentees, clarify for yourself where your weaknesses are and use the program to build strengths in those areas. For mentors, help the mentee to ask questions of herself before she asks you questions. Learning and growing is more sustainable when a new business person learns how to look hard at what is working and what can be improved.