Our board member, Mel Templeton, reveals her story and the motivation behind her desire to help guide businesses with purpose and support founders who’ve got it all on the line.
How did you end up doing what you are doing now? Did you plan it, study for it, go after it, or did it just turn out that way?
I never planned my career. I did well in my first industry (hospitality), ending up with my own business at 25, and two by 28. A few years later I needed a change, so I sold up and followed a keen interest I had in computers and marketing.
That was back in 2000. Again unplanned, I ended up in product marketing and then brand marketing in online banking. I happened to be good at most things I tried, and was whisked overseas by the global bank which was exciting and full of new adventure and challenges. Six year later, I found myself in the upper echelons of executive corporate management.
That was when it hit me. This wasn’t what I wanted to do. I couldn’t find enough value in what I was doing, never mind whether I was enjoying it.
So for the first time ever, I started to think about what I wanted to actually do with my working days.
I got some good advice, a mentor, did some courses and finally settled on my personal purpose – to help people, businesses and communities thrive. Being a company director seemed a natural fit between my skillsets and my purpose. So I planned how to get there. And here I am!
I am currently on three commercial boards and one advisory committee, all in very different industries, and each with their own challenges and growing pains. For me, the pleasure is in being able to help in some way and I’ve tended to gravitate towards companies with a strong values base and real purpose to their existence, especially those that resonate with my own values.
For me, being a company director is a personal choice. I choose to do this because I enjoy being able to offer an idea, support an initiative, help build something with other like-minded people, and work selflessly to help build success for a business. That includes success for the founder, who has often got everything riding on the success of their business. It makes me feel like I am contributing something worthwhile to the world, rather than just doing something because I can.
This drive in me to “help” is a personal thing and I’ve been fortunate to find a way to combine that inner drive, with rewarding work as a director. Where will your inner drive take you?
Mel Templeton has been on the board of PledgeMe since April 2016, helping to guide and beef up the financial skill of the PledgeMe team.