The mentoring session that changed everything
Jen Mulliniks first reached out to SCORE in the planning stages of her small business.
"I wanted to visit with someone who wasn't my friend, who wasn't a family member, someone who didn't know me. I wanted someone who would really look at my business plan with a magnifying glass and try to poke holes in it. I found that with Lew," she recalled about her initial meeting with SCORE mentor,
Mulliniks is the owner of
, a modern and light-filled space in north downtown Albuquerque for businesses and organizations to utilize for their important meetings. For one set price, groups gain access to an attractive atmosphere with full tech/AV. Meals are extra but include local healthy food options and access to virtually any caterer. The idea for Gravitate grew out of Jen's experience organizing events where she observed the often negative impact of a meeting environment on herself and others. Gravitate's approach is to use the physical environment to help attendees become more comfortable and willing to participate -- a hallmark of a successful meeting.
After their initial meetings, Jen and Lew did not meet again for about a year. Gravitate was up and running, but things were not going well. Resolved that the only solutions were to drastically change the business or close it down, Jen contacted her mentor. Lew reviewed her books. He outlined the steps to close her business. Then he said, "Let's talk about how you're going to stay open."
"It was an a-ha moment. I realized I didn't have to be afraid anymore. Lew made me feel calm," she said.
Lew recommended that Jen make a few tweaks. Today, these tweaks have reaped big results. She now outsources services like marketing and office help so she can focus on growing her business. The next business phases include more space, more services and the opportunity for local culinary entrepreneurs to develop relationships with Gravitate clients.