“Turns out I am an entrepreneur and there are people who want to help.”

Russell Greenhill photo

GM has given me access to the start-up community in London, which is fantastic. I feel like I belong in the start-up world and that I can actually call myself and entrepreneur without sounding crazy.

Russell Greenhill

Solo Founder
Country United Kingdom
Company Greenhill Academics

Tell us about what you are currently working on.

I am the founder of a bootstrapping tutoring business.

Greenhill Academics is a tutoring business that focuses on working with exceptional tutors from the top universities in the world. Currently, 80% come from Oxford and Cambridge University.

We offer tuition services to a wide age range of students—the youngest currently is 10 and the oldest is 30. What is great about having good tutors is the services offered can be varied because the competence of the tutors is very high.

We currently have 15 tutors tutoring subjects ranging from 11+ admissions tests to St Paul’s School to advanced Financial Econometrics at the Master’s level.

My job is currently a bit of everything as I’m the only full-time employee—it’s a massive learning curve. My work is split between business development and tutoring.

Before you learned about GrowthMentor, how did you deal with the challenges you faced?

Before GM, I was working with a mentor who went to the Oxford Said Business School with me. He has a consulting background with expertise in larger businesses. Working through him, I knew the exceptional value a mentor could bring as he had given me some invaluable advice, particularly on the differentiation of the tutoring services offered when presenting them on my website and social media. I learned that there was so much I didn’t yet know and I began a mission to soak up as much business knowledge as possible. At the same time, my challenges developed such that I was facing very specific blockers and I felt that a different view was needed to accelerate the business growth.

What ultimately compelled you to sign up for GrowthMentor?

The value that it provided far exceeded the cost. The cost-benefit was a no-brainer.

The benefit:
1) There are founders of successful businesses and business coaches willing to meet you, talk to you non-judgementally, and offer valuable advice.
2) You gain access to a community that is by definition highly ambitious and has extremely positive energy.
3) You get constant access to people who have faced similar problems. You get to shortcut your growth by finding out what you don’t know from people who have trodden a similar path.

The cost

What’s your favorite thing about GrowthMentor?

GM has a diverse range of mentors who have different expertise that could be valuable to your business. If you don’t know how to market your product through email, there is a mentor who does this. What about PPC Google Ads? There’s someone for that too. What about the SEO of your website… you bet, there is someone on hand to answer all these questions.

What topics have you mostly discussed with mentors?

I originally came seeking advice on marketing as I had no idea how to do it. However, after an overview of the marketing channels that were available, I completely pivoted to networking in the industry and providing services to other tutoring agencies, which has been a great source of growth.

After this growth, I’ve worked on how to hire tutors and build onboarding processes. I also worked in one session to build a work prioritization framework to help me use my time more efficiently. The sessions are sometimes good to get good business reading material.

Is there a specific session/mentor that stands out in your mind as super helpful?

Kevin Veitia has been an invaluable help in my progress.

I originally called him as he had a fantastic profile for marketing, however, I really resonated with his suggestions of talking to more people in the industry and acting with the long-term view in mind. For example, I was in correspondence with a school in Canterbury that had a student suffering from Long Covid symptoms and went through extended periods of absence. I was able to make a difference to this student by giving heavily discounted tuition.

Kevin has also made some great suggestions for expanding to different countries and new reading content on marketing.

Based on the things you’ve discussed in calls, do you have any results to tell us about?

Since using GM, the business has really found traction, which is exciting and validating.

The challenge that I faced at the beginning was to shift from a freelance tutor to getting other people tutoring work. The changes in my strategy suggested by my mentors have allowed me to go from being a freelance tutor to getting work for 15 tutors. This all started from an ambition to meet the demand from parents to get top-quality education and provide work to highly skilled academics.

I can say with confidence now that Greenhill Academics is moving in the right direction with this.

How has GrowthMentor helped you?

GM has given me access to the start-up community in London, which is fantastic. I feel like I belong in the start-up world and that I can actually call myself and entrepreneur without sounding crazy.

I’ve also adapted my life the accommodate the newfound freedom. For example, my organization and prioritization have improved drastically and I’m much more efficient in the way I work. This has mainly come from reading Getting Things Done by David Allen (a suggested book by Kevin).

What three adjectives would you use to describe GrowthMentor?

Supportive, giving, knowledgeable.

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