Wild Estate Business Mentor

Blog & Resources/

turquoise waves

How a Business Mentor saved our ship in troubled waters: a first hand account

Jacqui Gage-Brown

7 November, 2023

Case Studies

Keryn Matthews, one of the owners of Wild Estate, Wild on Waiheke and Waiheke Island Brewery shares their journey of working with a business mentor, and how this coaching experience turned their business around. 

Imagine this: you’ve built a successful business over the span of seven-years. Finally, you’ve completed your dream project – a contemporary restaurant to replace your humble marquee. Everything was going swimmingly until that fateful day when Covid-19 hit, forcing you to close your doors indefinitely.

The outlook seemed grim, and despair started creeping in. But just when all hope seemed lost, a ray of light shone through the clouds in the form of a business mentor. That’s right – our saviour came in the shape of Sharn Rayner, and let us tell you, she turned our sinking ship around.

Making lemonade out of lemons

When we first met Sharn, we were drowning in uncertainty. We had no idea how to navigate these uncharted waters, and it felt like every day brought more bad news than the last. We tried reaching out to various hospitality helplines, desperately seeking guidance, but their answers only deepened our sense of despair.

But then came Sharn, armed with government funding and an unwavering determination to help us weather the storm. She took us under her wing and showed us that even in times of crisis, there are opportunities hidden amidst the chaos.

Advertising against all odds

One of the first things Sharn encouraged us to do was to double down on advertising while no one else was doing it. It sounded counterintuitive at first – after all, who would pay attention to ads during a pandemic? But Sharn made us see the bigger picture.

She explained that by staying visible during these tough times, we could build brand loyalty while advertising was cheap and position ourselves as a beacon of hope amid the darkness. And guess what? It worked! People started taking notice of our efforts and supporting our business more than ever before.

From surviving to thriving

With Sharn’s guidance and our dogged determination, we not only managed to keep our heads above water but also had our best year ever. It was a rollercoaster ride of emotions – from almost losing everything to celebrating newfound success.

To mark this incredible turnaround, we decided to treat ourselves to something special that we had longed for – a classic car. It was a symbol of the resilience and perseverance that got us through the toughest of times. And now, instead of working ourselves to an early grave, we’re learning to live in the moment and enjoy the fruits of our labour.

Wild Estate Awards

Balancing work and life

But Sharn’s impact on our business didn’t stop there. She helped us achieve another important goal – establishing a management team that would allow us to strike a better work-life balance. Gone are the days of working 70 hours a week, buried in the daily operations. We’ve become guardians of our business, ensuring its continued growth while reclaiming our own lives.

Investing in success

If you’re on the fence about investing in a business mentor, let us be clear: DO IT! Don’t wait until you’re standing at the edge of bankruptcy or your passion for your business is dwindling. The old saying holds true: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

With her expertise and support, Sharn helped us navigate treacherous waters and turn our fortunes around. She became an invaluable ally in our journey towards success and fulfilment.


Wild Estate Grounds

Smooth sailing ahead

In reality, having a business mentor like Sharn saved us from the brink of disaster and propelled us towards unprecedented growth. Her guidance not only helped us weather the storm but also allowed us to achieve work-life balance and rediscover joy in what we do.

So if you find yourself facing rough seas in your entrepreneurial journey, don’t hesitate to seek out someone who can guide you through those troubled waters. Investing in the right mentor could be the best decision you make for your business and your own well-being.

Remember, success is not just about working hard; it’s also about working smart and seeking help when you need it. Together, we can weather any storm and sail towards a brighter future.

Thank you to Keryn for sharing their experience. Need to turn your ship around? Or looking to get ahead? Contact Two Tides and we can discover what’s going on in your world and how we can best support you and your business goals.