Hi, I am Alison Larkman, a psychology graduate and former international rower. I came to business in an unusual way, as many entrepreneurs have. Initially created to fund my international rowing career, I set up a sports clothing company.

From a bedroom start I enlisted help from fellow international athletes in the sport of hockey, lacrosse and rugby to develop the brand across various sports. Products retailed in the UK, Europe, Australia and the USA. It was then successfully sold.

One of the most important lessons I learnt was how difficult it can be to get the balance right between being right in there running a business and stepping away to allow it to work on its own. It was only when we went to sell it that I realised the true value of a business is how well it works without you. To do this you need to step away and let (at least some of it) run itself.

Using my experience both in sport and business, I now work with a range of really exciting business owners. I know how isolating running a company can be and how valuable it is to have experienced support from someone who has been there.

A blu inc and Chesapeake production