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Why Sheila B Driscoll believes everyone needs a mentor in business

The President and Co-Founder of the Billionaire Foundation is on a mission to empower young female entrepreneurs.

If the name Driscoll sounds familiar, it’s probably because you see it nearly every time you go to the supermarket. In 1904, Sheila Barry Driscoll’s great-grandfather Richard ‘Dick’ Driscoll began growing fresh strawberries in California’s Pajaro Valley.

More than 100 years later, it’s the world’s leading producer of fresh berries, and Driscoll couldn’t be more proud of her family’s achievements.

“It’s delightful,” she enthuses. “They say, ‘Driscoll strawberries? Driscoll berries … We eat your berries all the time.’ As my great grandfather would say, “Thank you for letting our family bring your family joy.”

For Driscoll, bringing joy to others is her number one priority as a billionaire.

A firm believer in giving back, she is the President and Co-Founder of the Billionaire Foundation.

Established in 2013, the Foundation aims to help billionaire families share resources, tools and infrastructure to increase the impact of each charitable donation towards a specific cause.

“One of the biggest mistakes billionaires and other wealthy families make is that they don’t teach their children how to give. They must be taught how to give, how to share and how to put others before themselves,” Driscoll told Entrepreneur.

Although Driscoll is passionate about philanthropy, she insists giving back isn’t just about money; mentorship is also important. “Education is the key,” she tells The CEO Magazine. “I will give you the analogy of a money mountain. Say you are given a shovel, a treasure map and a pick-up truck, and someone tells you to get in and drive to money mountain. But you don’t know where to go, where to stop and where to dig.

“Let’s say that your mentor then gets into the truck with you, drives you to money mountain and tells you where to stop and where to dig, thus economising time and eliminating guesswork. Now you are working with someone who has been there, done that and who has that experience to share with you and take you to the next level.”

The billionaire has a simple message for other successful women. “When you get to the top, send the elevator back down – that is what I want to do for younger women,” says Driscoll, who was on the Advisory Board for Sir Anthony Ritossa’s 10th Global Family Office Investment Summit held in Dubai last year.

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