THE BLOG

One Young World: Turning Failure Into Action

30/09/2013 10:33 BST | Updated 27/11/2013 10:12 GMT

A moment of failure inspired me to take action. My biggest challenge when I left university was finding a job, and now my biggest challenge is finding the best talent to take the business forward. There are opportunities out there for young people today, but there is only so much you can learn by studying and preparing but the real learning takes place when you are taking action.

Tomorrow I fly out to Johannesburg for the One Young World Summit 2013. It is an honour to be a delegate speaker, to share the stage with speakers such as Sir Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington and Boris Becker and come together with people from over 180 countries to inspire young people.

One Young World (OYW) is a not-for-profit organisation which brings together young people from around the world, helping them create positive change and become the leaders of tomorrow.

Young people today have a fear of failure. For me, not being selected for a team leadership position at an organisation I was involved with at university, being rejected by the bank for a startup loan - all these setbacks drove me to take action.

It's also not just about being an entrepreneur but taking an entrepreneurial mindset into your everyday life, being proactive and taking responsibility for your actions and not just accepting your reality.

When starting up we didn't have extensive funding, we were boot strapped and had to be really resourceful - creating opportunities and barter deals to get things at the time we couldn't afford. For example after we launched website studentbeans.com in Birmingham, one of the biggest costs was travelling across the UK and setting up in each city. Sleeping on the floor at friends was not sustainable. We approached the Accor Group of hotels who own Novetel and IBIS and in exchange for some advertising on the site they gave us over 70 nights accommodation anywhere in the UK and included breakfast that stocked me up for the day.

With commitment and hard work, I believe that anyone can be an entrepreneur. Belief, drive, ambition and will - everyone has these traits in them if they think about it in the right way. It is up to individuals to take opportunities and make it happen. If you can learn skills, are committed to a goal and are not afraid to make mistakes, then you can succeed.