It's been a while since my last blog post and a lot has changed over the last few months. My previous posts were all about being a graduate and how I was coping with the shock of the real world. Well, I'm still coping with the shock of the real world but as it's 2015 and indeed a good six months since I graduated, I think I must officially call myself a grown up...
I've been thinking a lot about failure recently. Over the years, I shudder to think about how much time I have wasted worrying about whether I have failed a test or haven't done 'well enough'. And when I did fail something, like my first driving test for example, it undoubtedly only served to make me a better driver in the end. The angst of worrying about the failure was pointless...
It's been over a year now and, as I hoped and feared, it's been the most fun/interesting/terrifying year I've had for a few decades. On the whole, it would have been cheaper to buy a sportscar and less time-consuming to have an affair with a 25 year old, but, as I can't drive and am happy with my fella, this 45 year old's mid-life crisis is a "follow your dream" business startup.
It takes a certain type of person to make a business successful, not everyone is cut out to start a business. The harsh reality is that the vast majority of businesses will fail, one in three start-ups collapse within the first three years, which is often down to having an insufficient support and expertise network.
I've met so many people with great business ideas who have never had the confidence or courage to just do it. It's so very easy to keep telling yourself that you'll start a business one day but in the end, never even try. Everyone has the ability to start a business and these days everyone can use a second or third income stream.
Yogi Berra, the famous baseball coach once said, "You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." Scotland is free to choose its identity; but the rhetoric in support of the Yes vote conflates two very different courses of action, which are at odds with one another.
In life being different is a strength not a weakness. As an entrepreneur I have always wanted to stand out from the crowd and demonstrate my individuality. I learnt very early in my business life that you do not need to imitate others and found many people try so hard to be different that they actually just become poor clones of someone else.
Once you've made it through the development phase and hired your team - you certainly feel you're ready to get out there and sell your product or service. But how exactly do you get the word out? I've found that many entrepreneurs struggle with this. It's important to remember that marketing and PR is not an afterthought to your business plan. Marketing and good PR is essential for the success of any business. It may not matter how great the product or service you are offering is if nobody knows about it.
Britain is a country that has gained a wealth of knowledge, skills and experience from the diversity of cultural backgrounds and its international reputation. As the recent debate between Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage on immigration demonstrates, this heritage is often maligned and the incredible opportunities it affords us are wasted.