Today is likely to be an emotional and exciting day for many young people about to embark on the next stage of their life journey. Some will be going to University, others taking a gap year, others going into work. For some, they may already be thinking about starting their own business!
This reminded me great young man called Junior Ogunyemi, who I had the pleasure of working with to publish his book a couple of years ago.
While studying for a BSc in Economics at Queen Mary, University of London, Junior co-founded the Queen Mary Enterprise Society and built one of the fastest growing sports academies in Britain. By graduation, he owned a successful football coaching academy operating in schools and communities across London. He also launched a publishing company that produced several magazines and ran numerous other start-up ventures online. He then went on to write his book "How To Be A Student Entrepreneur." After securing a publishing contract in late 2011, his revolutionary book is now available in 5 countries across the globe.
Below is an excerpt from a recent article Junior wrote which I wanted to post in the hope that it will help inspire those who are about to step into the next exciting phase of their personal and professional lives.
"Being young is hard enough, therefore the thought of being a young entrepreneur seems like it would require super-human abilities. You're young, so nobody takes you seriously. You're young so you have no start up capital available. You're young so you have no time in between studying and managing your social life. The barriers to launching a successful business seem endless.
However there is hope, I can testify to this personally. Also I have seen the amazing transformational results shown by many students I have worked with. In my book "how to be a student entrepreneur" I shared many practical tips on overcoming these challenges. I also tend to share loads more when I train young entrepreneurs at seminars and conferences. However, if I was to sum up all the advice I give to young people on the topic of being more entrepreneurial, it would boil down to my 3 pillars of success.
Pillar 1 - Skills
The skills we acquire are what create the opportunities we receive. The more skilled you are the more road blocks you can break through. Never begrudge money or time you spend on learning. This is your investment in your future opportunities. You are investing to build up your human capital in order to become a person of high value. Cristiano Ronaldo, the world's most expensive footballer can do things with a football that very few other people on the planet can do. This is why he is so highly valued. In this competitive day and age, the traditional academic qualifications are not enough to get you past common barriers. To stand out from the rest you must equip yourself with various other skills. Communication skills, leadership skills, linguistic skills, people and project management skills, all go a long way in creating an opportunity around barriers. Read the books, attend the seminars watch and study the videos. You will reap the rewards
Pillar 2 - Network
They say you need three things to start up a business. These are relationships, resources and finance. However I often find once I have the right relationships I automatically get the other two. Never underestimate the power of networking. I have achieved certain levels of success simply because someone offered me a hand. Likewise, I'm always keen to help others. Even if I personally can't help another entrepreneur out, I'm sure I know someone in my network that can. It's just the way smart businesses operate. We all know it's difficult to climb over barriers but it all becomes a lot easier when you can leverage off each other.
Pillar 3 - Inspiration
The final principal I hold onto is inspiration. Being inspired by something or someone is usually the trigger to action. For that reason it's important to constantly remain inspired so that you will constantly be in action. When barriers to success appear and times get hard in business it's easy to abandon ship. This is when you will need to dig deep within yourself and find strength in a greater purpose. When you reach a barrier monetary gain often proves a useless motivator because there may not even be any cash flow in the business. When you reach this point, what is it that will keep you going? Your inspiration could be a deep passion or love for your work, or a strong desire to help others through your work. Whatever you find your deepest inspiration in, hold onto this above all other motivators. When you reach a roadblock it will be your trigger to help you shoot through and continue your journey towards success.
In conclusion, skills, network and inspiration, three vital principals that will help any young entrepreneur overcome barriers. We know it will not be all smooth sailing to that pot of gold. You will have to do things you've never done to get something you've never had. This requires you jumping through hoops, taking risks and facing the same challenges many others have to go through. But never forget, BARRIERS ARE A GOOD THING! Barriers help us distinguish those who would like to achieve success from those who really desperately want and believe they deserve success. So therefore the barriers are not designed to stop you, they are there to keep out the other people." (c) Junior Ogunyemi