Enterprising Route is to Go Your Own Way
DON'T talk to me about education for entrepreneurs. They're pouring far too much public money into it already - not counting the millions some well-known Scottish entrepreneurs are prepared to waste on it.
And all because far too few of our youngsters these days are prepared to attend the University of Life. They would rather "go to college", where they experience a soft-centred existence and end up just as unprepared for the real world. You'd get more enterprise out of a trained circus animal - at least a lion sometimes shows a bit of spark and turns on its trainer. Kids schooled to be entrepreneurs will simply turn out as managers. They'll know all the techniques but won't be able to take a decision without someone holding their hands.
Enterprise is about risk-taking. Wandering off to the local "tech" - if that's what they still call these places of shelter from the realities of the workplace - for a wee course, interspersed with liberal coffee breaks and vacations, is no gamble at all. We've heard about the shortage of plumbers and how they can command an hourly rate approaching that of a libel lawyer. But even that doesn't seem to have attracted a rush of applications to plumbing apprenticeships.
It's all part of the culture we have developed that values paper qualifications over finding out on the job. Mostly, however, we need our young people to climb out of their own indifference to take charge of their own futures. And this, from my experience, means being your own boss to as great a degree as possible.
Having left school at 16 with five O grades, I served an apprenticeship as an electrician with Glasgow City Council. No shortage of work there, believe me. But, after four years, it was time for something different. So, as travel is said to broaden the mind, I travelled. I was a waiter in Greece, an electrician in Zimbabwe. Everywhere, I absorbed other people's experiences, and gathered my own.
Back in Scotland, I took a job as a door-to-door salesman for cavity wall insulation. Then I sold photocopiers on a commission-only basis, cold calling. These are the tough schools of life, when you learn about other people's behaviour and your own abilities. My next sales job was a flop. But I learned that failure, too, can be a great instructor. After three years of little or no consequence or challenge, I took my life back into my own hands and left to join Lloyds Bowmaker as a senior account executive.
All this was, I now realise, providing me with the building blocks for starting my own business, to join the wealth-creating community. So, to any youngster not sure whether to go to college or get a job, I say: "Go out into the big wide world and experience life. Go abroad and come back a better person. Grind out the road miles and you'll have a better future. Discover yourself and no-one will take advantage of you. Be your own boss and never look back."
Brian Burns - Technology Leasing Ltd - http://www.technologyleasing.co.uk
The Entrepreneurs Prayer
As I awaken with the gift of yet another day and prepare for thetasks at hand, I offer up this most ardent prayer:
Surviving the Three Pitfalls of Business Ownership
While this idyllic life might be the reality for some entrepreneurs, it certainly isn't guaranteed. In reality, every entrepreneur has a unique experience depending on their decisions and plain, old luck. And while good luck may be hard to control, making good decisions isn't.
Top Ten Ways to Increase Your Profitability
1) Go back to basics.Take a couple of steps back and address the fundamental facts or principles of your business. Going back to basics can mean cleaning the slate and focusing on basic elements that create success.
It never ceases to amaze me. Almost everyone peers into the future through a rear-view mirror. The future is imagined as a continuation of the past. I suppose there is a certain security in that; much like a padded cell. Hardly anyone practices creative envisioneering.
Are You An Entrepreneur?
With all the buzz about everybody being an entrepreneur these days wouldn't it be nice if you could really find out if you have what it takes?
Increasing Business BIGTIME with a Successful Referral System
What I've discovered from most of my small business clients is that most would prefer to build their business through referrals rather than through direct mail, advertising in newspapers, radio, TV. However, most leave the referrals to a somewhat chaotic, unplanned approach. When they have a repeatable system of going after referrals their business growth suddenly explodes.
Delivery Companies Make the Grade
In the United States we have the most efficient delivery service companies in the world. This is because the free market competitive system has pushed entrepreneurs to become more efficient to make more profit and to keep costs down. More and more products are now delivered right to your door. Businesses have found efficient ways to do this and consumers are loving it.
The Desire For Money, Do You Have Business Sense?
For those of us who grew up with parents who worked for businesses rather than owned them, the world of business can be quite a mystery. Even more so if we've dared to try to start one of our own. There is the factor of what type of business to start - a product or service business. There are the issues of doing a good market analysis, licensing the business, understanding the codes of law governing businesses, and determining just what type of business structure to choose - especially if the business will have employees. For example, should we start a sole proprietorship or a corporate business? It's a lot to work on, and it's not an overnight process to the road of success. But, the most crucial challenge to whether a business succeeds or fails lies deep within the realm of emotional versus financial intelligence.
The Dirty Dozen
1) No Umbrella Business Plan or Strategy -- Without a plan, there's no serious way to gauge the growth and progress of your business. You need a realistic map for where the customers will come from and where your business is going. You also need a plan to bail you out when difficult personal and business times come your way. Solution ? get a plan together. Stop thinking about it and do it.
Why Most CEOs & Entrepreneurs Fail?
Times are tough. The economy is in a constant state ofupheaval. Is your company doing better than most? Are youplacing greater emphasis on pure performance?
Do You Have What It Takes?
I think it's fair to say that not everyone is cut out to be a successful business owner, now some of you maybe disputing this statement but hear me out.
PR That Entrepreneurs Often Overlook
If that sounds like you, here's what you may be missing once the new enterprise is launched
Business Is No Guarantee of Riches
Q: I'm thinking about starting a business since that seems to be how most rich people get rich. I don't have any business experience or much money, but I'm a fast learner and have lots of energy. Any free advice?Peter J.
Creativity & Entrepreneurship: The Secret to Discovering Your Purpose in Life!©
Hello Creative Entrepreneurs!
Work On, Not In Your Business
Are you busy? Everyone's busy! Ask anyone they'll tell you how busy they are. But how many people are accomplishing real results?
Why Every Student Should Start a Business
With the economic downturn, students in all the major business schools have been dropping out of their entrepreneurship classes and transferring back to classes where they think they have a secure future. Students and professionals who were once planning to start businesses now have decided to go back to their cushy jobs. Everything is going back to normal. Or at least that is how it looks. Below are nine reasons why any student should start a business:You gain experience. Owning and running your own business is an incredible way to gain experience and credentials regardless of whether you decide to stay in business once you graduate. Jaime Gonzalez of Oklahoma State University received the highest job offer in his entire graduating class. Now, there are two kickers: First, he was the founder of an IT consulting company, and second, he had a 2.4 GPA. Hmmm...I wonder if starting a business helps in getting a better job when you graduate? You have nothing to lose. I think it's safe to say that most students dip into their parents' checkbook when it comes time to pay the bills. In general, students aren't paying child support, rent, utilities and many other expenses. The worst thing that could happen if your business fails is that you get a job, have an incredible credential on your resume, and have experience that will increase your chances of success in the future. The best thing that can happen is that you'll become the next Microsoft. I don't know about you, but I think that is better than choosing between no job and jobs that you're in just for the money. Two-thirds of millionaires are entrepreneurs, according to Thomas Stanley and William Dank, authors of The Millionaire Mind. If it's the money you want, then consider entrepreneurship. You receive not only a salary, but also a lot of money if you're lucky enough to sell your company or take it public. Michael Furdyk, a successful young entrepreneur, was able to sell his business, MyDesktop.com, for $1 million when he was 16 years old! You develop networking skills. You've likely heard that your network increases your net worth. Consider the fact that by running a business and constantly being in a business community, you will develop excellent contacts. If you choose to get a job after you graduate, you will have a great pool of people who will be more than happy to hire you or send your resume to somebody who wants to. You increase your value. Put simply, starting a business in college increases the value of "the brand called you" and gives you more options. For example, an entrepreneur with a large brand value can publish a book, star in a documentary movie (i.e., Startup.com), or go straight to the top of another company. I recently met one of the founders of Diversity Planet, a job site for minorities. He spent a year working very hard on the company and has since left to take a reporting job with Dateline NBC at the ripe age of 20! People don't often don't get an opportunity like that until they are much older. Operating a profitable business in the long term is less risky than being an employee in the long term. For example, just look at the recent economic downturn. Tens of thousands of people have been laid off. I can guarantee the owners of profitable businesses are still with the business. They will be the last people to go down with a ship. Business owners can have multiple streams of incomes from different customers. If you're an employee, you only have one stream of income and therefore are bearing more risk. You will learn more about yourself and what they don't teach or prepare you for in school. Furthermore, entrepreneurship is the combination of all the disciplines of business. It includes knowledge of marketing, accounting, management and operations. Already having knowledge of these topics before you take classes on them allows you to see more clearly how everything applies. Also, you will be able to learn early-on what subjects you like so you can make better decisions on what to major in and what industries to target. It is yours. You make the rules, create your own hours, work from wherever you want and choose who you want to work with. You can also pick what interests you the most in the world and then start a business that is related to that topic in some way. If you like art, you can start a design business. If you like marketing, you can create or choose a product and then market it. If you like writing, you can write a book and do your own public relations and marketing. If you like the Internet, you can start a Web development business. You'll grow. I personally have grown a lot from owning a business. I used to be terrified to speak in front of others. Now I look forward to it. Before owning a business, I had probably read a total of five books outside of school, and I only read them because my mom made me. Since starting my business, I've probably read more than 100 books. The business has also allowed me to learn more about myself. I know that I will be an entrepreneur forever in some way, shape or form!
Adding a Service After You Buy a Business
When you buy a business, you should have a plan. Why have you chosen that particular business? Why that particular time to buy a business? What can you bring to the business? Some of the most successful business stories are of people who buy a business with the intention of bringing their specialized set of skills to it, and using them to grow the business.
Is Now the Right Time to Become An Entrepreneur?
A number of economic changes are magnifying the role of small business and creating the impetus for entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurs, Are You Hauling Buckets?
Once upon a time, there was a village on the banks of a fine, clear river. The villagers all drew their water from the river, and used it to cook, and bathe and water their gardens. Life was good.
The 7 Major Reasons Businesses Fail and How to Overcome Them
This year, over 800,000 of the approximately 2,000,000 start up businesses will fail!
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