Do you know anyone in the process of starting a business? Please make sure you get them to read this letter.
Dear aspiring entrepreneur,
I am writing this letter because I love and care about you. I am tired of seeing too many people led down the wrong path of business startup. I feel compelled to write openly about this subject having worked in the enterprise and entrepreneurship space myself since 2008. I’ve held numerous roles, developed successful projects, including achieving 130% growth in membership sales for a leading entrepreneurship organisation, and 300% increase in student engagement for startup programme for a leading UK higher education institution respectively.
In these periods I witnessed the good, the bad, and the ugly of business startup. From people who genuinely care and love what they do, to people doing it solely to make a name for themselves. I’ve seen some irresponsible behaviours, heard some pretty heartbreaking stories of people suffering from nervous breakdowns and depression, all caused by the pressure of starting up their own businesses. The one that breaks my heart the most is the lies fed to many young people as to the reasons why they should start up their own business, such as, the freedom to become your own boss, control your own destiny etc.
Have you ever wondered or asked yourself why all of a sudden the term entrepreneurship has become fashionable? Remember it wasn’t too long ago the older generation were sold the dreams of a 9-5 and job for life. This is because making it sound personable, offering you this great life and freedom will make you buy into it. The real truth behind the push and drive for business startup is because of long term economic growth and security. You or your interest was never at the heart of it all but rather the economy. Too many people are being led into a blackhole, and sold a false sense of security guised in the freedom to become your own boss. So you may want to think again before getting started.
Starting a business isn’t a joke or child’s play. It is serious business and I don’t want you or anyone you to go through the same experiences as some of the people I’ve come in contact with over the years. I genuinely love and care about you and your wellbeing. You should not put yourself or your needs at the forefront of starting a business. Do not start a business because you want the freedom to become your own boss, or to make money. Separate your quest for freedom, becoming your own boss, and drive to make money from your motive for wanting to start a business. Only start a business because you are genuinely passionate about helping others, identified a solution to a problem, or because your have a gift/talent that will benefit others and add value to their lives. These are the things that will keep you going when you hit those dark days or feel like giving up. Trust me when I say it will only be a matter of time until you FAIL, if you put yourself at the forefront.
So, here’s my message to you or someone you may know that’s in the process of starting up. If you truly want to live a fulfilled life, and experience true freedom in life, first start by discovering your authenticity, your passion, and purpose. Don’t even think before you even think about taking any action until you’ve first discovered your love. Then once you’ve discovered it, focus on develop yourself and skills until you are ready. Gain some credibility before considering taking action. You can do through formal or informal education, and work experience in your sector of interest. This will not only equip you with the right skill and credibility but also some much needed valuable knowledge and insight of your sector. You may just find out after all that the business you’re about to start isn’t what you truly want to do, or perhaps how you truly want to do it. However, if you discovered that starting a business is for you then do so by starting from within. Only do it because of the love you have for it, with the right motives, and most importantly do so authentically. Starting a business isn’t fun and games. It is life. You are putting a lot on the line.
I’ll leave you with a quote of mine:
“Entrepreneurship is creating the life you see within into reality. Starting a business is just one aspect”.