The past six years have been crazy to say the least. Going from selling keyrings at local markets as a 14 year old to now running a leading education company as a 20-year-old has seen me definitely having my fair share of adventures growing and scaling BOP. Over the past six year one fear that I have always had however is that being a young entrepreneur I just didn’t know what I didn’t know. BOP has been my first job, my first business and my first experience in business and I have always been worried about my lack of knowledge and experience.
A great supplement to this however has been a phenomenal group of mentors that have supported me, taught me and guided me over the past six years. I owe all of my success to these mentors as I can safely say that if it wasn’t for them, I definitely would not be where I am now.
Along my journey I have received some fantastic pieces of advice that I would now love to share with other aspiring entrepreneurs looking to make their start.
“You’ve got to sell yourself before you can sell anything else.”
I actually got this gem from my grandfather. He was a furniture salesman back in his prime and used to always tell me that it was always about relationships. He’d always say it’s about being authentic and genuine because people can smell fake from a mile away. I’ve kept this saying close to my heart ever since he told me.
“Be a good human”
I’ve heard this again and again ever since hearing it at a Techstars community leader event and I adore it. It may sound simple but you’d be surprised how far a smile and a positive attitude will get you. The energy you put out is the energy that you will get back from others.
“Say yes to opportunities”
You never know where different opportunities will take you. For me I always thought I was going to be a commercial airline pilot but after saying yes to my parents asking my to study business in year nine, it’s taken me to where I am now. I always love saying yes to as many opportunities as possible and because of that I often find myself having to pinch myself with some of the awesome situations I end up in.
“Work smarter not harder”
Starting a business is hard work and at the start it is a lot of hard work, but always look at how you can work smarter as opposed to harder. At the end of the day you're not doing it for practice and if there are easier or more efficient ways to do things, take advantage of those opportunities.
“Great things never come from comfort zones”
This is a quote that has very much underpinned my journey, and I think it’s a common theme for people working to be successful. As humans we often find ourselves sitting inside our comfort zones, but to achieve truly great things and to stand out from the crowd you’ve got to be constantly pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone.
“Young people, when informed and empowered, when they understand that what they are doing can truly make a difference, can indeed change the world.”
I’m going to finish on my absolute favorite quote from Jane Goodall as I think it perfectly encapsulates what young entrepreneurs are working to do. Starting a business as a young person is no small feat and is definitely not the done thing.
If you’re reading this and either have your own, or are thinking about starting your own business you’re already standing out from the crowd. Remember to be a good human, push yourself out of your comfort zone and remember that you can indeed change the world!