Who wants to be an entrepreneur?
My son wants to be an entrepreneur, and I am embracing the idea of him peeking behind that shiny curtain.
He has no real idea, no real money, no plan and no experience, but he has one thing. He has the desire, and that is a powerful thing.
I hope he continues his education and goes on to university because he is smart enough and education is free in Scotland.
However, exploring ideas in an entrepreneurial way is an education in itself. Learning to make money, not lose money, and manage money while doing something that is realistic is an excellent education. I will continue to encourage him to do the university thing and pursue his ideas about being an entrepreneur. For me, it is an ‘AND, AND’ not an ‘OR, OR’ situation.
The idea of pursuing being an entrepreneur and making money, and following his education can all be one and the same thing. I might even invest in his coming ideas; who knows, it might pay a return… haha. Listen, the return it produces will be to help him explore things in life and to experiment. That is the only return that I would look for. That I think is one of the jobs of being a father – encourage your children to explore their full potential in every way possible.
The alternative is something that I have witnessed over the last three months. It is very similar to the experience of what I lived when I was younger and just starting out in my working life.
Let me explain.
I have a coffee or a breakfast in the same cafe most mornings, and it is close to my work, and it allows me time to reflect, write and read a little. It is a great vacuum to explore other things before I do the day job. It, for me, is a little slice of heaven. The service in the cafe is good, but it is not great. About three months ago they had some new staff start, and the service level really picked up. In the morning, I was greeted by excellent service, an outstanding level of engagement. The new employees were so eager and keen to learn you could almost feel their excitement. It made my morning extra special.
Over the last three weeks, I have seen their deterioration. They are tired, they look sad, and their body language is lacklustre. They don’t engage that much, and the morning has become very transactional. It is sad to see. This is very reminiscent of some of my first jobs where the realisation of hard work hit me like a brick in the face. The excitement of the first job and having my own money soon disappeared underneath early morning starts and a crazy as hell manager who would shout and scream, like a spoilt child, at the slightest of mishaps.
I hated these days and longed for a change. As the days rolled into one and other, I would invent games in my head to keep my interest and energy up. I ended up moving departments, and the work improved because the leader improved, but the daily trudge always remained.
That is work, my friends. That is the nature of it. It is repetitive, it is tough, and it comes with its highs and lows. You get great leaders that engage and inspire you, and you get bosses (not my favourite choice of words for this type of person) who want to boss and manage your every detail.
You have great experiences, you learn stuff, and learn how not to do things in some cases. You meet people and you steadfastly grow up.
All along, you take the money, and you use it to create fulfilment in the gaps in your life when you are not working or sleeping. When you accept the life of working a job for a living, you have to take all of that and take some more because it just is and will always be the nature of life.
I have and continue to accept the reality of working a job for a living. I have at least got an exit plan of some sorts, and I encourage others to do the same – plan early for retirement and for the life you design and for the life you would like to create for yourself.
So with all of that in mind, why wouldn’t I encourage my son to go for it. Why wouldn’t I back him in his endeavours as he explores the idea of working for himself or doing something different with his life at what is the right age to be exploring this stuff.
He has nothing to lose and a lot to gain – an education for a start.
When I see the younger generation today and how smart they are, how full of life they are and how quickly they learn things…
I ask myself, ‘why wouldn’t they want to be an entrepreneur?‘