Employ Insight

Owning Your Entrepreneurial Aspirations

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  • In the words of Robert Schuller, “what would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail?” This is the kind of question that stirs those bubbling aspirations that refuse to dissipate. An aspiration is the stuff that precedes every great idea and thrives among those willing to let it take over. Probably the most likely to benefit from such thinking are young entrepreneurial spirits. Young people like Shama Kabani, who founded a social media marketing firm called The Marketing Zen Group at the age of 24. Yoav Lurie and Justin Segall (both 29), are two friends who aspired to mend the “broken relationship between people and their energy consumption”. These guys created Simple Energy, a web platform using social game mechanics to get consumers to save energy. The likes of Lady Gaga and Angelina Jolie are crowned by one of today’s youngest milliners and at 25, Gigi Burris shows that her innovative hat designs didn’t come with age, but with genuineness and grace. We have change agents, thought leaders and tastemakers guiding the next generation into a new consciousness and many of them are under 30. It’s never too early to begin pursuing entrepreneurship. If more is what you want and you’re inspired to take the lead, here are three tips to get those wheels turning and possibly spinning gold:

    1. Zoom in. Life is much like a camera lens; you can’t get a great picture without [the] focus. You’re going to have to identify where your aspirations and qualities align in order to make room for new endeavors. Entrepreneurship requires you to do more than know the market or audience; you have to know yourself. Take an hour to spend time with your thoughts or make it a date and devote your entire day to self-discovery. Explore activities that spark you with enthusiasm, entertain those “crazy” ideas you get and really think about what not only you can contribute to the public, but also what kind of services or products you’d love to see. This is a recurring exercise, so you most likely won’t figure it all out in one sitting. Jonathan Fields, author of Career Renegade, notes that a few minutes each day gets you to “start believing it’s going to happen, and belief fuels action.”
    2. You, Inc.: Invest in yourself. What skills are you going to need that you haven’t already acquired? How are you going to refine the ones you already have? There’s a reason why the Do-It-Yourself beat is so successful; no harm can come from being self-sufficient. When Kanyessa McMahon started Suddenly There Productions at 25, she already acquired the equipment she needed to start her company when she was a student. This is not to say you won’t ever need a mentor or any advice on your journey to total boss-hood, but one of the keys to being a great entrepreneur stems from being knowledgeable. What courses are being offered at your local colleges? Look into online courses, webinars, books, workshops and seminars. You’d be surprised how easy it is to get an informational interview! There’s an abundance of information out there when you know where to look. Make yourself a checklist of every conceivable resource that comes to mind.
    3. Just do it. It’s very easy to get carried away with all this writing and thinking…and leaving it at that. It’s like that never ending to-do list where the same tasks never seem to make it off the list. There’s a definite risk factor when taking the leap from working for someone to working for YOU. Everyone’s transition is completely different, but you mustn’t forget that it’s exactly that, a transition. After that light bulb has gone off and you’ve figured out what you can give, when there’s no issue with resources, when are you going to do it? The word “when” is a call to action. McMahon quit her job and in just a few weeks, she had Suddenly There Productions up and running. Of course there’ll be nights consumed with research and analyzing your market, but develop an action plan. Visit the library regularly, attend industry networking events, schedule time to practice your craft or journal your experiences. Treat your goals like a 9 to 5 and watch as your routine propels you into steady momentum.

    Emiley Mallory is a freelance journalist who recently graduated into the real world. Currently, she is a contributing blogger for StrengthsInsight and freelancing for an event planning team at a major television network. She is using her posts at StrengthsInsight to foster inspiration and informative content for young people full of potential and an aspiring entrepreneurial spirit.

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