Taking the first steps with young entrepreneurs in London
By Donovan Grant
“There is more in you”. The words we speak about ourselves and what we hear from others has the capability to lift us up or put us down. The same is true for the young people in our families, in our communities and in our lives as a whole. What words are they using, hearing and more importantly who do they think they are?
It’s easy to take for granted how important the power of language is to a young adult, but if you were to ask a young person who was struggling through life you’d get a clear picture. They could use phrases like “I’m off track”, “life sucks for us” or even “what’s the point in trying, nothing works”. Sadly for many young people, this becomes a permanent script for them. It’s as if they are in their own soap opera and they are the star. So, yes they do get a sense of satisfaction out of it. But, deep down there is a yearning to be more, to do more and most certainly to have more in life.
Just over a week ago I was fortunate to be asked to give a careers talk to a group of college students aged 16 – 19 who were enrolled on a 12-week employment & enterprise program. These young people had left school at 16 because they had enough of studying. The education system didn’t seem to be working for them so they decided to get out and pursue other options. Let’s face it not everyone sees themselves ending up as an employee on someone else’s payroll; they all wanted to run their own business.
Has your son or daughter ever said they wanted to quit school at 16? What did you say? Or what would you say?
Now I need to point this out up front, these were not 'bad kids' as some adults describe young people today. In fact to use their own words, they had just become off track and wanted to get some direction in their lives. These are young people on a mission!! I was blessed to be in the presence of future owners, directors and CEO’s of their own companies. The business ideas included clothing designers, chain of nurseries, function management and finance management just to name a few. Have you ever been blown away at size and colour of the dreams that are lying dormant in the young people in your life? I am a firm believer that every young person has the seeds greatness within them. All they need is one person to believe in them and say "go on, you can do it!"
Just pause for a moment and ask yourself, "how often do I tell young people, that I believe in them?"
If you're answer is "not enough" – then, it's time to get started…
We shared some great Q & A and managed to identify one of the biggest challenges facing the majority of the group- “what is my next step?” This question alone deserved a 10 out of 10. The thing is, so many of us have got a powerful goal in our lives. We have massive plans to make a difference, be authentic and follow our own dreams and what happens is that we get so far and then we quit. We hit a stumbling block and for one reason or another our dream is left dormant until someday when it springs back into life. For some of us, the dream remains dormant forever.
The beauty of knowing the next step is that it provides the power of focus. Yes, it’s great to have the next seven steps all mapped out and stuck on a sheet of A4 on the back of your bedroom door. But, when you are coming from a place of “getting back on track” all you need is the NEXT STEP. When you get there. you take the next step and then the next one until the motivation builds up and you become unstoppable. These young people understood that just completing the next step was going to be a battle all on its own.
The next step for these young people turned out to be more about them than the business idea. What we revealed was that they didn’t have enough spare time to build their business. They needed to find more time.
We worked through the urgent & important exercise that I gained from Steven Covey many years ago when I first committed to getting myself back on track after struggles in my own life. This helped them to identify the time wasters and other things that they do every day that could stop them from pursuing their goal.
Without doing a thorough search these young people were already starting to see small things in their lives that could make a difference to them becoming successful entrepreneurs in the future. Let’s hope that they all follow through on the commitment to each other.
Whether a young person has a business idea, employment concerns or challenges in their live it is possible for them to go off track; this does not make them a failure.
Sadly, there is no magic wand that we can wave to help our children to get over it and be happy, safe and successful. It takes hard work, commitment and forming the habit of doing the next step. What we do know works is that it starts with having road map and some good directions that fit especially for them.
Let’s be a light and help a young person who needs to get back on track today.
I believe in all the young people in our communities!!
What do you think? There are so many young people who are on the verge of a breakthrough in life and business. I hope you find this story inspiring. Let me know how you think you’ll be helping a future young entrepeneur to get back on track, or any other comments or questions you have. Leave your comments in the box below.
Donovan Grant is a coach, mentor, blogger, speaker and IT professional who brings his wisdom of parenting for the last 21 years and coaching clients through the stages of raising youth and empowering leaders with life lessons that are changing generations. He is a passionate and committed leader who believes that we all have the ability to help to change someone else’s life. Actively doing so as a catalyst for many years he teaches how to live a life of success, balance, integrity and fun, whether at work or at play. www.donovangrant.com