If Opportunity Doesn’t Knock
Build Your Own Door
I mean we’ve all seen the Pinterest boards littered with these inspirational quotes- cue eye roll. We’ve seen the entrepreneurs give their speeches and TED talks as they tell you lines such as
‘Make your own luck’
‘The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer’
‘Think like an entrepreneur’
‘Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming’
That’s all very well and good but what if you haven’t got a Scooby where to start? What if you didn’t realise the buses that were cruising past you were full of opportunity and you just thought they were full of the drunkards on a Saturday night and you hailed an Uber instead? So where does one start, when it comes to building one’s own door? As you sit there with your flat white and smashed avo on toast (haters gonna hate) and desperately wonder how you should think, if-you-were-an-entrepreneur.
I mean cripes, it’s difficult. You read countless accounts of people who said they didn’t eat, sleep or have a social life and you wonder within reason just how much you’d be willing to sacrifice. The thing is, entrepreneurship is different to how it was twenty years ago. Let’s get that out in the open first.
We have actually grown up in the technological age, with internet at the touch of our fingertips. If we don’t know the answer to something, it is second nature to just Google it- which is perhaps why it’s so easy for generations before us to say we’re lazy. On the contrary, we’re tech savvy and we work smart. We strive for both work and life balance, something that the Baby Boomers and the generations before them could have only dreamed of. It’s publicised enough that the old and the dying say they wish they had worked less and spent more time with friends and family and actually working to live, as opposed to living to work. Well, we now expect that and it seems even the biggest of brands are understanding that. Does it mean we’re slackers? Absolutely not, there is enough evidence to show that we’re multi taskers- we can do lots of things at once because that’s just how we’ve been bought up. We’re adept to all forms of technology, can move between tasks and shift between priorities with ease.
Which brings me back to entrepreneurship. It is different now to how it was. Yes, you still have to work exceptionally hard, but the difference is, is now there are so many avenues of support that you can look to. Does that make you any less of an entrepreneur for seeking help – nope – it just makes you smarter.
There are online course, business accelerators, workshops and online videos. There are interviews, Q&A’s, grants and competitions.
The average age that we millennials (yep hate the word as much as you do) become entrepreneurs is 27, compared to our counter parts before us at 35. Yes, you can say we are ballsy and we’re risk takers or that we’ve just been sucked into the walls of Pinterest and Instagram telling us ‘WE CAN DO ANYTHING’ but actually, there is a lot to support you out there now, in your quest of doing ‘anything’- so they’re not completely full of shit– and you can do a lot of things within reason.
I think ultimately it boils down to confidence. Whether you should or shouldn’t pursue this type of lifestyle and whether you can bear it not working out. There is nothing wrong with failing at something- if anything kudos to you for trying- because a lot of people won’t. I think whilst ‘being an entrepreneur’ may come naturally to a lot of people, to others it won’t, but that doesn’t mean you haven’t got the capability to become one. I think you will find that it’s a case of learning on the job a lot and will follow various moments of getting it wrong, getting it right, having eureka moments and crying in the pub. We’re all only human and we’re all pretending to a certain degree.
So finally, in regards to ‘building your own door’, this statement shouldn’t be a daunting one but rather, an exciting one. The best bit is, a lot of the materials you need to build said door, will actually be easier to find than you think. It’s just a case of looking and asking.
Twenty Mile Club