Fri | Jun 23, 2017

Glenford Smith | A career as an entrepreneur

Published:Sunday | June 18, 2017 | 6:00 AM

The May 28, 2017, edition of The Sunday Gleaner carried an excellent article entitled 'Entrepreneurship as a career option', written by Saudicka Diaram. In it, she raised the issue of the plight of her students, who are expressing dismay about their ability to get a good job after completing their university degree.

While declaring that entrepreneurship is difficult and not for everybody, she encourages more young people to consider the world of entrepreneurship. I concur. A career as an entrepreneur is very possible and may be found to be fulfilling and financially satisfying.

Entrepreneurial activity is one of the most fascinating and pleasing types of activity you can be engaged in. If you love creating jobs, then you get to do just that. In fact, that is what an entrepreneur does.

An entrepreneur develops his or her potential and creates success and opportunity for himself or herself and creates jobs for others. When I was in engineering, I failed to pay any attention to entrepreneurship. It was in making the decision to become a writer and speaker that I really had to buy books and learn what it was all about. I learnt enough to get me started.

 

LEARN BY DOING

 

Schools sadly lacked vital parts of entrepreneurship. Even though no classroom can give you the heart of it, it is not given the emphasis it deserves. It really doesn't matter. You have to learn what is involved. And much of what you'll learn is in the doing of it.

It is crucial as we face mounting unemployment with increasingly more companies shutting their shutters. It will not do to have university students merely looking for a job when they leave school or get laid off. They need to be involved in creating jobs or go abroad.

There are new products and services that Jamaican customers are needing nowadays. New entrepreneurs will need to grasp the opportunities waiting for them. It is time that they "at least start to develop a business plan about something that they are passionate about ..."

Young people who do not have this mindset will need to be prepared to wait for long period. They may wait for a long time before they eventually land a job paying a barely liveable wage.

There is one thing that young entrepreneurs need to grasp: an entrepreneur doesn't rip off someone else's idea. An entrepreneur creates new value and service wisdom, and in the process, starts and builds a successful business. You can combine or connect two things in a new way that gives rise to a new innovation.

The fact is that seeing yourself in this way, not merely as someone who adapts to things but as someone who creates, is a huge step in your personal growth. Your identity, the person you are and are becoming, is another way to see an entrepreneur.

When you label yourself as an entrepreneur, you no longer see yourself as just another cog in the wheel. You see the world as a place waiting to be shaped by you. This mental shift changes the whole game of life. You can then discover yourself as a creator - as one who can reap the great rewards of being an entrepreneur.

- Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist. He is the author of 'From Problems to Power' and co-author of 'Profile of Excellence'. Email glenfordsmith@yahoo.com