Entrepreneurship across the world

I gave a talk recently on “what entrepreneurship is really like” – its a tag line we hear all the time actually now.

Those who have “been there and done it” or those who want to “humblebrag” about there so called failures in business. But the reality of it all comes down to the fact that as everybody knows failure is almost a pre-requisite for success in some way. Everyone hits road bumps along the way.

I’ve been lucky enough to have some great successes and along the way some bumps in the road too. But no, my talk was more to do with the cultural differences in entrepreneurship and how these impact the way we think/see/do things in the real world.

I recall at one stage being labelled one of the “top 10 entrepreneurs” in a publication and only two years later the same publication out of fear of not satisfying everyone expanded that list from 10 to 250 “top entrepreneurs”.

In Britain at least our definition of ‘entrepreneur’ changes often, from the brash and brave person who sets out to change their life, their industry or the world! To being more ‘fair to everyone’ to the point where every ‘business owner’ is labelled an entrepreneur which simply isn’t true.

That said – travel a few hours abroad, to countries where even to start a business is filled with more fear, doubt, regulation and red tape than we could possibly imagine in our current ‘Brexit fearing state’ and its easy to see why many people are starting out for themselves, to give their families an opportunity to escape the status quo.

Seeing some of the incredible opportunities people are discovering for themselves, branching out and leaving behind what little comforts they currently have to go on a path of discovery and “REAL” entrepreneurship is inspiring.

So take a risk, be entrepreneurial, if its in your heart and soul – go forward. Culturally it maybe difficult, it maybe frowned upon, failure today is not failure for life.

Good luck.

Finding another way home

I love this brief piece on AVC.com by Fred Wilson and it got me thinking.

I’m fortunate enough to do a lot of travelling, both professional and for personal enjoyment and this takes me all over the world on a regular basis.

Whether or not I’m visiting for work or pleasure – there is always a sense of urgency to get back home. How many times had I travelled somewhere only to immedidately start counting down the clock to head back home.

Probably half a dozen or so flights in this year already and the urgency to make sure that no matter what – if the train or flight is delayed, I’ll always find another way home no matter the cost.

Travelling is great and I get a lot done during these trips especially writing and catching up on email but without a doubt theres no place like home.

Swapping flights and changing different train routes to get home quicker is far better for me than spending an extra 2-4 hours in a station/airport lounge ‘doing work’.

Employee engagement

“I love working with the team here, even management but the leadership team is really bad”

A message I got recently from a friend and got me thinking about how Maslows hierarchy of needs also applies to employee engagement and cmo.com had a great example of just this.

In poor performing companies, those who lack vision & ambition we see employees stuck in the ‘survival’ stages and who are desperately keen to get out, move on and find a new role at almost any cost. 

Next the ‘security’ stage where employees are spending the entire working hours searching for jobs on linkedin and sneaking outside for calls with recruiters. We all know people who are doing this right now. Its not healthy for the employee nor the employer. And the truth is most at this stage could be saved/resolved!

Feeling as if you ‘belong’ doesn’t happen because a sign on the wall says that every one is family, it doesn’t occur because you have social events together. If you are not growing personally and professionally in a role the feels right for you. You will leave at the first sign of interest elsewhere. This is where a large number of small business employees tend to find themselves I believe. 

But if you are ‘engaged’ and feel important at work, happy in your role. Then success, incredible – you love coming to work and the people you work with. What else could you want! This is the place we all want to be, we want the work/life balance, the great co-workers and to come in to the office feeling inspired, challenged, most importantly feeling like we are looked after and appreciated in the work place.

Can we be so fortunate in our life time as to get to the point in our jobs where we feel highly engaged – the mythical beings do exist in fact. I’ve been lucky over the years to hire and work with some incredible people, have seen those at all stages of employee engagement.

But without a doubt those who are highly engaged, motivated, dedicated and working towards the companies goals with passion and who feel appreciated by the company can be truly happy in work and that reflects back on home life too.

So whether you are LinkedIn job hunting today or whether you are motivated and excited for another day at the office – you know what needs to be done either way.

Go out there and get it done. Whatever it takes.