My mate Andy Smith once said, referring to the amount of Entrepreneurs from within my home friendship group…
“They must be putting something in the water in Leatherhead”
He was shocked as many are that most of my friends work for or run their own businesses or charities
To name a few of my closest friends from a sleepy village in Surrey : Oliver Hall, Simon Kelly, Andy Lindsell, Louis Cole, Mike Moore, Andy Gill, Alex Ball, all starting and running their own AMAZING organisations and I could talk about 10 more!
Nearly none of us went to university or did amazing at school but we have built a culture together that is accepting and encouraging of people pursuing their dreams. It is a privilege to find myself amongst such a great bunch.
Are Entrepreneurs born or made?
Firstly Entrepreneur is a Horrific term! it sounds poncy, elitist and unattainable.
Secondly I want to separate Serial Entreprewatsits from guys and girls that have one project or business.
The risk profile for Serials is very high and there is definitely a unique DNA of person required to live that lifestyle.
For lifestyle startups however I believe EDUCATION AND EXPOSURE are the two key elements holding people back.
In my town where we have built that culture MOST people have opted for it.
In this climate of uncertainty and with GDP growth @ 0.2% we need people to step up, innovate, rather others around them and go for their dreams. Even if after a year it fails I am convinced that if presented correctly you would be MORE employable than if you had spent a year in corporate.
I currently sit on a board at UCL designing a new Degree which is fun, one of the big things I am pushing for is the idea that going into Startup is not LESSER of an option versus a corporate internship, if anything it can do more to develop a person. My friend Raj Dey is doing great work in this space : enternships.com
In Summary : I believe that being entrepreneurial can be for almost everyone but we don’t get the education and exposure to build our confidence that it is an achievable and valid life path!
Either that or they really do put some weird stuff in the Leatherhead water! 🙂