Category Archives: Entrepreneur

Say what you want.

Say what you want. That’s today’s theme.

What I have found lately is that people switch very quickly in your absence. Not all, as if you didn’t trust anyone that would be rather problematic, but some people. Some people who, in my mind, I feel are threatened, or feel they are threatened by your presence. Feel that the spotlight may be moving off from them and moving to someone else, that someone maybe, just maybe, came up with a better idea than yours.

Now a normal person, like you and I, would go to that person and express your thoughts. If I legitimately thought someone is in the wrong i go to them and have a quiet chat and chat things out over a coffee, move on, progress, and not linger and drag the past along. However some people do not work this way.

Some people are like fishing boats. They go along in life, and behind them, is a huge net and drags the negativity and the bitchiness of the past. Drag your flaws and your slight missteps, your personality, your life, behind with them. They then store it in this ever growing net they drag behind them and then use the contents as weapons against you. Now these weapons are not like guns and knives, bombs and shrapnel. They are poison. Slow acting, grinding poison, that builds and builds. They also don’t do it to your face. They cant, they just cant tell you to your face what they have. They decide to do it behind your back, and try and turn your closest friends against you and stain your name with their poison. Poison.

I have always known these people existed, we don’t live in an ideal world and never will. There are good and bad people and the  bit in between. I know that and always have.

However the thing I’ve learned lately, is that one, or two of these parasitic leeches has been attached to me. They have been behind me, nagging and applying their poison behind my back, tainting my name, staining my image.

Now, this was my problem. I have reacted in a big way before to similar circumstances, but then I was accused of being aggressive and mixing personal feelings with business feelings. I disagree with this but it was 11 against one so, didn’t really have much back up there.

So what do I do about these leeches? Apply the salt and hope they burn away. Maybe. However where do I get the salt from and how can I do this in a way they don’t react the same way, and I still retain my image?

I’m working on it.

I write this post, mostly as a reliever for me to get it out my system, much like most of my posts are, however I also want to prove a point, and show people that these people do exist and be wary with them. React in a calculated and strategic way. They want you to burst in and make a scene, as that will further stain your image and that will then be your fault. That’s how they work. Dark I know, but one thing I hold onto is this.

They keep collecting in that net, however nets have a certain limit until they break. So I will sit here, with my pop corn, ice cold Coca Cola, feet up in my lounge gear, and watch for that moment to come, as I sense it will be soon.

Don’t let people drag you along in their net, stand up, and show them you are more of a man or woman than they are, because you will publicly confront them whereas they lack the ability to do that, because leeches have a tendency to be very weak and also, by anatomical design, lack a backbone…

B x x x

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5:47pm

So we jumped back onto the bus at around 5:47pm, after a jam packed day.

I learnt so much from this trip!

I was able to meet a whole group of brand new people doing the same course as us, and struck new bonds and friendships that will grow in the future. I met many new business contacts and expanded my knowledge on the way the entrepreneurship course works and runs.

So the day started with speed dating! We spoke to everyone for two mins each and it was very interesting! Found my fellow tech friends! Found some people who wanted to work in space and space travel, restaurant owners, personal trainers and more. Everyone was so diverse in their career path it was very very interesting to talk and find out more. Just wished I had more time with each person!

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We then worked on a presentation with my groups question being ‘ How does a team member become the best team leader’. I couldn’t be happier with the question we got. I immediately got to work and lead the conversation. I felt so confident and I felt like the spotlight was on me. This did make me feel rather nervous however, without sounding too arrogant, I had missed it. This year I made it my aim to step back from front line leadership on some things, and focus on my own personal projects. However taking charge and leading the team, I found myself in a position where I looked good not only to the judges who were judging our presentation, but to my course leaders who are looking to recruit five team coaches.

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We smashed the presentation! It was different, we included the audience, and made it almost like a talk show, asking questions, throwing things out there. We killed it! I was worried as we had very little time and some people were very confused at one point but they all came together and we killed it!

After the presentation was finished the others presented and we gave a big cheer to the end of the day. We went to have lunch and then had a tour of the campus. I loved the openness and the size of their hub for entrepreneurship. I can’t lie but I was very envious!

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So we then jumped on the bus and went on our merry way. This day will stay with me for a very long time indeed. It was only a day, but what we managed to achieve, the friendships and bonds that were struck in this short time. I will never forget, and I just can’t wait to put what I have learnt during this experience to action!

B x x x

Getting people on your side.

One of the toughest things you will face in business, and something I have only just learnt in my journey as an entrepreneur, is getting people on your side. Its something I have come to learn and overcome, to a certain extent, however It never was that way.

Whether its leading the team, becoming the leader in the first place, or getting your idea heard, when working with a group of very different people, it can be impossible.

There is no easy way to get people to listen to you and take you on board. You have to fight, and thats the first stage I will advise.

Plan ahead. When I was elected the first leader of our team business in BA Entrepreneurship (My Uni course), it was done by planning ahead firstly. I came in with the vision of becoming leader straight away. I didn’t tell anyone as this was a plan in my head, a plan for myself. It does sound selfish, because it is. Sometimes you will have to be selfish, this is business, theres always an element of selfishness. I was open, and happy and was good with everyone, I didn’t strike any enemies, or barriers. There were many reasons to why I did this, it wasn’t solely because I wanted to become leader but being leader did factor into it.

When it came to the election, it did strike me a surprise, as I didn’t realise the election would happen when it did. We all debated whether having a leader was ok (I explain this in this blog post, click me!), from the very beginning I said yes we do, as you do. Not for orders or dictatorships, but for direction.

So far, I say respect and be open to everyone, as when it comes to anything like an election, you need these people to vote for you, so striking division really isn’t in your favour. Also, along with this plan ahead, you don’t build friendships during an hour, a real friendship and respect takes time, so allocate that time, don’t rush it as most likely you won’t get people flocking to you.

Office disorder

Last but not least, is you need to have your idea or vision that you trying to get people on board for, thought through completely. If you put forward an Idea, for example for a great new cake that a shop can sell, and then when someone who actually wants to find out more and maybe use it, comes to you and says “Hey! How do you make it?”. If you don’t know your idea inside and out, you have failed before you begin. I knew exactly what I wanted to sort within the group, as this is my strength. Listening and observing showed me our communication was rubbish, so my manifesto as it were, was to improve our communication, and I had a plan and vision as to how I wanted to improve it.

This helped people see me a valid candidate and in the end they trusted me enough to elect me the first leader.

I do not speak from great deals of academia, I speak from experience, so I am no expert but I hope anyone reading this can take it into consideration for their own path and hope it helps!

Sometimes, leadership is most effective when you lead from behind, not from dictating the orders from the front.

B x o x o

It kept adding to my excitement, my fire to get started.

I was unsure how to start this one but here goes. I have always looked at University as something to aspire to. Never have I ever thought about not going to University. I always viewed it as one of the pinnacle moments of my life, and I still do. The thought of going to University excited me and made me push through the crap and the darkness I experienced during college.

So then I fast forward to flicking through the prospectus and find Entrepreneurship. It intrigued me as I have never heard of such a course before, I was originally looking for Business Management. Thank goodness whatever was watching over me and made me look at Entrepreneurship as I think I would have become a drop out if I went with my original choice (Sorry Business Management Students xD). I immediately registered my interest, went to the open day very nervous but as soon as my then course leader Jane Chang started talking the nerves turned to excitement, hunger for the challenge. I knew immediately this course was built for me when I heard it was based on a learning by doing approach. I have always been a very physical and visual learner. I learn by doing things, experimenting, changing and giving something a try. If it failed I would evaluate, re think and try again. That was, is and always will be the most effective learning style for me personally. Its one of the main reasons I dabbled with business so early on in my career. I wanted to test things out in real life, not just absorb what someone wrote on a page, go out and have a taste of what they spoke about in books.

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Ironically, as you read on, the amount of reading I do dramatically increases, but this is in line with more and more creative individuality and experiments in the real world with real business. Challenge.

During summer nothing much happened, I didn’t know what to expect on my first day, what we would do. Who I would meet. How they would be. Would they like me? Would it be like college and be fairly awkward? Would it be like what they explained at the open days? I guess through the summer I asked my self a lot of questions and looking back at that period, without realising I was mentally preparing myself for the immense paradigm shift that was ahead of me. Shift in the way I would work, understand the business world, interact with others, my mentality, my demeanour.

So, the day came. Walked in, went to my room and there was a circle of chairs (Theres a lot of circles in our learning so you better get used to it). I then saw a woman walk in, and started talking to her and we got on really well, as we still do being part of my team. Others started walking in and we spoke alot and the atmospher was great. It then got to the time we were meant to start and no teacher arrived, so we decided to go downstairs after a while and see what was going on. Turned out, we were reading the old schedule and the room had been changed, so me and my now collegue walked into the new room with around twenty three people in there, including our course leader and module leader. We managed to grab the last bit of the presentation that was being given but the late great Jeffrey Hynman, founder of Pret A Manger. Imagine that, a founder of such a big company like Pret, on our first day. This excited me greatly about the future we were going to have together. I then started to talk to other people and got on really well with them, I was surprised how well we got on and I’m glad we did now we are all such great friends two years on.

Once the talk from Jeffrey was over, we were then introduced to our first ever business challenge. On the course I do, we do many of these. Problems pitched to us by real life start up businesses, and we are tasked with solving the problems. Often the time we get given is twenty four hours, so you can understand the pressure and hands on approach of this course. It kept adding to my excitement, my fire to get started.

Finding my Destination.

Before thinking about where I was headed, I did a few things first. I thought about where I was now, what I had done before hand, and what I needed to do. A few events happened that were slightly unplanned, but when I think back I think it was life doing the work for me. Cutting ties, shutting the past behind, and forcing me to look to the future.

So, where we goin’?

To be honest, I don’t plan a final destination. I plan the future, of course, life is a lost cause if you don’t have some form of future goal. However life will change and switch up in different unexpected ways, like I have come to realise and see first hand over the last week. Life gives and takes, and sometimes it gives you a helping hand in when you have no idea what you are doing, and sets the path. You can’t push it to do that, and wait for it to do that, you have to work hard. Whats the saying, you get out what you put in. Life won’t work with you if you don’t work with life, and put in the effort to want to get somewhere or get to an end destination.

Feeling lost is normal. If we all had a blueprint of what exactly we would do in life, life would be pretty boring really. Things can feel a little crappy and down sometimes, and seems like nothing good will ever come your way, but it will. I have felt very dark sometimes and very low to the point I didn’t really see a good side of any of it, but there always is. You have to look for it. Search for it. Think hard. You don’t realise how strong your mind can be until you hit a rock bottom feeling. That feeling of I can’t do this, My life had no meaning, I’m lost and I don’t know what to do.

One thing you do need to do is think. Just stop, check, think. You may not know the solution afterwards but you will get there. Its the first step in finding that destination. If you are lost in general and don’t know what to do with life in general and where you want your life to take you. I have one piece of advice. Ditch it all and start afresh. I don’t mean people as you need people in your life, but if you are not happy with your job, find something new. Throw caution into the wind. The biggest winners are always the risk takers. Some risks are stupid. Some risks are life saving. This would be a life saving risk.

If you always wanted to move country, save up and go for it, don’t let anything hold you back. If you want to move to a new career, do it. Don’t let anything hold you back.

You are the captain of your own destiny and no one else will be.

The waters can be choppy sometimes. There can be obstacles in the path you are heading. You just need to steer the ship and forge a path to your dream, your goal, your end ambition in life.

Find your destination, then soar!

B x x x

 

 

Early bird always catches the worm

One thing I have learned from my business life so far, is that the early bird always catches the worm.

What do I mean by this? Let me explain.

Opportunities will come and go, and some will be more beneficial than others. Like everything, nothing is the same, however one thing that I have seen to always be the same, maybe the only factor that is the same with everything in business, and in life, is being first always gives an advantage. Now this doesn’t mean winning a race or a sporting event, but in terms of releasing a product, or contacting a person, being first has always given an advantage.

If a business releases a huge new product (Apple with the iPhone or iPad) they normally in the grand scheme of things become the market leader indefinitely or at least for a long period of time, and the other competitors find themselves lagging behind and trying to beat the leader in innovating for a second time.

Contacting or finding a helpful contact, like in my post a couple of months ago, its not what but who you know. If you find someone GRAB THEM THEN!

Do not wait, someone will grab them after if you wait, and then your opportunity is gone.

Business is a fast game, especially in the world of technology, tech moves quickly and in order to succeed you must move with it.

This is what I mean by the early bird catching the worm. Aspire to be the early bird, and soar.

B xxx

Don’t let things hold you back, experiment, and fail. 

Failure is a fickle thing.

To many failure is a bad thing. It shows you are weak. Your decision was wrong. Why did you decide to do that?

However little do these people know that failure is actually a great thing.

When it comes to business, if it’s easy then you are not trying hard enough.

Business is never easy. I plan to relaunch my business in the biggest launch I’ve ever created or organised this year in September, and even though my business is still very young, I’ve always found it rather hard and difficult and things make you question whether business is right for you?

I’ve always been a little hesitant to explore brand new ideas, purely because I didn’t want to run the risk of failure. Then I stared University and everything changed.

My mentality changed. I no longer saw failure as something bad but something to embrace.

Some of your greatest learning comes from failure. If you don’t fail then you don’t know how to succeed.

It can hurt, especially if you invest tonnes of money into something that doesn’t work. However that’s why it’s best to fail as quickly and as early as you can. I went to Uni purely because of this. I wanted to start my business and if it failed I had a network around me that could pick me up brush me off and set me straight once again.

This led me to change the entire structure of my business. I made it a group, so my business would act as a umbrella company (Serenity Group) and all my other projects come underneath it. (Talks, Apps, Script and more).

This allows me to explore new things without the risk of damaging my brand, or confusing it.

So the next time you have a business idea or anything at all, don’t be scared of failure, embrace it. Learn from it, deal with it and use it to succeed in the long run.

Go out, explore and try new things! Even if there’s a small chance it fails there’s still a small chance for it to succeed.

Brandon x x x