I am staring at the screen for 15 minutes now; trying to figure out the best words to start with. I know what I want to talk about. I also know “what” I want to talk about “what I want to talk about”. LOL!
But figuring out the best way to start sometimes is a bigger challenge than solving a calculus problem. And I have always been terribly bad at it. Anyways, that’s not the point. Let me talk something sensible.
So, there is this young boy, must be around 16 who posted the other day that he has been selected for some program (I’d call it a paid event); where he would fly to the UK and spend some time with industry leaders, listening and learning from them. Apparently, this opportunity means the world to him and he is super excited to join and “change his life” to use his own words. The organizers have some big names like Harvard, so it might have been some big deal indeed. I can’t argue that.
But here is the twist in the story:
The boy says, “he comes from a poor middle-class family and can’t afford the program”. And he has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for him to attend the program; a brave move indeed. I’d give him that.
A common trait I see in all successful entrepreneurs is when they want something, they figure out how to get there.
1. in entrepreneurship: “Want it? Go Get it!”
They utilize available resources and means to just achieve their goal. Brilliant. I belong from the breed and appreciate every bit of it. And the program may be worth, I don’t know.
The boy starts getting a lot of applause and congratulatory messages for his “selection”, which as per the organizers is very stringent. Maybe it is. He is made to feel as if he has achieved something really great, he is super special and already “made it”. He should be “encouraged,” they say. They even call names to the ones who aren’t supporting.
Here is what my concern is:
If you come from a poor family and are just 16, your MOST important focus should be to make yourself financially independent.
2. Be Financially Independent, at least try
For that, you need to invest in yourself and learn the skills needed. When you cannot afford high profile events like this; go for FREE resources available on the Internet.
Use social media to make connections and learn from the leaders. The point is; there is enough stuff available for FREE, almost everything. I really don’t think the boy needs this high profile event to advance his life.
He should focus his time and energy (he doesn’t have money as he said) to make him financially strong. Maybe run the same crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for his startup.
What the “encouragement gang” is doing is they are seducing the boy into this trap of glamour and fame.
Rather than correcting his path they are contributing to the destruction because of their own selfish need to look nice and supportive and positive and helpful.
Here is what needs to be understood:
Entrepreneurship is solving problems and creating solutions.
3. don’t hustle for swag, hustle for success
All this is super cool and sexy. And it’s in fashion nowadays. Young boys and girls are seduced into the coolness of “hustle”. Unlimited and easily available appreciation and encouragement make it all the more alluring.
Leadership is deciding “what” problems to solve.
What are the solutions worth creating? What are the paths worth taking? Which mountains to climb?
While entrepreneurs roll up their sleeves, put their head down and get shit done. Leaders raise their heads, take a step back, zoom out and ask “is it worth doing”?
Sometimes it’s the same person. But more often than not it’s a trait rather than designations.
We all have our mountains to climb, and we spend our lives climbing them.
Sometimes only to realize in the end that we climbed the wrong ones; that these were not worth climbing in the first place.
Think about that!