I just wrote a blog post for www.goforitenterprise.wordpress.com and thought I would share it here too…
I work with so many young people from ages 13 – 30. Different ages, different people but yet a huge majority of them have the same expression and reaction as soon as I ask,
“Have you ever thought about self-employment?”
It’s a look of confusion and shock, as if I’ve just blurted something obscured out.
You can see them thinking to themselves, “self-employment! What?! Me?!”
This is the fear of the unknown.
Not many schools talk about self-employment, in fact a lot of places/people discourage it.
Unless you go looking to find out more about going self-employed, being your own boss, owning your own empire then you don’t see/hear enough about it on a day-to-day basis. Self-employment shouldn’t be discouraged, it should be a way forward.
Of course, self-employment is not for everyone, but you’ll never know unless you learn about it, try something.
Everyone’s good at something whether that be art, singing, making hats, web designing – start there. Think to yourself, “What am I good at? What are my strengths”
I pretty much decided this was the way I wanted to go.
I was lying in my bed one night, exhausted, drained and had mixed feeling of sadness and anger. I was lying there sick of getting so many negative comments made to me in the streets or by health care professionals that I wanted to make a difference, I wanted this all to change. When it came to me, why don’t I try to start my own business? Somewhere were other young parents can go to get support, information, advice, guidance – without it being judgemental.
At the time I had a 3 month old daughter, who is now 3.
The next morning, I was straight on Google frantically typing in; how to start your own business. The first one to pop up was The Prince’s Trust website. At the time I had never heard of them, I clicked on the link and there it was, it was like a huge sigh of relief, this could actually happen.
The Prince’s Trust offered a 4 day course called Explore Enterprise. I applied straight away and was so excited, I was a small step closer to starting my own business.
At this time I still didn’t know much about self-employment, I knew my mum and dad were at the beginning of starting their own social enterprise but I didn’t know much about it at all. That evening I sat with them discussing my idea and how I’ve applied for this course to learn more, they could see the excitement and passion ripping out me – this was probably a huge relief for them too. Before having my daughter I had no plans or aspirations, I don’t even have any qualifications.
A few days later I was sat in the kitchen discussing my idea with my older sister, she helped me come up with the name, Giggles & Tickles.
I went on the Enterprise course and enjoyed every moment. It really pushed me to go out my comfort zone, meet new people who were all at the same stage as me and I learned so much. Over those 4 days my idea grew and grew.
I’ll admit, I was terrified to tell the others what my idea was. I thought they’d all laugh and think it was daft.
Boy, was I wrong about that.
After doing the course I got a fantastic mentor who helped me write-up my business plan and get me ready to go and get some funding – and the rest is history.
I see this an example that it can be possible, with the right information and support you can do this too.
The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme I think is a fantastic course because its only 4 days, you can go and learn about being self-employed, if it’s not for you then that’s fine, if you want to continue and progress you get so much support and help to do so.
Don’t be scared of self-employment. embrace the idea, learn more.