At a business networking meeting yesterday, a man shared that his 8-year old son asked him how old you had to be to start a business of your own. The man, who is a fairly new entrepreneur, had to think about it for a minute. He finally told his child that there is no age prerequisite, and that anyone with a skill can start a business exchanging that skill for money.
That conversation invigorated me because I think one of the things my generation must do is train the next one to understand that business ownership is not an option. I have heard it said that some people don't have the mindset to own their own business. To that, I say, "Oh, really? And do some people also not have the mindset to put food on the table?" While there are several exceptional circumstances, most people would never dream of assuming they couldn't get a job to provide for their families. Yet they are being told that they might not have the mindset to own a business of their own.
Poppycock! What people need is a challenge to be an entrepreneur!! They need to know that business ownership is not an option. Whether or not you have a full-time job, you also must exercise the option to generate income on your own terms. Whether it's as a bricklayer, a personal chef, a jewelry maker or a virtual assistant, the economy in which we now live — and will live for decades to come — demands that you own a business of your own.
If you already have a business, congratulations! Deliver the value that allows you to create multiple income streams. And like my young friend Ishmael Holmes (pictured), whom I met earlier this year when I spoke at the Morehouse College Entrepreneurship Conference. Ishmael is earning his Finance degree online while he also runs his own cleaning service in the Atlanta area. He also works part-time at a pizza delivery store and is working with a professor at Georgia State to launch a training website for young entrepreneurs. Ishmale volunteers in his community to help high school students draft and implement business plans too! If you don't have a business, now's the time to get started. Subscribe to this blog (in the upper right column) and register to attend an upcoming Indie Business Breakfast near you.
Question: What are you doing to encourage the inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs in your sphere of influence?