To you, what does it mean to be an entrepreneur?
I like to say ‘Entrepreneur’ is french for unemployed. I’m hilarious like that.
However, being an entrepreneur is a multidimensional privilege.
It is a privilege to spend your day grafting on a passion (whether you know it or not there is something about any enterprise is your passion).
It’s a privilege to answer to no one other than yourself; you live and die by your own decisions – no one to hide behind.
It is a privilege to feel a sense of accomplishment when you see something you built make even the smallest progress.
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
I believe there is an inefficiency is pushing kids towards university and corporate careers – it’s what they’re ‘supposed to do’. People end up in a lot of debt, in careers with limited mobility and little or no competitive advantage, despite their education. On top of this, earning potentials have a ceiling and, most importantly, people are unbelievably miserable.
I found myself consulting more and more in brand building and mentoring youth on how to monetise their passions, as well as doing bits at Business schools on entrepreneurship (I would be asked about my journey and experiences building Gustav’s of London).
So not educate people and give them the confidence to explore that road they keep thinking about going down?
Why is Entrepreneurial education important?
With regard to career choices, there is a bad trend of people doing things because they think they are supposed to. They are told that the only way to succeed is to go through the proper channels and it can be a real waste of time. If I look at the people in my year (shout out 2008), a lot of the people who have had success are people who have done their own thing.
So many people end up unfulfilled, unhappy and fail to progress in the corporate channels. At the same time, their value is under appreciated and their multidimensional talents wasted in singular function roles.
How did you get initial traction?
Referrals (social proof is everything) and basically annoying the schools until they would let me in.
We got into schools and did small talks, built programs for the community and are working with more schools to be added as part of their extra curricular in 2019.
The schools are understanding and if students can find a passion outside of the curriculum, they end up taking subjects to supplement their passion. Kids who would have struggled before get some genuine academic buy in. As a result, less kids are being disruptive and results fluctuate less.
Did you / do you have a mentor?
I do! Other than my parents who both built their own businesses – one of my old MBA professors has been very influential on me and always makes time for me. Outside of that, I am lucky to have a bunch of people willing me to succeed and are willing to offer an ear and opinion when I need.
What habits helped make you successful?
I am getting better at these, but I find them vital to any progress:
- Organisation (calendars and task lists)
- Persistence/ being borderline annoying
Best advice to anyone entrepreneurially minded?
If you’re thinking about going to University but aren’t sold on the idea, go work in sales or recruitment for a year. That will give you a fantastic foundation for when you want to start your venture. It will also give you a better understanding that success doesn’t with a degree for the sake of it. So if you do go onto Higher Education, you can choose a subject that will directly help you succeed, as opposed to purely academic study.
What is the best decision you have ever made and why?
The day I tried to start my apparel company, my first proper business at 21. It started a chain events of the most important learning I could have asked for.
– Yearbook Article 2018/2019