Career & Education
Student to Entrepreneur: Taking a Chance on Yourself
I’ve recently turned 23…
…graduated from University…
…and started my own company.
Do I qualify to share some knowledge and experience with you, fellow millennial?
I hope so.
If you have asked yourself “What am I going to do post-education?” and your answer is still “I don’t know” then you are reading the right article.
As a Personal Development Coach and Transformational Speaker, for young people primarily (but really anyone who considers themselves the ‘new’ generation), I have been faced with this exact same dilemma, over and over again.
Taking you back to when I was eight years old, I wanted to be a Solicitor. Law was my destined path, given my natural ability to assert myself and defend others…with confidence. When I hit my teenage years, I elevated to an aspiring Lawyer. With maturity, I thought that maybe they have more authority than solicitors – so that’s what I wanted…authority!
After finally getting over those white curly wigs, I had decided that ‘Barrister’ was going to be the title that sat underneath my name, on any formal document. It would also be a career that my mother could say proudly when speaking of her only daughter. That was a dream of hers, until the day I made a ruling – no more Law.
“So what are you going to do?” she asked, gradually digesting the news of shattered hopes.
“I’m not sure.” I replied dejectedly, knowing full-well she would not accept that calmly.
“Well, until you do know, Law it will be.”
My Mum was, and still is, a disciplinarian. Although now, I have my own drive for success, which is absent of the fear I once had of disappointing her. She made it very clear that no child of hers, of which she has two, would merely exist in life, with no ambition. That’s when I really went into mental overdrive.
At the time, I was studying my A Levels (the UK qualification that is closely equivalent to APs in the US…I think?) around age 16/17. I was desperate to drop my History subject, which I only took for that original career path but no longer had an interest in. As I was determined to get off an uneasy journey towards limited fulfillment, it did not take me long to discover a new passion.
Switching Career Plans
For years I had watched my Mum transition from employment to entrepreneurship, living a lifestyle of variety and flexibility, exposure and growth. Hello new idea, can I sign up please? It was probably my first ever ‘business’ pitch, a mini-speech on why I wanted to pursue the corporate world. She needed to know, and it was time I made myself accountable.
So at 18 years old, I completed my Sixth Form (or College) education, with qualifications in Mathematics, English Literature and Spanish. With these subjects, I applied to Aston University, which has a renowned Business School. The degree of interest was BSc International Business and Spanish – languages are the keys to unlocking greater opportunities…you’ll see!
Before starting my degree, I shared via social media that I would be happy to help anyone who was currently studying Maths at school. I had this deep desire to change the opinion about the subject that I loved so much. If I could make just one person find it a little bit easier, then that would be enough, knowing that I’ve changed someone’s life for the better.
That was how my entrepreneurial spirit really began to emerge. I offered one-on-one tutoring to 15/16 year olds during my first two years of university, all independently. I was earning as I was learning. Without even realising it, this contributed to the foundation that I have since propelled myself from.
For me, Maths was easy but for so many, it was hard. Therefore, it would be selfish of me to not serve others – a concept I have come to accept and embrace in my present-day.
Experiencing Life Outside of the Bubble
When my second year exams finished, it was a Friday, and 24 hours later I was out of the country. Due to the language element of my course, it included a compulsory placement year abroad, so I had to go to a Spanish-speaking country, to work or study. Guess where I flew to?
Having lived in Birmingham, UK, all of my life (it was unintentional to stay in my hometown for university, the best institution for me just happened to be in my city), this was a huge move. In a single moment, I changed city, country and continent, moving from a population of 1.2 million to 21.2 million.
That international experience is a whole other story. So…if you want to find out more about it, share this article, follow me on social media and request a comeback in the comments – It is full of life lessons! What I will share here though, is that in the midst of being lost (you understand me, foreign language and unknown territory), I genuinely found myself.
Discovering and Developing my Purpose
Upon returning to the UK, I had a more defined idea about what I wanted to do with my life…inspire and engage, challenge and support, young minds. Incorporating SOMAD Limited (SOMAD Global is how you will find it on the internet) was like breathing fresh air. I had a purpose, which was bigger than Maths, and readily set-up for post-final year and graduation.
Being So Optimistic, Mad About my Destiny (it will click soon…I’ll wait), I had a renewed reason to live my life. I work with individuals who want to discover, unlock and unleash their passion, purpose and power. We look inwardly, to grow you outwardly.
How do you take a chance on yourself? Be authentic and follow your vision!
Make a list of what actions will shift you beyond your comfort zone.
May 2017 open your mind to the possibilities!