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10 Things I’ve learnt since leaving formal education and becoming an Entrepreneur

10 things I learnt since leaving formal education and becoming an Entrepreneur.

I recently turned 23 years old. Although still young, I’ve gained many lessons since I left formal education to pursue a path within entrepreneurship in my mid-teens. I was removed from secondary school at 15 years old. Being disruptive, outspoken, independent and standing out too much. Most would say unfortunately, for me it was fortunately. Which I soon learnt a few years on with my journey to self education. During the 8 years, I’ve learnt a lot of lessons both personal and business. I want to share those lessons with you, to help you cement these within your mind if you are having any doubts yourself.

1. Hard work always beats talent.
People within my school had great talent and I’m not doubting talent is the key to unlocking many doors. But grafters, hard workers, and strict work ethic will always beat and outweigh talent and intelligence. You may not be good with numbers, writing, or even dyslexic. But working with purpose and perseverance will always gain the upper hand.

2. Never choose instant pleasure over long term fulfilment.
Old friends of mine remain within similar places to which they once were at 15, to which they still are today. Why? Simple, instant pleasure, instant gratification. Unsuccessful people in both personal and business, choose instant pleasure over staying on for the ride and having a bucket load of gold at the end of the trip.

Purchasing 10 pairs of trainers because they’ve had a good week at work and earned a bonus, then struggling for the next 3 weeks. Buying items, trips, breaks away which they do not deserve or cannot afford. Trading something which will potentially serve them a lifetime, for something which will serve them for today. Sacrifice today, for a better future.

3. Never hire family or friends to work for you.
It’s all fun and games until someone gets the boot. I have hired friends, if you call it hiring. It’s never official though with a friend, maybe that’s why they never quite take it seriously. Hiring someone who is LIKE you, then becoming friends with them is great! Hiring someone who you THINK is like you, because you hung around with them in secondary school, is a bad idea. Problem being, they still think you’re the same you, and it’s too much of a laugh and joke, plus, they know too much about you.

4. Take big risks towards your future.
When I say big risks towards your future, I mean big risks as in trying new things, investing money into something you feel strongly about, taking chances, trying new jobs, relationships. Not blowing £1000 down the casino. I lost nearly £20,000 last August when the financial markets collapsed after China devalued their currency, that was a risk. Probably could have been a more managed risk, better stop losses, more education. But that specific risk probably taught me more than majority of other things I’ve done. I didn’t learn anything from playing it safe last weekend, or saving £100 per week for my pension. But I did learn how to bounce back after loosing a large amount of money, how to think faster on my feet, innovate in desperation.

5. Invest your money into experiences, not materials.
Who remembers the Friday night 7 weeks ago in Bar 7, when it was RnB night and you had one too many drinks, came home, collapsed on your bed and woke up wishing you had stayed in? You’re £100 lighter and can remember less than 50% of the evening. Use your money to travel, see places within your own country, other countries. Stay in for 7 Friday’s and pocket £700 and book a flight to Europe for 2 weeks?

6. Never make a decision based on financial gain.
Money is a great motivator, right up there with oxygen. People will steal for money, break up over money and even go to jail for money. It’s the driving force for us human beings, without it, your pretty much screwed. With that being said, never make a decision based on just financial gain and travel a road in the promise of riches. Ensure whatever you do has a greater percentage of your passion involved than the want for wealth.

7. Nothing beats good health.
Remember to take regular breaks, step backs and time out from your business and personal life. Sometimes when we are so close to everything we miss what’s really going on. It’s important to stop and reflect. If we spend all of our time stressed, overwhelmed and miserable, this will reduce our health. Never sacrifice your health.

8. Be confident in your decisions.
You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great! If you have an itch to do something, get out there and do it! Whether it’s to travel, to network, to begin a business, a new way of eating, go for it! Once decided, stick with it, keep your commitments to your commitments. Never be afraid of making mistakes, you learn more within a mistake than from a success.

9. Stay away from negative people
Negative people will eat you alive, grind you down and make you feel worthless. Obviously from an outsider’s view, we can see this is just a reflection of their own life. This also includes high maintenance and nightmare customers. Be selective about who you are allowing into your inner circle and who you are engaging with in regards to an audience.

10. Remember that who you are today, isn’t who you will be in 10 years from now.
Only because you do not know the answers today, doesn’t mean you will never know the answers. Go with your gut and instinct, be consistent, have persistence and be understanding and loving of others and everything else will fall into place. Too many of us think because we do not have the resources right now to begin, to wait until we do. Sometimes those resources reveal themselves as the task evolves.

Follow me on twitter @BGJBarker or Instagram @EPCREATOR or alternatively drop me an email through our contact page!

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