I want you to think of a place. It’s a vibrant centre of business; a place with a dynamic environment conducive to business; a place where entrepreneurial enterprise mushrooms; a place where incredible business stories are being created and crafted 24 /7.
What did your mind conjure up? Where did you think it was? Was it somewhere in the Silicon Valley? Or was it a major centre of commerce, like Hong Kong, Taiwan, Beijing, or New York?
Nope. I’m thinking of our very own Canberra. Bet you didn’t even consider it! After all, how would a city which is the seat of government and bureaucracy, also have a blossoming commercial economy?
Right here, right now, behind the façade of politics and public service, another palpable world of commercial enterprise is bubbling and percolating, right below that surface we all automatically think of, when we say, ‘Canberra’. In this world, entrepreneurs are crafting new opportunities, contributing to the local economy and changing the very recipe that makes up this city. They innovate. They create. They percolate. They launch new enterprises. In fact, their business activity makes a difference to all of us, in one way or another. Believe me, I discovered this world and was so impressed, I wrote a book about it.
So now, I am scouting around for more local business stories to inspire; stories of extraordinary people, doing extraordinary things. Things that most of us would never even think of, let alone execute, and I am going to share them with you.
Do YOU have an entrepreneurial spirit, perhaps? Do YOU have what it takes, or do you know someone who does?
I have a favourite saying that describes such people in a nutshell: “Entrepreneurs are people who will do today, what no one else will do, so that they can live tomorrow, like no one else can.”
Choosing the business life is a tough decision. Nonetheless, an exciting ride.
You have to be able to take the lows to experience the highs. You have to lay it all on the line – Much risk. Many problems. Mega drama. And most of us are just not willing to risk foregoing our security to venture out there, into an unknown world that can come back and bite you (viciously in fact), with the direst of consequences. And you can’t blame us!
But for true entrepreneurs, it’s not a choice. They will tell you that the alternative is worse. They are compelled to make the journey to follow their passions, whatever it takes. Trouble is, most fail in the first five years. Because a good idea is simply not enough. There is plenty to learn about running a business, and successful business owners are life-long learners.
In this weekly column, I will be sharing with you inspiring business stories (both new and established), from the Canberra region. You will get a glimpse of the most enterprising citizens in our capital.
Next time, I will share the story of a woman who replaced her salary in the first six months of her business, and another entrepreneur, at the end of a long and successful business career, who created a unique “exit plan”.
Meanwhile, do let me know if you can recommend a local entrepreneur, whose story is worthy of telling. It might even be yours!