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Alan W's story on... inherent entrepreneurship

Is entrepreneurship inherent? Something we are born with that becomes formalised as we enter business ventures in our journey through life? Alan, lifelong entrepreneur, challenges our notion that we ‘enter into entrepreneurship’:

“I don't think I became an entrepreneur, I believe I have always been one.”

From as young as he can remember, Alan was never interested in the more traditional path we are programmed to follow: go to school, enter university, get a good corporate job, climb the ladder, retire. From the gangster and mafia movies he watched as a kid, to bartering on the playground at school, and moonlighting during the first few years of employment, he has always been mesmerised by the art of doing business. Today, he helps those people who, like him, do not fit traditional societal expectations. Be it youngsters who do not quite fit into the schooling and educational system, or older generations who are stuck in mundane unfulfilling yet responsible jobs looking for more purpose. Alan believes entrepreneurship IS the way to achieve freedom and self-fulfilment.

Being animals of habit, entrepreneurs are here to break this norm and change the world. This requires swimming in the other direction, not following rules, and being flexible and open over rigid and closed minded. Alan brings clarity to the difference between a business owner and an entrepreneur,

“A business owner is clear what they need to do, the business model and domain is known, it has been tried and tested by others before. The entrepreneur is exploring different things all the time. So many ideas, so much unknown, creating something never known before.”

True to the definition, Alan never stops creating, juggling three business ventures/ideas at any given time, he truly never stops thinking about how to fill the gaps he sees in the market around him. “It's always been in me to come up with ideas, how to solve a problem I see, and how I can make money from that. It's not money driven, I enjoy the hustle, problem solving and the challenge of creating something from nothing.”

Being an entrepreneur is filled with challenges, not only regarding the product or service but also in the business you are creating. If challenges excite you and you have the determination and perseverance required to take control and work through them, then entrepreneurship is an ever exciting experience difficult to match in a position of employee.

“As an entrepreneur you never really switch off because you ARE the business. As much as you love what you do, be careful of being IN love with your business because then you cannot think straight and make critical unbiased decisions in the best interest of the business.”

A creative entrepreneur sees opportunities in everything, finding ways to try and solve problems, one who follows their own rules. Alan explains that Creative Entrepreneurs are visionaries. This means our ideas are often difficult to understand because they are new and unique, never seen or heard before, which makes them difficult to articulate and for others to fully grasp. This can be disheartening as passion and wonder is often met with scepticism and criticism. How does he remain inspired? Alan takes inspiration from anything and everything around him, always listening, always learning, he sees a story in every person he speaks to, every book he reads or movie he watches and applies it to his life and business. His advice to entrepreneurs:

“Do it. Do it NOW. You should have done it yesterday. Don't doubt, don't worry, don't wait. Believe in yourself because the mere fact that you have the thought that the next person does not, means that you, only you, need to lead now.”

In this day and age where information is so accessible, it truly is possible to follow your ideas. And when your life draws to a close, there are no regrets. Then your story is no longer “I was going to…” but rather “I did this and…”! “Entrepreneurship carries no certainties nor guarantees. Realise when you need to quit. Protect your ideas. Persevere even when people do not understand your vision.”

Alan IS a visionary, inspiring all Creative Entrepreneurs he meets to start, keep going, and to never ever stop believing in their vision, and to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. What you have heard about him is true, he IS always listening and has created an ecosystem dedicated to helping and supporting Creative Entrepreneurs to succeed.

“Solving niche challenges Founders face”.

Illustrator: Lisa Williams (Instagram: @artist_llw)


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