The credit crunch is the best learning curve for young entrepreneurs

Gary Martin
boardrom 300x225 The credit crunch is the best learning curve for young entrepreneurs

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Youth unemployment continues to be a vital political concern for governments across Europe. Last week saw some major announcements to tackle youth unemployment head on. The European Commission unveiled a ‘youth guarantee’ scheme that will aim to provide young adults with a good job offer, continued education, an apprenticeship or an internship within four months of leaving formal education or becoming unemployed. While in the Autumn statement, the British government showed its commitment to encouraging employability by cutting corporation tax for businesses so they can create more jobs and introducing the ‘Business Bank’ initiative for small business owners.

The boom in business spirit has been sparked by the key lessons young entrepreneurs have taken on whilst sailing through the credit crunch and looking for alternatives to traditional employment. In particular, they have used the psychology of business to motivate and empower themselves and their workforce. They have been forced to become highly collaborative, swift and alert when it comes to new opportunities, and hell-bent on achieving success in their business.

Entrepreneurs that start out really young face the stigma of being viewed as inexperienced as they don’t have grey hair to prove they understand the business. Instead of looking at this as a negative, I believe it is a massive benefit to learn along the way and pave a path of confidence in yourself as an entrepreneur and in the business as a whole. Business isn’t rocket science it is about the deriving the right formula to achieve goals that have been set out. While some entrepreneurs might find it daunting to think of a setting up a business at the age of 13. For me it was a great experience that taught be  invaluable skills that I will use all through my professional journey.

Any successful entrepreneur has a huge appetite and tolerance for risk, but surviving the credit crunch without a strong focus on the mind will make it very tough. For many young entrepreneurs the recession has actually been an excellent wake-up call. In this era of struggle, a major part of success is derived by not only focusing on the mechanics of the business but more importantly the psychology of the entrepreneur. Of course, this needs to be followed up with operating effective strategies within the business.

Young entrepreneurs need to train their mind to control the meaning they give to the challenges they experience in their business, economy and life in general. This formula has helped me deal with the worst effects of the problematic Irish property market and re-invent myself by setting up Martin Construction in London. A captivating appetite to uncover the secrets of the greatest entrepreneurs’ and their business models for success during tough economic times led me on to taking a couple of business psychology courses.

Over the past years, I have built mental agility personally and within our team. The rules of business have been re-written and entrepreneurs who have interacted with weak markets have been taught many lessons, which will be invaluable for the next part of their journey if they chose to look at it with a positive outlook.

At a Tony Robbins conference I attended, he said something, which has stayed with me to this day: “the quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty that you can comfortably live with.” No one is in favour of uncertainty, but having the ability to be able to remain strong when all hell has broken loose makes the difference in many cases between success and failure. If I hadn’t changed how I looked at business a few years ago, not only would the business not be where it is today, but I would have missed out on the last few years of fun I have had during the process.

Desire to achieve has a big impact, and looking at business challenges in difficult times as a learning curve can not only teach invaluable lessons but also prepare budding entrepreneurs for any challenge in the future. It is certain that monetary reward isn’t the sole motivation for entrepreneurs; it is the thirst for achievement, growth and what can be created. In my personal experience, my need and desire for achievement has been closely connected with my positive outlook – always finding the best in everyone and every situation.

There is no better time than now for young entrepreneurs to enter the turf. The recession has drastically changed industries that were once closed to new players and has opened up opportunities for entrepreneurs with a burning desire for success and a hunger for knowledge about their chosen sector. My only advice is be crystal clear about your goal, take substantial action, notice what results your getting and adjust your approach accordingly whilst having complete confidence that at some point you’re going to hit success.

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  • ChristopherVonbrincken

    Neo-Liberalism aka Thatcherism/Reagonomics meant deep cuts for the workers – which affected the middle class and enriched the allready rich.

    Now, after the ultra capitalist medicin has almost killed the patient, this article suggests another spoon full.

    Having lost my inherited small fortune as a “young entrepreneur” myself, now years later after many unskilled jobs I wonder sometimes how live would have been with a proper degree.

    I am an “entrepreneur” now though, selling badges on Ebay.
    It keeps me from starving, but I certaintly wouldn´t recommend it over a good payed job.

  • Guest

    This article is unmitigated crap.

    I heard all this in the last recession. What actually emerged was a generation of risk-averse managers, obsessed with out-sourcing and having no knowledge or experience of making a return on an investment. All belief in training and development was abandoned, and the idea took root that any skills required were available at any price the employer cared to name – of course this was true for a year or two, but people move on and the situation erodes.

    Compare British management attitudes with the practices in real, wealth-creating economies from Germany to China, by way of India, and the differences are glaringly obvious.

    The last recession contributed greatly to our economic decline and this one is the same. Learning curve, my sweetly rounded buttocks.

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