This week the New Entrepreneurs Foundation kicked off for another year and I was fortunate to find myself in the class of 2015! Every year there is a bootcamp where we can get to know our fellow young entrepreneurs and begin the course in earnest.
So, it was off to beautiful Lee Valley in North East London (see above!) where the 30 or so young aspiring entrepreneurs gathered and it has been an incredible experience so far. Rather than go through every minute details, I thought I would highlight the 5 things I’ve learnt so far.
1. Being surrounded by entrepreneurial people is a fantastic feeling
It’s rare to be surrounded by such an intelligent, motivated group of people who are all so friendly and keen to make the most out of the year ahead. I was truly blown away by some of the amazing stories I heard and I think that even if all of the training was a waste of time (I’m sure it won’t be!), I will be glad to have gathered a network of likeminded people.
2. Personal goals are really important, but really difficult
On day 2 of the bootcamp we were took part in some leadership training with David Buffin who asked us to write down and think about what goals we want to achieve, be they personal, business, adventure or contribution in nature. I found the task surprisingly difficult, especially given that I have always considered myself a goal oriented person.
In the end I came away with food for thought. Recording a simple, specific goal is crucial to knowing what to do next and what sort of person you want to become. Spending some time really thinking about that should be high on everyone’s to do list.
3. Executive Coaches - a new, and potentially life changing experience
Everyone on the NEF programme will be given an executive coach who will be able to help with our personal development this year. I’ve never used this kind of service, but I’m excited to try it out and see how it might help. It’s rare that you have an opportunity to sit down with someone and just focus on how things are going and where you want to be.
Another reason to work out what your goals are and what your vision is.
4. Start a Business NOW
On Day 1 we heard from Chris Coleridge of UCL who will be delivering a great deal of the training this year. His main message was that we should be looking to become an ‘expert entrepreneur’. What this means could be a blog post in itself, but my main take away was that you shouldn’t put off starting your business or project. Ideas are plentiful and talk is cheap, so don’t wait around for the perfect moment to get started, just get on with it and worry about the fine details later.
It has really inspired me to get started and launch a business, whether with a fellow NEFer or on my own. In order to make the most of this year, starting an actual business will be an opportunity to put what we learn into practice and ask lots of questions.
5. Blogging can be useful (and fun!)
I have attempted to write several blogs over the years, but have always lost interest or given up after some time. Our session with Adele from Escape the City was so useful and she has managed to convince me! Finding my voice and recording my experiences throughout the NEF programme will be a valuable learning experience in itself, and who knows where it might lead.
The first three days of NEF have been so much fun. I’m so glad to have found my tribe in my fellow entrepreneurs and I’m sure our group has what it takes to make the most of the year ahead.