SETsquared Blog

Why people make the world go round

Having just returned from an exciting, thought provoking and invaluable experience at the Think Young Entrepreneurship Summer School or ESS for short, I thought I’d give my two pence worth on the role of people in bringing to life an idea. Being a young and budding entrepreneur myself, I really wanted to look at what each speaker thought about the role of people in their endeavours, and if there were any similarities or differences in the way in which entrepreneurs approached people as a tool in their entrepreneurial toolkit.

First off, ALL of the entrepreneurs that spoke said that people where the most invaluable tool that they had at their disposal. It was people that often inspired them to create their idea or it was people that helped them get started. A lot of entrepreneurs seem to think that money is the end goal and the most important objective in the long checklist of success, but ask yourself one simple question. What would you do if you had funding for your idea? You’d still need people to manufacture your good(s) or create your service, you’d need people to care about what you do in order to buy it and above all you’d need people to promote your venture to other people. To put it simply, people are at the heart of all businesses regardless of what they do so make sure that you don’t simply chase the money but spend your time and ‘invest’ in people.

Secondly, creating and maintaining a team that believe in the vision of the company is of the up most importance. It’s a funny word ‘vision’ especially when you talk about business, I always think about some sort of superhero or biblical figure when the word crops up but it really is important. Having people around you that share what you think can help you grow the vision far quicker than you ever could by yourself. You will often find the entrepreneurial road is lonely and whilst social media may help you talk to like-minded people, they won’t understand exactly what you are going through. If you are part of a team working on a project then you can pick each other up when things get tough and this not only makes the road more durable but also more enjoyable as you are bound to make lifelong friends along the way. However, all the entrepreneurs that spoke said that people that don’t share your vision but are employed by you also drag and slow the vision down and being able to get rid of those people is tricky but necessary.

Thirdly, make sure you know when to say no. When you have the thrill and excitement in starting up your company you will look at every opportunity and try and find a way that helps you. But one lesson that I learnt at ESS is that you must be willing to say no to opportunities even though they may seem beneficial to begin with. One speaker made the point, for example, about finding the right sort of investor. If you are out there simply chasing money and you come across an investor who is willing to give away money but knows little about what you do, then you will most likely find that you are interfered a lot with by said investor. This obviously has major setbacks for you and your work so make sure that you are willing to say no to opportunities (I know it’s difficult when you have a mind-set that says that anything is possible) but making sure that you invest wisely in both people and finance is really important.

So in conclusion, people make the world go round. Regardless of what industry you are in, where you are heading or where you have been, people will always have an impact on what you do. From what I’ve learnt from my own experiences and those expressed at ESS the most important thing is to make sure that people are at the heart of what you do. At the end of the day we live in a world populated by people so it’s best to make the most of them and the wide variety of brilliant talent that they each bring.

Thanks for reading!