Inspiring Entrepreneurs #RiseWithUs

A number of SLO business & commercial students recently attended a fantastic event at the Business & IP Centre, Newcastle, called ‘Inspiring Entrepreneurs’ . It featured a live link-up to the British Library in London where a panel of business leaders answered questions from the audience and via twitter.

The event was lit up by four leading entrepreneurs in the creative industry. The theme of the event was ‘Rise With Us’. Each entrepreneur spoke for ten minutes. They told us their ground-breaking life stories, and how their successes were achieved with the right attitude and determination. Their words absolutely held me engrossed throughout the whole presentation.

Here are some of the top tips that I took from each of the speakers:

Kanya King- CEO and Founder of MOBO Awards:

Kanya King attributed her success to energy, determination, persistence and, on many occasions, resilience. Further, during the presentation she laid out some key attributes of being a good entrepreneur, such as:

1) Passion: if your heart isn’t in something, you won’t be successful. Passion gives you the confidence, creates excitement, energy and is contagious. When you are passionate you make people around you feel excited, and everybody wins. Nothing great is achieved without enthusiasm.

2) Prioritisation: we get side tracked juggling multiple tasks, and this could limit our effectiveness and productivity. The key is to focus on the primary activities.

3) Procrastination: this is the enemy of success. If you get stuck just remind yourself that you don’t always have to get it right, you just have to get going.

4) Persistence: this is critical for business, or possibly to any other life challenge. When you are running your own business or chasing your own career choices, there’s no instant gratification. The harder you work the luckier you get. When a mistake is made, take the lesson learnt, get back on your feet and use your enriched knowledge to create success.

5) People: Kanya spoke about valuing relationships, keeping in touch with important contacts, being persistent, and building a strong support system. Relationships are important to call upon in good and bad times. She said that it’s always better and wiser to work together with people, to support each other, to share tips and advice, as there is so much you can achieve when you have a team with the same vision.

June Sarpong -TV presenter and founder of Lipgloss Productions

June’s number one piece of advice is to believe in yourself because we are intuitive – before you start worrying about what other people think about you, worry about what you think about yourself. June told us to start thinking good things about ourselves, so that we start believing it. Secondly, June advised us to learn to control our thoughts, have a goal in mind, and just keep focused on that. It doesn’t matter what’s going on or if it seems farfetched, just keep your eye on that end goal and somehow it’ll workout. She said that you’ll meet the right people at the right times. Finally, June said:

“Don’t only be a taker. Be a giver”

She noted that there were a lot of takers in world but not many givers, but somehow the world catches up with taker and they might lose it all in the long run. Be a giver and it will come around to meet you again.

Yinka Ilori- Designer specialising in upcycling vintage furniture

Yinka believed that you can achieve whatever you want to achieve. You just have to work hard and make sure you tell your story how you want to tell it. He told us:

“Don’t let anyone else tell you how to tell your story…..In other words, be yourself”

Levi Roots -Reggae Reggae entrepreneur and MOBO nominated musician

Levi Roots strongly holds that, whether you start a business or have one already, you need a mentor– somebody who knows more than you, someone who you can rely on for advice. And once again, according to him, it is about being who you are- be yourself. Be authentically you, which makes you unique.

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out” (Dr Seuss)

When I went to this event, I expected that it would be about business (and maybe a little about the law!). But the event was about much more than that. It was about learning something from those who have been there before. It was about giving life to a thought that you’ve left behind thinking it’s impossible to achieve or maybe even planning your future or working out how you can adopt the entrepreneurs’ advice in your own life endeavours. All of these things make this event an important one, and one which I will remember for some time.

This post wasmatheesha written by Matheesha De Alwis. Matheesha is a final year law student and part of a Business & Commercial firm within the Student Law Office at Northumbria Law School. On graduation, Matheesha hopes to secure a training contract with a commercial firm or a position as a paralegal, in order to build upon her experiences in the Student Law Office and to pursue her career goals.