Role models for entrepreneurs

Simon BrookeI watched a TV programme recently that featured a 16-year-old whose career choice was ‘to be an entrepreneur.’

Now, let me start by saying that this is fantastic, anyone who wants to run their own business should be commended and encouraged.

However, the next few minutes pained me somewhat.

He was making this decision as a vocation, weighing up whether he should go to uni or start a business (incidentally he didn't know what sort of business he wanted, just one that could make him rich - materially rich).

For me this is painful and I'll tell you a couple of reasons why.

Here is a guy who has ambition and his only role models are those entrepreneurs that didn't get a choice, they had to start a business to survive.

Being an entrepreneur hasn’t always been a 'career choice' as it now seems to be.

I wouldn't have had the inspiration to start my business if it wasn't for the more accessible approach to entrepreneurship that the recent media age has created.

However, I also believe that entrepreneurship, as a 'careers advisor' type of choice, is itself flawed. Learning entrepreneurial skills is absolutely possible, but adding it to a list as a career choice seems forced.

I think more people, especially youngsters like this chap but anyone of any age, should be encouraged to take the leap if they feel ready. And that is really my point: when they feel ready.

We all make our own way, we all control our own happiness and for that reason we all get that feeling at different stages.

With perhaps different role models out there in media 'entrepreneur land’, more young chaps like this would listen to their happiness (or heart) and take the approach to starting their business when they feel ready to take the risk - not when the careers advisor encourages it as an option.

Simon Brooke founded the Happy Sweet Shop in 2008.