Bedroom to Business #VOOM
Starting a charity is a challenge for anyone. But starting at charity at 17 is one heck of a challenge.
The difficulties I have faced over the past year, have been testing. Due to my age, people would always doubt the abilities and capabilities I had. Anyone wanting to work with me, whom was older, would always judge me first hand, not because of the charity and it’s aims but because of the number of candles on my birthday cake.
But I have never let that number defeat me in my ambitions to start an internationally recognised charity.
Charity and business have similar characteristics. We have a similar framework in the way we function and start-up, like a business plan and the policies and structures which follow. These are all of course necessities in opening up any business.
Have I ever taken a business course? The simple answer is, no. But sometimes I surprise myself with the amount of knowledge I have already gained from hands on experience. That you just can’t teach. However, I am due to start a few courses later this year, in finance and management.
The World Youth Organization now has around 30 staff and volunteers scattered across the world, working on current and future programs and projects.
Something which I’ve learnt over the past year is to remember, you can never create anything big without the help of others. Developing a strong, skilled and qualified team of advisors and board members is vital in the progression of any business or charity. These people are qualified in specific areas, specifically, areas of interest to the business or charity, to help it grow and become successful.
Your job, is to keep everyone happy and empowered. Empowering staff is key in maintaining a healthy workforce.
There is never an I, it’s we. ‘We got this’. Not I.
Getting this far, has been a battle. But any young entrepreneur has to remain focused and to keep striving for their end goal. Having a mission statement or vision can really help realise that ‘end goal’. But it’s never really the end. There are always ways to improve, better and strive for bigger and more exciting things.
But remember, think about the community and social interest. Your business should always be there to benefit others, to help the public in some way; never create anything with the thought of overpowering smaller businesses. As a large business or charity, you should always put the scale of your organisation to good use, by helping the community and other businesses to grow.
But where do you start? Through the power of technology and social media, our charity was formed from digital advertising, without any cost to us. Use the tools which are already out there. Social media is a great way to get your vision publicized. The support starts there.
Finally, I’ll leave you with some motivation.
Success doesn’t just happen, it takes time, patience and creativity. Believe in yourself and you’ll most definitely go far.
(Written for Virgin Media’s #VOOM blog)
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