What defines you?

There is a common misconception among the general public that people that start their own company are doing so for money. I’ve often encountered people who ask what I do. Upon my reply, they tend to respond in a way suggesting that the reason I do this is to become a millionaire. If I happen to become rich through my enterprising exploits, I’d be delighted, but that isn’t the reason that I decided to follow this career path.

I had an insightful conversation with a fellow ‘entrepreneur’ this week, during which the subject of reasons behind start-ups was discussed. His answer was ‘freedom’. If he could earn enough to live whilst enjoying the freedom of working for himself, he would be delighted.

I remember in my very early days along this path attending a presentation in which a friend presented his business journey and asked the question ‘what defines you?’. He had started a number of profitable companies before realising that he didn’t want to simply work for money, but for social good. This may sound like a response to a question posed to a participant at a Miss World competition, but it’s a widely given reason.

I myself started with Access Regional, intent on making money, but as time went on, I realised that that wasn’t my main goal. I then came up with BKSK Consulting, a social enterprise which offers management consultancy in the form of support, mentoring and investment to inspire NEET (young people no longer in education, employment or training) individuals, particularly those from young offender and low attainment backgrounds with enterprise. My business partner and I decided that this was the ideal vessel to distribute this social good after having encountered people in our past: friends and family, who fell into this category and would have massively benefited from this option of support. By ensuring that the majority of our business support is offered by current students or recent graduates, we added another twist to the service; enhancing the employability of these students and creating a service which is easy to relate to for the young people in need. We’ve been working hard to prepare ourselves and are now on the cusp of a full scale launch.

We were delighted to have been recently recognised for this venture by being shortlisted for The Pitch, a national pitching competition…time for a quick plug…please do take 20 seconds to click on the following link and vote for us for the Social Media Award (http://www.thepitchuk.com/bksk-consulting)

As with most things in start-ups, there is no right or wrong reason to start a company; be that financial, social or freedom. But an important question to ask yourself is what defines you?

This blog is also available on the Kindle Store and you can follow me on Twitter (@benpfsmith) to find out more or get in touch

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