Young Nelson entrepreneur shares views on business, life
I am a 19-year-old businessman.
I have stakes in four active companies plus one start-up, with directorship roles in three of the five. I sleep for five to six hours a night and spend my time between Nelson and Wellington. I advise 23 young entrepreneurs, coach a rugby team and work with a few community and non-profit organisations.
I haven't been to university, and don't plan to anytime soon.
I started my biggest achievement and primary focus, Adduco Design, when I was 15-years-old.
Taking an idea from school and turning it into a real world business was an incredibly hard transition to make.I had no business experience, no capital, no idea - I really struggled.
No one else but me has put a single cent into Adduco, not even family. So every dollar that has gone through the business has been a result of my work. Which is something I'm proud of.
This has taught me to continue to work hard, particularly when work gets sparse or money gets tight rather than just to shut up shop.
Today Adduco is growing rapidly, last month we opened a second office in Wellington CBD, on Lambton Quay.
We have a mixed network of freelancers and part-timers on board and we are slowly working up the ranks to bigger accounts. As a creative advertising agency, we build websites, run ad campaigns, create digital strategies, operate social media accounts and so on.
I firmly believe that in order to reap rewards from your endeavours, you need to put a lot of hard work in and you'll have to sacrifice some things along the way.
My friends give me a bit of stick when I say that I don't want to go out and drink because I would rather sit at home on a Saturday night and compile Gantt charts. I have learnt that it is precisely that, that separates those who dream and those who do.
You have to sacrifice something now, so you can move the needle towards your dreams. If you don't know how to make your dream reality, my advice would be to start educating yourself on the topic.
That can mean going to university, doing an apprenticeship or an online course. What I mean is that you shouldn't give up your dream job simply because a course isn't specifically designed for it.
Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs, and Richard Branson all dropped out of studying to do what they really wanted to do.
To me tertiary education has become a bit of a joke, being the default choice amongst school leavers just because we're told that the only way to make a living is with a piece of paper in your hand.
People should trust themselves rather than a system that churns out unemployed debtors and provides intangible value.
I say that you should choose your own path and follow your dream.
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