I often speak to youth groups about entrepreneurship and getting started in business. Not because I am as successful as someone like Richard Branson or other famous entrepreneurs, but often because of the business I started and my background. You can understand why when you look at the odds, high school dropout, starting an art business after a career in trucking, and then leaving a successful position at a large company to begin on my own without any kind of a real plan. A real recipe for success right? Now you’re thinking I am about to tell you what I wished I had done right, but that won’t be happening here!
That’s because I wouldn’t change a thing. I feel I didn’t have the information I needed back in school to make the decisions I have had to make today. When I look back at my school days I don’t feel as though I was encouraged to pursue my talents or interests. In fact I found it the opposite, I was discouraged from drawing which I loved, I got in trouble for drawing on note books, and I wasn’t told how the information I was getting would help me later in life. There was no talk of business opportunities. There was no career days until you got to grade 12. I got 59% for an illustration mark in school and I don’t even remember taking the class. It wasn’t until I got into the work world and began a career did I start learning things that I thought would really help me. It was practicing my art on my own that got me to the level I am at today, and it was good instructors after returning to school in my forties that really encouraged me to follow my dreams and gave me the confidence that is required to move forward.
Today I spend much of my time encouraging others and offering information on the way it really is in the world. People can follow their dreams or make their own choices, but they need the right information. There is enabling someone and encouraging with the right information. I am glad to see that we now have career days beginning earlier at school. We need to let people know that there is hope in their lives even if there is a long road ahead for a career in that dream. I happened to fall into my careers and both involved my passions, but there are many that don’t know that is available. Let’s encourage and not enable, let’s give information and set people off into with their own dreams.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is an artist, author, consultant, and speaker located in Burlington Ontario and author of the books Driven to Drive, Running by the Mile, and How to Start an Artistic Business in 12 Easy Steps. For more information visit www.outridgeenterprises.ca