14 January 2014

Would you be surprised to hear that a fifth of Brits have a hobby that could be developed into a full time business or do you think you might be one of them?

I’ve just seen the results of the latest RBS Enterprise Tracker survey, which has called this group of people “hidden entrepreneurs”. Why are they hidden? Because even though 38% of people want to start their own business, only 6% actually do. The others were put off by the state of the economy, fear of failure or the notion that they somehow lacked the skills to do it!

What is clear from this report is that Britain has great innovators and motivated individuals – entrepreneurial material – but their attributes aren’t being used to their potential? I can’t help but wonder whether this can be tracked back to the classroom? Is “entrepreneur” a category offered at school career days?

There’s a wealth of untapped talent in this country and if these people are naturally enterprising then they probably won’t feel truly fulfilled working for someone else. If you think about it, this is a real shame as life is for living and every second should count. I certainly don’t want to look back on my life and think I’d wasted a moment.

If any hidden entrepreneurs are reading this, now is a fantastic time to be in business. There was a time where people were arguing and debating over whether the recession was still in full force, coming to an end or even starting all over again, but you can’t argue with it now. It’s over. Businesses are on the up and I think you can really feel that sense of momentum. I’d liken it to that feeling you get at the top of a ski slope just as you set off – you can feel the acceleration; it’s effortless and enjoyable. I think that’s the feeling in Britain right now; businesses are upbeat, the country itself is upbeat.

However, if you’re scared of failure then I’d advise caution as you get what you focus on. Don’t even think of failure as an option because, once you’ve started and put the wheels in motion, there can be no stopping. It’s exciting and scary and a complete roller coaster, but if you’re an entrepreneur in the making then you’ll probably be the kind of person who thrives on this. Ask yourself, if you came to the end of your life and hadn’t taken a chance on your business, would you feel regret? If the answer is yes, you know what to do…

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