Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 11th 2017 Contents MAY 11 • 2017 guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
COMMENTARY | BG13
Are you ready
to take risks?
I am a young man with high aspirations.
I've always dreamed of being a
successful entrepreneur. I believe that
this is my purpose in life.
I found a niche in a marketplace that I
believe would be very profitable.
However, it is a risk that I am not fully
prepared to take, financially or mentally.
Still, I believe that this business would
bring me the necessary cash to reinvest
in other ideas.
What would you do if you were in my
--- Mihai Paraschiv, Romania
Congratulations Mihai; you're
already halfway there. You
have passion, and you have
an idea, and as I've often said,
those two things are the cor-
nerstones of any successful
But don't let the fear of failure become an
obstacle. Entrepreneurship in its very essence
is all about taking risks. You can create your
own luck by opening the door to change,
progression and success. If every entrepre-
neur---including myself---feared failure, then
few companies would ever have seen progress
Of course, some people might consider it
reckless for someone in your position to be tak-
ing big chances so early on in life, but the truth
is that risk is necessary: No one ever reached
the stars from the comfort of their couch.
Before you jump in, though, make sure that
you've solidified a foundation for your business
on purpose. You mentioned that your ideas
could lead to later investments, but keep in
mind that when you get into business solely
to make money, you likely won't. If you try to
make a real difference for people, you'll find
And in a world that's faced with so many
challenges, the easiest and most satisfying way
to do well is to do good. Build the best product
you can, and make sure it has long-term value
to people and the planet. This way of thinking
has been a recipe for success for us at Virgin
for five decades.
One of our latest ventures, in fact, takes our
passion for purpose sky high. We recently in-
vested in OneWeb with the aim to create the
world's largest constellation of satellites in
order to bring connectivity and communi-
cations to billions of people who don't have
access to the web. We have no doubt that such
a purposeful goal can eventually lead to profit.
Once your purpose is established, make
sure that your idea is connected to the issues
you're most passionate about. This is what
keeps entrepreneurs awake during the long
hours, positive during the chaotic moments
and determined throughout the challenges.
What's more, it is one of the strongest predic-
tors of whether your idea will lead to success.
Another major predictor of success is the
character and quality of the idea itself. It
doesn't matter how new or unusual your idea
is, if it does not fill a gap in the market---or, as
you put it, a marketplace niche---and improve
lives, then it is unlikely to be well received.
You wrote about not being completely fi-
nancially and mentally prepared to go into
business. Don't worry, no entrepreneur is.
But passion and purpose will do great things
to keep these uncertainties at bay and help you
focus on the job at hand.
Lack of funds need not be a barrier, either.
This is the age of entrepreneurship, and there
are many options available. A number of start-
up loan programs and crowdfunding platforms
have sprouted up in countries and cities across
the globe; there may be a number of people
and organisations out there willing to support
And don't just throw money at challenges.
Identify exactly what you need to grow your
company. Is it technology, engineering, infra-
structure? Also, when the time comes, don't
just hire people for the sake of growing. Know
your priorities, do your research, start small
and think big.
So Mihai, be brave, take risks, put people and
the planet on par with profit, and don't give
up. This is the recipe for success. Good luck!
Remember: The luckiest people are often
those who are prepared to take the greatest
(Richard Branson is the founder of the Virgin
Group and companies such as Virgin Atlantic,
Virgin America, Virgin Mobile and Virgin Active.
He maintains a blog at www.virgin.com/richard-
branson/blog. You can follow him on Twitter
at twitter.com/richardbranson. To learn more
about the Virgin Group: www.virgin.com.)
(Questions from readers will be answered in
future columns. Please send them to Richard.
Branson@nytimes.com. Please include your
name, country, email address and the name of
the website or publication where you read the
Links Archive May 10th 2017 May 12th 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page