William’s 5 Top Tips for Young Enterprise Students After the San Francisco Trip:
- Always be learning. In this rapidly changing world education is no longer something we finish in our teens. We will have to retrain ourselves and continue to learn constantly throughout our lives.The USA operates at a pace and scale that we quite simply cannot compete with here in New Zealand. The pockets are deeper, opportunities larger, and the depth and range of expertise is largely unparalleled.
- BUT, in New Zealand we have our own advantages which aren’t to be discounted. With access to most information you want in your jeans pocket, and virtually unlimited computing power, you are largely uninhibited by technological differences across the Pacific. Also, New Zealand companies have the advantage of being able to sell to markets in the US and Asia with relatively few regulatory concerns. We have the advantage of being withdrawn from various political divides and are therefore able to sell to big markets with less concern for security. But most importantly, as long as you are curious, genuine and respect their time, we are lucky to have a very generous business community here in New Zealand. People who have done or are doing amazing things in New Zealand are usually more than willing to give back by sharing with you their thoughts and advice, or by pointing you in the direction of someone who can.
- Think hard about going to university. Be sure of your reasons and what courses you want to do (even if just for interest) and look up whether the professors are good. It is no longer a prerequisite to succeeding. With the right drive there are a myriad of pathways out there that you can take. You can learn by doing, and supplement this with online courses and books.
- Have guiding principles. Applies to both you as a person and your business. As your business scales and adapts the culture will change naturally, but to guide your employees’ decisions in times that the answer isn’t clear, and to maintain quality as you grow, it is essential to have guiding values and principles that everyone in your organisation can work by.
- Don’t worry about making money - build your reputation and be worthy of trust. If you keep building your network and prove yourself with hard work to build trust – money will come. If you screw up – which you will – it is how you learn from the experience that counts, and what can maintain - or even improve – peoples’ trust in you.
Bonus tip - start reading and studying and watching videos on some of the emerging technology out there. There are exciting, rapidly developing industries out there that you may find you’re passionate about. Even if you don’t pursue them, it is incredibly important to understand their future impacts or else you risk going into traditional medicine, law or commerce degrees that we see through school, yet are being left behind because you’re unaware of the huge disruption occurring. Singularity University’s Youtube channel and the ‘Wait But Why’ blog are great places to start your learning.