The Ability to Start

The longing dream of becoming an entrepreneur has seemingly always been a part of me, but for the longest time, I didn’t know where to start. My story begins with watching Shark Tank as young as 6 years old and developing a passion for entrepreneurship. While Mr. Wonderful’s elaborate deals certainly left me mind-boggled, they also intrigued me to learn more. Learning at school and looking up to my dad, a businessman and entrepreneur himself, my passion only strengthened. In class, we’re always told to share our story so our audience and possible investors can see who we are, and why we’ve chosen to solve a problem at hand. In this case, I’m sharing my story because I’ve learned a critical lesson that I would love to share; the ability to start. Despite my aforementioned passion, I didn’t work towards becoming an entrepreneur for the longest time and I chalked this up primarily to my age, and that no opportunity was sent my way. That mindset was exactly what I learned to avoid.

My Experience in Class

Being a student of Mrs. Youngblood and getting to learn from the Startup Studio program allowed me to get something that not everyone is fortunate enough to have handed to them, an opportunity. An opportunity to be an entrepreneur but more importantly, an opportunity to see what I’m capable of. After experiencing class for the first few weeks, I began to question why our sole focus was getting to know each other and sharing our stories. Considering I thought the class would be all about business, I’m ashamed to say that I honestly found the whole concept dumb. Overtime, I learned about networking and how critical it is in the business world. The skills of networking and confidence that I gained from this had great benefits in the future.

After becoming comfortable with networking and presenting, I was able to finally do what I dreamt of for the longest time, creating my own business. This process of creating my own product is why I’ve been able to walk away with the important lesson of learning to start. I got to create my own concept and business plan for my app GroShop. While doing this, I finally was working towards my passion and all it took was a little nudge from my teacher and program that I get to be a part of. As I reflected, I realized that I was capable of so much more than I ever imagined and it’s all because I stopped living in the mindset of “it will eventually happen” and shifted to “I’m going to make it happen now.” Once I had figured out my idea of GroShop, I worked extremely hard to figure out the details and features required to make an app like this profitable. Had I not started working as hard as I did, I never would have been able to see my true potential.

Chasing Opportunity

I was lucky enough to have been told to make a product in the first place and I took this small opportunity and managed to gain a tremendous amount out of it. I quickly understood that not every opportunity in my life will be given to me in this manner and that it was time to start creating opportunities for myself. I soon after attended the entrepreneurship summit and used my networking skills to create a plethora of opportunities. I had personal calls with many of the Global Ambassadors that I got to meet and these opportunities that I chased and created are still positively impacting me to this day. I learned a lot from these connections that I made and they also gave me amazing suggestions for my product. I was no longer the kid who sat around and waited for something to come to them. There’s nothing better to sum this mindset up than the ever-so famous quote, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” At the end of the day, being afraid to start isn’t going to get you anywhere. Taking a chance is the only way you’re going to be able to improve, even if it means facing failure at points in the journey.

Just Start!

Coming from someone who started with nothing more than passion just a bit ago, it’s perfectly alright if you’re not already an entrepreneurship guru and I’m certainly not. Whether or not you do it through a program like the Startup Studio, anyone can become an entrepreneur if they’re willing to try. Following the footsteps of my past self and waiting around for something to happen isn’t going to get you anywhere. Even if you fail the first few times and face hiccups along the way like I did, you’ll be extremely glad you at least gave it a go and will have learned a lot from the experience. I’m only just getting started in the entrepreneurial world but now that I know how to simply start trying, I’ve already accomplished so much and can’t wait to do even more.

By Eshan Ali, LTS Alumnus

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Eshan Ali

LTS Graduate (WPS)

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