Contributor: Tech Mistress is not a so young ‘eccentric’, tech loving lady. She likes to share information in funny and witty ways, to inform but yet motivate. You can follow her on twitter – @AbiikeBlogger, and check out her blog – Mumuocrats.
Starting young certainly helped UK entrepreneur Sabirul Islam. He now has a series of successful projects on his profile and more under his sleeves, the 21-year-old Islam is traveling across the world urging young people to take risks.
Sabirul, a passionate young entrepreneur believes Africa possesses phenomenal energy more than anywhere else in the world. He broke the stereotypical mold of business which believes you have to be a certain age to set up a business, that you need an office and large sums of start up money. Breaking the mold enabled him to change the dynamics of how businesses can be run in today’s world and how everything can be done without money, from wherever and that age is really just a number and not a barrier.
He believes the younger a person gets to set up a business and see opportunities that are outside the norm of society, they will be considered different and extraordinary. For him having started at 14 it set him off on the most incredible journey like a never ending story.
Opportunities constantly came his way because he chose to be different from the ordinary youth. He still did the fun times he used to do and was running his own company with friends and meeting people who were exceptional and who had achieved great things.
This helped him develop his network which ultimately led to more opportunities such as becoming a junior trader at 16 and going on to write his first book at 17, titled: The World at Your Feet which is available on Amazon. He never considered to seek entrepreneurship as a way of life but rather he was presented with an opportunity to work for his cousin who is a year older than him at the age of 13. He got fired after 2 weeks.
But what really inspired him was the fact that he saw his cousin do something different at a young age. So he was hired by his cousin, but being a typical teen back then, he just sat back and thought ‘let his cousin do the hard work,’ and still get paid, which was why he was fired.
He believes it was a big learning curve for him. It was that moment of failure in life that made him realize that to achieve in life you have to really put the effort in. But he also was angry and wanted to prove my cousin wrong for firing him. It was the change in mentality that enabled him to set up his first business. Having that ‘I can’ mentality is so powerful.
The biggest project would be the Inspire1Million where he aims to visit at least 20 countries and inspire a minimum of 1 million people to seek entrepreneurship as a career path. The tour started in the Maldives in May last year, and has been delivered across Europe and in Botswana, with the tour coming to South Africa on the 1st July 2012 which will be a 14 day tour.
As for other projects, he has his own TV show coming out soon in South Africa to really encourage youth in SA to get started in business. Outside of South Africa, he has projects including the Teen-Trepreneur Board Game, which is looking to distribute across Africa, as the game aims to teach a more fun and proactive style of learning in terms of entrepreneurship delivering key learning outcomes which enables people playing to understand how business is in fact a simple game!
Though being young is an advantage it also led to rejection, And that is why persistence and perseverance is very important. His biggest rejection was getting fired and rejected by 40 publishers to get his book professionally published. But it was a wonderful incentive to go and prove them wrong!
His advice to young people- When you are young, you have nothing to lose. No responsibilities, no mortgages, no credit card bills and literally everything you do will always be a step forward rather than a step back. So, if young people have an idea and what to get started the only obstacle you face is you telling yourself that you can do it!
His famous quote:
It is not our abilities that define who we are, it is our choices.