© by WilliamSTOKES.co.uk

Reflecting on my Journey in Business & Entrepreneurship

January 16, 2017

 

With the launch of the Young Entrepreneur website I was asked to write a case study of my journey in business & entrepreneurship. The result is the article below, enjoy:

 

Hi there, my names William and I’m a full time Entrepreneur & Property Investor/Developer. In the last 24+ months I’ve taken massive action which has enabled me to leave my fully time corporate role and set up multiple businesses with my partners in areas of my interest.

 

Before leaving the corporate world I was employed as an engineering project manager for 2 large companies. Both companies are established in the engineering sector in two separate subcategories. This first operated in the Oil & Gas sector, and the second operated in the Rail, Aerospace & Marine sectors.

 

Whist working for these 2 key businesses, and a few others before these, I was able to learn a large range of skills and gain a lot of experience whilst being very hands on and at the front of everything happening. At the time engineering was one of my greatest passions, so being involved in large scale and multi-million pound projects, at a management level, was everything I wanted to do. Or so I thought. There was something missing and over the last 12-18 months of my engineering career I became less and less interest in engineering and become more excited about my other major passion, possibly my largest passion, Entrepreneurship.

 

Whilst working for first business, the Oil & Gas sector took a hit as oil prices dropped. The affect left us all with more hours in the day than work to fill the time with. I’d just began listening to several entrepreneurship podcasts. For week I’d arrive at work, sit at my desk, and listen to high value content. This went on for nearly 2 months and by the time the work picked back up I was feeling completely lost in the world of engineering and my feelings towards it.

 

So why was I feeling so lost? Engineering had always been my back up career. As I said before entrepreneurship was my main passion. When I was 17 me and a friend from college, took our first steps into the startup world, as we embarked out and founded a business together selling electrical products online. The business model worked very similar to the Amazon FBA model of today. We brought direct from a whole seller, paid a higher price than most as long as they agreed to hold the stock for us, and we charged the customer less than others in the market place were charging. We were young so to us this business model looked fantastic. We received an order, we then took payment via an online banking portal built into the website, that’s right we even spend several weekend working hard to build a website, and we then sent the delivery details onto the whole seller. For added affect we even had the whole seller add our logo to the box so no one was ever the wiser.

 

The business was going great for the initial launch and first few weeks however things went completely south from there. The whole sellers weren’t keeping us up to date with stock, or at least not in time by our merit, faulty or damaged goods would come back to us and we’d have to thrash it out with the whole seller. We knew nothing of insurance or even incorporation so when these issues cropped up we sensed the end of our startup venture. With that in mind we ended the partnership, and in refection our friendship too, as we focused all our efforts toward our back up fields. For me that was engineering.

 

Through further development, and the seizing of opportunities, I was able to leave my engineering career, as well as my corporate life, behind in January of 2016 and venture back into the world of entrepreneurship. Since then I’ve founded and developed several businesses, with some great business partners, and I’ve been able take control of my life and its direction. I’d like to say I wonder what my life would be like had I not followed this path but to be honest I couldn’t imagine it any other way.

 

Sometimes the path we follow isn’t always the right one regardless of what those around us are saying. You have one life, there is no reset or no do over, you have the obligation to live a life you will enjoy and that will bring you the most happiness. Stop living for others and start living for you.

 

So, what do I do now? Well most of my time is focused managing the assets of our multi-million pound property business, as well as helping to shape the future direction and growth as we move forward. I don’t know what the future will hold but I know that with my partners around me, and the knowledge I’ve acquired through the correct training and mentoring, it will be a very bright and enjoyable one indeed.

 

My biggest piece of advice to anyone out there would be the following:

  • Believe & Invest in yourself

  • Follow your passion at whatever the cost

  • Stop thinking about money & start thinking about fulfilment

I wish you all the best on your journey and hope my journey has been of value to you.

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