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Issue Number 3 - Entrepreneurship the way to social emancipation- Published on 22th of May 2014
Entrepreneurship,
The way to social emancipation



By C.E.O Of

Since the dawn of time, humanity has been nothing but an ugly display of injustice marked by  wide disparity between social classes. Those who got hold of the weapon of knowledge first, had used it to consolidate their economic position and subdue the lower classes into servitude. It has always been about acquiring  huge resources for the benefit of the few and guarding them fiercely off the reach of the masses. Ever since   Antiquity when landlords had subjugated workers in their estates to modern day slavery, It has always been a constant struggle from both sides with the affluent having the edge over the poor up until the advent of  the Information Age. The Internet had changed the rules of the game, it had empowered people through easy access to instant information. It made them aware of the extent to which they have been exploited. Information and easy access to knowledge had opened the eyes of the oppressed into seeing who is behind their misery. Even nowadays, acquiring a resource to develop is not as easy as we might think, however, lately people got more informed about their rights and the various ways by which they can achieve self-actualisation. Entrepreneurship had facilitated the process, it gave entrepreneurs the power to legally acquire  assets, develop processes & patents and have exclusive rights to channel resources to pursue  their own  ambitions. How is becoming an entrepreneur could enhance your chances  to equal opportunity and social justice? And what is the formula for a successful entrepreneur ?

When I was a child I have been told to go to school , to study hard, to get a job and the world will be my oyster. I have been told to trust the system to reward my hard work and get me where I should be based on my deeds. I had that tremendously unrealistic sense of optimism which convinced me that even the sky is not the limit . Believe me, having such an attitude towards life is great and the challenge would be to preserve it while growing up. Fortunately, It didn't take me long before realising how flowed and manipulated the system is. By system I refer to the establishment, governments, the education system, the accreditation bodies, the banks etc.

The system, just like history, is written by those who have won the social class battle. It has been shaped by those who invested in it. While it is logical, from a capitalistic point of view, that those who invest more into a venture, should reap the most out of it. However, this approach does not leave much room for human rights to equal opportunity. That's why I consider the concept of social justice a Utopic myth. Opportunities (high paying jobs, admissions to prestigious schools etc) are created by the privileged & reserved for the privileged, for those who, literally, do own the system.

guard The system was setup by the elite in order to protect their own interests and preserve their social status. People at the top had to make sure to stay there and take care of the top's business. They needed the rest of the population to take care of the laborious and tedious jobs. After all, you won't be able to invent the next groundbreaking software and slave away for 12 hours a day cleaning gutters and such in order to pay for life's expenses. So the upper classes had to invent a set of rules & laws, which embodies the system, for the sole purpose of persuading the crowd into surrendering their right to a better future and truly believe in the limitation of their destiny. It is the power of exploiting people's ignorance in order to subdue them into voluntary slavery since the full blown traditional slavery has been abolished (not so long ago actually). By such system the privileged classes had been able to secure cheap & abundant labor for centuries. Alternatively, think of the System as a maze, created in order to confuse you and which will make you encounter a dead end at 99% of the time. Only those who shaped the maze do know their way through it , at the exit of the maze is where opportunities lie.

The oscar of the biggest joke of all times has to go to the education system. Not only it clutters your head with irrelevant none-sense, it does leave no room for creativity and imagination. Moreover, grades , titles (MBAs, PHDs etc) have become more of a political instrument available for the highest bidder to grab. In addition, what makes it totally irrelevant is the fact that it is a metric system completely biased by affordability. Eligibility and admissions are no longer granted on the basis of merit but rather on your purchasing power.

I do speak for the millions of smart kids who just happened to be born in humble families and we all know that the poor constitute the majority of the world's populace. So please if you had the privilege of being born with a silver spoon in your hands, do not go about bragging about how well you have done for yourself, as a priviliged you have had doors wide opened for you long time before you were born, so don't think for one instance that you are the miracle genius who had made the achievement of the entire human race. With those available resources a monkey could have had your PhDs and your fancy-pants job titles. Even More upsetting is the fact that some countries do allow irresponsible governments in power. By making higher education unaffordable those governments are, in fact, working actively to bankrupt its population intellectually and financially. In 2010 when the Conservative party took control of the United Kingdom's government, with the help of the liberal democrats they have done a brilliant job in this regard by trebling the standard minimum annual fee for undergraduate studies to £9000 per year.

It will take time before you realise how flowed and rigged the system is. In fact, you have got to have bad education to know how worthless it is and you have got to experience rejection several hundred times to know that it is not your ability to do something that had been rejected but you as a person, just because you are not one of the privileged. Ironically, experiencing all that is the only fruitful learning experience which ultimately, leads to the liberating conviction that you will have to be in control of your destiny and creat the right circumstances for you to learn and evolve spiritually and economically.

When I think of an entrepreneur, I picture the hardcore entrepreneur , the one who have started with close to nothing! Not the one who was backed by the family's fortune nor the guy who basked in the bliss of high-society's well connected network which can facilitate everything just because you knew the right people. When I started my entrepreneurial journey I was unemployed, broke, isolated and above all angry. You feel a huge let down sentiment when you do what the system had defined as the path to success, then you get the big NO sign every where you go.

Choosing to become an entrepreneur requires guts. Some people have been brought up in an environment that had promoted the idea since an early age, others found themselves forced into it. Whichever path that lead you towards entrepreneurship, at the end of it you will be convinced that it is the only way to self-actualisation, if you are business oriented.

There will be countless mental and physical barriers which would obscure your faith and discourage you from believing in your ability of taking on such a challenge. Becoming an entrepreneur is more than the desire of having a job or a carrier, it is a way of life and mostly a state of mind. If your motive behind entrepreneurship is money and quick success, you are set for a very rough landing paved with disappointment and discouragement. Your primary motive behind becoming an entrepreneur must be the desire to create something to be proud of. My motive was the stubbornness to prove to the establishment that there are other ways of doing things, to demonstrate that the school of life is much richer and mush more interesting than all prestigious schools combined.

It is best not to realise how big the challenge would be, because it is simply infinite. However, the infinity of the task is what makes it worthwhile. If you are not willing to learn something new, everyday, for the rest of your life, you won't carry on for long on your entrepreneurial journey. If you are not willing to learn how to do everything by yourself, you will simply run out of steam and resources.

You will need the right layout to become an entrepreneur ( and it has to do more with your psychological disposition than the physical resources needed to sustain such a project). Same as the way life had begin on earth some 4 Billion years ago, a psychological cataclysm is what is needed to prepare our future entrepreneurs' mindset. You will be thankful for that mental supernova which usually occurs in the aftermath of a violent career shakedown. Consequently, After losing everything that you have taken for granted and see how easily things can be taken away from you, you will feel the desire to have more control over the course of your life.

Deciding to become an entrepreneur is a baby step towards freedom . However, complete social emancipation will require turning your venture into a success story. I see the act of deciding to become an entrepreneur as a rebellious act. You will be the odd one out who had enough of being pushed around, who had enough of being victimised, rejected and showed where your place in society should be.

We all do agree that the learning experience is enough on it own. Nevertheless, you will realise that you have come a long way to just participate and leave empty handed. Startups are not all destined for immediate success. Therefore , few failures will shape and prepare you for the next successful venture and that is why persistence must be of the essence. It is a learning curve and your disposition towards failure and your character will determine your level of success and how soon you will achieve it. In order to carry on being an entrepreneur and turn your dream into a creative, successful and ultimately a profitable reality you will have to be:

- Persistent: Your patience and strength will be testes countless time. That's why you should never give up on your objective , success could be around any & every corner.

- Hard working: Hard work improves the odds to your favour and trains your mind to spot opportunities when they come across your path. So, build stamina and keep its level up, you stakeholders (partners, clients,, employees, associates, investors etc) will feel it, pick on it and respect you for it.

- Optimistic: Again, an irrational sense of optimism is always good. It will make you benefit from the power of believing. Business is sometimes more about faith in your ability to predict and picture your success. Project good thoughts and you will see them happening.

- Honest: Honesty is a quality appreciated by everyone. Make it one of your organisation's core values and you will attract the right people who will help you succeed (future partners, employees, investors etc)

- Patient: Rome was not built in a day and neither will be your business. It will take some time for you to get it right. So do not give up on your goal. You might have to alter your plan of action, revise your trajectory but don't give up on your destination.

- Useful : Creating tangible and real added value to people will reinforce your faith in your product. Hence, you will be more convincing offering it to others. And remember that you and your company will be valued as much as you are useful to others.

- Defiant: What's the common denominator between Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Elon Musk and the countless other entrepreneurs who had shaken industries and changed the way people live? It is defiance. Don't give up on an idea just because someone had it first, you can always come up with a smarter way of making it happen.

- Good: If you believe in karma, you will save me time explaining this point. Anyways, there is something about being good that is beneficial for everyone. Good deeds reverberate exponentially throughout the universe and somehow come back to you when you need them the most. So just be good.

- Combative : Some might argue with me on this point. However, if you don't want it badly, you simply won't get it. Be combative like a warrior would be, even better be a stubborn & fearless worrier, who is focused and always ready to jump on an opportunity. And remember that the future belongs to the brave.

- Cool: You will get knocked down few times and you will have your faith shaken all the time so you better be cool and stay cool. You have got to have nerves of steel in order to survive the corporate jungle and if there is one thing that you, unequivocally, should not be is fainthearted.

- Crazy: If your ideas are not laughed at , you simply are not thinking big enough. Take Einstein for instance, he was considered a mad man when he questioned the Newtonian Classic Mechanics and proposed the theory of relativity which ultimately changed our understanding of the whole universe. Besides, there is a contested level of correlation between being crazy and being a genius. So don't be afraid of being the weird one who thinks of offering low budget space tourism programs and setting up colonies on Kepler 186f (Not gonna happen though ! Not in even in a million years !). But hey! reach for the stars so you might get to the moon.

- Proud: Oh boy! I met with the self-proclaimed "Entrepreneurs" who are ashamed of what they are doing and considering being an entrepreneur as the best second choice! No sir! I am an entrepreneur and proud of being one and proud of my ideas. How will you believe in something and nurture it to grow if you can't associate yourself with it.

- Connected: It is a matter of survival to get in touch with like minded people and get to know the key people who will open doors for you and from whom you might learn a thing or two. We simply can't do it on our own. Besides, what needs to be done is far too much that you will welcome and need all the help you can get. So go out there and get connected.

- Open-minded: Embrace change and create new trends. Learn new things even things outside your domain of expertise. Don't just be open to learning new things , have the genuine desire to learn new things.

- Critical: Don't conform, question everything and don't accept what is offered to you as the best available option. Do not trust the system and what it has to offer, most of the time it is just a mirage. Remember that there is no such thing as a free lunch. If the system is offering you something there is a price to pay and something to concede in return.

- Healthy: Being an entrepreneur is like running a never ending marathon. It is physically and mentally demanding. Your body and mind will be put to the test everyday for the rest of your life. So be healthy, eat healthy, exercise regularly.

- Thankful: Recognise the efforts of people who have helped you on your journey. Be grateful to to those who inspired & believed in you.

- Inspiring: A successful journey will inspire others into believing in themselves, who will create their own success story and inspire others in return. And so on and so far.

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As I mentioned earlier, entrepreneurship is a way of life. You have to enjoy the thrills of living on the edge where you don't know when your next client is going to come to you or whether your budget is enough for your ambitious undertakings. Further more, it offers a way out, a fighting chance to make your voice heard and to ultimately put yourself on the map by creating something useful for others to enjoy and for you to be proud of. All what I am trying to explain , especially for the future generations, is don't get sucked into the mainstream way of thinking, into playing it safe ( go to school, go to university, get a job somewhere ). Don't get me wrong, I am convinced that school is essential , especially at an early age, however, it is not enough because there is a much bigger school, called the school of life where the learning experience is infinitely much richer & larger so do not limit your horizon. Starting a business will teach you more than what a combined 100 MBAs will.

It is the duty of all of us to contribute to the advancement of humanity and entrepreneurs have proven to be the most creative ones for the simple reason that they are faced with the choice of make it happen or go extinct. None of us is born ready but make no mistake anyone can be a creative entrepreneur if they believe it is the case. So! Go on take a chance, start your own story, set up your own game with your own rules. We might not been born with the same privileges, we, however, can do something about it. Allowing ourselves to be institutionalised is in no way the answer, trusting the system to hand us what we deserve is juvenile. The only way to advance is to be proactive, to have critical thinking and to start doing things rather than wishing & waiting for them happen miraculously.

To bring it all to an end, economically speaking, the resources available for everyone are limited. Consequently, the struggle between the haves and the have-nots will always be omnipresent. Struggle for resources' control has always been at the heart of every minor and major conflict either between individuals or nations. In our "civilised" world! How civilised can we keep this struggle without it escalating into a full blown conflict? Those are the challenges that face humanity. The establishment every where is seeing its thick impenetrable walls getting thinner and thinner by the way information has become so widely available. As a result, the system has no alternative but to promote true social justice. How much longer before we can see true equal opportunity for everyone regardless of their social status?



Author
Rafet Maamouri
C.E.O
www.silverstinger.co.uk


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