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Childs Mind
Yesterday I was invited back to Navigation Primary, my old Primary School, for an Inspirational Talk to year 5s ahead of their Stepping Into Business programme

Stepping Into Business aims to develop 21st Century skills in the next generation. Think of it as Dragons Den for kids or Young Enterprise for Primary Schools

When I was at Primary School, nothing like this existed for us

When I was at Secondary School, business was theoretical rather than practical

It offers hope for the future that kids from normal backgrounds can be shown that running their own business is a real option

Here were my words of Inspiration for Year 5’s – if you own your own business and you has young children. Read this through with them

” Hi, I’m Alex and I run a business called Altrincham HQ

Many years ago I used to attend Navigation Primary School and if you take one message away from today I want it to be: You can do anything you want if you work hard enough

When I was back at school we did Clait tests when you were around 14. Clait tests were a series of questions which were analysed and told you what job you were supposed to do when you were older

Mine told me that I should be a librarian. Now I love books, but I never wanted to be a librarian so I chose a different path

I’ve had 3 careers so far – a journalist, ran an events company and now I run a Social Media Marketing company. Who knows what will happen in the future, but there is a change I could double the number of businesses by retirement

I want to give you 5 lessons today to help you step into business and real motto’s for life

Technology Has Made Things Easier
1. Technology Has Made Things Easier

How many of your parents read a newspaper? (about 40% of the class put their hands up)

How many of you love spending your time on your phone or ipad? (100% of the class put their hands up)

Back in 1999 the internet changed my life. We didn’t have mobile phones or ipads for the internet – we had to sit on a computer and wait for about 10 minutes to get on the internet

But I knew then that times were changing and that I had to set a website up.

I set a website up about something I loved – which was music – and started writing. In those days we didn’t have social media – everyone posted on message boards and newsgroups

Within 3 months I had 10,000 people visiting my website each week and then people wanted to pay me to write for them

That was when I realised if you follow your passion and add in technology wonderful things happen

So think where technology is going? Don’t copy what we’re doing now. Do something new

By the time you’re my age you will have self-driving cars, robots that clean your house and holograms

Your future job probably doesn’t exist yet – but when it does it will put all us oldies out of business

Hard Work Beats Everything
2. Hard Work Beats Everything

Everything you’re doing now is important because it sets you on the journey to what you want to do

Hard work trumps everything

There’s a saying that it takes 10,000 hours to perfect something

Do you know how many school days that is? 154 days in school doing one thing to perfect

If you’re a Manchester United fan – that’s how long Rashford and Rooney will have taken before they even started to get noticed

If you want to do something you put the hard work in and you will get results

You Get By With A Little Help From Your Friends
3. You get by with a little help from your friends

Everyone around you can help you

You literally can’t do everything yourself

Concentrate on the things you do well and collaborate with friends who do what they do well

When you work with friends you get a support network that helps you grow and your friends grow at the same time

And linked into that is being nice

Be kind Always

There’s a myth in business that to make it to the top you have to be nasty, but those that are nice often make it to the top

So always be nice

Celebrate All The Good Things That You Do
4. Celebrate All the Great Things You Do

The one big mistake you can make in business is spending your time thinking of mistakes and not celebrating the great things you do

The 1st time I really stopped and celebrated in business was 13 years after I started

It was when I became an Olympic torchbearer and was 1 of only 8000 people in the country to do so

I can still remember being cheered on by 25,000 people through Buxton now

It was an amazing experience that made think how much I actually hadn’t celebrated previously

I did great things for 13 years and never took time out to say – actually that was amazing

So a big tip – at the end of week pat yourself on the back for all the great things you’ve done

Make time for celebrations

If Something Makes You Unhappy Move On
5. If something makes you unhappy move on

And last but not least – if something makes you unhappy move on

Move on and do something you enjoy

I’m not talking if something is annoying for an hour or you have a bad day

If something genuinely makes you unhappy for a long time – move on

You’ll start to get a feeling in advance and make a natural move over to the thing you get passionate about

In all my years in business i’ve been able to step away from something if I no longer enjoy it

So that is my Inspiration for Year 5’s looking to the future

What would your inspiration be?

Alex McCann

Author Alex McCann

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