In my own search for knowledge, I became an avid reader and attended many courses, events and talks to try and increase my knowledge. I was met with frustration because I felt that so much of the advice wasn’t based around the practical elements. Oxford University is not short of talent that’s for sure. They have some of the brightest minds I’ve ever met in my life. People so insanely smart that you leave feeling like you’re a step behind in the evolutionary stages. What I bring is real-life experience, successes and mistakes. I have been a part of many ventures and really threw myself into them head first. Over time I’ve become more careful and more diligent, just a natural consequence of bad experiences as well as maturity. My courses are aimed at the practical elements of being an entrepreneur and having to content with so many factors that you can feel overwhelmed. I like to make it simple for my students and in doing so I don’t teach them all of the different styles of being an entrepreneur (we do cover this but it’s basic); I instead teach them the way that has worked for me. My approach is due diligence lead, extremely practical in its application and very focussed on where I have discovered either, value, or clear routes to monetization. I think there is an information gap for most people, they have a rough idea of what they want and what they think they want and then they need to understand what the path is, the road map, to getting to that place. My course helps the student structure for themselves in great detail their own individual path. All of our actions add up and at the end of the day we sit there with a life we are happy with or not. I prefer to take a view on a person’s entire life and then let that decide how they are an entrepreneur and how they are a leader.
As a visiting lecturer, you really get to enjoy the best bits that Oxford has to offer. I’m up in Oxford maybe 6 times a year and whenever I go I try to schedule an extra couple of days to allow time to meet with students or work on my own research. I think it’s important to point out that I am not a professor, this is a different thing entirely. I know a lot of my old students write to me and call me their professor, which I always correct as I understand the title of professor is a great honour and not what my role is. This often comes from a confusion between different academic systems with Professor being a different thing over in America where I also spend a considerable period of my time.
I’ve also had the honour of teaching students through the Said Business School for a Business Growth Course. If you happen to land on my about page you will see me with my students from that course. This was absolutely fantastic, I got to focus on something that I am incredibly passionate about, growing businesses and focussing on sales channels.
I love to examine an existing business and creatively find ways of helping them to hit new revenue targets. Over the years of helping businesses I’ve developed my own proprietary system for doing this and I find even now, years later, I find it useful to stick to my framework.
I think it’s important for all you young and hungry people out there to remember that life must be driven by passion and outlook. The combination of these two things together will set you on a course of fulfilment and drive. If you can consistently pursue your dreams and just give it a structure so that every day is counting you will reach your goals and you will be so happy with the life you make for yourself. But remember, don’t whine about what life hasn’t given you, life owes you nothing, it’s up to you to work hard and put the hours in to get smarter. Then when you get smarter you keep putting the hours in until you reach your goal. You can do it, apply yourself and it will come.
Check out the Leadership and Entrepreneurship course at Oxford