By Faria Ahmed
I was 12-years old when I first rented a stall at the school’s annual fair with some friends. We made crafts, cards, baked some goodies at home, and asked mom to make some items too. I then stood by the stall bustling with excitement as people passed by, stopped to ask me about some of the items, their prices and strike up conversations. Each time I could satisfy them with my answer, I made a sale. Items left my table one by one and the little toy cashbox I had brought from home kept getting fuller. I was so proud of myself. I did this, while many of my friends got bored of standing by the stall and went on to explore the more interesting parts of the fair. These are internal instincts that really cannot be taught to an adult going to school and taking a 2-year program on ‘entrepreneurship’. While you can definitely upgrade your skills and gather more tools to market your ideas, the ideas themselves cannot be created without sheer passion.
This was the first time I realized I wanted to be an entrepreneur, in some form. When I was 19, I started experimenting with a little online project of helping my friends get jobs using some of my contacts at the places I had worked at. At 21, I founded my first company, a recruitment agency which I named Career Solutions Bangladesh. Right now, at 29, I have gather a lot of experiences, of both failures and success. I tried by hand at half a dozen different types of businesses. From learning centers, to bakeries, to clothing boutiques. The most successful start up still continues to be Career Solutions Bangladesh and the latest venture which I only started a few months ago is my blog called Millennial Things.
My friends often ask why I still keep trying to come up with new businesses. I am entering a pretty stable stage in my healthcare career and have gathered multiple academic qualifications over the years. I cannot explain to them that for an entrepreneur, especially a serial entrepreneur, it is never about ‘settling’ down with a decent flow of money. That’s why people have jobs. It is always about trying to find gaps in the markets, gaps in peoples lives, and trying to fill those gaps with the comfort of unique products and services. When I was 19, they said I was too young to be wasting my time trying my hand at a business. Soon enough, they will say I’m in my 30s and will be too old to be engaging in child’s play of creating start ups. All I feel is that time and age are irrelevant. There is no minimum or maximum age of entry. There is no resume or degree requirements. It is the one thing you can do as long as you have passion for it.