When you bring together some of the best and brightest entrepreneurial figures Blighty has to offer, you know that the result is going to be some truly inspiring stories. As if there were any doubt, the first day of the Elite Business Event National Conference & Exhibition 2015 has proven to be a veritable treasure trove of entrepreneurial insight. Our three conference titans – Mark Foster, the Olympic swimmer; Kanya King, founder of the MOBO Awards; and Levi Roots, creator of Reggae Reggae Sauce – told a rapt audience what is the most important factor for growing their businesses: grit.
Kicking off the morning session, Foster explained just what it is that has made him a success, both as a world champion swimmer and as an entrepreneurial figure. “[It’s about] not giving up,” he said. “Truly believing. It comes down to a mindset about being the best that you can be.” It should come as no surprise that he feels the key to this is continually stretching oneself; only by really striving can entrepreneurs really become champions themselves. “Challenge yourself,” he said. “You learn a lot when you take yourself out of your comfort zone.”
As we’ve discovered in our very own pages, King has also faced her fair share of challenges in setting up the MOBO Awards; she alone believed in her vision when no one else would. “It really has been a mixture of passion and a lot of persistence that’s helped me set up and grow my own business,” she said. For her, the key differentiator between entrepreneurs that succeed and those that fail is that the former stick with it even when the going gets tough. “Attitude is far more important than money, talent, luck or education; it’s all about a positive mindset,” she said. “I am where I am today, not from extraordinary talent but simply because I refused to quit.”
Peppered with his usual mixture of song and a sunny attitude, Roots’ session reinforced the idea that entrepreneurialism is the domain of anyone who has the passion and perseverance to make it happen. “Business doesn’t belong to anybody,” he said. “Anyone can be an entrepreneur; if I can do it, you can do it.” Having faced no end of adversity himself, Roots believes that building a global brand comes down to having the drive to see it through. “It was the passion; I really wanted to do it,” he said. “You’ve got to get up and do it.”
The first day of the National Conference has certainly geed up our audiences and gotten the entrepreneurial juices flowing. We hope to see you tomorrow for more exciting entrepreneurial action.