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Conducting an interview of Richard; a dynamic entrepreneur was a good experience. It gave me enough scope to understand his entrepreneurial style and provided me an opportunity to reflect upon my own entrepreneurial achievements and capabilities. An important reason of enjoying this whole process was that the person answering my questions was an articulate man and he was also focused towards the topic of our discussion. He was cooperative as well. These are in fact great qualities of a good professional who not only values his own work as it was evident from his words but also values the tasks of others as evident with the seriousness with which he treated the whole interview procedure. For the purpose of analysis the following themes have been identified in coded frame and analysed while relating transcript to theory:
- Entrepreneurial Insight
- Courage of Risk Taking
- Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility
- Creativity and Innovation
- Networking and Communication
- Customer Orientation
- Managing Innovations
Richard seemed to be a social and enterprising man and came across as a person who cared for welfare of others as much as he cared for his own company. He was humanistic and idealistic He seemed to love solving problems of others and build good relationships. He seemed to be persuasive and communicated in a tactful manner. Margerison (1995); rightly observes that; it is important to leave an impact no matter even if it is in a small way. Richard seemed to follow all this with great alacrity.
As an enterprising individual, he was ambitious, adventurous and self confident. He loved to be in the leadership role. He was an effective speaker and was assertive and self-confident. He appeared to be a good businessman as well as a good manager. As Ket De Vries (2004) mentions, “Recognizing the minds are like parachutes – they function only when they are open!”I think that with these impressive characteristics; Richard would lead his organization towards the path of being the winner in tomorrow’s marketplace so that it is able to deal with the continuous and discontinuous change that the new global economy demands. In order to survive in the global market it is important to accept the global trends. In order to accept the global trends it is extremely important to be open to all kinds of groups and indulge in all kinds of networking. We can relate this phenomenon with Richard as he had mentioned in the interview that he never let’s go a chance where there is scope of meeting new people and increasing one’s social capital which might help in business in the long run.
Without any formal education, Richard had entered the field of entrepreneurship. It is evident that over the years he has had to make efforts to adapt to the ups and lows of the field and at the same time hold back to one’s values. There must have been situations when he must have been hurt, depressed, pessimistic; however, Richard concentrated on the positives of entrepreneurship which again is a very good quality of being a good leader as a good leader focuses on good things; shunning away the negative ones.
A corporate leader is responsible for simply managing the tasks, rather being indulged in motivating, encouraging and communicating to bring high level of productivity. “The classic definition of manager is one who gets done through other people. You may be planning, directing, controlling, hiring, delegating, assigning, organizing, motivating, disciplining, or doing any number of other things managers do on a daily basis. No matter what you do though, you are working toward a goal by helping others to do their work.” (Caroselli, 2000). Richard was a sum total of all these traits of a leader.
He appeared to be a well spoken person and displayed immense passion for his job. He seemed to be articulate in all the issues related to his job and came across as a dedicated worker and a good team player. Margerison rightly mentions that “success of managers would depend on how effective they are in gaining the co-operation of their staff to complete the task in hand.” (1993).
The job of a manager encompasses dealing with many publics of the organization like workers, partners, clients and public at large. This means that one should be good in communication skills. It seemed that Richard gets successful in dealing with people as he did not just speak with clarity but also spent a lot of time in listening.
No matter what one wants to achieve in life; an entrepreneur or an intrapreneur should be able to practice proper time management, self discipline, logical and analytical skills, persistent attitude towards one’s goals, enthusiasm about the task in hand, honesty and integrity. I think Richard possessed all these qualities. Some of his qualities that I personally liked are:
Listening – listening means not just hearing but understanding what one wants to say through both spoken words as well as non-verbal communication. Everyone wants a good listener.
Empathy – I could see appreciation and respect for his employees and partners and huge amount of concern for the clients.
Awareness – He seemed to be fully aware of all managerial traits, significance of moving ahead with time, handling a conflict and the importance of incorporating a holistic viewpoint and developing a better understanding of values and ethics.
Persuasion –He did not seem like the one who would dump his ideas on the team members; rather would apply the art of persuasion so that people react positively to the idea.
Conceptualization – He had developed the ability to see things from beyond the evident realities.
Foresight – Throughout the interview; he tried to build an understanding that there is good outcome of positive thinking.
Stewardship – He did not seem to promote control; rather was the one who believed in open communications.
Commitment to the growth of the people –It was evident that he is committed to the growth of the people. He gave ideas that should be practiced at an organizational level so that there is scope of growth of all.
Building community –He was promoting a feeling of oneness within the organization. This implies, keeping conflicts away and building team cohesiveness.
Richard seemed to have molded his personality in such a way that he was able to build good human relations and to extend it beyond greetings and good manners. His attitude towards the people around him seemed to encompass respect for the individuals and value for the work environment. He had based his approach towards the relationship with the clients on an attitude to give; rather than just take.
After evaluating the whole interview; I have learned that feeling a deep sense of duty towards fellow human beings is not just a vehicle to reach the destination; rather an important way of transformation that would make lives more peaceful and serene. King & Crowther (2004) has rightly pointed out that “If the people feel a part of the community this will be exemplified by high commitment, sharing and trust.” The ability of the organization to realize its vision and accomplish its goal can be increased through servant leadership as this concept stresses on the fact of encompassing respect for the individual and value for the work environment. Compliance to ethics and corporate social responsibility was evident when Richard mentioned that he cared for every single customer and believed in producing natural hair care products and was planning to make life of patients easier by developing software that would enable GPs and Doctors to be directly accessible to their patients.
His company tries to get investment from people that actually understand the market, and aren’t just there for the profit because Richard was clear on the fact that they are trying to solve problems and not there to make money.
One important ethical challenge of every organizational leader is to create such an environment within the organization that the workforce is motivated to give better performance than what it has been giving so far. I think Richard is able to deal with these challenges by creating a very congenial work environment for everyone and treating the staff in the same way, as he would like to be treated by them. In the words of Rue and Byars, (1992) “Highly motivated employees can bring about substantial increases in performance and substantial decreases in problems such as absenteeism, turnover, tardiness, strikes and grievances.” He believes in a culture of team spirit. To achieve success in all the ethical challenges; it seemed that he sought lots of guidance through informal chats with his father who has experience in business and with a close group of friends. He cherishes this close circle of his which keeps him going. I would definitely seek help of my seniors especially my father. Their support and the unity of his team made him feel confident that things would always fall in place even during extremely challenging situations.
We cannot undermine the importance of the modern communication technology and the impact it has had in our society at large. The positive impacts have been fruitful especially for businesses. Due to technological advancements there have been many innovations in all sectors of our society. Embracing these innovations is the only option for the businesses if they want to tread ahead. One has to move ahead with the times and Richard seemed to be adapting to changes and managing innovation, network and systems pretty well. Perhaps this is why; he was passionate about creating a system which prove beneficial to the most vulnerable sections of our society – The patients.
Richard had mentioned in the interviewthat to run a business; the main thing is of course finance, which one can arrange through loans etc. but then he was the follower of creativity and innovation and instead of being in debt he had tried to carve his path through following creative and innovative paths of fund creation like utilizing other skills of his own and that of his staff in order to generate money. I think this is an extremely creative and innovative way of moving ahead with an unconventional outlook.
He had further stressed that he thinks in terms of expansion and in terms of growth by being different than others. Pointing towards the hair company; he said that he is aiming to actually bridge in to many of the company’s products such as natural hair, natural products, wigs when the competitors have just focused on virgin hair. In the software company he tries to be different in the way he deals with the clients. He believes in having intensive chats and actually see how their needs correlate with what his company can build. So I think that approach and how he aims to grow is much different from other businesses and this where lies his success as an entrepreneur.
It was in the evident in the interview that Richard follows a professional growth strategy so that he is better equipped to reach his goal of business expansion. No matter how learned a man is; learning is still a necessity for him as an individual regardless of his previously acquired knowledge, occupation, age, work or home environment and personal motivation. An entrepreneur of an organization needs to direct oneself to greater heights of professional success. Everyone loves to believe that one knows most of the things related to one’s subject or domain of work. However, one has to keep on acquiring fresh knowledge about things that are already known as day by day new approaches are being adopted for old problems. Indulging in lifelong learning implies that a staff would be in a more comfortable position in leading his team by using his personal style and situation. Richard seemed to be treading immaculately on this path.
Every entrepreneurial firm has a distinct characteristic because of the nature of work of that firm, history of that firm, the objectives with which it was set up, types of services it provides, it’s set up in terms of size, infrastructure etc., types of projects it undertakes, the management style that is applied to get the common goal accomplished and the special characters and qualities that it has. By speaking to Richard it was clear that he heads an organization that is based on highest values related to the traits mentioned above and that he believes in not just one’s own benefit but benefit of all.
Caroselli, M. (2000). Leadership Skills for Managers. USA: McGraw-Hill.
Heifetz, K.A., Kania, J.V & Kramer M.R (2004). Leading Boldly: Foundations can move
traditional approaches to create social change through imaginative and even controversial
leadership,’ Stanford Social Innovation Review, , pp. 22-36.
Ket De Vries, M.F.R 2004, ‘Organizations on the Couch: A Clinical Perspective on
Organizational Dynamics,’ European Management Journal, vol.22, no. 2, pp.183-200.
Margerison. C. J. (1993). Managing Effective Work Groups. UK: McGRAW-HILL Book
Rue, L.W., Byars, L.L. (1992). Management Skills And Application. (6th ed.) USA IRWIN.
Transcription of Interview
|Input sound file:||RichyyyInt|
|ME 00:01||Recording on the 28th of November 2014, at 7:39. Can you please introduce yourself [?].|
|RICHARD 00:14||My name is Richard [?]. I’m a [?] entrepreneur. I run a hair company and I run a software company as well. Hair company is called [Fariha?] Hair and Beauty, and software company is called Community Software.|
|ME 00:27||All right. I’m going to ask you a few questions about how you as an entrepreneur and your experience on becoming an entrepreneur and sustaining your entrepreneur skills et cetera.|
|ME 00:42||I’m going to run through certain questions with you. Firstly, how did you become an entrepreneur? What made you become and entrepreneur?|
|RICHARD 00:51||I think it was like a process of different things that led to me being an entrepreneur. I think, from young I didn’t know I want ed to do, and then like in secondary school I started on– I tried to selling like gold bar and penguin chocolate bars but I wasn’t successful but what I learnt from that I learnt like profit loss revenue so those were basic skills I was learning. When I went to college I started building up so I started selling Blackberry cases, Blackberries because at that point in time Blackberry was what everyone was using. I started reselling like PRICHARDs PS3s for people that wanted to sell it and they have like a eBay Amazon account online and then–|
|ME 01:37||So basically you was more– you saw the opportunity in things? That what major the common entrepreneur–|
|RICHARD 01:42||Basically yeah.|
|ME 01:43||So could you say family, was your [?] there? What could you say or was is it just many opportunities?|
|RICHARD 01:50||I think it was opportunities. I feel my dad was– my dad is an [?] agent so I think I think I got a little experience from him, but I didn’t learn like– he didn’t teach me the fundamental if that makes sense. I was sort of left to be free. So it was something that I found was basically taking the opportunity out of everything that I saw.|
|ME 02:10||Talking of experience, do you have any pre existing experiences? Do you work? Are you in education? Did you have education? What previous experiences have you got?|
|RICHARD 02:20||I went to college, did my A levels, and I went to university twice. In the first year I did multimedia technology and I dropped out, and then I did international business and then I dropped out because at that point in time I was really running my business so I didn’t see how it made sense.|
|ME 02:39||So you couldn’t juggle both things at the same time?|
|RICHARD 02:41||Yeah, exactly.|
|ME 02:42||Do you feel that you dropping out was beneficial to your entrepreneurial career, or do you wish you stayed in?|
|RICHARD 02:48||Sometimes I wished I stayed in because I’m a very academic person. I like a neeky geeky type of person. But at the same time I think in terms of time I think dropping out was the best decision I ever made because it freed up the Monday to Fridays that I had to go to uni for, and it allowed me to basically just go out there and be a full time entrepreneur. So it was definitely a good decision.|
|ME 03:10||So basically as an entrepreneur, you risked basically your education to run your business?|
|ME 03:18||Do you feel that for you being there, you had a big impact on your business?|
|RICHARD 03:24||You mean like as an individual?|
|ME 03:26||Yeah, as an individual.|
|RICHARD 03:27||Definitely, I think because one of the businesses that I run were a start-up company, so there’s only about three or four of us as a team that work on the director level. So it’s very important that each person is there. For example, someone might do business affairs. Someone might do graphic design. Someone might lead growth. Someone might lead sales. And I think that, strategically, it was very important as an individual for me to be involved in my business, to enable us to grow and move forward.|
|ME 03:55||So you drive your workforce, basically?|
|RICHARD 03:59||Basically, yeah.|
|ME 04:02||What type of entrepreneur would you describe as an egotistic leader, as a person where you want people to know you’re the manager or the CEO, or are you an entrepreneur where you let your work speak for itself?|
|RICHARD 04:18||I think I like to let my work speak for myself. I think I’m an entrepreneur that’s what always says– because there’s a lot of people that talk and say they’re going to do this, they’re going to do that, and this and that. I think the best thing is to put the work in and let your work show for you and then when you do that people automatically in a sense chase after you or be interested in what you’re doing, rather than just talking and talking and then nothing comes out. And also it’s more impressive to people when you don’t talk, but you just do something and you pop out with something big that no one really expected you to do.|
|ME 04:52||Okay. All right. And moving onto the next question, talking about your business. How was setting up your business? Did you have any difficulties with it? As you said, you dropped out of university. Was there any other difficulties when setting up your business?|
|RICHARD 05:06||I think on one of the main things was obviously finance, but I think that’s something that you learn to get as you go along. For example, there’s a lot of opportunities for loans and [?] out there, and because I had other things that I could do such as web design and a bit of programming, that enabled me to do freelance work on the side while running my business. It was much easier to finance my business. I think another thing was experience, like learning how to write contracts, do cash flows, understand the profit margins, and I think when you start to run a business those are things that you just learn.|
|ME 05:47||How would you say you went through it? How you encountered the problems or the experiences, difficulties.|
|RICHARD 05:53||I had first in terms of experiences, I just went head first.|
|ME 05:58||Don’t you think head first you could end up things even worse, or you did it strategically? Or how did you do it? You just went in?|
|RICHARD 06:06||I think the best thing as a young person was to go ahead first, because number one, I had nothing to lose. I’ve not got a mortgage, I’ve not got kids. And I think that when you do have a business you have to, in a sense, fail in order to appreciate life and then in order to learn from it and then succeed the second time.|
|ME 06:25||Yes. I understand that. And you know your company, do you compete with any other companies? Like similar businesses doing what you doing and [?]?|
|RICHARD 06:36||With the hair, there’s quite a lot of competition, as well as with the software. But I think the main thing that in both that we’ve tried to do is to always differentiate ourselves and make sure that what we’re doing no one else is trying to do. So for example, with the software, we’re trying to build a virtual clinic for the NHS and that at the moment no one else is doing that. So I think that gives us an edge in the market.|
|ME 07:01||That [?] innovative technique.|
|RICHARD 07:03||Yeah. Yeah. I think innovation is very important into business because it sets you apart.|
|ME 07:09||And do you receive any support from anyone?|
|RICHARD 07:13||Mentorship. I receive mentors. I have one or two mentors that I see, not regularly, but maybe every three or four months and you just meet them, you go out for lunch, and you tell them how you’re doing, and they give you advice. So I think that’s what I have, I should receive some advice from my dad because obviously my dad is also a small business owner, so I’ll go to my dad at times for advice, and I have friends that are very business-minded that can also challenge me to be a better person.|
|ME 07:43||Okay. Do you find that support beneficial, everything beneficial?|
|RICHARD 07:48||Definitely, definitely. I feel like sometimes being an entrepreneur, a lot of the time you’re lonely and a lot of the time you’re alone with your thoughts, like what if this happens? what if I fail? I think that having that support and having that backbone is very important in order to succeed and even like we look at successful people today, there’s always a backbone. It might not be a woman, it could be like a team, or it could be that friend or mum or dad. I always feel like there’s a person or team behind them that enables them to achieve that goal.|
|ME 08:19||Okay. All right then. Has being an entrepreneur, some entrepreneurs has that skill of innovation as you said before. And you said you have a hair business and a software business. How is your idea, your businesses different from the rest?|
|RICHARD 08:37||I think with the hair business, I think initially we look the same, I think in terms of expansion and in terms of growth we’re very different and we aim to be very different. With the hair company, based on what we’re doing is we [?] hair extensions but in the future we’re aiming to actually out there and to actually bridge in to many of our products such as natural hair, natural products, wigs. And that’s something I’ve compared that have been on the market for years haven’t learned. They’ve just focused on virgin hair. So I think that’s a way that we’re going to be different. And I think with the software what makes us different is the way that we deal with clients. We care for every single client. For example, now that we’re working with the NHS, when we speak to NHS trusts and private doctors we actually speak with them, have a phone call, have a chat and actually see how their needs correlate with what we can build. So I think that approach and how we aim to grow is much different from other businesses.|
|ME 09:38||What about you as a entrepreneur? I’m thinking singularly. How are you innovative?|
|RICHARD 09:48||I think one thing I do is that I read a lot and I think a lot. I think if you read a lot – reading is like– I don’t know. I feel like reading is extremely important because it gives you the knowledge. While I think thinking is also extremely important because it gives you the opportunity to actually think on your own when no one is [?] actually–|
|ME 10:06||Visualise, yeah.|
|RICHARD 10:06||–come out with something or visualise and actually strategise and I think that’s the way to breed innovation.|
|ME 10:13||Okay. So, I hate to ask about ideas, but do you have any more ideas that you’ve got underneath or you need to–?|
|ME 10:21||Do you think of ideas regularly?|
|RICHARD 10:23||I think of ideas regularly. Some I forget, some I remember, but I think there’s some recurring ideas that I have. One of them is in the future to invest in ethnic minority backgrounds, to invest in ethnic minorities or individuals from those kinds of backgrounds that have business ideas and need a push, and may not have the facilities or what they need in order to progress.|
|ME 10:52||Okay, that sounds good. Secondly, now this is about your entrepreneurial marketing techniques, how are you? Are you more customer focused , opportunity focus? Like me, for example, I’m a bit of both. If I see a customer I like to satisfy that customer by doing this or doing that.|
|ME 11:11||However, if I see an opportunity here I will still take advantage of that opportunity.|
|ME 11:15||So I always show customer focus as an entrepreneur.|
|RICHARD 11:18||I think it’s very extremely customer [oriented?] because I think a lot of entrepreneurs when they start their businesses, all they think about is money, money, profit, profit. And I think what you have to understand is that if you meet the needs of your market, the money will always come in. So I think the aim as an entrepreneur is to be extremely customer focused. And when you are customer focused, the money will automatically come in because you’re satisfying the customers’ need and they’re paying you for that.|
|ME 11:48||What about opportunity?|
|RICHARD 11:49||I think opportunity is when I can and I think– yeah, I think I just chase that when I can. But I think if I’m [?] opportunity, I’m chasing opportunity. When something else comes that’s not as big as the one I’m currently chasing, I think I’ll leave it. Because I think it’s about balancing and strategizing and looking for the right opportunities and the right chances to take.|
|ME 12:17||Sounds good. As a person of authority or entrepreneur, do people look at you differently? How do you brand yourself – your dress and your posture? How does people know that– how do people address you?|
|RICHARD 12:35||I don’t know. I think it’s different for different people. But a lot of the time, I just try and be me.|
|ME 12:44||I see you’re looking presentable, majority of the time I see you. Is that your type of technique to network with different people or the example you want to lead, or is it just that you in general are [I was going to?] because , because [I don’t know?].|
|RICHARD 13:05||I think is a cooperate culture thing. I think the more I go into cooperate environment, the more I realised how important it was to dress in a presentable way and I think that’s what sort of led me to start dressing smart because it gives a first impression and it says “This guy is serious, this guy know what he wants.”|
|ME 13:24||Talking of dressing, how do you network with different people? What’s your method of networking? [?] as an entrepreneur there is various online platforms like LinkedIn or you go to meeting, how do you network with different people?|
|RICHARD 13:44||Two of the platforms that I use a lot are LinkedIn and Twitter. I use LinkedIn because obviously is a professional social network. sometimes I like add random people that could help me and I send them a message. I am on Twitter a lot because a lot of businesses are using Twitter for engagement, for advertising. Also go to a lot of meetings and meet ups. There’s a site online called meetup.com.|
|RICHARD 14:10||And they have meet ups for every single thing. They have psychology meet ups, medical meet ups, and they have so many business and technological meet ups. So I try and make sure I’m at every meet up or as many as possible because it just means that I can network with more people, get more emails, contact more people, I mean just more opportunity.|
|ME 14:31||As you say, you’ve got LinkedIn, and you use various other Internet based platforms.|
|ME 14:38||Do you benefit from these things like supply? Like to benefit from supplies as you have your own air companies, [?] companies. Do these online platforms help you find supplies for your personal business?|
|RICHARD 14:51||Supplies, yes definitely. I’d say like supplies and partners.|
|ME 14:56||Okay. All right. And talking of demographic groups, do you tend to niche yourself to one group or are you open to a lot of people?|
|RICHARD 15:10||I’m open to everyone.|
|ME 15:12||Open to everyone.|
|RICHARD 15:12||Yeah, I think to to succeed you have to be– I think it depends on what type of business you’re running, but I think that personally as an entrepreneur if you really want to go out and then get yourself known I think that the best thing to do is to open yourself up to as many groups as possible rather than just stay in a demographic location because then it just limits your potential.|
|ME 15:33||Okay, now moving on to finance now, do you receive any external support from any thing [?]|
|RICHARD 15:43||No, at the moment both businesses are a bit strapped so it’s basically everyone putting their personal finance in. I think maybe later on, if we want to grow on more we need that extra finance, we may go out to look for it. But I think for now we’re comfortable where we are.|
|ME 15:59||Why do you see you’re comfortable?|
|RICHARD 16:01||I don’t know. I just think that in terms of what I want to do with my businesses now, I think that we are where we are.|
|ME 16:14||Where we are. Okay. Done, so and you’re looking to expand anytime soon, and you’re looking to reinvest in business?|
|RICHARD 16:26||Definitely. I just think that sometimes like when you’re doing certain things in business, it’s just important to work, work, work, rather than going out there and seeking finance.|
|ME 16:37||That’s a good skill because a lot of entrepreneurs that I’ve spoken to in the past, they tend to be greedy and just do everything straight away. But being content for the meantime is a very good trait. So I guess that your business is turning over [to an asset?].|
|RICHARD 16:57||Sometimes business is like, I always say like a business is like a bike. Sometimes you ride, sometimes you fall. Sometimes you’re slow. Sometimes you’re fast. But, I think the aim is to always put yourself in a position where you can make money in other ways. For example, every single person that I work with on my team, has a skill. Someone might have graphic design. Someone might be a really good [?]. Someone might be a really good salesman. I think, if you ever need to boost up or run your business by yourself or you’re thinking of where to get finance, you can get it from yourself, and go out there and use your skills to make money through web design, through graphic design, through selling, through teaching. Whatever it is to build your business that you need to do, if you don’t want to seek external finance.|
|ME 17:44||I’m just going to do it. [Sorry?]. Are you looking to seek external – like from government, family and friends – in the future? Are you looking to–?|
|RICHARD 17:53||In the future I’d definitely. I think–|
|ME 17:56||Even from family and friends? From government?|
|RICHARD 17:58||I think, in the future with the software we’re looking to get investment from, maybe external investors, or from the government. But we’re looking to get investment from people that actually understand the market, and aren’t just there for the profit. Because at the end of the day we are trying to solve problems, and we need people that will invest, that will understand that we need to solve problems.|
|ME 18:19||As you said you’re customer orientated–|
|RICHARD 18:21||Customer orientated, yeah.|
|ME 18:22||–orientated as well, so– Yeah, that sounds all right, especially the software industry as well in the future, me personally, I believe is going to be beaming–|
|ME 18:32||–because the way technology is now. It’s just evolving, evolving.|
|RICHARD 18:36||Of course.|
|ME 18:37||All right, then I want to [?] your future [?]. What kind of risks are you facing at the moment or in the future?|
|RICHARD 18:47||[?] number one risk is always the risk of failure. But I think you have to have the right mindset, always realise there there’s always a possibility even if you do fall, you have to get back up. I think that’s one of the main traits of entrepreneurs. Even if you look at entrepreneurs in the past, you always see that they failed in some way, or they fell in some way. Whether it’s Steve Jobs, he got kicked off Apple, Bill Gates dropped out. He had stock before that he failed. There’s always something before that they failed at that they succeeded. James Dyson made 5,000 prototypes before he had one successful prototype. If he had given up, he would have never gotten to–|
|ME 19:30||Seen the future.|
|RICHARD 19:31||Exactly. He would have never succeeded. I think that’s one of the tips, to be persistent and to never give up.|
|ME 19:39||Do you have any future plans?|
|RICHARD 19:43||Yes. I think one of my aims in life is to help people that are disadvantaged, because growing up, for example, I went to Nigeria when I was about ten to 13. I went to school for three years. I saw a lot of people there that were disadvantaged. I think in the future I want to go back to those places, even go back to places where I grew up and really see how I can help them, whereas [building?] youth centres, building gyms, providing extra educational facilities for children. Like in Africa providing water, providing wells, whatever it might be that I can do to help. I really want to do. I want to go back to my roots and invest and really help–|
|ME 20:23||Can give back to the community?|
|RICHARD 20:24||Give back. Yeah exactly.|
|ME 20:26||As you said, you got your software and hair company, don’t you feel expanding to these type of areas, is that in you mind?|
|RICHARD 20:36||Definitely, Definitely. I think with the emergency of things like the Internet. I think the Internet has made that very, very possible to do so. Whereas like maybe 50 years ago to expand, you have to open a new store, now that you are online, you can simply market to another location, market to another demographic. I think the Internet makes that possible and that’s something I’d definitely thinking of going international. We want to continue to grow and we don’t want to ever [?] because that’s just becoming complacent.|
|ME 21:12||I see. What do you plan for your business to be in the next five years, then?|
|RICHARD 21:17||In the next five years, with the hair thing we want to become a major retailer and wholesaler in the UK and internationally. So selling different types of products, different types of hair extensions. And with the software, I think that we want to be able to disrupt the NHS and the private medical industry by providing software that allows patients and GPs and doctors to communicate [without?] actually seeing each other face to face.|
|ME 21:53||So do you want to compete with Apple or Microsoft, or don’t you want to be a [?] no more?|
|RICHARD 22:03||Honestly, I think it depends.|
|ME 22:04||It depends?|
|RICHARD 22:04||Yeah, I think I might say something now and then tomorrow think of something else. But we definitely want to grow and we definitely want to expand.|
|ME 22:15||What about you as an entrepreneur? What do you plan as an entrepreneur to be in the next five years?|
|RICHARD 22:23||In the next five years, probably a much better entrepreneur and a much skilled person than I am now. I want to learn many more things that will enable me to grow even more. You never know, I could be doing the same thing I’m doing now, or I could be running another business. But I think I definitely want to stay as an entrepreneur and stay solving problems that people and markets have.|
|ME 22:50||[?] in the UK or are you looking to go international?|
|RICHARD 22:54||Definitely looking to go international.|
|ME 22:56||Within five years?|
|RICHARD 22:56||Yes, definitely within five years.|
|ME 22:59||And finally, what kind of advice would you give to potential entrepreneurs that are still coming up, still learning, from your experiences?|
|RICHARD 23:16||I would say be assertive, accept rejection, and never give up. When I was being an entrepreneur a lot of the time I was passive and it meant that I couldn’t take advantage of opportunities, and I think that now I’ve learned to be a lot much more assertive. I think that with rejection, you should learn to handle rejection, because you’ll always get rejection, especially when you’re starting up. You could send 100 emails and get two back. But you have to learn to deal with that. You have to be so strong. And the last one is never give up, because you will experience hardship, will experience failure, but you have to get up, have to continue getting up, because at the end of the day that’s what makes entrepreneurs. If every single person never gave up, everyone would be super successful. But I think that’s what sets you apart, is the ability to keep going on. So I think that yeah, one of the pieces of advice I’d give is never give up.|
|ME 24:15||Never give up.|
|ME 24:17||That’s very inspiring, as me myself, I’m an entrepreneur myself, and I’m looking to expand internationally soon. What advice would you give me?|
|RICHARD 24:35||I’d say learn the culture of the place you’re planning to expand to because I think that the culture is extremely important. For example, Walkers crisps could sell another variety, or it could be in a different form of brand, so I think one thing is to learn the culture, because the culture affects business, because effectiveley is the way of life. So I think it’s learn the culture, learn the respect, and just be you, just be you.|
|ME 25:05||All right then. Thank you, Richard.|
|RICHARD 25:06||No worries.|
|ME 25:07||It’s a pleasure having you here to interview.|
|RICHARD 25:09||You’re very welcome.|
|ME 25:10||I wish you the best of luck in your business.|
|RICHARD 25:12||Thank you, same to you.|
|ME 25:13||And you as an entrepreneur.|
|RICHARD 25:14||Thank you. I wish the same for you.|