Archive for the ‘African Youth and development’ Category

The African Union Youth Volunteer Corps (AU-YVC), established in 2010, is a continental development program that promotes youth volunteerism in Africa. The program aims to deepen the status of young people in Africa as key actors in Africa’s development targets and goals, enhancing their participation in policy development as well as design and implementation of relevant interventions towards the AU Vision of ‘the Africa we want’. It brings people together to share skills, knowledge, creativity and learning to build a more integrated, prosperous and peaceful Continent driven by its citizens. The volunteering opportunities are intended to build professionalism and a sense of responsibility among the participants, thus enhancing their employability.

Young African Professionals are recruited to serve for a period of 12 months as AU Volunteers in an AU Member States other than their own. The next intake of volunteers for deployment in 2017 will be 02nd – 22nd August 2016.

Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants have to meet the following criteria:

  • Citizen of AU Member State or African Diaspora;
  • Age 18 – 33 years;
  • Has a post-secondary certified qualifications (TVET, Bachelor’s degree or equivalent)
  • Available to dedicate 12 (twelve) months for volunteer work;
  • Willing to live and work in another AU Member State;
  • Is proficient in at least one official AU language (Arabic, English, French, Portuguese);
  • Has at least one year verifiable volunteering experience and one year professional work experience.

Eligible Fields of Qualification

For the next intake of AU Youth Volunteers, the following fields of qualification and expertise are required:

§  Accounting

§  Agriculture

§  Communication Studies

§  Computer Science

§  Diverse Natural Science Fields

§  Economics

§  Education

§  Environmental Management

§  Gender Studies

§  Human Resources Management

§  Human rights

§  International relations

§  Journalism

§  Law

§  Political Science

§  Space Science

§  Statistics

§  Translation/Interpretation

 

Application Process:

  1. Register on the AU-YVC Database (africa-youth.org/auyvc)
  2. Read carefully the information on the website
  3. Build Your Profile
  4. Attach the following:
    • Scanned copy of identity page on your passport
    • Highest qualification degree
    • Letter of Recommendation
  5. Submit application (latest by 22nd August 2016 midnight Addis Ababa time)

 

*Late applications and applications that do not contain all requested documents will not be considered

*THOSE WHO HAD APPLIED BEFORE ARE REQUESTED TO RE-APPLY

Recruitment Process:

  • 23rd August – eligibility Check;
  • 15th September: Successful applicants will be notified;
  • 15th October – 01st November: AU-YVC pre-deployment training;
  • 2017: Deployment of trained volunteers.

Volunteer Entitlements:

For the successful candidates, the African Union Commission and partners will cover the full costs of their pre-deployment training and cost of their deployment.

 

On deployment, the African Union Youth Volunteers receive the following:

  • Economy return air ticket from home town to place of deployment
  • A modest monthly stipend
  • Health insurance cover
  • Separation allowance on successful completion of twelve months

More Information:

For more information, please contact Ms Prudence Ngwenya (Head of Youth Division); Mr Daniel Adugna (AU-YVC Program Manager)

youth@africa-union.org

www.africa-youth.org/auyvc

www.facebook.org/auyvc

I’ll like to share with you some of the best Inspirational Quotations to Maximize Your Potential. These quotes have been really helpful to me over the last ten years when I was at the stage of discovering my purpose and finding meaning in life. Please feel free to comment or send me your awesome feedback. – Joseph M D Johnson

  1. “It’s not what you achieve, it’s what you overcome. That’s what defines your career.” –Carlton Fisk
  2. “Failure doesn’t mean you are a failure it just means you haven’t succeeded yet.” – Robert H. Schuller
  3. “Think big and don’t listen to people who tell you it can’t be done. Life’s too short to think small.” – Tim Ferriss
  4. “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude” – Maya Angelou
  5. “If you don’t build your dream. Someone will hire you to help build theirs.” – Tony Gaskins 
  6. “Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.” – Christian D. Larson
  7. “If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.” – Nora Roberts
  8. “No man can succeed in a line of endeavor which he does not like.” – Napoleon Hill
  9. “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” – Vince Lombardi
  10. “You never stop earning when you do what you love.” – Asha Tyson
  11. “Communication–the human connection–is the key to personal and career success.” – Paul J. Meyer
  12. “What is the recipe for successful achievement? To my mind there are just four essential ingredients: Choose a career you love, give it the best there is in you, seize your opportunities, and be a member of the team.” – Benjamin F. Fairless
  13. “I think everyone should experience defeat at least once during their career. You learn a lot from it.” – Lou Holtz 
  14. “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” –Mark Twain
  15. “Don’t set compensation as a goal. Find work you like, and the compensation will follow.” –Harding Lawrence
  16. “Great work is done by people who are not afraid to be great.” – Fernando Flores
  17. “The only way to get people to like working hard is to motivate them. Today, people must understand why they’re working hard. Every individual in an organization is motivated by something different.” –Rick Pitino
  18. “Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it.” –Katherine Whitehorn
  19. “The only person you are destined become is the person you decide to be.” –  Ralph Waldo Emerson
  20. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.” –Aristotle

Reference: http://addicted2success.com/quotes/20-powerful-quotes-that-will-maximize-your-potential/

The synopsis to his book, “The Empowerneurship,” Joseph M D Johnson idea is drawn from his experience of being socially discriminated and excluded from decision-making processes ostracized and categorized by war, lack of self-sufficiency and highly dependent on charity, or welfare as a Liberian refugee. The turning point of his life is as a result from strongly believing in God, gaining knowledge from pages of books and his ability to lead a social youth organization in a positive direction by proper leadership, adapting to changing environment and understanding his own strengths and weaknesses.

THE EMPOWERNEURSHIP

Over the years experts have been thinking about a new creative and innovative way to contribute their wisdom to the empowered entrepreneur’s communities around the globe. Professionals continue to find out new ways to turn goals into relevant realities. Successful businessmen have a joint belief that entrepreneurs have different believe then other people. These different beliefs set a stage between Empowerment and Entrepreneurship.

Joseph M D Johnson, for the first time since the inception of business ideas and the evolution of the concepts, empowerment and entrepreneurship has coined an ingenious 21st century business term, “Empowerneurship.” Through Empowerneurship the possibility to find a way to become more creative and innovative in achieving maximum success exists. His concept is simple and straightforward yet providing a classic model through obtaining basic opportunities for marginalized people through the significant qualities of leadership, initiative and innovation in business.

Empowerneurship is a master piece of enlighten business concept that demonstrates deep principle that experts are curious to synergize into their new experience of business and personal development knowledge. The future of motivating, developing and empowering entrepreneurs is empowerneurship.

Empowerneurship draws more meaning from the assumption of taking risk and dealing with the uncertainty by the ‘empowerneur.’ The attention drawn from the function of an empowerneur with focus and clarity is done through the help for marginalized people and those who share their own access to opportunities and benefits. The significant beauty of the term “Empowerneurship,” would be in agreement with either the French economist Jean-Baptiste Say, the man who have the credit for coining the term entrepreneur or the Irish-French economist Richard Cantillon who first defined it.

For speaking appointment eMail: johnsonjmd_02@hotmail.com OR Call: +233 244 184181

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Hey, welcome to my blog where you will find great youth opportunities. I encourage you to apply for the 2015 Mandela Washington Fellowship Application and wish you all the best!

For more information follow the link: https://youngafricanleaders.state.gov/washington-fellowship/apply/

Click Here to Apply to be a 2015 Mandela Washington Fellow.

2015 MANDELA WASHINGTON FELLOWSHIP APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

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MANDELA WASHINGTON FELLOWSHIP APPLICATION PROCESS TIMELINE

  • October 7, 2014- Application opens
  • November 5, 2014: Application deadline
  • January–February 2015: Semifinalists interviewed by local U.S. embassies and consulates
  • April 2015: Applicants are notified of their status
  • May 2015: Visa processing for finalists
  • Mid-June 2015: Fellowship starts in the United States

Selection Process:

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is conducted as a merit-based open competition. After the deadline, all eligible applications will be reviewed by a selection panel. Chosen semifinalists will be interviewed by the U.S. embassies or consulates in their home countries. If selected for an interview, applicants must provide a copy of their passport (if available) or other government-issued photo identification to verify eligibility.

Who is eligible to apply?

Applicants will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, socio-economic status, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. The Mandela Washington Fellowship is open to young African leaders who meet the following criteria:

  • Are between the ages of 25 and 35 at the time of application submission, although exceptional applicants younger than 25 will be considered.
  • Are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.
  • Are eligible to receive a United States J-1 visa.
  • Are proficient in reading, writing, and speaking English.
  • Are citizens and residents of one of the following countries: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Republic of the Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Individuals residing in Eritrea and Zimbabwe may not apply to the Public Management track. Residents of Sudan may only apply for the Civic Leadership track.

The U.S. Department of State and IREX reserve the right to verify all of the information included in the application. In the event that there is a discrepancy, or information is found to be false, the application will immediately be declared invalid and the applicant ineligible.

Applications not meeting the above technical eligibility requirements will not be forwarded to the selection committee. If you do not meet the technical eligibility requirements for this program, we invite you to visit exchanges.state.gov for information on other U.S. Department of State exchange opportunities.

What are the criteria for selection?

Selection panels will use the following criteria to evaluate applications (not in order of importance):

  • A proven record of leadership and accomplishment in public service, business and entrepreneurship, or civic engagement.
  • A demonstrated commitment to public or community service, volunteerism, or mentorship.
  • The ability to work cooperatively in diverse groups and respect the opinions of others.
  • Strong social and communication skills.
  • An energetic, positive attitude.
  • Demonstrated knowledge, interest and professional experience in the sector/track selected.
  • A commitment to return to Africa and apply leadership skills and training to benefit the applicant’s country and/or community after they return home.

Application Information:

The application will collect basic information and will include questions regarding the applicant’s professional and academic experience, including educational background; honors and awards received; extracurricular and volunteer activities; and English language proficiency. We will also request a résumé (with dated educational and professional background), and personal information (name, address, phone, email, country of citizenship). Additional elements, such as letters of recommendation or university transcripts, are OPTIONAL and may supplement your application.

For more information follow the link: https://youngafricanleaders.state.gov/washington-fellowship/apply/

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Kind regards,

Joseph M D Johnson

Peace Ambassador | African Youth Advocate

Republic of Liberia

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/JosephMDJohnson?ref=hl

The Emerging Leaders Africa Conference

Welcome to my blog where you will find the right opportunity and information for all African youth. . .Young leaders in Ghana I encourage you to apply and attend this conference. The Emerging Leaders Africa Conference will take place in Accra – Ghana, 17th September 2014 at the Plaza Hotel on the Spintex Road. Contact: (+233) 500 294636 OR 0241 839469

Link to the website http://www.emergingleadersafrica.org/

Link to the Application form:
http://www.emergingleadersafrica.org/index.php/about-us-2

Emerging Leaders Africa is a registered non-governmental  organization in Ghana that seeks to empower the youth to rise up to the leadership challenge and help establish a new generation of professionals whose high idealism will be matched by their practical skills

The Emerging Leaders Conference is an initiative of Rev. Dr. Anthony Cudjoe; the CEO of the group and also the senior Pastor of the International Central Gospel Church, Sakumono who has a passion to raise leaders for the next generation. “The foundation for preparation is planning. We must plan for the future, so that by the time it comes we are ready for it”.

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Source: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/15-rules-gain-respect-and-become-influential-leader.html

Leaders must influence others in order to achieve goals, and they must gain the respect of followers in order to influence them. This is no easy task, but if you want to have the respect of your followers and become an influential leader, these simple rules will help you whether you are just beginning your leadership journey or have been leading for many years.

1. Find your style and inspire

One of the most important things you can do as a leader is cultivate self-awareness. Knowing your leadership style will help you to be more intentional about using it well and managing its shortcomings. Do you lead with expertise? Charisma? Caring? Armed with this awareness, you can leverage your unique style to become more influential and inspire others.

2. Demonstrate integrity

Nothing can ruin your influence and respect faster than a lack of integrity. Integrity, however, is not just avoiding unethical choices and situations.Integrity is intentionally molding a culture of values and service.

3. Finish your homework

As a leader, the more you know about what you are getting into, the more prepared you are to address it well. This could be hard data like market research, competitive analysis, and customer satisfaction trends, or informal research that comes from asking around. Leaders get informed and stay informed.

4. Invest in yourself

Leaders invest in learning. Grow your expertise. Get certified. Cross train.The more you know, the more you can help. The greater your competence, the more others will respect you and the effort you made to learn about what they do.

5. Manage your brand

Leaders understand the importance of perception. Ensure that your strengths are not being perceived negatively by asking for feedback, engaging in 360 assessments, and communicating proactively what you intend to accomplish with a particular action or question.

6. Concentrate on the future

A leader’s job is to interact with the future on behalf of constituents.Spend time doing things that only you can do, delegating other important areas to competent team members. Establish a vision, and keep your gaze focused on the overall goal. Resist the temptation to spend too much time solving day to day problems if they are costing you progress toward your vision.

7. Understand people personally

Great leaders get to know their people. What are their hobbies? What are their kids’ names? What are they good at? What motivates them? Demonstrate a genuine interest in people. Care about them. Create a culture where people feel supported personally, not just professionally.

8. Position people professionally

By understanding their people, leaders are better equipped to help them be successful. Put them in places that will foster professional growth and help them achieve their career goals. When people succeed in their careers and enjoy the jobs they are doing, the organization benefits in turn.

9. Praise liberally

When people do a good job, make sure they know it. Some will want an email, others an announcement in a meeting, still others a monetary reward. Whatever the case, if it lies within your power, grant it. There is no such thing as too much sincere appreciation for a job well done.

10. Coach and advocate

Help people. Be a resource, a sounding board, a safe place to talk. If you want the people you lead to respect you, they need to know you are on their side. Advocate for them; help them get the promotion they’ve been hoping for. Leverage your influence on their behalf.

11. Forge partnerships

Self-aware leaders understand the folly of trying to be all things to all people. It is impossible to be an expert in everything. Instead, surround yourself with people who possess qualities you lack. If you lack detail orientation, bring in someone who is organized. If you forget to ask for input at meetings, ask someone who is more naturally inclusive to bring it up.

12. Ask before telling

Leaders listen. Don’t assume you know the answer to a question you haven’t asked. Inform your perspective with the input of others. Invite skepticism. Only after this vetting process can you be certain you have made the right assignments or decision.

13. Anticipate and optimize

Always think ahead. Ask yourself: “What could go wrong here?” “What if the market changes?” “Is there anything else we can do to make success more likely?” These questions help leaders create the best possible plan. Once executed, be sure to revisit, using the feedback you gain to optimize and tweak where necessary.

14. Take risks

Without risk, no reward exists. Leaders take risks, but before they do, they minimize them by soliciting information and perspectives. After that, they move forward courageously, trusting themselves and their people.

15. Expect greatness

Never settle. Leaders persist toward perfection. They remain steadfast in the belief that our best days are ahead of us, and work toward making that true. Paint the picture of what it will look like when we get there.

Inspire and become an influential leader—respect will come.

BY

Source: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/work/20-reasons-you-should-start-your-own-business.html

Becoming an entrepreneur easier than ever before—technology is shrinking the world, opening markets, and making it possible for many people to strike out on their own in the field of their dreams.

Yet, many who feel the tug of inspiration are afraid to take the leap.  Don’t be one of those people who look back and regrets not starting their own business.  Take control of your life, and your dreams.  There are countless great reasons for starting your own business, and I’ve gathered 20 of the most compelling here—but whatever your reasons, don’t hold back.  It’s time to start taking steps to take control of your own life, and there’s absolutely no better way to do that than to take ultimate control of your career, through starting your own business.

1. You Receive Many Tax Benefits

Living on a salary, as someone else’s employee, there’s little you can do to control your tax situation.  It’s simply a fact of life.  There are some things you can do to affect it, of course—using retirement plans, deferrals, special savings accounts, and the like, but your options are truly very limited.  On the other hand, starting a small business can transform your relationship with taxes.  The government is very supportive of small businesses right now, and is likely to continue to be.  You’ll be able to write off extraordinary amounts of your income, as long as you hire a good accountant (or educate yourself well on tax law). Bonus points if you can employ family members, even for small tasks—the money stays in the household, the tax write off helps the business, and your family has become a team that drives its own success.

2. You Make Your Own Job Security

If you have skills in an industry that’s in demand, there’s no excuse for not starting your own business.  You never have to worry about whether or not you’ll be laid off when you start your own business, whether you’re up for promotion, or whether you’re going to be automated out of your job—because you’re the boss. As your own boss, you have another advantage, too.  Not only can you not be laid off, but you can take control of your company’s decisions.  You can move and change with the times.  Many companies fail because they fail to evolve, and as a mere employee, there’s little you can do about that when you’re employed by someone else.  As an industry leader, in charge of your own company, however, you’ll have the resources and decision-making capability necessary to stay current and competitive.

3. You Can Network in Your Industry

Passionate about your industry? You might think that the only way to get ahead and network with the superstars in your market is to get in with a big company—but in fact the opposite is often the case.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised how many doors a business card with “CEO” can open—even if you’re CEO over a grand total of one person.  That’s because it’s not just the size of the company that impresses people; by being an owner and taking control of your destiny, you’ve proven you have what it takes to make it. And that’s a very appealing trait in a colleague. Owning your own business means you have a lot more to offer when it comes to collaboration and negotiations, and it means you will have more insider knowledge in your industry.  It goes without saying that this makes you much more tempting to network with—and the bigger your network, the more people will want to network with you.  Watch your lists of contacts, partners, colleagues, and references grow.

4. You Can Challenge Yourself to Learn New Skills

Admit it—you sleepwalk through your day at your current job more often than you’d like to admit.  Why? Because when you work for someone else, you have an excuse to slack off on learning new skills.  When someone comes to you to ask you to do something you’re inexperienced with, you direct them to the “right” person. But what happens when the buck stops with you? In your own business, you quickly learn how to become the “right” person for every job. You’ve heard the saying, “If you want it done right, do it yourself.” Now go out there and embody it! As a small business owner, you’ll be learning a lot of new ropes.  Learning new things keeps you sharp, and staying sharp makes it even easier to acquire new skills.  This isn’t about just being successful in your career; it’s about being successful in life.

5. You Will Become an Expert

But it’s not just about learning to use Excel properly (finally), your new motivation to learn and learn more can take you much further than that.  As head of your own business, you won’t just learn how to competently carry out new skills, you’ll become an expert at the one’s you’re passionate about. Maybe right now you dabble in graphic design, and love it, but that’s not what you get paid for at your job.  Well, in your own company, you can take on as much of that responsibility as you like—and get paid for it.  And don’t forget those tax benefits—they’ll come in handy when it comes to training and taking classes in those subjects in which you want to become an expert.  Get and keep your certifications up to date, create a portfolio, and find out just how much of an expert you’re truly able to become, given the opportunity.  And the best part? As a business owner, you’re not depending on someone else to hand that opportunity over; it’s one you can give to yourself.

6. You Can Connect with Mentors

Networking is one thing—it’s great to have a digital Rolodex filled with names you can drop at the next convention, if you’re into that sort of thing.  But what’s better? Finding true mentors in your field.  You’ll find that people are willing (and excited) to help a motivated small businessman learn the ropes, and you can forge lifelong relationships with talented colleagues that would never have given you a second thought if you were on someone else’s payroll. And running your own business will give you more confidence in seeking mentors out, as well, because you’ll have little choice but to ask the questions you need answered if you want to be successful.  Necessity is a wonderful motivator.

7. You Can Put Your Determination to the Test

You have what it takes to start your own business. You’ve always thought so.  And yet, here you are, still riding someone else’s coat tails.  Why? Because you’ve yet to take that final step that proves you really do have what it takes.  Success is not all about inspiration; determination is thought by many to be the real factor.  Everyone knew the kid in school that always said they “could” have gotten that A if they’d studied, but they were content with a B.  Don’t be that kid.  You’re better than that. Prove to yourself you have the determination to be a true success, and stand on your own two feet.

8. You Must Learn to Respect Yourself

Putting your determination to the test leads to the next best reason to start your own business: learn some self-respect.  It’s not just determination that will make the path to self-respect that much sweeter.  Think about how many times, in the past, you’ve had to put your own self-respect aside to comply with the wishes of your boss, a manager, or a customer.  Sure, you’ll have to make concessions as the head of your own business—but you’ll be fully in charge of when, where, and how those concessions take place, if you do.  You’ll be the one in the driver’s seat, which means you’ll have to take responsibility for your own decisions; you’ll find that greater responsibility leads to greater self-respect, as well.

9. You Can Create Jobs

If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.  The job market is not looking good these days, and starting your own business can create job security for more than just yourself.  Have an innovative idea, or a new strategy that’s going to take off?  Instead of feeding it to your boss and letting them take credit, be your own boss—and find the right talent out there to join you on your path to success. Small businesses create jobs and forge strong bonds in revitalized communities.  Be a catalyst for change in your own community.

10. You Can Gain Financial Independence

Financial independence sounds like a dream come true, doesn’t it? When you start your own company, it doesn’t have to be a dream.  You’ll be calling the shots when it comes to taking risks, deciding on investments and expenditures, and you’ll also be the one reaping the benefits when your hard work pays off.  You won’t have to depend on bonuses that are based on your boss’s whims or your company’s yearly success.  You’ll be the determining factor, and you won’t have your financial success snatched away because someone else on your team dropped the ball.

11. You Can Shape the Market

We’ve all sat around and talked about how our respective fields could be improved upon.  “If only someone would go out there and make some changes,” we’ve thought.  Well, stop thinking about it and do it already! If you’ve got ideas that can transform the marketplace, it’s time to put them to the test.  Maybe all of them won’t pan out, maybe some of them will, but either way, you can be part of the action instead of just an armchair analyst.  The point is, you’ll have your chance—you’ll have all of the chances you want—to make your mark in your own industry.

12. You Can Share Your Story

When you start your own company, it becomes an extension of yourself.  Your story—the story of your life, of your dreams, of your goals—becomes the story of your company.  Starting your own business gives you a chance to put your story on center stage.  It’s time to stop being a footnote to someone else’s story, and to take responsibility for writing your own. You’ll look back over the years at your successes and failures alike and feel a special fondness for them, because you chose them—you didn’t sit idly by and let someone else write your story for you.

13. You Will Have Pride

Everyone should have a sense of pride in their job, and no one has more pride in what they do than those who are head of their own company.  When your company succeeds, that reflects directly on you. When you risk failure to capture a big reward, that’s your risk, and your pay off—and a source of your own pride. When you work for a big company, you might be proud of your position, or your weekly presentation, or your raise, but none of that compares to the feeling of pride you’ll feel in the successes, large and small, of your own business. You’ll be proud of your accomplishments, of course.  You’ll be most proud, however, that you had the courage to set out on your own.

14. You Will Create a Legacy

Starting your own business gives you a chance to tell your story, to employ yourself, and to prepare for your own future.  But it does something else, as well.  It gives you the chance to create a legacy for your children, and their children.  You’re starting from scratch, but they won’t have to.  Your small, hard won successes today can lay a foundation for the future of your entire family line.  You might make a great salary now, but your inheritance can be so much more than just money; it can be a way for children to make their own way in the world.  An established business isn’t all you can leave behind, either.  You’ll be setting an example, on that tells your children that that their success is up to them.  Luck and chance can go in any direction, but determination, resolve, and responsibility are the real recipe for a fulfilling life.

15. You Will Earn Recognition

Recognition at your current company probably means getting a picture of yourself as employee of the month.  Maybe it’s more—maybe you’ll be recognized at a company dinner, or get a big promotion.  But unless you’re quite high ranking in the industry, you won’t be getting the kind of recognition you can as a business owner.  Make your mark on your industry and in your community as a business owner, and find out just what true recognition means.  You’re not just a cog in the machine that performed well, you’re a member of society that is able to contribute something meaningful and lasting, and be recognized for your accomplishments in an equally meaningful and lasting manner.

16. You Can Inspire Others

Right now, you’re digging deep to find the inspiration to strike out on your own.  And it’s quite likely that you’ve turned to others and their inspiring stories of success to provide you with motivation.  Won’t it feel great, one day, to know that your story inspired another go-getter, just like yourself?  Recognition, as described above, is about being recognized by many for making a big impact. But sometimes the most important impact we can make is much more personal.  Inspire the next you, the next genius, the next tycoon—and start today, by putting your business plan into action. You’ll move from looking for mentors to becoming one, and that’s an incredibly rewarding feeling.

17. You Can Create Your Own Brand

You have an eye for design, or for functionality, or for gadgets, or for fashion—you know what people want, and you can’t help but critique the mistakes you see made in your industry of choice.  You sigh at the decisions your boss makes, when you’re positive your plan would be better received.  That’s all well and good—but it’s time to realize that you could be correcting all of these mistakes, and making your own vision a reality.  Think that’s impossible because your boss would never approve your ideas? It’s more than possible—when you’re your own boss.  Create your own brand, and do it your way—find out if your muse has been right all along.  And when something doesn’t work, it’s only an opportunity to fine tune, improve, and create something even more exceptional.  Don’t be a slave to the whims of a company that doesn’t care about you; take responsibility for your own success and create a product, service, or experience that people will love.

18. You Can Express Your Creativity

And creating your own brand is only the beginning.  Think about every time you’ve had a flash of brilliance in the past, and had to discard it, because you simply didn’t have the resources to bring it to life.  As owner of your own business, you will have those resources, and you’ll have the ability to put your ideas into action.  You won’t be tied down to the company formula, because you’ll be writing your own formula as you go along.  You’ll be allowed to take creative risks, to do what no one else will, or what no one else has thought of.  And the best part is that you’ll be able to take full credit for your creative insights.  You’ll find that as you put your creativity into practice, even more creative ideas will assert themselves.  Creativity is like a muscle: use it or lose it.  There’s no better way to exercise your creativity than being your own boss.

19. You Will Be the Captain of Your Own Ship

Life can be a stormy sea, and too many people trust someone else to be the captain of the vessel that carries them along.  Don’t relegate yourself to being just another hand on deck.  You know that you have what it takes to navigate the storm, to be the captain of your own life, so why would you pass on that responsibility?  If you want to venture into uncharted territory, you can start your own business.  If you want to play it safe, you can do that too.  The important thing is, that you’ll be able to decide on your own, do your own research, and carry out your decisions with full confidence.  You can’t do that when you’re depending on a boss or a manager to see you safely through life. But you can, when you have your own business.

20. You Can Change the World

Sounds a little on the dramatic side, doesn’t it? But it really isn’t.  You absolutely can change the world when you start your own business.  Being a small business doesn’t mean having a small footprint.  And some of the most influential companies today started out small—look at Facebook, started in a college dorm.  It’s gone on to reshape the way people think about socializing, to change the very manner in which people live their lives.  Google started small as well, and no one can deny that it’s changing the world.  Even if your venture doesn’t become a mega-company, however, that doesn’t mean you’re not in a position to change the world.  Creating something lasting, something that shapes your future, the future of your family, and the future of your community is very much an opportunity to change the world itself.  Who knows how much of an effect your ideas and goals can have?  Only you—and you can only find out by taking the leap.

It’s time to take action. Take a small step today.  Whether it’s drawing up a business plan, making a few notes, or making a phone call, your journey will begin with just one step.  Set some small goals.  Congratulate yourself for meeting them.  You’ll find that small goals soon become larger ones, and those will set you on your path to greatness.  The reasons above are motivation enough—but surely you have your own, personal reasons as well.  Ponder those, and you’ll come to the inevitable conclusion that the only sensible thing to do is follow your dream.

Featured photo credit: thwolfofwallstreet.com via thewolfofwallstreet.com

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