Out of Sight: Starting a band was just the beginning
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Reason for commissioning Out of Sight
I arranged for Benedict Reid to write this story. Firstly, to entertain a teenage audience with a gripping story in a credible high school setting, and secondly to demonstrate that there is an after-school alternative to “getting a job”. There are strong motivational and leadership themes to which many teenagers will relate.
A well told story is a great way to teach youngsters. They respond especially well if the tale involves leadership, excitement and achievement, laced with some fun and humour. The lessons, particularly for teenagers, must be subtly persuasive, and not didactic.
After a lifetime in business, I have developed a passion for conveying to a young audience the strong link between Business and Adventure. Of course, the adventure dimension does not make the physical demands of an assault on Everest, or circumnavigating the world in a hot-air balloon. But in the business world you are dealing all the time with the unknown, and managing risk. When you successfully develop your own business, the satisfaction levels are huge. Business, ultimately, is about selling, and one of the truest things ever said about selling is that it’s the most exciting thing you can do with your clothes on.
My enthusiasm for this issue was enhanced even further by my 10-year involvement (most of it as a Trustee) with New Zealand’s Young Enterprise Trust, a privately funded entity which offers entrepreneurship programmes in many of New Zealand’s schools. The sense of adventure and excitement among students, teachers and parents at project forums, prizegivings and the like have to be seen to be believed.
Self-employment, and the entrepreneurship on which it is based is a continuous adventure, providing insurance against unemployment, a creative environment, exhilaration and freedom.
I could not personally write a successful novel to save myself. So to help my cause, I commissioned someone else to do the writing, and he has indeed delivered a work which is not only a gripping read in its own right, but also teaches and inspires.
This book is designed to encourage more young people to become entrepreneurs, and lessen the bias in the system which favours “getting a job.” We need more people who want to “Start at the Top” and be their own boss. Let’s not forget that the benefits of entrepreneurship go far beyond individual contentment. Society as a whole benefits as new enterprises take off, generating revenue and employment opportunities that pay dividends at all levels of society.
The latest bright idea needs to have the same conversational impact as Saturday’s sports results.