How, and when, I knew I could be an entrepreneur.
I was 30 when I started my first company. However, looking back on certain life events, I should have realized I had the required business acumen when I was 23.
At that time, I was working in an international bank in Belize, Central America. One career goal of a banker back then was to pass the London Institute of Banking and Finance exams that entitled you to place the abbreviations A.I.B. (Associate of the Institute of Bankers) (or as we used to call it “Another Ignorant Bastard”), after one’s name. The subjects included accounting, monetary theory and practice, economics, finance of foreign trade, banking law, stuff like that.
I remember I had only a couple subjects left to complete, one of which was “The Practice of Banking”. This entails why and how to lend money, which obviously is why banks are in business in the first place. I did not study or open one book on the subject but thought, what the heck! I had the opportunity to take it so let’s give it a go. It turned out that most of the questions were really case studies of various business scenarios that had requested new or additional capital.
What transpired was that the answers to every question were just common sense to me. Sure, I had to apply a bit of banking law and accounting knowledge previously learned, to determine yes or no on a loan, and if yes, how much and why. The results came back airmail several weeks later (remember this was the 1960s) and to everyone’s surprise, including myself, I passed. To say the manager of the branch was astonished would be an understatement. How a mere underling like myself could, without training, do what he had been paid to do for many years, was inconceivable. Some other executives, far senior to me, appeared rather jealous.
So I became an A.I.B. and stayed in banking for about three more years as I travelled around the Caribbean and eventually landed in St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. I was transferred there to open a new branch with three other men. By that time, I realized that banking was not really for me, and since I was single with minimal obligations and living on an island “paradise”, I decided to drop out for a while and became a beach bum. That did not last long and I resumed real life about a year later (for more details, see the blog titled “My Path to Becoming a Business Coach”). This reentry into society led to my working several private industry jobs before eventually starting my first business. That is when I deployed my “native” entrepreneurial skills, hired myself and never looked back.
If you’re ready to make the jump into being an entrepreneur, let’s talk. Call me at 417-849-3401 or email me at email@example.com.