As an entrepreneur in the business of education, training and learning too, I have been asked as what core values matters to me. To be precise, I am a teacher of knowledge, the book of lifelong learning. Personally speaking, learning for me began at an early age in the northern part of Malaysia, where I grew up picking up certain core values that continue to guide me as I aim my arrows at the stars above.
Today, I manage AIMSMET together with a select group of trusted pioneered fellow same minded thinking people. We have a mission and that is to produce world-class graduates with holistic and well-balanced mindsets. In other words, we imbue them with all the relevant knowledge, skillsets and grooming tailored to thrust their careers as future industry leaders and nation-builders.
So, the question is: how did a young emerging set-up like AIMSMET achieve its aims so quickly since its inception in 2016?
Well, my answer is core values. Let’s explore what these guiding principles are and how they work together to bring us closer to our ideals.
On the top of our list is VISION. According to Merriam-Webster, vision is defined as, “the power of imagination.” Imagination is the mirror in you that lets you visualize what you can be five or ten years down the journey of life. The clearer your mental picture of your dream is the sooner it takes shape and form. I always had this passion to teach and sure enough, I ended up being one in my early life sojourns. Talk about the power of dreams!
Today, in walking the talk, I do teach in lecture rooms packed with learners postgraduates eager to make their mark in the world one day. Some of them will go on to become mundane employees while the more adventurous ones take the giant step to becoming employers through their own entrepreneurial ventures. That’s vision, the ability and capacity to be what you want to be.
If you have the vision then you must also have the passion. Passion to excel right to the end. To go that far, you must believe you can. Determination, perseverance and confidence are strong foundations to build your entrepreneurial ambitions. Nobody wants to deal with an unenterprising entrepreneur who quits halfway through the project leaving his suppliers and stakeholders in the lurch. Would you eat a juicy steak when your potato turns out to be half-baked or even burnt? It can be unappetizing! Likewise, core values embody your venture. Without these pillars, your business will fizzle out.
To go alone, you must have a grand idea, the big picture where you can see clearly the map to reach your destination. If you want a bright future then invent it. Nothing gets started on its own, you have to breathe life into it. Your values, your beliefs and your drive are your best assets and these will reflect the enterprise that you will build one day.
Steve Jobs once said, “the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” So be crazy, be entrepreneurial. And be successful!
You are almost there, but not yet. There is something else you must take into account to be a successful entrepreneur. Financial stability. This is the core ingredient you will need to fund your goal to become an entrepreneur or whatever business venture in your blueprint. Here, the wisest thing to do is to get access to sound advice from professional funders or from your neighbourhood banker.
And as a beginner, you may want to tap the expertise of successful business people or entrepreneurs you may know or come across. They are some of the most reliable sources of ‘honest to goodness’ advice simply because they are the ones that made it to the top from the bottom up. You know the ‘zero to hero’ thing. There are many other such success stories all around us, just google it and you are on. From them, you will glean some valuable tips and useful insights about being an honest, prudent, and thrifty entrepreneur even as you are busy shaping your business startup.
As you do, add a dash of creativity to how you are going to manage and run your business. The people, talents, and skills you will require to sustain it today and tomorrow. Lay everything on the table, plan, take risks (and learn from them), be willing to upskill your knowledge and business techniques, adapt and be flexible to changes, demands, and innovations. Give your business a brand identity so customers, suppliers, and stakeholders will recognize and remain supportive of you.
Yes, develop your social skills. This is one way to know people both customers and clients, serve them well, and build a network of contacts within and beyond your industry. The more you update yourself, the more you will upgrade your business. Know that these factors will ultimately come together to shore up your enterprise in the long run.
Finally, AIMSMET is continuing to work with world-class institutions to design several programmes on entrepreneurship, technological innovation, and new assessment methods to better prepare future learners of knowledge and skills. Be it in acquiring executive learning or academic and research capabilities. Having academic qualifications in Business Management or Entrepreneurial Management will give you a high degree of confidence to achieve your ambition but having the capacity and capability to deliver in the real world is impeccable.
“A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car: but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.” Now, that’s something to think about coming from a great leader, Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the USA, 1901-1909.
So, future entrepreneurs, may your core values and enterprising spirit take you far. Until then, I leave you with these words: Be the author of your life, the architect of your future and the resident of your dreams.
Dato’ Dr Jayles Yeoh 23/04/2022