Any entrepreneur knows that they go into business because they have a passion, and of course, because they think they can provide a better service or create a product to outstrip one that already exists. I started my company a tour operator specialising in visits to the First World War battlefields earlier this year for those very reasons.
A few weeks ago, I attended a lunchtime lecture on the battles of Ypres, delivered by an ex-Colonel. and a battlefield guide of fifteen years experience. The lecture struck me for all the wrong reasons. As I had expected bar the wives of two of the gentlemen attending, I was the only woman, and the only person under 50. I’m the sort of person who is happy to chat and mingle with anyone, in fact I really enjoy meeting new people so age and gender balance never bothers me.
I took my seat and settled in, whilst the speaker was introduced an expert in his field. Unfortunately this is where it all went a little sour. Our ex-Colonel gave his entire hour’s lecture, staring at a sheet of notes and having little engagement with the audience. Only the very basics of First World War history were covered and even then, countless errors were made. The subject that I love couldn’t have been presented to be more dull! It was a frustrating hour, but one that reaffirmed my desire to make my business a success.
What’s worse this expert actually represented a core of battlefield historians. The audience clapped away, thrilled at being taught by a former Colonel of the British Army. For me, this lecture opened up a much wider discussion point, how can we possible encourage young people to be interested in history without speakers that are passionate about their subject?
Teaching and learning is all about passion and enthusiasm. When you think back to happy days at school, you always remember that teacher that went the extra mile to explain the tricky bits, that got you eager to hear more and made you look forward to the next lesson.
That’s why age really does matter in my business, and in many others to boot. In order to connect with a younger audience, leaders in business need to come forward at a younger age to inspire others. It is essential for future of UK business growth that entrepreneurs are given the opportunity to flourish, especially at a younger age.