So you want to be an entreprenuer? Don't go to university
WANT to be young, rich and your own boss? Well, according to Jack Delosa making your mark on the business world is easier than it used to be.
He should know. At just 25, Mr Delosa is a self-made millionaire whose business made the Fastest 50 Start-Ups in Australia.
"All you need is an internet connection, around $5k a good head for business and be prepared to make mistakes. What you don't need is a university degree," he said.
Depending on your view of things, you might consider this a controversial view. Unless, like Mr Delosa, you're part of Gen Y.
"We are more independent, impatient and lifestyle oriented. We also have our own resources," he said.
"But to make business successful you also need to be open to practical advice and the experiences of other people – people with five, ten and even twenty years experience in business."
Mr Delosa's belief in the power of mentorship and the impact it's had on his own success led him down a path to help other young people. That philosophy has become the foundation for The Entourage, an organisation committed to helping young entrepreneurs succeed.
The Entourage's current membership is a combination of budding entrepreneurs and bedrock of established business success stories, like Kathryn Sampson and Peter Lackovic.
Ms Sampson opened her first sandwich shop at the age of 27. Despite admitting to several mistakes and lots of hard work along the way, she went on to become the founder of Australia's largest sandwich franchise.
She agrees with Mr Delosa that one of the best things about the modern business world is the newfound willingness to share information and experience between networks and contacts.
"You can't protect your ideas anymore, thanks to the internet. But that's OK. Anyone can steal an idea. It's how you execute it that counts and that's where other people's experience can be vital. I had five really strong mentors help mw along varied places in my building up my business and they were invaluable. Everyone can benefit from it," she said.
Peter Lackovic, who recently became CEO of The Entourage, said the ability to listen and take in the advice of others can be crucial to making the path to success a lot faster.
"I get a buzz from talking to people about their ideas and helping them to get from start up stage to success. It's exciting to watch people go from nowhere to somewhere in as little as 12 months," he said.
Ms Sampson and Mr Lackovic are two of the speakers who will share all the secrets of their success, and the hardships along the way at this Saturday's "Unconvention". That's The Entourage's latest networking event being held at Sydney's Darling Harbour.
Not only will this be the organisation's biggest event yet, it's also absolutely free.
"We understand when you are starting out [an an entrepreneur] that you can't afford to spend money to learn. So we run the Uncovention twice a year and hope that people walk away inspired each time," Mr Delosa said.
By all accounts there is a lot going on, advice from a panel of speakers with years of business success, networking opportunities between sessions and access to a network of programs to follow up after the convention, including a dynamic Facebook community.
Network Wednesdays and "make a goal" Mondays are regular posts on the page for the benefit of all the community and scrolling through the most recent posts it's clear there it's a good source of decent and thoughtful responses.
Above all Mr Delosa and Mr Lackovic are billing The Entourage as a place for people with a passion for business and are looking for a place to "fit in".
"They could be people who are stuck at home, like stay at home parents who have an idea and want to make it work. Or people who have been forced out of the workforce because of retrenchment or they are just young people who don't fit in at university," Mr Lackovic said.