With genuine passion, hard work, an innovative concept, and a gift for learning, anyone can become an entrepreneur. We spoke to Suzette Layoun, founder of ‘Suzette Layoun Voice to Choice’ about how to empower youth through coaching and prepare them for life’s choices when it comes to both academic and career decisions.
Becoming a successful, young entrepreneur can be challenging. Putting a plan into action requires many things, most importantly a great idea. But it also requires:
Create a personal brand by choice and not by default
- Persistence – be prepared to get rejected in any start-up journey
- The ability to manage money – this is vital as a business owner, and a human being
- Making the product or service stand out – presentation is important
- Sharpening the analytical side of the brain – look at the numbers, the data, not just the vision
- Good communication – the most crucial skill of all
We began by asking whether she thinks schools and parents today are providing youngsters with the right support and platform to hone their entrepreneurial spirit. “Teaching entrepreneurship in schools helps students gain transferable skills they can use to excel in various areas in life,” Suzette begins. “Different schools have several interventions aimed at coping with the ‘modern world’ of ideas and technology and the current generation’s needs. Also, parenting strategies in most cases are evolving to embrace the concept of integrating academic development with specific life and leadership skills. I have had the privilege of working with schools, parents and teenagers on nurturing, coaching and mentoring this development aspect. The good news is that if you don’t have entrepreneurial traits now as a student, you can still develop them down the road to improve your chances of success in whatever line of business you believe in: lots of the characteristics or skills required for successful businesses can be taught, coached, and practised over time.”
Suzette believes that teaching teens to set goals and take responsibility and accountability of their actions is an effective way of building and developing grit. “Letting students solve age-appropriate problems is an entrepreneurial skill that can only be developed through experience. Interventions aimed at developing a flexible and stretchable mindset are crucial in fostering an entrepreneurial spirit.”
So what business advice would Suzette offer to youngsters who are eager to start a business? “Kids know what they like but don’t always know what they stand for. Create a personal brand by choice and not by default. This allows you to introduce yourself to the world and create a positive digital footprint. Beyond skills, the ability to think critically and creatively is what often separates the most successful from the average. The rising generation needs to develop approaches that can be used to create products and services people need and industries lack. The willingness to change plans, adjust methods, display flexibility, and practice an open mind is key,” Suzette concludes.
Suzette Layoun is the Founder of Suzette Layoun Voice to Choice.Her qualifications includeEntrepreneur – Certified International Corporate and Youth Coach and Mentor, Accredited Personality Profiler, CBT and NLP Certified, and she is fluent in Arabic and English.