It is hard to take on the role of personal development at a time when your business absorbs every ounce of your energy. Start-ups do that – suck the life out of you. You are a very special person who can wear multiple hats, commit your passion to purpose, relentlessly, and not lose your way at any given point in the process. Very special and rare indeed.

The heroic entrepreneur is a myth that needs disbanding – figure head, maybe, a doer, driven, self-led and focused on those measurable outcomes but someone who has taken an idea to execution and beyond, without a single piece of help along the way, I think not. To be the leader par excellence, maybe, but you do need followers to be that. The myth has no place in 21st century business development, in fact the more we hang onto it the greater it acts as an anchor, stopping us from ever seeing over the flat horizon to the bigger destination. If we are to build and sustain quality jobs, we need to be liberated from the tethers of ‘more growth means more of the same which means more weight placed on the shoulders of the doer’. Stop being a mule and start thinking about becoming the thoroughbred. In this country we are first class business starters, innovators and creatives shining a light on new ideas, processes and ways of doing stuff; we are rubbish at backing ourselves to win big. I blame the myth of one; the heroic, embattled and mighty, it is all the stuff of nonsense. We don’t always do it on our own, climb that mountain, be Atlas, bear the punishment when things go wrong, have no one to share the glory when it goes right. When you look into the eyes of someone who tried but simply couldn’t carry this self-imposed burden any longer, when you see their pain, and you feel it, I know that this is time to ditch the myth. That’s why Dragons Den works as entertainment, the owners, their eyes full of optimism, misty and blurry, full of that hope which as the poem goes, “springs eternal in the human breast” – but hangs heavy on a battered brow.

We need to embrace a learning culture – not because we seek accreditations, although they help in establishing and building trust, no we need a learning culture because, without it, we cannot ever hope to handle the rising complexity of a growing business.

If there is ever a moment in time to embrace the values of social learning – it’s now. When young and old turn their attention to what entrepreneurism can do for them, it’s up to us, the entrepreneurs with a bag of moderate successes and the odd failed adventure, to welcome and embrace others into this world of peer support and learning networks.

At the heart of this call is a desire to establish an entrepreneurial ecosystem for my home region. A place where entrepreneurial education is accessed through communities of practice and peer support. Access to development of those skills that growing entrepreneurs need; leadership and all its motivational powers; finance and powerful tools to use it, seek it and grow it; marketing and sales – their alignment that generates conversations and deep empathy; talent, the pools that exist and the role that the entrepreneur can adopt to farm it. These porous networks exist in those powerful economic clusters around the globe, but we need them locally, to help the early stage entrepreneurs to move forward with greater vision, less contained and more liberated.  Our role is to provide centrality within a dense network of local advice and support.

Relocon builds communities of practice in the domain of entrepreneurial education. We are business educators focused upon leadership development in the field of micro to small business. We are strategic thinkers that develop creativity and help seek improvements to complex problems. We are consultants with experience in the fields of systems thinking, design thinking and business model innovation but more importantly we are entrepreneurs with a passion for our home area of NE Essex and Suffolk.

If you would like to learn more about our approach, want to help or simply want to join our growing membership contact me on LinkedIn or via james@relocon.co.uk