In sport we would think it odd that we wouldn’t take what we learned on the practice ground and try and apply that to the field of play. In fact even odder to consider a team or individual who would expect success without the hard work of practice and learning. Yet in business many of us simply dive in. We do not look to learn in a place of security we take that self-belief and confidence and attach our hard fought for capital to it with a scant regard to loss and learning.

“We must undergo a hard winter training and not rush into things for which we haven’t prepared” – Epictetus, Dicourses, 1.2.32

At Relocon we want the entrepreneur to be well prepared – to be thinking about what might be or not be relevant to themselves and their business. We want them to consider practice not as some sort of weakness to be overcome but in the manifestation of strength of thinking. Practice everyday and we overcome our fears because we are far more comfortable with the dissonance and incongruity that is life.

At Relocon we don’t have a box of tricks, a formula that we offer in the belief that if you do X you will always get Y, we have a philosophy that if you do X and Y does not materialise then we need to understand a little more about the next steps. Our process is based on emergent thinking, flexible and agile thinking that any entrepreneur in the 21st Century knows is invaluable. If we do not have a mindset to expect the unexpected when it happens we are thrown off balance, we stumble not knowing how we can find the next step.

Learning is not by rote – it’s not directly from the pages of a text book, learning is about experimentation, testing and thinking. We can do it on our own but the real value is to learn together, to shape others thinking and in doing so shape our own. The sooner an entrepreneur realises that there is more than one way to approach a problem, and that not every decision needs to carry the weight of the entire business on its shoulders, then the sooner we can derisk a project and bring in innovation and new ideas.

As part of my Masters I am doing a piece on entrepreneurship – learning from others who have experienced first hand what it takes to think about a business. Not everyone I learn from is what we, in today’s money orientated society, would consider success but they all have one thing in common, they believe in a future where entrepreneurship is a shared mindset amongst the many. We are desperate to create that society where enterprise is rewarded, where the risk takers occupy some amazing seat of power and we look upwards to those who make a billion and live that billionaire lifestyle.

At Relocon we want you to live the lifestyle you want but to also recognise that to do that we never cap the aspirations of the business. I have worked in businesses that are going nowhere, where vision is sneered at and purpose not understood – those businesses may survive but never thrive. At Relocon our criteria for success is that what you build allows you that opportunity for personal validation, the chance to do with it what you wish, learn what you want and leave when you desire. The belief that what you are building is far greater than you, survives longer than you and goes on to build the quality jobs that future generations will literally be dying for.

Part of my entrepreneurial learning comes in the form of a New Venture Challenge (NVC), a fictitious business where collectively a disparate and previously unconnected team of multi-skilled individuals come together to identify and create something of beauty. We are a virtual team from different time zones, different back grounds but with one piece of commonality, we are on the same module though we may be heading in different directions. The purpose of the NVC is to help us practice how we manage this and also deliver something of value. The outcome may not (most likely not) become a real solution but the thinking and practice we do will inform our own journeys. The first piece of learning is that someone has to take a lead, that individual has to bring people together and start to put energy on the table. Every team needs a battery that can ignite a spark.

So how does that person come to the for? They put their inhibitions to one side and jump in. If you are an entrepreneur and unsure of what your next step should be? If you want to grow but simply cannot see how the current business model will allow this then you need to find a safe place to practice. It is what I am doing and countless thousands of others but in a pool of millions it is the way you create clear blue water.

Relocon is a local entrepreneurial education consultancy, we help business owners lift the lid on what limits them and explore different ways of moving forward. We deliver masterclasses, combine the skills and experience of local entrepreneurs in supporting our local ecosystem. Our mission is to bring entrepreneurial education and practice alive, to create businesses that can scale and deliver the quality jobs, those that raise people up, for all future generations, stopping the daily exodus from the region and bringing life to every facet of our community.

Relocon is always looking to work with those who share a real passion for NE Essex and Suffolk, want to see it thrive and can support the local business community. Contact me, James at – there isn’t a downside to growing our networks.