Adam Bradford, 19, is an entrepreneur from Sheffield, with numerous businesses in his portfolio. He was recently chosen as National Ambassador of the Year for Peter Jones Enterprise Academy.
His business portfolio covers a range of technology companies, some which are international and deal as far away as India.
What do you love most about doing what you do?
I enjoy every part of what I do - that's what I find exciting about being entrepreneurial, you set the goals and you decide how your days flow. The most enjoyable part of my work is coming across the inspirational and enthusiastic young people who wish to follow in my footsteps every day. Apart from that I love putting a smile on people's faces and find that more rewarding than any monetary value! As well as being business focused I have a very social heart and put that at the forefront of my work. So a client's happiness at their new website is just as rewarding as giving away some time to mentor aspiring young people.
Why do you think you are successful at what you do?
It's hard to describe my own personal traits but I have been told many times that good networking and aligning yourself with successful people can really help you to discover, build and share in success. I would therefore say that my networking and collaborative approach has helped me to pave the way to where I am today. I have surrounded myself by positive and successful people who I can work with who in turn can help me. Beneficial partnerships have been really useful to me and therefore I think my ability to market myself and my companies professionally and in an appealing manner, alongside my networking and PR work have really helped me to build my current successes!
How do you keep motivated?
Good question! Some days I wake up and think: 'What do I have to wake up for today?' It's definitely stressful running your own business as in the early days you have nobody around to do anything for you or pick up on your weak points. Being employed is much different, a finance department can chase payments and an HR department can worry about legal issues. But when you're starting out, it's all on your shoulders. I'm just passing that stage now as my businesses build, and I think for me it's motivating keeping a vividly realistic vision in my head about where I want to go with my work and what I want to achieve is very important. That and the fact that if I don't do it, nobody else will! Also I will have more freedom once I achieve more of my goals, and that's a big motivator. I love getting better and continuously improving my work also, so I learn to treat every failure as a chance to improve and every piece of negativity I get hit with as a chance to prove the skeptical wrong!
What would you say to a young person who is feeling uninspired about life and work?
Okay we hear all the doom and gloom on the TV, in the papers, from politicians, in fact from everyone! Forget that! 1 million young people are now unemployed (December 2011) and that's incredibly exciting! Every young person has the chance to make something of themselves and absolutely everyone has potential. Failure is not an option and is not a great thing to dwell on in the current climate and therefore young people who feel uninspired should make themselves their own inspiration! I always say to dream big and achieve bigger and as tacky as that sounds, I put some real meaning behind that. Anyone who has the guts to sit up and throw that 1 million unemployed figure back in the face of society today deserves a medal - and every young person has the ability to DO, and it's doing which will get them back on their feet. Whether young people refresh their CV and boost their confidence ready for job interviews, whether they venture into becoming self-employed or whether they simply start a volunteering role - they are DOing... and that will simply grow its own inspiration and motivations...
What do you think about The Big Academy and the work we’re trying to do, in helping all young people to get inspire and achieve success?
I think the Big Academy is a really exciting project, which aims to show young people that no matter what the papers say, and no matter how bad life may seem starting out - anyone can achieve. Role modelling those who have made successes of themselves already is really powerful and I think that will reach out to those looking for some inspiration. I hope my article here will contribute to that 'I can' mindset which really needs to be encouraged to turn this negativity and depression back around. Big up Big Academy!!