Business Beat: The beat goes on
Just a few days ago, the world watched as a seven-month journey to Mars successfully culminated in the landing of a NASA space craft that will roam the planet for years to come.
Naming Mars rovers is done through a nation-wide competition for students; from over 28,000 entries "Perserverance" was selected. I love that name partly because it was chosen a few months before the world knew what COVID-19 was going to mean - before we understood what persevering would mean in our new world.
Yet, long before the pandemic, "perseverance" had been the mantra of small-business entrepreneurs. Being a small business has always meant long hours of work, operating on shoe-string budgets, wearing many hats and solving daunting problems, because they are passionate about what they do.
Our region, like thousands of others around the world, benefits from the entrepreneurial spirit and those who give back whenever they can, who pay local taxes, who grow roots in our community, support local causes and know the people they serve by name.
Some say entrepreneurs are just a certain kind of person: a risk-taker or a visionary. While there is an element of truth to that, it is also true that entrepreneurs are people who have sharpened their skills to see and solve problems.
Yes, part of that comes naturally to a few people, but the skills that we teach in our School of Business and Continuing Studies at Medicine Hat College can help the naturals hone their skills, and the novice learn them. Skills such as thinking critically, analytically and strategically, are much stronger when they are used in conjunction with the tools that we teach.
Being an entrepreneur does not just mean owning or running a business. It is a set of skills that make people more successful wherever they are; it is a mindset, to be sure. It is a mindset of perseverance and overcoming challenging situations in new and innovative ways, refusing to quit.
Our world, and our city, can use more entrepreneurs and we can support entrepreneurialism in our community in at least two ways: by supporting our local businesses during - and after - these difficult times; and by training. Our school offers a great selection of programming that supports entrepreneurial thinking.
By the way, the young man who name Perseverance, Grade 7 student Alex Mather, became a huge space enthusiast during a summer camp Learning just a little about space opened his eyes and mind to a new world that he became passionate about.
When he found out about the NASA name-challenge, in his best entrepreneurial voice he said, "Refusal of the challenge is not an option."
Please feel free to contact me to engage, Rick Robinson, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rick Robinson is the Interim Dan, Business and Continuing Studies at Medicine Hat College