Francesco D’Alessio is a man of many talents, alongside already being an established entrepreneur he has been electeced president of Igniting Enterprise society 2015/15 and runs both a blog and vlog channel.
Currently on placement year, Franceso was kind enough to contribute a guest post to our blog, alongside the traditional interview we use he created a podcast for us. To learn more of Francesco’s experience with Entrepreneurship at Plymouth University, click the link and read the interview.
What do you think are the most useful skills needed to pursue career as an entrepreneur?
A lot of students seem to be in the belief that you need money, power and time. I don’t think you need specific skills when it comes to being entrepreneurial, I think it’s just about being stupidly passionate and also about working with what you have and capitalising on what you can get. For my journey, I’m far from being where I want to be, and not sure I will ever be there 100% but what I’ve learnt is that the mindset of entrepreneurs that I follow is “always learning”, and this is something that if you put into practice can be a fantastic piece of arsenal when starting a business or pursuing your career. “Learning, over earning” – Tim Ferriss.
From the entrepreneurial experience I have had so far, the passion to do what I did was always number one, if you don’t have passion the ball will stop rolling, if you don’t have passion you won’t make your business idea into something approachable for all and that is the real goal especially in a heavy social enterprise, local business and young business environment. Start with passion, go to resources and then focus on the details when starting a business at university.
Another thing here is don’t be focused on it being “cool” because that’s the route. Focus on making mistakes, building rapport and relationships, motivating others and generally gathering as much life experience as possible.
We are at the beginning of the new academic year – What would be your advice to 1st year students?
I think the best thing all new students can do is explore.
I’d say about 75% of students didn’t have a clue to what they want to do over their time at university. That’s entirely down to not exploring, if you explore, you can become a practitioner in working out what you don’t want to do. For me, I didn’t wake up one day and realise that I wanted to be an entrepreneur, I was interested in Dentistry, being a pilot, a teacher, a journalist… I got my head stuck in with all of these options, spoke to influencers, researched, got engaged with their community, until I figured out I wasn’t interested. For students, you need to always try something new to minimise options in the road to your career. For students, 2 tips for exploring to start you off.
- Join 3 or more societies of range. From fun to serious that test career areas for you. They don’t have to be related your degree.
- Meet the 4-5 students that you see pursuing an area you are interested in on a higher level (third years, fifth years, graduates) – buy them a coffee and work out their mistakes on their path and learn more.
I joined BETA in January 2014 with my ex- business partner Theodore Moule and we used the programme to grow and develop our idea Future Framework. Some highlights would be the start-up lifestyle. We were working 15 hours a day every day for a few months, we were always being stupidly resourceful and growing our knowledge everyday. We grew massively work hard and smart – alongside BETA we entered and won Tectona, the university’s business competition. It’s been a fantastic journey and learning was really the key here and some of my best and worst memories are from making those core mistakes.
What tips for you have for students with entrepreneurial or intrapreneurial aspirations whilst at Plymouth University?
For those students looking to aspire to do something different whether entrepreneurial or intrapreneurial, my advice is to continue to play the consistent game, work hard, work smart, try new things, always review your actions, always be professionally and personally developing, surround yourself with people smarter than you, always work harder than everyone else in the room. Just start your passion and keep manoeuving and developing new targets to stay fresh.
When did you realise that you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I’m always reviewing where my activities and focus lie. I discovered my passion for creating new things that help others when I was around 16. And from here I will continue to help build things that I think are worth communicating to in the world and that the world will move forward using. That’s my mission.