Business

Young: New series to be a glimpse into entrepreneurial storytelling

I am particularly excited this week to share some thoughts concerning the occurrences over the past week which pertain to creating a forum for Okanagan entrepreneurs to tell their stories to you.

We held a media conference at Kelowna City Hall Aug. 30, where we announced the Okanagan Entrepreneurship Conference that the Okanagan Valley Entrepreneurs Society is organizing for Nov. 22 and 23 in Kelowna at the Ramada Hotel.

In addition, the region is also going to experience, on Sept.12 at the Laurel Packinghouse, events under the banner of StartUp Canada, a national initiative aimed at early stage and venture launch entrepreneurs, plus the Okanagan Valley Entrepreneurs Society, in co-operation with UBCO, will be working toward completion of a first regional entrepreneurship strategy and action plan.

The plan will see the partnering fourth-year UBCO business students and the society’s strategy team.

But there is more. As if these events aren’t enough to stimulate and motivate your thought processes toward the entrepreneurial mindset, I have undertaken, with the Shaw Broadcasting Group in the Central Okanagan, the society’s second entrepreneurship TV series, entitled The Fire Within, the Entrepreneurial Spirit, which will be a broader approach to an earlier series of vignettes we broadcast a year or so ago and which was well received.

We have realized that it is easy for all of us to become tremendously excited about the opportunity to, once again, introduce to our Shaw viewers, a number of the Okanagan entrepreneurial and small business owners, career professionals, leaders and executives who have battled through the tough times of transition and struggles in the workplace to ultimately find purpose, meaning and fulfillment in their entrepreneurial journey.

Let’s face it, the entrepreneur’s journey is an exercise in storytelling.

During the past five years in this column, I have strived to tell the Okanagan stories and have you share with me their personal tales of the roller coaster rides they have undertaken to achieve success as self-employed citizens.

Not just telling the individual entrepreneurial story, but the brand story and the larger culture story of the particular entrepreneur and their specific venture idea and opportunity.

Think of all the great leaders, speakers and entrepreneurial icons you admire—they all have a great story to tell.

After awhile, we begin to tell their stories in the manner of which I speak today—a television series or this column.

Most importantly, we have to get others to believe and become accepting of the entrepreneurial story we share.

When we can do that,  the need to persuade, convince or sell disappears.

Storytelling, in this example, entrepreneurial storytelling is not a skill we learned in school.

But, it’s the foundation, in many ways, for everything within the entrepreneurial world.

As I have found in my research of late, shameless plugs and self-promotion are healthy antidotes to the marketing journey, and as one Okanagan entrepreneur so succinctly put it: “My business venture may be small, but my story isn’t.”

So, I am inviting you and your entrepreneurial associates to join me and our production crew in identifying genuine Okanagan entrepreneurial stories that we can not only write about in this column but also share with the entire region in our The Fire Within television series.

Production will begin at the end of September and I suspect we will have loads of fun together telling the stories and through such stories assist our local entrepreneurs become successful in their quest.

Thank you for your continuing support and appreciation.

Please contact me directly via my email at the end of this column if you are interested in being considered for the television series and this column.

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