I’m about to add two new people to my team at Mind Cafe. One will take care of all new submissions, and the other will manage a writer development program and work alongside my co-editor, Reed. That’s a four-person team, under my management.
Judging by that, you might think I’m an experienced CEO or perhaps a business management graduate from a top university. Maybe you assume I spent years studying entrepreneurship and harnessed my skills to build my company.
In reality, none of those things is true. I’m twenty years old, and I have no qualifications in business. I’m probably the least qualified person on my team. So why am I running it?
Well, there are a few reasons. For one, I took a risk. I set the thing up in the first place, and most people, qualified or not, aren’t prepared to do that. Second, I earned experience in my chosen field by working my way up. I built a publication from zero to 2 million monthly readers in eighteen months. For that reason, people trust me to fulfil the role I have within my company. The numbers speak for me.
Now, I intend for all of this to come from a place of humility, not arrogance. This isn’t me trying to inflate my ego or convince you of my worth. That’s not what this newsletter (or hopefully any newsletter) is for.
No, instead, I want to open your eyes to a fact most people ignore. That is, you don’t need qualifications to be a leader. You don’t need a degree to create something and direct its growth. And managerial skills aren’t something you can study in school.
In fact, you don’t even need knowledge. Or expertise. Or age. Or anything more than vision, commitment and imagination.
‘The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.’ - Albert Einstein
I might be twenty years old. I might not be qualified. But I believe in myself and my team, and I’m prepared to invest my time in fulfilling our mission. I’m happy to learn as I go along and to solve problems as they arise. And I’m happy to listen to those more experienced than me rather than assuming I already know it all.
In my experience, that’s all it takes. If you believe in your own abilities and you’re prepared to put in the time, you’re already halfway there. Now you just need to take action.
Photo: Me and the team, hosting an event with Lush Cosmetics.