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More relatable role models please

Article provided by Gayle Mann, Co-Founder at Misadventures In Entrepreneuring.

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At Misadventures in Entrepreneuring we have spoken openly about the search for relatable role models in our industry and the need to begin to celebrate the hidden entrepreneurs that actually make our world turn. There are 5.6 million micro businesses (e.g. 0-9 employees) accounting for 96% of the business population in the UK, yet until now most of us have chosen to focus our adulation and aspiration on a select few of our very well-known entrepreneurial household names. 

So now, as we find ourselves in the middle of a pandemic an exciting pattern seems to be emerging. The awe-inspiring hero worship that has been bestowed upon other hidden members of our society and in particular our NHS and frontline workers. It is remarkable how the whole world has stepped up and rallied around these individuals over the last few weeks with unending gratitude as well as offers of kindness, compassion and an abundance of free or discounted offerings. And we couldn’t be more pleased when we read this week that Grazia magazine was replacing their regular front cover celebrity with NHS workers. Yes! 

But in the same way we’ve been wondering why most entrepreneurs go unrecognised, it has us wondering why it has taken until now for us to wake up and see just how special these people are. And as we have had to refocus and re-prioritise over the last few weeks it has provided us with a stark reminder and a closer look at the kind of role models we should really be celebrating, and they’re much closer to home. 

I don’t know about you but I certainly don’t remember the names of the hundreds of corporate CEOs that have chosen to personally email me in the last 3 weeks, but I do think all day about my cousin who is an A&E consultant and whose job I have taken for granted for so many years. Not to mention the lady at the checkout in my local supermarket who greeted me with a smile last week while at the same time pleading me with her eyes to stand as far away as possible from her. 

The lady at the checkout told me that every night now she goes home, strips off at the door and heads for the shower. Every night when she emerges, hopefully contaminant free, her daughter hands her a newly devised “cocktail of the day” and instructs her to relax, her work is done. She was the hero in her own household that day as well as the many others that passed through her checkout that day, including mine. She is the type of person we could also learn a thing or two from.

She is the person who shows up when others can’t, like my cousin, like the bin collectors, the transport operators, the home schooling parents, the cleaning staff, the care workers and every other person that is keeping us safe, fed and furnished with whatever home comforts are all making us feel a little better right now. I bet the postman and the Amazon guy are also looking a bit different to you now? 

Our call to action from you is to continue this trend, regardless of what the future looks like, lets create one where we celebrate and applaud the real relatable role models. 

So while we are all eagerly and somewhat nervously awaiting the new normal to emerge, we also have the opportunity to shape what that looks like and carry forward some of the surprisingly positive behaviours that have materialised from our current normal. 

For us that means a sustained appreciation of the hidden gems of our society that work tirelessly without applause to prevent the wheels from falling off for the rest of us. It means showcasing the indefatigable work of individuals that may never make it into the spotlight, highlighting not just the famous, but the worthy and the notable who have chosen to share their experiences so that others can learn and be inspired.

In our world some of you feature on our Misadventures in Entrepreneuring podcast, others feature in our forthcoming book of the same name. Some of you are off changing your own corner of the world. More of you have joined us twice a week on our open entrepreneur calls over the last few weeks to connect, share with and learn from your peers. Our call to action from you is to continue this trend, regardless of what the future looks like, lets create one where we celebrate and applaud the real relatable role models. 

Article provided by Gayle Mann, Co-Founder at Misadventures In Entrepreneuring.

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