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You are going to read about four people’s attitudes towards exercise. For questions 43 – 52, choose the correct section. The sections may be chosen more than once.
Working for Myself
We asked four young people how they got their businesses off the ground. Here’s what they had to say…
There was never any question I’d work for someone else. I wanted my fate to be in my own hands – and I wanted to make money! My parents were horrified when I told them I’d turned down a university offer, but I hated the thought of debt and I’d just had my big idea. I overheard this woman in a cafe complaining about the cost of leaving her dog at the kennels while she went on holiday. Apparently it costs hundreds of pounds – I had no idea. So I thought, there must be plenty of people in this city who love dogs, and who’d look after one for a fraction of the price. I set up a site that connected owners and ‘dog-sitters’ and it was a runaway success, though at first it didn’t make me a huge amount. It was later that I figured out how to earn more through advertising and stuff, but the point was just to get started. I’ve learnt so much more doing my own thing than I would’ve in a lecture hall.
In Hollywood movies, kids always run lemonade stands to make extra money. Well, guess what, I tried it for real and you make nothing. The lemons cost me ten pounds, and I only sold about four cups standing in my front garden. In business school they’d say: know your market! I mean, I did this thing in March when people were still in their coats. If I’d waited till July it might have been a different story. Anyway, I’ve always been a bit of a businessman. I studied computing at university but my heart wasn’t in it, so as soon as I graduated I went to the bank and asked for a loan. They had doubts because I was only 21 but they agreed, and I opened a little shop selling kitchen stuff. I’ve always loved food and cooking, even if my lemonade wasn’t exactly a success. Now I’m in full control of the shop’s stock, hours and staff, and I answer to no-one. It’s perfect for me.
Some people are born for business, but I’m not one of them. The idea of self-employment scared me – and my mum and dad too! But they had faith in me and lent me what I needed to get started. I make jewellery and sell it online, and also at a few markets around London. The thing is, I’m not much of a salesperson. Other people seem so confident with the customers; they know the right thing to say to make them get their wallets out. I’m naturally shy – that’s why I studied metalwork in the first place! Ninety percent of the time you’re alone in your studio. I suppose my pieces must speak for themselves, because I’m selling more than I can make. One of my bracelets was featured in a magazine – you know, those free ones that come with the newspaper – and after that I got a lot of orders. I’ve even thought about taking on an assistant, but it seems like a big step.
In this country we have a strange attitude toward death. I remember being at my grandmother’s funeral, dressed all in black and singing these depressing songs, and thinking: she would have hated this. She was a lively woman with this crazy, colourful, welcoming house – and she was always listening to jazz. Why couldn’t her funeral match her life? So my great business idea, at the age of 14, was to help people create unique celebrations of someone’s life. Of course, I waited until I left school at 18 to put the idea into practice. Some customers took one look at me and decided I was too young to organise anything properly, which was understandable but frustrating. Still, as time went on I got more internet presence and a few good reviews. I’m just now starting to pay back money I borrowed in the early days. I never regretted starting my own company, though; I’ve got so much more freedom than my friends.
43. most likely had their business idea around the age of 18?
44. was inspired to start their business by a member of their family?
45. failed at their first business?
46. sometimes finds it hard to talk to people?
47. is considering employing a member of staff?
48. suffered a setback because of their age?
49. does NOT mention an online element of their business?
50. suggests experience is the best teacher for businesspeople?
51. did NOT receive financial support to start their business?
52. designs the items that they sell?