Many people start businesses at a young age, but few succeed. Arthur Alla of Red Earth started his business at 22, and now it’s a thriving organisation taking high school students to remote indigenous communities.
After his own trip to a remote indigenous community, Arthur quickly realised there was no real way for other young people to have the same experience easily, so he came up with the idea for Red Earth.
In this episode of The Company You Keep, Arthur talks about how becoming a young entrepreneur was daunting, and how he spent months convincing schools his idea was a good one, and he could be trusted.
“I'd made this little one-page itinerary. I gave them a call and they said, 'Have you ever done this before?' I said, 'No', and they said, 'Okay, great. Well, just do it a few times and give us a call again.'" Eventually, Arthur succeeded by moving his way down the phone book.
Over time, and through trials, Arthur has grown into a competent business leader. He says to those asking how to be a young entrepreneur, that diving in the deep end was one of the only ways a young business owner can learn – but you need to avoid burnout along the way.
“I think the most important thing I've learned is to keep the big picture in mind because you can get so stuck in the weeds and then, as they say, lose the forest for the trees.”
But Arthur hasn’t been alone. He’s worked with other small businesses he met through My Business, particularly at conferences or events – and that community has helped. “One of them is [the] HR events that My Business has, which gives the compliance information, compliance documents on the HR side of things. That's certainly something I'd advise people look into.”