If you are a young entrepreneur who has invested in shares, which ‘noise dive’, you may need someone to ‘mental’ you!


HABEMUS President in Kenya! One of the formidable challenges facing the Kenyan President-elect, is youth unemployment which many analysts see as a ticking time-bomb. It is for that reason that many governments encourage entrepreneurship.

A column in the Daily Blog titled “Youth Point” carried a short article recently on what the writer called: “Awesome business ideas for teen entrepreneurs”. The writer opens his article by pointing out that: “Business is not for adults anymore, the ‘exiting’ world of entrepreneurship has also linked youth under a young age to be entrepreneurs”.

I believe the writer was thinking of the ‘exciting’ (not exiting) (ie fun) world of entrepreneurship. He gives four business ideas: Get mentored, sharpen your communication skills, earn credibility and find ways to manage your stress.

With regard to getting mentored, the writer suggests: “If you feel that your circle of friends and family is lacking in business ‘mentor’, then you can ask them to introduce you to get people to ‘mental’ you”.

Now, does the writer seriously believe that the words “mentor” and “mental” mean one and the same thing, and can therefore be used interchangeably? To begin with, “mental” is an adjective and not a verb.

Thus, you do not “mental somebody”. It is an adjective which means something related to the mind. It has many meanings one of which cannot have any relationship with mentorship. If you are “mental” you are crazy or mad! On the other hand “mentor” is both a verb and a noun.

As a noun, it means a trusted counselor or guide. As a verb, it means to act as a mentor, that is: to coach, counsel, lead, guide, pilot, shepherd, show, or tutor. Young entrepreneurs need to be “mentored”.

They do not need someone to ‘mental’ them. Business idea number two requires you to sharpen your communication skills since, according to the writer, “much of what you do in business is getting people to believe you and your product or service, hence as a young entrepreneur, you need to communicate both ‘written and verbally’”.

You need an adverb to qualify how you communicate: Yes, you can communicate “verbally” but can you communicate “written”? “Written” is an adjective, not an adverb. To convey what the writer had in mind, “written” cannot be used alone.

It could be used as part of a phrase such as “in written form”. Therefore, young entrepreneurs were being reminded that they need to communicate well, both verbally and in written form. Business idea number four advises young entrepreneurs to find ways to manage stress.

In the writer’s own words: “With homework and all ‘extra curriculum’ activities, stress is common among youth”. No. They are not referred to as “extra curriculum activities”. They are “extracurricular activities”.

Extracurricular, sometimes known as or Extra academic, activities are those that fall outside the realm of the normal curriculum of school or university education, performed by students. Armed with those ideas, our young entrepreneur may want to invest in shares and stocks through the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE).

The news item titled “DSE Stock shines at Dar Bourse” (Daily Blog, August 9, p. 18) may be of interest. It shows that shares and stocks can appreciate or depreciate. Looking at the period since January 2017 the writer of the article tells us what happened to some shares and stocks: “The most depreciated stock since January was XXX share that ‘noise dived’ by 30 per cent to 3820/= from 5,450/= seven months ago”.

The idea of shares ‘noise-diving’ really made my day. Would there be a practice or competition somewhere in this world, where participants dive while making a lot of noise? I really wonder. But we can be sure that our writer was not referring to “noise-diving” whatever that means, but to “nosediving”.

“Nosedive” means a downward nose-first plunge of a flying object such as an airplane. It also means a sudden extreme drop such as when stock prices take a nosedive. Thus, young entrepreneurs should be told that investing is risk-taking.

Sometimes stock prices can go up, sometimes they go down gradually, or they nosedive. This however, should not frighten them from investing.

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