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What About The Other ABCD You Needed At School?

I was an idiot at school.

Actually, I’ll rephrase that, I behaved like an idiot at school…especially when it really counted: during my A Levels.

It was a long time ago now, but my inability to focus on what was required of me, my unwillingness to behave appropriately and my need to be ‘the big man’ got me into some ridiculous situations and ensured I underperformed in my exams.

For some people, going to a Grammar School would have suited them perfectly – and for some of my friends and peers it did just that.  

The thing is most of my friends didn’t go to the Grammar School, they went to one of the huge comprehensive schools, followed by sixth form and then College (with girls!) but my parents thought it’d be better if I stayed on with the boys, in my ill-fitting blazer.

Nowadays, I visit schools and speak about my experience and behaviour as a former school student.  I know now my behaviour was a matter of vision, inspiration and mainly ATTITUDE.

My mind was so focused on what I was going to do at the weekend, who I was going out with, what my hair was like and who my football team were playing in London that  there was simply no room to  concentrate on the investment I should have made in my future.

The reason I set up Innovative Enterprise in 2006 was to bring the Future to Life for young people and to be the person that was missing from my life at the time.  

So far we have worked with 110,000 people.


The other ABCD I mention in the title of this piece is the ABCD of Enterprise, something I developed in 2007 to help open our events and curate the appropriate mindset for sessions.  This became a mindset that would stay with people - the four basic building-blocks of entrepreneurial behaviour.

  • Attitude

  • Belief

  • Confidence

  • Decision-Making


This ABCD provides a mindset for life.

For some time  I played with the idea of creating the Enterprise Alphabet – 26 PowerWords for Enterprise Success, I made a mock-up of a cover and everything!

It turns out books don’t write themselves so after two years of saying I was writing a book I woke up one morning with the inspiration I needed.  

Instead of a book, I developed a set of cards to be used as  a resource for schools, colleges and business.  

‘Your Enterprise Alphabet’ was born as two sets of cards: one focussed on Mindset and the other on Action..

I will be using this series of blog posts to introduce you to the cards.  

By highlighting power words, phrases or acronyms I aim to help you to develop your skills, vision, focus or actions.

Back to the ABCD...

I will start of course with A for Attitude.

Attitude has been described either as your best friend or your worst enemy.  At any given moment in your day the choice of your attitude is 100% yours.  How you react to every situation you find yourself (or put yourself) in, is up to you.

Reflecting on my youth, my attitude was the thing that got me into a lot of scrapes, upset my parents, infuriated my teachers and caused me to fail my A Levels and led to 17 years in the wrong jobs.

I’ll leave you with my favourite quote of all time, from Charles Swindoll:

“I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it”.

For the next week focus on your attitude.  Ask how do you react to things, what makes you happy, what makes you upset and how do you make others feel?

Being positive is a choice and it comes from your attitude.

 You cannot be an entrepreneur with the wrong attitude.

Andrew ‘Bernie’ Bernard

Andrew ‘Bernie’ Bernard

Professional Speaker, MC, Educational Workshop Deliverer and Developer, Enterprise and Manufacturing Champion.


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