Meet the Future Shapers : A conversation with Nollaig Fahy
We love to share stories from past entrepreneurial students of Tangent, Trinity’s Ideas Workspace. Here we chat to Nollaig Fahy who is a firm believer in the merits of asking questions and seeking clarity to overcome challenges as an entrepreneur. A passionate contributor to the non-profit sector and social enterprises, Nollaig recently completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship and is now turning his ideas into a viable enterprise.
Tell us a little about yourself and what you do?
I have been working in the commercial and non-profit social enterprise sectors for 30+ years. I leverage my commercial know-how and business experience for the benefit of social enterprises. Currently I work with Age & Opportunity the national non-profit organisation helping people 50+ to age more positively. I also volunteer with the Cottage Home Child & Family services, a local community based charity.
On a personal level, I like to write poetry and create art. My most successful achievement was creating an artistic exhibition to try and change the national conversation from one of gloom and doom to one of Hope. The exhibition attracted over 200,000 visitors during its national tour :)
What has inspired you to do what you do?
Helping people, communities and society, and if possible inspiring individuals to take positive action and help themselves.
When did you first hear about the Tangent Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship course and why did it attract your interest?
For me it was a case of being in the wrong place - right time! I inadvertently attended the wrong meeting on the wrong floor in the Tangent building. While I sat and listened to the presentation and thinking “what is this all about?”, I heard the Student Recruitment officer describe the course content. I was blown away, I knew I just had to apply for a place. Following my submission and interview I was one of the lucky people to secure one of the 35 initial places. To me it was like I'd won the Lotto!
Did you have any reservations about applying?
From the moment I had officially secured one of the limited places on this course in Tangent Trinity College, I firmly believed I had won the opportunity of a lifetime and, having never previously reached third level education, I decided to enthusiastically embrace every experience to follow.
However, there was a nagging doubt in the back of my mind that had arisen during my formal interview with the Student Recruitment Officer. I was asked many questions, but one in particular surprised me and made me feel uncomfortable : “What do you fear most about securing a place on this course?”. I answered, “I fear letting down my fellow students in a group project”. That fear remained with me for the next seven weeks, up to and until immediately after our group project pitch presentation to the judges, because, then, I knew for certain that I did not let down any of Group 6 team members during our assigned project.
I had preconceived notions and expectations about what college experience meant. By the conclusion of the first lecture, ‘Design Thinking and The Creative Entrepreneur’ delivered by the passionate tutors, everything I thought I knew would be challenged, stretched and tested throughout Module 1. The key learning for me from lecture one was the importance of stimulus in seeking and finding clarity, digging deep to get answers. In particular I learnt that asking yourself the ‘Why?’ question is of paramount importance, and with every new answer asking Why? again and again, until there are no more answers – this process taught me that challenging questions provoke answers that lead to clarity. For me, it was that clarity of thought and certainty that helped me successfully overcome all the challenges I faced.
What you did enjoy most about the Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship course?
The friendship and support of other students. The knowledge that I was being given the chance to learn from world class tutors in one of the best colleges in the world.
What were you key takeaways?
Feel the fear and go do it anyway! Don't give up, lean on the course processes presented and demonstrated. Embrace the college experience fully. Tap in to the combined class intelligence to reach your goals or targets. Keep searching for the answers to the Why questions and you will find clarity. Trust and believe in yourself and your abilities, you are stronger and more intelligent than you know :)
How has the course most helped you & your business?
The day I entered the business school in Trinity College I had passion, an idea, and a dream.
Attending Creative Cultural Entrepreneurship studies in Tangent, Trinity’s Ideas Workspace gave me a fantastic opportunity to access world class inspirational facilitators and experience a supportive college environment.
The programme content helped me maximise my creative passion and helped transform my idea into a tangible, viable enterprise.
For me, the two stand-out module sessions that had a powerful influence on me were Failing Forward, and, Fixed and Growth Mindset. Both inspired clarity, confidence, and provoked me to take positive action toward reaching my goals.
There is now no doubt in my mind, that my dream will become a reality – Happy Days
What are your ambitions for the future?
I will continue to develop innovative initiatives with powerful social impacts that will help people cope with the challenges that we all experience during our lifetime. I hope that some of these initiatives will prove to be successful enough to transfer to many other countries to positively impact their societies too.
Is there anything you would like to add for anyone reading this?
If you are thinking about applying for this course, do not delay - it has the potential to change your life in the most positive ways possible. Good luck:)
Thanks to Nollaig for that interesting glimpse into the personal benefits of taking on a course like this. We’re looking forward to hearing more about Nollaig’s innovations & initiatives that one day we may all be grateful for directly or indirectly. If you’d like to connect with him, you can do so on LinkedIn.