Curious Case Of An Entrepreneur

Dear Entrepreneur… You are on your own

When you share your business idea with family and friends no one seems to understand what you are trying to say.

When you share with those you think have been in business before you they tell you it is impossible.

When you make it, everyone wants to be close to you in case they will need help in the next 24 hours.  When business blossom and grow they call you savvy.  When it starts to crumble they start to dig out your weaknesses trying to find a reason why the business failed.

When you venture into multiple operations and make money they say you diversify but when you loose money they say you are all over hence you fail.

Never say you have no money because everybody will be shocked to hear those words coming from you.  Even when you want to borrow money you have to come with words like: “My card has a problem please borrow me cash I will pay you tomorrow”.

The government look up to you to grow the economy, the churches look up to you for substantial tithe, NGOs look up to you for donations, schools expect you to pay the fees upfront and offer you 10% discount.  Shops rely on you as a cash buyer for them to sort out their rentals. You can’t afford all these if you are to leave in a day that has tomorrow.

You can meet all these demands when you:

Maximise the now in order to overcome the challenges of tomorrow

Tomorrow is just the next 24 hours from now.  Yesterday is the past 24 hours, Your existence is dependent on the 25th hour which is now, Today, this hour.  You can reach the next day but not tomorrow.  If we can understand the now effect we will not allow the pains and failures of yesterday to hold us ransom, we will realize that as days go by the things that hurt us are getting further and further away from us.  We need to learn to do things as they come and make use of the time we have now than to put it for tomorrow.

The number one enemy of today’s success is the worry about tomorrow.

Don’t wait for perfect time and a perfect product

You need to understand that there is a big difference between what you perceive and the reality.  Most products that sell the most are those owners did not have full confidence in and those that failed are those owners thought it’s a brilliant idea.  When Obama introduced Obamacare he was certain most Americans will sign up in a month and to date only less than a million did sign up.  The website went down, Republican shut down the government in protest.  And it is in that period that he has to find way to perfect it whereby the republicans can be happy, website can be running, and Americans can sign in numbers.

Think product

This is very crucial because many entrepreneurs put a lot of energy in selling the product that has expired.  What you sell today may no longer be relevant to the market and if you keep holding on to customer loyalty than revamping your product the loyal customers will leave you for better product somewhere.

Spend time looking at new ways of improving your service delivery or the product you sell, such measures should not be dictated by the sales figure because if you will measure the product based on sales what you will do is offer discount than value of the product to keep your customers.  Blackberry once owned the market but focused much on the loyalty of their clients whereby they gave clients same handset for years with one app BBM and when others came with designs and introduced own apps it became a challenge.  Change the look even when people still prefer the old look.  And change for the better than hanging on to old formula.  Introduce new menu like Mcdonald who introduced Maxican burger.

Trade, sell it or shut down

Many of us look up to Richard Bronson as the most successful entrepreneur, but I look at him as the most persistent entrepreneur.  He has had his hands on everything.  He started many ventures world wide and in South Africa he started Virgin Mobile yet to date the leading companies in South Africa are Vodacom and MTN.  And what keeps him going is that he managed to change the laws and policies by challenging anti-competitive behaviors of other service providers.

Google has close so many businesses they tried to launch and recently closed down Chromebook which most of us may not even know what it was all about yet they invested billions into the project.  Don’t be afraid to concede that it did not work out and close down.  Have a price tag on your business just in case someone offers to buy it or to go into partnership with you.

Save part of what you make

This is been over emphasized for many years yet most entrepreneurs have no money saved.  Saving takes disciple.  Don’t allow money to control how you should use it but spend it the way you want.  For one to achieve this it is when you have a list of things you would buy when having money and when money comes you will stick to the list and even with the list you will prioritise on the things that will keep the business moving.  Proportionate the money you make according to the budget.  You need to save in case you are sued or taken to court by a client.  Knowing that you have money somewhere that has no assignment yet is a reliever.

Don’t regret the past failures

All those who made it in life had their challenges too.  When Steve Jobs friend sold his shares at Apple in 1978 he did not anticipate that the shares that he sold for $700 and today those shares are said that they would have been worth billions.  And here is Steve Jobs who held on to the company and became a billionaire, but, passed away while his friend still has a chance to live.  Don’t beat yourself for failing but learn from that and do things differently.  Your success in life may look like a failure to others, but what matters most is what satisfies you after doing it that you would still do it even if no one would pay you.

Don’t expect people to understand you

People will understand only what they went through themselves but what they did not remains a mystery to them.  Don’t expect too much encouragement from people and don’t try to prove them wrong either as you will loose focus on building your business and start building your esteem just to fit in a society.

Do not hurt yourself expecting:

You dad to borrow you money from provident payout to fund your idea

You mother to understand why you are not getting married while building your business

Your partner to understand that you can’t fetch kids today because you have important business seminar.

Your uncle to borrow you his car because yours is broken on your way to buy stock.

You are on your own, plan, execute, evaluate and move forward on your own.

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