Awaken the entrepreneur in you

Awaken the entrepreneur in you

STEVE Jobs, the late co-founder of Apple, once said, “Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.”
The entrepreneurial spirit is in most of us.

An entrepreneur is a person who sees an opportunity in the market and uses their initiative to gather resources to grow a business that will satisfy the needs they have identified. They take this risk in return for some profit. Entrepreneurs help us identify new business opportunities, new products and new ways to satisfy customer needs. They bring up new inventions that change the way we do things. These inventions might also raise a nation’s standard of living.

An entrepreneur will meet a lot of obstacles or hurdles in their quest to exploit the identified opportunity. They should have the passion for the venture. It’s passion that will drive or motivate an entrepreneur to continue despite setbacks they encounter in the early stages of the business.

One has to persevere through the difficulties, the ups and downs one comes across.
Without perseverance it’s easy to give up. Most business start-ups fold within the first three years for one reason or another, but one of these reasons is the failure to hold on and persevere.

New business ventures usually involve uncertainty and therefore risk-taking on the part of the entrepreneur. You risk your time, money and other resources. So it is advisable to assess the risk in the venture versus the return you anticipate to get from it. If the risk outweighs the return then you don’t need to follow the venture.
An entrepreneur should believe in themselves. Dedication and determination are prerequisite for every entrepreneur.

You have to put many hours into the venture to get it off the ground. It takes hard work to create your own business. Without someone to be accountable to, you need to be self-willed and self- driven.
An entrepreneur is likely to start a business with limited money, time and other resources. You need to make the most out of what you have. To be a successful entrepreneur you therefore need to maintain a mindset and attitude capable of dealing with unforeseen possibilities, things you have not planned for.

As you start your new venture, you will learn a lot from others. You therefore need to learn how to exploit your network of friends, colleagues and more experienced mentors. Reach out to mentors with more experience and seek valuable advice. It would also benefit you to join business associations where you meet like-minded individuals and share your experiences.

The failure rate of entrepreneurial ventures is very high, so you need to be prepared to take the exit. Not every business venture will result in success. It is absolutely fine to take the exit route and try something new, instead of continuing to sink limited resources in a failing venture. Most famous entrepreneurs weren’t successful the first time around. But they had the serenity and foresight to know when to cut their losses.

In business we will face a lot of challenges and it’s easy to get side-tracked because of a lot of issues that require your attention. You might be drawn to minor issues. Remember that you should major on key issues. To move ahead and reach greater heights, you need to focus on important issues. Concentrate on what you have decided to do, your key issue and do it to the best of your ability.

The future is fraught with a lot of challenges that will act as obstacles when you try to start a business. If you wait for the right time to launch your great solution that will address a market need you have identified, you will never make it in business. If you look at your challenges and you hope to start your project when the challenges are gone, you will not achieve anything. The best way to predict your future is to create it. Decide how your future should be and challenges will not determine how you should act.

Great business people have this one thing in common-they desire to make their idea a reality. You can have the finance, you can have the marketing skills, you can have focus, you can have a brilliant idea but with these you might not achieve anything. What you need above all these is the will to bring your idea into existence. Unless you truly want to make something happen, then the odds are nothing will happen. You need that desire, you need to act, nothing else matters. Act and stop thinking.

All of us have strengths and weaknesses. In business, never concentrate on your weaknesses, rather play on your strengths and you will succeed in the long run. You need to turn every obstacle into an asset. You can deal with your weaknesses by employing people with the relevant skills or strengths that will address your weaknesses.
When you have started a business you tend not to trust anyone. The result is you end up micromanaging your business. You will not be able to build a successful company if you do that. If you try to micromanage the business it will never grow bigger than you. Everything will be flowing through you and so you become the bottleneck. Decision making will be slow; you stifle the creativity of your subordinates and you won’t get the best ideas out of your people.  They will be discouraged because they know that everything revolves around you, people are not going to take the time to develop their best ideas. The best solution to this is to delegate some of your tasks to your employees. Equip them to make decisions. Ask them for their ideas and solutions to problems. Once they know that you are leaving the reins to them they feel free to contribute effectively.

One other thing you should embrace as a business person is that you need to have a very smart advisory board. As the business grows you need a board that will challenge your thinking, a board that will give you new perspectives and ideas, a board that will give honest feedback, a board you can rely on for wise advice. We tend to want to rely on ourselves. We trust our decision making. However we have to accept that we have weaknesses. We have blind spots in business and we need others to warn us when we are going wrong or when we fail to see oncoming danger.

Stewart Jakarasi is a business and financial strategist and a lecturer in business strategy (ACCA P3), advanced performance management (P5) and entrepreneurship.
He is the Managing Consultant of Shekina Consulting (Pty) Ltd and provides advisory and guidance on leadership, strategy and execution, corporate governance, preparation of business plans, tender documents and on how to build and sustain high-performing organisations.
For assistance in implementing some of the concepts discussed in these articles please contact him on the following contacts: sjakarasi@gmail.com, call on +266 58881062 or WhatsApp +266 62110062 .

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