Entrepreneurs are special people. They step into the world, completely unprepared for the challenges that will come their way, with a deep belief that they will succeed and become rich or maybe even change the world. The strange thing is that they all entrepreneurs have this belief. After all, who will start something with the intention of failing?
The journey of entrepreneurship is something that you can never be adequately prepared for.Although when you think about it, there is nothing in life you can be completely prepared for.School, marriage, career…death. Everything has a level of risk. Entrepreneurship just seems to have more risks that all the others.Well , except death.
Many entrepreneurs will begin to realise quite early in their journey that things will not go as planned. Everyone of us begins with a lofty dream, believing we will be rich in a year or so. Something that rarely happens. Many writers who have chronicled the lives of entrepreneurs cunningly skip the hard part. They tell the story in a manner that makes you think that Facebook, Microsoft,Virgin or closer to home Equity bank, Mabati Rolling Mills ,Bidco Oils were all overnight successes. What they dont tell you about entrepreneurship is that unless you are willing to play very dirty, or have a filthy rich uncle willing to splash his money recklessly on your startup, its going to be a very long ,painful and tiring journey. If you succeed, the rewards are immense.If you fail, you become a much better person,something which only you might know about .Success or failure in entrepreneurship is all part of the learning process.
Every experienced businessman or woman knows that a company is a vehicle that creates value, which you can then sell for a profit. That sounds simple. But its not. Creating value takes time, and even more time is required to convince others to see that value and pay their hard earned money for it.In fact, many who will encourage you to start a business will be very hesitant to become your client once you do. And unfortunately, you cannot create lasting value through corruption,bribery or doing illegal business. It may seem to last for a while but it will not survive any shocks to the economy. Ask Gadaffi and Mubaraks close business allies how its working out for them now. I will address this topic in detail later.
I am a keen advocate for doing business with integrity. I believe its the only way you will create innovations and value that will stand the test of time. Once you can create one great product or service, you can do the same over and over again. You become confident ,not in your products or services but your ability to create something from scratch and put value into it. That is why you will have immigrant entrepreneurs land in a new country and still manage to set up a business and grow it despite not having networks,capital or godfathers.
So my first post is dedicated to the uncelebrated entrepreneurs out there. The ones who spend sleepless nights trying to solve problems that they will be dealing with the next morning, the ones who have no one believing in them but still press on. The ones who are constantly faced with daunting situations but still hold on to their dreams. The ones who turn down lucrative deals because it goes against their values and principles. The ones who have been auctioned,threatened, had their possessions repossessed but still manage to succeed or at the least survive today and still rise to meet tomorrows challenge. The ones who keep dreaming while everyone is shouting at them to face reality. These are the ones who make this world a better place, because only they can already see the future that is possible and refuse to accept that todays reality is what will rule tomorrow. Keep at it, keep learning, keep growing, make less mistakes because this world needs you.
Lets walk this journey together, and I hope this blog will at least keep you inspired and learning enough to achieve that dream.Hoping that as I share what I have learnt as an entrepreneur, and as one who has assisted many entrepreneurs succeed, you too will write your own success story. You are the true unsung hero and if nobody every salutes you, then I do with all that I have got.