“In order to succeed, you must first survive”. I have seen several people use this quote and attribute it to Warren Buffet; so I will reference him. This post is addressed to wantpreneurs and young entrepreneurs as well, and it is a practical approach to the reality of entrepreneurship that many people have not been told. So, you get to run up and down doing the wrong things because you have not built for yourself the right mindset. It will cost you a whole lot if you want to dabble into entrepreneurship without having foreknowledge of what it is all about.
- Entrepreneurship Is Not For Everyone: There has been the whole noise all over social media that entrepreneurship is now the new profession which is actually not correct. The story goes in a way that the economy is bad and that the only way to be guaranteed success is if you venture into entrepreneurship. That is not true. The first lesson I want you to learn before I proceed to the next is that you should have it at the back of your mind that it isn’t for everyone, which means it’s not something you find yourself in, rather something you make a decisive effort to be in.
- Be Ready To Face Risks: The honest truth is that not everyone is actually fit to face risk. Risk means trying out something when you’re not sure of its outcomes. Fine, you may have prepared all the business plans, and it all looks like everything will turn out fine. However, there will always be a five percent uncertainty in the achieving of such moves, and that five percent is capable of ruining you. That means that it’s either you back out or continue. What you must ensure is that you make calculated risks and not assumptions. They seem similar but are actually different. Calculated risk means you are partially aware of the consequences of any move you make but you make it because it is a step to your progress while assumptions has no research behind them. Matter of fact, this will not happen once or twice and may sometimes lead to the loss of your finances, but you keep moving.
- Survive before you succeed: This lesson is golden and in a continent like Africa where there is no life support for entrepreneurs, it is paramount that you have a constant source of income. Yes, a safety net. By safety net, it means that you have something to fall onto when you go bankrupt. It could be your parents wealth or another access to assets. You cannot build a billion dollar company on an empty stomach which means that you need to take on jobs. I perfectly understand that there will be time conflict and how you can manage them and that it means you might not have all the time for 9 – 5 jobs. However, you need to get gigs, per time jobs or work during the day while you build at night.
- Have a long term mindset: If there’s anyone who should have a long term mindset, it should be entrepreneurs. Firstly, you need to take off the mindset of fast growth or overnight success. It has never in any day of history happened where an entrepreneur succeeded overnight. The reason this piece of advice is priceless is that it will shield you from all forms of pressure from the society. The pressure to want to quickly show off your success. There’s no shortcut to getting to make millions, the only shortcut is that you need to wait for your fruits to ripen before you pluck them. People don’t eat unripe fruits and if you try it, they wouldn’t return to you after discovering you tricked them.
- Understand the habit of spending: This is not a poverty mindset piece of advice. This advice will save you from going bankrupt before you start. If your goal for going into entrepreneurship is to show the fancy cars and expensive wristwatches, chances are that you may never get to really be a successful one. This mindset is actually the poverty mindset in itself because you will want to show gratification based on material things. This means that your first profit, your little income will be spent on showing how successful young are. Entrepreneurs have a different mindset to building wealth. They do not see wealth as the cars at the garage or the expensive suit in the closet; wealth to entrepreneurs is based on values that are not yet seen and cannot be quantified.
You necessarily don’t need a car unless the car can help you move from one point to another for your business success. You don’t need a new pair of suits if you are not having another meeting to attend with that new investor. The social media has painted success in entrepreneurship as standing in front of expensive cars and jets which is actually fake life. Success in entrepreneurship is actually the amount you have net disposable income. The amount you earn is totally different from the amount you are worth. Your car is simply equal to cash at hand except the car on its own produces money, then it becomes an asset.
I have experienced all these and I know this is part of what defines an entrepreneur. With this mindset, you’re not far from success.