The Difference Between Running A Business And Having A Skill

The Difference Between Running A Business And Having A Skill

There’s this common delusional state I have seen a lot of young folks put themselves in. It is the “psudo-hustle” state where you think you’re really working but you are in the real sense not doing anything. You assume you are making progress with whatever you’re doing whereas you’re only planning in your mind. I have helped a friend snap out of his state sometime ago where he felt he was really making progress with his plans yet what he meant by plans when I critiqued his thoughts process were just wishes.

Each day, he would add a new brick to the ones he had built in his mind yet he never took a single step to achieving any so far. I have also helped a female friend at one time who ran seven companies in her mind for years. She had to consult me and I had to bill her despite the fact that she was a good friend and two months later, she was already able to start on one of the ideas and pushing through. Why did I have to analyze this?

I had to explain this to establish a point which is the fact that many people have not been able to understand that there is a big difference between having a skill and running a business. During my undergraduate days, I wrote a letter to the Dean of my school on how the school could upgrade a particular course which was termed “Entrepreneurship”.

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In that course, students were designated to artisans to learn a skill depending on their choice. It is such an awesome program which runs for three months. However, my issue with such program is that the school is mixing up learning a skill with running a business or entrepreneurship.

Here’s what I mean; Knowing how to bake cake is having a skill while making money from baking is entrepreneurship. They are two entirely different activities and they have different requirements and approaches. Knowing how to teach as a teacher is one, running a school as an owner is another. One is a skill, while the other is a business.

The problem with the program is that even though it is called entrepreneurship, the real activity being carried out is skill learning because what most students go to do is learn how to do and not how to run or make money from doing.

This is where the issue comes in where a lot of people who I ask what they do, miss it. They are quick to respond identifying themselves as entrepreneurs whereas only what they know how to do is the skill.

A very good example is the fact we have so many bakers out there who just fraternize with the name just because they watched some DIY videos on how to bake cakes and boom, they are CEOs already. It is a common trend on campuses and even university graduates. I will quickly share some insights into what business is all about and explain how you can convert your skills to a business.

  1. Business is a game of conversion: Business is not firstly about the game of passion. You can run a business on a field you don’t know much about if you hire the right person who are vast in such field. So business is necessarily not a game of passion. Skills are built on passion but business is built on how you can convert. How can you convert this skill to a money making process?

Now this is where the real work is because at this stage, it is not only about you but others. Customers are already in the picture, team members are already in the picture. How do you convince someone who doesn’t know you to trust you with their money to help them bake a cake? To help them sow a cloth, how do you convince people to join your team? How do you convert one thousand naira to fifty thousand naira. It’s all about conversion.

  1. Business skills are different from normal skills: An entrepreneur is not just an ordinary person. A successful entrepreneur didn’t just stumble there. There are certain skills such entrepreneur must have built which is not necessary when learning a skill. The skill of endurance, resilience, managing pain, understanding marketing in a simple form and so many more are skills that an entrepreneur has which a skilled person doesn’t have.

If you’ve been deluding yourself as an entrepreneur whereas what you have is just a simple skill, then you should go back to really understand what you claim you’re into so you’d not be on a journey to nowhere.

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