So you want to become an entrepreneur? You want to start your own business and be your own boss? Well, I say congratulations but my concern is: are you really prepared to be an entrepreneur? Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?
“He that is prepare; has half won the battle.” – Sun Tzu
I have been an entrepreneur for over five years and I want to state that it has been a worthwhile adventure. Over these years, I have learned a lot of things that I wouldn’t have learned if I didn’t take the entrepreneurial route. As I reflect over my years as an entrepreneur, I have come to realize that there’s nothing glorious about being an entrepreneur. In fact, you are better off keeping your job than starting a business. Now for those wanting to become entrepreneur, let it be known to you that entrepreneurship is not a bed of roses; it’s a war zone.
“Experience taught me a few things. One is to listen to your gut no matter how good something sounds on paper. The second is that you are generally better off sticking with what you know and the third is that sometimes, your best investments are the ones you don’t make.” – Donald Trump
Now don’t think I am trying to scare or discourage you from starting your own business. No. I just want to share with you the realistic truth about building a business, so that you can better prepare yourself. Just as a general must prepare adequately before a battle, so must an entrepreneur prepare before starting any business; and business is a series of unending battles. If you fail to prepare adequately, you are destined to fail; and nothing can save you.
Most people think entrepreneurship is all about raising capital and pursuing million dollar projects but it isn’t so. Entrepreneurship is a thing of the mind; it starts from the inside and reflects on the outside. Business idea creation, critical thinking, risk analysis and problem solving all occur on the inside; and this means that if your mindset is not right, you have failed from the start.
“There are no bad business or investment opportunities. There are only bad entrepreneurs and investors.” – Rich Dad
Are you really prepared to be an entrepreneur? Well, you better be because the moment you decide to become an entrepreneur; you have just sounded the war drums. When I started my first business few years ago, I was very excited because I have taken a bold step. I was burning with enthusiasm and determination; but looking back now, I can see how naïve and unprepared I was back then. Even as at the time of writing this; I don’t think I am still prepared for the future challenges of building a business.
Are you really prepared to be an entrepreneur? Well, you better be because it is never going to be a smooth ride. Right from the day I decided to become an entrepreneur, it has been problems and challenges all the way. In fact, I have been dealing with challenges from day one and the more I solve them, the more the challenges get bigger. Don’t think money or success will shield you from the challenges of the business world; it won’t. In fact, the bigger your success and the more money you acquire, the bigger your problems will be. So you’ve got to be prepared.
“Without the element of uncertainty, the bringing off of even, the greatest business triumph would be dull, routine and eminently unsatisfying.” – J Paul Getty
Are you really prepared to be an entrepreneur? Well, you might think you are prepared because you have spent quality time working on your business plan. You have thought everything through and plugged the loopholes; you have done your SWOT analysis and you are prepared to face the competition. Well, I give you thumbs up for your effort; but I want you to draw your attention to something.
Most people think the biggest challenges in business is either finding customers or fighting competition but I stand to tell you that it isn’t. The biggest challenge you will face in business sometimes come from the inside. It could be from your family, friends, employees or even you. In fact, the most deadliest challenges are usually unforeseen; I am talking about factors which are beyond your control. It could be an ailment or disease, a change in trend, it could be the loss of a loved one, it could be a natural disaster, it could be a change in government’s policy (Consider the Amazon associate business owners who were wiped out just because of a slight change in tax laws by some states); in fact, it could be anything. The question is: are you really prepared to face whatever comes?
One of the reasons why I have stayed true to the cause is because I am adequately prepared to face what comes; I have toughen my mind over the years, never to be shaken by surrounding circumstances. I have faced critical family challenges, i have been robbed at gun point, I have handled crucial business problems, I have been backstabbed by my closest friends, I have once lived with the fear of liquidation, etc. but the joyous part of it is that the more I encounter and solve these problems as they come; the bolder and tougher my mind becomes.
“Prepare for bad times and you will only know good times.” – Rich Dad
As a final note, the point I am trying to emphasize is that business is not a bed of roses; never expect a smooth ride. Don’t be carried away by the hype, fallacies or stories of successful entrepreneurs. You have to be prepared for the worst; you must toughen your mind. The sad part is that I can’t really tell you how to prepare yourself because it’s a thing of the mind. But a good way to begin is to analyze your personal strengths, weaknesses and your risk bearing capacity. I rest my case.
“In the end, you are measured not by how much you undertake but by what you finally accomplished.” – Donald Trump