Debunking The Myths Of Entrepreneurship: My Take On Entrepreneurship
I woke up this morning with a nibbling feeling. I was thinking that something was not right. I checked a friend’s status and saw something like, “sleep is now a luxury.” It reminded me of when I used to tell my homies that Poverty has murdered sleep. For me, they needed to know my story before sharing in my glory. This is my take on entrepreneurship from the little time I have spent talking to entrepreneurs, listening to them and trying to become one myself.
Now, when I said that poverty has murdered sleep, I was naïve. How little I understood these things. I am also sure that my friend is also a product of that naivety. One fact remains that nobody cares.
You can keep your story to yourself and become successful. Whether you sleep at night or you sleep in the morning; that is totally up to you. People are only interested in what they see. Very few will want to know the process. You see, the process will only make sense when the end result will be worth it.
I see a lot of people doing businesses coming out to claim the same stage as an entrepreneur. You are merely selling and buying if you are a businessman but an entrepreneur creates. Give some respect man.
Nightwalkers, nightcrawlers, night gurus, or whatever they call it are some of the mantras from some people who think they are entrepreneurs. They may spend the larger part of the night doing things that have absolutely no bearing to entrepreneurship. Some of the big names I know all built-in silence. Remember, this is my take on entrepreneurship so no villain need be, please.
A Personal Experience Backing My Take On Entrepreneurship
You know I have always referred to myself as the Magician. Recently, I have taken on the title of the Controversial Local Man. Well, I’m also considering changing it. Have a synthesis of both. Why did I say this? Story. It is powerful. Maybe some stories will help. But remember, this is no story.
When I was in university, I was a bookworm in my first three years in school. I was obsessed with getting a degree in political science that I will probably never need. Strange, right? But that is your story too. Yes, your story.
I was so serious that I became the holder of the departmental keys. Thompson, Adaobi, Odili, Abagha and all the earthmen can confirm this story. I was dedicated. I stayed away from alcohol and women. Momma told me they will make me fail. Chai, if only I knew. I was so serious that I didn’t tolerate noise in LG building. I did drive you out if you disturbed and nothing will happen. Remember, I’m a magician, so nothing will happen and this is my take on entrepreneurship. Tell those people to look at me with compassion and forgive my naivety.
When I got to the final year, I had already met with important people in the department. I knew some of the lecturers personally and we could grab a bottle or two once in a while and talk about girls and other supposed distractions. But, we could also talk about the reality of the outside world. I was schooled again on the outside world. I became a realist. I started studying Mafia literature and becoming very serious about playing chess. I became a realist and the best version of what I have always been. A strategist.
The bottom line is that in my final year, I had the best result. It was only in my final year that I made first class. Strange? I had more fun in my final year than I had in my first three years combined. The girls, drinks and other indulgences but I came out clean.
What this means that there has to be a practical strategy for your works. It is not enough to keep working hard. There has to be smartness to it. Suffice it to mean that I worked hard in my first three years and worked smart in my last year. Now, imagine what will happen if I combine hard work with smart work.
Disclaimer: I’m not advocating a wayward life as the way to achieve success before my mentees and even my mentors will come for my head. Everything I said here was my demonstration of how we get it wrong and still come out to shout some annoying mantras. We need to put some people straight. It is pertinent.
When any of you will call me out again, I will call on Amadioha and Arusi Okija for you. Okay, to ensure that doesn’t happen again, let us look at some of the myths of entrepreneurship and that will enable you to know the right thing to do and what you should be when you tell people you an entrepreneur. Let me not call name shaa.
With that said, let us look at the myths of entrepreneurship. This is a focus on my take on entrepreneurship and how it works.
My Take On Entrepreneurship: The Myths Of Entrepreneurship
As entrepreneurs, you don’t have personal lives
I don’t know where this is coming from but it is totally wrong. Very very wrong. Why would you even become an entrepreneur if you won’t have a personal life? This is where the principle of working both and smart comes into play.
As an entrepreneur, you are not expected to work for 24 hours a day in a year as some people think you should. Actually, I believe you should have more time than someone who is not an entrepreneur. You control outcomes.
So many people have abandoned friends, family, and some leisure activities because they are busy working. Given, entrepreneurship requires some energy and commitment but that suggests that abandonment will help you out.
There is a balance and you need to strike it. You are not expected to become totally lackadaisical about it. That balance is what you need. Work when you need to but create time for your family and friends and other social activities as a way of staying wealthy in your soul too.
Time management can also help you. In fact, that is what you need. If you can, avoid multi-tasking. It is crazy shit. It has the same effects on your brain as sleepless nights and it is worse than smoking weed in terms of IQ reduction. It could also lower productivity.
So, my dear, stick to your to-do list if you can as that will always be better. One task at a time could be more productive than multitasking. I will probably write a piece on this topic. It looks juicy.
It is my take on entrepreneurship so, what can possibly go wrong.
Entrepreneurs must take lots of risks.
Entrepreneurs take risks. That has been in our head for a long time. From the days of business studies that we were taught the factors of production, we told that the entrepreneur who is the fourth factor after land, labor and capital must take risks.
Here is what you need to know. Entrepreneurs take risks alright. But the risks are calculated risks. They are not gamblers. I know how many proposals that come our but we don’t stand up and jump into it. It doesn’t make a lot of sense. You need to have a little understanding of what to expect.
Let me illustrate. There is this huge deal that is worth lots of money if it succeeds. At the same time, it has the capacity of putting you out business if it fails. Would you take it? That is what I’m talking about. You must balance your risk with your reward.
You must raise money from a Venture capitalist (VCs) And Angel Investors as entrepreneurs
The biggest challenge entrepreneurs have is raising funds for their businesses. That is always the issue with entrepreneurs. They want to wait until one VC comes with a lot of money. This is a misconception. You must not get funding from a VC before you can kick start your startup.
There are many sources you can explore. What happened to personal funds? I’m sure you can use it. You can take loans from financial institutions too; your family and friends can also help you out. You can also be crowdfunded. Thinking that you must pick money from VCs is just a big myth.
Anyone can be an entrepreneur
This is very wrong. It is not everyone that can be an entrepreneur. So many people are trying to get a handle on this. Entrepreneurship, especially within the Nigerian sphere is not for the feeble-minded. It is for the strong.
I know when GT Igwe Chrisent preached that anyone can become an entrepreneur. Now, the dude has changed his mind. He says exactly what is written in the paragraph. It is not everybody that can survive it.
The fact is that most people are not entrepreneurs. That is very simple. There is a stat I saw. It put entrepreneurs at 400 million out of the world population. That tells you a lot I believe.
Now, here is the tricky part. It takes a high level of motivation to become an entrepreneur. Therefore, anybody can become an entrepreneur in theory. However, in practice, it doesn’t work like that. It takes only a few people to get to that level.
Entrepreneurs must have great and new ideas
I laugh in Swahili. Whoever invented that saying shaa. People are thinking day and night for their Eureka. You may never get something that has not been done and that is the truth. So, if you take an existing idea and make it great, does it make you less entrepreneur than the person with a brand new idea.
Let us understand it and follow it up. Uber came into the picture as the initiators of that car-hailing service. Lyft came in three years after and added their tweaks and twists. Now, there is Bolt. They also have their uniqueness but the idea remains the same. We just have to know exactly what we are dealing with.
This is just the first part of my take on entrepreneurship. Part two will come up before the end of the week. Sometimes, you need to unlearn certain things to relearn the good and relevant ones. Entrepreneurship could be all that is mentioned above but it is more than that.