It has often been said that one can never become a billionaire by working for someone else. So, if your dream is to become a billionaire, you had better start thinking of solving a problem in the world by innovating, rejuvenating or inventing basic human needs. If you are looking to be an entrepreneur or you are one already, I suggest you pay keen attention to the key points raised in this piece.
An entrepreneur starts a business or organisation with little or no help; develops a business model, acquires the manpower and other required resources. The entrepreneur bears all the risks and takes all the praises of the business alone. However, all entrepreneurs do not possess the same qualities. There are differences such as their individual upbringing, values, goals, availability of capital, desirable location and how the environment they are in, supports entrepreneurship. But a common attribute shared by all entrepreneurs is their enthusiasm for success.
As an entrepreneur you MUST be a risk taker (never a risk averter or a risk neutral). Remember how many times Thomas Edison tried to create the bulb? Do not be fooled, risk is not just about the finances (capital) invested in the business. It could be that your idea is risky; it could be in hiring staff competent enough to grow your trade or the environment where your business is located might not be friendly and so on. Therefore, as an entrepreneur you must brace yourself for the harshness of the environment, for failure and other contingences. Just as Thomas Edison, you would have to be determined to reach your goal; keep pushing and understand that initial failure is part of the equation that brings forth success because truthfully if you do not fail at something first, you would not know the wrong ways that stop you from getting it right.
As an entrepreneur you must always be swimming in confidence because if you do not believe 100% in what you are venturing into, you cannot convince anyone else about it as well. Do not be scared of challenges – as an entrepreneur you must understand that the bigger the challenges you have, the bigger the rewards you would get. Do not be overly keen about the initial profit rather focus on the finish line because that is where the reward always lies. Every entrepreneur that wants to grow must have an insatiable craving for learning in order to keep abreast of information about your industry, competitors, improved technological assistance and also professional assistance that can help take your business to the next stage. You should also be able to easily adjust to conditions that will favour your business. For instance, if you invest in the road transportation business and you have a phobia for travelling long distances, you will have to overcome this fear because you may need to go in the transport a few times.
Entrepreneurs should learn to manage their own finances – at least on the basic level. So, even if you have a financial adviser, you can comprehend and monitor your financial activities. This will ensure that you do not make poor financial decisions that could ruin your business. You should make networking with your likes; other accomplished entrepreneurs a culture – you might be of help to someone or someone might render assistance to you. Also, do not forget to brand your business and yourself in the best possible way; creating a unique identity for yourself is very important because you are not the only one.
In 2004, there was an estimated 6.2 million entrepreneurs in Europe alone and by 2014 it had risen to 9 million. We are seeing that kind of growth too in Africa – in Nigeria; there are millions of entrepreneurs and a few who have managed to stand out on the world stage. Forbes’ African richest entrepreneur, Aliko Dangote, is amongst the richest men in the world.
In Nigeria, as in most developing countries of the world, it is a hard, dry soil for many entrepreneurs. You may not ‘make’ it on a wide scale at your first, second or even third attempts. However, there are success stories of entrepreneurs in Nigeria. The ones who became successful made an attempt – they put themselves out there. They are not so different from you. Let every entrepreneur keep pushing and trying – one day it MUST PAY OFF!
By Chidera Okehi.