What is entrepreneurship? Who is an entrepreneur? What and what are the “jobs” of an entrepreneur?
These are the questions I will be answering through this tutorial.
To start with, I will love to inform you that I will not go into academic definitions or formalized terminology here. I hate them. My duty is to speak in simple to understand language.
What I am going to do through this tutorial is to define entrepreneurship in my own words and then, I will share with you what other expert said in relationship with this subject.
Let`s get in.
What is entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship is the process of discovering business idea, evaluating its market potential and organizing both human and material resources to make it profitable. Stephen Afolabi
Now, let me explain this my definition.
As a potential entrepreneur, your duty is to discover business ideas, evaluate them through your market research to find out how profitable those ideas are, who and who are your competitors and how can you position yourself to get a good percentage of the market share?
Your next duty is to organize the resources needed to achieve your entrepreneurial objective, which I guess is to make money and make the world a better place.
There are two kinds of resources, human and material. You as forerunner will be responsible for putting together these resources and channel them appropriately in order to achieve your purposes.
The above definition is mine. Now I wish to share with you some of the opinions of other experts as per what entrepreneurship is all about.
“There`s lots of bad reasons to start a company. But there`s only one good reason, and I think you know what it is: it`s to change the world”. Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote.
What is Phil Libin saying here?
The primary purpose of your business is to make the world a better place. Yes, you need to make money, but that`s just a bad reason if it`s the primary reason.
I have explained this concept earlier on this website. You have to give before you get. You as an entrepreneur must see yourself as a man who wants to sell eggs for money. This man first need to buy chicks, feed them and shelter them, then these chicken start giving him eggs.
Look at the great businesses in the world.
What do you see them doing?
They are making the world a better place. Your phone is helping you to connect with your friends and family, your laptop is helping you to surf the net, the water you buy rescues you from thirst.
Virtually any and every successful business has made this world a better place.
Action: ask yourself, how can I make the world a better place? What service can I render, what product can I produce to make life easier for people in my town, city or country?
If for instance there is a service you can render better than competitors or a product you can produce better than the present competitors, then, you`re about to make money.
Is there a product you can produce cheaper or a service you can render faster? Then, you`ll make the world a better place and people will joyfully pay you for your services or product.
Ok, let`s see what another expert has to say about entrepreneurship.
“If you`re not a risk taker, you should get the hell out of business” Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald
I remember how my only brother called me to warn me, “If you eventually become poor, don`t run to me!”
To him, it is too risky to say you don`t need a job. I left school and decided never to collect my “good certificate” from school. I decided to be an entrepreneur or die.
To me, nothing else mattered than to be a business owner. To my brother (who is older than me by about 11 years), I was crazy.
You hate risk? Go get a job. Don`t try to be an entrepreneur.
From your very first day, till when you`ll become a millionaire, till when you will die, you will never have a period when you`re certain about the outcome in the business world.
Two months ago I was busy making plans about my new found marketing strategy. I worked like hell to put everything together and launched out, hoping to make it big.
I was wrong. I failed. I have to get back in to see how I can come up with a better strategy to make my business a success.
That`s how I have being living my life since the last 8/9 years.
I am not saying this to discourage you. In fact, the reason why I am here is to encourage you as your fellow African.
Listen to what Albert Einstein has to say, “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new”.
Mistakes are not the evidence of your foolishness. They are the evidence of your courage.
As you`re planning to be a business owner, be assured that the evidence that you`re growing is that you`re making mistakes.
I know below words will encourage you.
“I`m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple.
Now you see, your ability to try again after a mistake is what will make you to succeed.
One of the major reasons why we have very few successful business owners in Africa is because our culture doesn`t encourage daring and risk taking.
Whenever people see someone who is daring, trying and failing in an attempt to build a company in Africa, they stigmatize him. They advise him to ‘’stop wasting his time and go get work’’.
It happened to me, so I understand.
I have this to tell you. Be courageous. Be strong. Be willing to fight hard. At the end of the day, the same family members and friends who talk ill of you will be the ones to envy you for your business success.
Let`s listen to what someone else has to say about business and entrepreneurship.
‘It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop” Confucius.
Sometimes you are in a hurry. You want to make money fast. Usually you find yourself progressing too slow for your likeness. It happens to all of us. But you see, snail do travel miles.
Because some people don`t want to start small or grow slowly, they never start. They keep on complaining. They remain at the same spot.
The rat is waiting for someone to come and carry him to the mountain while the snail keeps moving, though slowly. When the snail will get to the top, the rat will still keep on complaining.
If truly you want to be an entrepreneur, you may have to start small and grow up. No matter how slow your speed is, as long as you keep moving, you`ll get to the top.
I love the next statement I am about to share with you.
“For all the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit your job (and start a business)? The starts will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time” Timothy Ferriss, author of the 4-hours work week.
I love the above quote because it has been my watch word since I was a boy, “don`t wait for tomorrow!” if you have being reading from us before now, you might have heard me saying that I have never started anything perfectly.
In fact, I usually get out when there is no certainty.
The first time I started a business was when I was 15.
I had nobody to tell me anything. I just followed my intuition. When I left school and went into the business world, it was very stupid to do so because I had nearly no money to start with.
Perfect time may never come for you to get started.
How to be an entrepreneur?
Start now, even if conditions are not perfect.
You will learn, grow and become an established business owner.
“Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success”. Biz Stone. Co-founder of Twitter.
When people consider making money, they think about starting a business. When people think of starting a business, they think of making money very fast.
Unfortunately it`s not working that way. Most of the rich people we consider “overnight success” today only became successful after years of trying and errors.
When I left school and was going into the business world, I was so much determined that I told myself, “even if I will have to spend 10 years in the wilderness of the business world, I will be nothing but an entrepreneur!”
Do I sound like scaring you?
I must not.
I am only preparing your mind for the journey you`re about to embark on. I love you to succeed and I know you will not if I tell you half-truth.
“In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.” David Ogilvy, co-founder of Ogilvy &Mather
After you get your business started, your most important task will be to sell. No matter how great your product or services are, if you`re not a seller, you`re not going anywhere.
To be a good seller, you have to first of all have some great marketing strategies (read that link) in place for your business.
You also have to master the art of good business relationships
When you look at some of the thoughts shared above, you might be thinking that it is too hard to be a successful entrepreneur. Yes, you`re right. It`s very though, but not “too hard”, as you might think.
The biggest problem we have in Africa is because we were never enlightened earlier in our life that we can become entrepreneurs.
Most of us were brainwashed to love job, and we never taught of becoming business owners until many of us have searched tirelessly for job and there is nor.
That`s why I hate that institution call school.
I hate school because its deceives us to love job. We should have loved business and started in the entrepreneurial journey earlier in our life, but we were never trained to be.
It`s not too late to start.
The earlier the better.
Let me also share this powerful quote with you…
“The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It`s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not dreamer”… Nolan Bushnell
Entrepreneurs are doers. Dream doesn`t lead to success, action does. I mean act now.
And I want to share the thought of this great business genius with you…
“Watch, listen, and learn. You can`t know it all. Anyone who thinks they do is destined for mediocrity.”… Donald Trump
If truly you desire to be a successful business owner, you then must be a student of business.
Believe me, you cannot get anywhere as a business owner if you`re not a reader and a learner. If there be any weapon to use in the war of business, that weapon is knowledge.
If I show you my digital library now you will see about 265 books there. Most of these books are business books on the various business topics.
Please, be a business reader.
This website is designed to teach Africans how to be successful business owners. We started this journey in September 2007. Look around and learn from our many life-changing business tutorials.
You may also check our wonderful business trainings and books.
I love you.