Entrepreneurship: The way to go but not the easy way out

Entrepreneur.jpe The unemployed are venturing into entrepreneurship

Wed, 3 May 2017 Source: Tetteh Nathaniel Guamah

In a continent where about 50% of young graduates are unemployed and which also records the world’s highest rate of working poverty-employed people who earn less than 2 dollars a day, there can be no better place and time to encourage individuals to venture into entrepreneurship in order to create wealth for themselves as well as for other people directly and indirectly.

It is therefore heartwarming to see the current trend where most young Africans are becoming increasingly gingered to start up their own businesses and in few cases, nurturing them to become giant companies and corporations.

In fact, the remedy for alleviating poverty in Ghana and Africa at large, is highly dependent on the private sector, rather than on grants and aids from foreign donors.

The part of this news that is worrying however, is the misperception of most young people that setting up a business is a shortcut to infinite wealth and prosperity; a situation which has gotten a lot of young entrepreneurs scoring very low on the ‘resilience scale’.

The focus of this publication therefore, is to inform as well as expose young entrepreneurs and those already in business in order that they would have a realistic picture of the situation before they make that bold decision to become entrepreneurs. It is not to discourage but rather to toughen up entrepreneurs to be better prepared for the task they have chosen to embark on.

First of all, entrepreneurship is not the easy way out. Most of the stories that we listen to and read from successful entrepreneurs paint this fallacious picture that once you decide to start a business, you are automatically bound for success within a few weeks or months with minimal effort. The creamy part of the story is always what we are told, leaving behind the dirty and exhausting behind the scenes efforts that accumulate over time to get the business to its intended destination.

Unless you are Donald Trump and are fortunate enough to get a one million dollar loan from your father to set up your business, you will sweat and perhaps fall down so many times before you eventually get to your destination. If you think your current job is stressful, I tell you what, entrepreneurship is not your easy escape. Right from servicing loans with your meagre initial profits, to confronting stiff competition from already established brands in your line of business, you are sure to have more headaches, though the rewards can be overwhelming eventually.

Furthermore, your thinking prowess cannot be average as an entrepreneur. I tell you what, running a business is the most mentally demanding situation you can ever find yourself in. Running a business requires you to be highly creative and innovative and that means that you will for once, have to use your head for its ideal purpose instead of hairdos (lol). A mentally lazy person will not survive in the jungle of entrepreneurship. Marketing, customer relation and branding trends are always changing and there would always be the need for you to match up to the accompanying effects of these changing trends, if you want your business to survive. In fact, even coming up with a business idea is not an easy task, especially in an environment where our school system positions us as homogenous drones who are programmed to memorize information and just reproduce it as a mark of excellence. The school system is has zero stimulus for creativity and therefore if you personally do not learn that by reading good books or materials, then you may start your business, but it will be bound for failure.

Moving on, you have to realize that you need four eyes to become a successful entrepreneur. This might sound a bit awkward but let’s look at an interesting analogy, using the example of a car. Every modern car has two main lights; the dim lights and the high lights. The dim light is okay when driving anyway, but turning on the high lights at night helps the driver see further on the road on which he is travelling and thereby avoid bumps which may not show properly, using the dim light only. This is exactly what happens in the life of an entrepreneur. You need your high lights to enable you see beyond your immediate surrounding. A good entrepreneur should always think and see a day ahead, a week ahead, a month ahead, a year ahead and a millennium ahead. This enables you to foresee what others would not be able to and so it positions you to tap into opportunities long before your contemporaries ever realize it.

Going on, there will some crying days for you and you need to learn how to chew pain like a box of candies. The thing is that, once you start your business, you will become highly attached to it because all your effort and resources would be committed to a course which has a 50 percent chance apiece of success or failure. Therefore, the slightest shake that happens to the business would send shivers straight down your spine. Usually, a business would register some losses during the initial stages until it finds its levels gradually and then profits begin to rake in. Now the tears, is between the period when you record losses and make some costly mistakes, and the time your profits begin to pile up. Many people who have witnessed this turbulent periods have given up on their businesses and this accounts for why according to Forbes, nine out of every ten start-ups established each year crash and only 1 makes it through the first year. This is not to scare or discourage you, but you have to be resilient in your desire and you have to want it more than you are afraid of it.

The last misperception for the purpose of this particular publication that I want to clear, is the mindset that entrepreneurship is where you take a break from all work-related pressure. My dear reader, entrepreneurship is not the place of rest that you so desire. In fact being an entrepreneur comes with constant work which actually bloats as your business expands. For instance at the initial stages, it is normally you running everything by yourself and so you are able to better co-ordinate the various aspects of the business. But as the business grows, you hire employees and you need to monitor them, you may need to service loans, you have to appraise your employees to see who is underperforming among a tall list of responsibilities. Put all these together and tell me how you still think you can venture into entrepreneurship to rest.

In conclusion, it is my supreme objective for my readers to note that owning a business is the most rewarding venture one may go into if everything is done right.

However, it is a continuous tedious process and all potential entrepreneurs would have to be exposed to the nitty-gritties in order to position themselves well to become part of the one percent club whose businesses stand the test of time. Giving up your career or comfort zone to pursue entrepreneurship is a very delicate decision to take and therefore you must be resolute in your stand as this would help you put in proper mechanisms to sour your business to higher heights. Thanks for your time and I hope this has been useful to you. See you at the top!

By: Tetteh Nathaniel Guamah


Email: teegeenathans@gmail.com

Columnist: Tetteh Nathaniel Guamah