Entrepreneurship is a mindset – a way of thinking and acting. It is about imagining new ways to solve problems and create value. Fundamentally, entrepreneurship is about the ability to recognize and methodically analyze an opportunity, and ultimately, to capture its value.
An Entrepreneur is someone who exercises initiative by organizing a venture to take benefit of an opportunity and, as the decision maker, decides what, how, and how much of a good or service will be produced.
An entrepreneur supplies risk capital as a risk taker, and monitors and controls the business activities. The entrepreneur is usually a sole proprietor, a partner, or the one who owns the majority of shares in an incorporated venture.
According to economist Joseph Alois Schumpeter (1883-1950), entrepreneurs are not necessarily motivated by profit but regard it as a standard for measuring achievement or success
There are some common things you should expect when you first go into business for yourself. On the first day, you create your business plan. That night you go to bed at a regular hour and then wake up to several mails and text messages from some big time investors wanting to make your dreams come true. That’s when the cool party invites start rolling in and you get to meet some celebrities. After a few months you sell your company and start sleeping on top of millions of naira like the instagram guy.
Actually, the life of an Entrepreneur as a startup is not such a glamorous one as early as at It's been five years since I started my first venture and I’m very proud of the growth my company has gone through. But it’s been a hard road to get here. My life has gone through some changes.
But I wouldn’t change the last year. Because despite the hours that I keep and the sacrifices I’ve had to make, I have had an amazing time. And I’ve gained a lot of wisdom. Here are just five things I've picked up along the way.
You have to go fast. You know what happens when you wait too long to execute on an idea? Lots of things. But none of it is good. You sit at happy hours with friends discussing your idea and some mild acquaintance will shout, “Oh, I totally agree! Because I thought of that too!” And then you hear someone on the radio talking about “Wouldn’t it be nice if this was invented?” And then you see it pop up one day on the internets. And there it is. The thing you didn’t create because you were too busy over-analyzing and twiddling your thumbs.
If I can impart any wisdom on you today, it’s…go faster. If you have an idea and you’re passionate about it, don’t wait. Startups must ship constantly (a product, an idea, a service, whatever) to be relevant. If you’re sitting on your idea for years and years, you’re not shipping. And someone else will gladly do it.
The people who most suffer in this department? Perfectionists. If you're one of those, either change yourself or bring on someone who can push you to go live quickly. Because if you spend all your time tweaking and touching up and making it shiny and pretty, someone else will beat you to it.
Be smart about the money. I probably should have put this as my first bullet point. Money is critical to a startup. Because…uhh…you need it? In this first year of founding and as I've started coaching off the side of my desk, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the money part of starting a business. And also about the survival mode to stay afloat (because that’s actually a thing -- needing to stay afloat). Where do you get it? What did the business plan look like? Who invests? What’s a VC?
Let me tell you this. Don’t not start something simply because you don’t have the money. So here it is again. Don’t miss out on building a great company out of a great idea just because you don’t have the cash.
I didn’t start out searching for a Venture Capital, or big investors, although many do and that's ok. I instead went with a different path and it’s worked out very well for the vision I have for this business. If you are even remotely thinking of starting your own business and aren’t fiercely connected into the world of startups or rich people, consider going this route. Because you know all the friends, family and even strangers who get excited when you talk about your idea
Launch out there. This could vary by business, but most of the time it’s quite healthy to get out there. In public. Around humans. After becoming the sole founder of my business soon after launch, I knew it was critical that I got out there vs. drowning in Cheetos sitting quietly at my desk working online into the wee hours of the night.
If you’re just starting out, I highly recommend you attend as many conferences, networking events and whatever else that puts you in front of people who know what they’re talking about. One of my best decisions was attending the an online business network seminar in the year 2015 .
Embrace the imposter syndrome. I’ll be quick with this one. One of the first problems I ran into as the founder of a startup was the imposter syndrome. It’s the first day you take a call that changes things, or meet someone who’s been dying to meet you, or win that award. It happens when you look in the mirror one day and aren’t sure you know what you’re talking about, but feel like you’re getting pretty good at whatever it is. Embrace those moments; they make sure you keep your feet on the ground during the great moments and your head high in the bad ones.
Keep company with the right people. This past year has taught me so much about people. From a business perspective, you can get yourself a great fortune while surrounding your self with the right people.
You need to value the right relationship you have to know how to manage parasitic relationship, relationship that exist just because they keep taking and taking away from you.
You need profitable beneficial, mutually exclusive relationship where both parties benefit from each other. You might be an Accountant by profession also an Entrepreneur having a friend who is a learned lawyer will help you when you need to make some legally related decisions.
My biggest learning from this past year is to lean heavily on your personal connections, your friends and of course, your family. You learn quickly who understands this new direction you’re taking your life and who’s fair weather. To start out on this kind of endeavor, you need people around you who will stick with you no matter what’s going on in the business world. You will need an outlet, sounding boards, people to share ideas with…you simply can’t go it alone in all aspects. Make sure you’ve got a solid network together before you embark on this journey, you need them. You need support.You can’t do it alone.
Above all, be strong and believe in the journey you’re about to start. It will be hard and it will be amazing. And then grab a tight hold of the right people around you to cheer you on, to pick you up if you’re down and support you as you begin to do what the quote (taped to my computer monitor) suggests…
“Close your eyes and jump. Enjoy the freefall. Choose exhilaration over comfort. Magic over predictability. Potential over safety. Be bold. Be fierce. Be grateful, wild, crazy and gloriously free. Be you.”