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28 August 2023

6 Things I learnt on my entrepreneurial journey

Taking the plunge from a corporate job to that of entrepreneurship is simple like putting in your letter of resignation but not easy when you come to executing the actual work. It’s emotionally draining, some days you are highly motivated, some days you are just downright flat, feeling sorry for yourself, it’s such a journey that only the resilient can truelly overcome and conquer their emotions. Anyone who tells you becoming an entrepreneur is easy, has not done the work. The work is exhilarating, painful, annoying and blissful all rolled together. It is an emotional roller coaster to say the least.

These below are some of the things I learned in the course of journey, of which I am still learning and can be helpful to you. These nuggets will help you if you are just starting out to avoid making some avoidable mistakes that have the potential to derail your ambition. These nuggets will serve as reminders to the older entrepreneurs to continue doing what they already know.

  1. Do not engage in businesses you have no knowledge about

This point is so important that I had to begin with it, isn’t it pathetic to see wannabe entrepreneur go into business sectors they have no knowledge about and how money is made in those ventures. How I wish it wasn’t so but many are jumping right into ventures that they have no clue about and for the wrong reasons. Whatever business you have no knowledge about will exhaust you and drain your pocket and leave you discouraged, that you may even have to quit. The way to go is to spend quality time gaining actionable knowledge about the business you are interested in and learn how it works and how money is made before you dive into any business enterprise. 

  • Do not engage in get rich quick schemes

Because many people who want to go into business have no prior financial education, there limited understanding on how money is made makes them ideal candidates for get rich schemes. Every business venture start small as a seed before growing into a big enterprise. Many worthwhile businesses require enormous amount of knowledge and time with the promoters working for long hours behind the scene before they become successes. Therefore any business proposal that offers high returns and has no identifiable track records should be avoided at all cost, instead of putting your hard earned money into dodgy get rich scheme it is better you invest into a high yield risk free accounts, while you seek to learn the business as an apprentice for some time until you are confident enough to launch out on your own.

  • Do not dabble into business because others are doing it.

Avoid the herd mentality at all cost, learn to be authentic and be your own man. The best business decisions you will make are the ones you make yourself. It is easy to fall victim to these mentality – that since everyone is doing it and getting money, if I do it, it will be good for me. Many business go through cycles including the others you admire and may be riding the wave of a trend and you not knowing, will attribute this success to the business idea, not knowing it’s a trend that may be coming to the end of its rally. Always understand the business dynamics’ and use the knowledge to ride your own wave. Don’t be a Mr. follow follow, open your eyes, shine them korokoro and make your own decisions. The bottom line is, in the end it is your money, so make the right call.

Water villas in hotel resort, Indian ocean, Maldives
  • Start with what you have and from where you are

Start from where you are with what you have, Rome was not built in a day. You may be thinking you need to have everything perfectly to commence, what you need to start, is to start with what you have and where you are and work, learning from people who have gone before you. You may feel like an imposter but that’s okay, overtime if you don’t give up, your idea will attract all that it needs to grow. As you begin to see progress, stay with your work ethics and the abiding principles that launched you out in the first place and you will be okay. Do not stop learning, this business journey is a journey in continuous learning, stay humble and grounded and it shall be well.

  • Do not attempt to expand too fast

Do not undertake too many businesses at the same time, less is more, less is better. As you begin to see growth, you may be tempted to expand, expanding too quick has its own challenges, allow your business to grow for some years and then you will be in a good place to ask yourself whether the next necessary step for your business is to expand to other territories or other business. Until then stay nimble and continue learning and growing.

  • Do not overly rely on anyone, have a reason and mission why you want to do business and let your mission guide you

When you start a business with the mind that you are going into it to make an impact or to make a difference in your  world, then it becomes easy to cope with betrayals, loss of trust, employee disloyalty and all the bad stuff that come with the terrain. You have to be mentally prepared for this kind of things on your entrepreneurial journey. During those dark periods its only commitment to your mission that will see you moving forward, it becomes your north star, it gives your business its own reason to perpetually continue. As long as you don’t forget home (your mission) you will never lose your way.

Take away

Starting out in business will test your patience, resilience, courage and skills, you will be introduced to yourself, it’s tough from the start but if you continue at it without quitting you will succeed. Surely it will become easy as you progress and you will partake of the fruits of your labour. Learn to love the entrepreneurial journey; the experience you gather is the true capital. It can never be taken away from you. Whatever may happen on your journey because you know how money is made and how businesses are established you would replicate your success anywhere, anytime, you will never be stranded.

A family in white summer clothes walks over a wooden pier between over water lodges in the Maldives islands during their tropical vacations

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