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Entrepreneurship Success – Putting Everything Together!

“Nothing ventured. Nothing gained.” – Old adage   Over the last one hundred weeks, I tried to bring out the principles and practices that would…

Nothing ventured. Nothing gained.” – Old adage

 

Over the last one hundred weeks, I tried to bring out the principles and practices that would help us to succeed as entrepreneurs and develop a flourishing entrepreneurship culture in our country. At the end, there are just a few core principles of success. They are timeless and it is only matters of details, such as how we do what we may need to do, that change. In my book, ‘SAIL YOUR BOAT – Success is a Lifestyle and a Journey’, I presented those success imperatives as Knowledge, Action, Relationships, Integrity, and Compartmentalization. In addition to these personal factors, environmental factors such as macroeconomic realities serve either as enablers or boundary conditions to what we may want or be able to do.

Everything we have discussed in this column revolved around those imperatives and factors and are now in my book, ‘MINDFUL ENTREPRENEURSHIP – Insightful Business Management Philosophies and Practices for Success’. So, as we draw the curtain on this column today, I will try to bring out a few core issues of great importance:

Purpose: In going into entrepreneurship, you will need to start with a purpose. Parallel to that you will need to provide leadership to yourself and those you will be working or associating with.

Business ideas and opportunities: Ideas and opportunities come up from various sources and situations.  What is important is to always carry an open mind and be alert. We may start with what we are passionate about but other times the passion follows the success of what we do.

It is about value: Don’t start a business with a preoccupation of the money you may make. Rather, start with a value proposition that your target customers will be willing to pay for at a price that is profitable to you. Serve the customers well and then the money will flow.

Study what you want to do: Always study what you want to do very well. Continuously develop yourself and challenge your people to develop themselves. Your competence and edge in drawing winning strategies and plans will be dependent on what you and your people know.

Your people: Your most important assets will be your people. You can overcome employee poor work attitude in our country by getting passionate and competent people, creating your own bubble, and building a desired corporate culture within it.

Raising funds: Raising funds is possible. However, you will need to demonstrate competence and be forthright, thorough, and diligent. There are processes and etiquettes of raising funds from investors and creditors. Understanding and abiding by them will help you tremendously.

Action! Success is largely determined by what you do irrespective of your brilliant ideas, opportunities and the relationships you may have. Thus, you and your people must have great propensity to act as may be desired or required. You have to be collectively untiring and resilient.

Keep your word! Dishonesty might give you short-term ‘advantages’ but it is always found out and will hurt you real big in the long run, soiling your reputation and making sustainable success so much more difficult. Always say only what you mean to do and always do what you promised.

Relationships: Relationships are great levers to attaining success and remaining successful. Build, nurture and protect relationships. In so doing though, be genuinely interested in others, sincere and congruent and always seek to be of value to your circles.

Be on the right side of the law: Getting ourselves voluntarily into the formal business sector comes at initial and recurring costs. But it gives us legitimacy and voice as well create opportunities. Be in compliance of all applicable regulations and also keep proper records.

There will be problems! Success in business and indeed life in general is not the absence of problems and challenges. As an entrepreneur, you should learn to be ‘comfortable’ with challenges and problems but more importantly, competent in handling them.

 

The entrepreneurial opportunities in Nigeria are literally without limit and it is all just up to us to do what we make of them. So, as we draw the curtain on The Entrepreneur column, I sincerely hope you are already or will soon be out making your contribution. I am available for any advisory that may be required. Next week, I will start ‘The Retirement Planner’ column in this paper. It will focus on how employees and individual employers (such as entrepreneurs) can wisely plan for a desired lifestyle in their retirements. The Retirement Planner will be appropriate for those just starting out in their careers/businesses as those about to retire. Similarly, it will be relevant for those in our public service as those in the private sector. A purposeful retirement life of meaning and in good health is possible. But we must plan for it!

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