Being an entrepreneur seems to be the “new cool” in town now. Almost everyone wants to become an entrepreneur. Maybe it’s because of how ‘posh’ the word sounds or how certain entrepreneurs seem to be flaunting their riches on social media while seeming to do little or no work.
And this has driven many men into the entrepreneurial path, unprepared—especially mentally.
The truth is entrepreneurship is NOT easy—let no one tell you otherwise.
Imagine investing your time, money and effort working on that idea of yours. And after more than 12 months of intense preparation and planning, you finally released a product/service and the market didn’t give a rat’s ass about it. You just managed to sell a couple of your products. How would that feel? It’s depressing right?
Well, that leads us to the first thing you should know about entrepreneurship.
1 Entrepreneurs are paid for Value and not for their Time
Nobody cares about the time, money, effort you spent to work on that your “big” idea. What the market is concerned is if your product/service would be valuable to them. Understand this, people will only pay for your products or service ONLY if they believe that it would bring value to them.
A while ago, there was a short report I spent 3 months to write. I researched so vigorously on that short report. But when I released it to the market, it barely sold 4 copies. However, there was another short report I spent just two hours to prepare, it ended up selling over 250 copies.
Although I spent more effort and time to prepare the first short report, it didn’t sell because it wasn’t valuable enough to my targeted audience for them to buy. But the second one was.
So before building that product or service, make sure it would be valuable to your market. Because people pay an entrepreneur based on the “VALUE” you provide to them. Unlike salary earners who are paid for their time.
Hence, before working on a product or service, do a market survey to know if there’s a need for it. Don’t just wake up one morning with an idea and jump straight into creating a product/service around it. Always do your research.
And remember, the more effort and time you spent creating a new product/service doesn’t necessarily mean it would sell better.
2. Always Start With Something You’re Interested In
Entrepreneurs are problem-solvers; solution providers. However, as you’re starting as an entrepreneur, you should start with the niche you’re interested in. Because when you’re interested in solving a problem, it won’t just be about the money for you. And at the initial stage when the cash flow is usually a little tight, you can easily persevere and continue.
That’s why it’s always advisable to learn a skill first, then build a business around the skill. For instance, if you’re web developer, you can now build a business around providing web developing services for clients. Maybe you’re a tailor, you can build a fashion business around your tailoring skill.
It’s not advisable to jump into any business you know little or nothing about, just because you heard it’s profitable—even if you’ve enough capital.
If you observe closely, you’ll notice that entertainers usually start businesses around entertainment. Most musicians have night clubs or music labels. Most Sports men start a Betting Company or a sport related business.
Why? Because they’re interested in it—they know about the business. They are passionate about it. It’s not just about the money for them. Therefore, you shouldn’t choose a niche JUST because it’s profitable. You should really be interested in it.
3. Persistence and Consistency is Non-negotiable
If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you’ve to be persistent to keep going despite failures and rejections. And you should also be consistent, showing up regularly—especially those days you feel like not showing up. Entrepreneurship is not a child’s play. Hence, there’s no room for halfheartedness. You should go all in—always give it your 100%
And if you’re not too enthusiastic about it, then it’s either you’re not interested in the niche you’re currently in, or entrepreneurship is not for you. However, know one thing, if you want to go far as an entrepreneur you must be persistent and consistent.
4. Entrepreneurs are DOERS not TALKERS
Peter Drucker once said, “Entrepreneurship is neither a Science nor an Art: it is a Practice.”
I agree with him; successful entrepreneurs are action takers. They have the courage to always START, test that idea, enter that new market, or launch that product. They do not procrastinate or make excuses and alibis.
The thing is, most of the vital lessons you’ll learn as an entrepreneur will come from your failures, mistakes and bad decisions.
Therefore, having so many awesome ideas won’t make you a successful entrepreneur. Reading every entrepreneurial book you come across and going to every business seminar in your vicinity won’t make you a great entrepreneur. What makes you a successful entrepreneur is how many of those ideas you’ve ACTED on. How much knowledge you have actually APPLIED.
Always have this at the back of your mind: “Entrepreneurs are action takers!”
5. You Need Mentors
As I mentioned earlier, the vital lessons you’ll learn as an entrepreneur will come from your failures, mistakes and bad decisions. True.
However, with the right mentors, you’ll minimize those mistakes and maximize your productivity and results. So it’ll be very wise for you to intentionally seek out mentors. Meet people who are already dominating the niche you’re in or wish to enter and learn from them.
Now, don’t just go and tell them, “Sir, I want you to be my mentor.” No nah, you must provide value to those mentors for them to agree to mentor you. If they accepted to mentor every tom, dick and harry who came to them, they wouldn’t have been that successful.
There are three major ways to get someone to mentor you:
- Use Your Time: Approach those you wish to be mentored by and offer to work for them for free. Offer to provide a particular service for them for free, maybe to setup logistics for their upcoming seminar. Just offer to do something for them for free which you feel would be valuable to them.
- Use Your Money: If you don’t have much time on your hands, you can pay for their time via private coaching. Or you can buy their books, attend their premium courses. Once you show someone how eager and committed you’re willing to learn from them; they would usually agree to mentor you.
- Make Use of Leverage: Once you’re already showing amazing potential of success, most people would jump at the opportunity of mentoring you. Fact is, everybody loves to be associated with success. For instance, I’m definitely sure that if young Mark Zuckerberg went to Warren Buffett or Bill Gate for mentorship when he launched Facebook newly (and it was already gathering momentum), they would agree to be his mentor.
Wisdom is understanding that you need mentors in life—especially as an entrepreneur. And to get a valuable one, you must first provide value or show great potential.
6. Every Entrepreneur Needs An Escape
Entrepreneurship is hard. You’ll experience failures, rejections, criticisms, disappointments and so on. Hence, you need to have a support system, something like a buffer which would help you absorb the stress and keep you sane when facing the many difficulties associated with entrepreneurial life.
Therefore, it’s vital you always surround yourself with positive and like-minded persons. Form a mastermind—people who always offer a solution for every problem and not persons who offer a problem for every solution.
Also be wary of what you feed your mind. Feed your mind with more positive contents and flee from negative contents and vibes. Finally, you need to take a break from your business sometimes; change environments. This will help you to recuperate and analyze things from a different perspective.
7. Everybody Must Not Be An Entrepreneur
Most times, I see some people—especially on the internet, shaming salary earners. Telling them the only way they could be happy and financially secure is by becoming an entrepreneur and starting their own business. Please don’t listen to them.
There’s no shame in having a job and earning a salary. Everybody is not built to be an entrepreneur. I mean, if everyone becomes an entrepreneur, who would now work in those businesses started by entrepreneurs?
However, as a salary earner, you should be smart. Learn how to develop necessary skills and qualification to quickly climb the ladders in your establishment. Save money and learn how to spot smart investments.
Being an entrepreneur is not easy. However, when it is done right, it’s very fulfilling and rewarding—to yourself, your family, immediate society and the world at large.
So before you decide to embark on your entrepreneurial journey, make sure you know what it takes and be willing to make the necessary sacrifice.
About the Author: Gerald Dike
Gerald Dike is the founder of Relationship Strategies For Men. He has helped thousands of men have better interactions and healthy relationships with women of their dreams. He is also an entrepreneur in one of the biggest countries in Africa.
You can grab his new Book here==> The Attractive Man: How to Become the Man Who Women Desire And Chase