The growing unemployment, resulting from a receding economy, is breeding a rising rank of individuals who opt to be entrepreneurs as an escape route from the pangs of poverty. Sadly, more than a few aspiring entrepreneurs have little or no knowledge of what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurship is the art of designing and creating new business enterprises. The prime mover bears the associated risks, in the hope of making profits in case of success. While a budding entrepreneur must know the ins and outs of starting and growing a business, many aspiring entrepreneurs hold false ideas about their proposed line of work. Here are three illusions about entrepreneurship:
1. The Entrepreneur As Boss: There is the widespread impression that entrepreneurs are the bosses because they are the creators, founders or chief executives of their businesses. This notion is reinforced by the fact that they have a strong voice in making the decisions that determine the amount of money or income the business makes, and the products and services it creates. That thinking has some truth in it, especially within the corporate environment where the entrepreneur apparently has the last word.
The complete truth, however, is that the entrepreneur has a real boss, the customer. The key decisions made by the boss are influenced by, and tailored to satisfy the customers of the business, the people who pay the entrepreneur by buying the products and services offered by the business. Yes. The consumer, the customer is the boss. They are the sources of the sales and income for the business. Without them, the business fails.
2. Entrepreneurs Get-Rich-Quick: Many people itch to start their businesses in the hope of getting rich overnight. People with this mindset are often disappointed because that rarely happens in the real world. Start-ups usually face the proverbial teething problems, and may face various challenges like slow sales, low profit and weak cash flow. When businesses encounter these difficult times, as they always do, the faint-hearted entrepreneurs may give up.
Experience shows that overnight success is the stuff of fiction. Business is not a 100-metre dash. It’s almost always a marathon race. It takes time for a new product or service to gain traction in the marketplace. It takes time before a new business to start making money. It is a gradual process, with ups and downs, for a new business to start making profits. These require hard work and perseverance. Every successful entrepreneur knows this.
3. The Entrepreneur Is Superhuman: Not really. The entrepreneur bears responsibilities as a leader. The entrepreneur is self-confident, knows what he or she wants and goes for it. The entrepreneur focuses on ways to improve himself or herself and the business. The entrepreneur thinks in ways that will enable him or her to overcome challenges. The entrepreneur makes difficult decisions with a view to helping the business to generate money.
Entrepreneurship requires a lot of skills for a person to start and grow a business. Entrepreneurs know their business inside out, which enables the smooth running of the business. But they don’t have to be superhuman. They don’t need to know it all. Or be jacks of all trades. What they need is the ability and willingness to learn within and outside their chosen spheres of business. Above all, entrepreneurs must understand that they cannot do it alone. They must work with teams of managers, particularly when their businesses begin to grow.
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