Fear Of Failure: Symptoms, Causes And How To Overcome it

Virtually everyone in or starting a new business has the fear of failure.

As an entrepreneur or freelancer you’ll have questions such as can I finance this business, is my idea crappy, can I grow this business? And the one we all have – “will this business fail?”.

I can tell you for free I also have the fear of failure.

A freelance company commissioned me to write the website content for another company that’s just developing its website.

In excitement I went through the company’s whitepaper and other documents to have an understanding of the company. Whilst doing this fear grips me.

Crippling fear that I couldn’t put pen to paper. Thinking hope I won’t mess this up, hope I won’t under deliver and every other negative thoughts you can imagine.

I read and reread every single document I was sent for the job. Even went on LinkedIn to read up on the CEO and other key staff. Seeing their achievements scared me more and I almost turned down the job. Thence wondering what could I possibly write to impress these Masters and Doctorate holders in physics and other fields.

I remember my favorite quote and decide to take the risk.

The only thing stopping you is you. – Unknown.

Fear of failure

And that’s when it occurred to me that I actually have the fear of failure to deal with before I can do the gig.

You are probably thinking “no I don’t have the fear of failure”. Well below are signs to help you determine if you actually do or not.

Signs of fear of failure

  • Concentrating on mundane tasks

If you find yourself concentrating on unimportant tasks – procrastinating, rather than working on your project at hand, you are experiencing fear of failure.

  • Lowering your goals

If you set a goal to hit the sky then turn around to say you want to hit the roof top that’s a symptom of fear of failure. You are scared you can’t hit the sky as you first thought.

  • Lowering expectations.

Lowering your / people’s expectations of you. When there’s fear you downplay your expectations of the result you can achieve. Likewise you sell yourself short to people. Because you fear you will underperform or deliver on the job.

  • Over planning and researching

Do you over plan or over research before you take on a project? That’s a sign of fear right there. It makes you keep planning, thinking you are missing something out. When you actually aren’t.

Causes of fear of failure

  • Previous failures

Past failures can cause you to freeze in fear whenever there’s a job to be done. Because it’ll keep recurring in your mind if you don’t get past it.

  • Scared of criticism

Not everyone takes criticism well especially when it comes from loved ones. But if your reaction to criticism is extreme that’s fear rearing its ugly head.

  • Being unsure of yourself

When you constantly doubt yourself it might just be fear trying to talk you into giving up.

  • Perfectionism

If you are like me you are probably a perfectionist. When I’m contracted to do a job I go overboard to ensure I give my best. Even when the job is done and dusted I keep hanging on to it thinking it’s not yet perfect and there’s something I ought to do to make it perfect. This is a clear sign of fear of failure.

How to overcome fear of failure in business

  • Forget past failures.

Learn the lessons from your experience, forget the failure and look ahead.

  • Imagine success.

Write down your goals, better still have a vision board.

Fear of failure

If you can dream it you can achieve it . – Zig Ziglar.

  • Dwell on your wins

Create a “Win folder” on your phone, computer or where you can easily find it. Either small or big wins. And whenever fear grips you just go through this file and get uplifted.

  • Have SMART goals.

Set small goals to achieve big goals. Having a big goal is scary on its own so break it down into bits. For example rather than setting a goal to sell millions in a year break it down to sell a couple of thousands in a day.

  • Believe in yourself.

Be positive. Use mantras if you have to.

  • Keep learning.

Never stop learning. Only the dead stops learning. There’s always something new to learn.

  • Face your worst case scenario

Fear makes you think the worst will happen so ask yourself what’s the worst thing that can happen if you fail. Then face that scenario. You will realize it’s not that bad.

  • Experiment

Always see a new project first as an experiment. Simulate situations that can arise while doing that project and proffer solutions. This prepares you ahead for the real deal.

It’s normal to feel fear when you are about to embark on a project but don’t let it talk you out of doing what you have to do.

Funny thing is when I finished the job I spoke of earlier the only complaint is I overpromised on their services. I promised their readers more than they are willing to deliver. Asides that they were cool with every other thing. Let’s just say I was over excited on their behalf.

So if you can set aside your fear and go ahead, you will discover fear is just a tool to help you do better than your average.

The best line to tow with your fear of failure is to see it as your ally and not a bad thing. And if you do fail eventually – know this – failure isn’t a bad thing, it’s what you do after the failure that counts.

What’s been your experience with failure? Do share in the comments.

How To Create A Positive Mental Attitude: 14 Ways

Have you ever imagined what would have happened if Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg didn’t have a positive mental attitude? We won’t have Apple and Facebook as we know it.

As an entrepreneur or business person it’s very essential to possess a positive mental attitude. Because you will need it to pull through the tough times.

People will wear you out with their negative opinions. Also there’s a tiny voice in your head that will repeatedly tell you it won’t work. Hence the saying a man’s own enemy is himself.

Positive mental attitude

It’s going to be a battle between you and your mind. How do you win a struggle you didn’t prepare for? A positive mental attitude is your weapon to win this tug of war.

This is why you need to create a positive mental attitude.

As a student I had the idea to open shop selling haircare and beauty products.

Though I was already selling on a smaller scale. But I never opened shop. I chickened out because I mentally beat myself out of it.

I can’t remember if I shared the idea with my friend but over time she opened shop and was successful.

Likewise there were other opportunities that came my way which I talked myself out of. Thence costing me so much.

Eventually I realized the negative thoughts were denying me of openings and I had to overcome it.

To deal with the negativity I had to read books, articles, listen to some recordings and recite affirmations. During my struggle I came across some helpful tips which I’ll share with you.

Positive mental attitude

How To Create A Positive Mental Attitude

  • Before anything you need to believe in yourself. Write down all the negative thoughts you have and trash it.
  • Picture yourself as a success. If you can see it you can achieve it.
  • Speak positively about everything in your life for at least 24hours. About your job, business, health, future etc. Screenshot as many positive affirmation memes you can find and look at them at intervals.
  • Repeat step above at least twice a week.
  • Feed your mind with positive thoughts. It will knock off the negative thoughts. Counter any negative attitude with positive attitude.
  • Move with positive minded people. Weed off the naysayers.
  • Consciously avoid arguing with naysayers wherever you find yourself.
  • Rid your mind off obstacles you have built over the years.
  • Be thankful for everything you have going.
  • Find your own path. Don’t copy others
  • Exercise alot.Positive mental attitude
  • Relax. Take time off and just chill.
  • Be a giver. Bless people and be good to them.
  • Choose to be happy. Always consciously choose to be happy when the gloom sets in. Happiness is a decision only you can make for yourself.
  • And if you are a person of faith like myself pray and read the good book.

Conclusion

In addition years of negative thinking will not disappear in a day but if you keep at these tips be rest assured you will create a positive mental attitude.

It won’t just help you as an entrepreneur but all facets of life as you know it. Being you a product of your thoughts you need to change your mindset of you and your business.

If this article speaks to you or you have other tips that can help do drop a comment. 

Business idea is not a business opportunity

A Business Idea Is Not A Business Opportunity: The Difference

A business idea is not a business opportunity. Have you heard this before and thought well it can’t be true?

As a business owner or aspiring business owner repeat this to yourself for emphasis:

A business idea is not a business opportunity.

There are differences as you will see in a minute.

But first

What Is A Business Idea?

Every successful business starts with a powerful business idea. When establishing a business the first step is having an idea. Which anyone can come up with. So not just any idea but a promising one.

The characteristics of a promising business idea are:

  • Innovative – Has it been done before or are you improving on what’s been done?
  • Unique – What’s the USP (Unique Selling Point)? How’s it different from the competition’s? Does the value differentiate yours from your competition’s?
  • Problem solving – What problem does it help the customer solve? What does the client benefit?
  • Profitable – Will it earn money? Will it cover the costs and more? It has to be profitable on the long-term.

Business idea is not a business opportunity

  • Market – Is there a market for it? Are you creating a market? Will your created market willingly accept and adapt the idea? A promising business idea must offer a product or service that would be accepted by a large market.

Business Opportunity

The opportunity to make income as a business owner. It’s an existing and well packaged business investment that allows the buyer to profit from a business idea.

Elements of a business opportunity

  • A need.
  • The means to fulfill the need.
  • A method to apply the means to fulfill the need.
  • A method to benefit.

A business idea is not a business opportunity except it has been proven to make profit. Because an idea is just an idea till there’s return on investment (ROI). Then it evolves into an opportunity.

Though business ideas are innovative no one will continue to sponsor a money losing venture.

A business idea is not a business opportunity till it’s able to answer the following questions:

  • Will the product or service add significant value (benefits) to the end user?
  • How many people will buy the product/ service?
  • Will the business be profitable? Is there an apparatus in place to ensure the business breaks even and also makes profit within 12 months – 36 months?Business idea is not a business opportunity

 

  • Do you have the money to start and operate this business? Because the capital invested must be realistic and affordable for you.
  • Does it have the potential for residual income?
  • Does it have a low level of liability risk and high level of returns?
  • Will the business idea fit into the four basic capital factors: human capital (the staff you employ, skills and abilities you acquired during your career); sociological capital (your networks and support groups); psychological capital (your attitudes, values, opinions and beliefs); and financial capital.
  • Are you ready and willing to drive the business to success? You must be very enthusiastic.
  • Will it improve with time?
In Conclusion

Reading through this you have seen a business idea is not a business opportunity. Rather a business idea evolves into an opportunity.

So how does a business idea evolve into an opportunity? Through conducting market research on your idea, feasibility study, writing a business plan and working with a business team to ensure its success.

Do share your thoughts in the comments. 

lose customers

How Not To Lose Customers To Staff/ Competition

Did you lose customers to your staff/ competition?

Did you know you are 405 times more likely to be struck by lightning than not lose customers to your staff/ competition when you aren’t performing as expected.

This is the experience era. People don’t just buy goods and services anymore they also buy experience. For every bad experience your clients get you lose them and potential customers they could refer to you due to the fast spread of word of mouth. And technology has made it so easy for customers to switch loyalty just by a click on their devices.

When you lodge at a resort that gives you the Wow experience you tell your family and friends about your wonderful experience. Likewise if you have a bad experience you will tell everyone that cares to listen. Bear in mind that as humans we like to exaggerate and bad news travels faster. The people that listened to your tales will form their opinion of the place from your experience. Thus affecting the patronage of the resort.

In the scheme of things a customer knows, likes then trusts a company to do business with it. If the company keeps exceeding expectations it progresses into buy, repeat and best of all refer.

But when a company becomes cocky there’s a decline into distrust, you lose customers and eventually failure/ closure of the business.

As much as you strive to render top-of-the-range products/ services ensure your customer care and delivery people don’t cause you to lose customers.

How Not To Lose customers to your former staff/ competition.

Take care to avoid the following so you do not lose your hard earned clients:

  • Lackadaisical Attitude

As a business owner or entrepreneur you should eat, drink, breathe and sleep your business. You should be your Chief marketer and Ambassador not your staff.
There’s a make-up artist who works in the entertainment industry. She’s always sending her PA to represent her everywhere. Hardly meets with her clients. Her PA was practically the face of her business.

She had a major client who needed to do a project abroad. The client side-lined her and sent her PA abroad for the job on a retainer. That’s how she lost a big opportunity. Thence the PA now has her own booming business.
The client said they don’t know or trust her hence them snatching her PA.

  • Overreaching

You should not over promise and under-perform. Don’t sell what you can’t deliver. Clients will lose their trust in you. Do realize your customers can find the same quality for a lower price elsewhere.

A good example is don’t prolong things unnecessarily. An online store decided to make their Black Friday deals last one month. I had forgotten and made an order 3 weeks into their Black Friday. I waited patiently to no avail. After a week I called customer care to find out what the problem was. And was told the delay was due to the Black Friday rush.

Their normal mode of operation is you make an order and someone calls to confirm your order. But due to the rush no one from customer care called to confirm my order. And things got mixed up. As I write this post on Jan 22nd, 2018 I’m still waiting for my refund from 20th Dec.

They say they are the online store to trust but I had to tell them I no longer trust them. The customer care person that attended to me said they were short-staffed. In this case contract staff should have been employed to cater to confirmation and delivery.

  • Employee Dissatisfaction

When your employees are dissatisfied that’s the first thing a customer notices about your business. Thus the saying the happiness of your clients depends on the happiness of your staff.

I did have a boss who always promised to pay commissions, he never did. Neither did he create a comfortable work environment. Overtime three of the Sales reps left and individually set up the same business. Also took along with them a sizable chunk of his customers. He had to make trips to visit the customers to see if he could redeem some and his image. Unfortunately he only won back few.

  • Poor Customer Service

If possible record the conversations that your customer care personnel have with your clients. And for walk in clients ensure you have a supervisor that keeps your customer service in check. Consistency, reliability, and responsiveness is key to retaining your clients.

  • Overworked and Understaffed

Remember the online store I mentioned above? The delivery men were outright rude and under-performing. It was while discussing with one he said he had to deliver items to 70 places that same day. Clearly he’s overworking and it’s taking its toll on him.

lose customers

  • Lack of product knowledge

A typical example of this is where I buy my fish feed from. I dialed the number on the receipt to ask if a brand of feed was available, in what size and amount. The guy that picked couldn’t answer my questions. He spoke like he didn’t even work there yet he did. Due to his ignorance I went elsewhere to make my purchase.

  • Refusal to reward customer loyalty

Nothing gladdens the heart of your customer more than knowing they are appreciated. Reward your customers either old or new. Think of creative ways to recompense them. It could be as little as calling on their birthdays or anniversaries. Also you can give awards to them.

In Conclusion

Study shows that it is 5 to 25 times more expensive to acquire new customers than to retain new ones. So you may want to think twice before you lose your existing clients. Avoid having a lackadaisical attitude to your business, reward customer loyalty, know your products and services, don’t overreach, improve your customer service, don’t overwork your staff and ensure your staff feel like they are part of the family.

Does Knowledge Come At A Price? Think Remarkable Results For Your Business

As an entrepreneur does knowledge come at a price?

What do you think is a fair price to pay for knowledge? What’s the highest monetary value you are willing to exchange for knowledge that will improve your business?

How far would you go to acquire knowledge that will boost your business? Or will you continue to do things as you have always done without results?

You are probably wondering why I’m asking these questions. Well I had an experience that got me thinking and prompted me to ask.

Does knowledge come at a price?

A friend called me to say his cousin started fish farming without prior knowledge and needed my help. So I asked to speak with him.

Does knowledge come at a price

He handed the phone to his cousin and a conversation ensued between us.

I asked him what the problem was. And realized that without experience of any sort he got into fish farming. He had managed to rear them for four months and had sold a portion.

He didn’t even know he was meant to have a scale to measure the fish for sale. Thence the guy that bought it capitalized on his ignorance and cheated him.

Likewise he was feeding them wrongly, using the size of feed that wasn’t age appropriate and he didn’t know fish was sold per Kg. Amongst other things he didn’t know.

I gave him some nuggets to acquaint himself with the basics. The major problem required I get to his farm to see things for myself and tell him what he could do to solve the problem.

Because his farm is quite a distance from me I asked he pay my transport fare and also buy me lunch. Since I will be at his farm for a while answering his questions.

Does Knowledge Come At A Price

He thanked me for the free info I had given him saying it was enough to turn around things on his farm. And he would keep experimenting as he had been doing previously. With the hope he will eventually get things right.

I was marveled because his previous ways had cost him some loss running to thousands. Rather than give me less than a tenth of it he was willing to incur more loss.

He wasted resources trying to do fish farming without prior experience when he could have just paid a consultant/ experienced person to learn the basic stuff.

Madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

So I respected his decision and minded my business.

I later realized I had given too much information for free. I guess it’s because I was doing a friend a favour.

He preferred his money going down the drain to paying for my services. So it got me thinking that does knowledge come at a price?

How much are you willing to pay to acquire knowledge for your business success. And wouldn’t you rather save some money while still seeking knowledge the right way?

Would you rather choose to let money go down the drain playing guessing games or would you pay a fair price for knowledge?

I would love to read your thoughts in the comment section.

Sick And Tired? Here Is My Hack To Deal With Entrepreneur Anxiety

As an entrepreneur at one point or the other you have to deal with entrepreneur anxiety.

Business and entrepreneurship has always been my thing. Right from elementary school I just wanted to buy and sell.

I bought sweets\ candies to resell. I wrote stories and got a boy to draw cartoons for me which I sold.

Though I didn’t sell much while in secondary school I did a lot of trade by barter. If I had or could do something I gave it in exchange for what I needed.

In the university I sold everything from costume jewelry, self-made beaded jewellery, G-strings, cosmetics to clothes. I encouraged my male colleagues to buy gifts for their female friends and relatives so they could buy something from me. I just sold and sold.

My National Youth Service Days (NYSC) weren’t left out. I didn’t stop selling. I even sold my personal stuffs for the right price when people expressed interest in them.

Here I was thinking I will definitely go into business after getting my degree. Hence my being a serial entrepreneur.

But reality hit me hard when I moved back home after my NYSC. My parents were on my case to get a real job and start earning.
I tried all I could to convince them to let me do business to no avail.

So four months later I started working but I couldn’t continue my business due to pressure from the job.

And that’s when the anxiety first started due to the stress of juggling my business with a job.

I realized I had to deal with entrepreneur anxiety.

Deal with entrepreneur anxiety

Finally after four years of being an employee I’m finally doing my own thing. My parents are still on my case though but I’ve grown a thicker skin.

People say I’m lucky doing my own thing forgetting I’m carrying quite a heavy burden on my shoulders. I’m performing several job roles to reduce cost as a small business.

I’m in the agriculture sector which means I don’t make an income regularly like everyone else.
It doesn’t mean I don’t pay bills in the period I don’t earn (business and personal).

Likewise there have been times I didn’t even earn my cost price talkless of profits due to things beyond my control.

But I keep trudging on because I can’t afford to give up. And I just deal with entrepreneur anxiety that these situations cause.

Also I get rejected and turned down after pitching to a client. There are days I just roam the house in my house wear devising means of how to get out of my latest rut. So yes it gets real.

This is the life of a full time entrepreneur.

As an entrepreneur people see you out there looking good but don’t know your struggles.

Deal with entrepreneur anxiety

I can’t even vent to my own parents when I’m crossing certain hurdles because they will say “didn’t we tell you to get a real job with security?”

But I finally learnt how deal with entrepreneur anxiety. It was hard at first but I kept going at it.

I can’t say I’ve fully gotten over it but it’s under control these days.

And these are the steps I took to get there:

How I Deal With Entrepreneur Anxiety

• Identify and Acknowledge

I had to consciously identify what the problem was and admit it was anxiety. At first it was scary to admit. But I understood eventually that I had to acknowledge the problem to overcome it.

• Prioritise and Plan

Prioritising my goals in order of importance helped to lessen the pressure. I plan my days ahead now and it helps tremendously.

I do the most important things first and I answer the most important mails/ messages first. If it’s not urgent I leave it for another day.

• Boycott Thinking Entirely

These days I avoid thinking entirely when I have a business related issue. I simply blank out. This was quite hard to do initially but with meditation, prayer, music, happy-ending movies and dance it got easier. I try to be mentally tough to deal with entrepreneur anxiety.

• Break Issues

Break down issues into lumps and goals into chunks. Have a go at it one after the other. Set goals daily. Now I set my goals into tasks I can accomplish daily.

• Celebrate Small Victories

And accomplishments. Be grateful. Also keep a journal (write them down). I celebrate every milestone no matter how small it seems and it really helps.

Dr. Emiliana Simon-Thomas said in a CBS piece that studies consistently show that people who keep a gratitude journal are 25 percent happier than those who don’t.

The people who had the gratitude journal showed increases in happiness, reductions in stress, reductions in vulnerability to physical symptoms, such as headaches.

While Wood et al examined gratitude and well being in the context of personality style using a sample of 389 adults.

In this study, gratitude was strongly linked to well being.

Thereafter the researchers concluded that gratitude has a unique relationship with life satisfaction.

• Take Breaks

Step out of isolation. Interact with friends and family. Break the cycle of work. If you are a solopreneur share office space at least for some days in the week. I’m simply saying come up for air.

• Accept Failure

Failure is bound to happen at some point but I have learnt to accept it and not dwell on it for too long.

• Seek Support

Talk a lot about the problem to people you trust that truly understand (not pretend to understand). I have a friend that I share my entrepreneurial journey with. I can vent all day and she listens without complaining or judging. But when I’m done I feel so much better.

Dealing with entrepreneur anxiety

• Decide To Enjoy The Journey

Consciously enjoy the entrepreneurial journey you have embarked on. Learn life lessons. These past few weeks have been tasking but I’ve taken it as a learning phase. It’s made me improvise and make wise money decisions.

• Eat Healthy And Exercise

Without overemphasis healthy foods and exercise just have a way of calming me down. It’s helping me greatly to deal with entrepreneur anxiety.

Deal with entrepreneur anxiety

• Use It

Finally use the anxiety to motivate you to take action as at when necessary. Now I approach anxiety as a motivator to do and achieve more.

As an entrepreneur you have to deal with not having a steady stream of income knowing fully well you have bills to pay.

These things don’t wait for you; they will steal your sleep, appetite, cause depression and suicidal thoughts etc except you nip it in the bud.

Sometimes you feel like all your efforts won’t pay off and other times you feel you can take on the world alone.

Working all hours of the week, lots of rejection, competition to outsmart and pile of bills to pay all contribute to anxiety.

You need to deal with the anxiety before it deals with you. Because it trumps creativity and as an entrepreneur you need a strong creative game to survive.

These are the things I do to deal with anxiety. Do you do other things asides these to conquer anxiety? Please let’s discuss.

Entrepreneur Anxiety: 13 Unsually Sad Similarities Between Romance And Business You Need To Know

No entrepreneur will deny the existence of entrepreneur anxiety. We may just pretend to not be affected by it.

So here I am writing about something else entirely and a funny thought crossed my mind.

I compare starting and being in a relationship with doing same in business.

And discovered the similarities between starting/ being on an entrepreneurial journey and a romantic one.

What do they have in common you ask? It’s simply anxiety.

Perhaps you have a meeting with a likely investor. Or you mixed up the data you took to the meeting with your most important client.

Or you are tackling a difficult situation that has lingered for way too long.

All these can cause entrepreneur anxiety.

As an entrepreneur, you can relate to these things. The downs and turns of the entrepreneurship rollercoaster leaving you with the feeling of anxiety for most part of the journey.

Perhaps you just asked this fine chick out that seems to be way out of your league. Or the man of your dreams walked up to you and you missed it.

Maybe your love interest dumped you for someone more exciting compared to you.
Or you woke up to a nagging lover. It could also be a communication gap.

Entrepreneur anxiety

Most people won’t tell you the friction between them and their partners when they were in the “getting to know each other” phase.

Neither will they tell you the challenges involved in maintaining that relationship.
Just as most of your entrepreneur friends won’t tell you the challenges they face(d).

They only paint you rosy pictures of entrepreneurship. Hence why you decide(d) to venture into it.

You are solely responsible for your actions in your marriage. Likewise you are solely responsible for your actions in your business.

Being an entrepreneur can be hard, stressful and lonely. This is exactly how some people feel in their relationships.

Entrepreneur Anxiety: The Similarities.

  • Starting Out

Whether you are entering a new romance or starting a business in an unfamiliar terrain. There’s always that fear of not knowing what lies ahead.

Hence you are always asking questions and second guessing every decision taken.

  • Small Things Matter

Just as recording every small victory is important to boost confidence. It’s just as important to appreciate every little thing your partner does.

  • Delegate

Doing too much will overwhelm you. Learn to delegate tasks to employees for the sake of your psychological health.

Likewise in relationships learn to shed some load off your chest and concentrate on building the romance.

  • Leadership

In a romantic relationship the man is the leader. Though I’m not talking about a master – slave relationship. But a mutually respecting relationship.

Ditto for business. The entrepreneur is the leader of the organization. And his actions/ inactions can result in entrepreneur anxiety.

When the leader isn’t effective the followers are pointless which in turn creates anxiety for the leader.

Hence it’s the leader’s priority to get the right people on board.

  • Value

What’s being brought to the table? Same way you ask what’s this lover of yours going to add to your life you ask what’s your business partner or investor going to add to your venture.

  • USP (Unique Selling Point)

What makes your business different from everyone out there? The customer should look forward to what unique thing? Why should your spouse be with you and not some random man/ woman?

  • Depression

Depression, despair, mood swings and suicidal thoughts. These happens to some people either when their heart gets broken or business takes a major downturn.

Entrepreneur anxiety

  • Lack of self confidence

A heart break or a major financial downturn always tells on self confidence. It shreds you of all positivity. It holds you back from being your happy-go, lucky self.

  • Confrontation

You would have to confront issues with your love interest. Same as your clients.

Though some people are afraid of confrontation; it’s unavoidable. This is a major cause of panic attacks and anxiety.

  • Choice

Choosing a partner. As a man you get to meet delectable ladies everyday and you are wondering which really qualifies as your mate. And that’s if she’s also going to be interested in you too or if she isn’t taken already.

In like manner in business before approaching investors you need to know if they believe in your line of business and if they will buy into your vision.

Also will that friend/ stranger agree to being your partner? Do you even have the same values? So many questions to ask.

These uncertainties can also cause some people entrepreneur anxiety.

  • Communication

How effective is your communicating skills? How well do you pass messages to your spouse or business partner/ employees without causing unnecessary chaos, fear and resistance?

Entrepreneur anxiety

  • Money

Often referred to as the root of all evil. It causes despair in relationships likewise it induces entrepreneur anxiety too.

A lot of couples have parted ways due to money issues. Similarly a lot of business partnerships/ deals had the life snuffed out of them.

  • Separation/ Divorce

You can’t talk about relationship anxiety without these. In fact some people don’t want to marry just for the fear of divorce.

In similar fashion some people dread going into business or partnerships just for the fear of having to part ways and the plethora of issues that accompanies it.

These are just a few of the causes of entrepreneur anxiety. Either directly or indirectly these can cause entrepreneur anxiety when not properly managed.

In Conclusion: Entrepreneur Anxiety

The similar causes of anxiety are communication, choice, not delegating, not taking note of small victories and separation/ divorce.

Also depression, lack of self confidence, money problems, confrontation, value, leadership, unique selling point and starting out.

Entrepreneur anxiety

I realised entrepreneur anxiety is real and unavoidable at some point. You just have to deal with it and get moving.

It’s easier to deal with if you enlist help.
What we can do is try to reduce it so it doesn’t get the best of us.

Can you think of some other similar situations between being an entrepreneur and being in a relationship that cause anxiety? Please share.

Bill Gates On Lazy People: They Increase Your Company’s Growth

Bill Gates on lazy people: I choose a lazy person to do a hard job.

Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.

Prior to now I had always related to this statement by Bill Gates on lazy people from afar.

There was really no experience for me to relate to it deeply till recently.

Personal Illustration About Bill Gates On Lazy People.

I came back from Sunday service waiting for my friend who was meant to pay me a visit.

And having waited for 3 hours whilst calling severally without response I concluded he wasn’t coming. Probably the distance and traffic had gotten to him.

I decided to carry on with the business of the day. Checking my fish ponds I noticed the water was quite dirty and smelly (quite unusual).

This was a result of me being pissed that we didn’t have electricity for almost a month now. And the fuel bill for the generator was skyrocketing (in thousands).

You can imagine using the generator everyday to change the fish pond water.

So I decided to manually change the water using buckets to fill the ponds up.

But first it needed cleaning and flushing.

I was contemplating all these in my head whilst also feeling sleepy when I heard a knock at the gate.

Bill Gates on lazy people

Feeling sleepy

Alas it was my friend bearing gifts ofcourse. He said he wasn’t picking his calls because he wanted to keep me guessing if he’ll really show up.

We go in and I allow him rest. After catching up on things I took him to the pond side.

His first comment was the pond’s water is dirty so we let out the water.

Saying nothing I went in and changed into my work clothes. I entered into the pond to scoop out the residue at the bottom.

Had to do that to make the pond cleaner since there’s no using of hose to flush the residue out.

To say my friend was shocked is an understatement. He stood there looking at me in amazement as I pranced around in all that dirt.

While I looked at him in pity because he was dressed in his Sunday’s finest with tie and all. There he was thinking how’s he supposed to help this girl.

The next thing he uttered caught my attention. He said you know I’m lazy and this task seems hard. But what’s the easiest way you think we can achieve this?

And right there it clicked. I remembered what Bill Gates said about lazy people.

Bill Gates on lazy people

Lazy Person

I said to him you are the type of person Bill Gates would love to hire.

We brainstormed and arrived at the easiest way to do the job.

I thanked him profusely and he left hours later. Not without making him something to eat ofcourse.

Afterwards I kept thinking for two days straight how to get the job done even faster and at a cost effective way too.

Which I eventually came up with. (Yay)

In Conclusion: Bill Gates On Lazy People

Bill Gates wasn’t lying when he said he will always employ a lazy person to do a difficult job at Microsoft.

Because a lazy person will always figure out an easy and fast way to do it.

Surround yourself with smart lazy people. They are efficient in cutting time cost and resources.

They always think of how to automate everything and even manual processes.

Thereby increasing your company’s growth.

Do you have any lazy people stories or experience to share? Please comment. 

 

Intrapreneurship Concept: How To Save Your Business Now

Several businesses got into a rut but something came along and saved them. You ask what? It’s the Intrapreneurship Concept.

What’s the Intrapreneurship Concept?

Gifford Pinchot III, an author coined the intrapreneurship concept in the late 1970’s.

Pinchot opined that intrapreneurship was the merging of an entrepreneurial spirit with the resources of a large corporation.

Intrapreneurship concept involves creating a new and self-funded organisation within the auspices of an existing company.

It involves creating or discovering new ideas, methods or opportunities for the purpose of creating value.

Trust me to always break things down for you. Intrapreneurship is simply an entrepreneurial venture by an employee within an entrepreneurship.

Simply a start-up within a start-up. Also known as employee entrepreneurship.

If you are an employee in a large organization with entrepreneurial tendencies but don’t want to leave the safety net your job provides then by all means introduce the intrapreneurship concept to your managers.

Intrapreneurs enhance existing products/ services and methods or create new streams of income for the company.

They are brought in to solve existing or envisaged problems.

Intrapreneurship Concept

These are people that just can’t wait to bring their ideas to life. They change corporations from within.

Probably you have the qualities of an entrepreneur but you feel fear and lack the finance.

Don’t fret the intrapreneurship concept is for you.

Intrapreneurship is an incubator and catalyst for innovation especially in large organisations.

It takes away bureaucracy thereby speeding up growth and productivity.

Most employees are too scared to take risks but intrapreneurs are employees on steroids.

Unlike an entrepreneur the intrapreneur doesn’t bear the cost if there’s a loss in the venture.

An entrepreneur may not be able to foot his bills while starting out but an intrapreneur still gets his salary.

He is a visionary and spots successful trends before anyone else.

Intrapreneurship concept

Intrapreneur analyzing trends

Hence the backbone of any successful company is the intrapreneurship concept practised within it.

Therefore they should be encouraged and compensated adequately for their contributions.

As a business owner you should encourage your employees that exhibit entrepreneurial traits.

Have them become Intrapreneurs. For the greater good of your business.

This shouldn’t scare you thinking they are the only ones benefitting from this.

Intrapreneurship Concept

Fun boardroom

Your organization will own whatever innovation they come up with while with you.

But always remember they are self driven so don’t be in their space.

Therefore if your business is in an innovation rut just opt in to the intrapreneurship concept.

Be well aware that boredom will become a thing of the past for your employees.

Because there’s always a new project to look forward to.

As an employer you are sitting on a goldmine of ideas; use it.

Businesses are now keying into this phenomenon. Such as Deloitte, GFK, Accenture, Ashoka, Barclays, 3M, AT&T, DuPont, Google, Sony and even Toyota.

Google allows its technical employees spend up to 20 percent of their time on projects of their choice. This freedom is called “license to pursue your dreams”.

That’s how Marissa Mayer, one-time VP of Google’s search products described it in the Fast Company magazine.

Characteristics of An Intrapreneur

• Result Driven and Passionate

Intrapreneurs are self driven to achieve desired results in all they set out to do. Hence they are very focused when on a task.

Other people give up when they encounter roadblocks but due to passion an intrapreneur keeps pushing.
This helps them survive unnecessary criticism and skepticism.

Intrapreneurship Concept

Passion

Through their passion they keep others engaged and inspire others to join them in their change evangelism.

• Pivot

They know when (the right time) and how to pivot.

Intrapreneurs know to change their business strategy when it’s not working. As well as the right time to do it before incurring too much loss.

Steve Jobs pivoted Apple from confusion to a high flying consumer electronics range company.

They aren’t afraid to admit a course isn’t going as planned nor do they fear to change course when it’s not working.

• Entrepreneurial Spirit

An intrapreneur just like the entrepreneur isn’t afraid to take calculated risks. Certainly he’s always willing without fear.

This spirit also encompasses the ability to think visually and ahead as well as brainstorm.

Intrapreneurs are quite tenacious even in the face of failure. They are very confident which could be confused with cockiness atimes.

• Diplomatic and Ethical

Due to the nature of Intrapreneurship, employee entrepreneurs ought to be diplomatic and ethical.

They come in to boycott bureaucracy hence they know how to avoid clashing with anyone especially in authority.

And Intrapreneurs are quite ethical in manner; setting aside personal emotions to do right.

• Creative and Innovative

Creativity gives them the ability to see things differently. They see the potentials others don’t.

It allows intrapreneurs to patiently toil with ideas and hone them into fully developed plans.

Also known as ‘greenhousing’, just like the greenhousing concept in gardening.

Intrapreneurs greenhouse ideas that every other person seems too busy or discouraged to carry on with.

• Resourceful

They know where and how to get resources. Whether it’s a network or individuals with the right skill sets and tools.

Intrapreneurs know the value of their network and resourcefulness whilst they use it appropriately.

They know how to efficiently use the resources at their disposal and find resources without having to pay for them.

• Spot trends and Adaptable

Intrapreneurs spot trends early on before anyone.

They are quite intuitive, able to identify the tiny signals that others miss or choose to ignore.

While others discard little occurrences that can cause disruptions in a market or industry, intrapreneurs pay attention and keep records.

Trend analysis

And when these disruptions happen Intrapreneurs are quick to adapt like fish takes to water.

Because they are quick responders and flexible.

• Provide Value

Intrapreneurs always add value to the organization.

They know they are an investment hence they strive to impact their colleagues and the organization as a whole.

Always empowering themselves and their colleagues for the growth of the business.

• Mentors

Mentoring is a form of training, influence and knowledge sharing.

Intrapreneurs always look out for mentors who can influence their creativity and are great mentors as well.

They are always willing to share their knowledge with others.

Organizations see exponential increase in their creativity and productivity with mentorship.

• Apt Learners

Intrapreneurs are fast learners who are always learning.

Whether it’s for personal or professional reasons, they always strive to better their creative and productive ability.

They always pick valuable lessons from every situation. The more they learn, the better they perform.

Objectives of Intrapreneurship Concept

• Innovation

Innovation is the key ingredient for progressive growth in any organization.

Corporations are fond of not innovating or innovating once a year. This can’t sustain the business’s growth.

Intrapreneurs constantly turn the wheels of innovation.

Therefore the presence of the right people, processes and environment will encourage the rise of Intrapreneurs.

Intrapreneurship, innovation and growth are all entwined for your business to be successful.

If you are asking how’s your business to grow then intrapreneurship is the answer.

Since intrapreneurship entails having the entrepreneurial mindset and right infrastructures, it’s a framework for transformation hence growth.

• Leadership

Intrapreneurs think and act differently. Due to having different motivations and aspirations from the normal staff they prefer working in different environments.

This differentiation qualifies them to lead new growth initiatives.
Intrapreneurship is the best way to attract and retain your most
entrepreneurial staff.

• Change

Intrapreneurs are change advocates. Blazing new trails and being the change they wish to see.

They not only drive change they also model change so others can learn from them the change they propose.

Intrapreneurship helps organizations to accelerate and manage change efficiently.

• Engagement

With intrapreneurship, employees are certain they will always have work that is challenging, meaningful and interesting to them.

Studies have shown that businesses lose significant amount of money annually due to workers not being engaged with work.

Due to passion + determination which is = grit; intrapreneurs are highly engaged in their work.

Furthermore engaging and inspiring other workers to get involved in new things.

This is a recipe for their growth and the organization’s as well.

Intrapreneurs have a lot in common with entrepreneurs.

They take initiative and calculated risks.

And they’re innovative, creative as well as problem solvers. Also tenacious and don’t give up.

Despite the similarities they also have differences.

• Risk

This is the biggest difference between an intrapreneur and entrepreneur.

An entrepreneur is solely responsible for the projects, including all financial risks related to it.

Entrepreneurs willingly sign up for unlimited risk or boundless reward.

While the intrapreneurs get funds from the organisations to avoid financial risk.

Thence they are not entitled to the huge financial gains.

Intrapreneurs aren’t deterred by risk so they take more risk than the average employee.

But these risks are significantly smaller than an entrepreneur’s.

Because entrepreneurs risk losing their businesses if everything goes south.

• Ownership

Another clear difference is ownership. Studies show that entrepreneurs have a distinct ownership of their concept and business.

Meanwhile an intrapreneur’s ideas are owned by the company.

Also an intrapreneur doesn’t have the full independence to make certain decisions despite being autonomous.

It’s common knowledge that some companies don’t give their Intrapreneurs recognition for their concepts and ideas.

Nor do they have equity in the company.

• Culture

Entrepreneurs build their company’s culture from scratch while intrapreneurs have to deal with navigating through longstanding beliefs and policies.

Intrapreneurship compliant companies are building a culture that encourages intrapreneurship among its staff.

Organizations are gaining awareness of the benefits of intrapreneurs hence are working towards creating a work space that encourages it.

• Motivation

Another difference is what drives the individual.

Both entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs are motivated to make an impact on businesses and organisations. But in various ways.

An entrepreneur is motivated by things such as money, personal achievement or fulfilling a lifelong dream.

But the primary motivation of an intrapreneur is either financial stability, love of the job or making a difference within the organization.

• Resources

Intrapreneurs have access to the organization’s resources.

Such as funds, production setups, marketing network and every other support needed.

Meanwhile an entrepreneur has to use his own funds or borrow funds and do the legwork for his own resources.

• Context of Operation

The intrapreneur makes decisions under the auspices of an existing organization.

Most organizations demand that the intrapreneur ask for permission before attempting to create or change anything.

Meanwhile an entrepreneur can make decisions most of the time without seeking anyone’s consent.

Rather he might just ask for advice from the concerned professionals in order to make informed decisions.

Likewise the intrapreneur is the internal revolutionary.

Always questioning the status quo and fighting to change the system from within.

• Focus

The scope of an intrapreneur is narrow while that of an entrepreneur is quite broad.

An intrapreneur is focused on a section of the business.

Creating either a new product, service, method or policy within the organization. And making old processes better.

While the entrepreneur is focussed on the entire business. Because he envisages for the organization.

• Role

The intrapreneur plays a restorative role while the entrepreneur plays a developmental role.

In Conclusion

Intrapreneurship centres on innovation and creativity.

It creates/ transforms an idea into a moneymaking venture while within an organization’s environment.

Also entails following the culture, goals and objectives of the organisation.

Intrapreneurship is used to encourage and motivate employees to behave as internal entrepreneurs.

While knowing they have the resources, funds and security of the larger organisation to lean on.

It helps staff to continually try things until successful, learn from failures and manage funds.

It increases the potential and value of a stagnant business without holding the staff accountable for failure.

Now you see why it’s the entrepreneur’s saviour?

Is there anything we forgot to mention about the intrapreneurship concept? Kindly drop by the comments section.

Innovative entrepreneurship

The Ultimate Guide To Innovative Entrepreneurship

The word innovative entrepreneurship has become a cliché but we can’t stop talking about it.

Sounds like an irony, right?

Have you ever wondered what’s Innovative Entrepreneurship?

Are you one?

Do you know the relationship between innovation and entrepreneurship?

Let’s start with what innovation is.

To innovate simply means to introduce new ideas, products or methods of doing things.

Therefore innovative entrepreneurship is when new ideas, products or new ways of doing things are introduced into a business.

Subsequently for efficiency and increase in productivity.

In other words it means provision of solutions.

Additionally it provides an entirely new solution as never been seen or improving on old solutions to achieve better results than previously.

For example a bluetooth earpiece that automatically increases volume when it’s moved closer to the device.

Or decreases the volume of a device when it’s moved farther from the device. (Assuming someone hasn’t done this already).

Likewise innovation in entrepreneurship is a tool to become highly competitive not a destination.

Innovation in Entrepreneurship

You are probably wondering what’s the importance of innovation in entrepreneurship.

We will get to that in a minute.

But briefly innovation is the wheel that propels entrepreneurship.

Another question is are all entrepreneurs innovative?

Here are some characteristics of innovative entrepreneurship:

  • Enhances

Significantly the performance of what it’s used with/ for is increased. It adds value.

It enhances the performance of a product, company or industry. Imagine life without Google search or Apple.

  • Disrupts

Disruptive innovation causes a dramatic turn in products, methods or services.

They raise the bar and metamorphose existing markets or establish new ones. It’s also a catalyst.

  • Eliminates

An innovation eliminates the old method of doing things or the old product once it catches on. If not totally then almost totally.

For instance the first IBM personal computer made.

  • Opportunistic

An innovation recognises the gaps in the market/ industry and fills it.

To emphasize it identifies what’s lacking and modifies it. Sees the gaps as opportunities and grabs it.

  • Advantageous

An innovation is always an improvement upon the existing one (always at an advantage).

Example is the advantages of the Whatsapp messenger over the traditional SMS.

  • Compatible

All innovations seamlessly fit within the sector they are meant for.

For example Instagram works perfectly for professionals in the Arts and Entertainment Industry.

  • Observable

An innovation is easily and readily observable to the user. The innovator makes it so to encourage adoption from early users.

Notably early users are known to evangelize for an innovation. Else what’s an innovation without adaptors.

Innovative entrepreneurship

Innovation in Entrepreneurship

Now that you can identify innovation who’s an innovative entrepreneur? And do you think all entrepreneurs are innovative?

There are no sufficient words to define an innovative entrepreneur.

Rather I will cite some characteristics of innovative entrepreneurs:

  • Visionary

An innovative entrepreneur sees things that most people don’t.

Even when others say it won’t work; they don’t give up.

  • Risk Takers

They venture into things that have never been done not minding the outcome. They are well aware of the risks but still go ahead.

  • Don’t Have A Box

Great minds think out of the box; innovative entrepreneurs don’t even have a box.

  • Education or Training

Very versed in their craft.

They acquire formal/ informal training to enable the separation of relevant and irrelevant information while creating/ developing.

  • Patience

An innovative entrepreneur doesn’t mind how long it takes. He will keep testing his innovation.

His end goal is to ensure the innovation does what it’s meant for effectively.

Hence several trials. There’s never a finished product. Improvements will always be made.

  • Proactive and Persistent

They create or control situations; they don’t react. Thus they exploit opportunities.

  • Prudent

Despite being risk takers innovative entrepreneurs are more careful and organized.

Everything is well accounted for and documented.

Innovative entrepreneurship

An Innovative Entrepreneur

Thus this leads us to the relationship between innovation and entrepreneurship. And the importance of innovation in entrepreneurship.

Innovative Entrepreneurship:  Relationship between innovation and entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship relies on innovation for sustainability.

A simple way to look at the relationship is entrepreneurship needs innovation just like we need air.

Innovation is seeing what is needed and creating it. In essence infusing something new or improvements with the old.

It could be an idea, product, model, method or a service.

While entrepreneurship entails turning a great idea into a business opportunity.

Understanding this simple analysis helps us understand better the relationship between innovation and entrepreneurship.

Which is imbuing new/ better ideas, products, services, methods or process into a business to give it an edge. An extra shot at sustainability and profitability.

Entrepreneurship begins with innovation and survives on innovation.

While innovation feeds on creativity and unbelievable thinking.

To innovate doesn’t always mean
inventing something new.

It could also mean changing and adding values to an existing idea, product, method or a service.

Everything above leads to the crux of this post. Which is the role of innovation in entrepreneurship.

Why is innovation so important to entrepreneurship?

  • Agent of Change

Innovation sees the problems in entrepreneurship and solves them. It changes the game.

  • Increases Competition

Due to the improvement innovation provides there’s an increase in competition between entrepreneurs.

To provide what exactly solves the customer’s problems.

  • Increases Efficiency and Profitability

Innovation is synonymous with increase in efficiency hence increase in profits.

  • Increases Opportunities

Innovation leads to discoveries which create opportunities. Thereby allowing more people gain entry into the industry.

  • Sustainability

Furthermore innovation ensures continuity and sustainability.

  • Restores Growth

With innovation comes growth. Growth of the business and market.

  • Identity

Being creative creates an identity for the entrepreneur and the organisation.

Conclusion

In summary innovation isn’t necessarily making something new. It could also mean adding something new to an already existing product, service or process.

Simply to make it more efficient thereby increasing productivity and in turn increase profitability.

Consequently innovation is what gives you an edge over your competition as an entrepreneur.

Not all business people are entrepreneurs. But when you become innovative then you become an entrepreneur.

Innovative entrepreneurs challenge problems and they draw inspiration from different ideas to solve a problem.

In conclusion they continually observe and ask thought provoking questions. Which results into what the world sees.

Do you have more information on innovation in entrepreneurship? Feel free to comment.