Tag - Entrepreneurs

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. 

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.

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.

4 Entrepreneur Decisions You Should Make To Be Successful

Entrepreneur decisions should never be overthought else you will never make headway.

In every success story, you will find someone who has made courageous entrepreneur decisions. — Peter F. Drucker.

As (aspiring) entrepreneurs what decisions are you struggling to make?

Entrepreneur Decisions

Crossroads in Decision Making

When I started catfish farming I used imported feed for the first 3 months then finish with self formulated feed. Overtime the cost tripled due to the exchange rate.

I had to decide if I would stick to either the imported, local or self formulated based on the results I got.

The price of the imported is now cut throat, the local also because they import additives and are competing with the imported. While the mill where I compound my self formulated feed also jacked their prices.

I had to decide which to stick to for costs cut.

I’ve had to make decisions as this and much more as an entrepreneur.

One of the characteristics of an entrepreneur is the ability to lead. And being a great leader entails the ability to make good decisions at the right time.

Entrepreneur Decisions

The decisions you make as an entrepreneur varies from stage to stage of your entrepreneurial journey.

1. The Launching Decision.

2. The Turning Point/ Pivot or Persevere Decision.

3. The Tipping Point or Delegation Decision.

4. The Letting Go or Succession Decision.

Which I further explain:

• The Launching Decision

You have a book of ideas tucked away somewhere. You feel it can solve a problem and also provide you some income.

This is the first of all the entrepreneur decisions you will make. Which is to become an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneur Decisions

Choices in Decision Making

You will need to decide if you want to leave paid employment or be a part time entrepreneur. This decision also entails others such as:

1. Is your solution a product or service?

2. Is there a market for it?

3. What’s your pricing strategy?

4. What’s your Unique Value Proposition (Unique Selling Point)?

5. You also need to decide on your Mission & Vision Statements, Tagline, Logo, Company Culture, Goals and Objectives.

6. What’s your customer acquisition strategy?

• The Turning Point/ Pivot or Persevere Decision.

This entails the decision you make to take your business to the next level.

The results of testing your idea will determine if you pivot or persevere. Also if you will continue being a solopreneur or if you will expand.

Expanding is one of the most strategic entrepreneur decisions you will make. It involves stepping out of your comfort zone at the right time.

Thereby culminating into decisions such as increasing product or service options, job benefits, hiring new staff or outsourcing jobs, job role and payment.

And determining new location and market’s interaction with your new product/ service.

You also need to decide if the internal workings of your business can sustain the expansion and if it’s not just a flash in the pan.

Also consider if your brand, market and price strategy aligns with the expansion? These are questions that will also lead to more entrepreneur decisions.

Entrepreneur Decisions

Strategy in Decision Making

A good example of this decision is the example I gave in the introduction of this post. I had to decide to cut costs so I can remain in business. It involved looking into my budget, cost and price strategy.

• The Tipping Point/ Delegation Decision.

At this point you have to decide to stop working in the business but on the business.

Prior to this you should have built a dependable team that can work in the business while you work on it.

Most entrepreneurs find it hard to delegate certain duties to others.

But you have to else you won’t have time to perform more leadership roles and generate ideas that can grow your business.

• The Letting Go/ Succession Decision

This is one of the most emotional entrepreneur decisions you will be required to make.

Letting go in business mostly refers to succession. What succession plans do you have in place? Is it your child(ren), family member, a staff or an outsider?

And other times it could mean a business gets acquired if no succession plan or it’s doing badly.

You have to decide if you want to remain in it or cash out after it’s acquisitioned/ merged.

This also includes:

1. Determining how much your business is worth.

2. Is the business still financially viable for you?

3. How much will you sell it?

4. Will you be retained or bought out?

5. Does the new owner(s) have the same vision as you?

In summary if you are the indecisive type partner with someone that doesn’t shy away from making decisions.

Because being an entrepreneur revolves around making decisions. And making them in time for that matter.

Conclusion

Being an entrepreneur involves being able to recognize a problem and solve it timely using the best possible solution.

Also the environment within which business is done evolves on a regular basis therefore it requires taking business decisions.

Are you ready to make these decisions? What other entrepreneur decisions have you made?

As (aspiring) entrepreneurs what decisions are you struggling to make?

I would love to hear from you in the comments!!!

Trust and Entrepreneurship

Trust And Entrepreneurship: 4 Applicable Ways You Should Know

Have you ever wondered what the relationship between trust and entrepreneurship is?

Keep reading to find out more about the intriguing relationship between trust and entrepreneurship.

In a new year a lot of decisions need to be made. Some people will decide to employ or let go of certain staff while some will decide to persevere/pivot.

Some will decide to win more customers, some will outsource their business while some will try to woo investors.

One common factor in taking all these decisions is “Trust”. Therefore Trust and Entrepreneurship are more entangled than you think.

Trust is key for entrepreneurial success.

As an entrepreneur you may have started your business alone and built it alone but at some point it will surpass you.

At that point you need to hire employees and (or) outsource. In comes trust.

As an entrepreneur you need trust to employ, relate with your suppliers and clients. You need to build an environment of trust around your business.

  • Trust And Entrepreneurship As Applied To Employees.

Exponential growth of your business will require you bring in a team of people with a vision same as yours.

Know the perfect time to trust your business to people. Not too early and not too late.

Bringing them in too early might make you incur unnecessary costs thereby debt and too late might stagnate your business.

The perfect time is when you have put all the necessary things in place and you can afford to pay the people you hire.

Bring people in one at a time not in one fell swoop. Though you still need to guide them.

If you mistakenly hire the wrong person(s) quickly retrieve the tasks you delegated to them.

Can you trust your employees not to steal your funds, your ideas or sell your ideas to your competition?  Ensure you conduct morality tests.

Can it also be said of you that you are committed to the interests of your employees?

The key thing is to trust them to do their job after you have hired the most qualified hands.

  • Trust And Entrepreneurship As Applied To Suppliers and Outsource Providers.

A business in operation will definitely involve suppliers. You need to trust them to supply you the best your money can buy and they need to trust you to come up with payments as at when due.

You need trust to maintain business relationships.

You should have a working relationship with your suppliers in terms of them knowing when to supply you and you knowing when to pay them.

This arrangement can only work with trust.

It’s important to treat your suppliers and outsource providers like partners. This increases the level of trust thereby creating a well oiled engine for your business. This relationship requires patience though.

  • Trust And Entrepreneurship As Applied To Customers

A customer who has never patronized you before approaches your business for only one reason “Trust”.

He trusts that your product/service will meet his needs.

While a repeat customer comes back to you due to only one thing “Trust”. That you are not a one-hit wonder. Just to confirm that his first purchase from you wasn’t a fluke.

Can the customer trust you to serve him well?

As a business you must also be able to trust your customer to give you feedback about your product/service rather than sue you without initial dialogue. Or that they won’t imitate your products.

Some customers will purchase from you on credit; do you trust them to pay you as at when due and can they trust they will get the best despite not paying you immediately.

Trust is the foundation of your business relationships.

  • Trust And Entrepreneurship As Applied To Investors

Every entrepreneur dreams to expand their business. Funds are needed which you may not have much of. This is where investors come in.

Your investors need to trust that you won’t squander the funds given to you.

Also you need to trust the people you approach to be your investors will work with you to make sure your business doesn’t go down the drain.

It is common knowledge people only do business with who they know, like or trust with emphasis on “Trust”.

To cap it all up trust is what makes a first time customer patronize you and makes a one time customer become a repeat customer.

Trust is what you hold on to that an employee’s interest in your business is genuine, that a supplier or outsource provider has good intentions, it guarantees a customer that you are committed to his interests and your investors that your commitment to their interests is great.

It’s what makes suppliers and outsource providers remain in business with you even when they know luck isn’t smiling on you.

Also makes your staff keep coming to work even when there are no funds to pay them and what makes your investors keep pumping funds into your business.

Hence “Trust” is an entrepreneurial behavior you should learn to cultivate.

Would you love to tell us more about the relationship between Trust and Entrepreneurship? Kindly join the conversation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Entrepreneur Shifting Seasons

Entrepreneur Shifting Seasons: All You Need To Know

Is the change in climate seasons similar to the shifting seasons of an entrepreneur?

In most parts of the world the seasons experienced are Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. The change in each season ushers in the next season.

Likewise there are also entrepreneur shifting seasons which are marked by changes; same as weather.

In my years as an entrepreneur I have experienced various seasons (stages). But I will narrow it down to four (4) significant stages.

Entrepreneur Shifting Seasons

As an entrepreneur you move from Discovery ➡ Plan ➡ Evolve ➡ Growth.

  • Discovery

This is the process of uncovering your entrepreneur potential. A self-realization period that you consciously decide to be an entrepreneur.

Some call it Entrepreneurial Seizure.

You look inward to find out what you love doing and resolve to make money from it.

It can’t be overemphasized that as an entrepreneur you must build your business round your passion.

Most noteworthy is the fact that with time things will wear you out but your zeal will keep you going.

  • Plan

This season shifts you as an entrepreneur into the hard work stage. Since this period sets the foundation for your business.

It involves drafting your business plan. It’s important to have a business plan for direction and in case you need partners or investors.

Furthermore establish your business opportunities, research the demand, decide your business value, develop your business ideas, develop your market entry strategy, sort finance and capital.

Likewise identify your competition, set your price(s), build relationships, analyse your risks, patent your products, register your business name and company. While at the same time device your exit plan (just in case).

  • Evolve

In this entrepreneur shifting season you either decide to persevere (continue what you do) or pivot (change what you do or how you do it).

It is based on evaluating the business. Is it going as planned, any progress or are things spiraling out of control?

Are there plans to diversify into complementary products or services?

Answering these questions move you into the next season.

  • Growth

While drafting your business plan you should have defined what growth means to your business (yardstick).

Either an increase in the number of customers, increase in average transaction per client or increase in the number of subscribers to your app or product.

No matter the yardstick you use to measure growth this is the season to shoot the arrow up with hard and smart work.

This is the season your perseverance pays.

Entrepreneur Shifting Seasons

In conclusion hang in there if you are in a not so good season presently. It will pan out just as the seasons of the climate system change. One season gives birth to the next.

What other seasons have you experienced as an entrepreneur or you have seen other entrepreneurs overcome?

 

Entrepreneurial process

7 Fundamental Stages of The Powerful Entrepreneurial Process

What’s the fuss about entrepreneurial process? What does it encompass?

First off what’s a process? A process as defined on google is a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end.

As the name implies entrepreneurial process is the series of actions you take to be an established entrepreneur. (Simple right!)

The entrepreneurial process is a continuous one and it plays a huge role in the growth or demise of your business. So never give up that grind.

Everything you do as a human requires a process from conception to growth, schooling, marriage for some and sadly death for all. Entrepreneurship is not different.

Quick digression: We have been digging into the nitty-gritty of being an entrepreneur. This blog is a beginner’s guide to point you in the direction of being an entrepreneur.

You can catch up on who’s an entrepreneur, types of entrepreneur, characteristics of a successful entrepreneur, entrepreneur challenges and entrepreneur motivation factors. So you have an idea of the things we have earlier discussed and know where we are coming from.

The entrepreneurial process is undergone by everyone who sets out to be an entrepreneur. And sometimes by those who didn’t even intentionally set out to be one.

Follow my outline of this process and endeavor to get back to me with your success story. I’m all about success stories.

The entrepreneurial process is as follows:

• Self Realization
• Plan the Business
• Trial and Error
• Start the Business
• Perseverance and Sustenance
• Reflection
• Retire or Repeat the Process

Self Realization (Discovery)

This is the point you have a mental jerk known as entrepreneurial seizure. The point where you finally realize you want to get paid doing what you love.

Plan the Business

This stage of the process is actually a process in a process. It involves a whole lot; it might seem overwhelming but it encompasses the hard work of the entire process.

This stage involves identifying and evaluating your business opportunities, demand research, deciding on the value you will add to the market, developing your business ideas, developing market entry strategy, finance and capital, identifying your competition, pricing, building relationships, risks analysis, patenting your products, business name and company registration, device your exit plan and lastly your business plan.

I mentioned your business plan last because it is the most important thing you will need if you intend to bring people on board your ship.

Trial and Error

You ask why this. Most times the first business we set out to do fails. You just have to get back in the game and try another.

Start a Business

This is the part where you officially launch the business after overcoming certain hurdles. This confirms you are in business.

Perseverance and Sustenance

At this point if you have done everything prior to this right you enter into the autopilot mode. But don’t get carried away; things can still go south.

Refuse to call it quits, pay the bills, pursue sustainability also pay attention to your competitors and the market.

Reflection

This involves you looking into your records, keep what’s working and throw out what’s not.

Stay confident, embrace your business challenges and get out of your comfort zone.

Retire or Repeat the Process

Remember I said earlier to devise your exit strategy. Well this is why you need it. You can choose to continue running the same business or sell it off and start all over.

Some entrepreneurs get a thrill from selling and starting all over.

Prior to now did you start several businesses and gave up? Don’t berate yourself. It’s all part of the process.

So many business greats underwent this process over and over. Be rest assured you are in good company.

If you went through this process differently, want to add more steps to this process or share your success stories with us please join the conversation in the comments section.

Entrepreneur types

The 5 Popular Types of Entrepreneur You Need To Know

Which of the entrepreneur types best describes you?

There are different entrepreneur types based on several classifications.

First a quick recap on entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs are people who take risk, exercise initiative and take advantage of opportunities.

They plan, organize, commit their resources and also create new or improve existing products and services.

Due to my love for business and freedom I have been talking a lot lately about entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship.

So I figured why not an article on types of entrepreneur. To help you understand better the entrepreneur concept.

Knowing the types of entrepreneur will enable you identify your strengths and weaknesses as an entrepreneur.

Also how much work you need to invest in yourself to get to where you aspire to be.

Based on various classifications there are different entrepreneur types. Some are categorized by entrepreneurial motivation factors.

You can evolve from one type of entrepreneur to another or be a combination of different types of entrepreneur.

Depending on what motivates the entrepreneur the 5 types are:

The World Changer

This type of entrepreneur is influenced by his will to make a positive impact on the world either on a local/ national/ global scale.

Uses his knowledge from past experiences or jobs and spare time to spearhead a business.

Likes the challenge and rush he gets from establishing a new business.

He sees a problem and decides to use his products or (and) services to solve it.

The Innovator

Mr. Innovator likes to come up with new ideas, method of production, products and services as never thought of or seen.

Always looking for unconventional means to solve problems and loves to improvise.

These are strongly internally motivated entrepreneurs.

Of all the entrepreneur types this is the most creative and are majorly the most successful.

The Opportunist

As the name implies he makes use of opportunities. He sees a need and fills it.

He creates a business on impulse. Predicts the right time and right place to do a business. Which works and sometimes it doesn’t.

An opportunist sees the demand and commercializes it. Able to sniff out money making opportunities and cash in on them.

Opportunists seek for a chance. Entrepreneurs make new chances – Toba Beta.

They mostly copy existing techniques and technology so they are referred to as Imitative Entrepreneurs. Always following new trends but tweaks it.

Copy cats seem good at what they do but will never find a spot at the top – Cyc Jouzy.

Jack of All Trades

This entrepreneur has the ability and resources to do several businesses at a time.

Doesn’t have to be at the helm of affairs.

Wants to have free time with family and friends. Just loves the idea of being an entrepreneur.

Only wants to escape the confines and stress of paid employment.

Serial Entrepreneur

Always looking for the next business boom to venture into. Looks for growth potential and has the ability to generate a lot of income.

Grows the business to a point and moves on either by selling it off or handling it to a successor.

Sees every business venture as a project. Once a project is done they start the process all over again.

These are project oriented set of people. Gets bored easily.

Conclusion

Am sure while reading through you were able to identify yourself or notice you exhibit characteristics from various types of entrepreneur. It is normal.

Reading this will help know what type you are presently and what you aspire to be in the light of what inspires you.

Join the conversation to tell us more entrepreneur types you know and based on what classification.

Role of government in entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurs: Are You Clueless To The Role Of Government In Entrepreneurship

What is the role of government in entrepreneurship development?

As an entrepreneur you may have been wondering “what is the role of government in entrepreneurship?”

So have I. Let’s find out together.

Most startup companies fail and it is smart public policy to help entrepreneurs increase their odds of succeeding.

But the biggest loss to our economy is not all the start-ups that did not make it.

It is the ones that might have been created but weren’t – Eric Ries

Entrepreneurs are the bane of economic growth in any society.

And the existence of these entrepreneurs depends on how encouraging the sitting government is.

Therefore entrepreneur relevance can not be disputed.

Also to facilitate entrepreneurial development and sustainable economic growth by creating a symbiotic relationship between these entities.

Entrepreneurs drive growth by creating employment, new markets, new products via innovation and tax revenues.

Entrepreneurs are risk takers, willing to roll the dice with their money or reputation on the line in support of an idea.

They willingly assume responsibility of the success or failure of a venture and are answerable for all its facets – Victor Kiam.

Hence government should support by playing their role as the distributor of opportunities, wealth and basic amenities.

The law entitles entrepreneurs to the following :

  • Policies to mandate financial institutions to lend SMEs funds.
  • Security of Lives and Properties.
  • Law and Order.
  • Good Road Networks for easy movement of raw materials and finished products.The Colonial masters understood this pretty well which was why their first assignment was to connect the hinterlands to the ports.
  • Easy Registration and Freedom To Do Business.
  • Training and Skills Acquisition Programs.
  • Grants, Loans, Government Seed Investments (Funds set aside by different tiers of government to help small and medium scale businesses kick-start).

Consequently funds are needed to         establish the business and cash               flow for sustainability .

  • Quality Education and Manpower Development.
  • Enabling Export.
  • Stable Economic and Political Atmosphere.
  • Constant Power Supply: This is to enable increase in production and reduce cost of production.
  • Tax Holidays: Temporary removal of tax (mostly Sales Tax) for a certain period to encourage entrepreneurship.

Presently in Nigeria there is a tax holiday of the first 5 years of business (Pioneer Status). Excluding Corporate Tax for new businesses.

Also an extra 3 years based on meeting some criteria.

Though in 2015 government moved a motion to reduce it to 3 years.

All tiers of government should endeavor to finance the different stages of business.

Ranging from when it needs Seed Capital to when it needs cash flow for continuous operation.

I would say raising capital is one of the weakest things for most entrepreneurs – Robert Kiyosaki

Role of government in entrepreneurship.

Over the world governments are actively thinking of ways to encourage upcoming businesses.

Until our government embraces entrepreneurship as an Engine of Growt requirements to foster entrepreneurship development will not be provided.

Conclusion

Innovation and development will grow rapidly when the role of government in entrepreneurship is properly played.

Join the conversation to tell us more roles you think the government should play in entrepreneurship on this side of the planet.