Many entrepreneurs fail to pull their businesses through the very few years after setup. Not far-fetched, the reasons include poor marketing, wrong product, inadequate funding, weak team, poor leadership, corruption, as well as lack of electricity and infrastructure.
One out of 25 businesses that started in Nigeria survive the first decade, a report shows, hinting that about 80 per cent fail within the first five years.
This is not peculiar to Nigeria, but a global concern. A data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that 20 per cent of small businesses fail in their first year, 30 per cent in their second year, 50 per cent in their fifth year and 70 per cent within their 10th year.
According to popular parlance, some people believe entrepreneurs are not born, but made..
Entrepreneurship is basically about volunteering, the Founder of CWG Plc and Ausso Leadership Academy, Austin Okere, said. “If you do not volunteer, you cannot be an entrepreneur.”
Okere, in a video clip on the ‘Philosophy of Business’ made available to Financial Street, explained why he had to leave a well-paid job to start his company, CWG.
He noted that his father, fiancée and everybody around him concluded that he was deceiving himself and that he should stick to his ‘juicy’ job.
“Many people (employees) settle in that comfort zone and do not try to see if they can stretch their branches a bit to be more influential or contribute more.
“Entrepreneurship is about leaving your comfort zone, taking calculated risk,” Okere said, stressing that entrepreneurship is just about fulfilling one’s passion.
“You should probably decide to do what you would do, even if you were not paid. For instance, if you see a footballer that is on the bench, that footballer always wants to play, though he is going to get the same amount as the ones that are playing. He wants to play because he has the passion to play,” Okere said.
He recalled Nelson Mandela to be a freedom fighter, who wanted to fulfil his passion, noting that once people reached their passion spot, they flourish. “So as an entrepreneur, the most important thing is what you love to do, even if you usually are not paid.”
It may be rough along the line to becoming a successful entrepreneur. But if one perseveres and continues to attempt, he will prevail.
Okere asserted that there were three basic things entrepreneurs should have: the ‘way power’, ‘will power’ and ‘wait power’. The first means that you are competent, have learned something – be it football, writing, running a company – and be ready to continue to improve on it. The second enables you to go the extra mile, even when people say it would not work. “I remembered when I was leaving my job to start on my own, my father, fiancée and everybody were like, ‘you are deceiving yourself,’ they said. ‘You have a good job, why don’t you stick to it?’
“When I started, it was rough, perhaps rougher than where I was working before. But I continued to pull at it. And that is what every entrepreneur needs,” he noted.
Basically, entrepreneurs need a test of patience. It is not about what one achieves in a day but daily.
JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Oracle, Google, among other entrepreneurs, continually put themselves out and put out products, services and innovations.
“So let us not measure our success in the short term. I believe an entrepreneur should have the staying power to go all the way and pick himself up,” he added. “Chances are that if you have patience, you will see that the seed you have planted will grow to become a tree.”
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