I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was 13. My first business? Selling sweets and giving massages to my friends (Don’t even ask). I’ve always enjoyed offering unique services and products to a niche market, basically, I’m good at convincing the same individuals to give me their money over and over again. Yes, I love making money. Maybe you’ve been pondering on the idea of starting a business for years or maybe you’re a bit more spontaneous and decided to take the plunge today. Either I congratulate you and though success isn’t always guaranteed in this world of business, the experience is unforgettable. And before you take that next life-changing step here is a quick list of the Must-Knows.
1) It’s not easy
Sorry to burst your bubble of optimism and mega-profit, but let’s face it, there’s no fairy godmother hiding around the corner with a wand to make all your business tycoon ambitions come true. Everything you want to achieve in life requires 10 times the effort. That’s 10 times the marketing, 10 times the sale pitches, 10 times the engagement of social media. Basically, if you take everything you had planned to do to get this project started and multiply it by 10. ( 10X rule-Grant Cardone)
2) Don’t wait for capital
I know what You’re thinking
“How do I start a business without capital?”
There are countless ways to go around this. First, you could think smaller. Yes, smaller. Almost every notable business person started a smaller project in order to fund their big project. Elon Musk had PayPal, Chiyangwa sold vegetables and Genius (may his soul rest peacefully) sold gas. Nothing you invest in life and a goal is ever in vain. Unless you give up. Master the patience of a farmer.
Second of all, you can simply sell for other people until you have enough money to launch. Another option is to join a network marketing company with a good reputation. There are plenty of these such as Avon. The focus is not on the product itself but on building yourself up as a future leader and entrepreneur( Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant-Robert Kiyosaki)
Lastly, leverage your connections. If you know people with money, convince them to become your venture capitalists.
3) 95% of businesses go bust within the first five years.
Come on! I can hear you say. At this point, you probably feel I’m busting your chops. I believe this fact should motivate you to work even harder and be a good steward of your capital profits and business system.
Most businesses go broke because people spend their capital, yes they literally chow it! Protect your capital once you have it don’t milk the cow too early. ( Richest man of Babylon-George S Clason)
4) Failure is inevitable
I know you don’t want to hear this. And I hate to quote a pop song but ” What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”
Every great business experienced failure before a peak. Apple, Amazon, Tesla, Space X, even your everyday musika. Failing is an integral part of life. It forces you to innovate, break into new markets and yes start that business. You’re only a failure if failing keeps you down. Your greatest success is beyond the horizon of failure. (The Greatest Salesman-Og Mandino)
Now here’s my favourite part of this article. Regardless of all you will experience just know that you will be fine. You will be ok. Don’t panic, don’t fret too much. Keep going and keep your goal in mind. Even if the odds seem stacked against, you have a winning force on your side. Your determination.
Valerie Tendai Chatindo is a biochemist, writer and entrepreneur. She owns her own perfume-making business which operates in Harare. Follow her @tendy_vchatndo