ENTREPRENEURSHIP: START SMALL

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An entrepreneur is a person who organises and operates a business venture and assumes much of associated risk. He is seen as a business leader and innovator of new ideas and processes. The quality of being an entrepreneur is called ‘entrepreneurship’ and this involves the capacity and willingness to develop, organise and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make profit. Entrepreneurs generally tend to be good at perceiving new business possibilities, seeing unmet market need and possess a pro-risk-taking attitude which makes them more likely to exploit the opportunity. Entrepreneurial spirit is characterised by innovation and risk-taking as the entrepreneur is ready to put his/her career and financial security on the line in order to explore a new idea. This entrepreneurial spirit is argued to be innate by some scholars while some agree that it can be acquired, however the case may be, one cannot talk about an entrepreneur without involving the word ‘risk’. Spending time as well as capital on an idea which is uncertain, is a very risky step to take but true entrepreneurs do not perceive the level of uncertainty to be as high as other people do. According to Knight, uncertainty is classified into three; the first being ‘Risk’ which can be measurable statistically, ‘Ambiguity’ comes second, this is hard to measure statistically while ‘True certainty’ is the third and is impossible to estimate or predict statistically.

Entrepreneurship is often associated with true uncertainty, especially for a market that did not previously exist and for this reason it is very uncommon to tell the story of an entrepreneur without failure and struggle. At some point most great and well-known entrepreneurs hit rock bottom or had to stand alone because other people didn’t think their ideas were realistic. Aaron Schildkrout, a co-founder of HOWABOUTME.COM admits that the early days were filled with constant thoughts of failure as the odds were against them resoundingly but the idea of creating something from nothing that millions of people could find love from was worth facing failure for. Jason Chukwuma Njoku, the British-born Nigerian entrepreneur who came up with the idea of starting a Nollywood  distribution business and is now the CEO of iROKOtv, had his own fair share of failure  as iROKOtv which he succeeded in  at last was his eleventh attempt at starting a business. Cosmos Maduka who started Coscharis group began with 300naira as a sole proprietor, he made good fortune from buying and selling motorcycle spare parts at first but lost the money he realized to wrong importation and had to start from the scratch. The story goes on and on but the common point in these stories is the tendency to keep pushing after failing. The most successful entrepreneurs will tell you that at some point in their careers, they thought they were going to fail not because they didn’t have enough confidence in themselves, but because they had risked everything.

What differentiates successful people and those who never made it to the top is the ability to analyse the cause of their failure, learn from it and keep pushing. To possess this quality you have to be driven by passion, the love for what you want would be all that would keep you going, at some point. It is this passion that would make you hold on tightly; lead you to conceptualize and explore all possibilities as giving up wouldn’t bring fulfilment but emptiness. At that point failure becomes a teacher and not the opposite of success. Aaron Schildkrout claimed to have learned from repeated trials, how to fail quickly. This may seem odd but when failure becomes a teacher you’d be open to learning and finding solutions to it therefore having a good foresight with time.

As a young entrepreneur, at your infancy stage you may be told that ‘everyone wasn’t made to become an entrepreneur’, as much as some scholars agree with this, I’ve learnt that everyone was made to have a passion and exploring that passion may lead you to becoming an entrepreneur. So I’d say start; however crazy it may seem, however hard it may seem and no matter the number of times you’re told “its not in you” just start and like very successful entrepreneur who made it to the top keep believing, let your passion lead you to acquiring the entrepreneurial spirit if not innate. Acquire the required skill, research, compile data and make your plan. Start now, start small, become a shameless self-promoter and never be deterred by failure. Above all stay true to your passion, believe in your crazy ideas as every great entrepreneur did and greatness would come in time.

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