Entrepreneurship, Why Many Don’t Do It

Everywhere in the world governments are trying to encourage their people to create jobs for other people. This solves a huge problem which confronts politicians during their bids for another office term. The job numbers Barack Obama administration put out together with strong Wall Street run could have signalled death knell for Republican ‎politicians as he made a good ground for Democrats. However in most of the world politicians are confronted by a people desperate for jobs, calls for entrepreneurship will be ignored. This puts government in a precarious situation & most resort to pumping money into infrastructure projects creating short term employment and temporary reprieve. Having been applying my mind to entrepreneurship for a long time I now understand why people would rather work for a pittance. Below are some of the reasons why many won’t be bothered about setting up a business.

The Man & Women in Offices

For entrepreneurs to get business started they must register through some government bodies and here you find full time employees with little or no understanding of being in entrepreneur shoes. They will take their time while you have no time to waste & need to run. In a country like Zimbabwe it’s worse because they need a bribe to do the work and the system is paper based taking up to 3 months to register a company properly. On the other hand rules for entrepreneurship are crafted by people who sometimes have never attempted any kind of business; their obsession is putting together stringent requirements whose consequences they care little about. The world would have more businesses and employment if entrepreneurs drew rules to begin business. They would make the process lean & efficient. One thing I have noticed is that the more desperate a nation is for investment, the harder they make for investors to come in & the greater they multiply poverty. Check the Ease of Business Index and see where your nation ranks: Business Index

Money is Not Guaranteed & Should Not Be an Objective

When many people think of going into business, the objective is to be rich and have all the nice things in life. But the truth is if you are in it for the money you will never get in or stay the marathon. You need a goal bigger than money to be an entrepreneur. Most people who are known for flashing money and possessions are not business people. Think of Steve Jobs unveiling iPhone wearing those old jeans and black sweater which people found boring or think of Mark Zuckerberg in same kind of clothing. These people don’t really care about money and designer clothes but have billions. Contrast with that Man of God worth a million when he dresses up for preaching, you get the picture? So if you go into business having fantasies of Rolls Royce, Rolex & Embraer you will be disappointed because you will not have time to be showing off. If you have the time then know your business will be suffering your presence and attention.

There is No Tea, Lunch & Knockoff Time

Many people fantasize about going into business and be able to take long breaks and escape the leash of 9-5 jobs, they look at is as some form of freedom. The only fr‎eedom you get by going into business is freedom to work longer and with little breaks. Many times you will have to wake up in the middle of the night & do one or two tasks before going back to bed again. The time you used to devote to watching soapies is suddenly filled with things you need to do because time becomes an expensive commodity especially if you are holding down a full-time job and nurturing your startup. I know one man who was interested in business, he had a good plan but when he realized the time and effort he needed to put in, he simply quit.

There is Not Many Able Hands to Help

Unless you are superman who can juggle many things at once, you will need help as you start. The best option is to build a team of people who understand & are willing to help out in the work. Sadly there are few people with independence of mind to lighten the burden. The average person prefers to be led, be given a set of tasks and shown how to do them. This is time consuming and drags back other things. Steve Jobs and other engineers often worked in isolation from other people concentrating on the product. They knew others were busy in their own space & the complete picture would fit like a puzzle. They did not have to come back and find nobody moved in their absence waiting to be guided. Finding people who take initiative is not easy and just because someone has an MBA does not translate to a person who can move the levers of business, most education is just academic. I have tried building a team starting with 70 people then 20 of the best from 70. When all was said and done I was left with 2 out of the 20. So be prepared to wear many hats but also be on the lookout for the standout persons. Some people who ended up in my team I saw them via social networking, their ability was evident from how they interact and the quality thereof.

Budget for Delays for Time You Don’t Have

We often visualize business as like a train on a railway line, it has a predictable starting point and stays on track until it arrives at a sure destination. Nothing could be further from the truth, you will likely need to do things as quickly as possible but be patient with many delays. If it was the same train journey then you will be derailed many times, pause for a while waiting for red robots to turn green or have a tree stuck in your lane to be removed. If you are not prepared to think around obstacles or tunnel through them then you might as well stay out of the game. Think about Strive Masiyiwa starting Econet Wireless, all the red tape & courtroom battles, how many would have persevered and how many would have quit?

Overall when you decide to go into business, there are many obstacles. Some of them you will know of and many will spring out of the blue and surprise you. However you must be prepared to tackle them head-on ‎with all might. It would help to believe in something higher than yourself, I’m a Christian, Steve Jobs was a Buddhist, Strive is a Christian, Derek Handley had Napoleon letters. Believing in a higher power will lift your spirit during the hardest times. The best you can do is having a goal bigger than all obstacles you will meet, usually if it can change a million lives forever then it will be worth giving your all. I’m blessed to be born in Africa, everywhere I look there are problems that look big and when solved can impact many millions of lives, therein lies the opportunity, the battle and the blessing.