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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

10 myths about Entrepreneurs.....Lies, lies, lies!!

It's time for that sanction again, no stepping out nor food till I update my blog! Yes I can!

It's been a hectic week. Apart from being a mumpreneur, I am the first of six children so I am like an octopus with many legs. One of my sisters wasn't feeling very well and I have been supporting her at home with housework and cooking. I said it before, on my list of priorities, after God, family comes next before all else. I started typing this at her house yesterday but didn't finish because I spent almost two hours in traffic and just fainted when I got home. This is the story of a life lived in Lagos. O ga ju!

July 9, 2013.......

I was on air earlier today with Ayo and Debbie of 102.3fm, yaaay me! hehe. We talked about entrepreneurship, the challenges and how I have been surviving. This inspired today's post. Based on our discussion I am going to share ten myths about an entrepreneur;

1. Entrepreneurs are Lazy

Why would you go and spend 5 years in school or go and get an MBA and then not work for some big named company? It must be because you are lazy and don't want to work. . This is one of the greatest assumptions people make when they meet entrepreneurs or "dreamers". My friend, will you go and get a job!"Ko fe sise ni, ole", as yoruba people would say. Lol

Perhaps, there are some who do not want to work within an organization because they cannot submit to authority nor work hard to save their lives. These people may hide under the guise of entrepreneurship for a while, but they can't and won't last because no, entrepreneurs are in fact hard working people.

2. Entrepreneurs answer to no one

You can't stand your annoying boss right? So you want to resign and "run things". Think again. As an entrepreneur, you have even more people you report to if you really want to succeed. Here's a list - Customers, Investors, Shareholders, Employees (yes o, believe! you pay salaries before you pay yourself), Society. So are you still thinking of resigning just because of that one boss? *Raises eyebrows*

3. Entrepreneurs have more time to do whatever they want

I read this and laugh in swahili!! Time! True, I don't have to wake up at 5:30 to dress up hurriedly so I can get to work on time, rather I get up at 5:30 to pray and plan my day so it doesn't go to waste. Time management is a critical skill for any entrepreneur. The days go by so fast, you can go from day to day without achieving anything and there's so much to do. So yes, perhaps we have more time but more time to do what we want like sleeping in? Don't know about that, especially if we want to be successful.

4. Entrepreneurs with an MBA are more likely to make it

Wrong! This in it self can even be a challenge. I saw this somewhere this morning, "In theory, theory and practice are the same, but in practice, they are completely different". MBA's are more likely to experience analysis paralysis. Preparing financial projections, drawing up plans over and over again while others are busy doing.

5. Entrepreneurs who have adequate funding will surely make it to the top

I have said it before and will say it again, Capital is overrated. Common sense is more important. Making the most of what you have, your time, your network and other resources.

6. Entrepreneurs are happy automatically because they are doing something they like

It's great to be doing something you enjoy, but doing something you enjoy profitably comes with a lot of things you may not enjoy. So there are days when entrepreneurs get sad, infact very sad! This is why we constantly look for ways to stay motivated. I still owe you a post on my survival kit.

7. Entrepreneurs are born and not made, it's in the genes

There are two different schools of thought on this subject. Scientists have even carried out research and propounded theories about this, no kidding! I am no expert on the subject, but here are my thoughts. Entrepreneurs have certain character traits that set them apart, yes. But you can have these traits and never explore them or have them lead you to entrepreneurship. Circumstances in life lead people to a point where they make a choice to become entrepreneurs. At this point in life, those who already have these character traits can soar naturally or not, those who don't have these traits can either build their character or fall out. It's a choice.

8. Entrepreneurs are greedy people who see business as a path to riches

Money is good. Infact it is great. But if you take a sample of entrepreneurs and ask them what motivates them, I doubt that 3 out of 10 will name money as their motivation. A greedy person can't even survive as an entrepreneur, because they would want gratification now! This is so not the case. We have to learn patience and endurance. Delayed gratification is our watchword.

9. Entrepreneurs are people with great, novel ideas

Sometimes, people think that if you don't have that idea that is completely fresh and hot, you cannot start a business. I have a friend who has a thing for catering, but dumped the idea because she said everybody is doing it. I told her two things. First thing, the market is bigger than you imagine, segment the market and find your niche. Secondly,  everybody is solving a problem, but how? Your how can be what would set you apart. Study the players in the market and find a better way to do what they are doing.

10. Men make better entrepreneurs than women

Someone once told me to get a job because business is not easy, it is not for women. It's too tough.  Kai! This is the mentality that limits a lot of women in Africa, even in their careers. Let me just list a few attributes of women that makes them better entrepreneurs. Women are, patient, have the ability to multitask at the same time focus, have the ability to motivate and inspire a team, can negotiate, can build an empire from nothing (how many times have we had to cook a  meal from what looks like an empty fridge?). Any man out there up for a challenge?! Lol.

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