Becoming an Entrepreneur In Zimbabwe? You Must Be Mad!
Becoming an Entrepreneur is not for the faint hearted. Be prepared to eat, sleep and breathe your new business. You won’t get through this on your own; you need the support of your family and friends as you will keep unsociable hours.
If you have ambitions of becoming an entrepreneur then it’s probably a dream you are born with. Every job I’ve ever had, one week in I would find myself questioning the manager or owner and putting forward suggestions on how they could improve the business. I was never satisfied with the way things were running, I always thought I could do it better. My can-do attitude often got promoted quickly to a managerial position. I was happy but deep in my heart all I ever wanted was to manage and build my own business. We all have to start somewhere and work for someone, but if you have the heart of an entrepreneur then you will very quickly realize that you would much rather be working for yourself, as scary as that prospect is. My motto has always been “Feel the fear, but do it anyway”.
I had very little money when I started every business venture I’ve been on. I know your’re reading this and thinking I can’t start on my idea because I don’t have money. Throw away the “some day I will” talk. Believe in your idea nothing should stand in your way of taking that first step. If the passion is there, just start!
If you wait until you have enough money to start a business then you might wait for a long time, and it will never happen.
You will wake up everyday terrified of losing your customers! Knowing that without them you don’t have a business, is the best motivation you to have to deliver the best customer service policies. There are some businesses you can do solo. These sort of businesses will come with their own set of challenges. You can’t afford to get sick, if you don’t show up your business doesn’t open, so often you have to work through the illness. Also keeping in mind that while you’re still establishing your business you don’t get paid.
3. Employ The Right People
If you’re fortunate enough to have extra money you can employ people who can help your business grow. The trick is to try and find employees who share the same passion as you for your business idea, who are prepared to give their all in the beginning knowing that the rewards will be far greater than they can imagine once the business takes off. With a Zimbabwean economy this is easier said than done but you must keep the faith.
4. Self Satisfaction
The most rewarding part of being an entrepreneur, is not the money (when it eventually comes). Personally, ‘its that absolute high I get when the idea starts from a small seed and grows into something that works. The feeling you get when you know you have spent 18-20 hours a day working on your idea, not being able to sleep because ideas are just spinning around in your head, not wanting to do anything else but work on your plan, because you believe with all your heart this will work. This feeling is worth so much more than money, and its what drives an entrepreneur.
This won’t be an easy road to walk. When you tell your friends and family that you want to leave your corporate job and venture into being an entrepreneur they will think you have lost your mind. Most people have been socialised to go to school, graduate, get a good job and work for someone else. Your idea of thinking outside the box will make some people uncomfortable. Don’t let that stop you and remember to:
Take a step,
Use what you have,
If you have a very good idea you may be fortunate enough to get an investor.
If you take the step to start out by boot strapping then be prepared for the sleepless nights that accompany that decision.
Are you an entrepreneur or have you thought about the idea and never made it materialise? What are some of the challenges and achievements you’ve encountered on this journey?
Next Thursday I will share the advantages and disadvantages of being an entrepreneur, make sure you join the conversation.