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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Successful businesses are not built overnight....

"Business opportunities are like buses, there's always another one coming."
- Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Enterprises

We live in a generation of entrepreneurs....  guys who give birth to an innovative ideas, nurse them into a multi million dollar corporation. These stories are inspirational they make you want to go out there and do it too, make soo much money you never have to ask for anything ever again. We all want to be the next Gates, Jobs, Motsepe or Magang. We dream of it. Most of my friends from high school have the bug also, all they talk about is starting businesses, ''hustling''. getting grants, leasing farms etc. My University friends too.

il say this for myself, i do not think im cut out for it, i love the idea yes, know what to do, know what it takes but do not have it in me. The patience, the sacrifices one needs to make. Thats why im comfortable persuing a career. I would rather you come up with the idea, work your ass off, then i come in at the funding part, then we share the fruits of your labour. Good Business.

Its good that our generation has been bit by this bug, its even better that Governments across Sub-Saharan Africa encourage it, believe in it. But entrepreneurs in these countries face mammoth obstacles like Declining markets: Saturated Markets: Political and Economic instability etc. But i want to bring into play a part of the problem facing entrepreneurs in modern day Botswana. Funding is available, albeit it is sometimes distributed in dubious ways, politically we are sound but our market for almost anything is small sized. My problem with Batswana entrepreneurs is their mentality.
First thing is first, any money you get IS NOT YOURS!!!!!!!!!!!! You might be owner but you are still employee to that enterprise. All the money that flows in should then be used on said enterprise. Expand, Expand and expand. This is if incase you are lucky to make any profit the first 5 years. If not do not give up, it is said that on average companies break even after at-least 5 year. So if you want to quit after only a year or two then you are in the wrong place. Patience and Sacrifice are key, put in those hours, be ready to fail, come up with solutions to circumvent the problem.
Secondly IF YOU THINK STARTING A BUSINESS MEANS A FLASHY CAR FORGET IT!!! Please do not take your start-up's funding and buy a Range Rover, and as American say 'make it Rain on em hoes' in the club, build big houses. You simply cannot afford Mortgages, car payments and Running a business all at once. That vacation you want to take to Brazil with the Company Turn-over is a bad idea. That house in Phakalane you buy with money from a government tender is not a good idea. That money should go to your operations.

Let your business build you a comfortable life first, do not rush to live beyond your means. Once we set ourselves free from this backward mentality, be patient and determined the number of businesses that fail in Botswana would be at a minimal. Then we could really help our country-men by creating real jobs and become the driving force of this otherwise one-dimensional economy.
Sacrifice, determination and patience.
Create, Innovate and revolutionize.

"Innovation is the specific tool of entrepreneurs, the means by which they exploit change as an opportunity for a different business or a different service. It is capable of being presented as a discipline, capable of being learned, capable of being practiced. Entrepreneurs need to search purposefully for the sources of innovation, the changes and their symptoms that indicate opportunities for successful innovation. And they need to know and to apply the principles of successful innovation."
- Peter F. Drucker, "The Father of Modern Management"

I desperately want an Apartment, A flashy Audi Q7, im impatient, i could not handle all that needs to be done to succeed as a businessman. So i am persuing a career in Finance, managing people's money, advising the financially illeterate, using other people's money to fund people with good ideas. Steve Jobs, Sergey Brin, Larry Page etc, had passion, determination, patience and sacrificed a lot. They had the idea they needed the funding.
We need to change as a people to stand a chance. Do not fall into the same trap you fellows fell in.
"When you reach an obstacle, turn it into an opportunity. You have the choice. You can overcome and be a winner, or you can allow it to overcome you and be a loser. The choice is yours and yours alone. Refuse to throw in the towel. Go that extra mile that failures refuse to travel. It is far better to be exhausted from success than to be rested from failure."
- Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics


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