Suppose you were given the following options from which you could choose?
i)Become an employee
ii)Be self employed
If you opted for (ii), you are most probably an entrepreneur. Frankly speaking, entrepreneurs intimidate me. While regular employees have to wait endlessly for a salary that may not come in at the appropriate time, these self employed persons earn their salaries at their own time and on their own terms.
I have a younger sister who deals in exquisite beddings: a budding bedsheets supply enterprise which she refers to as “Mz Didi’s Collections”. You wouldn’t want to know how much profit she rakes in after each sale. If you are a dabster in deciphering writings on the wall, you would easily tell that my baby sister is an entrepreneur and I am most probably not. So what makes these business hounds different from other people who prefer their cocoons?
Confidence is very appealing anytime and anywhere. Entrepreneurs employ this tool readily, not just when they are trying to sell a product or persuade you into patronizing a service they offer. Confidence for entrepreneurs is a major constituent of their genetic blueprint. Ever heard of someone who likes an entrepreneur that is unsure of his or her product possibilities? Definitely not. On the contrary, most people yearn for entrepreneurs who strut confidently across a stage. Plus it’s a major turn on for customers who like to try out new products or services.
Confidence also goes hand in hand with ambition or what Alhaji Aliko Dangote refers to as “tenacity of purpose”. No one says it better than the business mogul who asserts that ” If you don’t have ambition, you shouldn’t be alive”.
2. OPENNESS TO NEW IDEAS
Ever come across the word “autodidactic?” It’s a word that implies a person is self taught. Leonardo Da Vinci was one of the greatest autodidacts that ever lived. And entrepreneurs also fall under this category. This simply means that much of what entrepreneurs know is not learned in a formal, structured environment. Rather, entrepreneurs look out for new channels through which they can expand their horizons. They achieve this feat by asking open ended questions, doing personal research and a whole lot of avid reading. Because of their intense passion for new ideas, entrepreneurs surround themselves with excellent books by great authors. Check out THE EFFECTIVE EXECUTIVE by Peter Drucker.
3. SKYDIVERS IN SUITS
Ever heard of anyone who discusses openly on their blog about penetrative sex, and the loss of sexual pleasure that accompanies a circumcision? I am guessing your answer would be-not any discrete person.But Linda Ifeoma Ikeji did, and with no apologies whatsoever. Why? Because Linda like other daring entrepreneurs understands that the risk is always worth the effort. For Nigeria’s queen of blogging, baring her soul, including her sexuality has not only helped in increasing her readership, but has also helped in cementing the bond that exists between this pundit and her loyal readers. So like skydivers, entrepreneurs are intoxicated by the degree of risks involved in a venture. As a matter of fact, the more precarious the risk, the more appealing the idea. But mind you entrepreneurs are not necessarily gamblers. Unlike gamblers, entrepreneurs take calculated risks. According to experts, while “gamblers operate on the faith that things will work out their way, entrepreneurs possess the experience and tenacity required to make things work out their way”.
4. THE EARLY BIRD
For how long can you sit at a computer doing something serious other than tweeting and internet surfing? I would bet not longer than ten hours. But sometime ago, while some other persons were busy doing arbitrary stuff on their computers, a Harvard kid and his friends were deeply engaged in very intense, brain cracking activities. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had this to say about his overwhelming success “The real story of Facebook is just that we’ve worked so hard all this time…I mean we just sat at our computers for six years and coded”. Like Zuckerberg, all true entrepreneurs understand that hardwork and early preparation are necessary ingredients for achieving success. For successful entrepreneurs, a commonly shared mantra would most definitely be- no pain, no gain. And who says hardwork does not pay, or bring “Dolapo” according to the hilarious, Nigerian TV character Jenifa.
5. STILL I RISE
“Perseverance breeds success” is a motto that has given me dogged determination to succeed through years of endless opposition. Entrepreneurs also stick to this motto because they never give up. In cartoon parlance, they do not squeam at the unsightliness of a Scooby doo phantom. For true entrepreneurs, it is more like a “bring it on, we can do it” kind of thing.
When Mark Zuckerberg’s Facemash was closed due to its very controversial nature, the young scholar did not sit back in his room and sulk. Instead, he turned his lemons into lemonade. And voila! Facebook came alive. Who would ever believe that Linda Ikeji who started out as a struggling blogger in 2006 would rise to an unbelievable apogee in such a short duration? Against all odds, true entrepreneurs rise above the tides of countless failures.
6. YOU SMILE, I SMILE
Where did we all get this crazy belief that entrepreneurs are merely after the money alone? Despite this viral stance, entrepreneurs, unlike ordinary businessmen, are more people oriented than task oriented.This simply implies that entrepreneurs are just as interested in giving us pleasure as much as they are interested in making profit. Nnamdi Okonji, the 25 year old managing director of THE EXECUTIVES – an event management enterprise in Nigeria asserts that he derives great joy when he mixes a drink and people are truly satisfied with it. The Dangote Foundation set up in 1994 remains a corporate social responsibility aim of Dangote group of products. This foundation intervenes in the areas of health, education and empowerment. Also, through the business initiatives of Ben Murray Bruce, the beauty queen Agbani Darego became the first African ever to win the Miss World pageant. The list could go on: Michael and Cecilia Ibru’s foundation, Strive Masiyiwa’s philanthropy. And of course, Mark Zuckerberg’s ingenuity in creating a successful platform through which people can connect with each other across the globe.
7. FOREVER AND A DAY MORE
I had to save the best for the last. It remains my secret recipe to a mouthwatering delivery. Newsflash! Entrepreneurs are very much capable of falling, and staying in love. Unlike arbitrary lovers, entrepreneurs are capable of making a delicious blend of love and business till it rakes in a beautiful amount of sweet minted cash. These types of entrepreneurs are called Copreneurs. They bond absolutely better while doing business together. Talk of Mickey Mouse and Minnie.
Successful copreneurs, unlike ordinary lovers, have an expertise at handling conflicts especially when placed in a business atmospheres. Plus these entrepreneurs notice their personality quirks on time, and go right ahead to curb these demons. Indeed, nothing says it better than the adventurous Isaac and Nneka Moses of Goge Africa, the enigmatic Michael and Cecilia Ibru. And then of course, the highly talented Tunde and Wunmi Obe.
In conclusion, for all their intimidating dispositions, eradicating entrepreneurs remains a white elephant project. As a matter of fact, the thought of a world bereaved of entrepreneurs is as utopic as the thought of a world of converted Jews. Plus while my entrepreneurial baby sister continues to act indifferent to the stupendous cost of a Zanotti bag, I still flinch at the thought that my wallet may be somewhat short of a single green.