No one ever said it was easy being an entrepreneur. Whether you're in the early stages of your statrup, just secured funding for your startup or you are ready for product launch, there will always be those three components when you ask yourself if this whole entrepreneur thing is worth it. Instead of giving up and throwing-in the proverbial white towel, this forum will help in giving you all the motivation you need to achieve your result.
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Vision, Strategy and Innovation. Key Ingredient to Entrepreneurship.
During my first experience as an entrepreneur in
Nigeria, we were part of a small company with only a few employees. One day, we
were all overbooked with an important engagement. One of our major challenges
was related to a very specific technical issue, and we couldn’t find someone to
help us to fix it. Resources were scarce. Since we required the experts for
only few days, even when we succeeded to find a resource, the expert wasn’t
interested by such a small contract.
Then, one weekend after, a friend of mine
proposed to try a new place where you can have lunch, while sharing your table
with strangers. At our table, some people were discussing a new innovative app
that could help to better manage business cards. I was immediately attracted by
their conversation and jumped on, and after some minutes, I found myself talking
about my current issue with my engagement. Suddenly, the lady sitting on the
other side of the table told me: “My cousin is in this area- I can ask him if
he can help you, let me call him?” This small and unexpected connection allowed
me to deliver my project, and to get bigger engagement with our customers.
This is one anecdote only, but it says it all: being curious and open-minded
about everything opens new doors to you, and the next day, this door can help
you to fix your biggest challenge of the moment.
Curiosity and passion are the main drivers of
innovation projects for entrepreneurs or corporations. I strongly believe that
if an entrepreneur has both, there is nothing that can stop him or her from
I discovered very early that I can be bored
very quickly, and as the American author Elizabeth Gilbert has mentioned: “The
cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” I am curious
about everything, not only news, technology, or ideas, but also curious about
people. I am fascinated by learning from others, from their journeys and
experiences- how they became what they are, and where they are. I have always
believed that there is a
lesson to learn from everyone, or from every experience. It is a
chance to be able to discuss, confront ideas. It helps to build a colorful and
Curiosity is often the easy version of
passion. Even if you are not comfortable with hanging out and chatting with others,
by training and taking yourself out of your comfort zone, you can change your
way of dealing with diverse situations in your professional and personal life.
Here are some simple tips that can help you ace on the networking front:
- Go to one event at least every 10 days
- In the room, choose five people- one from
each corner of the room, and one in the middle
- Set goals, such as that your objectives are
to speak with five new people in this event
- Always try to ask questions: “I would love
to know why and how…”
- Don’t be fixed on the topic of a networking
event- choose different topics that inspire you
- Be open and happy to learn something new
- Enjoy the moment to meet someone new
- And most importantly, do not expect anything
from the people you’ll meet. Do not have any ask nor request, just be curious
about them, their story. The benefits of the network always come later.
As an entrepreneur, these connections are
essential for your business. Your curiosity affects your capacity to innovate,
to address issues and build a strong and scalable business, and to spot new
opportunities. This is how you can identify a pool of different mentors, or
This is also how you will learn about new
innovative topics, and how you will improve your capabilities to generate
creative ideas. By practicing, you can build soft skills and “connect the
dots,” applying different models from other industries, having strategic
thinking, gaining more complex problem-solving mind, and so on.
Passion can pay
the price for success
Passion is the other driver for success, but passion can be difficult to
maintain. It characterizes often leaders and entrepreneurs- as the author
Robert Lee wrote: “Curiosity and passion are parents: one is grounded on earth,
and the other is ethereal in the atmosphere. Their names are fulfillment and
If you do not gain values or opportunities in
developing yourself from your networking and your conversations, then it is
like accumulating books and articles that you never read- you miss the
takeaway, and the chance to improve.
As an entrepreneur, if you are passionate
about what you do, then improving yourself should be your main goal. Investors
and customers buy into your passion, your resilience, your curiosity, and your why. Passion drives you to
do a better job, and makes you a better leader and entrepreneur. Passion makes
you accept to pay the price for the success.
Also, passion drives resilience. Without
resilience, the innovation cycle of “try-fail-try again” doesn’t exist anymore.
With passion, resilience is not painful, but becomes sustainable.
My passion impacts where I am today. When I moved
to the region from Paris, the journey was not easy. It was my decision to move
to Dubai, to sell my company, and to restart all from the beginning, without
any connections, without knowing exactly what I would do, or how it would look
like to be an entrepreneur in Africa. My only driver was to be part of this
After some years in Malaysia, I had to make an
important decision: I received a fantastic offer from one of my connections in
Nigeria, and I had to choose between returning to Nigeria to take a very
comfortable position with an attractive package and work with people who knew
me, or staying on here and continuing with building and fulfilling my passion.
I don’t think I would have taken the same decision if I
were not passionate about discovering new things, and about innovation. As an
entrepreneur, your passion drives the excellence of your execution. You want to
see your dreams become true, and you want to realize the benefits of this
effort. This effort is the fire and the energy to fulfill you. When a founder
leaves a company, his or her spirit, energy, and passion are often no longer
there, and the company fails to reproduce the same.
Passion is personal, but its realization and
execution are collective. It is through a strong culture and inspirational
leadership that the founder succeeds in creating a common vision, so that
passion becomes reality, and drives sustainable adhesion.
Twenty percent of small businesses fail within their first year. Entrepreneurship is no walk in the park. In fact, the amount of new businesses that fail exceed the number that succeed. That’s why it’s more important than ever to create a unique product or service that helps you stand out from the rest.
However, don’t be discouraged. If you believe in your business, passion will prevail. On average, 75 percent of small-business owners are confident in their company. And why shouldn’t they be? They’ve turned their passion into profit. Yet, keep in mind it’s important not to be overly confident. Instead, take things one step at a time. Typically, 20 percent of small businesses fail in their first year, 50 percent in their fifth year and 70 percent after a decade of being in business.
A number of factors play into a business’s closing, such as location, the current market, cash flow and more. The number of reason most small businesses fail is due to cash flow, and California cities such …
It is incorrect to conclude that pursuing Entrepreneurship is better or worse than pursuing a role of a senior corporate executive. Being an entrepreneur is not for everyone. However, not every successful entrepreneur has the skill set to thrive in a corporate environment. Life as an entrepreneur, especially during the early stages of a business, is very challenging. There is an element of uncertainty and risk that one will not face when he/she signs up for a stable job with a large corporate. Further, the perks at the office and the lifestyle are typically not as extravagant. There are various reasons why people choose to pursue the path of entrepreneurship. Solving a problem/Addressing a need - The root of entrepreneurship is often based in solving a particular problem. For many entrepreneurs, ideas are driven by real life problems that they have faced. A prime example for this can be Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, founders of Airbnb. The need for a pocket-friendly accommodation other t…
Africa is a growing continent that
has great potential and natural resources. Because there are many business opportunities in Africa, most
entrepreneurs are now venturing in the continent. They take this opportunity not only to gain money but also to improve the
lives of the people in that region. To be a successful
entrepreneur in Africa, you have to look beyond the resources
the continent offers, the Gold, Diamond, Copper, Oil, Timber and many other
resources. The term “millionaire” is taking on a new meaning in Africa. It’s no longer just about the size of your bank account; any shady
politician, corrupt bureaucrat, or unscrupulous businessman on the continent
can easily claim to be a millionaire. But Africa’s new and emerging generation
of millionaires are not just excited about money. They’re also passionate about
impact; they want to create value that touches and improves people’s lives. It’s called impact
entrepreneurship. It’s the new way of making money and doing good, at the