Many people have a lot of myths about what being an entrepreneur is and how it will shape/affect their life that are simply not true. be a successful entrepreneur in South Africa and these are the seven biggest myths that I continuously hear.
1. Being an Entrepreneur is too risky for me.
Starting your own business in these days is not too much more risky than trying for any other corporate job. At a corporate job you can be laid off at any time, successful entrepreneur businessman have benefits cut with no reason, and work long overtime without being compensated for that. If you are student as well, the risk can’t be that bad. It’s not like you have a mortgage or family to support if it fails.
2. I am too young to start my own company
Being young is not a negative, in fact in most cases it’s a positive! When your young you have the passion energy and enthusiasm that is needed to work 14 hour days day in and day out for a company you believe in. Most older people with more experience just don’t want to do that any more.
3. I have no experience
Again, be a successful entrepreneur this can work towards your advantage. Your lack of experience means that you are looking at everything with a fresh set of eyes. You wont get stuck in the “we have always done it that way” kind of thinking that can stop other entrepreneurs. Running your own company will also build much more valuable experiences than a job flipping burgers will at your age.
4. It is not the right time for me to launch a business.
As a student you have a schedule that is completely flexible and large blocks of time between classes and on breaks to start a business. Campuses have tons of resources you can harness as well, what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur so there really has never been a better time than now.
5. If I am running a business my grades will fall.
Running a business takes organization and discipline. If you are organized and disciplined in one area of your life it will probably pass over to the other areas of your life as well. Many student entrepreneurs I know actually report their grades increasing once they started a business.
6. Student businesses are just small rinky-dink operations
Some student business that started as just rinky-dink operations were Dell, Google, and Microsoft. You have probably heard of those companies right? That is because they were great ideas and hard work created products that had potential to expand from their small beginnings. Your business can too!
7. I don’t have any money! I can’t start a company
Everyone seems to think only millionaires start companies. This is simply not true. Most companies are started with the founders savings and no investment capital. Start with what you can and work hard. Things will come together if you want them to come together. You will be amazed at what you can do!
be a successful entrepreneur in South Africa?
My husband and I work together on cutting wood for our heat source for the winter months. I enjoy helping him as much as he enjoys the help. I am an entrepreneur and he is a man who enjoys the comforts of a 9 to 5 job. Both of us take pleasure in being out doors in nature. It may be the only thing we have been on the same page about during our 20+ years of marriage.
One particularly nice morning my husband asked me to go into the woods to collect the logs he just finished cutting. I joyfully agreed but when I got out there he was already returning to the house to tune up his chain saw. "No problem", I thought, "I'll just keep busy until he comes back."
As I looked around the parameter of the forest I couldn't see the log he said he had cut up. Going deeper into the thicket of tall brier's and spindly trees, my clothes were being pulled and torn, thorns were cutting my shins and my unhealed broken ankle began to throb from stepping into holes.
I eventually found the log he had cut up and looked around for a better path to get back to the road. "Surely he cut one for me." I thought. "We just discussed this yesterday. Does he really expect me to lug this hard wood such a distance with a hurt foot and without a path?" Within seconds of looking around it became obvious there was no path to get back to the road besides the trail I had just made.
By the time I had taken out two arm loads of wood, I felt beat up, my skin was torn up and I was totally focused on my husbands lack of consideration. "This is how he does everything!" I exclaimed exasperated. "He needs to understand that the way you do anything is the way you'll do everything and this is why we're never on the same page!"
By the time he returned I had spewed all the negative thoughts in to the wind and I couldn't speak. I no longer wanted to lay into him because I knew my thoughts had shifted to an epiphany. I realized the truth. In the years I've wanted him to be involved in my business, I had never once made a clear path for him either. I want him to enjoy helping me in my business, but I have never actually shown him the possibilities of how it could be done. How would he know what the joys or pitfalls could be unless I cut a clear path for him to?
I used this wood cutting experience because as entrepreneurs its important that we allow our spouses paths to be easier to journey through. If you desire to be on the same page then ask yourself one simple question: If I could cut a path for my spouse to understand my work, what would that path look like? If you really give this some thought I think you will find ideas you've never thought about before.
Entrepreneurs - Your Well Being Should Come Before Profits
Starting a business and becoming successful is often part of the American Dream. But there is a difference between starting a business and building a successful business. Many businesses fail within the first few years of existence due to the lack of planning for the long-term. There is not enough vision and there is not enough done to strengthen the business properly from the ground up.
If you want to start a business there is an easy way to get a better understanding of why some businesses fail and others don't. When starting a business think about it similar to building a house. If done right it is protecting you against any kind of storm or danger of the outside world and will last for a long time. It offers shelter and protection. For you and your business that could be translated to that you want to have a business that is able to weather economical ups and downs (=storm) and that will provide income to pay the bills (shelter and protection).
When building a house there are several different steps you need to follow to have the house build. You know you want a house, but you got to pick a location and get an architect to plan everything out. In the business world that would be: you know you want to start a business, but you have to come up with a business idea and work out a business plan. The next thing for the house would be to build the foundation (and eventually the basement) for the house. In the business world - you got to build the initial infrastructure (example: connecting with vendors, find a manufacturer for your product, create a sales team, rent office space, get a delivery truck, etc.). Once that is in place you able to actually do business and earn some money. But you are not completely done yet. You need to build a frame, put in windows and you also need a roof on house. For your business this means that you pay off debt, improve business processes and get professional help when needed (example: find a tax accountant, select a payroll service, etc.).
Once the house is build you probably want to fill it with furniture and make it livable for the future. Nobody wants to sleep on the floor, right. Again translating this to the business world it could mean that you invest money you earned back into your business. You buy machinery instead of leasing it. Eventually you buy a building, hire more staff, develop more products, move into new markets, build up a high cash reserve, and buy other businesses and so forth. This is often the step where winners and losers separate. Re-investing money into the business is a key factor for success. If you go and spend all the money on your own salary to buy things you have nothing to go back to when the economy slips into a recession or if disaster strikes.
The successful business owner has build up a cash reserve or can borrow money from bank – securing loans with the assets of the business. Going back to building a house this pretty much matches the same efforts. You pay off your mortgage and have equity available to eventually borrow against when emergency arises. Emergencies do not include paying off credit cards to use them again or to buy a car. Financially responsible you should be looking at the long term and not finance short-term goods with long-term debt.