In a recent article, we looked at the need to get out of the comfort of living a life of average as well as looking at reasons why you may need to start a business.
In this article, we move slowly out of the average into the field of risk-takers, the field of those who are eager to unleash what is hidden inside them, the world of those who say it is always overcrowded at the bottom and want to move to the top.
It is ever so easy and comfortable to follow the normal and do the expected. The world belongs to the adventurers. Question is, how much do you want to succeed in the world of business?
You can get it if you really want!
A story is told of a man who went to a wise one so he could have wisdom. The wise one asked the man how much he needed wisdom, to which the man replied: “Very much.”
The wise one then took the man to a river and asked him to wade across with him. When he was at waist level, the wise one stopped him and asked the man how much he needed wisdom, to which the man replied again: “Very much.”
They waded further in until the water was neck level. The wise one grabbed the man by the back of his head and pushed the man’s head down until the man could scarcely breathe. After a few seconds, the man came up spluttering.
The wise one asked him: “What do you really want now?”
The man replied: “I need air to breathe.”
The wise one then told the man: “If you want wisdom more than the air you wanted to breathe, then you are ready to get wisdom.”
Question is, how baldly do you want to start a business that grows and grows? How badly do want to succeed to reach your goals? It is possible to start any business, but to start a business, no matter how small at first, which keeps growing takes something special. What short-term and long-term goals do you have for the business? Without the goals, you will never get anywhere because if you aim at nothing, you hit nothing.
Motivational speaker Tolbert Collier said: “If you want a thing bad enough, go out and fight for it. Work day and night for it. Give up your time and your peace and your sleep for it, you’ll get it!”
She further said there is need to fight for what you want
No one will give you what you want on a plate. I like what Mohammad Ali said.
He said: “You have to think differently. Some will try to stop you, but you gotta be on higher level. They are afraid so they caution you and tell you not to do it.
Have a bigger vision for your life.’’
Jimmy Cliff sang: “You can get it if you really want”
If you are prepared not to squirm and hide in the cave of conformity and average, waiting for help to come. The thing is if you are waiting for help to come, you will quietly hate and gnash your teeth at those who have moved on, have dug their own wells, sharpened their own spears and killed their own wild pigs.
There you are starving, and your children and family starving and your relatives, who could benefit from you, can only get crumbs from you. You tell them: “Times are hard.”
The stomach does not know that. Your children do not know that. They want to eat good food, wear nice clothes and go to good schools.
I’m not saying quit the job or that we should all go into start-ups. For those who sense, there is more in them that is dormant, that they can contribute more to the world than holding on to a job that they were created to use the talents, skills, abilities in them, then maybe, just maybe, this could be your thing.
We need to ask ourselves, what would it cost to go into business and whether we are ready to pay the price. “
How badly do you want this business? Can my business succeed? Reality check
As mentioned earlier, the start-up, the business represents you. It is you. If you have a low self-image, chances are that you will use the business to satisfy your ego, to show off. The business will grow to the extent that you, as entrepreneur, are prepared to grow. Grow new skills, abilities, turn your weaknesses to the start up’s advantage. Here is a quick test to help you realise your potential and capability to run the business.
Give yourself a rating between one and 10, with one being the lowest and 10 the highest.
1. Is this business going to be helpful to you, your family and or community?
2. Are you enthusiastic about the success of your business?
3. All things being equal, how do you see your business five years from now?
4. When necessary, are you able to make decisions without postponing or passing the decision-making to someone else?
5. Businesses can fail. Have you made research into what kind of risks you may face?
6. Are you able to handle stress involved in running a business caused by, for example, making difficult decisions, managing different stakeholders, long hours and or seeing opportunities in the challenges?
7. Can you get help from family, friends, financial institutions or other business people?
8. Do you have the ability or passion to learn so that you build your business and run it efficiently?
9. What is your knowledge about these four basic ingredients for a business; product, place, price and promotion?
10. As an entrepreneur, you have an important role in the development of your community. Are you aware of how you can advance your community?
Which areas do you need improvement and growth as a person, in relation to your business? There is nothing like over planning where business is concerned.
Do not forget what we covered earlier, that we need to explore different types of business. One type of business that has not been fully explored in Malawi and indeed most developing countries is manufacturing. In this business, raw materials are processed into products which are sold to wholesalers or directly to retailers.
In manufacturing industry, value is added to commodities whether they are agricultural produce, mining sector or any other sector. Instead of most goods being exported to other countries at a lower cost, they can actually be processed and sold as finished products either to retailers or to wholesalers.
Any export is done as a finished product. Find out what you can comfortably start with and as you gain momentum you can then jump into other types of business.
*Charles Zimunye is a writer, motivational speaker, trainer and coach