Global statistics on entrepreneurship reveal that approximately 582 million entrepreneurs exist globally.
Many people believe they have the “it” factor.
They do what they do well, have found a product (or service) that is sure to sell, and want to turnover money quickly.
So, they start a business.
No research, no groundwork, no mental preparation…they just start a business and expect everything to flow perfectly.
Therefore, it is not surprising that only 25 percent of businesses survive for 15 years or more.
Being an entrepreneur isn’t something your do on a whim. There is a stark difference between the mindset of an employee and the mindset of an employee. The ugly truth is that not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur.
There has been constant debate about whether entrepreneurs are born or made. Research suggests that some people have a predisposition towards entrepreneurship but this doesn’t necessarily mean that their businesses will be successful. Ultimately, experience and the right soft skills and strategic planning are what help you create a business that stands the test of time.
The Three Ps of Successful Entrepreneurship
Success as an entrepreneur depends on what I like to call the four Ps:
I recently had a conversation with someone who was interested in purchasing a copy of “The Business Playbook: A Guide for Jamaican Startups”.He was struggling to find a business idea and wanted some direction. The first question I asked him was, “What are you passionate about?” His response clearly showed that he was disappointed. Essentially, he was looking for a way to make quick money by “putting a taxi on the road” and found it pointless for me to be asking him about his passion.
In Jamaica, putting a taxi on the road is seen as a the simplest and quickest way to turnover money. It’s a fair assumption since the perception is that all you really do is buy a durable vehicle, find a driver and watch the passive income roll in. It can work to some extent if you’re prepared to deal with the headache of high insurance fees, car maintenance costs, car loan payments, competition by numerous taxi drivers on the same route (because the “put a taxi pan di road” mentality has become increasingly popular), and temperamental (and sometimes untrustworthy) taxi drivers.
However, someone with an entrepreneurial mind would see beyond just putting a taxi on the road and identify a way to solve deeply-routed transportation problems in his or her community. This is a person who is passionate about business and solving customers problems at their core; someone like Oliver Townsend who started Knutsford Express.
The point is that an entrepreneur isn’t short-sighted and looking for a way to make quick money. Entrepreneurship goes beyond having passive income; it involves finding creative and unique ways to solve problems. Finding these solutions is easier when you are either passionate about business or passionate about your interests and innate skills. Your passion is what will motivate you to keep pushing forward despite the inevitable challenges that will occur on the business development journey.As Marc Anthony said, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
People form the core of business success. Successful entrepreneurs are passionate about the customers they serve, care about the growth and success of each team member and have a strong commitment to develop the communities in which they operate.Therefore, strong people skills are important.
This may lead some people to believe that extroverts are better entrepreneurs than introverts. After all, extroverts tend to have natural people skills. However, Jeffrey Hayzlett argues that introverts are equally capable of becoming strong entrepreneurs who make people the core of their business. So, don’t use being an introvert as an excuse for not pursuing your entrepreneurial dreams!
Entrepreneurship is a multi-faceted process. In fact, there is only an 18 percent chance that your first business will be successful. Success won’t happen overnight. It’s all about learning, growing and trusting the process.
Additionally, your internal business processes must be top-notch to ensure that your company consistently delivers high quality output. Team members should consistently receive training and upgrade their skills. You should invest in the right equipment, find creative ways to reach your target audience, provide the best customer service in your industry, and price your products or services at that sweet spot price that will help you earn repeat customers. Successful entrepreneurs know how to build these strong internal processes to achieve sustainable business growth.
Entrepreneurship is a hard and often lonely road. It takes a great deal of persistence and patience to truly reap the rewards of your labour. If you give up easily, entrepreneurship may not be the best fit for you. If you aren’t willing to be broke for awhile (and when I say “broke” I mean dirt broke… $0.00), entrepreneurship may not be right for you. If you aren’t prepared to run the marathon despite how far ahead everyone else seems, entrepreneurship may not work for you.
We featured Sabriena Williams, owner of Toddler Care Jamaica, in Issue 3 of our magazine and her story demonstrates the outcome of persistence. You can read this story by clicking here.
What Can I Do to Develop Entrepreneurial Skills?
You should now be at a point where you’re able to assess whether you really have what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur. If you’re weak in all four Ps, chances are entrepreneurship is really not for you. However, if you’re only weak in one area here are some tips to help you improve:
- Attend more networking events and learn from others.
- Become actively involved in a professional body of entrepreneurs such as the Young Entrepreneurs Association or the MSME Alliance.
- Participate in training sessions specifically related to your weaknesses.
- Spend time doing some soul-searching to discover what you’re truly passionate about.
- Learn how to live a holistic life.
- Read personal development books.
Each person has a unique place in this world. Imagine if the billions of people in this world were all entrepreneurs. Who would form the teams that make these businesses thrive? Don’t chase entrepreneurship if you aren’t filled with passion, committed to people, understand the process and are ready to be persistent. Contact the Success Lifestyle Magazine team today to learn more about how The Business Playbook can help you start a successful business in Jamaica if you have the four Ps.