I have a special place in my heart for entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs need a pat on their back regularly. It is our collective responsibility to support and encourage entrepreneurs. Most entrepreneurs are doing amazing things while living on the edge. They are creating jobs, supporting livelihoods and providing solutions while pushing themselves physically, financially and mentally. A typical day in the life of an entrepreneur is full of surprises. Even if things don’t go as planned, every day counts. Some days are bright and hopeful, while others are dreary and painful. Every day on the road to entrepreneurship is an adventure; it is an opportunity to learn and grow. Entrepreneurship is not easy!
Over the last decade, I have walked the entrepreneurial journey with many. In particular, I have worked closely with entrepreneurs from across sectors as an advisor. I have also tried my hand at entrepreneurship. An entrepreneur can be tough to define. What qualifies someone to be an entrepreneur? Is it true that every businessperson is an entrepreneur? There is no simple answer to these two problems. To various people, the term “entrepreneur” might mean different things. An entrepreneur is a person who recognizes a need and creates a new business to meet that need. A risk-taker, a visionary, and a problem-solver, an entrepreneur is a risk-taker, a visionary, and a problem-solver. Entrepreneurs never give up because they believe they have a higher calling. Even when things get tough and the road ahead is unclear, they persevere.
Starting a business is not always an easy decision. In the business world, there are never-ending uncertainties. Will I be able to attract customers? Will the customers stick around? Will I be able to build a fantastic team from the ground up? Will the employees be able to work efficiently? What about my finances—am I going to run out of money? What will I do if I run out of money? Is compliance going to be a problem? These are some of the concerns that many people have when it comes to starting a business. Most entrepreneurs don’t look back once they’ve made the decision to start a business. Entrepreneurs are often aware that their businesses may flourish or fail. They are often aware that they have a critical part in whether their business succeeds or fails, and that failures are sometimes unavoidable. The journey of entrepreneurship is more than just starting a business. Entrepreneurs run and grow their businesses, and that too is not easy.
Starting a business from the ground up necessitates a significant amount of effort. In the majority of cases, the entrepreneur combines several roles. Most entrepreneurs don’t have the time or resources to complete all of their tasks. Leading the staff, setting up systems, managing cash flow, and defining priorities may all become daunting tasks as the business grows. As a business grows, making decisions becomes harder. Business failure is a possibility, even in the growth phase. Unmanaged growth does kill many enterprises. Being an entrepreneur may put a strain on your family, income, and even health. Finding other entrepreneurs to share the road with is beneficial if you are an entrepreneur. Next time you meet a successful entrepreneur, remember that their path was not easy!
Dr. Lucy Kiruthu is a Management Consultant and Trainer. Connect via Twitter @KiruthuLucy