I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur. At least since when I understood what it meant. I have read numerous books (sometimes bought with the last of my money). I have nurtured the dream and have grown it to maturity.
However, since the turn of the year, I have been going through a mental conflict. No one seemed to get it, no one seemed to understand. I had a passion deep within and no one was feeling it as much as I was.
I wondered why they could not grasp it whenever I tried to explain. I wondered why I was the only one prepared to go on this path.
My entrepreneurial drive was at its highest. I had just begun my NYSC and I felt it was finally time to start trying out all the plans I had.
I knew it was a hard path. I never thought it was a bed of roses. However, I was determined to make it. I did not care how long it took or how hard the path was going to be.
The advice from all my loved ones was, “Further your studies, get a job, build a career”. I was incensed. How could they want to play it so safe? There is no reward without risk!!! Did they not believe that I could make it?
Asking for help
In the height of my confusion, I decided to reach out to a mentor to help. After all, who better to understand me than a successful entrepreneur.
In his words, “The world of entrepreneurship is not what you think it is”. He then recommended a book form me to read.
Originals: How Non-Conformists Move The World by Adam Grant.
As I read the book non-stop all day (literally) I began to see the folly in what I was trying to do.(Please recommend for me more of such books)
It was as though the book was meant to be my guide in this internal battle of mine.
This book resonated deeply with me and made me see some wrong assumptions I have been living with.
For a very long time, I have been deeply passionate about entrepreneurship and have read all the tales of the people who found great success after taking seemingly irrational leaps of faith.
I have read so many articles talk about how passion moves the earth. About how one passionate individual can shake long-standing systems and I have seen too many articles recommend continual positive reinforcement.
The book made me see that this is not always true. As a matter of fact, it is rarely true.
The successful entrepreneurs are actually experts at mitigating risk, passion is no substitute for hard work and competence and sometimes negative reinforcement is just as good (or even better) than positive reinforcement.
Steps to take
If I really wanted to change the world, I had to do the following;
- Develop competence and experience. Before changing anything, one must fully understand it thereby gaining competence in that field, and also have enough experience in other fields to see it from a different perspective
- I had to have original ideas. I had always been led to believe that the million-dollar ideas strike like a lightning bolt. I was wrong. Those ideas are actually one in a million ideas that have been developed by the individual. Seeing that I have gone on a challenge titled “An Idea a Day”. (I’ll even create a series of posts for those ideas)
- Make proper plans. An idea is not enough, execution is key. I have to develop my skill in transforming ideas to plans.
- Have an overarching purpose. This I know I have. Deep down. My entrepreneurial drive has never been about money. Still the fact that I am unable to properly express it in words means I still have work to do in identifying my deeper passion.
- Mitigate risk. The job of an entrepreneur is not to take risks, but to make sure that there is none. This is not playing it safe. Rather, it is making sure that there is a solution to all the risky areas in a venture.
Of course there are more things to do before I can change the world. However, I have chosen to put these at the forefront of my mind. I believe this to be what I need the most.
If you have read any really awesome books, please tell me.