Everything about Entrepreneurship

Two Common Syndromes of Failure Among Entrepreneurs

There are two common syndromes of failure related to new entrepreneurs. These syndromes determine how far and well their businesses will go. They also determine the vision of the entrepreneur.

The first one is the ‘I Don’t Have A Choice’ syndrome, while the second is the ‘Just For Survival’ syndrome.

Let me summarize these two syndromes with a personal experience.

Just recently, I ventured into an interior decoration business, because I could not get the kind of job I desired (‘I Don’t Have A Choice’ syndrome). All I wanted was to make ends meet (‘Just for Survival’ syndrome).

I went in without proper planning; neither did I have any form of mentorship. All I had in my mind was ‘no choice’ and ‘survival’.

Did I really get a means of survival? Yes I did, but did the business survive? At first, it looked as if it was surviving; as I was earning some money, enough to afford myself some luxury. With my focus on personal upkeep, my vision for the business was trivialized….read more https://eyeafrica.org/2017/06/05/two-common-syndromes-of-failure-among-entrepreneurs/


It is reminiscence of my secondary school days writing on this topic where debating was an integral part of extra curricular activities. You were during those days either proposing or opposition marshalling or debunking depending on the side you were at the time. Experience through a logical presentation of facts was the order of the day. The audience were concerned about the sequence the grammar and the presentation facts were not necessarily facts because most time, they were manipulated through circumlocution and periphrasis.

What a debate we have today! A debate without a time keeper, a moderator and without any form of instruction guiding us. We are debating about the family which we all are made of and friends which we all have. We are doing comparism between the family and friend the one that is more supportive in an individual entrepreneurship pursuit.

I would have loved to start with the definitions of both the family and friends, but definitions have become more confusing and problematic even to the academias. Therefore, I have decided to spare all of us the headaches of terms and terminologies.

There are doubt, palpable challenges in choosing either the family over friend or friend over family as far as entrepreneurial drive is concerned. But permit me to opine and buttress my points with the following arguments.

A good friend is better than a bad brother is a well know dictum. This says a lot as to the extent a friend can go when he keys into the dreams and aspirations of another. A high level drive is usually exhibited in a relationship that often people refer to ‘a friend in need is a friend indeed’.

Furthermore, the unhealthy but silent rivalry that exists among members of the family makes it difficult for family members to subordinate their ambitions into one. This most often than not, pitches one brother against another, making it difficult for support and collaboration.

Again, an individual with passion for entrepreneurship will align with another with the same passion whether related or not for purposes of floating a business modern business registration harps on share holding rather than emphasis blood relationship.

Having been related by birth, most family members want the freedom to choose their desire, idiosyncrasies and beliefs. They sometimes want to keep the family away from being involved in board meetings which are often characterised by heated debates arguments, controversies and manipulations. Surprisingly, even when family members inherit a business, there are some members who are only interested in the spoils and the largess without making any meaningful contributions. They see the business as “belonging to all but belonging to nobody”. They would rather float a business with friends and associates where sentiments are not attached only business. Here, competition becomes hygienically healthy-leading to the growth and development of the business venture.

There is also the customary impediment for securing funds to float a business. A family that is customarily committed to a given line of business can hardly deviate from it. The family will ordinarily encourage every family member along that line. Any family member who thinks contrary is viewed as a treachery on the family and met with the stoutest opposition thereby killing, dreams and aspiration. Friendship on the other hand has the latitude of a perfect market where there is “free entry and free exist”.

There are therefore, good families and good friends make no mistake about it. Beyond entrepreneurship, beyond business success and beyond nonchalance of some people on communal/collective ownership, the argument is synonymous with that of the chicken and the egg.

But this is a debate where you are either for or against, there is no sitting on the fence and this invariably will help us decipher.

Ladies and gentlemen, in the absence of the panellists, let the above points convince us of the position I have taken; friends are more relevant relevant/supportive in an individual entrepreneurship pursuit.

Benefits of Entrepreneurship to the Economy

Entrepreneurs are frequently thought of as national assets to be cultivated, motivated and remunerated to the greatest possible extent.

Entrepreneurs can change the way we live and work. If successful, their innovations may improve our standard of living. In short, in addition to creating wealth from their entrepreneurial ventures, they also create jobs and the conditions for a prosperous society.

The following are six reasons why entrepreneurs are important to the economy.

Entrepreneurs Create New Businesses

Path breaking offerings by entrepreneurs, in the form of new goods & services, result in new employment, which can produce a cascading effect or virtuous circle in the economy. The stimulation of related businesses or sectors that support the new venture add to further economic development.

Businesses in associated industries, like call center operations, network maintenance companies and hardware providers, flourished. Education and training institutes nurtured a new class of IT workers offering better, high-paying jobs. Infrastructure development organizations and even real estate companies capitalized on this growth as workers migrated to employment hubs seeking new improved lives.

Similarly, future development efforts in underdeveloped countries will require robust logistics support, capital investment from buildings to paper clips and a qualified workforce. From the highly qualified programmer to the construction worker, the entrepreneur enables benefits across a broad spectrum of the economy.

Entrepreneurs Add to National Income

Entrepreneurial ventures literally generate new wealth. Existing businesses may remain confined to the scope of existing markets and may hit the glass ceiling in terms of income. New and improved offerings, products or technologies from entrepreneurs enable new markets to be developed and new wealth created.

Additionally, the cascading effect of increased employment and higher earnings contribute to better national income in form of higher tax revenue and higher government spending. This revenue can be used by the government to invest in other, struggling sectors and human capital.

Although it may make a few existing players redundant, the government can soften the blow by redirecting surplus wealth to retrain Through their unique offerings of new goods and services, entrepreneurs break away from tradition and indirectly support freedom by reducing dependence on obsolete systems and technologies. Overall, this results in an improved quality of life, greater morale and economic freedom.

For a more contemporary example, smartphones and their smart apps have revolutionized work and play across the globe. Smartphones are not exclusive to rich countries or rich people either. As the growth of China’s smartphone market and its smartphone industry show, technological entrepreneurship will have profound, long lasting impacts on the entire human race.

Moreover, the globalization of technology means entrepreneurs in lesser-developed countries have access to the same tools as their counterparts in developed countries. Since they have the advantage of a lower cost of living, a young entrepreneur from a developing country can compete with products from a blue chip industry from a developed country.

Community Development

Entrepreneurs regularly nurture entrepreneurial ventures by other like-minded individuals (Social responsibility). They also invest in community projects and provide financial support to local charities. This enables further development beyond their own ventures.

Some famous entrepreneurs, like Bill Gates, have used their money to finance good causes, from education to public health. The qualities that make one an entrepreneur are the same qualities that motivates entrepreneurs to pay it forward.

Advantages of being an entrepreneur

There are many advantages of being an entrepreneur, but I believe these are the most valuable:

  1. Doing what you love

If you are going to start a business I can assure you’ll get better odds to succeed if you’re doing something you love. Why? Because passion is the fuel that you’ll need to face all the obstacles you’ll find. Do you feel fearful to fail? Of course you do; is natural. Don’t forget that you’re leaving your comfort zone and entering a Twilight Zone. Now imagine you in the Twilight Zone doing or learning how to do something new; then imagine you doing something you already know, love and are good at. In which situation do you think you have better odds to succeed? I’m not saying you can´t or shouldn’t learn something new or you should forget the market’s needs and wants. No!. What I’m saying is that is possible to find a balance between what you love to do and what could be profitable and you must strive to reach that balance.

Additionally in the business jungle you have to survive being one of the best or the best in your segment and that is easier if you are passionate doing what you do.

  1. Independence and freedom

Many people think independence and freedom means going to work or take vacations when you want or need. The truth is that is not possible at least in the earlier years of your business. That’s because your business is weak, helpless and if you don’t mind it carefully probably will die. Sounds like a baby? Probably is a good similarity.

On the other hand when your business is mature, strong and self sufficient, it begins to give you that independence and financial freedom you always wanted. It takes time but don’t forget that the reward is worth your time, patience and efforts.

  1. Balance in your life

If your business gives you the peace of financial freedom or at least being financially secure and you have time to enjoy it. What else can you ask? You as a human being have many facets in your life (as spouse, father, mother, son, daughter, friend, member of the community, etc.) and being an entrepreneur or a business owner is just a part. To establish and achieve the goals of your different facets is what is called: Balance. Of course you need to fulfill your and your family’s most basics needs first and that is why financial planning is important for you.  Of all the advantages of being an entrepreneur this is probably the most important because we are conscious or unconsciously looking for it.

  1. Recognition and self fulfillment

Is very human to desire the recognition of your family, friends and the community and is good to have the feeling that you have done something really good in your life. These are additional advantages of being an entrepreneur and a logic consequence of doing what you love.                  

  1. Income potential

This is a big one because when you’re an entrepreneur you can create a direct relationship between your efforts and your income. In other words: if your efforts are higher your reward should be higher too. Of course that happens if your efforts are well planned, effective and well focused. Many people really believe that of all the advantages of being an entrepreneur this is the best. That’s probably because in comparison to a job where your boss, the company’s financial budget, the Board and the economy decides your salary and if you can stay in the company or not; when you’re an entrepreneur nobody else except the market forces and you can define your income. Of course don’t forget the market will be the hardest judge of your entrepreneurial skills, harder than your boss or company. But if you pay attention you’ll see the market’s signals and you can make better decisions accordingly. That will never happen if you are an employee.