These days it seems entrepreneurship has become increasingly challenging. With several technological innovations in today’s world, the competition is at an all-time high. It goes without saying that entrepreneurs need all the help they can get if they must succeed. In this article, a veteran entrepreneur shares nuggets from his near two decades of experience in business.
(Sir Chigozie Chukwudi Okafor, CEO of Dynatech Group of Companies)
Learn from a Master
With the advent of social media, channels for learning new stuff have become pretty accessible and even cheap. For instance, there is almost nothing that cannot be learnt from YouTube as there is a YouTuber for almost any conceivable topic out there. But that wastes time in so many ways.
It is this time that you don’t have. “In every industry or area of life” begins Sir Okafor “there are masters, leaders, experts, veterans and shakers. Look for one of them, stay loyal to that master, and learn from the abundance of their knowledge and experience. When you learn from a master, you eliminate years of toiling in futility. Also, some masters are kind enough to introduce you to their associates who will help your career get a mega headstart”
Collaborate More Often
Nobody knows it all and most importantly, no one can know it all. Knowing that you don’t know it all is the first step. Seeking people that either know your stuff better than you or who know other stuff you will need, is the second step. Keeping in touch with them is another step.
In Sir Okafor’s words “You need a team. I am not talking about the various experts your startup employs to deliver results to your consumers. The team I’m talking about is some sort of mastermind; a group of people like you with whom you can discuss critical matters. This could be other business owners or just about anyone that’s smarter than average. They will essentially help you think up solutions on those days that your mind is clogged up”
I agree with him. His words remind me of the immortal admonitions of the author, Napoleon Hill in his classic “The Laws of Success“. The advantages of a mastermind group are way too numerous. They provide fresh insight, needed encouragement, and can potentially become your co-founders or investors in a new venture.
Leverage on Innovation
Before Facebook became a thing, there was MySpace. Not many people know about the latter today and for obvious reasons: it’s nowhere in the class of today’s social media giants but it was the biggest deal at a time. The reason it’s no longer around can be summarized in a nutshell: it was buried by solutions that were more innovative than it.
Once more, the CEO of Dynatech Group of Companies has an interesting perspective on innovation
“Most people already understand the need for innovation in business and life. However what many people do not understand is that being innovative can be as simple as adopting new technologies. For instance, you do not need to be the inventor of blockchain technology. However, your company can be among the very first ones to use it in your industry. Think about convenient solutions we now have such as Pay On Delivery (POD), Pay As You Use (PAYU) and automated payment in installments. Many businesses adopted these innovations early, hence managed to stay ahead of their competitors.”
Be Patient and Alert
One highly overlooked cause of failure among most of today’s young people is their unwillingness to put in the work for a prolonged period of time.
As the oriental entrepreneur likes to put it “The obsession with making a truckload of money hours after launching a business is real. The desire to become an instant celebrity following the production of an entertainment material is still very much a problem. We live in a time when young people change careers, jobs, vocations and businesses very quickly as they drift from niche to niche in search of quick, easy money. But things don’t work that way”
“Most businesses” he continues “that have stood the test of time had their infancy stage. It was at this stage that the blueprint of these companies were refined. It was at this stage that the markets tested the founders. The ones who gave in easily lost while the ones who persevered reap the rewards of their efforts till this day. I must however add that being patient is just one half; alertness is the other. Opportunities will come from time to time and only businesses that are strategically positioned for them will grab them”