Thursday, October 2, 2008

An Entrepreneur's 1st Steps

Entrepreneurship is a noble pursuit and could change the world for the better if approached in the right way. I believe that enterprise is one of the ways to fundamentally deal with social issues such as poverty, health and education. That is my philosophy.
Many people of religious persuasion have been taught for a long time that business is evil. This has been an erroneous teaching and has short-changed many a third world nation. Imagine if people with character, a love for humanity and a greater purpose beyond themselves, were engaged in enterprise-oh what difference they would bring to the world of business.
However, there are some important steps to take.


Most people limit their ideas to something small. Something to just meet their immediate financial needs. Entrepreneurs are big thinkers. They have big ideas that go beyond the average and change the world. If you are simply pursuing enterprise for the advancement of your own interests, then you are not living at all. You are merely existing.
In his book, "The Art of the Start" (By the way a must read for any entrepreneur-believe me),Guy Kawasaki talks about "making meaning" as the first step to your business. He says, "meaning is not about money, power of prestige. Its not even about creating a fun place to work. Among the meanings of "meaning" are: Make the world a better place. Increase the quality of life. Right a terrible wrong. Prevent the end of something good."
He closes this section by asking you and I to complete an important statement about our business and dream. He says, " If your organization (or business) never existed, the world would be worse off because (complete the sentence)."
That is an important statement to complete right now because your business should seek to make the world a better place because entrepreneurs should not just be "profit conscious" but "socially conscious" as well.


What do i mean by externalize? Dreaming is an internal exercise. It happens in your mind and your heart of hearts. But that dream now has to be communicated and lived-out. You can do this by simply forming what Kawasaki calls a "Mantra". Most companies call this a mission statement but Kawasaki argues that these can be long, boring and unmemorable. A mantra is a simple statement or sentence that summarizes what your business is all about. A mantra should be short but powerful. It can be as simple as "THINK" (IBM's mantra) or "Authentic Athletic performance (Nike's mantra). These are powerful statements that remind you of what you are all about because the fact is that when you get going, its easy to forget why you got into the business in the first place.

In concluding, Kawasaki advices us not to confuse mantras with tag lines. He says, "A mantra is for your employees; it's a guideline for what they do in their jobs. A tag line is for your customers; it's a guideline for how to use your product or service. For example, Nike's manta is "Authentic athletic performance." Its tag line is 'just do it."

This is an important step in developing your business idea because it will serve as a guide and encouragement to you.


You can spend a lot of time just dreaming your business. The best thing you can do is DO IT. Begin working on your dream to make it a reality. Have you noticed that most people are always planning? They are always thinking of a business idea? They are always crunching numbers? But they never get going and they have several excuses which include: Fear of failure, Procrastination, Lack of capital,Age (too young or too old) and the list goes on. President Franklin Roosevelt said, "The only thing to fear is fear itself." And Eleanor Roosevelt said, "You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face."
In dealing with fear my philosophy is that You MUST understand your fears.
You MUST Confront your fears. But most importantly, you MUST Overcome your fears.

Guy Kawasaki says, "the hardest thing about getting started is getting started...You should always be selling-not strategizing about selling."
Get going no matter what. For you it might be simply doing the things I've written about in this article. For another it might be buying the first product for your store or making a few phone calls to some would be suppliers. It can be as simple as getting business cards for yourself or making that headed paper you've been dreaming about. Whatever it is that you need to do to get going, DO IT!

Do these things and you will have a date with destiny!
To your Success!


Anonymous said...

Well put and inspiring! -Hillary (LOL)

Anonymous said...

Welcome back, I thought you had given up on us, just joking, I might need a screen name, there is another Anonymous, So call me king from this moment forth. Great article, by the way, may god bless somemore.

Anonymous said...

King wrote:

Reading your article, has sparked my heart to a great height. This has been the case in Zambia for decades; I guess we are changing this, if only high speed internet was not ridiculously priced back there. Everyone starts from somewhere I guess. Let me continue reading just wanted to share a few thoughts.

Anonymous said...

King Wrote:

P.S above it should read May God Bless you some more. just finnished critically reading your article, I must say it is a great read; educational and as I like things clear and to the point needed. You out did yourself with this one, you applied your article while typing it, thanks.