Things That Are Hindering You From Breaking Your Ceilings as an Entrepreneur
Entrepreneurship is a journey with a myriad of lessons learnt each and every day. However, not everyone puts these hard learnt lessons into practice thus end up making the same mistakes constantly.
Below Are Things That Hold Young Ambitious Entrepreneurs From Achieving Success as They Maneuver Through the Wild Treks of Business.
1. Fear of Failure
Majority of young entrepreneurs including myself running ventures and those with ideas they want to implement are constantly disturbed by fear of failure. However, looking at failure in a different perspective is what has birthed the world’s greatest entrepreneurs.
One clear example of an entrepreneur who managed to turn failure into success is Whatsapp founder Brian Acton who got turned down for a job by Facebook in 2009.
That day he logged into his twitter account to voice his rejection through a sad but hopeful tweet ‘Facebook turned me down, looking forward to life’s next adventure’. He rose above failure and achieved immense success and today his work impacts billions of people across the world.
The business environment in Africa is particularly very rough which means that the fear of failure is much greater among our entrepreneurs. But do we just sit here, accept failure and become a part of it? The answer to this question lies in your mind which is a garden and you need to keep programming it with energy, vigor, hope and tact.
2. Lack of Focus
Focus is a must have ingredient in an entrepreneur’s recipe for success. A mind which is focused towards a goal doesn’t keep on shifting goal posts neither does it follow the usual paths of the majority, it chooses to chart a path in unfamiliar territory but with it eyes on the prize.
The unfocused mind on the other hand uses diversionary tactics after meeting stumbling blocks.
A good example of a person with a focused mind is Lupita Nyongo who for a long time had her eyes fixed on Hollywood. Along the way, though, she had to work as a Production runner (one of the low jobs in acting, kazi ya mkono) in the movie: Constant Gardener. She later acted in Local series ‘Shuga’ and her own documentary ‘in my genes’. It was a pretty long journey for her, one that was full of immense challenges.
But through focus, she was able to validate her million dollar dreams with proper work ethics.
3. Lack of a mentor
When climbing Mt Kenya, would you rather go alone or use a guide who has been there before and has learned which paths are dangerous and tiring?
Having a guide is much like having a mentor in your entrepreneurship journey. A typical example of this is one of the Top Kenyan Musicians Mejja who has in countless interviews stated his success in the industry is partly because of listening keenly to his mentor’s (clemmo of Calif Records) advice, hence he made less mistakes.
Having a mentor is one of the most powerful ways to break the ceiling in entrepreneurship. The barriers you have been trying to break have been there and constantly reinforced by biases, stereotypes and old ideas. Each and everyone requires a guiding hand at one point or another.
So get yourself a good mentor (a person you can get along well with) and let your entrepreneurial venture get the midas touch it deserves.
4. Your Ideas Don’t Stand Out
What can you do as an entrepreneur that is different from those old “kiosk” type of ideas?
Ultimately as an entrepreneur, the way to get ahead is to embrace innovation and creativity.
Quite frankly, you can’t go far if you are still plainly thinking about potato farming as a cool idea! I mean, even our ancestors practiced potato farming… so what about you, what can you do about potato farming that is different? Can you prove that you have evolved from your ancestors’ ways of thinking?
In short, if you aren’t unique, then your days are numbered. If you still think in the lines of “I will open a kiosk that sells everything to everyone” then you are still stuck somewhere in the past. Your capacity to become a great entrepreneur in modern days will be greatly affected.
So dear entrepreneurs, let us constantly work on bringing unique ideas to the table. The habit of simply copying, reselling and duplicating ideas will not take us far as far as breaking the entrepreneurial ceiling is concerned.
5. You have Not Built a Network Around You
No man is an island and we need to keep enlightening one another to improve our skill-base. Without a network, scaling the heights of excellence can get a bit difficult.
So from today, start working on developing reliable networks with all people irrespective of their positions in the society so that your name is associated with excellence. Expand your network outside your organization, ethnic line, country and be a globally competitive citizen and entrepreneur.
A good example of an outstanding African entrepreneur who has built his brand by simply enhancing his networks is Ashish Thakkar, Mara group C.E.O who at the age of fifteen years began the business which is a conglomerate of manufacturing, real estate and IT with operation in 26 countries. From Uganda to Dubai to Space as the first East African in the virgin galactic spaceship. Currently at 40 years of age, but at only 33 years of age, he was already a top adviser of several heads of states.
You see how fast networking can help you grow? Set your sights globally, start building a reputation and get yourself some good networks – you will never regret it.
Heights are there to be scaled, ceilings to be broken, targets to be attained and dreams to be achieved.
Everything has a purpose and results.
Will your business stand out and lead the pack?
Only if your strategies, work ethic, focus, networks and all key ingredients are commensurate to your dreams and strong enough to break your ceilings.