DON’T BE A WANT-TRAPRENEUR
My friend was a Want-trepreneur. He felt being an entrepreneur was his true calling and constantly thought of one business idea after another. Out of the 8 years I know him, he had 12 failed business ideas. He would start, get a partner, talk excitedly about it, and a few weeks/months later, would talk about another business idea.
When asked why the venture failed, he said his partner stopped funding. Customers didn’t buy their product. There were issues with customs or his suppliers can’t produce. Everyone and everything was a problem but himself. And there lies his problem, he forgot the valuable lesson —- THE BUCK STARTS AND STOPS WITH HIM.
Anyone can give ideas. Ideas are cheap. The devil is in the execution —- Business is a series of small logistical decisions. You must have the will and patience to get these small actions done.
My friend thought business was dreaming big and getting rich. But he just couldn’t sustain his interest. When problems came, he easily gave up. So he kept on planting seeds, but never waited for the seeds to bear fruit. Without proper care, time, effort and commitment, his businesses wilted and die. After his 10th business idea, how do you think we reacted to his new crazy idea?
REMEMBER, THE BUCK STARTS AND STOPS WITH YOU
Being an entrepreneur is a lonely job. It’s a terrible job.
There is very little comfort when you start. I had a far easier time in corporate. All I had to do was show up at 7:30am, work, and then get paid a TON of money. If you want higher pay, just go corporate.
It doesn’t work that way as an entrepreneur. If you don’t work, you don’t get any sales. No sales, you DO NOT eat.
So my advice to you is:
1. Stick to a business.
Don’t keep on jumping from one idea to the next. Sometimes, there’s value in sticking with one and pushing it through. If you keep on stopping every time you feel discouraged, how can you succeed?
2. Understand why you do business. It’s not always to make money.
For me, it’s to be a better businesswoman. Every step of the way is a learning process. It pays to be very hands on. Doing most of the processes myself saved me money and I learn a lot doing it. For me, a business is like a college course that keeps on giving back. It’s better than a master’s degree.
For example, my supervisor stole php50,000 cash. Learning from the experience, I tightened the money controls, found out the legal process to get an arrest warrant from him, and learned a valuable lesson of not trusting people with money. Don’t waste the lesson. You get better as you go along.
3. You must will yourself to be strong and be your own cheerleader.
An entrepreneur is her own driver for your business. If you work, people work. If you stop, things don’t get done. While it’s good to have a sounding board, it is you who make your own decisions and are responsible for their aftermath.
Don’t look into anyone for support. And don’t blame your family, your spouse or your friends for being unsympathetic. If you can’t handle the criticism, don’t be in business.
4. Don’t expect people to save you.
At the end of the day, you’re your own boss. If nobody will do it, bridge the gap of the business yourself. ￼￼
If you lack supplies, go to Divisoria to buy packaging. If you can’t afford an HR yet, write your own handbook, contracts and Notice: to Explain. Be the procurement, sales, marketing, operation, HR, and finance team in the beginning. Don’t wait for people to save you. Nobody saves you for free. If you want an assistant you don’t need to pay for, go for corporate.
5. Never stop trying.
If you fail, don’t give up. I went into the toy business and it didn’t work out. I registered a new company, made a logo, applied for an import permit and got our product into the biggest toy stores in the country.
While it didn’t make me a gazillionaire, it was a great experience. Now I know I should not to get into toys! So the effort was not a waste.
6. Focus on that first sale.
It doesn’t matter how great your ideas is, but if nobody buys your product, it’s not a great idea. Sorry.
If you want to be an entrepreneur, be one. But you can’t just want to be one. You have to WILL yourself to be one. Remember, the business fizzles as soon as you remove your foot on the pedal.
At the end of the day, the buck stops with you. Not your partners. Not your husband. Not your parents. Not your friends. But you.
So now, what are you going to do about it?
Asa pa kay asawa? Huwag na. Asa pa sa kaibigan? Huwag na.
Asa lang sa sarili.