5 Tips To Help You Think Like An Entrepreneur

From the continent's best business minds

By  | Feb 10, 2023, 07:30 AM

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We often look at successful entrepreneurs as a special bunch of people because of what they’ve built. This kind of adulation has pushed some of us into entrepreneurship as we seek to come up with the next big innovation that will change the world. 

As noble as that sounds, achieving success in business is not as easy as it looks. Behind the smiles and the laid-back nature of some of the workplaces captured in selfies are endless amounts of hours we rarely see nor hear of.  

We are here to peel back the mask. With the help of some of the best entrepreneurs in the continent, here are five things we picked out from our conversations with them.

1. Understand The Why

For some people, the obvious answer to the question of why they went into business is “to make money”. Obviously, you want to make money but that’s not really the reason you started the business. You identified a gap somewhere and saw it fit to do something about it.

Your why is important because it will determine how you set up your business, what kinds of partnerships you will be looking for and how you’ll address the needs of your consumers. 

Your why is also the thing that will keep you going when you are experiencing the highs and lows. Most entrepreneurs are problem-solvers and until they are in a position to give a solution, they’ll likely keep at it at least if other factors allow it.    

2. Be Specific 

They say that you can’t be everything to everybody. This is a phrase that you should engrain on your scalp when going into business. It is simply not possible for you to serve everyone. You need to pick and chose what you can do and leave out what you can’t.

This means focusing on one thing only until you figure it out. Only then will you branch out and expand your business. It can be hard sometimes to stay on one thing but you have to resist the temptation of jumping onto so many things in the name of maximising opportunities. 

As appealing and lucrative as they might be in the short-term, they are a distraction in so far as your long-term objectives are concerned. Settling on one thing will help you to establish yourself in your industry, build the expertise required and avoid unnecessary competition.    

3. Find Like-Minded People

Unless your business partners share in your vision, you stand no chance of getting it off the ground. You all have to be on the same page for it to work. Should you realise that you are aiming for different things, pause and re-evaluate whether it’s a venture worth investing in. If it’s something you really want to pursue, go out there and find others who will buy into it. 

4. Be Prepared To Go The Distance

Often times people jump into things with much gusto and as time progresses, the patience needed to do the little things right and sustain the momentum dissipates precipitously. You might find it difficult to stay on course and thus abandon a well-laid-out plan in favour of a new trend that seems promising. To negate this, develop habits, plans and smaller goals that’ll in the long run accumulate to produce greater results.

5. Rejection Is Inevitable

Even the best of us get hit with a firm no for an idea we thought was great. That’ll happen to you many times when you approach potential partners and other prospects. You will look back at the time and energy spent and feel like it was all wasted but the reality is that there’s a lot to learn from it. 

After you’ve gotten over your disappointment, evaluate the rejection. Find alternative voices to talk to as you might not be objective enough in your assessment. Afterwards, address the issues raised and keep going. 

At times the rejection might have nothing to do with you. Perhaps your timing was off or the business you approached is going through a rough patch. All in all, don't let any rejection dim your light. It could be the wake-up call or redirection you need to elevate your business