What is it like to be an entrepreneur and what insight to being one do you have for new entrepreneurs?
I often get asked what it’s like being an entrepreneur. It’s interesting the perception people have of starting a business. Some romanticise that they want to be the next Richard Branson or start a company like Apple. What many fail to see is the journey people take to reach the point where you can say you have reached success. I don’t think I have reached that point in my life yet, but I know that I will be at that point soon.
But getting to that point, you have to endure the following:
- Accept that like scientists, you will have to try and try again until you get the winning formula; while accepting that business goes in cycles, it has ups and downs. And how you handle the downs is what makes or breaks you;
- Having life partners, family and friends questioning why are you’re putting yourself through such pain. Loosing friends that can’t relate to what you’re going through;
- Waking up in the middle of the night having to write some new thoughts that will enhance your business;
- Joining gym not only to get fit but to work through your frustrations of the day. Dealing with people that don’t have a clue about business but telling you what you’re doing wrong;
- Go through the day realising you have not eaten all day. Feeling dehydrated and weak from not having hydrated yourself with drink of water;
- Watching TV and not having a clue what is going on because all you’re thinking about is the deal you’re working on;
- Realising that you are actually a bit crazy to do what you do.
- Sometimes not having any cash at all;
- Going to your bank manager for a loan and when they see you they literally run away;
- Making creditors understand that paying late is character building for them;
- Asking clients to pay before you supply and getting it right;
After 25 years of being an entrepreneur, would you change anything?
Not on your life. I LOVE what I do. I love the fact that I am making a difference and that rewards do come to those that follow their passion. You see, it’s not so much that you become an entrepreneur just to make money. It’s because you can have a positive impact to the people around you, that’s the main driver. The feeling of living your dream is immeasurable.
What would you say to a potential entrepreneur?
All it takes is the courage to take that first step and say yes, I want to do this and keep on doing it. The rest is easy!