DUBAI 25 September 2017: If you’re seated in a corporate environment viewing a possible future transition to entrepreneurship — which you have perhaps been eyeing for a while as the delicious taste of being your own boss, not being responsible to anyone, least of all your current manager you loathe and you assume that the grass is greener on the other side — then think again!
Most times biting the bullet in a corporate world will be an invaluable asset to you once you embark on your entrepreneurial journey, because you cannot replace knowledge and hands-on experience with any book available in a store. Earlier, in my career, I too had this free spirit wanting to burst outside, but some guardian angel kept me pinned to the corporate environment, until I felt I could release my wings and I did and I have absolutely no regrets.
Opportunities are plenty these days and if you’re a born entrepreneur, with a unique vision, then follow your heart, because I am not referring to you in my above paragraph, I am referring to the individual who is operating with two minds, who has no clue if the business they intend to pursue, is a fit for them, if they would love what they do and it doesn’t feel like work, and most of all, if it’s not a copy/paste concept that they assumed or found was successful for someone else, and just assume that it would be the same for them, wrong!
Entrepreneurship is a game you must learn to master and the journey entails many downsides:
a. Your monthly salary – Will no longer be available in your bank account like clockwork, where life now affords you the opportunity to show yourself your own worth and ability to generate your own income to maintain the lifestyle you are accustomed to, if not, then it’s ‘crunch-time’.
b. You stand at the end of the paymaster’s queue – As the business owner or entrepreneur, so once all operational costs are paid and there is zero remaining, then there is zero for you and you need to learn to live with this at any phase of your business.
c. Master the art of giving your money away – Once in business, then there are priorities, of which you and your personal needs are excluded. If there is not enough to go around, then you must bite the bullet and go into ‘survivor mode’ for an entire month, two, three or more.
d. Keep an open mind – Allow your creative juices to flow, this way you will find your purpose, passion and calling.
e. Learn to be alone – Think for yourself, love yourself first, prioritize the importance of people, places and things and get them in the right order.
f. There are no free lunches – Unless you are a genius who just invented something mind-blowing, because success requires unwavering dedication, commitment and drive, not just for yourself but you must learn to be the leader of your pack, lead by example and know that without your team you are a big zero. So appreciate them, give compliments and encouragement where it is due, because the positivity will become contagious.
g. Learn to designate – Allow your team to ‘live themselves out’, get the most out of their knowledge, experience and talents, because that is a key trait of a future leader.
h. Don’t just pinch your pennies – Learn to be a human, identify with your team’s hurdles because it is your job to fully support them to overcome those hurdles – You are responsible for everything, period.
i. Take the time to continually review your current strategies – Amend them if you must, follow current local and global trends allow for scalability, sustainability, growth and profitability – Know your numbers and don’t ever take your eye off the prize!
j. When you’re devising your long-term strategy – Ponder on only one aspect and that is, ‘How do you want to be remembered after all is done?’ Master that and give it all your energy because only that will be your legacy.
k. Hard times may come and go – Don’t shrivel up in a corner, dust yourself off with the assurance that ‘It’s not over until the fat lady sings’ and push yourself through the next phase with sheer drive and determination to succeed and achieve your goals and dreams.
l. Don’t just focus on the money – Truth be told is that the harder you push the more resistance you will accumulate and so guess what? The money cannot come! Focus of delivering the best service to your clients, exceed their expectations and maintain a high standard of service delivery, because then your wheel will start turning in a way that will be mind-blowing for you and the success will be a natural progression.
m. Lose old suppression negative management styles – They died a death ages ago, be a team worker, co-operative, open to suggestions and show openness to afford unique opportunities to your team to help them achieve, so you achieve. Nothing moves if you are stagnant and prance around like you’re entitled to sit in your office with a closed door policy, because you’re the boss. Well you’re not, because one day you will find yourself alone in that same office with no team.
n. Never forget where you came from – So often once entrepreneurs start gaining success, they lose the plot, the focus is gone, they are only focused on materialism and financial gain, which is not a bad thing, but it can backfire if you allow it to consume you. It would be extremely hard to pick yourself up from falling from a peak and then too, with a bad attitude, as you will find yourself alone, truly.
o. Humility serves – You will never be entitled, not even if you are hugely successful, because there is nothing that beats a humble successful individual who after achieving this success, still reaches out to make a difference and in my book, I define that as true humility that needs a badge of honour and there are very few people around who are testament to this.
It takes a good many years before you are really comfortable in your own skin, this after you have lost, salvaged, rebuilt and recovered, because not every entrepreneur who embarks on this journey, achieves immediate success without failure. Just some don’t like to share those aspects of their journey, but unbeknown to them, it would gain them far more credibility to share their story as a testament to their experience, benefitting those listening.
The ‘story’ will always be the key for greater success!
Note: Theda Muller is a UAE-based visionary entrepreneur, CEO & Founder of various UAE companies, business advisor and legacy mentor, US trained and globally experienced. She is also an author of two books: Embrace Financial Freedom Volume One: 10 Proven Ways To Release Debt And Emotional Fears In Today’s Economy, and Volume Two: Releasing Fear And Bouncing Back From A Debt Crisis. She also conducts webinars and workshops on debt recovery.