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who is an entrepreneur ? Are you one ?
I have always been an entrepreneur.
In 2006, I started a phone repair shop while I was still studying for my OND.
In 2008, During my one year Industrial training, I took the risk, went through the motions of uncertainty and stress, quit my job and started a phone repair shop by the roadside in Ajah lagos state, from the road I rented a shop by the express and from there due to Fashola’s demolition of building by the roadside I went back to working from a kiosk. and fortunately was ultimately accountable for my own success.
Ask me what I do for a living, however, and I won’t tell you I am an entrepreneur. I would say I am “a phone repair engineer”.
Ask Me about being my own boss and I ‘d say, “When you have your own business, you’re not the boss. You’re an employee.”
Not until the last couple of years that I get to understand that I am definitely an entrepreneur, at least according to the definition I get from a quick Google search:
An entrepreneur is a starter. An entrepreneur is an initiator, a challenger, and a driver. Someone that creates something new, either an initiative, a business or a company. He or she is the beginning (and sometimes the end) of a venture, project or activity.
Like my younger self, many small business owners don’t embrace their identity as “entrepreneurs”. On the other hand, you probably know someone who wears the title with pride and them, on the other hand, doesn't own a business and or willing to start anything soon.
I’ve heard some people exclude those who own side businesses as “real entrepreneurs”. I’ve also heard others talk broadly about entrepreneurs as anyone who starts a new business in any capacity. And let’s not forget the “entrepreneurial tendencies” people can have without owning a business, that many companies today look for in the people they hire.
But is a roadside mechanic an entrepreneur? What about a full-time Uber driver? Someone, who sell clothes at lagos island? Where do we draw the line, if there is one to draw?
This wide range of interpretations, coupled with all the new ways for people to make money on their own terms, begs the question: What exactly is an “entrepreneur” today?
What is an “Entrepreneur” Really?
These are the 8 traits of an entrepreneur using Billionaire business magnate 'Dangote' as an example :
Start Out Young in Business : His passion for business dates to when he was in primary school. He would buy and sell cartoons of candies, to make money. He knew what he wanted early. Studied business in the university. Start learning early in life the processes of entrepreneurship. He surrounded himself with family and friends who where in business. Attend that business seminar, buy that book, talk to that business consultant now.
Own Your Business : No one becomes wealthy on a salary. Aliko Dangote started his business at the age of 21, with a loan of ₦500,000 from his uncle Sanusi Abdulkadir Dantata. Start your business early in life. This generation is witnessing an explosion of younger billionaires on the rise. You too can make that list. Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, Eduardo Saverin and Aliko Dankote started out young and are great today. Start now!
Leverage On Other People Assets :Maybe you were born broke or no member of your family member is rich. Don’t let that stop you. You can leverage on other people’ money. Dangote got a loan of ₦500,000 from his uncle Sanusi Abdulkadir Dantata. Stop giving excuses. Someone out there is ready to part with some resources for that idea of yours. Go look for it. Talk to people. Go to the banks(Microfinance or Commercial), you will find one who will be ready to do business with you.
Start Local, Go Global : Charity they say, begins at home. Dangote started his business locally with a global outlook. Today, it is a multi-billion dollar conglomerate with many of its operations in Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, Togo and Togo. You may not have the resources to start global. Start where you are, with what you have. Give that business all it takes, irrespective of your location. While starting where you are, don’t loose sight of where you are going.
Produce, Don’t Just Sell :In his own words, he said “Manufacture, don’t just trade. There is money in manufacturing even though it is capital intensive. To achieve a big breakthrough, I had to start manufacturing the same product I was trading on; which is commodities.” Manufacturing gave his business greater profit margin. What can you produce? You can create something. Put your business brain to work. Be the king of the “food” chain in whatever you produce.
Diversify : Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. As soon as your finances allows you, branch out into other sector. Dangote has diversified into other line of businesses like food processing, cement manufacturing, and freight. His business dominates the sugar market in Nigeria. There is the Dangote Sugar Refinery, Dangote Cement and the Dangote Flour. Don’t limit yourself, express your capacity in different fields
Network With Greatness : As an entrepreneur, you must connect with personalities in authority. Dangote had a strong tie with people in politics, he played a very prominent role in the funding of Olusegun Obasanjo’ re-election bid in 2003, to the tune of over N200 million (US$2M). With the support of the Nigerian Ports Authority in July 2012, he leased an abandoned piece of land at the Apapa Port where he built facilities for his flour company there. His network with the Central Bank of Nigeria in the 1990s paved way for his transport company to manage their fleet of staff buses.
The need for entrepreneurship development in Nigeria has never been so high in the history of the country. However, despite the increased call for entrepreneurship, it still requires much improvement. The reason for this is the huge number of the challenges that entrepreneurship development in Nigeria is facing today.
Despite that, our overall interest in the “entrepreneur” is still alive and healthy around the world, according to Google Trends.
In fact, a Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report in 2015 revealed that 66% of adults surveyed worldwide see entrepreneurship as a good career choice—over half who are working-age feel they have the ability to start a business.This is likely due to our evolving interpretation of what an entrepreneur is, one that’s born from new variations and forms of “entrepreneurship”, from the sidepreneur to the infopreneur—emphasizing, above all, the self-starter attitude toward creating value that in turn creates revenue
sadly, not everyone can be entrepreneurs and not being an entrepreneur doesn't mean you are not going to do well in life..you just have to understand your calling.
Adekunle adeniji is the CEO of micserah and online marketplace for everything fashion, its a platform that enables fashion designers and entrepreneurs to sell fashion products online.
He is also the cof/cbdo of naijawin247 a new sport betting company in Nigeria changing the way sport betting is percieved in nigeria. Follow my show on youtube ''daily hustle'' its a docu-series vlog showcasing my day to day activities and revealing how cool it is to be an entrepreneur,CEO and salesman in this internet age.