The life of an entrepreneur is one heck of a life, wouldn’t you agree? From the incessant quest to make a significant contribution through the creation of innovative products/services, to the ever present fear of failing. The entrepreneurial life is very overwhelming, more like joggling too many balls in the air.
In a rather funny way, the odds always seem to stack up against we entrepreneurs. What then shall we do; give up our entrepreneurial quest and settle for less? Or march on courageously despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles?
I’m sure you would most likely agree with me that the second option is our surest bet as entrepreneurs and the very essence of the entrepreneurial spirit.
You did not choose to become an entrepreneur because the journey is easy, NO. You chose to become an entrepreneur because the journey is worth it. Entrepreneurship is not something you can fake your way through; you are either doing it right or not doing it right simple. There are no ways around it.
So are you still on the right path as an entrepreneur?
It’s because of this singular reason that I offer the following 5 ways to simplify your life as an entrepreneur and help you get more from your business by doing less.
1. Follow purpose
Dr. Myles Munroe was 100% on point when he made this statement; “when purpose is unknown, abuse is inevitable.” Most entrepreneurs complicate their lives and seldom find fulfillment in business because of the singular fact that they are ignorant of the purpose of entrepreneurship.
You see, there’s no way you can enjoy a journey that you began with a wrong step. Entrepreneurship is never about ‘getting’ (accumulation of wealth) but about ‘giving’ (creation of value).
Business is not a money making venture but a value adding venture.
I will never cease to re-iterate this fact no matter how unpopular it might sound, most especially in a country like mine –Nigeria.
In all the success stories ever told about most iconic entrepreneurs in the world such as Google founders; Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Wal-Mart founder; Sam Walton, Sony founder; Morita Akio, General Electric founder; Thomas Edison and so on, one thing has remained universally true about them.
They all set out to build SIGNFICANT businesses – companies that will stand for something special (uniqueness) and will make their profit only by adding value to those they serve (usefulness). Little wonder their businesses are world acclaimed companies.
Take it or leave it, your entrepreneurial life will never be less complicated (simplified) if you keep focusing on the financial rewards of entrepreneurship. To put money first as the sole purpose of your entrepreneurial journey is to choose to fail out rightly from the very beginning!
There is no use battling with nature’s law. Mankind has continuously broken new grounds in science and arts not because it argued with nature, but because it chose to explore and understand nature by conforming to its laws. You stand a more better chance of succeeding as an entrepreneur if you live a life of purpose and align your business to the purpose of entrepreneurship.
In case you still haven’t figured out what your purpose in life is as an entrepreneur, click here to discover your purpose in life.
2. Pursue Vision
Life will always be complicated for the entrepreneur who has no idea of where he/she is going and what he/she really wants to achieve. In following purpose as was mentioned above, entrepreneurship is about creating something really special (unique/different). What is that thing you want your company to always be remembered for?
This is what having a vision means. A vision is a picture or imagination in the mind of the entrepreneur about an idea. It’s about using your life to bring into reality an idea you are so passionate about. This idea can be in the form of a product or service you want to offer the market.
However, because people don’t pay for products/services, rather they pay for solutions to their problems. This implies that, unless your product/service is solving a particular problem in the lives of your customers, you’ve failed already as an entrepreneur in your quest to create something truly special. As I’ve written in a previous article on How to build the greatest company in the world, your being special (uniqueness) must make a positive impact (usefulness).
So here’s the big question you’ve got to answer in order to simplify your life as an entrepreneur and get more from your business by doing less; what problem is your products/services solving for people? In other words, what do you and your company want to create in the lives of your customers? The answer to this question should be your major focus as an entrepreneur.
This is what it means to pursue vision. Stop going about chasing several things. Focus on one thing. Stephen R. Covey was right when he said;
“Your job is to keep the main thing as the main thing”.
A business that doesn’t stand for something will eventually fall for anything. This is one of the core philosophies we are trying to instill into the minds of entrepreneurs on naijapreneur. In order to get more from your business, you must learn to do less by standing for something (being different) and adding value to those your business serves based on what you stand for (making a difference).
In case you still haven’t found a compelling vision to pursue as an entrepreneur, click here to discover how to create a compelling vision for your organization.
3. Embrace Passion
For entrepreneurs who focus on their core gifted areas, doing less will always yield more. Nothing can be more enriching to the life of an entrepreneur and beneficial to the success of a business than focusing on what you naturally love doing – passion. Your passion is the same as your strength.
These are those activities you naturally enjoy doing effortlessly. I’m sure by now, you should be tired of hearing this statement; “You can never be successful doing what you endure rather than enjoy.”
This is just the simple truth about life and business success. Success is a natural outcome of unleashing your passion. It is the result of an unwavering dedication to the pursuit of our true calling as human beings. Many entrepreneurs underestimate the effect of passion in building a successful business. To show you how powerful embracing passion can be, here’s a revealing study of a group of businesspeople who took two very different paths after graduating from college.
A study of business school graduates tracked the careers of 1,500 people from 1960 to 1980. From the beginning, the graduates were grouped into two categories. Category A consisted of people who said they wanted to make money first so that they could do what they really wanted to do later – after they had taken care of their financial concerns. Those in category B pursued their true interests first (passion), sure that the money would eventually follow.
What percentage fell into each category?
Of the 1,500 graduates in the survey, the money-now category A’s comprised of 83%, or 1,245 people. Category B risk takers made up 17%, or 255 graduates.
After 20 years there were 101 millionaires in the group. 1 came from Category A (the money-now graduates), and 100 from category B (the risk taking graduates).
The study’s author, Srully Blotnick, concluded that “the overwhelming majority of people who have become wealthy have become so thanks to work they found profoundly absorbing …. Their ‘luck’ arose from the accidental dedication they had to an area they enjoyed.”
The story above clearly says it all. Lucked up within each of us is a gift, talent or strength that was deposited in us at the point of creation which was given to us to be used for the benefit of humanity.
This is why whenever you find yourself doing any activity that you endure rather than enjoy, you keep feeling empty and frustrated regardless of the material rewards such activity might provide. So learn to embrace your passion for therein lies the answer to getting more from your business by doing less.
4. Empower People
There’s a limit to what only one person can do. If you are running your business as a one man show without enlisting the help of other gifted people, you would end up complicating your life and can never stand a chance of getting the best from your business. You see what you must realize is this; one is too small a number to achieve greatness.
The fact that you own the business doesn’t mean you possess all the talents, skills or knowledge required to successfully run the business. A very simple way to grab this fact is taking a look at the way your body works, the body is a composition of different parts all working synergistically with every part playing its own role in making you a total human being. Imagine the heart trying to play the role of the hand all in the name of wanting to be the main boss of the body. The end result is quite obvious, calamity. Likewise, the same is true in business.
Your job as the an entrepreneur and the owner of your business is to critically evaluate all the key areas of your business and then look for the right set of people to occupy and function in each of these key areas you’ve identified. You must therefore begin to groom a team of highly gifted, skilled and knowledgeable people who would complement you and your business as it is quite obvious that you can’t do it all by yourself.
One of the reasons why most entrepreneurs hesitate in empowering their people is due to insecurity. Most entrepreneurs especially in my country Nigeria believe in controlling all aspects of their business because they do not trust those whom they have employed to work in their business. So they end up prying their nose into every area of their business and trying to be Alpha and Omega of their enterprise.
Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not in any way suggesting that you don’t be in the know as regards the operations of your business, No. My point is quite simple; get those who are better than you in certain areas of your business and empower them to use their uniqueness to enrich your business.
There is what I can do better than you and there’s what you can do better than me, together we can both pull our individual talents, skills and abilities towards a greater purpose which we would never have been able to achieve alone.
Meaning, you cover up for my weaknesses by focusing completely on your strength and I cover up for yours by equally focusing on my strength as we collectively pursue a common goal, vision or purpose. So, to get more from your business, learn to do less by finding and empowering talented people whom you can delegate those things that bore you to nuts.
5. Leverage Technology
In the whole of human history, I personally think this is the best time to be alive. Never before have we humans been so interconnected globally because of Information Technology.
Imagine a world where all humans could be reached just by sitting at a place and working on a computer? Imagine the possibility of reaching several millions of people all at the same time with the same message being passed from one main source? Imagine having to compete with the giants of your industry on the same platform – the internet, without any fear of being eaten up alive?
The list is endless. The point I’m trying to make is this; technology is an amplifier. It basically takes a small thing and blows it up. How do I mean?
One of the key features of Information Technology (IT) is its ability to enable people and businesses meet one particular need through diverse means. Take for instance a local shoemaker in Nigeria whose business is making and selling locally handmade shoes.
With a website, this small business can automatically become a big player online making and selling shoes not just locally anymore but now globally. By leveraging the power of the internet, the business can reach out to more people who may need locally handmade shoes but not physically situated in the same locality as the business.
That is, the company can now afford to sell to walk-in customers as well as unknown customers online thereby meeting one need (selling handmade shoes) through diverse means (offline and online sales outlets). In other words, it makes you get more by doing less.
Has your business IQ increased as a result of reading this article?
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