Four (4) Overlooked Mistruths about Entrepreneurship
October 18, 2017
Money IS Everything: Despite what some may think, say or even do, money is not the most important thing when trying to build a business. Sure, money is essential to purchase the essentials and to keep any legit operation afloat however, it should never be one's sole motivation toward success. Besides money, it will take a genuine love for what you do and who you serve to keep you going through those rough patches and slow seasons. A senior executive once told me that there are businesses who had plenty of money but did not survive 5 years. That should be very telling.
Networking and Partnership: If you are a newbie who is just starting out, linking up w/seasoned professionals seems like the fool proof way to go. After all, they have prestige, experience and wisdom a beginner does not have. Despite these obvious advantages, it is best for even a rookie to proceed with caution. It may very well be profitable but in the long run, what's in it for the other side? No one is going to invest time, money or resources into you or your brand, without wanting something in return.
Non Profit Organizations: Some business enthusiasts are eager to form a non profit because of the numerous financial opportunities. It's true that these types of organizational structures benefit from numerous grants opportunities, discounted taxes and other fringe benefits however, the legal structure of NPO's also requires a board of directors. This board is responsible for oversight and all serious decision making of the organization. Unlike private entities such as LLC's, sole proprietary and other corporations, the board makes all important decisions relevant to the business and is subject to a vote. Ultimately, the founder could also be voted out if the board deems appropriate. Bottom line, if you want to retain majority oversight and operational control, you may want to reconsider forming a NPO.
Results: On average, most startups do not see a profitable ROI until after 5 years of service. Does this mean the prior 4 years were unsuccessful? Of course not! Results are not always tangible in the respect of dollars and cents. The viability, growth and perfection of your products and services are also good results worth noting, even if the bank account is a little short.
Remember, Entrpreneurship is really about building something that helps to make other lives better inspite of whatever risk, levels of sacrifice or time that it takes. Alibaba is a fortune company that took 18 years to manifest millions of dollars!! I wonder if Jack Ma believes that the 17 year journey before then, was worthless?