One of the biggest lessons I have learned in my entrepreneurship journey is defining what role I would like to play and the means to get there. If you’re a young entrepreneur right now you may have a clear idea of your business idea (s). You think you have what it takes. But you need people to help you connect the dots. To get from A to B means you need a good network to support you. In your quest for that network you are also susceptible to giving up what makes you unique, your true passion and even your talent. I would say young entrepreneurs experience it because of naivety and over enthusiasm. Sometimes this enthusiasm turns into desperation.
Desperation is a dangerous thing for an entrepreneur because it throws you off track. It can destroy your dreams and dampen your confidence. The moment you act due to desperation it is often a que for you to get out of the situation QUICK. I am far from a pessimist but in business you have to choose your partners and the people you work with very carefully. The risks you have decided to take means that the stakes are higher if things go wrong. The most obvious one in is financial risk. You must also think about the kind of reputation you would like to build. You don’t want to ruin a reputation you have yet to build.
If you involve yourself with questionable organisations or individuals then obviously it will not end well. Another obstacle is having the confidence in yourself and your business when you’re faced with a tough choice. Lets assume your business is viable and has a market. You’re asked to work with a more established individual. However you’re asked to sacrifice a core aspect of what you do or how you do it (and it will come inevitably). The consequence of doing the latter gives an impression that you do not have faith in what you do. It sad to say that there are people who will take advantage of this when they sense it in you.
It may also signify that your counterpart doesn’t really value what you or what you do. I am not saying that when you’re negotiating a working relationship that there should not be a bit of give and take from both sides. It is up to you to clarify your intentions as best as possible. If you’re expecting things to be handed to you on a plate then don’t get into business find something else to do. The warning that I have is that you should not be taken advantage of or used. So one of the first things you need to do is be sure that the people you are working with truly value what you do. Is this sincere? Is it genuine? To be clear you need to define yourself and follow your instinct. Position yourself well. As a result you will minimise bad decisions on your part.
I always say this quote to young entrepreneurs who attend our workshops ”Define yourself, what you stand for and what you would like to do or people will do it for you”. Therefore times will come where you have to put your foot down. I learnt the hard way by hoping and wishing that one day the individuals I was working with would appreciate and the reward would come. Despite something not feeling quite right I stubbornly went ahead. This is madness. It is a waste of time, effort and a whole lot of heartache. It simply won’t get better unless you do something. So if you’re in this situation right now please consider why am I doing it? Where is it getting me? If you do not like the answer change it. You can do it. You either define yourself today or you will be forgotten tomorrow. I know which one I would choose.
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