Forstering Entrepreneurship – Fuelling Your Internal Fire [opinion]

THE core of entrepreneurship lies in the heart, and I hope that after you have read this column, you will be able to allow those around you, or at least give them a chance, to see your heart. When I say “fuelling your internal fire of entrepreneurship” I want to remind each of my loyal readers that it is an attitude and approach which actively seeks out change, rather than waiting to adapt to change.

Let us develop a mindset of critical questioning, innovation, excellent service and continuous improvement. We are only as good up to the point that we have achieved great things, how can we continue to be and be our better best, so that those who look up to us can also strive to be good. Namibians, if we really want to fuel our internal fire it means being agile, never resting on our laurels, shaking off the cloak of complacency and seeking new opportunities. In the end it boils down to taking ownership whether you are an employee or employer.

Think about any situation or event that happened in your company last week. To me it really does not matter whether it was positive or negative. When we talk of “internal fire” we want to approach any situation in such a way that we feel empowered, motivated, and capable of taking things into our own hands. Imagine yourself as a CEO of any company in Namibia right now who strives to nurture a spirit of entrepreneurship amongst all employees. You can certainly achieve this by not only telling employees where they have failed the company, but come up with great ideas to do something about them. Critical aice to all owners of businesses out there is to always focus on win-win situations no matter who you are dealing with. Make sure that everybody who walks through your office door feels that they got the deal. This in the end secures good and healthy long-term relationships. Ladies and gentlemen, I want that piece of aice to be stuck with you as long as you are alive.

Moving ahead, if we really want everyone to develop that burning internal desire, try to foster a start-up culture within the company. Persuade them why it is much more worth to take ownership in a company. Namibian entrepreneurs will probably agree with me on this one that running a business can feel like the loneliest place on earth. It becomes critical to turn to different sources for aice. For example if you have a start-up company offering financial services, you should try to do more than funding, provide mentorship to clients, which could be very valuable to them in the long run. A support network is an integral part of any business.

If we all really want to succeed in the world of business we have to accept that there will always be challenges, and some mistakes are always more expensive than others. Sometimes we can find ourselves investing in the wrong enterprises, resulting in losing huge amounts of money. I know it hurts, but it is high time we accept our mistakes and walk away. If you are ever going to fail make sure you do it quickly. Some people persevere out of pride and stubbornness, rather than accept their losses gracefully and move on. Pride and stubbornness do not pay but when it comes to entrepreneurship it is all in the heart. My brothers and sisters failure is nothing to be ashamed of it simple means you have just discovered many ways of doing the same thing over again. I challenge each one of you to look around you wherever you are right now, and show your friend any “true” entrepreneur who has not failed at any point. When you really want to continue to fuel your internal fire of entrepreneurship dust yourself off, learn from your mistakes and be better next time. Next time you find yourself in a situation, which is impossible to deal with, just remember why you started the business in the first place. If you do not feel the same internal burning desire anymore, there is no disgrace in saying: “I am out of here” and walk away gracefully. Remember everything in life is meant to happen for a reason and everything we sacrifice on a daily basis can only lead us to greater business ventures in the very near future. As you continue your business journey developing your own internal fire, I challenge you to go out there and show the rest of Namibia that the best talent exists within each one of us. Each experience we are faced with can only help us expand our world view, and it must give us new perspectives. It will indeed make us more of an interesting person and a person no one will ever forget, a risk taker, a multi tasker and a powerful, motivated citizen that can help this country achieve its goals.

Dr Wilfred Isak April is a Unam graduate and holds a PhD Entrepreneurship (New Zealand). He currently lectures in Research Methodology and Entrepreneurship at the University of Namibia.

Source : New Era