Taking the Leap: Starting a new business despite the odds

Taking the Leap: Starting a new business despite the odds

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The fear of starting can be absolutely terrifying. For a start, it is totally normal to have this potentially paralyzing human emotion called fear when starting anything new, whether it’s a family, new employment or a startup. The stories of some of the greatest entrepreneurs in the world are replete with testimonies of how they energized themselves to start, despite the odds.

Actually, mastering the more ‘technical’ aspects of starting a business like developing a business plan, assembling an effective team, understanding your target market and competitors and developing a competitive advantage, to mention a few, do not trump the need for the mental readiness needed to launch a startup.

The questions begs mentioning; what do I need to do to develop the mental readiness to launch a new business. We do not have all the answers to this question, but we provide a few insights that may be useful as you take the leap of faith:

 

Mentorship:

Having a mentor who has entrepreneurial experience will reduce your learning curve as you will essentially learn from the mistakes of the mentor and improve your efficiency early on. Also, your mentor will be your motivator when you run out of the energy needed. Usually, mentors who have experience in a similar industry or type of business are advised, but the primary motivation for selecting a mentor is the person’s willingness to commit their time and maybe other resources to your entrepreneurial development.

 

Personal Preparation:

Building capacity in critical success factors for your new business is extremely important as this builds your confidence to start. You may not necessarily know everything about what is required, but having just knowledge to acquire and retain customers does a lot of good to your self-confidence at the start.

 

Have a Backup Plan:  

We always encourage entrepreneurs to be hopeful, but the reality of the situation that not all new businesses work, especially in an environment like Nigeria where basic infrastructure to optimize business operations do not work. It is extremely difficult to find scalability and viability of some business models at certain times. If your new business happens to fall into this category, you may need to be open to the idea of pivoting to something else or going back to paid employment momentarily until you find a smarter way to engender scalability and viability. Realistically speaking, having a passive backup plan isn’t a bad idea.

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