Naturally I am an optimist. If you came to me with an idea, whatever it is, I will have one answer for you – It’s a good idea and you have a good shot to make it work like anyone else. This is because I believe that under the sun, we all have equal opportunity regardless of our race, creed or beliefs. As an entrepreneur, I have also learned the meaning of honesty and how necessary it is for anyone attempting to do business.
I one time talked to someone about a business idea I had. By the time I was done talking to them, they assured me that in the current state, my business wouldn’t work and indeed it didn’t regardless of all the hard work I put in. It’s not that she was a prophet of doom it’s that she was more realistic about things. What I learned is to make a healthy intersection between our dreams and reality as we burn the midnight oil making that idea work.
She asked me questions like, Do you have the things you need to facilitate and enable your business? What is the market like? How many people do what you do better than you? how good are you at what you do? How will you position yourself to be competitive? Do you have clients? What does it cost and how long does it take you to get a client? How much do your clients pay you? How many clients would you need a month to be profitable? How many do you currently have? how are you going to market yourself? What are your costs of running business? Do you have a team? What’s your business Plan/model? The questions were so many.
By the time I was done answering all the questions, she told me, I am sorry to let you know but at this rate you business is going to fail. It was heart breaking but after, I knew where I was strong and where I was weak. I also knew what I needed to do. I had to go back to the drawing board. Many Ugandan young entrepreneurs like myself go into business with a lot of faith and no action hoping everything just works out. You enter a business when you have no idea how the business works or what it takes to succeed at it. Do some research about the business and learn a thing or two from the people who have done it before. Many of them would be willing to share some ideas with you.
If anyone comes to me with an idea they have, this is the new answer I will have for them. Are you willing to risk failing? Are you ready to work so hard and put in everything you have and still stand a good chance of failing? Will you be patient enough when you don’t get a dime from your business yet inject in all you have? Are you wiling to do whatever it takes to build the value for your product or service so that anyone would be willing to pay any price for it?
Good ideas in and of themselves do not make money. It’s only good ideas that have been well executed that make money.I no longer care how good your idea is, it’s how much you believe in your idea to stick with it no matter what happens. When you stick with your idea, even when you fail, you will be 10 times more likely to succeed than someone who has not done business before.
So do you still want to start a business?