By Sam Vidambu.
Since late 2019 the world has been at a war. The world has been fighting an invisible enemy, an enemy that came with lightning and thunder. An enemy that does not choose nation, race or religion. The war is still on. Keeping in mind that all wars have casualties, the BOM and private school teachers, laid off staff in companies from media to hospitality, economic deterioration, all these are some of the casualties of Covid-19 pandemic.
For some people 2020 is the year of survival, but for others it’s the year of personal development and self re-discovery.
Do you think it’s time to call it employment? Do you think you will not start looking for employment again? Do you think it’s time to be employed and still have your own business? Did you loose your job? Did you take a huge pay cut? Are you staring at an uncertain future? If the answer is yes then you need to have an exit strategy and have a change in career.
There is always a struggle that people face in life, the reluctance to try something new, to get to uncharted territory, to be out of the comfort zone, and to risk everything by going where there was no path and leave a trail. Human beings don’t like change.
Covid-19 pandemic has taught us many things but one lesson that stands out is that to discover your raison d’etre then you must change your modus operandi and modus vivendi. You must have the mindset of a pandemic. You must alter the status quo. It’s not business as usual.
It’s not the time for blame game. Blaming the government, the economy, the ministry of education, the selfish relatives, cynical neighbours, the educational system, all the blames won’t help. When you blame someone else you are meaning that they have more control over your life than yourself. Blame game is not s strategy. It’s not about what happens to you, it’s about what you do about what happens to you. What happens to you happens to everybody in the world. Corona has affected everyone. Stakes are too high, times are too serious. In a world where a pandemic is more likely to happen after every ten years, do you want the next one to find you when you’re an employer or an employee? The sucked or the one sucking? The laying off or the one laid off? Make your choice.
According to Merriam Webster dictionary, an entrepreneur is a person who organizes, manages and assumes the risks of a business. It’s always about risks. Everything is risky. But remember, no risks, no returns. It’s time to be an entrepreneur, take risk and build reputation.
You were laid off. You have been an accountant in that organisation for 20 years. All your kids have studied upto the university while you were working there. All your financial success you got while you were working there. But alas! A small virus that originated from Wuhan reduced your 20 years to two pages of dismissal. What do you do now?
You only have one choice, change your mindset, develop your character and train your skills for entrepreneurship. Remember, entrepreneurship is not a walk in the park. No holidays, no weekends, no offs, no week days, no pay days, no end months, waking up early, staying up late, being on the vacation is being at work, Saturday will be Monday and Sunday will be Wednesday. This is not 8 to 5, it is 12 to 12.
Having said that, I understand it’s not an easy decision to make. It’s a decision that needs proper planning and strategy to work. An Exit strategy is necessary mostly when you’ve been laid off after Covid-19 pandemic effects, this prevents you from the hustle of starting to desperately look for job again.
Business ownership is about firmness of the handshake, personality, smile on the face, mentality, and dressing code. All these needs total paradigm shift from employee to employer. It’s not about just being the boss, it’s about cashflow status of your business.
Be solution oriented. The world is not looking for people who sell products, the world is looking for people who solve problems. We should stop the narrative of spending your 20’s messing up, your 30’s figuring out, your 40’s raising average kids and your 50’s waiting to die. No! You can do something of benefit for the world. Solve a problem.
Be courageous. You don’t need money to make money, you need courage to make money. Stop focusing on what you can’t control and start focusing on what you can control. You can’t control someone else to employ you but you can control the job market by employing other people.
Work with people. A business is like a person, it needs support system. Human beings are resources. Use people. When you get a customer let the customer refer you to another customer. Convert your networks to be your net worths.
Capital is not your problem. You are the problem. Nobody starts from nothing, you already have alot within you, you have alot more than ask, think or even imagine. You are more than money, your business idea should be bigger in such a way that factors of production will not affect your launching.
Seek progress. You can’t be James Mwangi or Chris Kirubi overnight. Business success is always about learning from your mistakes and other people’s mistakes. This means that you need to surround yourself with mentors and people who have been where you are. You need persevererence. Don’t seek perfection, seek progress. At the same time, don’t entertain complacency. All growth takes place outside the comfort zone.
Before launching your product or service, do the following analysis.
~Customer analysis. What is your product? Who is buying your product? Where are they bushing it? How are they burying?
~Competition analysis. Who else is offering this service? Are there substitutes?
~Industry analysis. What’s the industry demand and supply? What’s the attractiveness? What are the barriers to entry?
Learn about the structures of SMEs. Is it partnership, sole proprietorship, or a limited liability company? The structures depend on the size of the organisation, the ease of operation, type of product, liability, source of capital, tax, control, and licence.
Will the next pandemic get you in a financial slavery like you are right now? Will you be illiquid again? Will you get the later of redundancy again? Will you put your family in a desperate situation again? Do you want to live a life of begging again? The choice is yours.
You don’t need to have money to start, but you need to start to have money. Don’t say if I had money I would have a better plan, say if I have a better plan I will have money.
Take control over your financial situation. I will be happy to see you launching your product. Take action, today.
Vidambu is a Lecturer, Trainer, Mentor, Coach, and International Conference Speaker.
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