Every young person in Nigeria wants to be the next “Dangote”. We pray about it; our musicians even sing about it. Young graduates are encouraged to start their own business, be their own boss. But is entrepreneurship for everyone? Are you cut out to be an entrepreneur? As appealing as the idea of entrepreneurship may seem, not everyone has what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
Notably, the drive for entrepreneurship in our society has increased immensely in recent years. Being an entrepreneur is the “sexy” career choice of the moment, Self-made millionaires are glorified, making entrepreneurship alluring and somewhat, cool. Everyone on the outside only sees the success stories, not the sweat, tears, failures, struggles and rigors of entrepreneurship.
In the Nigeria of today, with the high unemployment rate and job insecurity, it seems everyone now wants to be an entrepreneur. Even those who had no plans of being one. Youths who have been looking for white-collar jobs without success for months, some even, years, feel compelled to become entrepreneurs.
Signs that you are not cut out for the entrepreneurial life
- You prefer to be a follower and not a leader.
If you prefer to take orders/instructions and not give them, if you shy away from having people come to you for direction, if you don’t like the responsibility of taking decisions for yourself and for others, if you find it hard taking initiative, if you resent leading a project, or being a boss, then perhaps entrepreneurship is not for you. If, on the other hand, you like to be in control, take charge, be your own boss and give orders, there may be a spark of entrepreneurship in you.
- You prefer working for someone else.
Businessman, investor and philanthropist Farrah Gray wrote, “Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.”
Which do you prefer to do? If you honestly prefer the second option and find fulfillment doing so, there’s nothing wrong with that. It simply means that perhaps entrepreneurship is not your calling.
- You are not resourceful and hardworking.
Entrepreneurship is not for the lazy. It is not fun and games, the entrepreneurial journey can be really tough. It requires a lot of hard work, dedication and smart work. If you are lazy, then the rigors of entrepreneurship are not for you.
- You hate taking risks.
As an entrepreneur, you must be ready to take informed and calculated risks as well as commit your own money to your business idea. Life is a risk, and entrepreneurship is no exception. Some of life’s risks is necessary, healthy and good. Entrepreneurs are not afraid of failure. They believe it is part of the process and that’s why they are not averse to taking risks. If you like to play safe; if you like stability; if you like security; if you like normalcy, perhaps, entrepreneurship is not for you.
- You don’t see opportunities in every problem.
Entrepreneurs see things that need fixing all over the place. They see problems that need solutions. They see problems as opportunities and are energized by them. They are problem solvers. Are you a problem solver? Do you like fixing things? Do you enjoy inventing things to solve new unforeseen problems? Do you seek to provide simple solutions to complex processes? Then the entrepreneurial life is for you.
I have good news for you though – these qualities are not rigid. They can be learnt, if you really desire it. Entrepreneurship isn’t a you either have it or you don’t quality.
First, it’s important to remember, that you can be cut out for entrepreneurship and don’t even realize it because of societal conditioning. According to Karen Arluck, Clinical Psychotherapist in private practice, many people are conditioned to believe that it is safer and wiser going to college, coming out with good grades and working at jobs that will give them a steady paycheck and benefits, rather than trying to start their own business.
Also note that you can cultivate the qualities and learn the skills of entrepreneurship through sheer determination, desire, patience and passion.
That is where we come in. At Mentor Nigeria, we help young and aspiring entrepreneurs cultivate the traits, skills, tools and resources to become successful entrepreneurs with thriving businesses. We also provide mentorship services and grants to budding entrepreneurs.
Register for our free business/entrepreneurship training program tagged “Opportunity Discovery Day” to learn more about all these opportunities.