Becoming an entrepreneur

Becoming an entrepreneur

The fear of failure is what keeps most of us in the shadows; we judge our mistakes before we have made them. Taking that leap from the dreaming to the doing is a terrifying prospect.

Becoming an entrepreneur

lightbulbI love motivational speakers, sages of the common sense, wizards of the dream makers. The fact that they make money telling others what they already know. It’s an objective thing. Having someone telling you that you are ‘YES!’ the greatest, the indestructible, the master of your own fate, sounds so much better than you saying that to yourself.

Telling everyone else you are fantastic sounds a little pompous. Instead we play down our own qualities and dream in private. Not the entrepreneurs of the world. The spheres of academia abound with theories of what human motivation is all about – thanks Maslow – and entrepreneurial theorists draw up tables of said characteristics, personality types — ambitious, visionary, creative, independent — qualities I believe are inherent in, well, just about everyone.

So what does it take to be an entrepreneur? Financial support would be a major factor. Education and a keen perception of your target market an advantage also, but most of the time, it comes down to risk taking. Taking that leap from the dreaming to the doing. Terrifying prospect.

Now I am not advocating you throw away the steady job and fling on the cape of adventure. I have been the safe player for most of my life: cautious, flying below the radar for fear of become Icarus and ending up in a smouldering heap of melting wax. Rather stick to the road most travelled. There are so many contented travellers along the way. Entrepreneurs are a solitary lot, no time for chatting and when they do put themselves out there, there will always be someone judging from the sidelines. People with great ideas who act upon them are not thinking about failure, they are thinking about living the dream. The fear of failure is what keeps most of us in the shadows; we judge our mistakes before we have made them.

And so I have joined the band of self believers. I am taking the plunge into the world of entrepreneurship with an idea, a product and enough pep talks to prop up Pisa for the next few years. I am absolutely terrified, but exhilarated at the prospect of doing something I love. Never going to be Mr Gates, change the world, but I am becoming my own motivational guru. There will be times when it all becomes too overwhelming I know, times when I curse myself and imagine drowning in a warehouse of unsold goods, but nah, not going down that road just yet, am sticking to the ticks of the profile type.

We all are. I have yet to meet anyone who has not had a great idea, who wants to create something special and be their own boss.  Leaders are created with self confidence. It could be the smallest idea, the quietest desire, but it can be achieved if you tell yourself so. Am amazed at the talent out there.

This week I find myself in Cape Town. World Design Capital for 2014. These designers, artists and creators inspire me. Not just their products but their unflinching belief in who they are and what they want from the world. It is possible — it could be you. I have to keep telling myself that… onward entrepreneur!