What I Wish I Knew Before Embarking on My Entrepreneurial Journey

There are many things to be aware of before venturing into entrepreneurship. When I began my journey, I did not know that my experiences would yield such a profound learning that would then after, influence every facet of my life. After years of running many successful businesses, I can look back with satisfaction at the learning I’ve gained and the success I’ve had. While I haven’t yet achieved all my goals, my journey has been truly fulfilling. Here are some lessons I’ve learned during my endeavour into the land of entrepreneurship.

Create opportunities rather than wait around for them to arise, and if you’re organised it’ll only help. There is no perfect setup – just start and commit. Without commitment, you won’t get results. To be a leader, you must deal with problems as they come. It takes great courage to recognise an opportunity and take the first step towards it. I take ownership and responsibility for my mistakes, and by doing so, I am given the gift of collegiality and growth.

Have faith in your vision for your business, and don’t spend your energy worrying about failure and what could go wrong. Your instinct, your gut feeling, is a powerful weapon to have. At many times, it will appear like it’s failing you, but rest assured that such incidents will give you important life lessons. It is a character-building process. If I’m committed to my opportunity, I follow it no matter how much my data opposes it.

Some of the biggest struggles for an entrepreneur to face include fear of competition, loss of reputation and most importantly, leaving behind a steady income. Amongst these things, worrying about prices is one of the biggest mistakes I see people make.

Price is not a strategy, it is a tactic. If you must rely on prices to get customers, then it’s time you revisit your business plan.

Apple didn’t get to where they are by challenging the prices listed by their competitors. They were adamant enough to stick to their marketing plan and put out a price they were happy with as part of their offering. Make sure you follow your vision, and think about why your customers should pay for your services. Be ready to show your customers how you can stand out from your competitors.

Having competition is not something that should deter you from your journey either. Competition is good because it is living proof that the concept works. Many new companies are entering the market today and seeing success. You don’t have to be a Google or an Apple. There are many niche areas that you can go into. Australian startup Canva started off as a design student’s solution to using complex software in class. It took many months for Canva to connect with its first investor, but now it has become a multi-million dollar company. Being innovative helps, and is a corner stone of modern style of education, but you don’t need to be innovative to be successful. If you think that your solution, service or product offers value to an existing offering, you must pursue it.

Venturing into entrepreneurship is certainly a gratifying journey, with many challenges and tough periods. Many such periods will last for a long time. Some of us struggle, some of us leave and some of us get up and start again. Begin developing your business concept and plan, and take small steps towards completing them. If you don’t take the steps to make things happen, your vision will be someone else’s idea. Businesses seldom fail, entrepreneurs don’t.