Hi everyone. I want to introduce you guys to two of my friends – Simon and Mikel! Until last year they were both employed at the same company and earning salaries (before you close this I’m not asking you to donate money or get them jobs – just stay put and find out what’s up :-D) but left to become entrepreneurs.
Here’s Simon’s story:
I was not really satisfied with my job anymore and so I decided to leave and start something on my own. I had no capital but we had a plan – Mikel and I. I had already drawn up the business plan and Mikel was supposed to be my partner but like I said earlier, all we had was the plan. We started writing letters to sponsors about our idea and explaining our plan to those who got back to us. Things were looking great at this point. The feedbacks were great and then we got a financial backer who we recruited as our third partner, Sam.
Simon and I left our company to start out as entrepreneurs. We all have that dream when we leave school to one day be employers of labour not just employed labour or worse yet just labour. Anyway, we left and we were very lucky, Simon’s business plan was brilliant and people believed in our vision and invested as well. Along came Sam and then we were three. Sam was also a brilliant individual. He invested in the vision as well as coming on board to work full time. It was a very interesting experience. After a while, I got bored. I was no longer fascinated by the uncertainty of making a profit or losing money. I pulled out and went back to paid employment and was living a more comfortable life than either of them.
Let me take you back a little bit. I was employed somewhere as well and like the two young men I was yet to meet at the time, I left my job to become an entrepreneur with no capital as well. I started working out of my living room until I earned a little cash. I took out a loan from the bank using my house as collateral for a project I was working on. Unfortunately halfway through the project, there was a glitch and I had to spend more money than I budgeted for. Unfortunately, the project was also taking longer than expected and so I had no source of income and a list of expenses. I started borrowing money and then hiding from people. I stumbled across Simon’s business plan in the office of one of my ‘friends’ who was thinking of investing in them. (I was doing risk assessment consultancy just to make a little money quickly). It seemed like a good deal and I really didn’t have anything to lose. I went to another bank and took out a loan, the other loan still pending, and used my car as collateral. At first, we had some really good months and then some not so good ones but they were never drastic. It was just three of us then but Mikel soon pulled out and went coincidentally to work for the company I left. The package was very attractive I was tempted to return as well but I was determined to make it as an entrepreneur.
These three guys have different versions of the same story. There are yet outcomes not illustrated for people that find themselves in this situation. At the end of the day, Simon was lucky and took advantage of the opportunity – Mikel didn’t It may have also been just because he was not ready to be an entrepreneur. Sam on the other hand tried and failed but didn’t give up because he knew what he wanted and had made up his mind to get to his goal.
Entrepreneurship is not necessarily a big project like building a house or owning a fortune five company. Salon owners are entrepreneurs. ‘Aboki’s are entrepreneurs – except they are tending to the kiosk for someone. From Simon, Mikel and Sam, we can see that entrepreneurship is not a whim decision. It should be well thought out and you should have a plan. Mikel was probably just along for the ride but Simon was serious about establishing himself. Sam never kept his eyes off the ball though some may argue that he was probably just stubborn.
The bottom line is that you need to take advantage of the opportunities around you – Make a decision and the capacity would definitely materialize. Also remember to set SMART goals.
Enjoy your weekend!