Is Entrepreneurship a Talent?

Entrepreneurship is a complex and multifaceted endeavour that requires a range of skills and abilities. Some people may be naturally more inclined towards entrepreneurship due to their personal characteristics or experiences, but it is not necessarily a talent in the same way that artistic or athletic abilities are talents.

Entrepreneurship involves taking risks, being innovative and resourceful, being able to adapt to changing circumstances, and being able to effectively lead and manage a team. These skills and abilities can be developed and improved over time through experience, education, and training.

While some people may have a natural inclination towards entrepreneurship, it is ultimately a combination of skills, knowledge, and experience that determines whether someone is successful as an entrepreneur. It is possible for anyone to learn and develop the skills necessary to be successful in entrepreneurship with the right mindset, effort, and support.

In a Nutshell, No. Entrepreneurship is not a Talent. It is an Artisanal Skill much like Brick Laying, Boiler Making, Plumbing. Therefore, the technical education that teaches business building is fundamental to your success as an Entrepreneur.


#Entrepreneurship #Talent #startingabusiness

If Entrepreneurship is a Skill that can be learned, why do so many Entrepreneurs Fail?

Entrepreneurship is a complex and multifaceted endeavour that requires a range of skills and abilities, including risk-taking, innovation, adaptability, and leadership. While entrepreneurship can be rewarding, it can also be challenging, and many entrepreneurs face obstacles and setbacks on the road to success.

There are a number of reasons why entrepreneurs may fail, including:

Lack of planning: Failing to properly plan and research a business idea can lead to problems down the road.

Lack of focus: It’s important for entrepreneurs to stay focused and prioritize their efforts in order to succeed.

Poor financial management: Proper financial management is essential for any business, and entrepreneurs who are unable to effectively manage their finances are more likely to fail.

Inability to adapt to change: The business world is constantly changing, and entrepreneurs who are unable to adapt to new circumstances and technologies may struggle to stay competitive.

Lack of persistence: Building a successful business takes time and effort, and entrepreneurs who are unable to stay focused and persist through challenges may struggle to achieve their goals.

Poor team management: Leading and managing a team effectively is crucial for entrepreneurial success, and entrepreneurs who are unable to do so may struggle to achieve their goals.

Ultimately, the key to entrepreneurial success is to identify and pursue opportunities, work hard to overcome challenges, and continuously learn and adapt in order to grow and improve the business.

#Entrepreneurship #Talent #startingabusiness #skill #success #Entrepreneurialskills #Sidehustle #recurringIncome

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What are the best skills to have for someone wanting to be an Entrepreneur?

There are many skills that can be helpful for someone who wants to be an entrepreneur. Some of the most important skills include the following;

  • Strategic thinking: Entrepreneurs need to be able to identify opportunities and come up with effective strategies to pursue them.
  • Leadership: Entrepreneurs must be able to motivate and lead a team, often in a rapidly changing environment.
  • Communication: Entrepreneurs need to be able to clearly articulate their vision and ideas to potential investors, partners, and employees.
  • Adaptability: Entrepreneurs must be able to adapt to changing market conditions and pivot their strategies as needed.
  • Resilience: Building a successful business takes time and can be challenging, so entrepreneurs need to be able to persevere and bounce back from setbacks.
  • Problem-solving: Entrepreneurs must be able to identify and solve problems that arise in the course of building and growing their business.
  • Financial management: Entrepreneurs need to be able to manage their financial resources effectively and make sound financial decisions.
  • Marketing and sales: Entrepreneurs need to be able to market their products or services and sell them to customers.
  • Networking: Entrepreneurs need to be able to build relationships and connections with other people in their industry and beyond.
  • Time management: Entrepreneurs need to be able to manage their time effectively and prioritize tasks in order to meet deadlines and achieve their goals.

#The10MinuteGuide #Entrepreneurship #Skills #Success

54 Signs of Failure – Sign #1 – Being a “Know it all”

Sign: You think you know everything you need to know about how to run a successful business and there you don’t need any help or further education.

Why It Indicates inevitable failure: There are many activities that enable businesses to run successfully. These activities are; Marketing, Sales, Operations, Administration, Product/Service Development, Customer service, Supply Management, Stock & Inventory Management, Human Resources, including Training & development. Depending on how complex your business is & the type of business you run, there may be several sub-activities below these primary ones that you may need to master & execute. And even if you did master all of them, you would never have enough time to do all of them yourself and/or successfully guide the execution of those activities.

What to do about it: Figure out what your key strengths are, quickly. Learn how to do either Marketing or Sales very well. Give the rest of the work to/seek the guidance of people who know a lot more about the activities than you do.

“Start with what you have”: How the Business of Motivation is killing Dreams & Small Businesses.

Where we are today

In a world where the business of motivation has gained widespread currency in entrepreneurship circles, one would be forgiven for believing that entrepreneurship was the Magic Elixir for all of life’s problems, big and small.

However, as anyone who has taken this “Magic Elixir” will tell you; the dream is free and the hustle IS sold separately.

Simply put; it’s bloody hard! Much harder than being stuck in a junior management role, reporting to an a**hole.

And then the bad news…

It costs a lot of money too!

While It is understandable why there is a rush to encourage people to start businesses with what they have, it does however, set people up for failure.

To illustrate my point, think of your body as your business and money as your oxygen.

Now imagine you were locked in a room with “limited oxygen supply” (your start-up capital) and you were asked to go about your professional duties, as you normally would at work. As the day goes by and your oxygen supply continues to drop (because you are using up the oxygen in the room) your performance and the quality of your work gradually start to decline. Eventually, your body will buckle under the pressure of trying to keep you functioning at your best under these strenuous circumstances. In this event, you will notice that you will start developing symptoms associated with oxygen deprivation, Confusion Coughing, a Fast heart rate, Rapid breathing, Shortness of breath, Slow heart rate, Sweating, Wheezing. In the case of your business, these would be cash flow problems I.e. you don’t have enough money for stock and/or day-to-day operations, whatever those may be.

Now, imagine that as you get to the late afternoon, you start to develop more severe “oxygen deprivation” symptoms; you get very dizzy and no matter how much you try, you just can’t seem to inhale enough. In the case of your business, this would be; you are not making enough money to pay your lease, you can’t pay all your staff salaries, your stock runs out so you can’t fill all customer orders and you start to lose customers, and by extension, you start to lose money.

At this stage, your eventual, proverbial death is not only a matter of time, its guaranteed.

A different frame of reference…

Let’s frame this point differently; The reason altitude (height above sea level) is an important factor in sports is because oxygen availability affects the performance of athletes. The lower the oxygen, the worse their performance. Likewise, capital/money availability affects the performance of your business. It isn’t a mistake that franchises have specific capital/money, location, and market requirements. It sis because they know exactly how much “oxygen” is needed and what kinds of “environments” offer this “oxygen”.

You are not the exception, you are the rule!

Inevitably, there are those people who will stand up and say; “I’ve done it, so can you”. These people are usually very influential, “against all odds” successful entrepreneurs, whose success stories make the news, but there are two problems with listening to them.

  1. Successful entrepreneurs are generally very good story tellers which means they often leave out those bits of their stories that prevent them from selling the dream.
  2. The reason these people’s successes make the news or are even news worthy, is because they are the “exception” and not the rule. That is, they are that one person in a million who succeeded against all odds.

This, ironically makes them the ideal person to listen to for motivation and the last person to listen to for start-up advice.

Rather, listen to someone who has successfully built a business by overcoming odds that are similar to yours. Yes, this means that there will be different people for different circumstances, this is why mentorship comes highly recommended because a mentor can help you navigate challenges specific to your business.

At this point, It is also important to point out, generally, we don’t track how much they spend on operating their business in the first 1-3 years of their business’ life, before they start turning a profit. What we will track, is the lumpsum we invested upfront.

Often times, once the business becomes operational, we spend even more money keeping our doors open. Since this money I spent in smaller amounts than the lumpsum invested, we don’t notice it. Reality hits when we are completely broke and we realize that the initial lumpsum invested was nearly enough to cover the expenses of operating a business, day to day, to profitability

Those damned kids…

Furthermore, for Parents & Breadwinners who are entrepreneurs, there is “the demand on revenue” factor; day-to-day financial obligations you have to meet, especially if your business is your only source of income. These obligations will weaken your business and prolong the time it will take you to reach profitability.

In relation to our “oxygen” example above, imagine two more people were added to the same oxygen-deprived room you are in. The increase in the demand and consumption of oxygen (money) would simply guarantee a speedier death, for all of you.

The take-home message

When someone says to you: Start with what you have, they are not giving you Actionable Advice, they are simply encouraging you to get started. Therefore, it is important that you separate motivation from actionable advice.

Starting a business without enough money to get you through your first year or tide you over until profitability is simply suicide.

If you are thinking about starting a business or a side hustle, you need to not only figure out how much money you will need to get you started in business. You also need to know much money you will have to invest in keeping your doors open until your business is making enough money to run itself.  

To learn more about how to Calculate the Cost of Starting & Running a Business, see chapters 8-12 of The 10 Minute Guide to Starting a Business, available here as an ebook.

#Challenge1Million #entrepreneurshiptruth

#motivation #startwithwhatyouhave

R 265 212.00 – The average cost of #starting-up in South Africa, the truth!

Let’s cut to the chase

Firstly, there is absolutely no where on planet earth today, above and below it, where you can start and run a business without a significant amount of money. If anybody tells you otherwise; ask them to demonstrate.

Secondly, In addition to finance, there are two other forms of capital that you WILL need to leverage to successfully run your business, these are; Social & Human Capital.

The size of said financial capital will depend on the type of business you want to start and how long it will take you to become profitable.

Now that that is out of the way

Having started and run several failed businesses over the years, one consistent problem I encountered was running out of money or operating capital. I could never figure out what I was doing wrong, after some soul searching I discovered that part of my problem was that I fundamentally believed in bootstrapping, i.e. that it was possible to start and run a business on the barest minimum and so that Is the approach I often took.

Let’s set parameters to this conversation

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that bootstrapping doesn’t work, it’s just that it needs a specific set of special conditions for it to work. Given that most entrepreneurs fail anyway, even with all the resources they need at their disposal, boot strapping is, in most countries, a very long shot. Boot strapping of course, is different to “No-money”; bootstrapping means making do with the barest minimum and “no money” just means no money.

Here is why it is Impossible to start with out money

Part of the challenge for start up entrepreneurs is winning the confidence  of potential customers. Customers want to know that the quality of your products is good, that you are reliable and that you will still be able to service your product a month down the line when they have problems with it. Here at home, in South Africa, there are a bunch of markers that people use to help them figure out whether or not you are trustworthy. Some of these may seem ridiculous, but they matter to people. Here goes: An office and where it is situated (Address), A landline number, Branding, A letter head, A personalized domain name email address, Business cards, Who you have done business with, A website, How you are dressed, the value (price-wise) of the equipment you use in your business, including your phone & laptop, Whether or not you and or your business show up in a Google search And here is the biggest one; whether or not you know what you are doing i.e. Do you have work experience related to your business?

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but these are the basic trust markers, and they do differ across cultures, races & age groups (Believe it or not, even corporates use these same markers as well). However, based on these requirements are alone, you are already out of pocket north of R 10 000.00.

So, after some experimentation, I figured out a formula to help calculate how much starting a business costs . Using average prices, and these may differ slightly from situation to situation, and a general start up entrepreneur profile, starting a one person business will cost you north of a quarter of a Million rands!

Let me demonstrate

To help me illustrate this point effectively, let’s use a character. Let’s name them them Neo, to keep it gender neutral. Neo is a Software developer.

There are three types of financial capital one needs when starting a business; Money to set up the businessmoney to keep the business operating and Money to buy supplies/materials. Since the cost of materials differs from business to business, we will exclude it from this calculation

Because perception matters…

Neo will need the do the following to set up their business:

Register it with the CIPC (R175.00), Purchase a domain name for their website (R89), get branding (Logos, letter heads etc) for their business developed (R6000.00); Print 500 single sided business cards (R500.00), Pay a deposit (usually double the rental fees) for office space they will be using (R10 000)(assuming they pay R5000.00 in rental fees every month for it), purchase an Office landline number, with an accompanying hand held device, (R500), A 3G modem (R400), well because Wi-Fi  coverage is not universal and the all important laptop, a good one will set you back R5000.00.

Total cost of set up: R 22 664.00

Oh, I forgot to mention the website, a good one will set you back R10 000.00, so Neo’s total cost of set-up is:

R32 664.00

But of course, the business needs to run

Now that Neo’s business has been set up, they now need to run it, so the costs described below are operational i.e. month to month costs. Since Neo is very sharp, we will assume that they will become profitable after their first year in business, so the calculations that follow are only for the first year of operation. Here goes:

Website domain hosting (R89.00); 1Gig Data (R150.00) because free Wi-Fi isn’t universal, yet, (hopefully soon, fingers crossed), Airtime for the office phone (R500.00) to make those sales calls, Office rental (R5000.00) and the costly and inescapable business bank account, (R140.00 monthly- excluding transaction charges). That brings us to a total cost of…drum roll please…..

R70 548.00

With that out of the way, our developer needs to eat and live…

Here is where it gets tricky, the theorists always get it wrong; Neo is a one person business, in order for them to make it work, they need to be a 100% dedicated to it, that means they can’t run their business and hold down a 9 to 5. So, our sharp young sprite needs to find someway to pay their R5000.00 rental fees for their flat, buy their regular R3000.00 worth of groceries, pay for R2000.00 worth of petrol/travel to and from work, including to & from clients and of course they need R3000.00 for general day to day expenses which include buying launch at the office and paying for those coffees with potential clients. Since our young sprite is also mobile, they need to have airtime for their cell phone to call more clients, friends, family & keep their networks going, that will set them back another R500.00 monthly. This brings their total living expenses to a nice young…

R 162 000.00

So ladies and gentlemen, If Neo wants to quite their job and focus on their one person development business full time, Neo needs to have a total of R 162 000.00+ R 70 548.00 +R 32 664.00 =

R 265 212. 00

Generally, most small businesses take between 1-36 months to become profitable, not having enough money to keep you going beyond 6 months is just careless, so you need to start with at least a year’s worth of cash.

You may have noticed that the biggest expense in Neo’s budget is their living expenses, that is not an accident; full time entrepreneurs still need to eat and live before they become profitable, but this expense is also indicative of the fact that the largest cost portion of most businesses is their human resources. So if Neo wanted to get another developer on board, guess what, that bill goes up sharply and if they needed a sales person to sell their software, well, they will have to rob a bank, but that is another conversation for another day.

So in a high level peanut shell ladies and gents, it will cost you, on average,         R 265 212.00 to start and run a one person business in South Africa today, excluding the cost of supplies.

So, next time you go looking for start up capital and your funders tell you that you can’t include your salary in the capital requested, do this quick calculation for them and ask if they can live off  charitable donations from friends and family for a year & still run a successful business.

Sandiso Ncube is the Founder & MD of Before You Start and the author of The 10 Minute Guide to Starting a Business: Lessons Entrepreneurs Learn the Hard Way

How to Start a Business or Side Hustle in 10 Steps.

1. Decide what kind of side Hustle you can handle
2. Find a problem to solve
3. Make sure that problem is a recurring problem
and it is an easy problem to solve.
4. Find a solution to the problem.
5. Find out how much it will cost you to buy and sell that solution
6. Save money to buy that solution
7. Set a price for your solution
8. Find out who has the problem
9. Use Technology to Market your solution to the problem.
10. Sell, sell, sell.

For more details, check out “The 10 Minute Guide to Starting a Business: Lessons Entrepreneurs Learn the Hard Way”- Available here from | |

#Entrepreneur #Entrepreneurship #Startabusiness #Startasidehustle #Sidehustle #Startup #recurringincome #financialsecurity #smallbusiness