(THE MAN WHOSE LIGHT IS ON AT THE TOP OF THE SKYSCRAPER AT 3AM IS NOT AN ENTREPRENEUR)
Few days ago, I was asked by Durodola Abdullahi Bolaji to write on this topic and I knew it would definitely become a series because when it comes to entrepreneurship, a lot needs to be really explained.
A lot of people have adulterated, misinterpreted and have confused what entrepreneurship really stands for and now to make it worse, a lot of young Africans believe entrepreneurship is the future of Africa. I strongly disagree and this post is not for it but I would definitely address it in this series.
So before I go too far to begin to talk about the challenges entrepreneurs face and go a step further to explain how they can solve it, I will like to describe who an entrepreneur is and explain why it is not for everyone.
“A person who organizes a risky activity of any kind and acts substantially in the manner of a business entrepreneur.” That is what the English dictionary defines it as. If you pay attention, it is someone who organizes a risky activity of any kind.
Let me quickly draw a thin line and introduce one other definition; FREELANCER. Once you understand who a freelancer is, I guess you would know where you belong so you will not run up and down claiming you are an entrepreneur which you are not.
A freelancer is someone who sells his service to an employer without a long term contract. In freelancing, there is no business created, therefore there are no risks for you to manage. I would say that about 70 percent of young Nigerians who claim they are entrepreneurs are actually freelancers.
They have a service, a skill and they sell it to a business and get paid for it. Is it possible to create a business from freelancing? Yes but that’s not the point.
The point is that whether you are a software developer, a content marketer, a digital marketer, a graphics person, you are not an entrepreneur if there is no organization around such skill to the point of taking risks and solving the problems then earning from it.
Now that you know where you belong, can we go to the skyscraper and check on the young fellow who is still awake by 3am working and ask what exactly he is doing. He could be a freelancer who had a deadline or who chooses to work at nights. Entrepreneurs also stay awake at night but it’s not a principle.
So that description for entrepreneurship is not the best to use. Are you still dissatisfied with the fact that I said you are not an entrepreneur? Sorry, but you need to admit it. We have a lot of “young entrepreneurs” who do not know how to create a business from their service or skill because they just don’t know, or because they are scared of the risks. Now that’s the point.
Who are your competitors, what is your market size, what is your market structure? All these are not really compulsory because our great grand parents didn’t draw up business plans but they had risks. Entrepreneurship is about creating a business from an idea, a running business.
It could be from a skill as well but there are risks of failing. In freelancing, you have nothing much to lose, your skill is still intact and you wait for the service of employer. Once you don’t get a service, you sit at home.
To conclude, an entrepreneur is someone who creates a business that must be able to run and create profits even though he is not around or active. A freelancer on the other hand earns zero money if he chooses to be inactive. If he sleeps all day, he gets no job and gets nothing to work for.
Don’t always forget, in entrepreneurship, something is running, you are running something and you are aware of the risk.
Are you an entrepreneur or a freelancer ? Know where you belong!
To be continued…
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