The typical idea of being an entrepreneur is to be in charge of your time and earn more. While this is true, the fact remains that businesses encounter challenges and temptations that tend to destroy any entrepreneur who is unequipped with the nitty-gritty of running one.
Although some of the challenges are external, some are the personal shortcomings of the entrepreneurs in handling specific responsibilities and temptations that come with a business. Some of these inadequacies, such as lack of accountability, have seen the demise of some startups.
For example, Enron, American energy, commodities and service company, went from being a formidable company with $100 billion in revenue and 29,000 employees in 2001 to being bankrupt in 2019. This was due to accounting loopholes and false error reporting done to hide billions of dollars of debt from failed deals and projects.
Not properly handling the temptation that comes with being accountable led to the failure of Enron. Hence, do not bother starting if you know you are not cut out for it. It is just like investing. Warren Buffett said, “If you aren’t willing to own a stock for 10 years, don’t even think about owning it for 10 minutes.”
If you know that you are made for it, here are some temptations that can destroy you as an entrepreneur.
Looking for an easy way to earn
While the entrepreneurial space is truly a world of the strong preying on the weak, some entrepreneurs tend to look for easy ways to earn money by prying on the weak. Since the money was unearned, it has no value and tends to be misused. This explains the wise saying that easy money never lasts. Just as it comes with the wind, it also goes with the wind.
Compared to easy money, successful entrepreneurs are prudent with their money. Since they worked hard for it, there is always a consciousness and a reminder of the work and time invested in it. With this money mindset, renowned entrepreneurs have become billionaires in their different businesses.
This explains why Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Amazon, said, “I think frugality drives innovation, just like other constraints do. One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out.”
Relishing in past achievements
There is nothing wrong with entrepreneurs getting motivated after overcoming challenges and achieving success. However, some entrepreneurs see it as a point to slow down and relish in their past accomplishments. Some people go as far as using the profits from the business for short-term gratification.
Instead of falling into the temptation of past glory and short-term enjoyment that tends to be liabilities, the wealthiest man in Africa, Aliko Dangote, during a section with Mo Ibrahim, said, “Everyone, including the younger ones, needs to be very careful because one of the common issues with us Africans is that we spend our projected incomes.
Once you start a business and it starts doing well, rather than for you to keep reinvesting the money in the business, you will start spending money and thinking that the profit will continue to come. Business has ups and downs, so you need to be very focused to decide on what to do with the profits, what not to do and how to do it.
Meaning you are not supposed to use your money to buy posh cars. This is because the luxury things take up your time which will not make you focus on your business.”
This has a soothing effect that comforts you until all the time in the world is gone. Since you are in charge of your time, it tells you there is no need to worry; you have the time to do it later. Gradually, your do it later turns to tomorrow, the next month, and the end of the year. When it dawns on you, you will discover you have achieved nothing despite having a big idea that will change the face of your business.
So, a story about pressing the snooze button in your life and falling into the temptation of procrastination. Tony Elumelu, the founder of UBA and Tony Elumelu Foundation, said, “Never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is a thief of time.”
Embracing easy and not greatness
There is no easy way to succeed. You can only decide to bow out of success once you have achieved a particular milestone. Since the future and business market is unpredictable, entrepreneurs are tempted to bow out. The truth is that the unknown nature intrigues some entrepreneurs to greatness. Instead of settling for a little measure of success, they are unsatisfied because they know they can do better to achieve excellence.
Success, to some, means starting a business and selling it for billions of dollars and retiring to a life of meaningful freedom. While to some people, like the cofounder of Google and former CEO of Alphabet Inc., Larry Page, it means continuing to improve the business. He said, “If we were motivated by money, we would have sold the company long ago and ended up on a beach.”
Shying away from risk
Risk is part of the business. While its overwhelming nature might tempt you to succumb to failure, your passion will motivate you to continue. This is why it is always good to go into a business you are passionate about. Passion will help you when business challenges and temptations drown you.
While risk is naturally bad, the combination of calculated risk and passion has given birth to some of the world’s wealthiest people. So before you give in to the temptation of giving up, remember the saying of Mark Zuckerberg, “ The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that is changing quickly, the only strategy guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”
Nigeria’s Afrobeat singer Oladapo Oyebanji with the stage name D’Banj has been arrested an…