We live in a world where entrepreneurship continues to get watered-down. Vibrant Africans who should be bustling with entrepreneurial ideas and building thriving businesses,  now prefer high paying 9-5 jobs. They kick to the curb, the very traits that make them entrepreneurs. In a move to escape the risks associated with entrepreneurship, Africa is continually overlooking how entrepreneurship remains the only viable path to generational wealth. This is one crucial point brought into focus by serial South African entrepreneur, author and speaker, Vusi Thembekwayo

While sharing insights on the best path to wealth creation in Africa, Vusi highlights how lasting financial freedom can only be achieved through entrepreneurship. In a session with CNBC, he spotlights how corporate safety has shield people from tapping into their entrepreneurial side. “The minute you distort the reward risk system, which is what entrepreneurship, people then don’t flock to this thing called entrepreneurship”. 

He mentions how it’s rare to find an economically struggling Jewish community. This is because right from the grass-roots, families have a created a system for gaining wealth. A father starts a shoe shop passes it on to his son who expands the business by launching a hardware store and the trajectory continues.

While the journey to awakening the entrepreneur in continues. Here are traits that if you don’t possess, you simply can’t call yourself an entrepreneur.

Have You Failed Before?

Whilst speaking, Vusi highlights this as one of the first traits he considers when investing in entrepreneurs. He says entrepreneurship is like swimming, you need to have tried it and failed at some point to be able to succeed. If you haven’t failed at entrepreneurship, you have tried hard enough.

Believe in Yourself to a Fault.

As an entrepreneur, you can’t entertain doubts about your potential or the level of success you can achieve. Vusi says to start small but never lose sight of the big picture. He mentions that you have to believe in things that people will consider impossible. You have to believe you’ll use the most cost-effective means to make money. That you can reach all your customers. That you can compete with big companies. Even though that might not be the case most of the time.  “You have to be certifiable, absolutely crazy”, he says. In the end, you’ll be surprised just how much you’ve been able to build.

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