BusinessDNA 10th Edition, Page 22
By Hayatullah Sayedi – Founder & Managing Director at We Empower Afghanistan and the Lead Organizer of TEDx AUAF.
Entrepreneurship means fulfilling your dreams and working with passion. The world’s most renowned entrepreneurs like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs made computers and mobile phones part of every household. Elon Musk has been an inspiration for promising an alternative vision for the future, with his plans to send humans to Mars. In Afghanistan, many tireless and ambitious entrepreneurs are advancing entire industries. This article focuses on the exceptional characteristics that set all these entrepreneurs and business leaders apart from the rest.
A variety of factors contribute to the success of an entrepreneur. These factors are connected to the timing of their business launch, market competition, amount of capital, etc. In addition to these factors, there are several traits that successful entrepreneurs have in common that contribute to their business success. In this article, we review three personality traits that have enabled the world’s most renowned change-makers and business titans to achieve remarkable success in their businesses.
The most crucial characteristic of all successful entrepreneurs is creativity. Creativity in the business context is the act of thinking outside the box, innovatively, to dream up of new, fresh, appealing ideas. It is also the ability to spot market gaps and niches, and visualize opportunities in a way that others can’t see. Creativity in entrepreneurship involves two aspects, thinking and producing. Creativity is characterized by the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions. Sometimes, creativity means improving or updating current products and services. For example, the evolution of basic mobile phones, to smartphones and cameras, to premium smartphone cameras. Entrepreneurs able to develop innovative new ideas, solve problems, and think out of the box are more likely to adjust to the fast-growing world. For example, the introduction of Tolo and Lemar TV channels into Darya.net – an online app for watching TV shows and movies online – in Afghanistan’s local languages of Farsi and Pashto. This online platform will be the Netflix of Afghanistan in a few years.
Risk-taking is not limited to relying on luck and gambling huge sums on a business idea. Risk-taking is the ability and courage to take calculated risks – analyzing the estimated chance of failure and success – to start, scale, or invest in a business. Risk-takers are firm believers in their instincts and guts. They put their time and resources into realizing their goals and learn valuable lessons that can help their businesses in the long term. Whilst this prospect intimidates most people, successful entrepreneurs boldly take calculated risks. In the words of Mark Zuckerberg, Founder & CEO of Facebook, “The biggest risk is not taking any risk.” Successful entrepreneurs are able to take the combined approach of integrating a calculated approach to risk, with a sustained approach to growing their business. Taking risk means little without the patience to witness outcomes flourishing, and all the work that takes. Thus, at the heart of risk-taking the notion of perseverance, of pursuing your gut instinct even when the going gets tough. For example, an eight-month-old child cannot walk or talk. A baby takes risk: it wobbles, falls down thousands of times in the process of learning how to walk. The trial and error approach that we all started within our early years has many parallels to establishing a successful business.
Last but not least, successful entrepreneurs are resilient in the face of challenges. Meeting the prospect of failure and facing up to the inevitable obstacles that are thrown into your path is a must for all committed entrepreneurs keen to realize their dream. Rather than giving up, learn from failure, and thrive. Studies show that 90% of entrepreneurs fail. This is a hard and bleak truth. The success of the rest of the 10% is measured by their ability of resilience at the top. As Vince Lombardi says, “winners never quit, and quitters never win.”This is a hard and bleak truth. The success of the rest of the 10% is measured by their ability of resilience at the top. As Vince Lombardi says, “winners never quit, and quitters never win.” Resilient entrepreneurs build a steady foundation and go from there, believing in their idea to take the first step and not quit until they get what they want. Many of us have been bowling at least once in our lives. I remember visiting North Bowling, in Guzar-e-Hayat, Mazar-e-Sharif, in its second month of opening in 2017. I was the first and only bowler at the facility and luckily got a 20% discount. During the next few hours, nobody showed up. I was all alone in the facility. Recently, I heard from a friend living there that the facility is loaded with customers six days a week. Resilience helped the business cope with the short-term challenge of lacking customers, but it helped it become a successful entertainment business in the city of Mazar. Resilience helped the business cope with the short-term challenge of lacking customers, but it helped it become a successful entertainment business in the city of Mazar.
Read the full article at the BusinessDNA 10th Edition.