Stories of entrepreneurs starting small businesses before slowly (but surely) growing them into multibillion outfits sound like fiction. But they are real. With little capital, but a lot of fire in their bellies to actualize their dreams, these entrepreneurs surmount many obstacles which ordinary mortals would dread to encounter. Listening to them narrating their stranger than fiction stories, one is able to pick critical traits that define successful entrepreneurs. Some of them are passion, patience and resilience.
In the same breath, it is not disputable that a powerful idea is the wood that fuels the growthof successful businesses. Entrepreneurs are renowned for spotting and seizing unique opportunities which they transform into great businesses. Nevertheless, spotting a business opportunity but merely fantasizing about it is not enough. The entrepreneur should have the courage of taking calculated risks in order to transform such opportunities into actual businesses. The ability to do that clearly defines the journey that entrepreneurs take in their quest to succeed. It is not a journey for the faint hearted. It is for those who are ready to endure energy sapping tasks, since they know that by doing so, they shall ultimately reap very juicy fruits.
If you are armed with a powerful idea ( but limited resources), are you ready to open a small office or shop in downtown Nairobi despite the noisy and dirty environment ( there are big rats and cockroaches in the dirty dustbin on your doorstep ) as you embark on a journey of building a business empire? Are you among those who falsely believe that you cannot make it as an entrepreneur unless you hail from a family background with deep pockets? And who fooled you that university graduates cannot push a hand cart (‘mkokoteni’) in order to raise capital for starting a kiosk at Korogocho or Mukuru Kwa Njenga? The plots of a good majority of the successful entrepreneurs who have shared their stories with us unfold that way.
Those who are called to be entrepreneurs should therefore not miss the ultimate prize because of the mirages in their horizons. Let them fold the sleeves of their shirts or blouses now and be ready to sweat profusely because ups and downs are part and parcel of the entrepreneurs’ journey.