Getting into entrepreneurship brings with it a burgeoning sense of independence, hope and a big break, not to mention the limitless earning potential.
But whether being an entrepreneur is dream you have nursed since you were twelve years old or an ambition that consumed you as you worked your day job over the past five years, the prospect of innovating and uncovering new opportunities for yourself and others, as well as building a legacy that will hopefully outlive you can be electrifying.
This is why you must be careful not to run yourself over, especially in the first five years of transition. Remember, when moving from employment to entrepreneurship, there are certain inherent mistakes that you could make, owing to directly transferring your qualities as an employee to your status as an entrepreneur.
Here are four of such mistakes which you can avoid
- A lack of clarity
Entrepreneurship is somewhat similar to a cause others pursue in say fighting for better policies in environmental conservation. You will need a well rooted source of inspiration, courage and knowledge to do that. Now pause and think clearly about your decision to become an entrepreneur – have you suddenly decided to become an entrepreneur because you got a windfall of cash from your cousin who lives abroad, or you actually have the key drivers for this new road? The point is not that everything must align perfectly before you begin your journey as an entrepreneur – the idea is to understand your why and articulate it well. You need to be clear about why you are going into entrepreneurship and that why must have the mettle to carry you through the various challenges and risks that come with the call.
- Not having an understanding of yourself
It is important that you have a full grip of who you are before setting out on your entrepreneurship journey. As an employee, you benefit from preexisting structures such as a set arrival time, an established company culture for example and other intangible benefits such as being inspired by the way a colleague’s approach work. Away from this environment, you have to be aware of how you harness your productivity. As an entrepreneur you will be answerable to yourself, create your own working structure and discover your muse away from the accountability arrangements at the workplace. That is why it is crucial to understand yourself, what makes you productive and how you build your productivity because you will certainly need a whole lot of self-motivation on this journey.
- Ignoring baseline research of the field
While there is no denying that entrepreneurial ideas could stem from just about anything, it is important that you sit down with your idea, ask questions, research, have conversations with potential clients to help you clarify the gap you intend to fill and any other facts you might need to know. It is important that your idea responds to a market need, niche or has potential to answer to a need.
- Not enlisting your networks
Another common mistake you must avoid is forgetting to enlist the support of your networks. While entrepreneurship means you are taking that big leap to pursue a personal goal or passion, it does not mean you leave your support system behind. The networks you made during your working years are crucial in helping you navigate this new phase. Some of them could be experienced entrepreneurs, others could give you critical connections to grow your business while others will be there to provide insights into critical facets such as the hiring process, going about all your legal obligations, finance aspects of your business and so on.