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Do You Want To Be An Entrepreneur ? Read This !  

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Do You Want To Be An Entrepreneur ? Read This ! 

Written By: Akua Sefakor – CEO – Nelvic’s Business Dialogues

I often liken the entrepreneurial journey to parenting; no matter how much you study it, observe it in others, ask for advice, prepare for it, or convince yourself you’re ready for it, there is simply no substitute for doing it. And as with parenting, you soon realize you can’t imagine not doing it, because it’s simply part of who you are.

Each stage of entrepreneurship, from the inception of an idea to the day you let go of the company you’ve built, is filled with unexpected challenges, sacrifices, and rewards. And while you can convince yourself you’re ready, you never really are.

But, you’re OK with that, right? I mean, the risks, challenges, detours, and ultimate glory are all worth it, correct?

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Not so fast. There are some important caveats.

There is a part of entrepreneurship we rarely talk about. And, if I’m to be honest with you, and with myself, it’s not easy to talk about because it involves exposing a very deeply rooted fear of failure that fuels every entrepreneur. For example;

Your idea is worthless.

We all want to believe our ideas have value, that they can change the world. After all, it’s ideas that spark the entrepreneurial journey. Wrong. The world is not lacking ideas. There is no greater commodity. In fact, their abundance makes ideas pretty much worthless. “Sacrilege,” you say, “ideas are the foundation of every success story!” I’m sorry, not true. Because the moment you have a great idea, it is simultaneously occurring to, or has already occurred to, millions of other minds. More to the point, I’ve yet to meet a successful entrepreneur whose final company or product did not pivot many times, departing far from the initial idea he or she had. An idea alone is worthless. Accept it.

What’s far more valuable, to an entrepreneur, than a good idea, is their commitment to execution. They will endure any hardship to bring their idea to market and prove it has merit.

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And that’s where the unspoken truth lies.

You see, the level of commitment to execution means everything else takes second place,often a distant second place. While we love to talk about life balance, mindfulness, making time for what’s important, taking care of your physical and mental well-being, the reality is I’ve yet to meet a successful entrepreneur who has not made sacrifices that are (at least for some reasonable period of time) diametrically opposed to those ideals. Ignoring that reality offers an incredibly naive view of what it means to be an entrepreneur.

“…when you are building a business, priorities of the business will always come first.”

Before you tell me all the importance of striking a balance between mind and body, taking time to silence the noise, and finding inner peace, let me just say I agree those things are important, except that when you are building a business, priorities of the business will always come first. No matter how well-intentioned you are about striking a balance, when push comes to shove, the business always holds the trump card.

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A little uneasy with that? I said this was an uncomfortable truth.

Look, this doesn’t mean you will spend the rest of your life doing nothing but getting your startup off the ground, working long hours and getting loans from family and friends, even if there would be any, but it does mean you will spend a significant chunk of time, pretty much doing just that, obsessed with little else but your business.

The reason is utterly simple. Unless your business exists in some sort of vacuum, or government sanctioned monopoly, you will have lots of company from other folks trying to do exactly what you’re doing. It’s called competition, and it’s ruthless, with no concern for your work/life balance. Markets are like evolution: heartless gatekeepers to the future.

You’re obsessed with success.

Second, there’s the fear I talked about earlier. Entrepreneurs have only one end game, success. They are not driven to succeed, they are obsessed with it, it’s part of their pathology. These are the people with whom you can’t have a conversation, game of chess, or a friendly wager that does not turn into a take-no-prisoners competition. But that’s a good thing for an entrepreneur, right? Yes, if you win.

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You see, the vast majority of entrepreneurial ventures do not succeed, leaving those very same people who are obsessed with success dealing with its absence.

Have I scared you off yet? Of course not, you’re reading this because you’re the person I’m describing. You’re going to do this no matter what. Good. So, here are four pieces of advice from someone who’s been there.

When you embark on an entrepreneurial journey, give yourself a hard timeframe. Don’t allow yourself to be sucked into a black hole of never-ending struggles to prove that your idea, company, or self is successful. Everything has a life cycle. So do ideas. There’s no magic timeline to follow, but if you’re still trying to reach the critical mass of a self-sustaining company after two years, I’d seriously revisit it again.

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Define what constitutes success based on reasonable assumptions and unreasonable standards. There’s nothing wrong with shooting for the moon, but if you are constantly falling back to earth because you cannot reach escape velocity, something is very wrong with your success metrics. Perhaps launching satellites into low earth orbit may be a better idea. (That’s intended to be a metaphor, not advice.) As long as your standards are high, you have the assurance it wasn’t for lack of trying.

Prepare yourself, your spouse or significant other, and family for what’s to come. Nobody starts the entrepreneurial journey with a balanced lifestyle. Yes, you should strive for that at some point. That’s why you’re doing this anyway, to have the luxury of time and choices of how to spend that time. To see your kids grow up. To travel and see the world. To mentor, teach, and help others less fortunate. You’ll get there. However, and this may sound harsh, but from what I’ve experienced and seen, that’s at least a five-year journey.

Last, be honest with yourself about why you’re embarking on this path. If it’s all about the money, you’ll never be motivated enough. How can I say that? Because I can tell you, without hesitation, that if you can trade in your drive for money, you aren’t starting out with enough drive.

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Few of us look for discomfort. I doubt you woke up today thinking, “Gee, what can I do to make my life harder than it is?” But the journey of the entrepreneur is always harder than expected. That’s what you’re signing up for.

Is it worth it? Really, you want me to answer that? You might as well ask me if it’s worth being a parent. Of course it is, if it’s who you are.

 

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Contact Nelvics on nelvics12@gmail.com or +233240735496 for coaching.

Written By: Akua Sefakor 

 

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Multiple Award Winning Travel & Celebrity Blogger | Teacher | Geographer | Writer| Publicist | PR Expert| Editor | Artistes Promoter| Talent Manager | Digital Marketer | Social Media Consultant | Web Entrepreneur | CEO of Sintim Media |

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Education

Government spent GH¢40.4 billion on education between 2017 and 2020 – President Akufo-Addo

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“EXPENDITURE ON EDUCATION INCREASED BY 95% IN MY TIME” – PRESIDENT AKUFO-ADDO

President of Ghana. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

“So great has this government’s commitment to education been that public expenditure on education has almost doubled from twenty billion, seven hundred million cedis (GH¢20.7 billion) between 2013 and 2016, that is in the Mahama era, to forty billion, four hundred million cedis (GH¢40.4 billion) between 2017 and 2020, that is in the Akufo-Addo era, representing an increase of some ninety five percent (95%).”

These were the words of the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Tuesday, 4th January 2022, when he delivered a speech at the 6th Quadrennial National Delegates Conference of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in Kumasi.

Addressing the gathering at the event, President Akufo-Addo noted that GNAT is what it is today because of the work of its past and current membership and leadership, and he assured that, under his administration, the work undertaken by the membership and leadership of the Association will not be in vain.

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The President, thus, used the opportunity to thank all teachers in the country for the work they did, and continue to do, in ensuring that the education of Ghanaian children, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, has not been truncated.

“Continuous assessment, the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and the West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) have all been written by thousands and thousands of students, under your care and guidance, in conditions of safety and orderliness, and without incident. The nation is extremely appreciative of these acts of selflessness and patriotism,” he said

According to President Akufo-Addo, his vision of a modern, competitive, Ghanaian economy, spearheaded by indigenous entrepreneurs, with productive employment for the great majority of its citizens, requires skilled economic actors, and to get there, the nation needs an educated workforce.

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“Through the implementation of the Free Senior High School policy, we are ensuring that value is being added to the intellect of every Ghanaian child. This is our surest way of succeeding in adding value to the Ghanaian economy, thereby helping to create acceptable, well-paying jobs for the young people of our country,” he said.

The President continued, “For us, in Ghana, also to make a success of our nation, we must pay attention to teachers. It is only a group of well trained and motivated teachers that can help deliver the educated and skilled workforce we require to transform our economy and nation”.

Outlining the many initiatives implemented by Government since 2017, he stated that his government has restored, since coming into office five years ago, and continues to pay, teacher trainee allowances, which were abolished by the previous administration.

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“In addition to the yearly average increase in salaries over the last five (5) years, my government is, for the first time in our nation’s history, paying a professional allowance to teachers. We have abolished the three (3) months’ pay policy for teachers, we have cleared the arrears, and promotions due teachers have also been effected,” he said.

He stressed that to prevent undue delays in promotion of qualified teachers, Government will, in 2022, improve on the conduct of the aptitude test instituted by the Ghana Education Service, leveraging on lessons learnt from the one conducted in 2021.

Affordable Housing for Teachers

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“Government is also committed to the development of affordable housing for teachers all across the nation. The current initiative will involve the provision of housing for both mortgage and rental. I am fully aware that one challenge facing teacher ownership of homes beyond finance is their inability to purchase homes where they intend to retire,” he said.

Through a subsidised loan programme, President Akufo-Addo indicated that teachers will be provided an opportunity to own houses in desired locations in various parts of the country, stating that the Ministry of Education is working with the National Service Scheme on this.

In addition, the Ministry of Works and Housing is in discussion with teacher unions to provide more housing opportunities for teachers.

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“Within the next two years, it is proposed that ten thousand (10,000) housing units on affordable terms will be developed for teachers across the country. This, as we all know, is the tip of the iceberg, but it is a good beginning,” he added.

Touching on the vexed issue of laptops for teachers, President Akufo-Addo was glad the supply of laptops was appreciated by teachers, and promised that the other related matters of concern will be addressed.

“Good relations between GNAT and my government are matters of importance to me, and I will do my best to promote such relations,” he added.

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Source: The Presidency

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