Q. I am a 29-year old communication professional. After finishing my university studies, I ventured into the consultancy world by starting a communication firm while my friends sought employment. Five years down the line, these friends seem to flourish in their jobs while my investment has been nothing to write home about. I am not doing even half as good as they are; they have constantly goaded me to seek employment and do business later, an idea that I disagree with. Should I fold the company and follow my friends' advice or should I stick to my guns?
Your friends may be doing well at this point in time, but comparing yourself to their flourishing success will kill your drive. Your benchmark should always remain your vision, guided by the goals you have set towards realising it. You do not know how your friends have journeyed towards their perceived success.
You may not be doing half as good as they are doing but do not envy them because you will be frustrated and lose your focus. Instead, let their success motivate you to push further. Use this challenge to review your strategy, goals, plans and networks.
With your five years’ experience you very well know what has not worked and needs to stop. You also know what has potential to grow your business, so dust up and get back to work.
Back to your friends’ comments that you should work and start business later, I do not believe there is ever a right time.
Each entrepreneur is motivated by their vision and ability.
Some may value independence, an opportunity to create jobs or freedom to be their own bosses and, as expected, that comes at a cost of little or no income at the beginning, but incremental growth as years go by. Others decide to work first to gain workplace related experience and build networks.
Either reasons are valid, depending on the drive of the business owner. Instead on envying your friends, how about seeing them as networks you can use to gain business opportunities? You could also use their experience and knowledge to bounce off ideas.
If you are really at a hard place capital wise, you could invite them to own some stake and use their resources to grow your business.
Many times well intended start-ups fail because owners are afraid of letting others in and yet we can never downplay the importance of diverse views and opinions which make businesses and workplaces thrive
I will close with this quote from an unknown source,
Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.
If this resonates with you, then you know you need to stay on the grind.