An entrepreneurship road map you just might need

So why would anyone need an entrepreneurship road map? Well we live in interesting times, companies are downsizing and people are finding themselves at crossroads (see what I did there) I’ve lost some clients and had to restructure my time and goals a little, so I thought there might be other people in the same boat.

This entrepreneurship road map has not been written by me though, it is from former corporate big wig turned lecture, jewelry designer and director of the Locally Yours Market, Annelize Botha

Annelize’s entrepreneurship road map; have a read

On Friday the 4th January 2013 I left the ‘corporate path’ to start a journey.

When ‘life happens’ I believe that destiny steps in and you need to ‘buckle up’ because it will be the most amazing life experience leaving you breathless as every sense is awakened in your soul.

My journey included a relocation 1000 km’s away from people and places that I had grown to call ‘home’ however after returning to Port Elizabeth I came to realise that this was ‘home’, and the past 20 years in corporate had merely been a stop on route to on my actual destination.

“Can you run a workshop for us on entrepreneurship”, someone asked me recently. For the first time in a long time I was speechless, as I don’t believe that you can teach entrepreneurship. Don’t get me wrong, there are many disciplines that can be taught about entrepreneurship however to teach someone to become an entrepreneur, I am not convinced.

You see I believe that traditionally we are raised and groomed to ‘chase the corporate dream’. “Get a job and work hard” is an ethos that most of us were taught by our parents and peers. The funny thing is that since taking the entrepreneurial path I find myself working harder than ever.

So for those considering leaving the path and starting the journey here are a few ideas to pack on your journey:

  1. Loose the baggage and pack lightly – forget about the reason why you are doing this. Focus on the journey and not the reasons why you left or had to leave the path. Many who have been retrenched often find themselves pondering on the disappointment of being retrenched, instead see this as the ‘push start’ you needed to get your business started.
  2. Plan the route and allow for detours – the first thing you need to realise is that you have left the corporate path and you are on a new route of discovery. You will reach your destination however there may be unplanned detours and stops, they are there for a reason. Stop, look around and take what you need from the detour for the next part of your journey.
  3. Find travel partners who don’t get car sick – this is probably one of the loneliest and frightening steps that you are going to take in your life. And friends who understand your journey make the best travel partners as they will know what ‘pad kos’ to pack in terms of encouragement, motivation and ‘tough love’ on days when you need it most.
  4. Get a motor plan – ‘creative block’ happens and there are days when your creative motor runs out of fuel. Join inspirational groups of fellow entrepreneurs, there are many groups on various social media platforms and avoid expensive service experts who promise ‘that they will take your business to the next level’. Only you can do that!
  5. Tint your windows – sadly hobbyists don’t realise the impact of ‘copying’ work so guard your economic worth by putting measures in place to brand your concept and more importantly ‘own it’. Don’t be afraid to challenge people who make money from your ideas and be selective in terms of your exposure, take measurable steps watch and be on the lookout for ‘creative hackers’.
  6. Turn up the volume – the loudest voices you will ever hear are those in your own head, so be sure to ‘tune out’ and pump up the volume of your favourite music. Music that lifts your soul, inspires you to throw away ‘box thinking’ and music to inspire your next creative chapter.
  7. Brand your vehicle– don’t become the industries best kept secret. If you believe in what you are doing, tell EVERYONE. Have branded clothing made and wear it with pride, nothing speaks louder than ‘live product’, so avoid glossy brochures, fancy business cards instead spend your limited resources on your product.
  8. Rest a while – burn out is a reality in the world of entrepreneurship, true story. Learn to recognise the signs when you need to step away to take a breather. Most entrepreneurs start out working from home and that is where the problem lies. So create ‘time out’ rules for yourself to recharge, rethink and the creativity will flow.
  9. Upgrade your vehicle – there will come a time when you ‘out grow’ your vehicle so be prepared for change, sometimes daily and very often unplanned. It’s part of the journey, so make room for change, it is essential if you want to reach your destination.
  10. Don’t look back unless you’re parking – there is a fabulous road ahead of you and if you are constantly looking back, you will not move ahead. Stay focussed on the journey and believe in yourself.

I had some business tips earlier this week as well, check out what tech guru Thuli Hhlongwane had to say

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