The Startupper of the Year Challenger (Lessons of Entrepreneurship)

A friend of mine used to say to me that “dreams are not cheap, they are the most expensive things I’ve ever spent my time and money on” – I completely believe him. Dreams are free, but execution is sold separately, building your dream from the ground up will take everything from you including family, friends and leisure time. So I have come up with a few tips that I have learnt over the years of running a business.

1. Time and hard work are the least of your problems when you are building up a business from the ground up. Putting in the work comes without saying because if you don’t believe in your dream who else will?
2. You need to put in your own money first before everyone else does, no one is going to bank on you until you bank on yourself. Well unless you have a rich uncle or parents then you are good. The first two years of your business are purely your own money and your job is to make sure that business doesn’t tank.
3. Success also come with age and the relationships you have built over the years, the older you get, the better chances of being successful within business compared to when you are younger. Remember that the number of successful businesses built by a 22 year old are not very many. When you are older, hopefully by then you have built a solid network and name for yourself then it becomes easier for people to want to do business with you because you are validated.
4. The art of letting go is one that you will be forced to learn, you cannot be everything to your business, as the owner of the business you become the face of the business and people don’t do business with your business – people do business with you. If people like you, chances are they will do business with you.
5. Everything you make you will end up putting it back into the business because that is what happens when your business grows and because you have the vision for your business you will want to grow other entities within the business. You will also enter awards because that’s validation for your business by industry peers and that’s good for business. Entering competitions is also a good thing because it gives your business a boost when you win and access to new markets. Have a look at this competition below, it might something that might work for your business …

Do you have a project you believe in? Are you a young entrepreneur? Is it innovative and does it address a social or community challenge in your country or for your fellow citizens? Then this is for you, so this is how it works.

Total aims to support good ideas and projects that help address a widespread problem affecting communities in your country. It could be about providing educational opportunities, reducing child mortality, improving public health, developing access to electricity in rural areas, improving road safety on the roads or building houses with eco-friendly materials — in fact, anything that could make life better in your country.

Tell us how your project will help more and more people over time, at home or even abroad. Tell us how it empowers people, improves living conditions, and contributes to overall economic well-being.

Anyone can change the world — teenagers or graduates, men or women. As long as you believe in your project and want to make things better, take this opportunity to participate. You could be the next Startupper of the Year or the Top Female Entrepreneur!