Making money has been the priority and sole aim of all youths. But now with the financial situation in the world, the money has been slow to achieve following the circumstances and hardship of the economy.
In the university environment that is filled with the good, bad and ugly, many youths are tempted to spend more despite their family background. Furthermore, most youths has this mentality of getting the best of everything in the following areas; fashion (shoes, wears, perfumes) and telecommunication (phones, laptops EST.), which in fact is not a bad idea because, everyone wants to look good. Following the circumstances of the country (Nigeria), you see that most youths came from a poor background and can�t be able to meet up to these �luxurious� needs, of which some of these set of youths (due to inferiority complex) will engage themselves into immoral acts, become over dependent on their spouse and parents.
The bottom line is, when there is a need and there is no source for that need, it leads to frustration; and frustration leads to (unhappiness, failure to achieve set goals, immoral acts and so on). But I tell you now that there is a solution, and that solution is called the ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT.
This article seeks to show youths the way of the Entrepreneurial Spirit. How they can meet their needs with finance by creating opportunities themselves and become independent in school – no matter the area of study and type of program (Regular and Part-time).
WHO IS AN ENTREPRENEUR?
According to Wikipedia, An entrepreneur is an enterprising individual who builds capital through risk and/or initiative. Entrepreneur in English is a term applied to a person who is willing to help launch a new venture or enterprise and accept full responsibility for the outcome.
To me, an Entrepreneur is someone �who searches for change, responds to it and exploits opportunities�. Innovation is a specific tool of an entrepreneur hence an effective entrepreneur converts a source into a resource. Entrepreneurs emerge from the population on demand, and become leaders because they perceive opportunities available and are well-positioned to take advantage of them. An entrepreneur may perceive that they are among the few to recognize or be able to solve a problem.
Following the above, you can see that an Entrepreneur has the likelihood of not just tending to his needs, but almost impacting his environment.
On the other hand, Entrepreneurship is the act of being an entrepreneur or “one who undertakes innovations, finance and business acumen in an effort to transform innovations into economic goods”. This may result in new organizations or may be part of revitalizing mature organizations in response to a perceived opportunity.
Furthermore, there are different types of entrepreneurs; social, serial, lifestyle and co-operative entrepreneurs.
Social entrepreneurs are motivated by a desire to help, improve and transform social, environmental, educational and economic conditions. Key traits and characteristics of highly effective social entrepreneurs include ambition and a lack of acceptance of the status quo or accepting the world “as it is”. The social entrepreneur is driven by an emotional desire to address some of the big social and economic conditions in the world, for example, poverty and educational deprivation, rather than by the desire for profit. Social entrepreneurs seek to develop innovative solutions to global problems that can be copied by others to enact change.
A serial entrepreneur is one who continuously comes up with new ideas and starts new businesses. In the media, the serial entrepreneur is represented as possessing a higher propensity for risk, innovation and achievement.
A lifestyle entrepreneur places passion before profit when launching a business in order to combine personal interests and talent with the ability to earn a living. Many entrepreneurs may be primarily motivated by the intention to make their business profitable in order to sell to others. In contrast, a lifestyle entrepreneur intentionally chooses a business model intended to develop and grow their business in order to make a long-term, sustainable and viable living working in a field where they have a particular interest, passion, talent, knowledge or high degree of expertise.
Finally, a cooperative entrepreneur doesn’t just work alone, but rather collaborates with other cooperative entrepreneurs to develop projects, particularly cooperative projects. Each cooperative entrepreneur might bring different skill sets to the table, but collectively they share in the risk and success of the venture.
Having known the definition and types of entrepreneurship, it�s time to relate it to our environment. We are aware that despite the amount of money given to you by your parents, the money can�t just meet your needs and it�s up to you to decide whether to join the �band wagon� in involving in immoral activities or become innovative and make yourself independent.
If you choose the second option, you have to first activate the Entrepreneurial Spirit. �Spirit� in this context means the �zeal to do�. I�ll be giving you tips on how to activate it, they are:
? Believe in yourself and stand behind your convictions. If you choose the entrepreneurial path, you must believe in your convictions so strongly that you would stand behind your opinions no matter the discouragements. Although this positive way of thinking may attract a lot of nay-sayers, don�t lose hope.
? Innovate and invent constantly. Great entrepreneurs rarely invent just one profitable product � they�re inventing and innovating constantly. Oftentimes you need to come up with a lot of bad ideas before you come up with the one that sticks. Be persistent and don�t give up.
? Move rapidly. Successful innovators get things done quickly because they know time is not on their side. You might have a multi-million dollar idea, but if you don�t get it out there before someone else, the idea will no longer be profitable.
? Support a meritocracy. Create an environment in which the most talented friends and colleagues and the best ideas get recognized and promoted, regardless of age, experience or position. Not only does this create healthy competition, but it encourages others to be vocal and participate in the bigger vision.
? Host weekly brainstorms. I brainstorm constantly with my friends; it�s the quickest way to access the best ideas in the room. I call it The Brainstorm Prioritization Technique: narrow and specifically define your goal, encourage free-flowing brainstorming, then go back to clarify ideas.
The Entrepreneurial spirit gives birth to the Entrepreneur mindset, you begin to think big, ideas begin to flow. But another step is developing the mindset, and in developing the mindset, there are certain steps to take, and they are;
? Get an Ego-Check: Because you own the business, business owners often think that they can do whatever they want with it without needing the opinions of the other parties who make up the business model. No matter how intelligent you are, there will always be something you won�t know, and this is where communication and open-mindedness will come to play. In the real world of business, it�s really not as simple as black or white.
? Be Curious: When you are curious, you begin to explore other options and get to the root of the matter. Sometimes, if you focus too much on what you know, you will be blinded by your distinct belief in that certain idea. By being curious, however, you are able to uncover possibilities and options which can make your business better. It�s always recommended to become a sponge for information in order for you to build an entrepreneurial mindset.
? Don�t Focus on the Solution Alone: Instead of finding fast fixes to your problems, why not clarify the issues you have at hand first? You need to go through all aspects of the company and the problems you are facing so that you know where you stand. And remember, unless your solution provides a business value or prevents another problem from occurring, and then it will be a worthless one.
? Gather Proofs: For you to really get to the bottom of things, you need to have hard evidence of what�s causing the problem. Be sure and be very specific with the questions you ask in order to get the correct answers. Through these specific answers, you will be able to really see the real picture of things.
? Calculate Risks: Risks are always a part of any business endeavor. But you must be able to weigh every investment and its corresponding return. You have to see how your decision will impact the business before you even implement it. It is also necessary that you have a benchmark of success for your business so that you can check back at certain times to see if it is indeed progressing.
? Consider Your Employees� Welfare: Aside from thinking about how your decision will affect the business, you also have to consider how it will affect each and every one of your employees. Any successful business owner will tell you that you cannot accomplish this on your own but you need a team of talented, loyal people working towards your goals.
? Be Forewarned: If you see early signs of possible obstacles, then do your best to resolve it before it can even snowball into something larger. Even if you fail to resolve it when you see it the first time, at least you won�t be doing severe damage control later on.
? Get to the Bottom of Things: Instead of solving the effects, see to it that you go right to the source of the problem. In order to understand completely, you must get all the facts and underlying truths. Never stop asking questions.
By taking these tips into mind, you will definitely be able to develop a business/entrepreneur mindset. Without it, your business won�t flourish as long as you want it to.
Having gotten the business idea, the final process or step is establishing the ENTREPRENEURIAL FRAME. Entrepreneurial frame defines your goals. The idea is to push you and to undertake those initiatives that go beyond mere incremental improvement to really make a difference. Framing has two parts: first, a definition of success, and secondly an articulation of strategic direction.
In the youth context, the process for establishing a frame involves working through the following questions:
? If I was to do something or start up a business, what will it be?
? What are the minimum amount of profits I need from my new ventures (at maturity) to make a difference to my business?
? What return on investment are my seeking?
? Can I combine this business with my schooling? If yes, how can I mix it with my lecture timetable?
I will close this article with a true story, I have engaged myself in so many entrepreneurial activities from my undergraduate studies to post-graduate, but I�ll discuss a bit of one activity in my post-graduate days. I started my Master degree program in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, and I had so many needs as a youth. Then after organizing my entrepreneurial frame, I realized that I had the abilities of impacting knowledge into students (of which I enjoyed). Having that in mind, I started a tutorial center that blossomed and through which most of my needs was solved.
The bottom line is, it must not be a tutorial center, it can be anything at all. From fixing nails, hair dressing, fashion designing, barbing, catering and so on. JUST DEVELOP THE MINDSET AND WORK TOWARDS IT! BE UNIQUE AND REFUSE TO DEPENDENT, BE DEPENDENT ONLY ON GOD!
ADOMS K. FRANCIS M.Sc.
Twitter – @Adomskf
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