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Are You Suited to Entrepreneurship

Capitalising on Entrepreneurial Success

Understanding the basics in reaching entrepreneurial success.

Nomalanga Nkosi




With an estimated population of over 50 million people and an unemployment rate of 23.9%, South Africa is in a strong position of entrepreneur opportunity. Whilst certainly this opportunity has been driven forward by the high density of small businesses that currently exist, it is critical for our nation to continue to hold a strong entrepreneurial spirit – to continue to grow the SA economy and bring down the unemployment rate. However, being a successful entrepreneur is not an easy task.

If you are an individual aspiring to be an entrepreneur, when competing in a market predominately made up of small businesses, you need to hold a solid pool of knowledge, resources and understanding among other aspects to successfully make it. While this does sound daunting, it is possible with the right know how and taking the right steps required to getting the entrepreneurial process right.

So what does it take then for you to be not just an entrepreneur, but one who can compete in the local market and build a long term viable business? Here is some advice…

Following the basics

First and foremost, there are the basic steps you need to consider which includes the formation of the business idea – while this may seem somewhat of an obvious step, the business idea forms the foundation of any business and thus it needs to be one that meets a market requirement or need and it must (especially when operating in a world of consumerism) be unique or at least be carried out in a unique format that again relates back to a need of the desired end user.

Following on from the above is the development of a business plan. When populating a business plan around your business idea, you will be able to identify whether the business idea is something that will make it in the market, and through undertaking the various steps to developing a business plan, will determine just how the idea can come to life fruitfully – ensuring that your idea stands out and is able to compete effectively in the marketplace.

You must remember that a good business plan is one that is strategic; maps back to the overall goal of the business idea; and incorporates all the key steps required when formulating such a plan together.

Upon completion of such steps and once the ‘basics’ are in place, your road to successful entrepreneurship is then built up on a number of other key attributes, of which below I have outlined a few that truly stand out and will make the difference between your idea/business being average or exceptional.

Using resources

  • The use of resources and building relationships. Throughout our lives and careers, we all develop a pool of resources and skills, and develop business relationships that can one day lead us to success. A good business leader and entrepreneur makes use of such resources throughout their entrepreneurial journey and leverages existing relationships, as well as develops news ones that one day may just come in handy – so make sure you understand this and make the most of the current and future relationships you hold Every interaction, every individual met, opportunity declined, triumph faced and challenge overcome, will never goes to waste for you – all such facets may just be the key to a successful road ahead in developing and starting a business and so if you  want to be victorious, you need to be able to identify your resources and use these to your benefit.

There is no I in Team – every entrepreneur is only as successful as the team behind him/her. You have to understand this and know that while it is important to lead a team, it is also key to rely on the solid team you have developed to always consider your teams input, to achieve desired success.

  • Partnering with trusted suppliers. For an entrepreneur who does not have tons of budget to utilise and who needs to make the most of the budget that is available, choosing the right partners and suppliers is critical. As an aspiring entrepreneur, you must choose to partner with a provider/supplier that demonstrates a tremendous tenacity for honesty and one the focuses a key portion of its business efforts on the entrepreneur and SME segment. You must ask the right questions. As the famous quote by Michael Gerber so rightly states: “My experience has shown me that the people who are exceptionally good in business aren’t so because of what they know but because of their insatiable need to know more.” The SA entrepreneur such as yourself possesses this trait with gusto and tenacity and so should never be afraid to ask the right questions to a provider/supplier:

a.    What amount they spend on R&D into the entrepreneurial/SME market?

b.    What ROI models it has put in place for the SME and why?

c.    What processes do they in place to actually support my entrepreneurial and SME requirements, when you need advice and assistance?

Solid starts

The above forms a solid starting point to your successful entrepreneurial journey and will go a long way in initiating a process that has the potential to add great value to the overall economy. MTN Business is passionate about driving the skill of entrepreneurship forward and is therefore dedicated to educating and providing guidance to all aspiring entrepreneurs out there – in the hope of assisting to produce a nation of successful entrepreneurs, like you, who can drive business leadership and sustainability.

Nomalanga Nkosi is the GM of Business Marketing at MTN SA. In this role, she is responsible for defining business-to-business value propositioning by segment/vertical targeted, while driving profitability. Nomalanga’s specialties lie in strategic marketing and with over 15 years experience in a wide range of environments, she takes pride in managing projects from conception to completion.


Are You Suited to Entrepreneurship

(Podcast) Being An Entrepreneur Is Painful

There is a pain attached to running your own business. It’s time to discuss how tough it is – address the reality and you might just be one of the successful few.

Nicholas Haralambous




Entrepreneurship is fun. But on the whole, running a business is hard. Far fewer business owners succeed than fail. Statistically your business is going to fail. Those are the hard numbers.

There is a pain attached to running your own business. It’s time to discuss how tough it is – address the reality and you might just be one of the successful few.

Listening time: 5 minutes

Related: (Podcast) Playing To An Audience Of One

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Are You Suited to Entrepreneurship

3 Dangerous Entrepreneurial Myths You Need To Ignore

This terrible advice won’t actually get you anywhere.




Entrepreneurial Myths

We’ve all heard the numbers about how hard it is to build a long-lasting business. While there are many factors at play to get there, without effective marketing and sales a business cannot survive.

Unfortunately, there is a multitude of dangerous and destructive marketing advice swirling around the heads of vulnerable entrepreneurs. Like vultures seeking their next meal, “gurus” pontificate nonsense that these hard-working business owners follow, only to discover that what they tried doesn’t work.

Often, once the damage is done, it is too late for them to do anything else about it.

If you want to not only survive, but thrive, here is some of the terrible advice you need to start ignoring:

1“You need to be everywhere”

I’m sorry, but how do these people sleep at night without the use of narcotics? “Experts” spew out dribble to make headlines saying you need to get on Snapchat, get on Periscope, do YouTube Live … be everywhere! They’ll say you need to get on this platform or that social media network. Oh, and use LinkedIn Live! And make sure to post on Instagram three times a day and Facebook twice a day. And don’t forget those Facebook Lives. Make sure to do them every day.

Related: The Journey Of Entrepreneurship: How The Tough Get Going

ACK! Just writing that paragraph stressed me out. How the heck are you supposed to be on all of those channels, never mind doing it all effectively, and still run your business? Of course you can’t. And you shouldn’t. (Unless self-torture is your thing, in which case have at it. There are books about that, but I’m not giving any titles because I’d have to Google them and then I’d be retargeted by the ads and that would just be gross.)

It is impossible to spend even half an hour on each major network and still get any work done. Forget about focusing on measurement, profit and return on investment. They don’t mention that on purpose, because then these crazy-pants suggestions would really make no sense. But, then these “experts” would stop making the headlines, so they keep serving up spoiled advice for the poor folk who chow down and then get sick on it.

Don’t allow yourself to fall victim to their plots of deception. Demand strategies that value your time and produce results in a significant and measurable way quickly.

2“It takes money to make money”


I didn’t take the easy way out. I am part of a group of scrappy entrepreneurs who have a lot of hustle and heart and little/no/negative funds. I didn’t come from family money, and the big banks certainly weren’t lending to businesses like mine.

The only way I was going to get a big pile of cash was if I won the lottery. And since I’ve only played about four times in the last decade, the chances of that happening were slim. What I had to find was the same thing you most likely want – a solution to predictably bring in customers when there is no marketing budget to play with.

3The Schmo-bags

The worst are who I call the “Ferrari Marketers.” They rent a sportscar for an hour or two, hang out in front of it and then sell us shiny object strategies that they haven’t even used in their own business.

Related: 6 Timeless Strategies That Drive Successful Entrepreneurship

They are abhorrent, hideous and dangerous. Not only are they crooks stealing the money of the people who are seeking a solution from them, but they may prevent really talented people who have a gift/service/product/offer to share that can help someone else from ever reaching them.

Did I mention they suck?

But, once you discover a game-changing system, you are responsible for implementing it. You can’t be distracted by shiny objects any longer.

As Jack Welch says, “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion.”

Don’t allow yourself to be enticed or distracted by fads or the “latest and greatest/not greatest” new social media strategy, channel or tactic.

Once you uncover how to truly get results, be strong-willed and stubborn. Repel any idea, strategy or initiative that requires you to keep spending money to make money. If you keep throwing dollars and time at a goal, hoping and wishing that it will work, yet not tracking or measuring the results and scaling accordingly, then you cannot expect results.

Start measuring, tracking and demanding results from your time and money, rising above others and landing in the successful minority that thrives instead of survives.

This article was originally posted here on

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Are You Suited to Entrepreneurship

5 Mindset Changes You Must Make When Going From Employee To Entrepreneur

As one prominent author wrote, “Entrepreneurs don’t finish when we are tired. We finish when we are done.”

Sujan Patel




Thousands of people dream of the day they can quit their jobs and escape the 9-to-5 life. In fact, Gallup found that 87 percent of the employees it surveyed worldwide did not see themselves as engaged.

But quitting your job and starting your own business is only half the battle. You need to prepare to be an entrepreneur. Besides getting your finances in order and having a plan in place, you also need to prepare your mind.

Your habits dictate your success, and if you’re still stuck in that 9-to-5 mindset, your endeavors will fail. You must adopt an entrepreneurial mindset and start thinking the way the world’s top leaders do.

Being an entrepreneur is very different than being an employee, and the way you envision it may be completely off base. Here are five changes you must make to your thinking in order to prepare yourself for the realities of being an entrepreneur.

1Train your mind to think outside the box

Once you leave your office job, you’re no longer confined by corporate life. That means you need to open your mind to new possibilities – possibilities that may not have been an option in your old life.

Related: For Shatty Mashego Success Lies In Maintaining A Positive Mindset

In an article for TIME magazineWarren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, said, “People will always try to stop you doing the right thing if it is unconventional.” In short, others may not see your vision, but you can’t let that stop you. You need to be creative with your business, offer something new and be different to be successful.

2Develop both short-term and long-term vision

Albert Einstein once told the New York Times, “A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels.”

That new type of thinking needs to be focused on a strategic goal. You must have a vision for your company – an idea of where you’re going and how you’ll get there.

As an entrepreneur, you are the leader of your company, and your team members are looking to you to show them the path to success.

What’s your plan? You should be able to see the big picture as well as all of the steps it will take to reach your main goal. Then, you must communicate that vision to those on your team and ensure they each understand their individual roles in the plan.

3Let it all fall on your shoulders


Becoming an entrepreneur can be scary. Your success is now completely dependent on the work that you do. You can no longer fall back on a salary or benefits.

As an employee, if you had a bad day at work, you were still paid your salary, regardless. But as an entrepreneur, if your business isn’t successful, you won’t make any money. Plus, you now have others relying on you for their livelihood.

Ryan Farley is a typical example of corporate employee-turned-entrepreneur, quitting a fast-paced finance job to start lawn care marketplace LawnStarter Lawn Care. “I was used to working extremely long hours in the corporate finance world,” Farley told me. “I thought that would have conditioned me well, but nothing can prepare you for this amount of stress.

“It’s pretty common for founders to have the stress get so bad it affects your physical and mental health,” Farley continued. “But you have to press on, and you’re better off for it.” Prominent entrepreneurs like Brad Feld and Mark Suster, have expressed similar sentiments.

Working for yourself also means you need to be your own motivator. You no longer have a boss hounding you to get your work done. You need to stay organised and focused, and you’re going to have to be comfortable with hard work and long hours.

Related: 8 Mindsets That Will Set You On The Path To Success

4Get ready to be a jack of all trades

As an entrepreneur, you can’t say “That’s not my job.” Every job is your job now. There’s no one else to pick up the slack but you. You need to make sure everything in your business continues to run on track, and that may mean doing work you aren’t used to doing. You may need to be the accounting department, IT, marketing and more in addition to leading your company.

Entrepreneurs wear many different hats and are constantly learning new skills and working hard. If you think becoming an entrepreneur means you get to sit back and kick your feet up, you’d better stick to your day job.

As entrepreneur, author and investor Robert Kiyosaki has written on Twitter, “Entrepreneurs don’t finish when we are tired. We finish when we are done.”

5Be flexible, focused and positive

Attitude is everything in business. You can’t let challenges get in the way of your dream. Entrepreneurs need to be optimistic and stay focused on their goals. Your passion must drive you.

Related: An Entrepreneurial Mindset – Why And How To Develop One

As Steve Jobs once said in an interview with the Smithsonian Institution, “Unless you have a lot of passion about this, you’re not going to survive. You’re going to give it up. So, you’ve got to have an idea, or a problem or a wrong that you want to right that you’re passionate about; otherwise you’re not going to have the perseverance to stick it through. I think that’s half the battle right there.”

This article was originally posted here on

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