Entrepreneurship – I feel a bit cheated…But just a bit
I feel a bit cheated. The stories I’d heard of self-employment, while still on the other side of the fence, were full of inspiration, energy and a sort of magical wonder. Self-employed entrepreneurs were the new trailblazing renegades in town, confident enough to pursue their own dreams and too boot – super successful at it.
To me, looking on from the outside it seemed that this dynamic world, beset with risk and success in equal amounts – was the stuff made for legends. Or something to that effect.
First off, you got to maintain your own hours and your workplace could be a mobile arrangement between an office, home or a park, depending on the levels of inspiration for the day. It seemed that this breed of self-employed and upwardly mobile young Rwandans were constantly creating, debating and generally being larger than life individuals. They got to share their experiences and this aspect of their exciting lives at conferences, workshops and most times – were paid to do so. Their charismatic optimism and their ability to take leaps into the unknown was simply infectious. Really, the domain of working for oneself seemed too good to be true, so much so that when it beckoned, it was all I could do to not trip over myself in haste to be part of it.
Looking on from the outside it seemed that this dynamic world, beset with risk and success in equal amounts – was the stuff made for legends
Perception is an interesting thing. When you want something really bad, you only see what you want to see. What I should have paid more attention to or asked more of, should have been on issues such as consistency, stamina and discipline in achieving the goals of a self-employed entrepreneur. What these god-like individuals do not speak of when sharing their experiences with a mesmerized audience are the long, dragging periods of absolutely no inspiration that seem to last forever.
Days when the energy and stamina with which they pursued an assignment the week before dwindles to a flickering spark for the subsequent weeks to follow. What they don’t really dwell on is how one needs massive amounts of discipline, discipline and more discipline, for without it, it is possible to spend an entire afternoon indulging in a novel as opposed to finalizing a particular proposal. What they don’t expound on is how everything takes forever to be finalized, and rare is the business deal that is closed in under a month. What they should really elaborate on, importantly, is the financial droughts that can occur for months on end. Gone is the comfort of that reliable end-of-month salary and the benefits that come with it.
I feel a bit cheated. But just a bit. At the end of the day, the very reason as to why many continue as self-employed entrepreneurs remains so – that of following a dream, of contributing to society, or of seeing an opportunity where others may see impossibility. Most times, it is still worth the trouble and a life lesson it offers: the art of not giving up.
Contact email: deempyisi[at]googlemail.com