Even in the wake of the Wikileaks saga , it is hard not to notice the cheer that Christmas season brings; and the hope. For the Christians, it is a season of re-evaluation, renewal and of course celebration with family.
For the rest (You will notice the popularity of Christmas in predominantly non Christian Japan!), It is a time to join up with family and enjoy all the work and successes of the year. It is interesting that this message of hope reverberates very well with entrepreneurship. Put another way, how else would you venture into a new fields and take the risks and responsibility if you had no hope of succeeding in the first place?
This message of hope is important and very real. Economists call it the ‘feel good factor’. There are three reasons why we need money; transactions, precaution and speculation in that order. We first need money for day to day transactions; food, rent, transport and the like.
Then we need it for precautionary matters which include emergencies like sickness and accidents. Lastly is the investment bit which economists call speculation (and speculation it is). It is unlikely that you will purchase Bralirwa shares prior to ensuring that your family is housed, fed and safe.
Economies (read countries) where people view the future with hope they plan more of those ‘development projects’. They actually spend more on the transactional needs. You are more likely to take your family out for an outing or a dinner if you are persuaded that you will have some money coming in tomorrow. People are also more likely to invest in Bralirwa shares for example, if they hope that the shares will give them a reasonable return soon.
This ‘feel good factor’ is quite infectious and does lead to entire economies bouncing back from recession to ‘boom’. It goes down to the fact that if the human mind is convinced it can, then it can. I bet that is why it is said that as a man (and a woman) thicket, so is he.
As an entrepreneur, once you are reasonably convinced of your venture’s chances of success after your initial feasibility study, you are in better mental shape to plan creatively and innovatively. You are more prone to see opportunities as they occur and take advantage of them too. I suggest that you do not venture if you are not convinced in the idea’s chances of success.
A bad idea well executed can succeed and a good idea will almost always fail miserably if not properly undertaken. This is the importance of the team. The ‘feel good factor’ will also determine not only how you choose your team but more importantly how you build and run the team.
I am yet to come across an uninspired inspirer! Your ‘good vibe’ about a project can lift the team though tough times to spectacular success just as your ‘bad feeling about this project’ can sentence a perfectly good business to death. Guess what? An idea is only as good as its execution and in business a lot of seemingly bad business ideas have succeeded too. The market is the judge.
Marketers will tell you that buying is an emotional process. People buy your product either because it makes them feel better than they would in their present state or it improves their previous bad state. Emotions are like language. To communicate effectively with a Dane you must speak Danish. To communicate emotion you must exhibit emotion, period.
The Christmas cheer and hope offers very important lessons in entrepreneurship. Have hope and cheer in your business…It will take you a long way!
Merry Christmas everyone!
Sam Kebongo is a skills and business advisory services consultant. He teaches entrepreneurship at Rwanda Tourism University College.
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