- Plans go astray. Fortunately, I started this year with just one plan: to be my own boss. And I achieved it. But my subsequent plans of how to run my business kept going astray. The only thing I am certain of is what I am doing and the results it is getting me. As for what I will do, even in the near future, as penned down in a plan and what results it will get me, I have little assurance. And the one that gets at me most is the time I agreed/planned with a client for payment. Decisions I make based on expected income usually have an onion slicing effect on me, tearful; the only money I'm sure of is the one I have in my bank account. I still make plans but I don't expect them to play out the way I originally laid them out.
- Techies shouldn't run a business. I have always known that techies make bad business managers and that I am a techie, but I underestimated both how techie I am and how bad a business manager I would make. I thought business is all about getting jobs in and being busy, which I have been extremely successful at. I am now busy all day and every day of the week. I missed out the most important part of business: getting the money in. I charge unsustainably low for everything except my Excel training. And training is becoming a smaller pie in my services suite. Now I am having to get someone else handle the business part of my business.
- Thinking is cheap. Act the thought. For a couple of years now I have been reading books on entrepreneurship and business management. I can analyse a business and do all the acronyms on it -- SWOT, PEST, PESTEL, DESTEP, VRIO,STEEPLE ... And I often do analyse businesses while making stock market investments. I thought I was very good and can even do better than CEOs of some big companies. Now I know better. I'm struggling to be the CEO of my own small company and all my book knowledge aren't translating well into reality. Most times I know what to do and all that is wrong with my business, but my Achilles' heel has been turning those thoughts to action. In business only your actions generate result, thoughts only generate plans.
- I am a technical genius. I have heard people refer to me as a genius but I never let it get into my head. Most times they say it after I have helped them fix a problem for free; so I always consider it as a cheap way of making me feel appreciated. But since my savings ran out and I'm now living from clients' paycheck to paycheck, I have been forced to take up projects I consider partly impossible, and I did them extremely well. Most of my programs work error-free on first coding. I have been increasingly amazed by how well I handle complex computational steps in my head and build a program that works right the first time. I can do complex iteration in my head easily. And I am now an expert at remotely fixing computer issues. I always know the right thing to do, almost by intuition.
- You can't start too small. An entrepreneur's growth is not linear. Your income doesn't take a smooth slow upward path like a regular career does. Your qualifications and years of experience don't matter much. Entrepreneurship is one of the few endeavours that starting small provides you with a huge advantage. And I have learned that. There's now a technical term for it -- lean startup.
It's 10 Days to 2015. My 2014 Lessons.
posted by Michael Olafusi , on ,