The Truth about Entrepreneurship and its supposed Economic Impact
FACT: 1% of the world’s population controls over 97% of the world’s money
FACT: Most of what we hear about global economic growth, redistribution of wealth and how much booming entrepreneurialism is helping balance the scales is simply not true
FACT: Whilst entrepreneurship most definitely does have a major role to play in balancing this equation, more than 97% of entrepreneurial businesses are struggling just to keep afloat (excluding the informal sector)
FACT: There is a secret to entrepreneurial success but most entrepreneurs do not know what it is, or even if they are made aware of it, their mental and emotional conditioning often makes it terribly difficult for them to implement it successfully.
Politicians and even large business leaders would have us believe that entrepreneurship is the solution to economic difficulty and unemployment. Whilst I agree that entrepreneurship probably has the most potentially significant role to play in this equation, the portrayal of entrepreneurs as being all happily and successfully blazing the trail to solving economic imbalance and unemployment in South Africa is something I take strong issue with. The statistics speak for themselves in undeniable argument against this notion – 97% of entrepreneurs are struggling just to make ends meet! Let’s clarify this percentage figure right away; 97% refers to the approximately 800 000 economically active entrepreneurs in the country, and excludes the additional 1.3 million informal traders in operation. So 97% of entrepreneurs who pay tax and employ people in their businesses are struggling to make ends meet, chasing money from month to month just to pay their bills, often experiencing much emotional turmoil in the process. These 97% generally work far too long and hard each day for far too little reward reaped from the income their businesses manage to generate, and essentially they’re simply no more than self-employed, over-worked and underpaid workers trying desperately to keep their businesses afloat. This reality most unfortunately does not reflect the essence of what REAL entrepreneurship is about at all.
Employing people is a necessity for an entrepreneurial business’ growth. Most critically, job creation through the entrepreneurial sector plays a vital role in the economic landscape. However, sadly, many entrepreneurs are ill-equipped to train and manage a work-force effectively so that the business can optimally realise efficient quality production and sales. Whilst I will acknowledge that this can sometimes be the fault of the entrepreneur in not effectively harnessing the best possible results from the potential of the people employed, there is often another much more insidious factor at play: – the negative social conditioning controlling the mindsets of much of our populace, and often subconsciously, prohibiting their business success as entrepreneurs.
Let’s just re-emphasise this palpable fact: 1% of the world controls over 97% of the world’s money. This has been the outcome of over 400 years of ‘economic policy’ and manipulation of systems such as credit and non-tangible exchange. The result is that the majority of the population is conditioned to spend what they earn, instead of saving however much they can. Saving is the only sure way of acquiring wealth, yet most people spend all of what they earn…and then still more on credit! So when people are earning and money is flowing in, it is also flowing out at an even faster pace! This is the result of the financially devastating mass manipulation by the select few who control the money.
So should we go on strike or lynch the controllers? No, of course not. Many aren’t even consciously aware of the full impact of their control, or the direct impact this control has on the masses of middle-class and poverty-stricken people in the rest of their society. But glibly enough, big business (often part of the 1%) simply proclaims that the entrepreneurial and small business sectors are the solution to poverty and unemployment, and Government (often the puppets of big business) echoes the sentiment…but what is either of these parties actually doing to assist small business? Other than simply being an inevitable part of the problem that causes 97% of economically active entrepreneurs to have to struggle for mere survival, are Government and big business doing anything significant at all to help entrepreneurs keep their businesses growing stronger instead of going under? (It should be kept in mind here too that over and above the 97% of economically active entrepreneurs battling the odds, is the statistical fact that 95% of all small businesses globally fail within the first 5 to 10 years of operation, if not sooner.)
So where am I going with all this? Big business and Government, rather than just saying they’re going to ‘do more’ to aid the growth of entrepreneurship in South Africa, should really be doing things differently to help small businesses succeed. Rather than trying to ‘mentor’ entrepreneurs (which is not a viable proposition to begin with because big business and Government play a completely different game and therefore cannot really relate to entrepreneurs), they should be offering the entrepreneurial and small business sector greater opportunities, pay us immediately, and pay us more equitably for delivering their services and products. Government could change legislation to accommodate the constraints of small business more favourably, allowing small business to ‘hire and fire’ more straightforwardly, and allow for tax breaks. There is much big business and Government can do, but for the most part they simply allow for the start-up of yet more small businesses that without meaningful assistance, will inevitably result in more failures. How about more dedicated focus on the support and nurturing of existing small businesses as a priority over encouraging the start-up of lots of new ones?
Now that I’ve had my say on that score, let me address entrepreneurs themselves. Because entrepreneurs (or the individuals who become entrepreneurs) are so badly mentally and emotionally conditioned to handle the challenging nature of entrepreneurialism, they simply play the ‘game of entrepreneurship’ very badly, and for the most part, need to change their mindsets. There are certain fundamental rules to be adhered to in starting up and running a successful business; these form what we call ‘The Secret to Entrepreneurial Success’. Entrepreneur.co.za along with our many associates, know the answers to why most businesses fail and why most entrepreneurs struggle continuously. What we have found (not too surprisingly) is that imparting this knowledge to entrepreneurs is one thing, while their thorough and dedicated implementation of this knowledge is quite another.
Fundamentally, entrepreneurs need to learn how to play the game of entrepreneurship better, but they also need to be accountable to themselves, their businesses, their employees and their clients or customers for actually implementing what they learn.
The reason 97% of entrepreneurs struggle is that they play a ‘small game’. In actuality, there is really no such thing as small business; there is just business with one set of rules and one most effective way to play. For the most part, entrepreneurs lack structure and order in their businesses. Because they are so busy chasing money, they often neglect to implement and master the systems and processes necessary for them to migrate from a ‘small game’ to a business that no longer revolves around themselves to run it, but rather, it runs itself as an efficiently performing, income generating entity.
So how can entrepreneurs change their play from a ‘small game’ and learn the art of playing a really winning game of business? As already mentioned, Entrepreneur.co.za and its associates already have all the knowledge which we’re sharing through the website, seminars, books, audio and various other platforms. The issue, as also already mentioned, has been the uptake of knowledge and the actual implementation into entrepreneurs’ businesses. We will have some exciting solutions to this in the near future!
Please comment on this article. I will try answer and respond to all questions and comments.