As a web and mobile app development company, we find ourselves meeting with entrepreneurs from all walks of life on a daily basis. Some of these businessmen have been walking the line for years while others are simply testing the waters with ideas and business plans that they are hoping to make a reality.
One of Epicdev’s directors recently gave a speech on the trials and tribulations of “the entrepreneur” and we would like to share these words with you in the hope that you can draw inspiration from them – perhaps to keep you positive and motivated.
The dictionary defines the word “entrepreneur” as “a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit.”
That’s a fair definition, albeit a very oversimplified one.
When we think of the word “entrepreneur”, we think of the popular, successful entrepreneurs of our time, like “Elon Musk”, “Oprah Winfrey” and “Richard Branson” to name but a few. You have to admire these people. It’s as though everything they choose to take on turns into an overnight success!
At least, that’s how it seems…
I pondered long and hard on how best to capture the essence of entrepreneurship and I drew to a peculiar comparison: The similarities between entrepreneurs and skateboarders.
You see, something most people don’t know about professional skateboarders is that they fall 90% of the time. Every pro skater will tell you that falling is the name of the game.
In fact, they fall so often, they start to learn how to fall without hurting themselves – at least most of the time. The crucial part of the sport is to get back up and try again.
Those skating videos you see where skaters are landing trick after trick are compilations of the good moments – believe me when I say they fall 10 times and land one trick, fall 20 times and then land the next trick. The harder the trick, the more they fall and trust me, they’re not pursuing the tricks that they know they can easily land.
The results are glamorous, but what goes on in the background is often overlooked.
Landing that trick is so addictive, yet so difficult.
As an entrepreneur I’ve landed a few tricks myself. I’ve driven away from meetings in my element, feeling like I’m on top of the world, having just closed the biggest business deals of my life.
I have also stared at my computer screen at 2 in the morning not sure how I am going to make it through month-end.
I have sat in the boardrooms of some of the biggest tech companies in South Africa – facing multi-billionaire CEOs who have shown vast interest in my company.
I have also relied on energy drinks and caffeine to keep me going so that I can meet the expectations of these CEOs, which resulted in a caffeine overdose and a trip to the hospital.
I have had to endure the hard times with fortitude and they have taught me to keep my feet on the ground when I’m celebrating the good times.
I am an entrepreneur.
I have big dreams of owning companies that employ hundreds of people. People that join in on the dream for a sustainable environment geared towards personal growth for every individual. Companies with social development programs with budgets into the millions of Rands. I want to manage teams that win international awards.
I might fall hard, I might file for bankruptcy next month, but I might land a few things along the way. One thing is for sure, I will keep getting up and I will keep on trying over and over, and over again!