by Staff Reporter on 21/06/12 at 8:21 am
The prospects of owning your own business seem so appealing when you’re cooped up in anoffice, staring an A4 screensaver of an exotic beach location and trying to ignore the mindless nattering from the cubicle next door. Just imagine, working to your own agenda, at your own time and pace, holidays on whim and adventures à la Richard Branson.
But for those who have taken their first brave steps on the path to entrepreneurship, however, the reality is usually somewhat different. The characteristics of a business start-up include long hours for too little reward and constantly having to chase the next job and follow up on payments that always seem to come too late. It’s a cash- and time-flow crunch that often leaves the aspiring business owner burnt out, depressed and defeated.
“It is hard to waive the idea that owning a business equals easy money,” says Brian Walsh, a leading authority on entrepreneurship and human behaviour and founder of The REAL Entrepreneur™ Institute. “Succeeding in business is extremely hard and very few achieve it. Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs are in actuality simply self-employed workers often just getting by financially as they struggle to earn a living.”
It’s something Walsh knows a lot about, he started his first business at the age of 16 and has run more than 13 companies ranging from music to publishing.
His first all-in business and entrepreneurial flop was when he set up music rehearsal and demo recording studios, followed, two years later, by a band and concert management company.
“I remember at the end of 1990, sitting after the final decision to stop a series of concerts that had all but bankrupted me and having this numb feeling of failure despite massive effort. It was a feeling I would unfortunately experience many more times in my life,” says Walsh.
Led indirectly through his own failures and triumphs, Walsh became interested the human behaviour around being self-employed. He travelled overseas in 1996 to find his purpose and returned with the knowledge that this was to help people help themselves. As a lifelong entrepreneur it made the most sense for Brian to focus on what he knew best — entrepreneurs.
Connecting Entrepreneurs with Success
In his quest to understand why 99% of entrepreneurs never come close to achieving their dreams, he has spent the past 10 years studying with, training and even living with some of the world’s leading personal and human development specialists, including Emile Ratelband, Tony Robbins, John DeMartini and Roger Hamilton. Brian’s vision is to create a network of more than one-million entrepreneurs throughout Africa, and to help as many of them as possible to become wealthy.
In essence, Walsh has discovered that most people go into business for the wrong reason and subsequently go into the wrong business. Or they go into the right business but spend too much time focussing on a misguided notion of success, such as making lots of money, without thinking about what they are doing with that money. Another obstacle lies in an underlying the psychology of failure — getting the mind right is key to success.
“Go into business to do something you truly love. Something you are passionate about and something that you will never give up on,” Walsh says. “The number one characteristic of a successful entrepreneur is perseverance. Unless you are massively inspired and passionate about what you want to do, you will not persevere. When the going gets tough, and I guarantee it will, you will bail – why persist through so many challenges for something you don’t actually believe in?”
Brian Walsh is presenting a free seminar called “The Secret to Business Success”, which offers specific solutions to helping entrepreneurs learn, understand and follow through on resolving challenges. The seminars take place in Bryanston throughout June and July.
Ideate is one of South Africa's biggest business blogs, with a team of authors all of whom have had entrepreneurial experience. Ideate is read by entrepreneurs thinking BIG. Follow us on Twitter here. View more articles by Staff Reporter.