It’s  the beginning of the year once again when many people start setting new resolutions and goals, as well as implementing new projects.

When I started planning to launch my enterprise, a time came when I began doubting whether I had really made a wise decision to leave employment for something as uncertain as self-employment.

The more books I read about what it takes to succeed in business and the more people I shared my dreams with, the more I felt inadequate and unprepared for the task. Luckily, I had a mentor who kept encouraging me and proving to me that the problems and challenges I am likely to face in business will be better than what I was going through in a job that I was no longer enthusiastic about.

Finally I came to discover that for a person who has decided to venture into business, nothing compares to the joy of pursuing a passionate dream. Even in the most trying moments, there is a joy when you do something you like.

However, one lesson I learnt in my entrepreneurial journey is the uniqueness of individuals and their situations.

When venturing into business, it is hard to learn what will work and what will not work based on opinions of your friends or the books you read.

Worse still, most of us seek the advice of friends, colleagues and relatives who are mostly not experts in the particular area. As such, what we get is feelings and opinions of people who are not very knowledgeable in what we want to do. It’s akin to asking your friends who are not medics what they think of your illness or the medicine you should take.

On the other side, even if you are fortunate enough to find the right people from whom to ask for advice or the best books to read, there is still a part that relies entirely on you. You are unique and different. It is never the same for two people and the environment is always changing.

Your choice of business area or projects must be based on your strength and your target customers’ needs and wants.

Your strengths and customer needs are the most important factors to consider because you can only excel in something that you are able to do well and customers will pay eagerly only for what they need.

Even if you are very good at producing a certain product but customers don’t need it, it will not make business sense.

Most people have wonderful ideas but fail to implement them because they fail to get the approval of their friends, family members and even professionals in the area.

My advice is start. Implement your goals and desires without delay. You never know what you are capable of becoming or producing until you try it. Most enterprises were started by people who were not quite sure or confident but dared to start anyway. The only caution is; don’t measure the depth of the river with two feet. Start small and grow as you learn and know what works and what does not.

This article was first published in The Business Daily on January 7, 2020.

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