It is no secret that the Zimbabwean economy is struggling. We have a highly educated society but there are simply no jobs around, the environment we find ourselves in has forced us to think entrepreneurially as the waiting game for employment becomes a nasty reality.
Zimbabweans have an abundance of ideas, but more often these ideas are shelved due to the hesitation of starting something of your own, there always seems to be a perfect excuse. Sometimes growth is achieved by simply saying yes and figuring it out later, so here are 5 myths you should get rid of and what you can do about them:
Myth 1: It’s not the right time
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb
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Many entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe have a “wait and see” attitude, but in tech, there is never a “right time”, especially when it comes to implementing your ideas. We are a society with many “brilliant ideas” but very few of those see the light of day.
In tech, a week can define your whole project, by the time you finally take the leap of faith, your brilliant idea may be “old tech” with fellow techies already moving on to the next tech iteration and public interest fading. Also, the more you wait to implement an idea, the more you allow yourself to think up restrictions and reasons to not do it.
One good thing about tech is that nobody expects you to be perfect the first time, good yes, even Apple, the world’s largest tech company rolls out updates far from perfect, but they too update their own updates, the point is it’s a learning experience you should not be afraid of experiencing.
Myth 2: I’m waiting for inspiration
I dream my painting and I paint my dream.” ― Vincent Van Gogh
Another painter, Chuck Close once said, “inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us just show up and get to work”. Finding inspiration is a major drawback to a lot of ideas, this is an extension to that dangerous “wait and see” attitude.
Unfortunately, concepts do not fall on your lap like manna from Heaven, ideas best come when you place yourself in the right environment and actively seek to learn and engage. Different experiences can lead to a point of realization or “aha” moment you can build your concept around. So get out and actively seek inspiration, don’t wait for it.
Different experiences can lead to a point of realization or “aha” moment you can build your concept around. So get out and actively seek inspiration, don’t wait for it.
Myth 3: I need to find investors
“The investor of today does not profit from yesterday’s growth” -Warren Buffett
Technology has brought one great feature to the world, the ability to start something at little to no cost, all you need is access to the internet, a reliable machine and time. Tech has broken down the high barriers of entry into industries and promoted entrepreneurs efforts for years, so look to utilize tech to start on your idea.
As it grows, market it appropriately and seek partnerships and investment, do not wait to have the capital to start. The growing trend in start-up investment now is investing in future potential, not in starting.
Myth 4: I need a business plan
“Good business planning is 9 parts execution and 1 part strategy” -Tim Berry
Having a business plan is not a big deal. For many years, Zimbabweans have been hooked on the idea of having a business plan. The idea of drafting up a traditional business plan is great but not necessary, all you need is set goals and targets and an execution plan to match them.
The business plan is your goals and targets expressed in greater detail. Yes, you may need it later on when searching for capital or a bank loan facility, but it is not necessary when you are starting, just start and allow yourself the room to evolve.
Myth 5: I would have to quit my current job to start my own company
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending” – Maria Robinson
In Zimbabwe, it is a sin to just do one thing, our economy demands you to have multiple sources of income, and having a permanent job is a bonus. As long as you are in agreement with you employer as to the nature of your work and expectations, there should be no limitation on pursuing your own ventures.
It may not be the time environment to quit your job just yet, so stick to what you’re doing and push your ideas at the same time. At some point, your ideas may become bigger than your job and you may have to make a decision, or they could converge into one, either way, the key is to start something and start it now.