Entrepreneurship is quite the buzz word lately. And why shouldn’t it be ? In a world where jobs are becoming scarce and robots are getting smarter, the idea of being one’s own boss and being able to live off a business without worrying about getting fired seems alluring.
The Binary Middle Finger
The threat of robots taking over the world is no longer a science fiction fantasy. AI is getting smarter. We all know that. If you want to see how smarter they have got, simply translate this page to your second language (if you have one) using the floating translation widget on your screen. The precision is mind-blowing. A decade ago, it might have given you a good laugh. But today, it gives goosebumps. And this feat of AI can be seen in all fields of life today. You can feel them smirking at human intellect, showing a binary middle finger 🖕 every time they outperform a human counterpart.
Enter the Entrepreneur
Entrepreneurship might seem like a life saving oasis to youths today in this desert of economic hopelessness. The hopelessness that is fueled by a lack of trust in government to provide a sense of security in the face of rising work disruptions.
While automation often becomes the scapegoat, the real reason for the job insecurity is the lack of proper infrastructure to empower youth with relevant skills. The education system terribly fails at nurturing our youth and preparing them for the challenges of the future. In the wake of such a crisis, the allure of being self-reliant through entrepreneurship seem to be a good idea.
But what exactly is entrepreneurship? And can it really solve the crisis of unemployment among today’s youth?
I never went to a B-school. So my definition of entrepreneurship might not match the textbooks. But fortunately, you don’t need the textbook definition to become an entrepreneur.
In simple terms, an entrepreneur is someone who identifies a need in society and fulfills it ‘at scale’. In order to do that, they may take a financial risk, but they do it with a strategy. The strategy is to be able to sell their solution for the problem at a cost higher than what they spent to create the solution. In doing so, they generate a profit. And bingo ! An entrepreneur is born.
Not all problems are created equal
If you want to become an entrepreneur, all you need to do is solve a problem. But there is a problem here. Not all problems are created equal. And not all problems offer an opportunity to earn money.
For example, you might have a problem with your neighbor next door. You don’t like the way he stares at your wife. Unfortunately, that is not the kind of problem we are talking about. The problem an entrepreneur solves is the type for which people are willing to pay money. For example, weight gain is a problem. And if you create a guide to lose weight, you have created a solution for which people would be willing to pay for. If you are able to convince a large number of people that your guide can solve their weight gain problem, you have earned the title of entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship is not so easy
Unfortunately, entrepreneurship is a tough business (the pun fits so appropriately). I hate to break it to you but entrepreneurship is not a magical solution for unemployment. It is much easier to find a job even in these tough time than to become an entrepreneur. And the reason is simple – competition.
Competition is a B*****
Let us go back to our previous example of weight loss. You have identified the problem. You know there is a monetary opportunity in solving it. And you have created a solution in the form of a weight loss guide. But what if your neighbor (yeah the same neighbor who stares at your wife) creates a better guide for weight loss? And worse, what if he offers it at a much cheaper price than you ? This neighbor problem is clearly getting out of control.
Survival of the fittest
Your success as an entrepreneur lies in your ability to create better solutions for problems than your competitors. You can do this by a combination of:
- working hard
- working smart
- using your capital efficiently
- creating a good marketing campaign
- bringing down the cost of your product without compromising with quality
- Offering better customer service.
To implement the above factors, you need to have sound financial literacy. You also need to have the ability to adapt and improvise with the changing economic landscape. That involves making use of automation opportunities. (The robots are our friend after all). If done right, this can open doors of opportunity for you and turn your dream of working without a boss, a reality.
Read a book
You will clearly not become an entrepreneur by reading a single blog post. If you are serious about pursuing this option and escape the rat-race forever, I suggest that you read a book on entrepreneurship. And don’t get scared when I say ‘read a book‘. I wrote an easy one for you to help you grasp the concept of money and entrepreneurship without breaking your head and losing your sanity.
Paisa and the Passive: Financial Literacy in Plain English is my years of research into the world of money and entrepreneurship. It contains all the wisdom that I gathered over the years trying to figure out how the financial world works. The wisdom helped me turn my dream of entrepreneurship into a reality. The fully monetized blog you are reading right now is a product of the very wisdom that I have written about extensively in the book.
Apart from a blog that makes me money every time someone clicks on the ads, I have also expanded my entrepreneurial ambitions into other spaces, including online and offline ventures. And remember, I started with nothing. Just a willingness and a stubbornness to learn.