Interestingly, I don’t like refer to myself as an entrepreneur. I’m just that crazy guy who’s a perfect blend of everything I have to offer and have chosen not to be boxed into an image of what society expects of me.
What I aim to do with this series of posts on entrepreneurship is to communicate my conviction on the various subject matters in relation to entrepreneurship which I’ve gathered from insight and a few years of experience that could help you sail successfully in the world of entrepreneurship or whatever choice you make for yourself.
So, don’t be quick to come all out against my conviction when you don’t see the principle that worked for you in my list. It’s one of three things: I’ve not tested it, I’m still testing it or it’s not been proven to work for me yet. At the end of this article, you may also drop a comment on what has worked for you whether or not I addressed it.
We all have different reasons for becoming what we are now- entrepreneurs. You probably decided to try it out after listening to a motivational speaker, you were just broke and decided to take up a sole business or It could also be from a need to develop a skill and add value to your life.
Whatever reason it is, the reality is that you’re here now and you have to figure how to make it work.
I’ll be examining the money model first, being one of the major factors that keeps a business going. Since it’s a commonly agreed fact that being broke is not an option.
The money model for the entrepreneur is a very different and unique one. The earlier you understood this, the better for your entrepreneurial life as it just keeps you sane. Money matters in entrepreneurship can really make you mad.
First thing to note is that unlike those who work fully in corporate institutions, you don’t have a structured pay. You’re paid as frequently as you get jobs. The market is a very unpredictable one such that this month you have a truckload of jobs awaiting completion and credit alerts are buzzing your phone from all angles and the next month, you’d think you’ve done something wrong when no one even calls to make an enquiries for your services or even retweets your “My client is on your TL” tweet. This is where the challenge comes in because whether or not you get jobs, bills need to be paid. Truth is no one cares about you. Scratch that. A few people care, but not these companies. MTN wouldn’t give you a day free of unlimited data use even if you subscribe the highest.
Second thing is money that comes in is very irregular. You can hardly even plan your monthly income because it’s very dependent on so many things like your negotiation skills, access to high paying jobs e.t.c
Here are a few tips I advise knowing how tremendously they have helped me
- You can take on other jobs.
Don’t be deceived. Our paths are different. Don’t be like anybody. It’s your path. Chart it the way you like and in such a way that suits your personality. You can take on regular jobs that guarantee you monthly pay and still be very entrepreneurial. So, the moment you get jobs, it’s only extra pay for you. Some of us are actually shooting ourselves in the foot by our rigid choices when you can be very flexible and have the money rolling in. Most of my productive moments in my career have been time I utilized by entrepreneurial skills in working in companies / with brands. The success of some entrepreneurs lie in working for organisations and not necessarily starting one themselves.
- Save. You’re reading this post because you have a strong desire to do something meaningful with your life, so I believe the idea of having wouldn’t be alien to you. I don’t want to shove any percentage down your throats as the most appropriate percentage so my advise would be that you save a percentage that’s very reasonable to you. Particularly one with restricted access so you don’t end up rushing to it anytime you have a seeming urgent need. You can have an account you don’t have an ATM too or a fixed savings. Since you’re not sure of how the next income would find its way into your organisation, it would only be wise to save for the rainy day. Even the ants understand the principle of saving.
- Prepare for contingencies
Laptops break down, phones get stolen, people get sick, price of fuel goes up, books get expensive e.t.c. These things are the spoilers. They are the ones that just have their way of wrecking our financial plans. I can’t tell you how an ordinary spark in my charger has destabilized my plans many times. Like natural disasters, you don’t just wait till they happen, prepare for them. Dedicate a particular percentage of your income from jobs to cater for that. Just like the savings, the percentage is completely up to you but be true to yourself and ensure that percentage can take care of the sudden needs that can come up in the months. The difference between this and savings is that savings are made towards a goal in mind. You can save towards upgrading your gadgets, acquiring a piece of land/house, paying workers salaries, financing your next project whilst contingencies are your shock absorbers. They take care of the unexpected needs.
- Minimize expenses by all means.
Try all you can to cut down unnecessary things from your cost of production to help you gain maximum profit from the job. Instead of buying that new gadget, you might need to consider borrowing from a friend and use the money to save up till you can comfortably afford it. Now here’s the balance. Do not in a bid to minimize expenses, cut down on excellence and quality. You might just need to look out more for the place where you can get the cheapest quality rather than investing that large amount of money in getting the job done from the popular places. Instead of ordering for an uber cab to the island, you might want to consider talking with that church member of yours who works on the Island for a space in his/her car the next morning. Don’t get me wrong. It’s good to enjoy life. I do. A whole lot but not at the expense of my future.
- Learn some basics of accounting.
You have no idea how recording daily expenses, preparing a budget and preparing a financial plan can position you for a life of financial freedom. I’m not an expert at these things either. I had to learn them and also be strict with my plans. Some weeks back, I did an analysis of my spending for the past three months and I was shocked how much I spent on irrelevancies. These things aren’t hard to learn. You don’t need to go in-depth into it. A basic knowledge will suffice
I wish you all the best in making money. In subsequent episodes, I’d try to explore the skill set, consistency and confidence and its importance in the life of an entrepreneur.
Is there anything you feel I can touch on too? You can drop it in the comment box and if I’m proficient in that area, I’d treat it. If not I could refer you to a boss in that field.
Have an awesome financial journey.