ENTREPRENEURSHIP 101 - Consider this before taking a life boat out of mediocrity!


If you don’t know it already, here it is – entrepreneurship is not for sissies.

To be sure, it’s is a pot-holed ridden journey where the road splits into a number of different routes most of which come to an abrupt end.  And more often than not, it’s a slippery highway to bankruptcy and disappointment!

It is certainly not a rose-scented highway to riches and fame. For some,maybe – but for most, it’s dismal and soul-destroying experience.

But if you prepare yourself and go about it the right way your chances for success are substantially improved.

I think that most people start their own businesses out of sheer desperation. I don’t have formal statistics but it seems that businesses are started by people who drift into it because there is no other way of making a living.

Is it surprising that over 80% of businesses fail within 5 years?

If you ain’t got passion, vision, tenacity, stay-power  . . . . and money, don’t even bother. You are safer staying exactly where you are.

In my business I meet a lot of CA(SA)’s, competent people who have one of the best business qualifications available. In the main, they all aspire to one day owning their own businesses.

I often smile to myself  – the CA mentality is usually quite conservative. Stepping into the entrepreneurial space is decidedly the complete opposite!

It seems that the biggest mistake that emerging entrepreneurs make is that they do not define themselves as such. Instead they call themselves consultants or accounting/financial/tax service providers etc.

By failing to define themselves as entrepreneurs they miss out on the training and mindset that is essential for a business to succeed.

So here it is!

Before you decide to move into your own business, be sure you have first become an entrepreneur.  

Well and good, but what does this mean?

There are some good books on the subject. The most popular one is The E-Myth by Michael Gerber.

The internet is a great place to find information. A number of these sites offer free material. Some examples include:

  • Barry Mitchell (SA) and Uncover Your Greatness – effective selling and marketing.
  • Dr John Demartini (USA) and The Breakthrough Experience – finding your passion and you purpose
  • Tony Robbins (USA) – a plathora of general positive attitudes and expansive thinking and lots of You-Tube videos
  • Brian Walsh (SA) – Real Success Entrepreneur – general wealth creation mind-set
  • JT Foxx (USA) – branding and marketing (class act)
  • Brian Tracey (USA) – sales and sales organization
  • Simon Sinek – (USA) looking at the ‘why’ (level-headed assessment and great TED talks)
  • Niel Malan (SA) and The Elite Entrepreneur – the basics of entrepreneurship

Although some appear to be marketing and sales sites, don’t be put off. There is a lot of free material available. Use it to your best advantage. All have some presence on You-Tube.

Conventional entrepreneurial thinking may not support such sources but then there is nothing conventional about being an entrepreneur!

SAICA and ORT JET are two South African organizations that offer support to budding entrepreneurs but if you want to see the colour, the joy and the vision of your journey, stick with the list above.

I have personally invested time, money and energy in following all these “guru’s” and have learnt a great deal about how to put my CA low-risk mentality aside and step solidly into the flamboyant arena of entrepreneurship.

So here is a great definition of a entrepreneur:

 An Entrepreneur is someone who jumps off a cliff and builds the parachute on the way down!


Are you willing to even consider that?

If not,stay put!


About the author: 

Clive Kaplan is a prolific writer on LinkedIn PULSE. He has written over 60 articles on various topics from financial management and operations to job search and confidence building. He is also the author of the winQs series (pronounced ‘winks’) which appears regularly on the LinkedIn network. 

Being a CA(SA) with over 20 years’ experience as an executive director in both listed and unlisted companies, Clive brings some interesting perspectives to the field of management. Having been involved at Director/Board level, he offers a wealth of wisdom on both the people and business front.

Clive is the CEO of GREEN MIND CAPITAL. The company focuses on assisting executives, especially emerging young CA’s, maximize their potential and fast-track their careers.

Clive has been involved with coaching and self-development since 1994. He has a particular interest in Cognitive Awareness Technology (CAT) and has completed a number of advanced courses on the topic including The More To Life Training, Way of The Warrior, The Power of Self Esteem, The Power of Purpose, The Power of Connection, The A & B Phase Mentor Training, The I Am Training, Joy Spring, and is in the process of completing the world-renowned ORSC Corporate Coaching Course.

Clive’s mix of years of practical executive experience coupled with his own personal self-development journey brings together a unique method of Transformation Coaching. He has hundreds of hours of one-on-one coaching to his credit

Clive is also a ORT Jet mentor and works closely with the More To Life Program, and has recently been appointed to SAICA’s entrepreneurial advisory panel, The Hope Factory.