THINK LIKE A FARMER, ACT LIKE A HUNTER!
In my previous article Making Deals vs Running a Business, I started by doing an overview around the Entrepreneurship Hype and ended by differentiating between Making Deals and Managing a Business. In this edition, I will attempt to draw similarities between the principle of farming and hunting to weave a bespoke template that entrepreneurs can leverage on for a successful business adventure! The objective is to use every day term, or analogies to paint a clear picture of things that for some odd reasons appears to look mysterious to so many people.
Meet the Farmer
This is the one who understands the concept of sowing, tending, reaping and processing for added value! Life is about give and take, so is business. The farmers’ mindset is value driven. A successful entrepreneur understands that good business operates on principles. These principles, are time proven and does not change except there is a major disruption by way of technological advancement, epidemic like the recent Corona virus outbreak or what you could describe as an act of God. Even at that, the principle practically remains the same, application method may change though.
A successful entrepreneur must learn the painful, yet rewarding virtue of Patience. This quality, in the words of my high school teacher, is what often differentiates the men from the boys. Some call it delayed gratification, I prefer to call it PERSONAL DISCIPLINE.
My friend’s grandma will often nag “this is a micro-wave” generation. Always seeking for easy, convenient way of doing things at the expense of building endurance or tolerance. The get-rich-quick syndrome made worse by the falsehood cleverly presented by the social media has put the undiscerning minds in a state of constant pressure and discontent in doing things the right way. Right is too-slow, some will say.
Developing the farmers’ mindset, allows you to focus on what is needed to ensure that with time, care and consistency, the idea (seed) becomes a business plan (tiny stalk), rising from the earth and slowly grows into a startup that evolves with time into a thriving business.
Most people enjoy hearing stories of successful startups that launched their companies from their father’s garage, or a friend’s car or some weird scenario of crazy ideas going platinum overnight without pausing to ask “what type of a person pulls such a stunt?”
My answer; “it takes a dedicated mindset that is bent on creating value at the expense of instant gratification to turn a dream into a successful reality”
Meet the Hunter
This fellow, always on the move. Never static, but like the farmer, he knows what is at stake: Time!
The hunter has an adventurous mindset, a risk taker who always believes he is well equipped to take on any challenge that may cross his path.
This personality might be seen by some to be arrogant and sometimes too intense for those who are averse to taking risk. The truth is, the hunter has built experience over the years. These experiences are usually that of others who might have fallen victim to the treachery of the highly competitive value -exchange system called business.
The hunter, does not wish to fall prey to his quest. So, he takes time to learn and horn his skill. Taking on smaller target to master his own style and develop more dynamic techniques in dealing with the same malady that destroyed others before him.
The hunter, is not impatient, he understands the concept of plucking the low-hanging fruit before making the commitment to climb all the way up. The hunter is multi-talented, able to adapt to changes and can easily improvise as he moves through the maze of building credibility and retaining patronage of those, he might have had the opportunity of making an earlier impression on.
The hunter does not wait for opportunities, he anticipates them, taste them on his lips and moves stealthily towards the path that allows him to carve his own niche in the market. The one where he determines the process, the pace, the depth, look and feel.
The hunter receives an inspiration and immediately gets to work to beef-up the idea. He begins to engage every possible option to bring his idea to life. He looks for similar businesses, and tries to benchmark to have a futuristic feel of what lies ahead. He doesn’t test the waters with his two feet. Yet he always puts his best foot forward. “You never can tell, who might be interested in this crazy idea” he mutters to himself.
To have the hunter mentality, you must be willing to go under a form of apprenticeship. To be mentored in the art of entrepreneurship. You must place knowledge above material gain to ensure that you get that which will always put you above the pack. Skill and Experience!
Both the farmer and the hunter are two sides of the same coin. These two personalities converge to create a hybrid that is suited for developing economies like Nigeria. An average Nigerian business man or woman is bedeviled with the responsibility of providing virtually every basic resource needed by himself at the expense of grooming his business.
Several factors are always interfering with the entrepreneurs dream of building a sustainable business due to the leadership failure that has made basic resources to become scarce.
Mentoring plays a great role in helping new comers to gain a reasonable level of footing when starting a business. It is important to look within your area of influence for anyone that has gone ahead of you to give you a head start. The error most people make is to think that their biggest challenge is money.
The economist says capital, but how we define capital will go a long way in shaping the way we see opportunities. Most people are in the habit of looking very far for the things that are literarily under their nose, while some people pay for things, they would have gotten free if they had looked closely.
The entrepreneur must be willing to alternate between both personalities (farmer and hunter) to successfully navigate the shark infested waters of doing business in a developing country like Nigeria.
Do enjoy the rest of the week!