Sacrifice: an entrepreneur’s friend

You can’t achieve anything of value without sacrifice, you just can’t. It is normal for entrepreneurs to downgrade or even sell their cars, for example, in order to build a business.

Strive Masiyiwa, telecoms billionaire tells a fascinating story about how he financed his business. He started his business journey in 1986, going around suburbs fixing broken lights and gates. After running the business for a while he needed additional funding, so he went to a Barclays bank branch seeking a loan. He drove his car, parked it outside the bank and went in to pitch to the banker. “After listening to my pitch, she said ‘is that your car?’. She said ‘go sell it and I will match whatever it is you sell it for because that is my way of knowing whether you are serious’. So I took my car away I sold it and I came back the following day. I had the money in cash, I put it on her table and I said: ‘Where is yours?’ And I haven’t looked back since.” He said.

Here are three things that every entrepreneur should sacrifice:

1. Your need for fancy offices:You don’t need those fancy offices when you are in the early stages of your business. You have to learn how to increase your income without increasing your expenses.

2. Forgo the need for flexibility: Some entrepreneurs leave corporate South Africa and start businesses to be able to get “flexibility”. When you start, it is tempting to start work anytime, go play golf in the middle of the day and leave as early as possible. The truth though is that to succeed, you need structure more than you need flexibility. It is that discipline of going to your office at 08:00 (even if you work from home) that will ensure that you succeed.

3. Forgo the need to access your business account anytime: You are the only Director in your business and you enjoy that “luxury” of using your business account anytime, anywhere. This will be your downfall. Separate your business finances from your personal ones.