Giving 100% Multiple Times

Giving 100% Multiple Times

This is not a math lesson because mathematically, once you give 100%, nothing is left. Here we are talking about giving 100% multiple times in terms of effort. Very often however, entrepreneurs have it in them to give 100%, over and over again. Many of the entrepreneurs I speak to also have jobs at which they work, as they continue to grow their businesses. I applaud them; not only for the will to see their entrepreneurial dreams come alive, but also for the time and attention that they put into both. Usually, the challenge is to give 100% to both, as opposed to splitting the 100% (usually unequally) between the two.

Debunking the Myth of the ‘Big Break’

I wrote here about how my entrepreneurship skills were brought out and nurtured while I was still in high school. On leaving high school, during the ‘in-limbo’ period of waiting for my next big thing, I worked at a movie shop for a number of months. It sounds like a minor gig, but in my years working as an entrepreneur, I have learnt that it is often counter-productive to wait for the next big thing. Often, the next big thing never shows up all at once! It comes in a series of smaller opportunities which ultimately lead up to the big one. Unfortunately though, many people graduate from different institutions of learning, and wait for that one big opportunity to smack them in the face!

Giving 100% multiple times pays off

Granted, one of the main reasons for this is that when we look at entrepreneurs like Chis Kirubi, the first thing we see is the suit, the shoes and the car that he drove up in. It is rare for us to recognize and acknowledge the journey that led him to the big leagues and so, we want to play in the major leagues NOW. More likely than not, even Mr. Kirubi was not smacked in the face by a big opportunity. He most likely took the smaller prospects that he had, gave them his all and then moved up to the next, and so on. The ‘Big Break’ is therefore, the exception, not the rule. However Importance of Giving Back as an Entrepreneur

Rationing Inspiration and Creativity?

My first small opportunity, the movie store, was doing well enough and the owner was happy, but I felt that more could be done; not just for the sole purpose of raising profits, but also in order to attract and maintain clients. You see, clients do not go to places where they do not feel appreciated, much in the same way that people do not like visiting homes where they do not get a warm reception …and food. Even if the business owner sets his/ her premiums slightly higher than that of their competitors, clients keep coming as long as they feel valued.

So at my place of employment, I threw myself headlong into the movie business and introduced some offers where if the client bought a certain number of movies, they could choose to take another at no charge. I also endeavored to build a relationship with the clients, as I am a firm believer that client relationships are more beneficial to businesses than money. Clients rolled in and the business was able to retain them, which in turn raised profits substantially. Not long thereafter, I got the inspiration to begin my own business.

Over time, entrepreneurs learn to trust their ideas, and to develop them to fruitfulness. This is because entrepreneurship is as much about creativity and inspiration as it is about capital, tenders and so on. It is therefore counter-productive to the entrepreneur’s business, to hold back from giving 100% at their place of work. Squashing one’s creativity while at work and expecting it to come alive when developing their own business, demonstrates that one is expecting too little from oneself.

As a business owner who is also formerly employed, you are inspired for both, and inspiration does not run out. Fruitfully developing one of your income streams (i.e. the job), ultimately develops the other (your business).

It’s therefore important to learn the art of giving 100% multiple times in everything you do to be able to succeed.