The entrepreneurial journey is anything but smooth. You’ll find your strength of will tested and your self-belief may take a pounding.
But ultimately, success belongs to those who persevere. Reinhard Atela, 27, knows quite a bit about this.
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He’s an entrepreneur determined to make a lasting impact. So, despite a rather bumpy ride in business, he’s founded four businesses: Pril International, Pril Computers, Applied Knowledge Publishers and Bloom Inspire Plus Africa.
Reinhard first got into business after he was forced to drop out of Great Lakes University of Kisumu over lack of school fees.
Used to taking hits in his life, he dusted himself off and set up a business that has since birthed three others.
His entrepreneurial journey inspired him to author five books: Is God Broke? You can Rise Again, Nine Lives of an Entrepreneur, Wake Up, Walk Out and The Destiny Child.
He tells Hustle the six attitudes that have kept him focused on his goals, despite the numerous hurdles in his way.
1. Don’t let your background limit your future
Born and brought up in the village, I had all the ‘relevant’ excuses to not do great in life.
There were many nights I went to bed hungry because my family couldn’t afford to buy food. I was frustrated with my lot in life.
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I reached my breaking point while in primary school and took out a pen and paper and wrote down all the things I didn’t want in my life, and the things I wanted to change.
I envisioned a better future, and this helped me overcome my poor upbringing and the negative influences in my past to become who I am now.
You can’t choose where you are born, but you can choose where you end up. It’s all up to you.
2. Don’t play small
It’s not a bad idea to start small. Today’s multinationals were at one point tiny businesses.
The problem comes when you start playing small. Start small, but have a big vision. Anything you set your mind to do, you can do. I knew what I wanted to become, despite my humble beginnings, and I set my eyes on that.
3. Have a clear vision
Vision is what separates the great and the mediocre. Your vision defines your path in life.
At the age of 12, I wrote down all the things I didn’t like about being poor and all the things I wanted to achieve by the age of 27.
Now most of those things that I wrote down are a reality. Make your vision clear, believe in it and work towards it.
That’s not to say it will be easy – I lived on the streets for a number of days, but I still knew the future I was working towards.
You’ll be surprised at how resilient you become to the things life throws your way by simply having a vision of where you want to be.
4. Believe in yourself
I’ve had so many people tell me that what I wanted to do was impossible, but I didn’t let that stop me.
Life rewards those who attempt the impossible. My greatest inspiration comes from those who said I couldn’t do something.
5. Be positive
We live in a world where negativity is the norm. It can be difficult to stay positive, but successful people don’t let negativity in.
I’ve failed so many times, but what’s kept me on course is a positive attitude.
You’re not going to persevere in entrepreneurship if you’re not hopeful of a brighter tomorrow. Surround yourself with people who believe in your vision, who’ll drag you back from the cliff when you want to jump.
6. Never give up
When you go into business, you’ll quickly discover it’s very easy to give up. You must not give in to the temptation; you’re made of tougher stuff.
If you find something isn’t working, change course rather than throwing in the towel. Each day will give you the option of either quitting or learning. Choose the latter.