I am posting this because I want to unglorify what real entrepreneurship is usually really about.
In our global SME Movement initiative we have come across thousands of entrepreneurs and startups across some 83 countries (a report on our insights about what we learned from this will be out soon). Often entrepreneurs – understandably so – speak of creating disruptive industries, innovative businesses and growing to become multi billion businesses.
Commercial reality, however, often slaps entrepreneurs hard. The commercial reality is that you don’t become big / huge overnight. It takes many years of small steps to become big. If that depresses you – don’t. It is a truly wonderful journey of creating and shaping your own destiny and little successes – however small – can fill your heart with joy because YOU did it!
To give you a practical example. I recently met with 2 brothers in Slovenia who started a tiny business (1 of the brothers quite his teaching job to start the business) in their family’s garage manufacturing wooden novelty items (including a wood wallet for credit cards that doubles as a phone stand which I bought). There is no fancy machines, employees or big marketing muscle. They design their products, cut them, ask a friend for tools to help them cut the wood, put the parts together and package them. They have a great website (www.hudwood.com) and they got some kick funding to buy materials from kickstarter (modest amounts that don’t even cover wages). Each day they spend hours manufacturing their products and then driving to little shops all over Slovenia to speak to shop owners about stocking their products. Slowly orders are improving and they are experimenting with new materials and new ideas (e.g. I saw on their shelves an awesome wooden speaker which you slot your phone in and it amplifies the sound).
The little business is now looking for partners to help them distribute their amazing products in new countries (see the opportunity here: http://bit.ly/2n7o8mo )
I am sharing this because I want us all to be reminded that real entrepreneurship is not about having an idea and waiting/hoping for millions in funding. Real entrepreneurship is about rolling up your sleeves, working hard and enjoying the journey rather than just the destination. It is about creating products and services which you are proud of and that your customer will love.
Here’s to you Dominik and Rok, thank you for reminding us what real entrepreneurship is about.