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Entrepreneurial Diligence

Sunday, 15 July 2012


"When you discipline yourself to do what is hard, you gain access to a realm of results that are denied everyone else. The willingness to do what is difficult is like having a key to a special private treasure room." - Steve Pavlina
 
Entrepreneurship extends beyond the realm of business, economics and finance. Entrepreneurship is the proper management of resources and organization of activities aimed specifically at growth and profit. Entrepreneurship is the art of undertaking new, and often risky, ventures with initiative and confidence. So everybody is an entrepreneur, no matter what your job or business orientation is, it doesn’t matter whether you have kiosk with you name written on it or not, everybody is into buying and selling, profit-making and loss-making, of time, talents and resources.

The first time I read this quote credited to Investor and Entrepreneur Carl Icahn: “In life and business, there are two cardinal sins: The first is to act without thought, and the second is to not act at all” I rewrote it and removed ‘business’, as I believe life itself is a business. Life has opened up a shop for all of us, and whether you like it or not you are a salesman, the tragedy is that some do not realize their roles as one until it is too late and by then they would have unconsciously sold their goods cheaply or even for free.

We always refer to time as being ‘spent’, that implies that there is someone/something doing the buying! We all have 24 hours every day, 24 hours to ‘spend’, what most of us do not do is an audit of how we ‘spend’ same the way with do with money, even though the saying ‘time is money’ is one that we are all familiar with! Same goes for talents. In Hebrew language talent refers to money and so it is in our world today. Successful people are those who regard their time and talents as money, spend it prudently and jealously ‘bank’ their stock of both the way they bank their money. 

Everyday we wake up with a fresh stock of both currencies: time and talents. Armed with these we venture into the market of life, to buy and sell. Some spend the first few wads of their time with God in prayer and I assure you there is no better way to start a day: spending your time in God’s market. Thereafter we spend the rest of our time, and buy the time of others; we spend the rest of our talents, and buy those of others. It is only proper that at the end of everyday we do a proper audit of our buying and selling to see if we made profit or loss. It is only proper that we see life as a market and everyone as an entrepreneur, the earlier we see ourselves in this light, we earlier we are able to take advantage of market dynamics to our gain. I will explore the concept of time and talents as currencies in subsequent column but for now I move to explore the virtue of diligence in relation to our new-found status as life entrepreneurs.

Diligence is the earnest, conscientious application of our energy to accomplish what we’ve undertaken. When we are diligent, we pay careful attention to detail and are dedicated to achieving quality results. Diligence means that we are continually working toward our goals, making use of what resources and opportunities are available. We are vigilant to avoid errors and to stay focused on the task at hand. Our diligence provides a basis for people trusting us with jobs that are tricky or complicated and also important to them. Diligence does not rely on talent, but employs commitment, industry, and perseverance to transform vision into reality.

Diligence is a pre-requisite to excellence; diligence is the application of wisdom in the line of hardwork; diligence with time and talents is non-negotiable for entrepreneurs who aim to make profit in the market of life. What do you spend your time doing? Whose time do you buy? You’ll agree with me than an hour with Bill Gates is worth much more than an hour of sleep, learn to place a value on your time, learn to account for your talents. Account for the time you spend on social media, the time you spend with friends, the time you spend watching TV. If the time you spend on someone/something does not come back to you in an equal or greater value, it has been wasted.

Life is an enterprise, we trade in time and talents, are you making profit or loss?


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