The Trials and Tribulations of Entrepreneurs

Danny Meyer
Danny Meyer

This is A leap year and yesterday, 29 February, was leap day in the Gregorian calendar – the most widely used in the world today and successor to the Julian calendar.

Many leap day customs are associated with romance and marriage, such as that women may propose marriage on this day.

So, there you have it, ladies. Yesterday was the day to ask the love of your life to enter a long-term union.

Today it is business as usual for enterprises in Namibia.

Working with entrepreneurs to help them hone their business skills beats anything else I have ever done over the course of my working life, which spans over half a century.

Yes, it is true for most followers of this weekly opinion piece, I am indeed older than your parents.

From the outside entrepreneurs may seem so different, yet they are so similar – especially when it comes to character traits.

This includes curiosity and always looking for business opportunities and being innovative when it comes to finding solutions.

And in conducting business, having a vision, taking risks, but always shunning recklessness.

Other positive traits of entrepreneurs include being passionate and persistent, always working with dogged determination until a set goal is met.

Then when things go awry, as they often will, entrepreneurs remain resilient until the challenge or obstacle is overcome.

In turn, common weaknesses of entrepreneurs include their expectation of perfection from others and this could then result in the hesitancy to delegate responsibility.

Entrepreneurs tend to pay scant attention to detail, always harbour a biased perceptiveness of their business and its value and are easily distracted, which results in them being all over the place.

Generally, entrepreneurs are workaholics and resultantly there is the risk of the family suffering and they find it difficult to distinguish between family, friends and employees.

Likewise, there is commonality when it comes to the trials and tribulations faced by entrepreneurs and their businesses.

Loosely stated, a tribulation means a cause of great trouble and suffering, while a trial is a test or challenge to endure and overcome.

More often used in a biblical context to describe the challenges people face on their journey of faith, but any entrepreneur you ask could attest that they too have encountered numerous trials and tribulations on their entrepreneurial journey – from the business start-up phase through to the running and growth of their enterprise.

An interesting and all-revealing exercise for me when working with entrepreneurs is to ask them to share some of those challenges and unpack the problems they routinely encounter.

On the list is always a lack of funding and much-needed resources, operating in a business-unfriendly environment, navigating government bureaucracy, disappointment by staff and the dishonesty of partners and stakeholders.

It is important for entrepreneurs to use trials and tribulations, or the challenges and disruptions encountered as a test of endurance, strength and fortitude and as learning experiences for repositioning oneself and one’s enterprise to keep moving forward on the entrepreneurial journey.

  • Danny Meyer is reachable at

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