The true essence of a cake is undoubtedly the ingredients that are in there. The cake can have the ripest strawberries or cherries, chocolate imported from Belgium and cream that melts in your mouth but without flour and the basic ingredients, it’s not a cake. It’s just decorations designed to entice you.
If the basic sponge was hard and not light and fluffy, no amount of beautifying it with twist and twirls will make you enjoy the cake.
We could apply the same principle to the latté’s that we order which talented baristas prepare for you. If the coffee is bad, no fancy artwork from the best barista will make the coffee more enjoyable.
This is what often happens to entrepreneurs wanting to start a business. You look online and rush out to spend money on books written by people who do not share your life experiences yet they talk the talk and cover their books with so much frosting that your teeth ache from the sweetness.
Everyone loves rags to riches stories. It’s so romantic. People fawn and sigh over the strength of the person pulling themselves up from their bootstraps but how true is it?
Is it romantic and heartwarming when you can’t stop the gnawing hunger pangs? When only water fills your stomach and you barely know what day it is because your body is starved of essential nutrients! When the house you’re living in feels like a heatwave in summer and living in a freezer in winter! When toilet paper is a luxury you simply can’t afford and one bar of soap serves a dual purpose to clean the body and the dishes!
Add the colour of your skin to this bleak circumstances and you know its not as easy as that author says it is. That it’s not merely a matter of having a business plan, putting on your Sunday best and smiling nicely at the bank manager.
Yet, you feel like a failure because you haven’t reached the goals the book said you should. Do you know why you haven’t? Because that person did not grow up where you did and did not have race or gender as an impediment to success. But they make it sound easy and so you try and at the first stumbling block, you are disheartened cause it’s not that simple.
It can be done though!
The world is full of people that have overcome poverty and achieved success. The difference is that they never went out and ordered a book online written by a person who has never experienced hardships nor have they joined these Pyramid schemes designed to make you a millionaire overnight.
Unless you win a huge sum of money in the State Lottery, inherit money from some unknown wealthy relative who passed away, have friends in high places that are politically connected, prepare yourself for a business that will grow the way most businesses grow. Prepare to work smart and hard and make the sacrifices needed to succeed and follow your vision with passion.
Prepare also to become despondent and wanting to give it up.
Also prepare for the day, (and it will come) when you realize you’re the successful entrepreneur you have always dreamed about. It will happen but it won’t happen by following some out of reach wealthy person living their best life in a suburb you have only passed by in your dreams.
You can do this!
Start formulating your plan one ingredient at a time. Remember though that if you don’t have the basic ingredients, cherries on top of the cake you are trying to bake will only be frosting merely there to decorate but falling flat at the slightest wind.
“Information is liberating”
– Kofi Annan