One thing your start-up must do to avoid crashing and burning

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IMG_3093When we arrived at a farm where we were staying overnight we went out to the fields on a Saturday afternoon and found the whole family working in the fields. When it’s not raining, it’s an ideal time or the best time to harvest wheat. At times like this, the farmer works from early in the morning right through into the evening.

Life on a farm teachers you the value of hard work. Farmers are not shy of hard work. Two large harvesters were being used on the farm to harvest the wheat. You see, if you harvest when the wheat is wet, you risk spoiling the wheat because of fungi. So when the good weather comes, sunny and hot, it’s the best time to harvest the wheat. The farmer and his son started out early on Saturday morning, after harvesting the previous day and went on into the night continuing to harvest the wheat.

There was no time to go back to the farm for a braai (barbecue). Instead, the farmer’s wife brought the braai out to the fields. There in the fields we had a braai in the hot night under a canopy of stars. This had to be done, because the farmer and his son couldn’t stop working while the weather was good.

Some people might see a farm and get the wrong impression. They often don’t realise how much back-breaking worker is involved. It’s not only wheat that needs to be harvested but the also other crops such as maize, groundnuts, soya, sunflowers, barley and grasses for cattle fodder that need to be harvested as well.

Some even think that farming is an easy road to riches but the reality of it is that you are going to reap nothing from the ground unless you plant at the right time, nurture your crop, invest resources such as water, which is expensive now because of the high cost of electricity, and harvest at the right and critical time. Perhaps people who know nothing about farming and want to farm for themselves should spend some time on a farm so that they can get a realistic picture of what it really is all about.

A very similar situation applies to the formation of a start-up. Some so-called Internet marketers and business gooroos will lead you to believe that they have shortcuts and easy ways to start a business of your own. Don’t be fooled. You’re not going to make easy money this way.

The motivation for a start-up has more to do with personal satisfaction, possible freedom, and the ability to control your own destiny.

Yes, after the first year you may be fortunate, if you have run your operation well and have attracted a sizeable number of customers but it’s no easy road to riches.

I’m not trying to put you off. All I’m trying to say is that if you’re not prepared to work hard, day in and day out, week in and week out, you are going to drastically reduce your chances for success.

Many people will talk about their promising idea for a product or service. But the difference between the talkers and the doers is those who work out a process to take their idea and turn it into reality.

If you are a doer rather than a talker and are looking for a guide, a toolbox of resources that can help you get started and finished what you have set out to achieve, you may want to consider “Breakthrough Ideas”.

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