One of the most fascinating stories I have ever come across is the parable of the sower, told by Jesus. Its life applications are limitless.
I want to just focus on the relevance of this evergreen parable to entrepreneurship. Reflecting on the four results the seed received, I have related it to four different kinds of entrepreneurs. Enjoy.
THE WAYSIDE ENTERRENEURS
“When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understand it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.” Mathew 13:19
The first category of entrepreneurs are those I like to call the wayside entrepreneurs.
These types of entrepreneurs are those who lack basic understanding of the business they are venturing into. They don’t take the time to do the background checks and understand the rudiments of the business. They jump into such ventures because they have seen others doing it and making profits. Once they start, they suddenly realize they make silly mistakes and get swarmed by circumstances they could have avoided. Their business ends up crashing even before they know.
The wayside entrepreneurs could also be defrauded by their own staff because of their ignorance and failure to institute the right level of controls and best book keeping practices. These wayside entrepreneurs reek with such ignorance which could be sensed on them over a mile away, yet are blinded with an awe of self confidence and optimism which cannot be explained. They believe they will be an exception to standard rules and practices and always pay too dearly for it.
Don’t expose your brilliant business ideas to foxes and scavenging vultures because of the lack of understanding. Don’t be a wayside entrepreneur!
THE ROCKY ENTERPRENEURS
“But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and with joy receiveth it;
Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended” Mat 13:21
The second category is those I would love to call the “rocky entrepreneurs”
These group of entrepreneurs, normally have a great understanding of the business they venture into.
They build the right connections and start seeing some profit coming through. They may make it the front page of the magazines as the best start ups ,most promising companies to watch out, etc.
But then, things become tough, economic projections no longer go the way they had anticipated, loans acquired start becoming bad loans, sales drop, Government increase taxes which jeopardizes their bottom line and the only instinctive and logical thought which may come to them is to cut their losses, fold up and pack off.
The rocky entrepreneurs have intelligence and wits but lack tough skin, as the old saying goes, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going” This tends to be too much for this category of entrepreneurs.
They are like very beautiful glassware which shatters when they hit the rocks. They are not made to bounce back, that is the end of their entrepreneurial ambitions. They prefer to spend the rest of their lives mending their bruises instead of giving it a go for one more time.
THE THORNY ENTERPRENEURS
“He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.” Mat 13:22
The third groups of entrepreneurs are the thorny ones.
Thorny entrepreneurs are savvy, know their stuff and have the right connections. They also have tough skin and are able to match up the changing dynamics of the business environment.
They become quite successful for a long time and are a force to reckon with in their field of endeavor.
What brings them down is distraction, normally after complacency sets in. They all of a sudden tumble down because they get involved in a lot of things outside their main domain. It could range from bad politics, vices like sex scandals ,drugs etc.hat will bring them down eventually.
Normally the businesses of thorny entrepreneurs don’t outlive them. Once they die, the business also dies.
THE GOOD ONES
“But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty” Mat 13:23
The fourth category are the good ones.
This group invest in the knowledge, understanding and controls required to build a successful business, usually from scratch. The businesses are normally limited liabilities, which function independent of the owners.
The good ones have survived several years of challenges by sheer grit and resolve to make a difference. They stay clear from bad politics, scandals and ensure they are in the good books of regulatory authorities. They are prepared to bite the bullet and do the right thing, instead of taking short cuts to success.
At the end of the day, they become a force for good with a lasting legacy and blue print for others to follow. The business outlives its founders and remain competitive through continous improvement, agility and restlessness.
Such business have existed more than three generations and have no intention of stopping. They operate like perpetual motion machines and are always able to satisfy the needs of their ever evolving consumers.
For them reputation and customer satisfaction is everything
This is the kind of entrepreneurs people should aspire. It will take a lot of time, energy, commitment and sacrifice, but it is always worth it.
From the desk of ROL
All image credits: Google images