Entrepreneurship is the Great Equalizer
I remember the good old days when internet was still on it’s infancy, specifically here in the Philippines. Back in 1995, internet connection is very rare and only companies and those who belong to the upper class of the society, I mean those who can really afford to have an internet connection can surf the internet. Even mobile phones are rare and the only brand I knew back then is the Motorola brand cellular phone, the size of a brick. I was lucky I was able to experience my first internet surfing when I was employed in a multinational company. Broadband DSL connection don’t exist yet and you have to be patient using a dial-up connection. Website are very simple those days and I became interested in making websites and making money online.
The words that motivates me the most on pursuing a career online, which I read from a website is “internet levels the playing field”. That people don’t care how big or small your business is, the principle on how internet works is how will you help the readers solve their problems and it’s because all they can see is your website and the contents of your website.
Entrepreneurship is a Great Leveler
Quoting from Mr. Richard Branson, one of my most admired entrepreneurs “Entrepreneurship is a great leveler”. “The wonderful thing is that money is not the sole currency when it comes to starting a business; drive, determination, passion and hard work are all free and more valuable than a pot of cash.”
In this digital age, entrepreneurs have more advantages and tools to pursue their goals. Who have imagined that after the success of Google, as the king of search, next is facebook as the social network king and for a short period of time they achieved their wealth and status. The founders of those companies who started their online ventures didn’t have millions of dollars of capital to finance their business. Of course, there are investors involved in their success but the reason why investors are convinced is because they have shown their potential. The famous local online classified ads like sulit.com.ph also started by a young couple with very meager resources. You can read my blog post why sulit.com.ph is so successful. So it is not the money as the most important resources but the entrepreneur’s courage, determination, skill, passion, hard work and strategies are the biggest factor of success.
Big Business vs. Small Business
It’s a striking reality that life is really unfair specially in the business world. Small businesses are being wiped out by large businesses and corporation for the fact that big businesses have deep pockets able to spend a vast amount of money on resources (e.g. talents, marketing or advertising) necessary for their business to compete with others or just to survive. For example some small businesses can’t hardly pay for marketing and advertising unlike big corporation that could spend hundreds of thousands. Just to give you a real life sample, Savemore supermarket is well known and it is also owned by Henry Sy of SM Dept store. If you will compare it to a small time grocery store, it is no match. In our area, years back, there are many independent small time grocery store and supermarkets that thrive. There were no big names I see back then but when Savemore opened it doors to the public, many of the small supermarkets vanished and only one, Grocer-E was left. Then after a few years some big players entered the market like Parco and PureGold. I also want to mention the pharmacy business but it is exactly the same so it might be redundant if I’ll tell another story.
Strategist vs Opportunist
So what do you think is essential for an entrepreneur to survive in this highly competitive business world? The first thing we should know is what really separates a businessman from an entrepreneur? I think you have read lots of articles and blog posts that differentiate a businessman and entrepreneur. Some have blog post about 20 to 50 bullet lists of their distinctions and over defined it with lots of words just to fill a blog post with content. But one very important fact if most businessman are opportunist. They cling to what’s “hot” now and tomorrow it’s a different thing. They immediately go for something popular for that day, month or year and then switch to another “hot” business the next. Entrepreneurs are different. They device and plan strategies to built their existing business. They have vision that their business will succeed. One good example is DHL. This courier is one of the biggest international courier that ships to many countries. The fact that it is more expensive than sending airmail parcel using postal service, it became a very big and successful company. This company saw an opportunity to fill the gap in market (this is different from an opportunist that copies other businesses) that needs items to be delivered in a short period of time regardless of the cost. The founder believes that his idea will someday become a big business and devised strategies to achieve his goal.