I received my entrepreneurship education from two sources, one academic and the other experiential. Clearly my time in university studying economics and management has given me grounding in the structural understanding of business, and entrepreneurship in particular. It provided me the vehicle, but learning to drive that vehicle came from the experiential aspect of my journey.
In my first venture into network marketing, I mostly learned by making mistakes, which taught me more than any particular formula did.
I would attribute around 60 percent to the experiential source of my entrepreneurship education. The reason I attribute 40 percent to my academic foundation is that I’m a firm believer in the power of reading, studying, and analyzing a subject in order to acquire a foundational understanding of it. Without a strong foundation, one can’t build a lasting structure.
All network marketers are entrepreneurs. They need to acquire and hone skills beyond that of salesmanship, such as financial management, leadership, public speaking, communication, and even social media skills.
When transitioning from a job to a home business, your mantra should be adapt, adjust, accommodate. You actually have to unlearn as much as you have to relearn. You have to break out of certain habits and thought patterns that have evolved out of your nine-to-five experience and recreate your thinking towards driving yourself.
One of the primary challenges employees experience is low self-motivation. To become entrepreneurs, they first need to recognize that they are now their own bosses. This is a paradigm shift. Employees wait to be told what to do, whereas networkers tell and teach others what they need to do. It is a change in philosophy, attitude, and mindset.
Next, they need to ask themselves three questions:
This will drive them to complete their journey.
I would also strongly urge them to find a guide or mentor who can serve as a neutral point of reference, which is badly needed when you are on your own. Finally, the only other thing they need is belief, without which all else would fail.
Entrepreneurship education cannot be taught or learned by rote. It needs some level of experiential involvement. Ultimately, it is about playing the game of life. This is something every sportsman can easily identify with.
Interestingly, I have found that great networkers tend to have a strong affinity to sports or can even come from sporting backgrounds. The transition for them is that much simpler. They already come with the competitive mindset and an urge to succeed. They just need to change their modus operandi. The game changes but victory is just a sweep.
Dr. VIJAY ESWARAN is chairman and CEO of
a multinational conglomerate headquartered
in Hong Kong. He also is a veteran networker,
popular speaker, and author of In the Sphere
of Silence, a bestselling book outlining
his business philosophy.