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Entrepreneurship should be celebrated

It was a hot afternoon on September 12, 490 BC when Pheidippides fell down and died. He had just delivered some good news of victory in battle. The Greek army had defeated the Persians at the battle of Marathon. Pheidippides had ran 40 miles to deliver the message to the anxious citizens of Athens. A few days earlier, he had completed a 280-mile journey to and from Sparta, where he had been sent to seek help as the battle was getting tough for the Greeks. Unfortunately for the courier runner, he did not live to celebrate his formidable feat.

Last week in Rio de Janeiro, lightning Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt was all smiles as he was crowned the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year for the third time at a gala function.

We are now approaching business awards season. Organisations such as the Zimbabwe Institute of Management, Institute of Directors, Institute of Personnel Management and the Zimbabwe Chamber of Commerce, will be giving awards to outstanding business people. Winning entrepreneurs will be celebrated.

The business environment is quite tough at the moment, not only in Zimbabwe but in most countries in the world. The economic recession is being felt by companies big and small alike.

In this environment, few entrepreneurs would feel like they are winning. Unlike Pheidippides who performed a remarkable feat and never got to celebrate, we all need some recognition when we make some achievements. We should celebrate even the small wins.

Seeing entrepreneurs win in one way or another gives others some encouragement and motivation to do better in building their businesses. Look at how records are continuously being broken in sports. One athlete’s success acts like a stimulant, driving others to better their own achievements. In most sporting disciplines, a team that does not win any trophies will lose supporters.

Human beings thrive on recognition and positive reinforcement.

Without due recongniton from our peers, business becomes dull and boring. The journey to success becomes more interesting when we celebrate our achievements. Celebrating your small wins is important. Being recognised as a winner by others is even more special.

I am a member of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce, Harare branch, and sit on the executive committe. The chamber is the voice of business. Every year it recognises remarkable entrepreneurs. It is not unusual if a few business people win the awards presented by various other organisations. This is because the winning criteria may be similar. The other reason is that the majority of small and medium-sized business owners do not stand up to be nominated. This makes the selection pool small. The more people that get nominated, the more representative the awards become. Some entrepreneurs may not want the publicity but that publicity will be an excellent boost for your business.

The publicity associated with winning business awards will enhance your credibility, opening doors to more customers and growth of your business. This is something that your normal marketing and advertising cannot achieve for you. Awards are usually covered by the newspapers as well as television and radio.

You might think you don’t qualify to win an award. You are probably wrong. Winning entrepreneurs are no different from you and me. They are just people with ambition and are serious about building their businesses. They value good business practice, ethics and standards. Their businesses are professionally managed.
You can nominate the remarkable entrepreneurs you know for the forthcoming Harare Chamber of Commerce business awards. Visit the chamber’s website and subscribe to the daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on this year’ events. Remember, let’s celebrate entrepreneurship today and recognise the heroes in business.

small wins show that winning is possible
In this tough environment, winning is not just about high growth in revenue and profit. Survival is an achievement, so is keeping your employees and having good corporate governance. Innovation is an achievement. Don’t feel like your small achievement is unimportant.

Small wins show that winning is possible.

  •  Phillip Chichoni is a strategic business planning consultant who works with entrepreneurs and growing businesses. You may contact him by email on chichonip@smebusinesslink.com, or visit http://smebusinesslink.com

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