Entrepreneurial freedom comes with great responsibility

One of the major reasons why entrepreneurs decide to start their own business is the freedom that this lifestyle offers. They want to make their own decisions and are prepared to suffer the consequences.

Entrepreneurs are by nature risk takers and they realise that it may culminate in serious or negative results, but they always see the positive and remain forever optimistic. If the decision was the right one, the benefits and results offer a great deal of personal satisfaction and a wonderful sense of achievement.

If entrepreneurs only realised the extent of the risks they take on a daily basis, they would probably not take these decisions, or be much more cautious or research the matter to a larger extent before making the call. But, a call needs to be made. Unlike in the corporate environment where a team, commissions and task groups of specialist disciplines debate a solution, running your own business means making decisions by yourself. It may be tough, but it is also great, exciting and satisfying. You make the decisions; the buck stops with you. No reporting. No writing of motivations. Complete freedom to do what your gut tells you.

Freedom also comes with responsibility. The decisions taken will influence the position or situation not only for yourself but also for others around you. You have to understand how your decisions will affect you, your business, your staff, your clients and also the community.

Entrepreneurs are free to make decisions but are they really free? Not really. You may not have to report to a line manager, but you have other bosses. The most important boss in the life of an entrepreneur is his or her customer. They dictate. If you do not satisfy their needs you have no business, so they are your boss. They call the shots. They have options. They have the money in their pockets and as they say, “the customer is king”. Other bosses include the government (think of tax revenue services or the laws by which you need to abide), your family responsibilities and those who work for you. Your suppliers are also bosses.

Yes, entrepreneurs are the masters of their own destiny. They make the decisions. They have the freedom to do what they want and when they want to do it. But it comes with a great level of responsibility and like all things in life, freedom comes at a price.

Business Partners is a specialist risk finance company for formal SMEs in South Africa, and selected African countries. The company actively supports entrepreneurial growth by providing financing, specialist sectoral knowledge and added-value services for viable small and medium businesses.