Why self-awareness is key to entrepreneurial success

Busi Raphekwane, senior business mentor at The Hope Factory

Busi Raphekwane, senior business mentor at The Hope Factory

According to Badal and Streur (2012), self-awareness – a conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires – contributes extensively to the success of an entrepreneurial business.

The question on every entrepreneur’s mind is: how do I ensure that my business succeeds? One of the challenges that leads to business failure is the lack of information, knowledge and skills. This often leads to the mismanagement of the business, poor decision making and ultimately the inability to keep the business sustainable.

Entrepreneurs invest a lot in their businesses, making risky decisions to ensure they build successful businesses. Sometimes, more emphasis is placed on the technical and business management skills however, in my view, the lack of business knowledge and skill is just one of the factors that leads to SMME failures.

Another contributing element that is seldom discussed is the lack of self-knowledge and development. SMMEs are important and contribute to the growth of the economy; therefore, we need to continue talking about its challenges to finally get the success formula right. Having a good understanding of who you are is the first step in developing yourself as an entrepreneur.

Some of the reasons why it’s important for entrepreneurs to focus on self-awareness:

  • The business depends on you as the entrepreneur – a good understanding of your strengths and weaknesses will assist you leverage the key strengths and to align them to the business’ core competencies
  • Entrepreneurs who are self-aware have the ability to perceive others accurately and will help them to align their team’s strengths to the business
  • Successful entrepreneurs know how to harness their inner strength
  • Self-awareness enables you to develop an authentic personal brand
  • Decision making is improved through the better understanding of oneself

The business resembles the character of the entrepreneur therefore if you would like to succeed; the journey starts with you.

Busi Raphekwane is a senior business mentor at The Hope Factory.