In today’s society, many young entrepreneurs are driven more by the idea of attaining a certain class and status as a CEO, rather than the pursuit of making money. They are often inspired by the celebrity lifestyles of successful entrepreneurs, and they want to solve a problem in society just to get recognition. However, this kind of mentality has caused many young entrepreneurs to become broke or abandon their startups to pursue other avenues.
As the owner of a PR company with access to several media outlets, I have observed the frequency of young people who want to feature their stories of starting a business without necessarily raising funds or achieving any real success in business. The hype over proper PR has successfully eroded the sacrifices that young entrepreneurs need to make to ensure their businesses become successful and sustainable. Instead of focusing on their businesses, many young people are more interested in carefully curated headlines and being seen on conference posters as speakers.
Recently, I watched a young Ghanaian entrepreneur being celebrated and ridiculed all over the continent on social media for developing a product that was not even ready for the local market. The product was being touted as a competitor to a global super brand. Successful global entrepreneurs such as Elisabeth Holmes and Martin Shkreli are good examples of individuals who attained global recognition behind the names of companies that did not exist for the purposes they were being reported for. Today, they are facing multiple charges in court and their companies have stalled.
Business is a journey that we must all learn from, and the catalyst for making it a success is not the number of media features we have across the world, but the work and sacrifice we put behind our brands to make them trustworthy for investment. It burdens my heart that a 14-year-old Ghanaian who employs 15 people does not enjoy the same hype as others who have no real achievements.
As entrepreneurs, we should focus on being money and impact makers, rather than being rated by a website as having a million-dollar business but still being a driver’s best friend on public transportation. It’s important to remember that if we rush, we could crush.
However, that does not mean that hype or PR should be ignored. It is essential to create awareness of your business and brand to attract the right investors and customers. But entrepreneurs should not get carried away by the hype and neglect the hard work that comes with building a successful business.
To achieve real success in entrepreneurship, it is important to focus on providing value, building trust, and solving real problems. These are the things that truly matter in entrepreneurship, not just hype or celebrity status.
article written by Prince Akpah