Entrepreneurship is not for the faint-hearted. For those brave enough to venture into this world, there are various lessons that can help you avoid mistakes and this week, we find out 10 key lessons we learnt from waste management mogul Joseph Siaw Agaypong on Forbes Africa’s My Worst Day with Peace Hyde.
- Do not be a victim of your personal circumstances. Agyapong was born into poverty with no prospects for education and is today one of the richest men in Ghana.
- Look for opportunities around you. As an entrepreneur, there are so many problems that need solutions, find the solutions and you will be able to succeed in business.
- When one door closes, find a window. Agyapong sold various products to consumers during different seasons to make sure he was always making money all year round.
- There is no substitute for hard work. From working on a farm to selling exercise books on the streets of Accra, Agyapong believes it is the consistent dedication to hard work that has made him the man he is today.
- Be innovative in finding money for your startup. When Agaypong realised he needed money for his startup, he told the bank he was going into a different business which was less risky in order to receive the funds to invest in his startup.
- You will fail as an entrepreneur. Deal with it. At the height of his success, Agyapong was slapped with a fine from the world bank which threatened the integrity of his business. Instead of giving up, he learnt from his errors and improved his business model so that he became an example referenced by the world bank.
- Always prioritise. Agyapong continued to live in a small house with his wife and children and reinvested his money into his business until he made enough profit to move into a bigger house.
- Choose an industry that can build generational wealth. According to Agyapong, waste is something that will always be an issue which means there will always be a business in it.
- Always invest in human capital. Agaypong has created over 200,000 jobs for people all over Ghana and in the process created value for the Ghanaian economy.
- Believe in yourself. Agyapong always had faith that he would rise above his impoverished background to become a success story and that belief never left him throughout his journey.