It is very easy to believe most entrepreneurs practice witchcraft. Most are ordinary people who tend to generate money on anything they touch. They develop great networks that support their business dream. It is the strange habits that are connected to values of generating money we conclude their business successes are anchored on witchcraft.
There is something many entrepreneurs practice every day- maintaining a positive mind. These entrepreneurs convert negative energy into positive energy. They do this very easily- making daily pronouncements that they convert into actionable activities. We call this affirmation, or affirmare in Latin (simply meaning to make steady or to strengthen).
Even the LORD God made affirmations in bringing the world into existence, ‘Let there be light,’ and light came into existence. It is ‘thought-speech-action’ kind of declaration or affirmation. The open declaration reinforces and brings into existence one’s thoughts. The book of Proverbs provides us with a very profound affirmative statement, ‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof,’ (Prov. 18.21).
Affirmation is a very simple thing to do yet many people struggle because, first, not many of us believe it works (even though there has been incredible scientific proof that affirmations raise the level of feel-good hormones and push our brains to form new clusters of “positive thought”). Second, our cultural norms and upbringing generally affect how we accept certain situations. We grow up with too many ‘don’ts’ and ‘impossibility mindsets’.
The good news is that there are many people in the world who have succeeded tremendously in enterprise on the back of affirmations. I have read a couple of Richard Branson’s books and they provide some interesting revelations about the power of affirmation. The majority of the 1000 plus entrepreneurs I interviewed in Zambia, South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe do not understand the basis of their success in business except declaring, ‘It is God.’ Nigerians, who have had tremendous influence in many societies for their seeming arrogance, confidence and self-belief, are admired for one value: affirmations. Nigerians love declaring things into existence; it is part of their daily language.
Entrepreneurship is, in part, about daily affirmations. Let us consider its broader definition, ‘capacity and willingness to develop, organize and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make a profit.’ You cannot launch in the ‘abyss’ without making daily and intentional declarations about succeeding. For the purposes of this definition, I will focus on the following three elements around which an entrepreneur should make affirmations:
DREAMS: The Books of Habakkuk gives guidance to the Prophet about how to ensure the vision became a reality; or came into existence, ‘Then the LORD replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.’
This is an affirmation. There is hardly any business that has succeeded without the founder first incubating the thought in the mind. After conceiving it, affirmed it daily. Entrepreneurs do well by writing what they envision on a piece of paper. Some entrepreneurs I know do print their dreams, laminate them and stick them in their bedrooms or offices. They read them aloud daily, ‘This business will be the most sought after by 2025; I see the best professionals from all over the world working for this company’. Martin Luther Jr. simply affirmed his dream and the world began to move into action. Someone writes, ‘When we verbally affirm our dreams and ambitions, we are instantly empowered with a deep sense of reassurance that our wishful words will become reality.’
TRUTHS: Entrepreneurship is anchored on your daily affirmation of certain truths that have historically and practically been deemed reliable. For example, you reap what you sow means what you work for is what you get. We grew up believing that hard work produces wealth. When you invest, you get a return. The moment you invest more, you get a bigger return. When you position your business on the back of integrity, you sustain it.
These are business practices anchored on truths that support a business. My first book, ‘Business Values for Our Time’ focuses on what I believe are truths or values that, if applied, your business will be successful. An entrepreneur wakes up daily affirming truths in his life, ‘I am a time keeper; I will network profitably; I will serve my clients truthfully and with integrity; my business is about treating customers well; I will save and invest money from profits I make; I will treat and pay my employees well; I will timely pay back debts and honour my obligations.’
HABITS: Based on truths highlighted above, we can also engineer a business culture, mentality and right attitude by affirming right personal and business habits daily. Entrepreneurs all over the world have learned how to master good habits involving right sleep, healthy eating, body exercises, talking positively about others and mental alertness. They affirm these habits daily by constantly reminding themselves how they will manage each day. Try it!
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