CAPE TOWN - The dominating narrative in the South African entrepreneurship eco-system is that becoming an entrepreneur is the most glamorous thing you will ever do.
According to the new book by Nic Harry, this is far from the truth.
In his new book, Do.Fail.Learn.Repeat.: (The Truth Behind Building Businesses), he honestly shares his personal experience of starting and running businesses. He has spent the last 15 years of his life building businesses, watching other people build businesses, working in business and learning about the latest trends and tools that influence businesses.
He has written this book so that he does not forget the lessons learnt running his businesses. More importantly, he wrote the book so other entrepreneurs suffer less because he suffered and learnt lessons.
The book documents Nic's life from a very tender age until now. Throughout this cycle he shares important lessons for entrepreneurs at different stages of the business.
In the book he details a story of how he was betrayed by one of his partners. This moment in his life captures the essence of the message in the book.
This moment in his business life almost killed Nic as an entrepreneur. Instead of allowing this incident to bring him down he used this moment to learn and more importantly he never stopped.
He believes in doing. He believes that people should not just sit back and watch life go by. He encourages people to do something, no matter how small or big not later but now.
At the same time, the author does not fool people into thinking that starting or running a business will lead to happy ever after life. On many occasions, the author shares a story of his pain and failures which illustrates the reality of being an entrepreneur, failure.
Nic suggests that as an entrepreneur, you are absolutely going to fail if you have not failed yet. He says you cannot avoid failure. In dealing with failure he suggests that entrepreneurs should reframe failure and just view it as a way of figuring out ways that don't work.
The book suggests that failure should be viewed as an opportunity to learn.
Throughout the book, the reader gets the sense that major and minor failures serve as stepping stones to other endeavors. Past failures became reference points for how to act when faced with decisions and difficulties. Failure became an important instrument for success.
It's as if without failure, future success is inevitable.
Nic makes it clear that it’s important for entrepreneurs to never fall into the trap of doing one thing. He suggests that there's a belief that one has only one chance. He maintains that this belief is incorrect.
The book suggests that people should never allow failure to cripple them but they should repeat the process by learning from their mistakes and do it again.
This is evident in the number of businesses that Nic has started over time. He never allows failure of a project to discourage him from doing.
This book paints the reality of being an entrepreneur in South Africa.
In the book, Nic mentions Mxit and a couple of individuals who betrayed him and forced him out of his own company.
Although not mentioned in the book, it is interesting to note that Mxit is no longer in business today, as for Nic he is still doing it.
You can order a copy of the book on Nic's personal website: nicharalambous.com
- BUSINESS REPORT