By Moses Baguma
All people associate entrepreneurship with risk and it’s true that the two are inseparable. Any reasonable entrepreneur or one who harbours aspirations of becoming one shouldn’t avoid risk for if they completely avoid risk, they stand no chances of meeting their fortune.
They should, instead, seek to manage risk. However, any reasonable entrepreneur — amateur or experienced — should appreciate that risk isn’t limited to losing money. Risk has something or a lot to do with losing reputation too.
When one ventures into something, they put both their money and reputation at stake. Entrepreneurship is a very tempting thing. Sometimes, if not most of the times, most monies lie in being unethical or immoral — selling counterfeit products, conning, selling substandard goods etc.
Although some immoralities are avoidable in business, some dynamics are always outside an entrepreneur’s control and it takes an intelligent client to understand an entrepreneur in some unique circumstances. For instance; the cost of services and or products in a start up might not match with the quality — the cost might be higher than the quality of services and or products. It therefore takes a reasonable client to appreciate the prevailing circumstances in most start ups — pressing need for capacity building and low financial capital.
An entrepreneur can appear immoral even when he doesn’t intend to be. But, it’s good that, in entrepreneurship, there’s always an acceptable level of immorality. Clients know it. They can’t define it but they always know when to understand an entrepreneur and when not to.
For instance; when there’s a profound demand of a commodity on market, clients will understand if prices increase — most of them understand the demand and supply relationship. But, clients can also tell when overcharging or extortion occurs and that’s when they might choose to attack or defame a company’s or individual’s brand. Not all clients make legitimate complaints, however.
Reputation is priceless, so much depends on it and therefore, it should always be guarded with one’s life — just like how Robert Greene advised with his 5th Law of Power. Money lost can always be regained, not reputation. Nevertheless, any entrepreneur of shrewdness shouldn’t seek to avoid risking their reputation. Rather, they should seek to remain within a tolerable or acceptable range of immorality.