Curiosity is the key to successful entrepreneurship.

In these days of widespread job losses, continuous shrinking of house-holds purchasing power-due to persistent inflationary trends, drastic reduction in demand of goods and services etc., people are being forced into seeking for alternate sources of income. Even those who never saw themselves as Entrepreneurs; those who would rather stay in their comfort zone, who are too timid to take on a risk are some-what singing the self-realization chorus.

If you ask me I believe it’s the way to go. In the better performing economies of the world, where we often see huge figures and statistics of new jobs created, being announced by their government, a larger percentage of these jobs are created by the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises.

The quest for self-realization can’t be over-emphasized. Most of those who shaped our world in the past and those influencing it presently, are people who were curious and visionary; great minds who worked hard at solving a problem common to man and in the process found some fulfillment for themselves.

A young woman came up with a question for her uncle the other day and said, “Uncle, I’m still trying to decide whether or not I’m an entrepreneur?”

“Are you curious by nature?” the Uncle asked.

“How do you mean?” she asked, puzzled.

“An entrepreneur is someone who is hyper-curious, and manages to channel that curiosity towards a singular purpose. If you’re a person who likes things the way they are, and you don’t like change, you’re never likely to be a successful entrepreneur.”

I remember when an older relative came up with the idea of poultry / fish farming. The idea was beautiful from the business angle of things. Eggs are often in high demand; they are consumed daily and used in preparation of various edibles and processed products. But really, I was more curious about how the process of conception and bringing forth this precious brown object is being replicated by these birds every day, without mating or being injected with anything.

I gladly accepted the offer, has I was fresh out of school and unsure of what to do with my time. I grabbed the opportunity and learnt all there was to learn.

What are you tracking right now? What are you curious about? Are you curious about how Apps work? Things like ‘WhatsApp’? “Can I build my own App?”

The “Kwese App” was launched several months ago by the firm of one of Africa’s leading light- Strive Masiyiwa- and it’s amazing. Every week new channels are added to it. You can watch an African football game using the App, once you have a stable Wi-Fi connection. You can download the Kwese App in a matter of minutes.

# What are you tracking right now?

Few years ago, a renowned businessman went to a toy shop in the UK and bought one of the first “drones” and spent days flying it in his back yard. This was years before Amazon and Google announced their plans to use drones to deliver goods and medicines to remote areas.

“What are you seeing?” his wife asked him, as she watched a “middle age” man trying to fly a toy helicopter in the backyard.

“One day this will not just be used in warfare,” he told his wife. “These unmanned vehicles, will deliver everything, including medicines to remote villages. Robots are here, and it’s going to be absolutely massive!”

If you’re not reading about new inventions, new opportunities in the Agro-business, new opportunities thrown up by the advent of social media, opportunities in sports and entertainment, robots, and the technologies emerging around them, then you are probably not an entrepreneur. They will affect everything, and every industry.

# What are you tracking right now?

One of the early investors in Tesla was having a chat with a friend: “Have you ever seen a Tesla?” he quizzed. He was a tech entrepreneur, and investor in Silicon Valley.

“I have one of the first Teslas,” he smiled. “Next time you’re in Silicon Valley, let’s go for a drive.”

The friend got all the more curious!

“A Tesla! You have one of the first?!”

“I invested in it when it was still just an idea. We have made so much money, I’m embarrassed.”

What other ideas like Tesla are you looking at right now?

Things move so quickly now, it’s such a dynamic and ever changing world. With the spate of globalization, we are witnessing and never-before-imagined advancement in technology, any of these new ideas will hit the rest of the world and Africa too within months after launch, and definitely will attract demand, because these new products and services creates utility in ways man has never known.

Now, you might not yet afford to go all the way to Silicon Valley, but on your smartphone, you have all the access you need. Use it, before you are left behind by the ideas that are changing the world.

# Be curious!