Entrepreneurship vs. Fear and Doubts

Many are the times we think about venturing into a business but doubts and fear engulf us, asking ourselves questions like, am I going to succeed? what if I fail? So many questions linger in our heads. When I look back at my entrepreneurial journey, I have discovered and learnt that entrepreneurship is about taking risks that is why entrepreneurs are referred to as risk takers.

Despite all the noise, an entrepreneur should be able to overcome all fears and make the bold decision to start a business. Of course, there are a number of reasons why people venture into businesses, regardless of whether one is driven by either push or pull factors, you will agree with me that the decision to start something is a big step in the right direction and it involves a lot of thinking.  Others even quit their jobs or other opportunities for entrepreneurship.

However, it is a bit hard, but not at all impossible, to get oneself going in entrepreneurship having grown up in an environment where all we could hear was that in order to achieve good life, one has to go to school and get employed.

This makes it even difficult for someone to do away with what is regarded as conventional thinking. The bold steps one takes to start a business by overcoming all these fears should be one of the greatest tools to ride on and have confidence as young African entrepreneurs that if we were able to overcome our fears, certainly we are going to overcome all the challenges that come with entrepreneurship. Trust me, a lot of people with brilliant ideas have failed to make it simply because of fear and doubts.

Doing away with Immediacy (The Microwave Mentality)

As we stand now, we cannot run away from the fact that we live in an era when everything is running at a lightning speed and as African entrepreneurs, we are not exceptional to picking up a microwave mentality in which all we believe is that everything we are doing including business should succeed instantly or without delay.

Much as others have achieved what could be described as overnight success, in a normal circumstance, building a successful and sustainable business venture is a step-by-step process. It requires patience and determination, remember “Rome was not built in a day”.

Failure to understand and manage the Microwave Mentality is one of the factors that has made many Young African entrepreneurs fail to make progress in entrepreneurship. Successful entrepreneurs solve problems, both that of the customers and of the business. The get-rich-quickly mentality therefore becomes a stumbling block in that whenever an entrepreneur faces a problem along the way, instead of focusing on finding solutions to the problem, he tends to approach the problems negatively and attribute them to his failure. This is the more reason most Young African

Entrepreneurs jump from one business idea to the other within a short space of time.

As young entrepreneurs, problem solving should be viewed as part of the business.

As young entrepreneurs, problem solving should be viewed as part of the business. – Clara Chetama Mkandawire Click To Tweet

I will quickly highlight three points to help us stay the course and overcome the microwave mentality.

Realistic Ways of Overcoming Microwave Mentality


This is one key aspect in building a sustainable business venture. Since many people are looking for quick results, they choose to implement their business ideas without proper goals or plans on what exactly they want and how they intend to achieve it. One of the reasons why most business fail in their first 5 years is failure to have goals. Goals become our benchmarks to guide our daily activities towards a certain direction. They help us augment our efforts towards achieving them.

There is saying in the Bible that two people cannot walk together unless they agree. I like to relate it with goal setting in our business venture, more especially realistic goals. Goal setting is like making an agreement with your business and drawing the road map to your destination.

‘How can two people walk together unless they agreed?’ Amos3:3Click To Tweet

Goals provide direction and focus; they give a sense of personal satisfaction; they help maintain motivation more especially when we face problems; they help us prioritize relevant activities while providing realistic timeline for accomplishing our desired results. Goal setting significantly controls the microwave mentality by putting issues into perspective.

It is high time Young African Entrepreneurs realized and understood that success does not happen without a plan, whether in our business, personal life or in our work places. It is very important to know the direction for our business so that we strategize on how best to achieve our goals.

  1. FOCUS: 

The other important element in overcoming microwave mentality is staying the course. Much as setting goals is important, it is not an end in itself. I have realized that it is somehow easier to set goals for your business venture but staying focused is a big challenge. After setting goals, it is crucial that we remain faithful to them if we are to achieve the desired results. Realistic goals have realistic timeframe of accomplishment.

When we are focused, we are more likely to achieve our goals with greater efficiency which in turn motivates us to move to the next assignments. The knowledge that we are able to achieve our goals is in itself a huge source of motivation.

Besides, focus increases productivity, reduces stress and produces quality results. In order to avoid losing direction due to the desire to achieve our goals quickly (microwave mentality), as an entrepreneur, we need to be objective when setting our goals and formulating our strategies for achieving them.

Microwave mentality has forced others to engage in shady deals which they believe are quick ways to achieve their dreams. Some have even ended up making costly decisions that have eroded the integrity of their business venture. We must realize that if we stay focused, we will be able to overcome such mentality and build successful business ventures.


Most people in their quest to get fast results fail to persist in their business the moment they have come across challenges that shake their businesses. As I indicated earlier, entrepreneurs face a lot of challenges some of which would be frustrating. However, successful entrepreneurs do not lose focus even in the midst of challenges. They face the challenges head on, they don’t look back, they constantly review their strategies and see how best they can face the challenges and still more achieve the goals.

The quick results mentality has killed lot of beautiful dreams that could have been natured through persistence. Persistence is the backbone of an entrepreneur because it pushes them towards their goals regardless of the challenges they face along the way.

Every successful business venture has a story. If we are to put all the stories under the microscope you will discover that without persistence most of them would not be there. Persistence is what has kept me going in my entrepreneurial journey for the past 12 year and giving up is not an option.

As Young African Entrepreneurs, let us realize that this microwave mentality will not get us anywhere but rather frustrate us.

Jeff Bezos once said, “You can be grinding for 4 years with no results and the 5th year become the biggest thing on the planet.”

‘You can be grinding for 4 years with no results and the 5th year become the biggest thing on the planet’ Jeff BezosClick To Tweet

The power of not giving up is real!

Edited by: Jonas Zaithwa Chisi


Clara Chetama Mkandawire is a very dedicated and passionate woman, an entrepreneur who has a clear, logical mind with a practical approach and a drive to see things through to completion. Clara has more than 12 years of experience in managing and leading teams across multiple sectors as she has served different positions in reputable organisation before she founded her company where she is serving as Chief Executive Officer (Towers Investments). She is also a Managing partner for Echo Holdings.

To connect and know more about Clara, visit her Linked in profile.


Clara Chetama Mkandawire


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