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PART 2: 30 Habits of Wantrepreneurs

Previously I talked about the wantrepreneur, wannabepreneur or what I slyly refer to as the corporate entrepreneur: that person in business that looks the part of the entrepreneur and seems to have all the trappings that the conventional entrepreneur is deemed to have but beneath the surface is struggling with the reality of the entrepreneurial calling, no fault of their own.

We last looked at 5 of the 30 habits wantrepreneurs exhibit. Today we look at the next 5 habits.

The 30 Differences Between Wannabepreneurs and Entrepreneurs :



Everyone has an idea. Everyone. Want to hear the most awesome ideas on the planet? Visit a pub. After hours. When people are dead drunk. You will hear the greatest ideas EVER from people who's consciousness has been raised to a level that only your favourite lager imbibed in the right quantities can inspire.

Sadly, who is it that said that the graveyard is the richest field of resources - all expired? See, what sets apart a true entrepreneur from the man or woman who THINKS they are one is simple : ACTION. A true entrepreneur knows that action is the key to bringing their idea to life. Nothing else.

Wannabepreneurs are afraid of action because they believe action will expose them for who they are which brings me to habit no. 7.


Take Ben, who has been studying all his life and acing it along the way. Always top of the class. Always ahead. Ben gets out into the real World and voila! he realises the World does not really care for knowledge that much. Knowledge is what prepares you for employment, not necessarily for creating something new and exciting. Knowledge prepares you for life as best as it can, it does NOT give you a life.

So Ben struggles in this new environment, where he is not the top billed act anymore. And psychologically he only has one thing to lean on: his knowledge. If he gets a good job, yipeee! If he doesn't, he may have to jump onto the current trend: entrepreneurship. But there is no class on Steve Jobs' genius or Richard Branson's runaway creativity, unless of course on a theoretic level.

Wantrepreneurs know how to develop a pitch deck, they know the family tree of the Uber founders, can lip sync a trove of TedX Talks and understand the history of Apple to the T. They know the story, they can tell it well - BUT they lack the high income skill to move from inspiration to ideation to action to product to customer to money.


When she was employed, Lucy had everything set out for her: tasks, targets, work times, training schedules, customer contacts, job description and roles. Lucy had a fixed routine which if she got good at day by day, would lead her to a pay raise, annual bonus and if the stars were well aligned - a promotion!

This ferris wheel of corporate structure insulated her from the realities of entrepreneurship which quite often dictate that one learns on the job as MD, accountant, HR, marketer, sales, PR simultaneously at once. No one steps out to teach or train you as an entrepreneur.

You have to proactively be responsible for your own growth AS you grow your business.

If Lucy steps out into the business World with the ferris wheel, fixed-mindset attitude, one where an institution, group or boss will support her success, she will be setting herself up for top-shelf wantrepreneur failure!


Do you see all those people posting across social media asking for friends, family, church and government to support their businesses? Holding business baby-showers for a new start up? Crying out in anguish that no one believes in them? Frustrated that out of their 4,786 Facebook followers and over 10.8k Intagram followers, only 2 subscribe to their You Tube channel? You know them right? I bet you do, I pray you are not one of them. I am on my knees praying you aren't.

No prizes for guessing who these lot are: wannabepreneurs. They will hide behind all manner of excuses as to why they are not 'blowing up'. The sad reality is that even a growth fund of $ 1,000,000 will not help them since business at the core was never about the money. It is about the character and mindset to FLIP the $ 1,000,000 to $ 10,000,000 and a whining individual does not have the spine to do that. That is the hard, unsolicited truth.

Entrepreneurs on the other hand FIND a way and where there is none, MAKE a way. They have long since burnt the boats so returning to the island of family, friends, church and government is not an option. They know those same people will support them AFTER they FIRST demonstrate that their business is worth supporting.


Wannabepreneurs largely pick from an academic environment where scarcity is touted and one has to be the BEST, TOP, GREATEST, BIGGEST. They know nothing else. They struggle to understand the concept of abundance - like really struggle.

An entrepreneur on the other hand, is not overly concerned about what the next guy is doing. They know that as along as the World is spinning and people are breathing there will always be an abundance of problems that need solving. They also know that it is skills (easily acquired by anyone dedicated enough) that carry the day, not superior academic knowledge.

The BIGGEST advantage an entrepreneur may have over many, though is that they know you CANNOT outwork them in their field of calling.

So, whereas the wantrepreneur looks at competition as a form of getting ahead, the entrepreneur knows that collaboration is the real deal.

With 20 more habits YET to go in the articles to follow can things get any more less awkward ??

Have a clear-minded day, now!

The author, Jan Okonji is an entrepreneur, speaker, coach, and Founder of the Pan-African accelerator BGS – Business Growth Solutions.

Jan is passionate about helping employees transition safely into entrepreneurship whilst turning their great ideas into profitable businesses and has helped entrepreneurs collectively grow their revenue to over $ 10 Million in the course of running BGS.

Get in touch with him and book a personal session HERE


Sep 21, 2020

Enyewe, experience is the best teacher. Tis so real this true story!


Simon Kilonzo
Sep 17, 2020

Great insights Jan.

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