Opening acts and rock stars

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The opening act has the toughest job in town.

The audience is not here to listen to you.

They are restless.

Perhaps you will get a few seconds to earn their attention, but not much.

Your gimmicks will fall flat and you might even get booed off stage.

The rock star, on the other hand, has the crowd chanting for him before he shows up.

He starts a song and people applaud. They sing along. They finish his lyrics for him.

Most entrepreneurs are opening acts.

The ad or blog post or tweet is a desperate attempt at attention, at keeping people from switching it off or booing.

The posture of the entrepreneur who is an opening act is unstable and a little sad.

Some entrepreneur are rock stars.

Luvuyo Rani, co-founder of Silulo Ulutho Technologies, was narrating at a recent entrepreneurship event, how when we was an opening act entrepreneur he almost got his car repossessed, but now that he is a rock star entrepreneur, he gets invited to travel to different places to share his story.

How do you move from being an opening act to a rock star?

How would that happen?

I would argue that the two keys to becoming a rock star entrepreneur are:

  1. Settle for a tiny audience that views you as a star, not an opening act. Then grow that audience [Luvuyo started selling computers to a small community where he comes from, selling them from the boot of his car, now he has over 40 internet cafes spread over 3 provinces, and employs over 100 people];
  2. Be really good at what you do [he perfect his value proposition]; and
  3. Be patient. It doesn’t happen overnight, actually overnight success takes about 10 years to happen, so pace yourself, you are going to be doing this for a long time. [It took Luvuyo and his partners almost 15 years to grow the business from the boot of his almost repossessed car to over 40 stores]

PS: By rockstar entrepreneur [in this context], I don’t mean a celebrity, media hungry, we-want-to-take-a-selfie-with-you kinda entrepreneur, I mean a seasoned and sober entrepreneur.

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