To buy a new phone, to fix the screen or to pay salaries? Those are the questions that ethical entrepreneurs have to ask themselves when running a business in an African country. Especially those who operate in environments that have normalized corruption. This not only means that they are up against unfair competition but also have to sacrifice a lot when waiting to tire down government officials or acquire all licenses that cost them an arm and a leg. But I admire such individuals because those are signs of the sacrifice they endure to eventually build a successful business. And the strength of character to stick to what is right no matter what.
They are forced to prioritize things that will keep the business going like salaries for staff and rent for the office, plus home expenses like school fees, diapers and rent that cannot wait . They end up foregoing a lot of personal comforts to give their all to their businesses. Its hard to understand this phenomenon if you have not been through it. When you are an ethical entrepreneur you learn to hyper prioritize what is important. You learn what maximization of an asset to beyond its life’s capacity means. Cars, laptops, phones, moving into unfinished houses, cramming an office. Entrepreneurship opens your eyes to possibilities that you would usually frown upon but it leaves you little wiggle room to splurge on luxuries. It also helps you philosophize a lot and learn what humility is while valuing what is important in life. Even those who would waste their employers money when employed are forced to begin maximizing every cent to survive. It comes with the territory. So next time you see an entrepreneur with a broken screen or dent on their car unrepaired. Don’t judge. Just understand where they are coming from.