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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Monetise your talents to become a ‘serial entrepreneur’

Here’s why you should start another venture, or freelance your other talents

For many entrepreneurs, the key is to have multiple sources of income. Reuters
For many entrepreneurs, the key is to have multiple sources of income. Reuters

Having a knack for so many things, restless is a word I often describe myself as.

It’s a characteristic of many millennials, and it’s not strange anymore to meet someone who has a corporate job in addition to something brewing on the side as well.

But when it comes to entrepreneurship, they fall under two categories; those who own a single business and those managing a number of side businesses, and they call themselves serial entrepreneurs. For me, and most of the millennial entrepreneurs I know, we fall under the latter category – a friend of mine is a fashion designer, art-preneur, a fashion business consultant and she also has a corporate job.

If you have a business already, and also have a knack for other things, here’s why I think you should start another venture, or freelance your other talents.

More financial security

Your current business may be doing well, but with a few more on the back burner, you may end up doing fantastically well. If the economy hits one of your enterprises, you can hedge the bet and there’s a good chance you will end up benefitting from the second or the third of your ventures. The key is to have multiple sources of income so that you are always covered. In my case, not all my businesses will be performing exceptionally well all year round. For some of my ventures, summer is a slow season, and for others it’s the best time. But by having different streams of income, I make sure that I am never low on revenue.You will lead an exciting, ever-evolving life.

Some people do it for the money; I do it mainly for the thrill of it. After starting a couple of businesses, it excited me to start more. There’s always something new to learn, and there are always talents to uncover, people to add to your network, and hopefully positively impacting the lives of others. It keeps your mind fresh and evolves your skills.

You get better

The first time I started a business, I didn’t know even a tenth of the things that I know now. Every time I start a new venture, my skill-set improves and I get better and better at planning, managing and trouble shooting. I have become more confident, I know how to establish a business faster, market it in an effective way, how to keep my expenses low and my revenues higher. Once you have acquired these skills, why would you want to limit yourself to just one venture?

Though this all sounds great, you have to keep in mind a few things about serial entrepreneurship:

Time management

When starting a new business, you shouldn’t be neglecting the old one, and dedicate all of your time and effort to the new one. This is when proper time management comes in handy. Organise your time, effort, and staff so that your other projects don’t fail at the expense of the new one. This is a mistake I’ve seen many entrepreneurs make.

Take a break in between because it could get very overwhelming. If you can’t afford to switch off in the weekend, at least dedicate one day to unplug and do something fun, and unrelated. At one point in my life, I worked till I drifted to sleep and woke up only to start again. My whole life revolved around work, even during my summer breaks. My body later reminded me to slow down. It was only then that I understood the importance of time management and rest.

Factor in risk

Last but not the least, as dreamy as “serial entrepreneurship” sounds, remember that just like with anything in life, there’s always a risk involved. This shouldn’t discourage you, instead, it should help you prepare to deal with consequences and setbacks, and maintain a positive outlook.

If you are multi-talented then by all means don’t let them go to waste. With every business you start, you will broaden your perspective and horizon. So, go for it.

Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati writer, who manages her creative consultancy in Abu Dhabi