“Be Your Own Boss” – What the Motivational Speakers won’t tell you
I have had the privilege of being an entrepreneur for about a decade, I advocate it, I eat and sleep it, I love the pains, the gains and the uncertainties that come with it. I particularly enjoy the process of turning nothing into something. The attendant challenges give me the adrenaline rush compared to that of a junkie. I grew with an entrepreneur father, most of my childhood memories were either that of my elder brother and I at our father’s telecoms company (on Broad Street, Lagos. Nigeria’s Wall Street) or at my mother’s foodstuff shop in Oyingbo Market.
I learned so much from my father that I could write a whole book on his business successes and failures. How a man with his level of education (Standard 6 of those days, equivalent of today’s Secondary School Certificate) and a colonial-trained technician grew to own his own telecoms company, TCC Nig Ltd, one of the few indigenous Telcos and for decades serviced large corporations like UBA, Chevron, First Bank etc, to how the evolution and generational change in the Nigerian business environment in the 90s challenged his business.
But truth be told Entrepreneurship is War. Only a fool goes to war unprepared.
But truth be told Entrepreneurship is War. Only a fool goes to war unprepared. At every opportunity I have, I encourage people to become entrepreneurs, most especially young men and women with the right passion and zeal required to succeed. I advise them to be ready to stay hungry (just like Steve Job), to be prepared to give up their lifestyle for the future of their businesses. I tell practical stories of how I started well, failed, started all over again, how I won some, lost some and still trying. I tell real life stories of how I went from a very promising partnership business with a three wing office to an ordinary phone repairer with just a table and chair. And how I made my first million fixing phones. How from being an ordinary phone repairer, I trained in the UK as a telecoms engineer and later became a project manager and a business consultant.
It is rather unfortunate that the harsh economic condition and joblessness has driven so many young men with the gift eloquence to the overnight trade of “motivational speaking”. Young men and women with no practical trade or experience but have read motivational books of practical businessmen and great industry heavyweights now go about spreading the gospel of “Be Your Own Boss” without giving the would-be entrepreneurs the right information.
Entrepreneurship is a good thing, but in reality, not all of us can be entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurship is a good thing, but in reality, not all of us can be entrepreneurs. Just like war, you need to be determined to fight, and ready to die. Even though it is a good thing to fight for one’s nation or whatever cause you believe in but it is suicidal to go to the war front without arms. Same for business, you need to arm yourself before you take the leap. Entrepreneurship is all about taking risks but calculated risks. Business is a warfare, only the strong survive.
What is your Motivation? Are you thinking of resigning your job because you don’t want to say “yes sir” to anyone anymore?. Trust me you have the wrong reason, as an entrepreneur, you will continue to say “yes sir” to your clients. Vision is key, your Passion and Determination will see you through but the Right Information will guide you.
I have heard so many young entrepreneurs complain about the lack of capital and I say money comes last on the list of things you need to start a business. The first is right information about the business and industry you intend to go into. Second is the right skills, most young people just get excited about an idea and because they have seen someone do it and succeeded. You need to take out time to learn about the pain behind the success, arm yourself with the right information and the skill set then you can start thinking about Money.
Just like in any warfare, before you go on to the battlefront, you need to ask yourself a very honest question: Are you Ready to take the Risk? If YES then take the Plunge and pretty soon you will be Happy you did!