Jan 20, 2015
Jack Welch, Robert Kiyosaki, Donald Trump, Ben Carson….. What do these men have in common? years of practical experience and proven outcomes.
Business is like parenting, you can read all the books in the world about being a parent but if you have not had a child or nurtured one, you wouldn’t know what it takes to be a parent.
Technology has changed everything, influenced our lives and our culture. In recent years, with the help of digital media, we have been exposed to all manners of information and unlimited access to free knowledge. With the growing rate of unemployed graduates desperate to create opportunities for a living, there has been a growth of all manners of professions, genuine and illegitimate.
Nigerians sure know how to make things fashionable, whatever we adopt we make it the trend. But most worrisome is the rise of “well-packaged” young men and women with no institutional knowledge or requisite experience carrying fanciful titles such as life coach, business consultant, strategist, public speaker, mentor, analyst, etc.
In Nigeria, the likes of Fela Durotoye, Leke Alder, Lanre Olusola and others have made a success of public speaking and consulting, drawing from their practical knowledge and years of experience. I don’t have a problem with young people aspiring to be like them but beyond the books, you need to get your hands dirty. Just like the Yoruba proverb says “I don’t doubt your ability to cloth me, but you have to show me your wardrobe”
The penchant of Nigerians for success has created the needed audience and market for the so-called consultants, coaches or whatever title. Agreed, we will at some point in our lives, in our businesses or careers need expert advice but when you do and someone calls himself by any of those titles, please do yourself a favour and ask Mr “whatever” the following questions:
What business have you run, for how many years?
How many times have you failed and what are your practical lessons?
What are your mistakes and visible successes?
If he or she is able to give you answers with verifiable evidence and case studies, then you have got yourself an expert. But if s/he quotes lines from the books, then I advise you go to Wuse market or Idumota and seek practical lessons or advice from the market woman.