Take advantage of your business potentials

By virtue of this meeting, I believe my audience is a crop of emerging and aspiring entrepreneurs who are ready to take their world by storm. So, I don’t see myself talking to some young ladies and gentlemen (as is the case), but to young entrepreneurs who will grow up to be business giants in the years to come. So, you will remember, but you may not recognize this little giant standing in front of you, because it would have grown a lot too!

Let’s thank God for the ideas. But, if ideas equaled entrepreneurship, you all would have been great entrepreneurs, great inventors, great businessmen and women. Entrepreneurship is a topic that goes beyond starting a business and remaining a business owner. It’s not about blowing your trumpet, giving yourself self-centered titles: CEO, COO, OM, OPC, EFCC, because you have become a company. Not!

The bitter truth is that, as profitable as entrepreneurship may seem, your company is not for everyone. An older friend once told me in an interview I had with him, “You need the right mindset and skill set. Don’t try (entrepreneurship) until you understand these two!”

I also want to give a note of caution. Entrepreneurship is not a plan B. It is not an alternative for those who could not get administrative jobs. Thank God for the appetizing salaries; But entrepreneurship is not a choice you make because you couldn’t get a job at Shell or MTN! A prospective student, who makes a federally owned Nigerian university his second choice of institution when filling out the forms, has already decided his fate!

Indeed, the growing number of unemployed graduates has forced many to look inward. Ironically, this situation has its positive aspects. In those days (as we were told), as a graduate, you have the assurance that a good job awaits you. But today, the opposite is true! Even with your M.Sc or MBA, you may need to back it up with a professional certificate and several years of practical experience.

I don’t care how many MTN, Shell, or Chevron have rejected your job application; all you need is for God to smile at your seemingly small business. I see why the giants emerge from this encounter. You will go out and raid your world!

So what is entrepreneurship? Who is an entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur is truly a unique individual. Entrepreneurs find it difficult or impossible to work for someone else, even though they do work for their clients. They are willing to risk it all for the passion and love to see their company grow … and sometimes they live with various failures.

An entrepreneur is one who has the ability to dream big. The entrepreneur has the qualities of a leader. A leader is one who knows what he wants. He is the one who created unique ideas, opportunities and conceptions. You are willing to take risks.

The following people have something to say about entrepreneurship:

Alan Sugar: “An entrepreneur, if there is such a thing, is a born schemer and a thinker of things.”

Hunt Greene: “Everything is always impossible before it works. That’s what entrepreneurs are all about: doing what people have told them is impossible.”

Michael Smurfit: “The businessman is like an eagle … he flies alone, he flies alone and he hunts alone.”

Tom Peters: “Entrepreneurship is an unreasonable conviction based on inadequate evidence.”

Nigeria’s business landscape is made up of entrepreneurs who, despite their humble origins, weathered the storm and are still steadfast in their activities.

Here is a list of some of them:

1. Mike Adenuga (Globacom)

2. Femi Otedola (Zenon Oil)

3. Aliko Dangote (Dangote Group)

4. Jimoh Ibrahim (Nicon Insurance)

5. Frank Nneji (ABC Transportation)

6. Tony Momoh (TV Channels)

7. Tony Ezena (Orange Drugs)

8. Samuel Adedoyin (Doyin Group)

9. Alex Ibru (Guardian newspaper)

10. Folu Ayeni (Tempters)

11. Dele Momodu (Ovation Magazine)

12. Otunba Gadaffi (DMT mobile toilet)

Let’s take a look at some of the most basic factors that have helped them get this far.

I. You need ideas: Ideas are your connection to the world of business exploitation, and this can be obtained through inspiration. Ideas that soar to the heights have been the harbinger of the most successful companies around the world. Ideas are like good wine, they don’t need bushes. All entrepreneurial ventures start from ideas. Therefore, you need to be constantly creative, innovative, and resourceful. Never underestimate the value of an idea. Any positive idea has the potential for success if managed correctly.

II. You can start small, but always think big! As a start-up, you may not always have sufficient funds to start large. More than 60% of startups inside and outside Nigeria generally face the challenge of startup and operating capital. Start with what you have. Starting small does not in any way mean that you will remain small. You are allowed to start small, but understand that you need to think big; “because what he thinks in his heart, so is he.” You need to paint a picture of your dream business in your imagination. You need to “act” as if you are running a large company. This kind of sentiment should be reflected in everything you do: your communication, your style of dress, your business environment, etc. Starting small is not a crime, thinking and staying small is. God’s Word exhorts us not to despise our little beginnings. He knows there will always be small beginnings! For many of us, it is time to learn and become strong enough to meet the challenges associated with large companies.

III. Be Creative and Innovative – Your business cannot survive without creative thinking. It amuses me how some business owners run their businesses as if they were the only company offering one type of product or service. You cannot afford to be lazy in your approach or business strategy. Constantly create an activity to make your business, products and services the news worth thinking or talking about. If there are 1001 trendy outfits in an area, aim to become the best!

Everett Rogers said, “Invention is the process by which a new idea is discovered or created. Rather, innovation occurs when that new idea is adopted.” If you use yesterday’s tactics and strategies to manage today’s complex business challenges, tomorrow will stop working. Arthur Koestler also postulated that “the main mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.”

You need creative approaches to managing current business trends and anticipating future ones. Ask yourself strategic questions. “What can I do to improve my existing offers?” Tom Peters puts it this way: “Ask silly questions. ‘How come all the commands on the computer come from the keyboards?’ Someone asked that first, hence the mouse. “

You have a creative mind, use it! You can’t read about creativity; you have to start doing what all creative action requires: taking the first step into the unknown.

Have a new (creative) idea? To take action. Turn it into implementation and inspiration into execution. “The way to start is to stop talking and start doing” (Walt Disney). As Ben Franklin once said, “better done than well said.”

IV. Look for relevant knowledge in your area of ‚Äč‚Äčexpertise and interest. Knowledge, they say, is power. The Word of God says: “Man is entrusted according to his wisdom … the wisdom of man makes his face shine.” Don’t think about decorating your home, store, or office with your bachelor’s degree; instead, decorate your mind with current innovative strategies, techniques and trends that will help grow your business or career. Look for new pricing and sales techniques. The truth is, you can’t be better, bigger, and more successful than you have in mind. Your actions and inaction can be attributed to your power of knowledge; And your power of knowledge determines your thoughts! Remember: “Because as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Creativity and innovation are 90% inside and 10% outside.

V. You need a defense against discouragement. As a start-up or budding business owner, you must have the mindset that success is not easy; not even in business. Usually in the beginning, we are full of ideas to start a business; Enthusiasm is high and we dedicate time and energy to the success of the new company. At this level of your business, you never really knew that, on the other hand, business management means dealing with stress, challenges, disappointments, failures, and outright rejections!

In a research study of two hundred and forty-three entrepreneurs in Lagos, Nigeria; Among the problems faced by employers, unreliable employees were the most critical. The weak economy, electricity shortages and unsafe location were also mentioned as obstacles preventing entrepreneurs from achieving their goals.

At every point in your business growth, you must guard against discouragement; You need to trust God to help you and believe in yourself to stay strong until you overcome fear. As a small business person, I have been tempted on several occasions to apply for a paid job elsewhere. In fact, I have submitted applications for some. Owning and managing a business is not a simple matter. You should be aware of this from the beginning. Business is life, don’t let it die in your hands!

Be concentrated. Be persistent. Be consistent. Be strong. In fact, it really can become a business giant! See you at the top!