To wear the cap of entrepreneurship it is important to think like an entrepreneur. The truth is that successful entrepreneurs are human beings, people with flesh and blood like you and i; they are not special beings with special abilities.
Entrepreneurs are people who have recognised their gifts/talents, are comfortable with it and passionate enough to share it with the world. Entrepreneurship is an unselfish act of multiplying talents by sharing it as against the burying of talents in fear of failure or reprimand.
To embark on the entrepreneurial journey, it us important for the entrepreneur to master the act of actually thinking and acting like a successful entrepreneur with a positive outlook to problem solving. Every would-be or successful entrepreneur has certain things in common which could be summarized below:
A. The entrepreneur focus his energy on going after their Passion and not on cash. They unselfishly use their Passion to provide solution to problems and challenges in their community. The entrepreneur’s first concern is how can he best meet the needs of the people and continue to do so. If he becomes wealthy from it its all well and good.
B. Entrepreneurs build up on people relationship management. They understand that their talent or Passion alone will not bring their dreams to reality but that the people matter. Therefore they build and nature relationship with their customers, their suppliers, the employees in the business, the investors and partners as well as them competition. They maintain the relationship using the following skills- communication, negotiation, influencing, and persuading skills.
C. Entrepreneurs understand that been responsible to themselves and the people they have a relationship with is the price to pay for the freedom that entrepreneurship gives them. To be able to run with tour dreams and set your own pace requires a price. Responsibility can weigh us down which is why a lot would rather remain employees and allow someone else to shoulder the responsibility. However the thinking of the entrepreneur as regards responsibility is way different Drôme that of an employee.
D. Mistakes will build strength and help convert weaknesses to strength. I’m entrepreneurship mistakes are rung on the ladder of success, they cannot be avoided or neglected. In fact entrepreneurs expect and embrace mistakes because it provides for them one new way to learn and to understand how not to do things. A responsible entrepreneur accepts how mistakes and learn from it instead of blame shifting.
E. Commitment to actually starting and continuing on the entrepreneurial road to success makes the entrepreneur stand out. He is separated from the lot who fall by the way side for one reason or another. Commitment does not mean rigidity in pursuing dreams, quite the contrary. While the entrepreneur is committed he must also possess them grace of flexibility and the readiness to adjust his plan to meet with the demands placed on him by the people they maintain a relationship with.
Therefore thinking like an entrepreneur does not make entrepreneurship a smooth ride, it’s not a “bed of roses” from start to finish. Anyone going into entrepreneurship in other to have an easy life needs to have a rethink. Even employees in a company do not have an easy life. Entrepreneurship is like a pot on the cooker, it has to get hot first before the content of the pot can begin to cook and be ready for the them people ROM eat it.
Before tour take that giant leap of becoming an entrepreneur it is important to take time out to think about it first. Find out if your Passion is hot enough to push you through the hard times that will surely come.
Experience is all about sharing what you know and directly or indirectly giving back to the community. What other way to share experience that to share your knowledge during training events either as a facilitator or trainer. It also helps you strengthen what you already have. You do more research and more work just so that you have enough and the right knowledge to share with participants at the training you are facilitating.
On the 19th November 2013 I was at a lecture given by “The Alumni of the Hubert H Humphery Fellowship Program” with the theme “The Democratic Journey in Nigeria: Learning from the American Experience.” Below is a summation of what I got;
Prof. Pat Utomi
Democracy in Nigeria eliminates thinking, speaking and talking by the people.
Nigeria needs to build strong institutions and not strong men which is what we have today.
Strong men believe the people are stupid and can’t think So they must be bought.
Prof. Adigun Agbaje
No two journey are the same but you can learn from both experience
A strong man should be the one who practice restraint, accountability and communal concerns and service
Nigeria needs to institutionalize restraint and encourage accountability
Before people rig election at point of voting but now they rig at point of results. Therefore democracy is moving back instead of forward
Nigeria cannot have any other sustainable power other than the true democratic power
We need to be able to tame the rots of the society and bring them under submission
Prof. Chioma Agomo
Democracy is a journey, it has a beginning, sign posts along the way as well as a destination in sight
Nigeria must respect the rule of law and embrace accountability at all levels
What Nigeria has are people who proffer lip service to rule of law
We must stop encouraging leaders to continue to do wrong
We must refuse the every 4years handouts that enables the bad eggs of the nation to return to power
Every Nigerian must insist on the right to be heard!
There is need to promote grassroots participation and rule of law, if the leaders know the can be questioned they will put a check on their excesses.
A lot of Nigerians mostly youths suffer from a disease called the “Immediate Stomach Satisfaction Deficiency Syndrome ISSDS”
It is important to understand the greatness in others and embrace it
We must believe in something, stand for something, live and work for something. Pat Utomi
Poverty has become a crutch that people use to do wrong and encourage corruption in Nigeria
The key to a successful business plan is not the financial or the product, these two are both essential parts of the business; however what counts the most is the people (clients, customers, buyers, etc whatever name you call them). Knowing your people, who they currently buy from, why they buy from them, how much they buy and why they would buy from someone else is very important to a business and this should be covered fully in your business plan. Then also is the need for strategy; you know to know what to do, how to do it, when to do it and where to do it in other to have those customers come buy from you instead of buying from your competition.
In as much as the whole business plan is important to any business, the owner of the business plan must realize that without people to buy there is no business, and if there are people to buy without knowing how to reach this people and how to reach them it would mean even though the people are there and you have a great product; all you will have will be a disconnect between your product and the people.
In marketing we have been taught all the P’s of marketing and about ROI. Never has it not been emphasized that the customer is king! The reason why any business will grow and remain in business is not because they have great products or because they have the money to start the business, or because they have a great office complex. It’s mainly because the business has been able to identify its people! People in terms of who will buy what you selling and the people who will buy your dream and work with you. These two categories of people makes the “world go round” for any business.
Therefore before you write that plan you need to first of all get into the head of the people you think would buy your product and ask yourself these questions
1. If I was asked to come work in the company I want to start at this starting salary would I take the job?
2. Why would I want to work for such a company when there are others in the same industry offering more pay and other benefits?
3. If I was a customer would I buy from me or my competitor?
4. If I would buy from me; why would I leave the competition who has been in business for a while and one that I know for a new company’s product i don’t know?
5. Would members of my family and friends buy from me?
6. Why would my family and friends buy from me? What reasons do I have to convince them to buy from me?
7. Would my competitors buy from me? Would they see me as a threat or merely just set me aside as a business not to be bothered with?
If you can honestly ask this questions then you should be able to determine whether you should go ahead or not.
The next is the need to know the industry inside out; we still talking about the people. Within that industry who sells more, how do they do it, what are the regulations, what are the ethics, what value do people get from them? Why would a young energized youth with a lot of potential accept to work in my company instead of the competition?
Then work on strategies and don’t stop there also work on how to implement the strategies. How should you reach out to your customers, how should you convince them to buy from you, reasons why they should by from you, what medium must you use to reach out to them, why should you use these medium for reaching out, what will be the cost of reaching out to you and to the people working with you, how many of them must you reach out to first to give your business the initial edge? All these points have to be highlighted. But more important is what do you have? Do a SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity and threat) analysis of your business, industry, competition, even the product.
Business plans is more than just a document; its a documentation of your dream! So remember that the word says “write the vision and make it plain so that He who reads it will be able to run with it!”
This blog post is came to be as a result of a discussion and tweets from a good friend and entrepreneur Chux Onwunali @ChuxOnwunali on tweeter.
There is this saying that says “Sell or be Sold”. The truth is, in life you need to keep selling yourself if you want to make meaning. ‘Sell’ in this context does not mean that you should receive an exchange of money for selling yourself to someone. It means that when people, clients or customers think of having something, where their mind goes is towards you. This is because you have sold yourself to them.
For example, big names like Google, Facebook, Coca Cola, Microsoft and the likes have completely sold themselves to the world. When you think of having something that relates to what they offer, your mind suggests to you the names. And you end up getting what you want through them. This same instance works for just anyone. You too can sell yourself to the extent that what you have done will keep speaking for you while you are quiet.
Now, you may say that the above mentioned drives themselves into people’s mind because of the adverts they do constantly. Yes, true, but advertising does not last long. By that I mean, adverts can get you noticed by populace, but it is selling that counts. I’m sure you would have come across some adverts that ends up getting no response. In this wise, it is not wrong to say that selling yourself to people is the first thing anyone, any business and any nation should get involved in.
So I’m asking you, Are you selling yourself? If not, please find out below three things that would sell you out completely to whoever comes your way.
For the complete post please visit http://adesojiadegbulu.com/blog/3-things-the-sells-you-out-completely/.
So many of us are home with no work and we seek a way out, while for others even though we are gainfully employed we are still on the lookout for something to do that we can call our own. One of the thriving small businesses in Nigeria of today is the production of fashion accessories made from Ankara, jeans, lace, aso-oke, damask, suede, chiffon, etc
With your fabric you can make hair pieces or fascinators, earrings, bangles or bracelets, rings, and even beautiful necklaces. I am sure you are thinking to yourself what about training? You don’t need to go back to school to acquire the knowledge you need to start. All you need is to identify a very great place where you can do the training. Most places do 1-2 day training and the longest should not be more than one week worth of training.
Do you need any prior experience? None at all but knowing how to use the needle and thread won’t hurt. The training costs between N 10,000.00 to N 25,000.00 per interested participant depending on where you are learning from and the duration of the training. How much do you need to start? You won’t be spending more than N20,000.00 on tools and materials and then you add the training cost.
Some training centers will even add the cost of the materials or the tools and materials, which means by the time you done learning, you are good to go! What are you waiting for?
Start a business today or contact PureHoney Kreativiti via email at email@example.com, Kreativiti@purehoneykreativiti.com.ng or you can call Mariam on 07025422520 or 07036883989 for training and more information on starting this business.
Well I have been told how lucky I am that I know what I want and I am going after it. But it was not always the case. Like many others I also floundered and wiggled and waddled through life at a time. In fact it was so bad that the only thing I did well then was complain!
However a change started in my life about a decade ago; that was a turning point and I have been moving forward since. In discovering your talent the primary things that you need are prayer and writing materials. Really? yes! a lot of us have so many gifts or talents or skills whatever name we wish to call it but we do not know that this can be a career path. When I was in secondary school I loved to write, I would sit down alone and write and read, there was no internet or Facebook back then and the best way to keep busy was to either go out to play with the other kids or stay indoors and play with your siblings. I was bossy so when we played (my siblings and I) I was either the teacher or the mother; I was never the cook. Now I know why!
Now back to a decade ago. I lost my job and had nothing to do, I was desperate because I was staying with my siblings and I had expenses and obligations to meet. So one day I sat down to pray and pray hard, to tell you honestly I am not the type that believe in bothering Baba God about things I think I should be able to handle and I am sure a lot of us are like that. But I prayed and the answer was to make a career out of my gifts. This is where your writing materials come into play. I kept thinking to myself what exactly are my gifts? What talents do I have and how in the world am I going to make money from it?! I sat down and began listing all the talents I thought I had. Then I looked at the opportunities that this talents (which are actually strengths) can give me. I began with the easy one of the lot which were writing, planning, project management (which was a skill I developed while working at my last place of employment) and put the three together to begin writing business plans for small businesses owned by friends. I came across a lot of opposition when I started if you must know; in fact a friend of mine told me that how can I be writing business plans when I don’t have a business of my own? So I worked for free. Then I did a lot of research and reading. My first laptop was on almost 24hours of the day every day and the only thing I spent so much money on was a good internet service provider (which I still do).
Today I am building other talents I have and working greatly at making them work. Don’t believe people who tell you that you have to focus only in one area or one talent. If that were the case the bible would not record 3 people given different number of talents; one was given 5, another 2 and the third 1. We read that the one with 5 did so well he got to identify 5 more talents and at a point had 10 talents. So you can be a great doctor and a great musician Dr. Alban and beautiful Nubia are good examples.
My mentor has a consulting business training young entrepreneurs and mentoring them, he has a thriving travel agency, he is a sports man and a nation builder among other things that he does. There are no divergent talents and your talents don’t have to complement each other.
Whether you have discovered your talents or just now want to, I believe that this steps would work well for you
- Ask God to lead you in identifying your God given talent
- Make a list of everything that is already inside you. What are those things that you do effortlessly and would continue to do even if you not paid for it? What fires you up in the morning?
- Always remember that God-given talents may be something you will normally overlook , you don’t really count as talent, e.g. talking, cleaning, always taking beautiful pictures with your android phone, etc.
- Be open about your talent. Don’t hide it! the fact that it sounds silly or odd to you does not make it stupid. A talent is supposed to be easy for you and difficult for others (laughing).
- Please don’t allow people to put out the light of your passion! In as much as you are been open don’t be influenced by negative people and their comments
- Begin to build your talents, research study, read and learn. All of this does not necessarily cost you money, too much information is available on the internet and you can learn FREELY!
Your talent is your currency to success, it is what you have in exchange for what I can give (money), If you ask me to come speak at your event you would pay me for it. However, you would not ask me that if I did not first discover talking as a talent and then build and develop that talent.I don’t know much but I believe that knowing who I am has helped me to get to where I am and will be the wheels that will take me to where I am going to! Discovering who you are helps you identify your talents, so go FIND YOU!
Skill # 1: Become the best listener you can be. Learn to listen with the instruments of the body, the feelings of the heart, the logic of the mind and the stillness of your soul. As you listen deeply, reflect on the following questions: What am I observing? What am I feeling? What is the need of the moment? What is the best way to fulfill this need?
Skill # 2: Bond emotionally with friends, family, professional colleagues and those you interact with daily. Understand that each of us is part of a web of relationships that is nurtured through love, kindness, compassion, empathy and joy. Emotional bonds create effective teamwork where nothing is impossible because you have a shared vision for service, contribution and success and because you complement each other’s talents and strengths.
Skill # 3: Expand your awareness by knowing that all human beings have a hierarchy of needs that start with survival and safety and progressively expand through stages that include love and belonging, true self esteem, success as in the progressive realization of worthy goals, creative expression, higher consciousness and self-actualization. As you expand your awareness, learn to harness your spiritual gifts that come in the form of the powers of intention, intuition, creativity, imagination & conscious choice making.
Skill # 4: Remember the importance of action. Learn to be action oriented and know that there is no power higher than love in action. Remember that love without action is meaningless and action without love is irrelevant.
Skill # 5: Assume responsibility for your own well being in all its various facets. Your well being encompasses every aspect of your life – your career, your social interactions, your personal relationships, your community and your financial success. Take time to rest and play, to be with your family and friends, to exercise and nourish your body with healthy food.
Skill # 6: Empower yourself with true self-esteem. Learn to be independent of the good and bad opinion of others. Recognize the power of presence. Do not allow yourself to be distracted. Know your life purpose and the contribution you want to make to society.
Skill # 7: Know your true self. Your true self is not your self-image that is dependent on the labels you and others have given yourself. Your true self is the innermost core of your being that is beyond all labels, definitions and limitations. All the wisdom traditions tell us that the human spirit is a field of infinite possibilities, a field of infinite creativity, love, compassion, joy and profound equanimity. Know you can only give to the world that which you possess in that innermost core of your being. Remember that you will create peace only when you are peaceful and create a loving world only when you have learned to love.
Culled from Deepak Chopra commencement address; Class of 2013: The Future of Leadership
People enter into paid employment for two reasons.
1. They seek out paid employment to render service
2. They seek paid employment because they want to make money.
For those who want to render service they will work towards been better at rendering their service and improving themselves.
For those who want to make money, they will in turn work towards making money even if it at the expense if the company they work for. Employers must be very mindful of thus two facts when recruiting staff for certain positions.
Both categories of staff have a potential to be of good use but one’s value out weighs the other. It is a true fact that money is important but when the major focus and foundation for doing anything is money then the story becomes faulty.
One thing is for certain, the reason behind seeking employment will by all means determine the outcome and quality of work output.
Many of the people who seek out paid employment today do so for one reason alone, because they want to make money. Therefore the whole focus of the staff after he/she is employed is ways for which to achieve the goal for been employed. This brings about a divergent of goals as that of the employer is to make profit and grow and that of the staff is to make money (in most cases) at the expense of the company
A case in point is a client of mine who trusted his staff so much they bleed him dry.
How do you put a check on a staff with a focus at making money? Staff management and control!
Learn how to properly manage your staff, Put checks and balances in place to make each and everyone of them accountable, keep books and update them daily, have staff meetings and make sure everyone has their say, let your staff know that you know!
Yes sometimes staffs think their employer is dumb and has no clue of what is going on and even though the employer knows at times he ends up overlooking things, that’s the first mistake. NEVER OVERLOOK A FAULT. Make the staff at fault accountable every time.
Nigerians have issues with planning mainly because of how we see it. The Nigerian business man or entrepreneur sees the business plan as just words on paper. A form of document that is used once and discarded, suitable only for getting a loan or investment. During my years as a business plan developer and consultant I have come to realize that the average Nigerian business owner or entrepreneur will not write a business plan unless he/she wants a loan or investment facility. Even for those who write a business plan for other laudable reasons such as wanting a guide will dump the plan somewhere and later on tell you it was useless venture.
Every entrepreneur has an idea and a destination that they want that idea to take them to. That is the main essence of a business pan, or the reason why you write one. If you have a destination in mind you would need to have a map and find out the best route to take, how long it will take for you to get there and all other factors such as fuel and listening to traffic report. However this is not so with the Nigerian entrepreneur he would look at the map once and dump it, for those who look at the map; while other won’t even bother. When you plot your route using the map you might have to change it after you set out and the change will come to play only if you have another review of the map with a focus at your destination.
It is quite sad that we do not see the business plan as what it is but as a document that needs to be written to please the banker or loan officer so they can give us money.
One other reason why business plans fail is because the Nigerian businessman / businesswoman have dreams that are not achievable. The dreams themselves are too big for the dreamer, sorry to say. A lot of entrepreneurs write business pans they can’t work with. Their plans either have a taste way beyond their own taste buds or it’s out of their reach completely. The more realistic your plan is the more chances that you will go back to it at a later date and not dump it in the trash can.
A friend of mine told me at one time that writing a business plan is like going to war and to this I agreed. That is because it is true. The entrepreneur is the general in charge of the fighters who will be at the war front. In all honesty before a battle begin you have to draw up your strategy for winning the war and doing that with the least lives lost. What the general does and the Nigerian entrepreneur does not do are as follows;
- The general will always go back to the plan
- The general is always ready to adjust the plan and make changes
- The general will carry all the fighters along and make them aware of the plan
- The general ensures that he weighs every change against the lives of the fighters
- The general will never discard planning or the value of it to winning the war
It is time for Nigerians to see planning as what it is. It is not a waste of time or paper and therefore should not be treated as such. When you draw up a plan or map for your business don’t allow it to gather dust remember that “a rolling stone gathers no moss”.
The entrepreneur’s business plan must always be handy and at easy reach where it can be looked at and compared with actual running of the business, it should be reviewed and adjusted. It’s like a conscientious saver or accountant, he would always look at his books to make sure they are in order, if they are not he searches out why and makes amends or corrections where necessary.
If you see planning as what it is and not a gateway to instant access to fund then you will get the value of it. It is said that “He who does not plan, plans to fail” but he who makes a shoddy plan will get a business that collapses along the way. A shoddy plan is worse than not planning at all. His case will be like that of the traveler who failed to get to his destination and could not find his way back to the start point. Nigerian entrepreneurs beware!!!