Sunday, 29 December 2013

Best way to have is to give

I can trace my origins down to the village, hamlet and even the hut in which my forbears lived. My hamlet is called agbole-aiyekoto, which means the Parrot’s Compound, and if you read on you will find out why.

The last time I went to my roots, the old folks began to recite our family praise-poetry the moment they spotted me; and they didn’t stop until my eyes were teary from a swelled head. After a heavy meal of boiled cassava and steamed vegetables, I took a seat under the cashew tree and listened to the oldest family member recount how our hamlet name was derived. The story is quite pertinent for you and me today even though it happened in the era of my great-great-great grandfather. Of course, I can’t put a date to it but since members of my family tend to live long (Grandma just passed on at 99 years old), you can be sure it was a very long time ago.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Terrible Two

My friend has two younger brothers who are still in the university. Being identical twins, they have the same face, same build and even the same voice; but beyond these they are as different as lemons and oranges. They have very distinct temperaments and attitudes such that while one is sociable and sprightly, the other is amiable and calm. If you happened on both of them, you will either be charmed by the friendliness of one or the enigma of the other. The outgoing one was the leader of the debate team in secondary school and led the school to many competitions where they won trophies; he is currently studying to become a lawyer after graduation. The quiet one was in the science club and all his projects fetched his school the hefty grants that equipped their state-of-the-art laboratories and he is studying to become a civil engineer.

Monday, 16 December 2013

A gesture is enough for the smart

There are medical conditions such as Asperger’s syndrome where sufferers are unable to pick up on social cues; but they are not the people covered in this post. This post is about those who due to carelessness, absent-mindedness or pure lack of perception fail to catch the subtle (and sometimes the not-so-subtle) messages of others.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Rotting tomatoes

Bola went to one of the villages surrounding the city of Ibadan and was shocked to find that the cost of baskets of tomatoes and pepper was very cheap. It was less than half the cost of the cheapest baskets in Ibadan’s popular Bodija market. The distance between the village and Ibadan was a mere 8 miles and by the time she drove to and fro, there was no noticeable movement in the needle of the fuel gauge. She came back to Ibadan and set out to conduct a survey of what other women desired or loathed about shopping for these cooking ingredients. She designed a questionnaire and began administering it; but it was not long before she found that most shoppers hated going to the markets because of its filthy and noisy environment. Armed with the information, she decided to open a grocery store not far from Aleshinloye, another major commodity market in Ibadan. Her store was located on a fairly quiet street; it was neat and had a parking lot. She made contact with the farmers in the surrounding villages and entered a first refusal agreement to buy their tomatoes and pepper.

On the day she opened her store, the main selling points were the sane ambience of her store and the rock-bottom prices available there. She made flyers distributed them in the neighbourhood and informed friends and family too. Then the wait began. On the first day, there were no expectant shoppers queuing up in front of her store to get cheap tomatoes. The next day was even longer and still no customers came. Unlike non-perishables that have no expiry date, her wares were expiring and rotting away right

Sunday, 24 November 2013

The art of outdoing oneself

There are four boys in my family (my father inclusive) and they all engage in sports, except me. In fact, my father said when I was handed to him in the delivery room he instantly knew that I did not possess any athletic bone in my body. But, what I lacked in athletic skill, I have made up for with my observation skills; and I am about to share one of them with you. I noticed that each time I raced with no one, I tended to run faster than when I raced with others during the P.E. classes. Matter of fact, the first time I observed this phenomenon was one evening while racing my shadow with the setting sun behind me. It was as though the absence of other runners helped me to focus, with minimal distraction, on the race itself. But as a scientist, I knew I had to repeat my hypothesis before it could become a theory, so I set to test it when the right moment came along.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Daddy, please stop frowning

I quickly recognized the power of looks from a tender age. If my dad came out of the bedroom in the morning wearing a smile, a kind of vibrancy pervaded our house. You’d hear people humming while they brushed their teeth and laughter from the bedrooms. Morning chores were quickly discharged and everyone, down to my baby brother, would be dressed and ready in time to go to school. But, if he emerged from the room with a long face, the day turned out to be a nightmare for everyone. My sisters will be at each other’s throats like polygamous wives, my baby brother screaming at the top of his lungs while being bathed and I will be sulking from being saddled with a time-wasting task like looking for my other brother’s socks which had the annoying habit of going MIA.

When I first noticed this phenomenon, I had to be sure that it was not a figment of my thoughts. So, I sought confirmation from my very intelligent immediate younger brother. He replied that he thought he was the only one who felt that way and so we swore never to look into daddy’s face when he came out of his room in the morning. Needless to say, the others who kept looking caught the bug and tried as we did, our day was every bit as unpleasant as theirs because we are family. I am sure that dad never knew the magical powers of his morning visage but inexplicably it set the tone for the day for his family.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Today's pain; tomorrow's gain

Ikeoluwa sat up on the examination table, legs swinging back and forth as she thought about all the scary things the doctor had just told her. “How did it come to this?” she wondered to herself, “This is not the life I envisaged”.

She had squeezed some time from her busy schedule to come see the doctor about the pains she was feeling. She hoped to just get a prescription and be on her way within minutes. But after listening to her complaints, the doctor closed the case file, placed his clasped hands on them and asked for her marital status. She wondered what the correlation was; but when she replied that she was single, she could not help noticing the shock on his face. This made her anxious especially as he went on to get a comprehensive medical history and order a barrage of lab tests.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Conditioning the customer (Part 2)

Hello readers, I regret not being able to post any articles last week. I took a long deserved vacation and was at the beach with my wife and a bosom friend’s family at the time I always blog. I enjoin you to find some time to relax from your busy schedules once every while and spend it with your most loved ones too.

I concluded the last post with a promise to discuss ways of conditioning the customer, who already has a desire to do business with us, to actually follow through. In business, people employ different strategies to urge their customers into action. Sales, coupons, premiums, installment plans and after sales services are some of the strategies regularly used. But, I favour approaches that don’t put any dent whatsoever into the business bottom line. In consumer psychology, they refer to such subtle inducement approaches that have no financial consequence to the business as NUDGES. A true nudge disguises itself so well that the customer feels the decision to buy or close a deal is entirely his; while in actual fact the decision was anything but that. For instance, if you walk into a consumer-psychology compliant store, the same shelf may hold all the shampoo products but only the premium brands will be at your eye level, the cheaper (and less lucrative) varieties will be at your knee level; the store owner is seeking to subconsciously nudge you to buy the expensive one. Why do you think, toys are mostly on the ground or at your knee level? It is because that is the eye level of your babies, who will keep pestering you till you get one for them.

Below are three more nudges.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Conditioning The Customer

Wouldn't it be exciting if every prospect that walked into your store or office had an indicator, say something like an LED lamp on their faces, showing how strongly interested they are in buying your product or services? I believe that you will agree with me, that in this way you will not wear yourself out trying to convince someone who has sworn never to patronize you; rather you will save your energies for the real customer. Unfortunately, prospects don’t come with LED indicators that make it easy to distinguish them, so a wise businessman needs to learn what to do so as to maximize the limited number of hours he has each day to make the sales.

Let’s acknowledge from the onset that everyone who comes into your store or office is a likely customer; if not on that day, maybe sometime in future, therefore they must all be treated with the same level of courtesy and professionalism. In addition, someone who never does business with you can send a lot of referrals your way who will make big-ticket purchases and they can also do a lot of damage, badmouthing your business if you treat them poorly.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Cursing the Queen

As a child, my teacher told me a story to underscore the importance of writing accurately; whether it is fact or fiction, I do not know.

A frustrated man had gone to the pub to drown all his worries with the bottle. After several hours of numbing his senses with alcohol, the man now drunken, became raucous that the bartender was forced to evict him so as not to scare away other patrons. The man was so miffed by the action of the bartender that after the door was shut on him, he unzipped his fly and sprayed the door with his pee, which he called ‘toxic streams’. He then turned around and did the unspeakable – he vilified the Crown.

Picking up a stick, he wrote in the dirt by the roadside the following words in bold letters for any who cared to read:


Immediately, the constable who had been observing the goings-on pounced on him, cuffed him, pulled out his crime-scene tape and cordoned off the evidence of blasphemy, which he covered with a tarp and dragged the man to the police station. After a few days, the man was charged to court and the most Crown-leaning magistrate in the district was assigned to hear the case. On that day, the courthouse was packed to the full with locals who had come to witness how the community-nuisance was finally going to be put behind bars and they would again know what it felt like to have peace.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

How standard is your standard?

I was in a mentor’s office, earlier this week, and while describing her tight work schedule she pulled out a book she’d been working on for some time. She dropped it before me and asked, “It’s OK, right?” I replied (or should I say, lied) in the affirmative because I knew all the pains she put into writing the book. But being intuitive creatures that they are, this woman saw a slight grimace as it flashed across my face and knew that I had lied. She sighed, looked at another book on her desk that was printed in India and said, “My next book will not be printed in this country”.

Honestly, I don’t blame her; although her book served the function of displaying her work in a readable format, when it came to the finishing strokes like illustrations, paper quality, bookbinding or cover page design which are needed to add class to a book, something was just amiss. Many people might dismiss these as nothing but mere aesthetics, but when you are packaging anything for human beings you need to appeal to one or more of their five senses. Her publisher’s work just didn't cut it; it failed to stimulate any sensory centers which could attract buyers to her book when she was not there to tell them how instructive her book was.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Spotting Opportunities 2

Speaking about the lens through which we view our world; have you noticed how we have more problems than problem solvers?  But, what’s even more interesting is that we have more problem identifiers than the problems we face. Everywhere you go; there is someone who knows what the problem is and will scream and shout about it without proffering any solution. Take the case of bad roads for example, a problem identifier will brilliantly chronicle the advent of road construction and its contribution to modern development, he will then go on to surgically analyze the causes of bad roads and then blast the government for its dilapidation, blast the road agency for embezzling maintenance funds and blast the lily-livered road users for not standing up for their rights. He then rounds off with a cute cliché like, “A lot more has to be done to correct this societal malady”. That is where a problem solver differs.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Spotting Opportunities

All eyes are opened, but not all see the same.
Everyone looks, but each observes differently.

When I look into the eyes of many people I see something I call the humanitarian contact lens. If you try to wear it, you will begin to see centers of lack and centers of surplus all around you. In time, you will not be able to rest until you find a way to help the downtrodden that populate the centers of lack. Your waking wish and sleeping thought will be that the centers of surplus could just have a glimpse of what obtains on the other side. Seeing the wasteful spending, or should I say inessential expenses, of the centers of surplus will rile you up and moisten your eyes. And each time one of the the few philantropically-inclined ones come along, hope is inspired in you that wealth will flow from centers of surplus to the centers of lack someday.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Value funnel (in collaboration with Bolaji Ayoola)

Under the right conditions, a car dealer can sell three cars in a day; but no matter how auspicious the conditions, three mechanics cannot assemble one car in a day. This is why the dealership can afford to employ one salesman but the assembly plant cannot but employ auto-mechanics in droves.

Again, under favourable conditions, one real-estate agent can comfortably sell all the eight flats of an apartment block in a day; but eight builders can never complete a house in one day even under paradisiacal conditions. That is why a real-estate agency can run efficiently with few hands but a housing construction company will collapse without a large work-force. We will continue with this line of thought later, but let’s digress for a bit.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Needles or Pencils (Part 2)

Last week, I promised to give you three more winning business strategies employed by our profiled entrepreneur - Alere. Read on.

Location, location, location
Due to some distractions around me, I momentarily zoned out on Alere as he was talking. By the time I regained concentration, I caught him halfway through a sentence that ended with, “So Lagos is the U.S.A, while Ibadan is Asia”. I immediately knew that this was a point I didn't want to miss, so I asked him to repeat himself which he graciously did. He explained that in Ibadan, labour is readily available and quite cheap but the purchasing power of residents is average. Lagos, on the other hand, even though it has a large pool of manpower, their wages are quite high; but that also meant a higher purchasing power. So he sources for orders in Lagos and manufactures in Ibadan; following the footsteps of giant sportswear companies that produce in labour-cheap Vietnam, Bangladesh, China and so on but have their major markets in Europe and North America.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Needles or pencils (Part 1)


“Alere Olurotimi Mobolaji” the class teacher called out, “Present sir” replied the soft-spoken bearer of the names. I looked to my left and saw an ebony skin guy with a playfully naughty grin on his face, and that was to be my first encounter with this friend I have known since forever. Alere and I attended the same primary and secondary schools and I remember him as an excellent pupil of technical drawing and the fine arts. Also, I vividly recall that you didn’t want to compete with him in the 100m or 200m dash because try as you might, it’s his heels you’d be looking at in front of you and the dust left in his wake settling on your face.
How Alere transformed from the classmate I knew so well, or so I thought, to the CEO of one of Ibadan’s foremost garment-making businesses is the focus of this post. This week and the next, we shall be profiling an ingenious couturier who is a master, not of the sewing needle and handwork, but of the sketching pencil and brainwork. His story is one of a man who embarked on a journey to the island of self-discovery; the story of an entrepreneur who turned the first sod with an investment of N4500 (<$30) and is today building a self-sustaining business that employs eleven workers and comfortably supports his family and the story of a brilliant adapter of winning business models.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

See you @ the top

Have you ever descended from the top of a multi-storey building using the stairway? What a pleasurable pastime it was for me in my preteen years! It still remains one of my most effortless and mindless activities to indulge in. All I have to do is to lift each foot in turn and gravity does the rest. I just keep gaily dropping and dropping and before I know it, it is all over and I’m on the ground floor.

But when the directions are reversed and I have to climb the stairs, it is as opposite as day is from the night. The first flight of stairs, say up the first and second floors is a piece of cake; it is when I am approaching the third floor that my nostrils start flaring like a horse’s that has just completed the Olympics show jumping.
Starting up the fourth floor, my heart begins to pound so hard like a jack-hammer breaking up concrete I wonder when, not if, it will rip out of the rib cage. Even climbers that are as fit as a fiddle will have their faces covered with sweat at the fifth floor and their calves and lower thighs burning with excruciating pain. By the time most are on the sixth floor, their eyes are roving hard all over the place in search of a chair to sit in and relieve the fatigue. The gravity that was a willing helper on the way down suddenly becomes the arch-enemy to defeat on the way up.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

What do you think?

A problem shared is a problem halved, hence this post.

Wumi, (not real name) my friend, called me last week to advise her on some career choice; she probably feels that blogging qualifies me as a career coach. However, the enormity of the task she gave me is such that I need to be guided myself and I hope you will lend some help.

She graduated in 2009 and after one year of compulsory national service, she moved to Lagos, the commercial nerve center of the country in search of work. It was during this period that she stumbled on the lucrative business of jewelry and accessories sales. After two years in the business she has grown her clientele and established product-sourcing channels from Dubai and Saudi Arabia. Although, she doesn't own a shop, she gets calls to make deliveries in homes and offices, mostly from referrals of past satisfied customers. She has an employee who also helps out with delivery and other job-related errands. Her profit every week is somewhere between N18,000.00 and N21,000.00.

Now, her dilemma is this: She has a job offer in Port-Harcourt with an oil-servicing company. After six months probationary period her take-home pay will be to the tune of N292,000 a month. She wants advice on what step to take.

What do you think? In advising her, please say what you think she should do and more importantly why you think she should. Thank you.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

The rarer the dearer

Have you heard about the banquet hosted by Napoleon Bonaparte where the VIP guests were served with aluminium utensils and the LIPs (less important persons) had to manage the gold dishes?

The event planner was not trying to redefine the value of precious metals but at that time aluminium was more valuable than gold. The reason it is now so cheap is because it is very easy to come by while gold maintains its hard-to-get profile. I don't know why Mother Earth has made it difficult for us to lay hold on some things while surfeiting us with others; it's just the way it is. Take for instance, water was taken for granted a few decades ago but the harder it became to access clean water the higher its value climbed that nowadays we have several multimillion-naira water-bottling companies and water-sachet plants.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

It's ok to procrastinate

When I saw my nine year old niece, Tolu, two Sundays ago, she wore the prettiest smile as she walked up to me and said with a voice impregnated with pride, "Come and see my garden. It beats that of all my classmates". Reluctantly, I dragged my tired self after her as she led me to the backyard. I must confess that the sight that greeted me when she opened the screen door was almost out of this world. My niece's qualification of her garden as the best in her class did no justice to the Eden she had grown behind my sister's house.

One week later, her smiley face had turn teary and Eden was a wasteland. "What happened", I queried, scooping up her sobbing body in my arms to comfort her. But the pain of her loss was to deep for words, as each time she tried mouthing an explanation, all she could do was shed more tears.
My sister volunteered to explain: Tolu had learnt a new word 'POSTPONE' the following Monday, at school. The teacher explained that not a few good future had been ruined by people who chose to put away till later what they ought to have done immediately. Tolu, taking the lesson to heart, feared ruin coming to her garden and decided to be proactive. She would not wait for butterflies to come and pollinate her flowers; she was going to bring them into her garden now. She went to a friend's, 'harvested' caterpillars and brought them into her garden so that her flowers will be the first port of call once they turned into butterflies. What she didn't know was that butterflies in their caterpillar phase and

Sunday, 28 July 2013

We've abdicated our responsibility to think !

I apologize for posting this late. It was due to network outage in my area.

Back in the days, when our ancestors clothed themselves in animal skin.... Back in the days when they had only stones and wood for farm implements... Back in the days when civilization was pre-colonial...

There were no hospitals or maternity clinics. Our expectant foremothers were delivered by an elderly female relative, who was the gynaecologist, paeditrician, nurse and hospital maid; all rolled into one. As the baby grew, all members of the family pitched in to instruct and train him in what obtained then as folklore education. As he grew older, he followed father to work: farming, fishing, hunting or even divination. He was schooled in his family trade so as to be able to fend for his family when the time came to start one. The moment he came off age, he was instructed to carve his working tools, build his mud hut some distance away, pack what belongings he had and leave to start his own life. In time, he would pick a wife and begin a family.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Nature Abhors A Vacuum

For the next four weeks, we'll be looking at nature to glean some enterprise and business management lessons. The theme for this week is: Nature Abhors A Vacuum. Enjoy reading

I don't know what's with babies and mobile phones; once they lay their hands on one they give it a wet and sticky licking and after ensuring that it contains no edible parts they go on to smack and hit it on any surface around them, even your feet won't be spared if they are close by. They won't go for your three-year old phones or the hand-me-downs; it's the expensive one you've bought to show off at work that they inflict this evil acts upon. Experience however teaches one not to collect the phone from them without replacing it with something you don't care if they shredded to pieces or drenched in spit as failure to do so will result in a piercing cry or, if the baby is like my nephew, it will just embark on a more destructive adventure like tugging at the television cables or doorway curtains. It's not only nature that abhors a vacuum, even babies' hands do.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

A governor's birthday

Last Sunday, 7th of July, was my birthday and though you could not be in my house to share the fun, I prepared something to make it up to you. It’s more fantasy and less business management but it’s specially written for you because it captures my heartbeat. Here goes….

As I lean forward to blow the thirty-something candles on my cake, I shut my eyes and make a wish.

This birthday, my wish is unlike last year’s when I prayed to be a pirate and fantasized about enjoying wild adventures like Johnny Depp in his Pirate of the Caribbean series; instead I wished I were an important politician in my country, say a state governor or even the president. A tall order someone might say, but if you live in my country or you’ve been to it, you would know why my wish isn’t so bad. Either owing to the financial resources at their disposal or the near-absolute powers they wield, state chief executives are just worshiped in my country.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Before your baby clocks 5 ... (Part 2)

Last week we discussed how to discover your baby's unique marketable package (UMP) and I hope you have begun to journalize your baby's unique traits. This week, we conclude with how to develop and deploy the UMP. Enjoy reading! And remember, the proof that you appreciate what is shared on this post is that you share it on your facebook and twitter accounts too.

Steps to growing your baby's UMP
If discovering your baby’s UMP is hard work, its development is drudgery, until you start reaping the dividends! It’s like the case of weeds and edible plants; you don’t have to do a thing for a vice to grow worse, but developing a virtue requires time and effort. A baby’s UMP is a virtue but it has to be cultivated. The essence of developing the UMP is because no one will pay your daughter for watching Food Channel or your son for drumming on everyone’s head. But if you help her to find her comfortable expression for food/cooking you are on the way to unveiling her uniqueness to the world.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Before your baby clocks 5

Take a look at your baby; boy or a girl, toddler or preteen. Take a look again, because you are looking at a very unique gift! No other individual is like him or her. No other eyes or nose, no matter how similar, is exactly the same as your baby’s. His laughter and frown; his gait and posture are all so uniquely his that none other can parallel it. But it doesn’t end there; it’s the same with his traits and habits, likes and dislikes.
But have you ever wondered why this is so? Is it just so that we can easily tell him apart from another baby? I think not!
Rather, I favour the answer that it is because his path in life is very unique, very his. He doesn’t need someone else’s eyes because he was not designed to see things the way others do. He has no need for another’s laughter, because he wasn’t meant to use his to bring joy to everyone, but only to his own. But I find something amiss in all this beautiful design, not from nature but from our society. It stems from the fact that even before we begin to appreciate the uniqueness of our babies, we ship them off to the assembly lines called schools. And in the schools, where generic employable graduates are being mass-produced, the uniqueness of our babies is lost somewhere underneath the uniform they wear. Maybe wearing a school uniform, in fact inadvertently symbolizes the way schools replace our baby’s uniqueness for societal uniformity.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

1st steps to getting customers for your business

When we were in primary school, there was a method we often used in solving our sums; we called it working-to-the-answer.
Working to the answer
We would flip to the back pages of our arithmetic texts, which contained the solutions, obtain them and use them to work out the sums; it was like working in reverse, from the end to the beginning. We were always discouraged from doing this; but business management is one area of your life where you don’t want to ever stop doing it. Let me explain.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Don't be caught napping

Reliable reports have it that when Western Union (WU) came to Nigeria, they approached one of the most reputable banks in the country and introduced their ‘novel’ method of worldwide money transfer services to them. They had high hopes of appointing the bank as their agents in Nigeria but this was not to be. The reports continued that the management of the bank was disinclined to the idea but favoured the old wire-transfer method, via telegraph, which took several days and often required beneficiaries to open a bank account instead. 
Whatever reasons for not signing up with WU might be, we do not know, but it was said that WU took their business away and went shopping elsewhere for willing banks to engage with. Fate shone on them when they found a forward-looking group of directors on the board of another bank. 

Saturday, 8 June 2013

3 personality traits that repel business sponsors

I wish to begin today’s post with a big thank you to all of our readers. Thank you for letting us into your lives every weekend, even though it is the time most people love to relax and spend time with family and friends. Our heartfelt gratitude also goes to readers who leave comments on the blog (I’m particularly feeling the comment from the HR person!) and we just wish to add that you may kindly share the posts on facebook and twitter so that others can benefit from the blog as well. (Find share-icons at the bottom of the page.) Here we go…

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Blessed are those who work for no salary….

Happy New June everybody! I beg you to ignore the title for a minute and read on.

The other day, someone was speaking and he compared setting up a business venture to building a house. After the speech, I pleaded with him to elaborate and he drew the parallels which I quickly scribbled on a paper. Here it is:

Saturday, 25 May 2013

What business can I do? III

This week’s topic brings us, at least for now, to the last method of selecting a business that we shall examine. We shall call this method Your Skill.
Skill sets and aptitudes hold the key to unlocking your business potential if you evaluate them properly. What are you skilled at? And what aptitudes do people know you for?
Can you organize events and parties very well?
Or is salesmanship your thing?
Are you good at fixing broken appliances, no matter how complex they look?
Or is combining clothes, colours and fabrics your area of expertise?
Answer these kinds of questions and you would have answered, ‘What business can I do?’

Saturday, 18 May 2013

What business can I do? II

Hi Readers, thank you for all the inputs, I treasure them a lot; however feel free to drop them as comments so others can learn from them as well. Also, you can now follow the blog via email.
I appreciate you all.

Now, to continue with our discussion on ‘What business can I do?’ we will be talking about how to answer that question from our experiences. We are so accustomed to our thoughts, feelings and experiences and take them for granted that we fail to glean the most from them. To examine this, I won’t tabulate like last week, rather we will go anecdotal.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

What business can I do?

I said last week that we would continue with how you can become an entrepreneur. Some people might expect me to first of all lay the background of business principles needed for successful entrepreneurship; but because some of the principles are as varied as the businesses each one of us might be interested in, we will visit them later.

From my interactions with entrepreneurs as well as hours of interviewing some successful ones, I wish to state from the onset that you should perish the thought that money is the first or most important thing needed to set up a business. I once asked a friend what  business he would float if I gave him N200,000.00 he replied that he didn’t know. I upped the money to N500,000.00 and he still wasn’t sure. He only gave me a ‘maybe’ answer after I increased it to N1,000,000.00. This simply shows the indecisiveness of the capital-seeking would-be entrepreneur. We need to first settle on the business we want to do before we start to gather the resources (money is only one of them) needed to set it up.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

The egg and the crowd

Last week we finished the post on why you should be an entrepreneur and I promised a little philosophical discourse before we examine how you can become one. Here it is, enjoy!

Ade’s prayer from his final year days was that he lands a plum job right after NYSC, so it came as no small relief when he got an SMS to attend a job interview for a trainee position in one of the new generation banks, two weeks after completing his service. Quickly, he went to the bookstore and purchased the GMAT text which he studied night and day in preparation for the exam; in fact his mother had to compel him to go to bed in the little hours of the morning or he would have forgotten to sleep. On the exam day, he got up early to beat the Lagos traffic, dressed up in his borrowed suit, packed his certificates, calculator and pen and raced to the bus stop.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Why should I be an entrepreneur II

Hi y'all let us continue from where we stopped last week..............
To those in the ‘job market’

I believe that my personal experience affords me some insight for this group. After NYSC, I hardly spent a month before I landed a plum job in the bank; at that time the term ‘job market’ only represented a metaphor to me. But after leaving the bank job and spending two years going from one job interview to the other and leaving a string of disappointments trailing in my wake, I knew it was not a figure of speech but a way of life.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Why should I be an entrepreneur?

Actually, I feel the opener for this blog should read something like, ‘Why shouldn’t I be an entrepreneur?’ This is because all around us, signs and pointers abound which support an entrepreneurial pursuit for everyone. But like you might have noticed, no two persons observing the same event are likely to draw the same conclusions from it; therefore, we will take some time to examine those things that I see as pointers to entrepreneurial pursuit but that you may view otherwise. We will analyze them from the viewpoint of folks still in school, individuals in the ‘job market’ and people working at the moment.