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?
Although I doubt that there is anyone born without at least one skill or aptitude but some who hurriedly answered the questions will say they don’t have any. Just relax, I will ask you two more types of questions, which I suggest you carefully answer as they will help you to arrive at your own business idea.
What marketable activities do you often do, or like doing even when no one pays you for it.
Do you sketch fashion styles when you are bored, only to scrunch them and dunk it in the waste paper bin?
Do you like to help your classmates with computer hardware problems just for the sake of it (not just because you are trying to date them girls)?
Do you jump at the opportunity to retail the jewelry your neighbour’s sister brings in from Dubai, even though the profit you make from it is pittance?
Are you an incurable matchmaker or one who always gives helpful tips to remedy your friends’ relationships limping on crutches?
These are all things that people do for money but you don’t value that much. Wouldn’t it be fun if you can turn them into profit-making ventures instead of pitying yourself that Providence is unfair and has not given you any bankable skills?
The next question that must complement the first and is designed for our good, as it will keep us from forays into fruitless quests is this?
What do people commend you for? What do they say you do/make very well?
I know of only a few moments that are more agonizing than when you have to tolerate people who have convinced themselves of their prowess in an endeavour even though no one else shares the same sentiment.
The other day, I was in a cab and this fellow passenger, a girl, was singing so confidently, so loudly and so off-key that I felt sick to the stomach. And what’s more, my destination was far and the driver was moving so slowly, you will wonder if he knew where the accelerator was. I can’t imagine how it would have been if I had to endure such violation of my ear-space were we on one of those long trips, say Lagos-Abuja or Port-Harcourt-Ibadan trip? It might be a mistake for her to go into the music business, even though she loves to sing without being paid; this is because she just cannot carry a tune. It’s similar to someone who is considering stand-up, but after so many years of doing his thing, people still look away out of embarrassment for him while he is on the stage and they cannot take their eyes away from their wrist-watches.
What we find ourselves doing and plan to turn into a business must also coincide with what others commend us for. Don’t forget that it is others who will buy your product or service.
Do girls fall in love with you every time they eat the cakes you bake?
Or is it the poems you write that melt people’s hearts?
Do neighbours commend you for the way you handle your dogs and always beg you to mind their pets when they are not in town?
Are you always commended for the strategy you bring to the table at your club meetings?
These are all pointers to skills you have and for which people can part with their money. Wouldn’t it be fun if you got paid for that thing you do at your leisure?
Learn not to only blush when people praise you but take a step further and corroborate their sentiments with others who have no reason to flatter you, say your spouse or parents. Parents are particularly good because they have our earliest bio-data and can tell us we have been doing so-and-so or making so-and-so since we were just a toddler. I am not saying that you should live for the compliments of others; but many a time the reality check we need is just their input.
That’s how to use your skill to settle on a business idea.