Assumption is the lowest form of knowledge. You don’t thrive on assumptions; you should thrive on accurate and reliable information
Let me emphatically say that I do not have a problem with those earn a decent living from their jobs. No my problem is not with them. My problem is with those who have the capacity to build businesses but who are satisfied with the peanuts they receive from their jobs. The highest any employer can pay you in Nigeria as a basic salary monthly is 8,000 Dollars. That is about 1 million Naira. Now if you can earn a million Naira a month, if your employer feels you are worth that amount, just imagine how much you can earn for yourself if you were your own boss. Here is a punch line: YOU EARN A MEAGER AMOUNT COMPARED TO HOW MUCH YOUR BOSS MAKES ,NO MATTER HOW LARGE YOUR SALARY IS. So if you are earning, say, 1 million Naira a month, your boss is making almost a hundred million Naira. Here is how Dr.Sunny Obazu Ojeagbase of the SUCCESS DIGEST fame puts it. He says: “If your employees ask you for the moon, give it to them. But ask them for the sun”.
The best you can be working for someone else is a glorified servant. And there is nothing wrong with that, is there? Well, we can’t do anything about the fact that there will be leaders and there will be followers. My call is for that leader who is trailing his boss like a follower. My call is for that wolf in sheep clothing. Why allow the addictiveness of salary, its regularity and predictability deprive you of the greatness you should become? Why enjoy yourself when you have all it takes to help hundreds of people by creating businesses that employ them? If you are in this category, I think you are very selfish. And I sincerely don’t have an apology to you for that. What nice things should be said to you when you have all it takes to build businesses? Dr.Myles Munroe is right: “Many die without fully releasing all of their potentials. They die full rather than die empty”.
Let me discuss some wrong notions, excuses and deceptions people have for salary
NOTION ONE: YOU CAN WORK FOR A CERTAIN PERIOD,RESIGN ,AND START ON YOUR OWN.
Seemingly true. May I ask you this question? Are you sure you can resign from a well paid job with all those responsibilities you now have? I can imagine your wife telling you: “Are you sure all is well with you?” Of course you know what that means. I can imagine your mother, if you have the privilege of having her alive, telling: “My child, I am your mother. I don’t think that is a right decision.” Now think of those relatives that come to you for help. Do you sincerely think you want to let go of that respect? You cannot work for a certain period and resign just like that, especially if your pay is VERY good. I know a fellow who told me that he would leave after five years of work with a certain oil company. Guess what? He has spent 10 years now! And he doesn’t seem ready to leave. The only thing that may force him out of there is a sack letter.
NOTION TWO: YOU CAN START A BUSINESS WHILE YOU WORK FOR SOMEONE ELSE.
Great idea, isn’t it? May be. A lot of the seemingly job secured guys do that. They pull their funds together and start up something. But they aren’t there because they are busy. Who manages it? They expose themselves to the risk of being siphoned.
Okay, let us assume the manager is a relative, a member of his family. Does that change anything? Please answer that question.
May be there are examples of some businesses like this working. Seems like a possibility ,isn’t it? Answer: Take out the external funds from these seemingly job secured money bags, can the business really stand without the continuous influx of external funds? If they are standing, have they broken even? To break even means that the investors have gotten back all the money they put in the business. The truth is that the person who created the business must wean the business to actualization.
I observe a great deal. Here is one of my findings. How many part time pastors run larger churches than full time pastors? Almost none. By the way, our modern day pastors are social entrepreneurs, or are they not? Are we so gripped with religious fear we don’t want to accept this? Anyway, there is nothing wrong with them being entrepreneurs. Here is what you will notice: pastors who put in all their energy into their organizations have a lot of support from their followers. Those who do it part time notice that their people depend on them to put in their own resources. Jesus didn’t teach us to do part time. He understood this dynamics. No matter how you try you cannot surpass those who are full time. You may seem to be succeeding initially but over time the full time guys leave you trailing at their backs. Life has a compensation plan. Fully committed people are fully rewarded.
NOTION THREE: YOUR SALARY CAN SERVE AS CAPITAL
Yes. That is if you are among the lucky 4 percent or the shaky 6 percent, or may be among the low earning 15 percent who have jobs. But what if you are among the unlucky 75 percent who don’t have jobs? What salary would be your capital? Again, you raise so much money and give it to someone else to spend it for you. Nice idea, right?
NOTION FOUR: THAT YOU NEED EXPERIENCE TO BEGIN A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS
Notice that I underlined SUCCESSFUL. You don’t need experience to run a successful business. Yes, with some experience you can run a business. Your success would be to the degree of the experience you have .In other words ,your true originality will be put to the background and the so-called experiential system that you assume is best will gain preeminence, thus actually limiting your true possibilities. Which experience does Mark Zuckerberg of FACE BOOK have? At 24 years he is already a billionaire. Which experience does Larry Page and Sergey Brim founders of GOOGLE have? These are entrepreneurs the world talks about. Which experience did Richard Branson of the VIRGIN GROUP have when he started his business at 16?Which experience did Michael Dell of DELL COMPUTERS have? Dell began his business in his campus hostel at 19. Which experience did Bill Gates and Paul Allen have? They are the founders of multibillion dollars company MICROSOFT. Bill Gates was 19.Okay ,before you eat me up! Let me give Nigerian examples: Which experience did Jimoh Ibrahim have? Which experience did Dangote have? What church did Chris Oyakhilome serve under before he started his world renown church? Where did David Oyedepo serve long before he started his ministry?
Apprenticeship is good, but must you serve in some one ‘s organization to learn. Must it be a master-servant relationship? Can’t we learn from constant interactions with our mentors? Must we serve in their organizations or churches?
You see, there is a world class vision in you. Any form of mentorship should only draw out your true YOU, not superimpose anything on you. Chances are that you may think that the thing in you is inferior when you work for someone else.
EXCUSE ONE :ISN’T IT ALL ABOUT BEING SUCCESSFUL?
Really? If you think like that then close this book and read no further. You know why? This book is for people who think beyond themselves. This book is for unselfish people. This book is for those who want to move from survival and success to significance. Anybody can buy car, build a house, marry a wife or husband. Anybody. Success in the long run is measured in how you’re your name can reign even when you are gone, not those toys that diminish or properties people may not know is yours unless someone tells them. You are different when you dare do what few really want to do. You are different when you build a business that eventually employs people and impacts lives. Henry Ford is long gone but his car is still driven today as FORD; Conrad Nicholson Hilton is long dead but his hotels are still talked about all over the world. Jesus left the earth 2000 years ago and people are still talking about him today. He is a song on every one’s lips. It is either you love or you hate; it is either you worship him or you vehemently criticize him. Whichever way, you talk about him! That is success!
The deep down quest for contribution is the reason for many churches and NGOs. Do you not notice that churches break almost every day. People crave for leadership. It is in man. We were not created to be ruled. We prefer interdependence, but eventually rebel against any form of slavery. Sincerely, I think that it is great ,although I am aware many go into it for their own selfish benefit.
The entrepreneur in you will always seek expression.
EXCUSE TWO: I DON’T LIKE MY JOB,BUT BILLS!HOW DO YOU HANDLE THAT?
That is the reason I am going after the university students just before they leave school. That is why I going for the job seekers, the unemployed. You don’t want to taste salary.It is addictive. You don’t want to be trapped in the rat race of life. You may never be able to come out of it.Every now and then I organize seminars on campuses to tell students what they should expect out there;that they should stop being disillusioned about a great job out there. We have started a consortium in some universities where the students can brain storm and plan for their future. They learn to develop business skills and other leadership skills.The vision is to have these consortium all over the Nigerian universities. And we will do it.We also run weekly community meetings to help those who are not in school and are unemployed.
Really,if you don’t like your job, fire your boss, and start your own business. “Fortune favours the bold” ,the old saying goes. Providence supports commitment.The moment you move,Life will move too.Stop thinking about your bills and start focusing on service to others.Things will fall in place eventually.
EXCUSE 3: WHAT IF I ENGAGE IN BUSINESS AND IT FAILS?
Like I already mentioned in the first chapter, failure is part of the success process. If you haven’t read books written by Robert Kiyosaki, especially his bestselling book, RICH DAD,POOR DAD,then you should get it RIGHT NOW. May be you have and it is stacked somewhere in your library.GO RIGHT NOW AND PULL IT OUT. Once you are through reading this book, pick it up and read it. Some people stack up books in their library and pride themselves with those collections when they should be stacking up these books in their mental libraries. If you have read the book, you will notice that Robert’s Rich dad says to him that most successful business men suffer at least 3 MAJOR BUSINESS FAILURES before they get it right. I think that is worthy of note. The reason for failure is inadequate knowledge. No matter how many books you read and guidance from mentors you have received, you will experience your own share of failures. Reason? No two businesses are exactly the same, and no matter how much you learn from anyone who has gotten ahead of you, you will still make your own mistakes. No matter how great your business plan is, it can still fail. Many factors could be responsible, including timing. The timing may have been right for your mentor but things may not just be the same when you begin yours. A certain man observed that the king was in dire need of a diplomat and wise counselor as issues were arising in the palace. He sent one of his two sons who was wise in all his ways. This son got the job and was on the king’s pay role. Then there was war and this man sent his second son who was a prized fighter, and of course the son got the job too. This old man’s neighbor noticed these happenings, but he wasn’t careful to observe. He sent the first of his two sons who was wise and cunning in his ways. The king was impressed but there was war in the land, and he needed warriors, not sages or diplomats. So he ordered that the tongue of this son be put out so that he does give the king’s enemies ideas. Without observation again this neighbor sent his second son who was a prized fighter. But now the land was experiencing peace and the king was starved of wise men. When this neighbour’s prized fighter arrived the king spoke harshly to him and asked that his foot be cut off so that he doesn’t fight for the King’s enemy.The difference between the two men was that one observed timing and the other did not.Times change in business and things are not always the same way. Circumstances differ. Personalities involved in the business differ. Taste of customers may change.Yesterday’s formula may not be today’s recipe for success.So you should prepare your mind for failure so that when it comes it doesn’t get you out. Now ,should that be a reason for not daring to go into business? I don’t think so. Napoleon Hill once said: “Every successful person finds that great success lie just beyond the point when they are convinced their idea is not going to work.”Bertie C. Forbes says, “History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heart breaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by defeats”.
Entrepreneurs are tenacious people. They are not lily-livered people. They are not comfort conscious people. They handle constant pressure, calm down, think, learn from whatever mishap, and try again. Their insurance against failure is their persistence.And you see failure cannot cope with persistence. “Nothing splendid”, Bruce Barton once noted, “has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstances”.
EXCUSE FOUR: I HAVE NO CAPITAL.
In another article, I will take my time to answer this question. I will show you how you can raise money for your business. I will tell you what banks require before they can give you loan. I will show you other sources of funds to start.
EXCUSE FIVE: I THINK I AM A FOLLOWER.I AM NOT CUT OUT FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP.
May be. May be not. You never can really say. Remember :YOU NEVER KNOW HOW MUCH YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH UNTIL YOU TRY. Dolly Patton walked through a mall and someone said to a friend close by, “That used to be Dolly” .Dolly heard those words and shouted back, “ I refuse to be limited by people who want me to believe I cannot be something else”. Benjamin Omin, speaker and friend, has this to say, “The problem with today’s society is that Many people have turned the theory of temperament into virtue. You don’t have to be a choleric or sanguine to be a successful business. Bill Gates is melancholic, Steve Jobs of Apple computers is a shy phlegmatic. For Every 10 Entrepreneur that comes out to talk about what they are doing, there are at least 70 more who would rather make a difference than talk about it”
You may surprise yourself. Every one is a leader of some sort. Where I reside there is a big State Government Secretariat. I usually would just observe the thousands of people thronging in there. Many of them doing virtually nothing except move files! Many of them would retire and depend on pension. Most of them will never reach management status. I believe that they are grossly under-utilized. Most of them have capacities they are not even aware of. I was privileged to deliver a lecture at a business school during one of their 3 weeks management programs. As is my custom, I got to meet some of my students. Now most of them were older than me. There were some who were as old as my father, if not older. Curiosity got me to ask a few of them why they were taking the program. Well, all of them were civil servants and they were taking the program because of their fear for their retirement. One of them told me, “When I see those who have retired queue to get their pensions, I know that I don’t want this to happen to me”. I was touched.
There is this other civil servant I know who has served for up to 30 years in the Government. When we spoke, he was afraid. He told me, “I don’t want this (his business)to die. But the challenge is that is I don’t have capable hands to run this place”. Who does he think would run his business for him. In the past 6 years he has had several managers ruin his business. There is one on board and it is only a matter of time before the entire thing crashes. Now frail and sick, I saw this man move around his business premise wishing that he had given his active years into his dream and passion. His children are not interested in it because they did not see daddy commit to that vision. I wish him the best, though. Children buy into what their parents believe in.
What you need is courage. What you need is motivation to attempt the heroic. John Maxwell says, “There is something within us that is thrilled to see a man or woman attempt the heroic. The pioneer, the successful entrepreneur, and the victorious athlete all speak to us about the ability of the human spirit to achieve monumental accomplishments when properly motivated.”A great deal of talent is lost to the world for want of a little courage. People of mediocre talent with courage and drive are doing great things. Don’t you see? Sophia Loren a popular Italian actress puts it like this: “Some people with mediocre talent, but with inner drive go much farther than people with vastly superior talent.”
The opposite of courage is not cowardice, it is conformity. It easy to opt for a regular pay if you find one.It is easy to conform. It takes courage to be different. Stones are common; diamonds are rare.