We are starting an online community for people who want to start their business or grow their existing business. Many people are struggling in their business out there and cannot seem to be able to sort it all out. I sat down and googled around, looking for an online destination where you can find comprehensive knowledge and information about starting, running and growing a business in Nigeria and found none.
Sure, there are business blogs online, but what we really need goes beyond blogging. We need more than that.
I write a lot, everyday about business, creativity, productivity and more. However, my mission is not really writing, it is to see changes in the real world. I am not a writer, I am a crusader of change and so, every now and then I re-evaluate the work. I analyse myself and ask tough questions. Is #TMP really delivering any real value? Is #TMP just a vehicle for my ideas or is anybody actually getting better as a result of reading the posts here?
That is why it is always a lot of joy when I receive emails saying “thank you for today’s post because it answered a question I had and now I know what to do” (Although, since the Phoenicians invented money many many years ago, there is scarely a better way to say thank you 😉 You get the idea?). So, such emails makes me happy and wakes me up the next morning, ready to write a fresh post. The emails I do not find useful are emails along the lines of “wonderful post today”. I know I am a good writer, I know the post was wonderful, what I want to know is whether it is useful to you or not and if you are going to apply the ideas therein.
So, #TMP is a great project, no doubt. But even good things can be made better and so, by identifying the need to double down and really be useful to people who are trying really hard to start their businesses or grow their existing business, we needed to raise the bar again.
So, introducing GYB: GROW YOUR BUSINESS
GYB: GROW YOUR BUSINESS is an online community for Nigerian Entrepreneurs, Nigerian SMEs, Nigerian Small Business Owners to connect, learn and share. Learn how to start and grow your business from our panel of experts and consultants. We have experts that can help out in every area of business development; sales, marketing, recruiting, legal and so much more.
GYB Nigeria has been conceived with a mission to “empower business owners with knowledge, information and ideas that will create opportunites for growth”
We are going to execute through the following:
We expect our offering to change as time goes on in order to serve better, but the core mission of empowering people will not change.
I look forward to receiving you there and I trust that you would help us spread the word to anybody and everybody you know that needs to grow their business.
Whenever you find a mission or vision to execute, you must ensure to never settle and become content. You have to remain awake and alert, critically analysing yourself. Comparing how far you have gone vs the big picture.
A lot of people start well, but then they fizzle out or they ‘park’ at stage 1 of the mission. Never moving on to the next stage, never getting to make a ruckus after all. The truth is that a lot of people are just hype and no stuff and when you compare yourself with them, you are tempted to pat yourself on the back too. But, when we compare ourselves with others, we are not wise.
You ought to only compare yourself with the big picture. The original vision you set out to accomplish in the first place. Ask yourself tough questions, be honest with yourself and seek the next step. People are too hypocritical. These days, you can rarely rely on people to accurately evaluate your work; all they want to do is beat drums and sing your songs on the mountains.
It is now left to you to honestly evaluate yourself and refuse to settle for less.
Mark Zuckerberg, the Founder and CEO of Facebook had some great news to share:
“We just passed an important milestone. For the first time ever, one billion people used Facebook in a single day.”
On Monday, 1 in 7 people on Earth used Facebook to connect with their friends and family! Looking back to Facbook’s origins and how far they have come, it is a really exciting update.
For the record, Facebook is not the first brand in the world to touch 1 billion people daily. Coca-Cola claims to sell 1.9bn units of its huge range of beverages every single day around the world! But in the world of social media, a billion users a day is definitely a first and worth celebrating. This is how far vision and tenacity can take you if you refuse to settle for average and keep working to get better.
What excites me the more is the fact that just 1 in 7 people use Facebook. How do the other 6 in 7 people communicate? We live on a planet of around 7.3 billion people and just approximately 1.5 billion of us have Facebook accounts, this tells me that the playing field is still wide open and if I can get my act in order, I can still rule the social media space.
Watch out, Mark!
From idea conception to building it out and growing it into a true behemoth, Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook are living proofs that anything is possible.
Linda Ikeji, the most successful Nigerian blogger under the blue sky is making the headlines again. She has just unveiled the first set of beneficiaries from her ‘Linda Ikeji I’d Rather Be Selfmade’ project. She doled out ₦5 million to 15 girls.
According to her: “This money is 100% my own money. I didn’t collect a dime from anyone.”
This is a really commendable project and we do hope more people can learn from this and be inspired to start similar programs. I am sure Linda is not taking a stake in the businesses they are starting up.
My only qualm with the project would be that I do not think she is leading them towards building an internet business as she is doing and I do not like that (She did not reveal the business ideas that won but I used my Sherlocky deductive skills to draw conclusions 😉 ). The internet represents the biggest sources of growth for everyone and new business people must learn how to use it to grow business empires.
But I am really excited about this and I am definitely looking forward to more from her.
Well done Linda!
Someone once defined employees as people we use to get what we want.
I shrugged. What a cold definition! Yet, it seems this is exactly the way many Entrepreneurs and Employers see the people who work for them.
I think this is a very poor approach to things, if you treat your employees well, you will always get more in return. Money is not the only thing that motivates people to work for you. An employee once told his boss, “you only get what you pay us for when we could have also used our brains for you for free”.
You should always take good care of your staff, it is only rare employees that will treat your customers better than you treat them. Treat everyone with respect, treat them as adults, back them up to make decisions, truly empower them.
Watching The World
There is a time to invest and a time to cash out. If there is no investment, there will be NOTHING to cash out.
Our noisy neighbours in Silicon Valley like to proudly show off all they have achieved in technology and they like kidding themselves that they are changing the world on a scale and in ways no one else has ever done before (Duh!). But the reality is some what different from that.
The real story is that Silicon Valley is the way it is today because some people planted the seeds for it several years before the first hippie startup emerged. So many Government funded research created the foundations necessary for emergence of all the cool companies we read about today.
I think the Nigerian business and tech ecosystem is in a position whereby it needs more investment than cashing out. We need to start sowing long term seeds that will create the environment necessary to support the organic sprouting of world-changing startups, that is the way to go. No shortcut, get-rich-quick scheme can serve our national interest in the long term.
That is how I see it.
Watching The World
Always default to save and not waste time.
Optimizing our business, services or apps to save time and not waste time is definitely a smart thing to do. Saving time means we need to get everything running more efficiently, eliminating wastage in any form.
Google search won because it saved time by efficiently giving you what you wanted – information and not mindless pop-up ads. Online banking is making life easier for everybody because you can now avoid the long queues inside the bank.
We all get 24 hours a day and we do not really want to waste any second of it. So, if we could just get to the core of the task that needs to be done as soon as possible, that would be a great thing.
A powerful way to brainstorm for a project is to ask the (simple) question:
How can I save these x people, x hours everyday?
Watching The World
Let us start off with some numbers:
Today, Nigeria has a population is around 183 million. By 2020, we have a forecast for a population of around 220 million Nigerians.
By 2050, the forecast says 440 million.
Today, around 1.8 million graduates go into the labour market each year. Around 20.3 million youths are unemployed (Figures from Nigerian Bureau of Statistics. All these people need jobs, all these people needs things to do.
Today, we are just 183 million and our economy is not robust enough to cater for all of us. What will happen when our population explodes? With the free falling standard of education in Nigeria, I worry about the kind of education underprivileged children will have access to in 2020. (I’m not worried about myself, I have enough faith/connections/money to send my kids to the best schools in the world). I attended a public school that had no doors and windows. I wonder if the public schools in 2020 will have buildings at all.
Oil is over and Nigeria is screwed. The world is breaking up with oil on all fronts, the sooner we actually diversify this economy, the better.
What can we do?
We need to “boot” up a new economy, a new economy led by correct thinking Nigerians that will take power into their own hands and get things done. Nigerians have to create millions of new jobs every year and right now, we are delivering only a fraction of that. We really need to have more people like Dangote, hard at work creating jobs.
You are not an Entrepreneur because you want to eat and go on holiday to Dubai every weekend. You are an Entrepreneur because you need to create JOBS.
The question we need to start asking ourselves now is: how many jobs can we create over the next 5 years??
This is why we need you to step up your game.
Watching The World
If you are really interested in getting the kind of results I am having, you have to also prepare to have the kind of life I am living: “my customs, traditions, habits” and all that.
Many people say: “just tell us the principles you apply”. But they are missing the mark; it is not about the principles, everybody now has these principles yet the results vary. The results vary very much because this thing is NOT a performance. It is an outflow of the life within.
There is no need to be jealous or envious of people who seem to be more successful than you are, you simply need to grab the kind of life they are living. This thing is not about the knowledge they have, it also has to deal with the value system, approach to life, the core of everything.
It is spiritual, it is rarely physical only.
For optimal results, you can rarely avoid it, you need the higher life! That’s the life that produces results inside whoever hosts it.
A lot of interesting reactions to the post about “The first thing about having a mentor”.
A #TMP reader asks:
“I want some clarification on this matter: can my parent be my mentor?”
It is a question several people have asked me recently and so I have decided to discuss it in as few words as possible.
Let us start with my definition of mentorship:
Someone who was once where you are now and is now at a place you want to be and is willing to assist you to make the jump.
So, the first honest question you would need to ask yourself is whether you want to take in your parents’ footsteps. Do you want to end up like them or do you want to do better?
Your mentors cannot give you what they do not have, that is why you have to pick mentors carefully. Advancing beyond where your parents left will require a higher form of mentoring and training which they might not be able to offer. The reason many parents and their children get into trouble is because while the parents always want what is right for their children, making those choices might hamper the better choices the child wants to make but which the parents do not understand.
The simple solution is to make them understand, right? But as we all soon find out, making your parents understand you can be difficult.
Indeed your parents are your first set of mentors, but you soon probably need to outgrow them as you seek to carve out a path for your own life. If you adopt your parents as your sole mentors, you cannot expect to live a life that will be much better than the one they lived.
Watching The World