Three misleading thoughts I had while starting up my business
- I thought I was starting too late
- I thought I knew enough already
- I thought it was going to be easy
I thought it was going to be easy
In 2016, I decided to start a business, grow it and probably sell it in the next five to ten years. At least that was a big dream until I started and it all started to feel impossible. I thought it was going to be easy. All the plans I had made it look like starting and achieving my business goal was going to be a workover. But, my thought was wrong. Starting a business is not just about having a bright idea or knowing how to make brilliant plans. A new business requires far more than that. Even existing businesses do not rely on plans, execution is key. This is the task of executive officers.
You are not a CEO if you do not understand what it takes to transform your plans into a building. It is a great waste of time to venture into a business without knowing how to manifest your goals. Ideas and plans won’t come to light if implementations aren’t made. Have you ever visited a construction site? Despite the building plan, it requires hard work to bring to building to reality. Paperwork is good but paperwork won’t bring the papers in, execution will. So hear me, I thought it was going to be easy, but it never was.
I thought I knew enough already
Far back as 2010, I have been reading about story writing and also learning to use the computer. I never had a laptop of my own neither was there a mobile phone that was mine at this time. Backwards to the years before 2010 – In my early school days, I was almost classified as a failure. I was all legs in the category of backward student, the only part of my body that was not in was my head. I would hardly pronounce a written English word. I was still battling with Queen Primer volume 1 and 2 at primary 4. But somehow along the line, I fell in love with storytelling. This was not a coincidence. It was born out of constant force to pick up my book to read.
At this point, I have fallen in love with anything text. I could stay glued staring at a book and wondering how the author thought of the thing written. Sometimes, I decided to replicate what I have read in another form to see if I can produce something interesting. My journey towards knowing started like that. I kept learning, signing up to content emails, following writers and associations on social platforms, and practising the use of words. There are times when I read the dictionary from the beginning to the end. At least I must have done that three times.
I thought I knew it all already when I decided to start my business in 2016. I was not ready to go job hunting. I have spent over four years learning before 2016; the knowledge gained is enough I thought. But building a business and personal capacity building are two different aspects of life that shouldn’t be likened. I spent time developing myself as an individual with an interest in the content. I did not learn or acquire the knowledge that is needed to build or run a business. When I got to realize this lapse in my business, I started learning about business. One thing I have realized in building businesses is that you do not have to automatically become the CEO of your business. You can assign that position to capable individuals who can advise and executive plans diligently.
I thought I knew it all. It is now clear that no man is an island of knowledge. In learning or knowing, be specific about the knowledge you are after. Seek that knowledge and try to remain focused on building the knowledge to have gained. Try not to jump from one knowledge seeking to another.
I thought I was starting too late
I thought I was starting too late. I had wanted to have my first book published when I become 18. I was 18 and I couldn’t get an editor for my work; so I kept on shifting year after year the plan to get published. Eventually, I was 25 and I was yet to achieve my single goal of becoming a published author! Then I decided to change the goal into something I thought was a good alternative. If I cannot get myself published due to the cost of publishing, I should be able to write for others who can get published. This was how I birthed my first business idea.
All I wanted was an opportunity to write, there was no business plan, no business model. I thought I was taking too long to start the career I wanted to live in. I thought I was the only one finding it hard to get started. I was 20 years old when I saw a 15-year-old girl interviewed on television. She was brought in as a guest; an author of two books. It felt like if at 25 years, I do not kick off somehow anyhow, I might never take off anytime soon. This was a big mistake! You don’t start a business just because you feel it is an alternative to your main goal.
If starting a business is not the main goal, then it is not a run to go. Also, I have come to realize that business is not about who started it first but who is doing it better. No customer really care if you started yesterday, they are only interested in the value for their money. Offer a valuable service and you will find customers leaving their age-long patronage just for you.
Where am I now?
Knowledge is key and knowledge is one of my fundamental quests in life. I have constantly audited my life, decisions and actions. I pay close attention to my thoughts and think them over until I am sure my impulse is mine. I have come to realize taking action under pressure or in a bit to impress will lead to failure. Equally, prioritizing my tasks and needs have become key in achieving the kind of success I desire. I have been able to come to terms with what I want in life and that is the main chase right now and always. Every other thing has to fall within this particular chase or it is not mine.
I have tried my hands on several writing niches and skills. I have written plays, screen scripts, radio scripts, short stories, novels, speeches, biographies, memoirs. Additionally, I have carried out academic research in fields such as science, management, and humanities. There are also some business research and developments that have been added to my portfolio.
Never stopped at just producing content, I have been back to school. I added a master’s degree to my academic qualification. I have also done some online training and courses to aid my knowledge in business, intelligence and information. Right now, I am all about customer service and business development. I have developed an incredible flair for customer satisfaction, trying to understand what customers want and how they would prefer to get their needs met.
Each time I look back at home unguarded I started, something tells me I am not the only one who had walked that path. Some totally lost it and were never able to find their way.
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Date: 16th January 2022 Time: 5 pm (Nigeria Time) Venue: Held-Virtually
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