Home Blog Page 2

Developing Entrepreneur Mindset

1

Why do you want to become an entrepreneur? How can you develop an entrepreneur mindset?

In a recent survey, it was discovered that more than seventy percent of people want to be some sort of entrepreneur. There are many reasons why many wants to become an entrepreneur and why you should consider taking that giant step and creating your own world but before we talk about how to develop an entrepreneur mindset, let’s look at the difference between an intrapreneur and an entrepreneur.

An Intrapreneur

An intrapreneur is an employee of an organization creating values for the company he or she is working with. An intrapreneur is someone who has passion for entrepreneurship but is using the passion and the knowledge to serve another man and by doing so, he or she is creating values in the company and he is been rewarded accordingly. You are promoting innovative products development the same way an entrepreneur would. Intrapreneur usually have the resources and capabilities of the firm at their disposal.

Entrepreneur and Intrapreneur vary in their level of focus. Whereas an entrepreneur envisions a company from start to finish, an intrapreneur has a much broader vision for an established company. Since the intrapreneur works on solving bigger issues within the organization, he typically has more directly applicable skills for given tasks and takes more risks within the context of his job.

Just as an entrepreneur starts a company as a means of providing goods or services, intrapreneurs seeks policies, technologies and applications that will help increase a company’s productivity. As an intrapreneur builds the aptitude for recognizing and solving important problems, he also builds skills required to start his own business.

Similar to how entrepreneurs’ experiments, an intrapreneur possesses the freedom and anatomy for professional growth. An intrapreneur has the independence to analyze and understand trends necessary for planning the company’s future. Intrapreneurs synthesize their findings and determine methods for staying ahead of their competitors.

Intrapreneurs become company’s executive leaders over time. They move the business forward and rise to the top as they understand the business from all levels. A company should recognize and promote successful intrapreneurs so the business can succeed and grow. When intrapreneurs work at solving problem, they foster the growth of other talented intrapreneurs and integrate processes for the greater good of the entire company.

An Entrepreneur

An entrepreneur is someone who starts a new business or organization, taking some personal risks to do so. He may quit a secured job to devote time to starting the business, use personal savings as capital or convince investors to finance the business.

Successful entrepreneurs need the strong characteristics of trust, confidence, competence, courage, self-discipline along with right personality traits. An entrepreneur needs a successful business trait like we already highlighted above.

You can call an entrepreneur an individual who, rather than working as an employee, runs a small business and assumes all the risks and rewards of a given business venture, idea or goods/services offered for sale. An entrepreneur is commonly seen as a business leader and innovator of new ideas and business processes.

Entrepreneurs play a key role in any economy. These are the people who have the skills and initiative necessary to take good new ideas to the market and to make right decisions that lead to profitability. The reward for taking the risk is the potential economic profits the entrepreneur could earn. Entrepreneurs commonly face many obstacles when building a business. Some common obstacles that many entrepreneurs face are overcoming bureaucracy, hiring talent and acquiring finance.

Entrepreneurship is a critical driver of innovation and economic growth. Therefore, fostering entrepreneurship is an important part of the economic growth strategies of many local and national governments around the world. To this end, governments commonly assist in the development of entrepreneurial ecosystems, which may include entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and government sponsored programs to assist entrepreneurs.

Given the risks that comes with a new venture, the acquisition of financing is particularly challenging and many entrepreneurs overcome these obstacles by bootstrapping.

Bootstrapping means to finance a business using methods such as owner funding, providing sweat equity to reduce labor costs, minimizing inventory and factoring receivables. While some entrepreneurs are lone actors struggling to get small businesses off the ground on a shoestring, others work with additional founders, armed with greater access to capital and other resources. In these situations, businesses may acquire financing from venture capitalists, angel investor hedge funds, crowdsourcing or through bank loans.

KEY FACTORS TO CONSIDER AS AN ENTREPRENEUR

What motivates people to start business?

To you, it may be passion, while to someone else it could be something else. The economy could be the reason why someone wants to start a new business, it could be that you want to become your own boss, it may as well be that you want to be free from the 8 to 5 work style, other factors includes autonomy, opportunity, being responsible to the society, necessity, accidental, and many others. So the question is, what is the motivating factor behind your starting a business?

What type of business should you go into?

Before going into any business, you must do your market research, have a basic knowledge of the industry you are going into.

There are three things you need to run a successful business.

  • Capability: You must possess the ability or power to get things done, you must be willing and determined.
  • Strategy: You must have a business plan. A business plan of action that is designed to achieve a long term or overall aim.
  • Capital: When we talk about capital, it does not only refer to financial capital, although this is a key factor, but you also need relationship capital, knowledge and human based capital.

How do you raise capital for business?

–              Personal savings

–              Loans

–              Investors

–              Financial institutions

–              Family and Friends

In addition, you should also become a service provider.

What must you do before starting your business?

–              Register your business name/company

–              Get a bank account

–              Be determined to succeed

–              Keep records

–              Have a business plan and feasibility report

–              Have a business model that works

While running your business;

–              Have financial discipline

–              Keep your earning in your business

–              Have a staying power

–              Pay and account for your taxes

–              Keep your books accurately

–              Build a brand around your business

–              Market your business (both online and offline)

–              Have a transition process in place

Do trend analysis for your business regularly

–              Understand the business operation

–              Manage people well

–              Build trust

–              Build people

–              Keep re-engineering your business. We elaborated more on this under business                  model in chapter one.

–              Expand your business when you need to

In conclusion, an entrepreneur must be sensitive to opportunities. Most people are not ready for a long race, for you to succeed in business, you must have a staying power.

Why Nigerians Should Trust Local Web Hosting Companies

0

While searching for a local web hosting company to use for a project some time ago, I tried to search online and read a lot of negative reviews about local web hosting companies, I saw some reviews like;

  • Nigeria based hosting companies offer more economical hosting services, but they may end up costing more in the long run or as the traffic of your website increases.
  • Although there are many local Nigerian hosts, their performance is simply too slow.
  • Although web hosting companies in Nigeria have improved a lot in their quality of service and reliability, they are not there yet as customer service is still an issue.
  • Most web hosting companies in Nigeria are mainly just resellers for international hosting providers like GoDaddy or HostGator, which means they are more or less middle-men, which could contribute to the cost of the hosting as they will have to take their fee to cover cost.

Although some of these allegations are or may be true to an extent but from my findings, what I realized is that many of the writers with these negative reviews about Nigerian web hosting services have affiliates with the international web hosting companies and they want to make more money hence they condemn local web hosting and persuade you to go with the international guys because of their own selfish interest.

But the truth is that Nigerian web hosting companies have improved over time. We have several local hosting companies with data centers in Nigeria and other locations for redundancy with maximum uptime, speed, accuracy and high level security.

If you run a business in Nigeria or you are a multinational business with a subsidiary in Nigeria, it is a good investment to register .com.ng domain names and host locally. These .com.ng and .org.ng domain names can only be registered by accredited Nigerian registrars.

One major advantage of Nigeria based web hosting companies is that you can pay in Naira via bank deposit or with your debit/ATM card. Nigeria based web hosting services are also more economical. Nigeria based hosting companies offer you convenient Naira payment which is kind of a big deal in a cash dominated economy like Nigeria.

Nigeria web hosting companies like their foreign competitors also offers an advanced domain management dashboard which enables you do a lot with the domain name. You have access to nameservers, which enables you host your website on any hosting service.

You can also add and update records like CNAME, MX, A, NS, or SOA, which gives you a lot of room for configuration, bringing their domain name registration services at par with leading global brands in the business.

One disadvantage of using international web hosting company is the foreign exchange rate. You pay a lot higher than the actual amount because the exchange rate is not favorable and it may remain so for the foreseeable future except if there is a turnaround in Nigeria’s economy.

Another disadvantage bothers on data privacy. These big guys have access to your data and they can do whatever they want with it. GDPR is only existing in Europe, Nigeria still have a long way to go when it comes to protecting our data, giving your information out there cheaply is not a good thing, I bet nobody wants unnecessary access to his private life but that is what you are doing when you go with International web hosting companies.

Capital flight is another concern when it comes to foreign host. Doing your business in Nigeria will help boost the Nigerian economy, and if you are a lover of Nigeria, then you should do host your business locally.

In conclusion, local is the new global when it comes to web hosting. You can always trust local web hosting companies and you will never be disappointed. However, make sure to do your due diligence as there are some that still don’t deliver up to expectation.

Personal Leadership

0

What is personal leadership?

  1. Personal leadership is the self-confident ability to crystallize your thinking and establish an exact direction for your own life, to commit yourself to moving in that direction, and then to take determined action to acquire, accomplish, or become whatever you identify as the ultimate goal in your life.
  1. Personal leadership is the leadership of the self. It is the ability to define a direction for your leadership and life, and to move in that direction with consistency and clarity.
  1. Personal leadership is your commitment to take the lead in your own life. You take the opportunity to design, create, and achieve your ideal ways of living and leading.  In a positive, unselfish way, personal leadership means putting yourself first.  Literally speaking, personal means ‘about you’; leadership means ‘coming first.
  1. Personal leadership is the kindling within. When you fan the inner flame, you unleash what you’re capable of.
  1. Personal leadership is a form of transformational development. It is transformational in the sense that many leaders before now only knows about leading others and not self but with personal leadership, you will get to understand that leadership starts from self. Before you can lead others, you must be able to lead yourself.

When you practice personal leadership, you lead from the inside out.  The process involves asking yourself, ‘How do I need to be and act and think in order to be my best?’ — a kind of self-driven style well-suited to dedicated leaders like you who will carry business into the future.  In order to do that, you must periodically turn away from the concerns of the day — the people, the problems, and the pressure — to explore and discover your inner edge.

To practice personal leadership, you apply the principles of leadership that makes business a success … to yourself.  For example, leading in business involves having a compelling vision, developing strategies, and inspiring people to use their talents to meet a goal for improved business results.  Leading yourself means applying these same principles of leadership to your role as a leader and your life.  You, too, need a compelling vision and a strategy for reaching it.  You need a team supporting you.  You need results, as well as a sense of contribution and purpose.  The difference is that personal leadership doesn’t just make for better business, it makes for better leadership.  It makes for a better you.

Personal leadership is a smarter kind of personal growth and path of personal excellence.

As a leader, you must learn to lead yourself to stay effective.  When you practice personal leadership, you use every ounce of your potential with inspiration instead of perspiration, synergy instead of sacrifice, and wisdom instead of work.

What are the characteristics of personal leadership?

What makes personal leadership different from other forms of leadership?

Personal leadership is distinguished by its focus on the individual and an appreciation for who you are.

  1. Respectful: Personal leadership respects the extraordinary value of each human being.  It does not, as many models do, tell you to be like someone else although you can learn from people.

2. Reflective: Personal leadership means thinking about what you’re doing, in a spirit of wholeheartedness, openness, all-inclusiveness and responsibility.

3. Renewing: The most important tool for leading 21st century change is the leader’s self.’  Unlike a take-no-prisoner approach to leadership, personal leadership offers an element of renewal– a way for leaders to slow down and advance in a powerful yet sustainable way.  When you are overworked, overtaxed, and overtired, you burn out.  When you are rested, rewarded, and renewed, you excel.

4. Rewarding: No matter what you do for a living, your work can be rewarding.  Personal leadership offers you the chance to create true prosperity — the kind of happiness that comes not just from financial gain but also from the richness of life.

The Benefits of Personal Leadership for You

Why should you consider practicing personal leadership? Personal leadership gives you a host of ways to do more, faster, and better.

  1. You Are More Efficient and Productive: You learn to do things the way they come naturally so you can be productive without being so busy.  You learn to use your mind well.  You manage your focus instead of your time, and your energy instead of your effort.  The result?  You achieve more with less.  You experience quality work and quality time at once.
  1. You Feel Motivated and Inspired: Practicing personal leadership means you not only know what you do well, you know why you’re doing it in the first place.  Work isn’t just work anymore.  It’s your chance to contribute your talents to people and ideas in which you believe.
  1. You Experience a Life of Joy and Fulfillment: One important aspect of personal leadership is the ability to connect, not separate, the different parts of your life.  You can still be committed to your work, but your commitment supports your personal life.  You can still devote yourself to your personal interests, but your devotion is integrated with your work.  You don’t have to trade one for the other, and so you move from distress to de-stress.
  1. Reconnecting with your sense of self does more than enliven your work: It makes life more rewarding.  You see through the well-documented myth that money alone can buy happiness.  Don’t worry—you don’t have to give up the gains of success. You just get to experience the rewards of joy and fulfillment as well.
  1. You Get Your Life Back: When you learn to lead yourself, you find more free time, choice, and control.  Practice personal leadership, you learn that you can have it all without doing it all.  You learn to put first things first and to let things happen instead of making them happen.  Then at last you can achieve your ambitions while still saving something for yourself.

You Get Better Results.  It may seem that personal leadership has an awful lot to do with you.  Indeed it does.  But your success as a leader also produces better results for your business.  As you focus on your inner edge, you become more effective on your outer edge.  As you improve yourself, you improve your team, your organization, your company, and your results.

Finally, let’s talk about 2 major important attributes of personal leadership aside from the ones we have mentioned.

  1. Discipline

When it comes to discipline I’m always led to reflect something the Tentmaker said:

”In a race everyone runs, but only one person gets first prize. So run your race to win. To win the contest you must deny yourselves many things that would keep you from doing your best. An athlete goes to all this trouble just to win a blue ribbon or a silver cup, but we do it for a heavenly reward that never disappears.

So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I fight to win. I’m not just shadow-boxing or playing around. Like an athlete I punish my body, treating it roughly, training it to do what it should, not what it wants to. Otherwise I fear that after enlisting others for the race, I myself might be declared unfit and ordered to stand aside.”

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (Living Bible, The – TLB)

There is a discipline to go through, if you want to succeed as a leader either in business or professional career. It’s not just about being talented or gifted. You have to be disciplined, with yourself, and your habits.

The athlete knows that he must subject himself to a strict training and dietary regime, to be successful.

There is a discipline for the kind of life you want to lead:

  • You must be disciplined in how you spend and allocate your time.
  • You must be disciplined in how you spend and allocate your money.
  • You must be disciplined in how you prepare yourself every day. Don’t be careless or go into meetings unprepared.
  • You must be disciplined in how you present yourself to others, including those you work with every day.
  • You must be disciplined about where you go. Always knowing why you are going, what you hope to accomplish, and how long you should be there.
  • You must be serious, if you want others to take you seriously. And it all boils down to your personal discipline/leadership.
  • You must be disciplined in not only setting goals, and training for them, but also in how you evaluate your accomplishments with respect to those goals.
  • You must also choose your friends carefully; “If you walk with the wise, you will be wise.”

In relationships it is best to be either raising others, or being raised yourself through others. Horizontal relationships where you are simply looking for companionship, do not necessarily benefit you; keep them to an absolute minimum, and manage all your relationships with discipline and respect.

  1. Be a fast follower:

There is nothing wrong in trying to figure things out on your own and be a blockbuster success, however, there is another path to success, and this is called, the “fast follower”.

There are a lot of people who are successful, through the ability to see what others have done, and then moving quickly to do the same thing; this is the “fast follower”.

If you want to understand fast followership in detail, look at great companies like Microsoft or Apple, they are not necessarily the first to come up with a new idea. They are “fast followers”; if they see someone doing something, that has potential, they either buy it or build something similar; –only they do it better.

The Chinese are masters of the “fast follower” model:

When they see something in the West, like Yahoo, Facebook, Uber, Google, their entrepreneurs quickly follow, to build their own.

Personal leadership requires you been a fast follower. One of my mentor said, who you follow determines what follows you.

The Fast Follower, does not copy, they look at something very carefully, and then try to re-imagine it:

-“How can I make this better?”

– “how do I use this, in my own context?”

Steve Jobs, did not invent the cell phone, in coming up with the iPhone. He took something that had been there, for nearly 20 years, and completely re-imagined it, to come up with the iPhone.

In Fact, Steve Jobs was the “master” Fast Follower:

He did not invent anything new. He innovated around ideas that had been there all along. The same could be said, about much of what Bill Gates did.

Success requires you to be both a “FAST leader”, as well as a “FAST follower”. This is because sometimes you get the chance to be the one who pioneers something new, but more often than not you must also be ready to be a “fast follower”, if the situation calls for it.

The Benefits of Personal Leadership for Business

Personal leadership isn’t just a game changer for life.  It helps with business, too.

In a time when leaders are gasping for breath, personal leadership breathes in new life.  Businesses that honor the development and well-being of their leaders experience the following:  higher customer satisfaction, lower turnover, higher productivity, increased creativity, integrity, resilience, speed, quality, and innovation.

Thank you for your time.

Ebenezer Dare.

Online Presence

0

Making the most of the internet is as important as your breathing. Every entrepreneur needs the digital skills to grow his business and confidence. You need to leverage on the power of the internet and social media to generate leads for sales and business growth.

The Internet is a force for good and we must work together to keep it that way. The Internet has become increasingly central to many of our lives and societies, allowing us to accomplish things in moments that less than a decade ago were impossible. For communities coming online, the Internet is a connection to opportunity and empowerment.

Let’s look at some statistics:

– Google gets over 3.5 billion searches daily, other search engines like Yahoo and co are not inclusive.

– There are well over 1.2 billion websites globally (Is yours included?).

– There are over 4 billion internet users daily

– An average of 200 billion emails are sent and received on a daily basis

– Over 3 million blog posts are written daily

And many more. You can check https://www.internetlivestats.com/ for more statistics.

Also, according to Global Digital Report 2018;

– The number of internet users worldwide in 2018 is 4.021 billion, up 7 percent year-on-year

– The number of social media users worldwide in 2018 is 3.196 billion, up 13 percent year-on-year

Do you know that?

– Listing your business on more than 20 business directories can increase your visibility online by 15%?

– 80% of people find out about new or existing businesses through search engines and directories?

So what is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is an umbrella term for the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly on the internet, but also including mobile phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium.

How do you take advantage of online presence to boost your sales?

  1. Don’t always come online, live online.
  • Always tweet, post or share topics that relates to your business.
  • Be on every social media platform
  • Do online adverts
  1. Be consistent in your posting, tweeting etc. It takes patience, faith, consistency among others to close deals.
  2. Be proactive in your response to inquiries.
  3. Grow your network. Your network will determine your networth.

Channels of online marketing

  • Email Marketing
  • BulkSMS
  • In app advertisement
  • Social media marketing. (i.e Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Youtube etc)

We advance on our journey only when we face our goal, only when we are confident and believe we are going to win. ~Orison Swett Marden,

Thank you.

Analysis of Disruption in The Educational Sector

0

The education sector is already becoming disruptive in the sense that everything has changed. People (students) no longer wants to spend four to five years behind the wall of a school when they can do the same course online and get quality education at a cheaper cost.

Higher education in Nigeria and all over the world is already feeling the impact of online learning and very few of them are already changing their business model to remain relevant in this disruptive system.

Over the years—indeed, over more than 100 years—new kinds of institutions with different initial charters have been created to address the needs of various population segments, including non-consumers. Land-grant universities, teachers’ colleges, two-year colleges, and so on were initially launched to serve those for whom a traditional four-year liberal arts education was out of reach or unnecessary. Many of these new entrants strived to improve over time, compelled by analogues of the pursuit of profitability: a desire for growth, prestige, and the capacity to do greater good. Thus they made costly investments in research, dormitories, athletic facilities, faculty, and so on, seeking to emulate more-elite institutions. Doing so has increased their level of performance in some ways—they can provide richer learning and living environments for students, for example. Yet the relative standing of higher-education institutions remains largely unchanged: With few exceptions, the top 20 are still the top 20, and the next 50 are still in that second tier, decades after decades.

Because both incumbents and newcomers are seemingly following the same game plan, it is perhaps no surprise that incumbents are able to maintain their positions. What has been missing—until recently—is experimentation with new models that successfully appeal to today’s non-consumers of higher education. In other words, those who are not ready to go and spend years behind the school walls.

The question now is whether there is a novel technology or business model that allows new entrants to move upmarket without emulating the incumbents’ high costs—that is, to follow a disruptive path. The answer seems to be yes, and the enabling innovation is online learning, which is becoming broadly available globally. Real tuition for online courses is falling, and accessibility and quality are improving. Innovators are making inroads into the mainstream market at a stunning pace.

Will online education disrupt the incumbents’ model? And if so, when? In other words, will online education’s trajectory of improvement intersect with the needs of the mainstream market?

These questions and many more can only be answered with time provided new entrants continue with the trajectory improvement and the incumbents can no longer continue with their business.

Ebenezer Dare.

Re-Inventing Your Business Model

0

As an entrepreneur, you must learn business model. Business model is what we do to make money; your business must have a model. If you don’t live for designing business model, your business won’t last. Business can only make progress when it is been re-invented on a daily basis. Ask Blockbuster why they lost the video rental business to Netflix- Business Model.

To move faster from the neutral phase to the beginning phase during transition period, you must always build intellectual capacity for where you are going.

By definition, business model is a plan for the successful operation of a business, identifying sources of revenue, the intended customer base, products, and details of financing.
A business model lays out a step-by-step plan of action to profitably operate the business in a specific marketplace. The business model for a restaurant is significantly different from the business model for an online business for instance.

To put together a business model, let’s look at the following points that make up a business model canvas.

Key partners: Who are the key partners for your business? Identify them and deal with them accordingly and have a good business relationship with them.

Key activities: When we say key activities, I mean what are the activities done on a daily, weekly and monthly basis in your business? All these must be identified and documented. This will help you put structure to your business and it will help you make informed decisions that will move the company forward.

Key resources: Key resources talks about the tools you can’t do without on a daily basis for your business, like the location for your business, human resources, recurrent expenses, and every other resources that will make your business profitable. Let’s take for example a website designer, he may not necessarily need an office, but he needs a laptop to work with, he would need internet data, he would have to get a domain name and hosting package.

Value proposition: What are the values you want to offer your customers? What are the features intended to make your company or product attractive to customers? Value proposition is what your customers want to hear about your product or services.

Customer relationship: This is the way you deal with your customers; it could be an existing customer or a potential client. Customer loyalty is very key in business and for a customer to be loyal, the relationship between you (your business) and the customer must be unwavering. You must possess the following qualities for you to be in a successful relationship with your customers; transparency, integrity, swift response to customer complaints, quick delivery of goods ordered and so on.

Customer segment: Customer segment is a function of customer relationship, it is the practice of dividing a customer base into groups of individuals that are similar in specific ways relevant to marketing, such as age, gender, interests and spending habits.

Channels: What are your channels of delivery? How do you intend to deliver your products or services to your customers? Let’s say you are into a bakery business, while some of your customers may come to the bakery to pick up their goods, you can also arrange for a vehicle to go supply to customers that are not close by. In this wise, there’d be two channels of delivering your products to your customers which will eventually boost your profits.

Successful businesses have developed business models that enable them to fulfill client needs at a competitive price and sustainable cost. Over time, circumstances change especially in this information age, and many businesses revise their business models frequently to reflect changing business environments and market demands.

Managing Transition

0

Transition is how people respond to change. Transition is not change and change is not transition. Transition starts with acknowledging an end and grieving its losses, while change means something new is starting and something old is ending.

Even good changes oftentimes result to loss of something. People in transition move from an end to a neutral zone before the new beginning.

This neutral zone, also known as the middle time, is when you work out who you are and who you are not, what to hold on to and what to let go of, what you have to learn and what you have to unlearn to be ready to start something new.

Change is situational; it could be a new job, promotion, new assignment, new business, new policy or any other thing.

Transition is the psychological process that people go through to come to terms with new situation. Change is external, transition is internal. Change can also be a shift in circumstances, when something starts or stops, the outcome of an event, a wave, or disruption of your plans.

Change is external. Transition is the inner process; a psychological process we go through as we come to terms with the new change.

Both transition and change involves three stages, namely;

  • The end stage
  • The neutral stage, and
  • The new beginning stage

The End Stage:

While transition starts with an end, situational changes hinges on new things. Psychological transition depends on letting go of the old reality you had before the change took place.

You must think through who or what you have to let go of when change occurs. In all changes, there are endings and losses. People don’t like endings; but before you can begin a new thing, there must be an end. New beginning depends on an end.

Endings are difficult because some part of us still wants to hold on to what or whom we used to be.

The Neutral stage:

After letting go, there is the neutral stage; or you may call it the middle time. This is when the old way is gone or almost gone and the new doesn’t feel comfortable yet.

The neutral stage is a time of reflection, you can’t rush through it, you must expect it and understand why it’s there. It is a tough time that doesn’t last for too long, it is the best chance for creativity, renewal and development. It is both a dangerous and opportune place, it is the very core of the transition process.

It was Anais Nin that said “We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially, we are relative. We are mature in one realm and childish in another. The past, present and future mingle and pull us backward, forward or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”

The neutral stage is chaotic, lacking in clear systems, structure and signals about what to do. A lack of clarity within creative opportunity. Creative solutions emerge in the gap between the old and the new.

During the neutral stage:

  • Anxiety rises and motivation falls
  • People in the neutral stage miss more workdays than at other time
  • Old weaknesses, long patched over or compensated for, re-emerge in full flower.
  • Personnel are overloaded, signals are often mixed and systems are in flux and therefore unreliable.

The New Beginning Stage:

There is a difference between a start and a new beginning. Often, change creates a start, yet transition is still underway and people are still in the neutral stage feeling lost, confused and uncertain.

A beginning only takes place after they have come through the wilderness and are ready to make the emotional commitment to do things the new way and see themselves as new people.

A start could be carefully designed, like an object. A beginning should be nurtured, like a plant. A start takes place on a schedule as a result of decisions while a beginning is the final phase of the organic process called transition.

The business world is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. You must learn how to leverage on change by riding on the waves of change.

“When the rate of change outside a business is higher than the rate of change inside the business, the end of that business is near”. ~Jack Welch

 

Culled from my newly released book- Startupreneur

Are you a startup founder or an employee that has passion for entrepreneurship and you want to know more about how to manage transition, business model, online presence and many more?

You can order for my newly released book titled Startupreneur. It will open your eyes to what you need to know as a business owner. Visit www.ebenezerdare.com to order.

The print version is available on Amazon.

Building A Multi-Million Dollar Business – The Slot Story

0

It was Isaac Newton that said “If I have seen any farther, it is by standing on the shoulders of those who have gone ahead of me. In this article,  I will share with you the story of a businessman in Nigeria who started a business from scratch as a result of his frustration after searching for a job for many years as a graduate but could not find one.

Nnamdi Ezeigbo is the founder and CEO of SLOT systems limited, and also the brain behind TECNO and INFINIX, the fastest selling phone brands in Nigeria. Many people are not even aware that these popular phone brands are the brainchild of a fellow Nigerian. His success story is a very remarkable one.

He studied Electrical Electronics Engineering at the Yaba College of Technology in 1988, and got a Higher National Diploma (HND), before serving his country, Nigeria, during his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) year at Guinness Nigeria PLC, in 1996.

After completing his youth service year, Nnamdi Ezeigbo tried to secure a job with a company in Nigeria. With no promising signs of any potential employment, he went on to work as an apprentice, learning how to repair computers. After which he launched out on his own to repair computers for individuals.  Since he didn’t have any cash at the time, he had to squat with a friend of his at Ikeja, who owned a book store. His customer base grew, largely because of his honesty and the premium he placed on customer service.

The mutual trust and good relationship with his customers was what gave him his first break in business.  One day, an old customer he knew from his days as an apprentice came to his little shop to see him. He told him he would love him to continue fixing his computers, but would prefer he operated from a larger and more serene environment. To help him out, the customer brought some printers for Nnamdi to sell, from which he used the proceeds to setup a new shop for himself. He paid for the store at a then price of 180,000 Naira (He later bought that same store many years later for 100 million Naira).

From his new store, he began to sell computers. As his business grew, a lot of customers started to both demand for slot stores in areas close to their vicinities, and to ask if they sold mobile phones. With a keen eye to spot opportunity when it presents itself, Nnamdi Ezeigbo immediately expanded his business to also cover the sale of mobile phones.

With no real knowledge on how to manage a growing business, Nnamdi decided to enroll for an MBA program at the prestigious Lagos Business School. He also began to attend many workshops on entrepreneurship, and that helped to sharpen his business acumen and developed his legendary entrepreneurial prowess.

During this process, he and his team decided to take a 5-year route to build a strong reputation for their brand. By the time the projection had elapsed, the Slot brand name was the most reputable mobile phone retailer in the whole country.

The rise of telecommunication networks created many opportunities in the Nigerian market. Their poor services caused many Nigerians to purchase more than one mobile phone, so they could try a different network when the other was bad. Nnamdi realized this problem early on, and approached Nokia in a bid to convince them to manufacture dual sim phones for Nigerians, so they would carry only one mobile phone at a time instead of two. They refused to listen because, seeing people carry more of their phones meant more phone sales for them.

According to his interview with one of the media company, Nnamdi said;

“So I went to China and got a guy who had worked with a company called Bird then. Bird was into phones but they got choked and lost market share. I met with the guy and asked the guy to let us do something. I came with that name and I registered it here and brought the guy to Nigeria. And that was the high point of our business. We came together and I designed the first Tecno phone, Tecno T101. We started it but the market did not accept it and we also had problem with the dual SIM not working together and we had to make corrections and we came with Tecno 201 which was a bit accepted by the market. But we were basically giving marketers on credit to sell the phones and then pay us later. And I was funding it all alone.”

“Since I was funding it alone, we were finding it difficult to get the right quantity to sell until the market started accepting us. What I now did was to make them pay in advance, I mean the dealers. So we started using their money to order the products.  This was around 2007. The introduction of Tecno brand was the turning point of our business.”

“Like I said, Tecno is my baby and we kept improving. I knew a day would come when the middle class would accept Tecno. Initially, it was a phone for low income people but based on improvement and upping our game, the middle class had to accept it. And when the economy went down in 2008, that helped Tecno to move to the top. Since purchasing power had dropped, they had to go for something that has same capabilities but cheaper. So with ₦15,000, you could buy a Smartphone and thank God for 3G network. The advent of 3G network actually helped Tecno to move up. So students who could not afford to buy phones in the range of ₦30,000 could buy one for ₦15,000 and enjoy features of Smartphone like Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp and so on.”

Today, Nnamdi Ezeigbo is a phenomenal success story in Nigeria and indeed Africa. From a humble repair man, he has built a MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR company and one of the most recognizable brand in Nigeria.

There are many lessons in this story, I will leave you to figure them out.

Engaging The God Factor In Business

0

When it comes to business as an entrepreneur, you are either in the secret place or you are in a secret court. This is the more reason why engaging the God factor in business is a vital topic for discussion. The truth is that everybody in business is using something; you are either backed by God or something else. The question is, what are you using?

The Almighty said, I am the Lord your God, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, I am the Lord your God which teaches you to profit, which leads you in the way that you should go. (Emphasis mine)

To become a successful entrepreneur, God must be the force behind your dreams, ideas, drive and diligence for whatever business undertaking you want to pursue. Every true entrepreneur has a calling to the business arena.

The desire for organizing and managing a business must come from God and should not be generated simply by need, opportunity or individual aspiration.

Unless the Lord builds the house, the Words says, the laborers are just laboring in vain. And unless the Lord watches over the city (your business), the watchmen are just watching in vain.

Except God is involved in that business, all your effort may amount to nothing. Anyone can start and operate a business, and you may even have some measure of success, but not everyone is called by God and directed by the Holy Spirit to be an entrepreneur. It is very important to understand this before striking out on that great business undertaking.

The world is filled with individuals who are miserable, trying desperately to do something they were neither called nor equipped to do. They labor at what was expected of them or what they thought would bring prosperity and fulfilment. In the process, they have held back from pursuing what may have really been on their heart to do which is their God given dream.

The Bible talks about how God gives unto every man according to their several abilities in the book of Matthew. For the Kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants and delivered unto them his goods. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another, one. To every man according to his several ability; and straight away, he took his journey.

God entrusts you with opportunities fitting with and according to your abilities. You will never truly flourish if you attempt something other than what God has called you to do. He knows your abilities and He’ll guide and direct your steps accordingly.

You must pursue the opportunity He has given you in order to hear those words we all desire to hear, “well done, good and faithful servant”.

God wants to show you off as you do what He has called you to do, it is very apparent when you see skilled and trained people doing their job, they will make it look easy and get superior results. When you apply your God given potentials and abilities, you will stand out and be in demand.

Do you see a man skillful and experienced in his work? He will stand in honor before kings; He will not stand before ordinary men.

An entrepreneur, especially a Christian entrepreneur sees opportunities where everyone else tends to see risks or problem. The beauty of a Christian entrepreneur is that if we are walking according to the call and abilities of God, there is really no problem or risk.

Risk entails uncertainty, problems brings fear which apparently leads to failure. A true entrepreneur can go beyond uncertainty by knowing his calling in life and being constantly led by the Holy Spirit. Those who are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

As an entrepreneur that desires success and progress in business, you should be led by the Spirit of God. Each day and every step of the way, you must seek to be in communion with the Holy Spirit in order to understand the steps He has determined for you.

The greatest measure of success, prosperity and opportunity to be a powerful witness to those around you will come as you are led by the Spirit of God.

The only way you can ever hope to keep pace with the demands and challenges of business is by keeping in step with the Spirit. As you do, you will see God’s hand on everything you do and the miraculous will occur in your endeavors. When you are led by the Spirit of God, you will accomplish things you would not think possible.

There are always a lot of uncertainties when you pursue a business undertaking with your own natural understanding and by your own wits, but you will reduce the risk factor and that sense of uncertainty when you trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.

The Bible says; A man’s step is directed or ordered by the Lord. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayers and supplications with thanksgiving, let your request be made known unto God. And the peace of God, that passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

God never intended you to take on pressures of risk usually associated with undertaking a business venture. As a Christian entrepreneur, you can eliminate anxiety and maintain the encouragement and peace necessary for your success. This can be possible through constant fellowship with your loving heavenly Father in prayer.

Unless you are called to be an entrepreneur, you may find starting and operating a business a bit agonizing over the long haul. You may also discover that you are less than fully effective and satisfied in this role. If you are truly called and equipped, you will operate with a passion and not in desperation to make the enterprise everything it should be. With this passion, you will find the determination to stand when the going gets tough.

Dr Strive Masiyiwa, an entrepreneur and one of the leading African voices in this information age. In one of his Facebook posts, he shared about the challenges he faced while trying to establish a business firm in Zimbabwe many years ago and similar challenge when he tried doing the same thing in Nigeria.

These battles were tough battles and they lasted for years. But at every cross road, he always tried to engage the God factor, and has always overcome.

He was finally given the license to operate as a telecoms company in Zimbabwe after many years of legal battles with the government. He was also fully compensated by his Nigerian shareholders for refusing to first sell their part of the company shares to him as agreed and signed in the document.

The legal battle with his shareholders in Nigeria lasted for over ten years; he later invested the recouped money in another business which is now selling fast across Africa with the highest sales in Nigeria till date.

As Robert Schuller right said, “Tough times never last but tough people do”.

So, for you to last in business, it will require the help of God, especially when the enemy is taking shots at you. If you are called, properly equipped and solidly committed, you will outclass and out-power the enemy at every turn.

For every true entrepreneur, profits (they said) should not be the major motivating factor of every business, though it is very obvious that no business can survive without profits. But when God is your primary factor or purpose of going into business, the business will no doubt be a huge success.

The Word of God says Labor not to be rich; cease from your own wisdom. Will you set your eyes upon that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle towards heaven.

Riches can be elusive and uncertain when you directly pursue them. As a true entrepreneur, when operating according to the Word of God, you have a great advantage. You don’t have to pursue riches, favor, riches, blessings, honor, glory, strength, power and wisdom, because they will all overtake you.

The Word also said, for the merchandize of it is better than the merchandize of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies and all the things that you can desire cannot be compared to her.

Profit is the hope and desire of those operating a business in the world’s system; but for a true or Christian entrepreneur, profit, wealth and prosperity are simply by-products of your efforts and pursuits.

For after these things do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

The major reason why God has endowed you with so much potentials is so that you can use the business to propagate the gospel.

Some people say their business dream is borne out of necessity, to some it’s an opportunity to be ignored; to others, they want to be free from a daily routine of eight to nine hours’ job – which is never enough to take care of their monthly bills. But I tell you, God’s primary reason for loading you with such potentials is so that you can use that avenue to win souls to Him.

His desire is that no soul should be lost, He wants you to pull others out of fire by showing them that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.

And should in case you are not saved yet while reading this article, it is not safe for you. My advice to you will be to accept Jesus as your Lord and personal Savior, sincerely ask Him to forgive your sins, tell Him to write your name in the book of life and grant you the grace to keep growing in the faith till the day of His appearing and your business will only keep booming once you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal Savior.

MUST READ