21
Nov

What if…Start

Are you currently thinking of starting a business and you are surrounded with a lot of “what ifs”? What if the business does not succeed? What if you do not break even? What if customers refuse to come? You are not in this alone. Even as I am writing this, I am having the same experience. What you need to know is that successful business owners all had their “what ifs” seasons but they still went ahead to confront their fear and set up the business. That is why we have Microsoft, Dell, Interswitch, Dangote, Globacom et al today.

Thomas Edison tried thousands of different materials in search of a filament for the light bulb. When none worked satisfactorily, his assistant complained,

“All our work is in vain. We have learned nothing.”

Edison replied very confidently,

“Oh, we have come a long way and we have learned a lot. We know now that there are thousands of elements which we cannot use to make a good light bulb.”

You don’t have to go the Edison route. You definitely don’t have to make all the mistakes yourself. You can learn from the mistakes of others. Whatever you want to do in life, you will surely find someone who has done it before or something related to that. These set of people have put their experience down in books or in audio messages. Why not study their story to see how they have been to get to where they are today. If you wait till you make all the mistakes on your own, it might be too late for you to bounce back.

Just after I left school in 2002, I teamed up with 3 other former classmates of mine to start a company. Why 4 guys coming together to start a company? Each of us had different skill sets which we believed we would be able to harness. Our focus was to offer quality and affordable telecom services. We completed our company registration. We were also able to get an office space from the parents of one of us who believed in us and saw the reason to support us. We even got a senior colleague to pay for the for the renovation work that was carried out in the office.

Each new day brought us enough reasons to believe that the company was meant to be real. In fact, within weeks on incorporation, businesses start rolling in. It was as if the clients were actually waiting for us. You know what? Within one year of existence, the company collapsed. It was as if I was dreaming and only wished I could wake up to find out that the business still existed. I was wrong…it was so evident that we were missing it somewhere.

Something was wrong with the company structure we were putting in place. Our technical skill sets failed us. We just seemed to be doing everything wrong. Then, it dawned on me that you need more than technical skills to run a successful [tag]business[/tag]. One needs a combination of so many skills.

I learnt my lessons and I do believe the other 3 learnt theirs also. The whole experience was a very painful way to learn. But without pain, the old saying is, there is no gain. I found that to be true in my life. You miss a lot of [tag]opportunities[/tag] by making mistakes, but that is part of it knowing that you are not shut out forever, and that there is a goal you still can reach. The goal I could not reach with that company, I am gradually reaching with Nairahost

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