Entrepreneurship especially at the beginning stage is hard. Yes or Yes?
Some days ago I decided to go out and market my products physically; honestly, I have never been more depressed in my entire life than I did after the experience. The way the people first sized me up before deciding if I was worth their time was enough to kill my spirit, not to even talk of the ones that will be teaching you your job; it is well.
I practically have to struggle to keep my mind sane on some days; of course, there are good days. There are days I thank God I decided to own a business, however, some days are truly depressing, days like the one I mentioned above. That particular day, I had to just look for where to sit and think of my life. I almost cried on the main road that day but “we move”.
Talking about crying…
There are days I have cried myself to sleep just thinking of my life. As a young vibrant Nigerian lady who has so many other “options”, choosing to do the right thing and make money the right way and not getting positive results can be disheartening sometimes.
There are times I almost quit my business to look for a normal 9-5 job – at least I would be paid monthly no matter how small. I duff my hat for those who combine owning a business and working as an employee. I know combining two time-consuming things is very possible if you plan well but it is not easy at the same time no matter how good you are at time management.
Challenges Business owners like me face
Dear Entrepreneur/ Business owner,
I know a lot of business owners are like me struggling to keep their businesses afloat, so this is my motivation for you:
I know the country is hard and life sometimes doesn’t make doing the right things easy. I understand that on several occasions you have cried yourself to sleep. I also can relate to the frustration you feel on those good days. I am aware that sometimes you feel bad for wanting to quit, and other times you are hopeful that one day your hard work will pay off.
Learn business lessons from a typical Lagos conductor.
I acknowledge your challenges but let’s talk briefly about them.
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Some of the causes of the challenges are
- Getting customers/clients: One of your greatest challenges is getting customers, especially paying customers. I understand that you are grateful for the encouragement you get from family and friends but a lot of times you are frustrated by their unwillingness to pay for your products and services. How often do you create valuable contents to share with your audience on social media? Look into content marketing today.
- Accessing funds: Finances are very important for business growth and it can be very disheartening when you lack the needed financial help to put things in place in your business. But this shouldn’t be a factor to stop you. Find a way around it. Be creative to use what you have.
- Visibility and marketing: You yearn to reach a larger audience; you wish more persons knew about your products or services. Try personal branding today and see how it can be of help
What are the challenges you currently face in your business?
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These are just a few of the many challenges life throws at you every day, I know you are tired of failing and you might be thinking of quitting; so today, I want to encourage you with the stories of these men and women who failed and failed again and kept failing till they got it right, stay with me.
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Top business owners who have failed before
Here is a list of three successful people that failed before:
- TEMITOPE OMOTOLANI
She is a co-founder of CROWDYVEST which has at least a hundred thousand members and as of 2020 had raised about 11 billion naira in investment capital; it has also found about 30 or more projects.
Temitope Omotolani is a physical representation of someone who came from the “trenches” and struggled her way to the top. She lost her father when she was just five years old in 1990, not long after, “village people” (her father’s family) came and sold all of her father’s properties. She and her mother had nowhere to turn and no help forthcoming. Her mother owned a fabric and jewelry store but she experienced great loss after her husband’s death – the store caught fire and all her hard work burned to the ground.
As a business-minded teenager, Omotolani was able to start up a make-up venture where she also trained people. Sometime later, she also ventured into a cleaning company. With these two businesses, she was able to take care of her basic expenses like house rent, school fees, feeding, and the likes. She started up a third business where she delivered groceries to homes but the return generated from this was low.
In a bid to find something more profitable, she visited the North where she got to observe a tomato farmer, she attempted to transport tomatoes for sale twice but most of the tomatoes got bad before getting to their destination. While brainstorming on how best to do this business, she got the idea of FARMCROWDY in 2016 which she cofounded with five other persons. And from FARMCROWDY came the idea of CROWDYVEST which today has helped many small businesses.
When asked the smartest decision she has ever made for herself as an entrepreneur, she had this to say,
- SIR JAMES DYSON
Sir James Dyson is today known as a successful manufacturer of household appliances. One of his most successful inventions is the bagless vacuum cleaner.
It took him more than 5000 tries to get it right. As of 2021, he was considered the fourth richest person in the U.K.
- THOMAS EDISON
In his early years, one of his teachers had this to say about him,
He is too stupid to learn anything. That little boy who was too stupid to learn
He went on to create great inventions like the light bulb and electric lamps which is still in use today. His reputation has outlived him; many decades after his death, he is still referred to as one of the most successful inventors who ever lived.
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- Result Oriented Mentorship (Tumihub Academy)
A large number of the persons we call “heroes” today failed a lot of times. People like Vusi Thembekwayo, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, Wiskid, Mercy Johnson, and Patoranking. You should read about these people today
Temitope Omotolani said,
When things fail, you are not a failure. Failure is part of success.
I will leave you with these words by Samuel Beckett which says
In the words of Abraham Lincoln,
My greatest concern is not whether you have failed but whether you are content with your failure.
Dear struggling Entrepreneur,
I see you. I hear you. I identify with you.
Your New Friend!