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Business Lessons From Moi Moi Seller – Entrepreneurship For Dummies 2


So you have that absolutely brilliant mind-boggling business idea. Great. You found investors willing to drop monies and support your stuff. Awesome. You launched, and people are feeling your stuff. Relevant magazines, websites and publications are hailing you as the next Jobs.


What next? It’s time to chill, abi? Take the weight off, relax and sip mai tais on some island that hasn’t been named yet? Party like it’s ’99 with the hottest celebrities and stuff?

Do all that and watch your empire crumble in less time than it took you to build it.

Growth should be the most constant thing is life. Anything not growing is dead.

Can we agree on that?

It’s pretty clear how involved in Apple Steve was before his demise. Apart from spearheading almost every new development, he was in charge of presenting them to the public. He personally demonstrated every one of Apple’s great innovations until he passed. Zuckerberg is pretty much the same with Facebook; disbelief trailed him when he made comments about taking some time off to raise his daughter because he is yet to take any time off since inception of the company.

As far as I’m concerned, you need a lot of what got you there in the first place to keep you going. Becoming successful is easy compared to staying successful.

Do you remember a time when the social media site to get plugged to was MySpace? When was the last time you accessed your account over there? How about your emails – Onebox? AOL? Hotmail?

Even Yahoo is in danger of becoming less relevant as time goes by.

If you look at all of those businesses mentioned up there you will find they all have one thing in common: they became outdated.

I live in a neighborhood that is a cross between upscale and local. What that implies; especially in the area of culinary delights is that I have an almost never-ending potpourri of options. I mentioned a woman who sells akara and fried yam in the first article of this series, entrepreneurship for dummies.

This is about another woman.

She sold moi-moi (it doesn’t have an English name, fortunately) a short distance away from the akara seller. Her moi-moi was so well made that people drove a bit of a distance to buy from her. People constantly came from the estate next to my house to purchase hers, driving past several other people who sold the same product.

It’s anyone’s guess what happened next, but I’ll tell you anyway.

Somehow, all the money and attention got to her head. She stopped coming to her stand and designated her daughter to manage the business while she did whatever it is that suddenly-rich entrepreneurs do when they aren’t working. Not only did she abdicate the business for her daughter, she left the cooking to her too.

That was the disaster.

Her daughter was quite rude, but that wasn’t what destroyed the business. Her daughter was rude and couldn’t make moi-moi half as good as her mother. People pretty much decided they couldn’t put up with a bad mouth and bad cooking at the same time and took their money elsewhere. Within a matter of weeks, the woman had to start giving away moi-moi night after night because nobody was buying.

Another example is a bakery in the same neighborhood. They made fantastic, freshly-baked bread you could smell from miles. After knocking out all the competition for a straight year they became sloppy, overestimating themselves and producing too many loaves, such that they began to sell stale bread to their loyal customers.

How long do you think it takes a business to collapse?

As an entrepreneur it’s important to understand the difference between resting and being complacent. Rest is taking time away from pressure and work to relax the mind, while thinking about the next thing. Complacency is being stuck in a place and refusing to grow or improve because you think that’s all there is. You’ve done all there is to do.

The second one is a real danger.

Competition is rife. Everyone’s is trying to steal from everybody else. While you have triumphed by becoming a stakeholder in your chosen path, you must also realize now that you’re wearing a target on your back, and cannot afford to rest for too long. You have to be thinking about the next thing for your business, the next thing for yourself.

It’s anyone’s guess how much Facebook has evolved since they began business. Though it’s almost impossible to imagine anyone coming close to their success, Mark is still not slowing down. Word is that he’s as hands on as he was at the inception of the business.

What does that say to you?

Grow, young entrepreneur. It’s a jungle out here.

Evolve or die.


Photo Credit: ReDahlia




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