Have you ever seen an ad that went something like this: Are you a young pastor? Are you trying to build your church and have no idea how to go about it? Worry no longer! Come to… Be honest. How would you feel? Suffice it to say that I am strongly of the opinion that there are some things that should never be taken as business.
Allow me bring it home.
Everyday, people churn out offers of training for entrepreneurs – How to be an entrepreneur, 5 things you need to know if you want to start your own startup, all you need to know to run a successful business, and other such titles. I hate lists for reasons unspecified, but more than that, I don’t think being an entrepreneur is something that can be taught. Sure, you can have mentors who guide and instruct you. Sure, you can have advice that tells you early on what pitfalls to avoid and so on, but being an entrepreneur is like being a great artist.
It has to come from the heart.
Especially nowadays, everybody sees naira notes everywhere they turn. Everyone wants to be an entrepreneur and not everyone has what it takes or knows what it requires to be that. Of course, some things can be taught and learned, like how to make a sales pitch or how to dress for a presentation. But who in the world can teach passion?
Who can teach optimism? What handout can you purchase that will instruct you on how not to give up; on how to stand up again no matter how many times you fall? What site can you go to read up on endurance and staying power?
Whoever you ask, Google or Elon Musk, the answer you’ll get will more than likely be the same – money cannot be the first thing on your mind if you’re trying to be an entrepreneur. You have to solve a problem first.
Entrepreneurship is basically ‘selfless service’ – we’ve said this before. No matter where you look, every successful startup company came in to solve a problem. They saw a need, stepped in to fill the gap and the millions rolled in. One thing we don’t hear after the explosion of a lot of these startups is just how long it took to arrive at that success; we just hear the abridged version. And because we really have no idea we start to think that if so and so did it, we can too.While that may be true, there’s something more involved in making it in business.
And that’s one problem with a number of lectures and seminars and classes and workshops – ‘success’ is treated and discussed as some 1+2+3 formula; do this and this and this and you’ll be successful. If that was all it took, if it was as simple and straightforward as that, everybody would be doing it.
Every entrepreneur must first be self-discovered. In other words, they must know who they are and what drives them. They must be so convinced about these things; nobody must be able to change their minds about them. In the midst of this self-discovery will come the finding of passion, a dream so vibrant it keeps the person awake at night. Because it is his passion, he will understand it better than most – and therefore understand the problems that plague that endeavour.
For example, Okada Books is the brainchild of writer Ikechukwu Ofili, the author of How Stupidity Saved My Lifeand other books with similar funny titles. Because he is a writer, he decided to create a platform where authors can easily sell their books and readers can easily consume said books.
Passion+Problem+Solution = startup.
Even I know it’s not as simple as I stated above – but it’s a place to start. You look to convert your passion into a business, you must know you are not alone. And because of that, you must look to how you will solve the issues facing that particular passion of yours. If you can solve them successfully, you have a startup. Or maybe that depends on what exactly your passion is. But you get the point.
So, at least for the moment, don’t invest in seminars and workshops – at least not until you know what your passion is. Knowing that will even be useful in helping you make a choice of what workshop to go for.
Google as much as you want; that cannot help you find yourself. Only you can do that.