The Time Is Now!
Editor’s Note: Abubakar Nasidi is the CEO Nas Com Media Firm and Presenter of Business Clinic on Supreme FM 96.1 Kaduna. A serial entrepreneur himself, Nasidi is Liaison officer for startup9ja, a youth empowerment program based in Nigeria.
During the great depression of the US most businesses closed due to inability to sustain their financial needs as a result of huge decline in people’s purchasing power, hundreds of thousands lost their jobs because businesses have folded-up and in the end, governance became almost impossible because there was no businesses to collect tax from. Atleast one out of four americans was unemployed. Can you picture the humanitarian crises that families must have faced in such circumstances? Long queues of hungry-looking women,men and children collecting soup hand-outs by government among other horrible things better left un imagined. Picture yourself in such a scenario, do you think you will have immunity? If yes, why? What makes you thicker than the Harrison Davies family that was owner of the famous Blue Rainbow Yacht, or the Michael Mc Bloons that was the largest share-holder in the popular Lion Standard Steel co., or any other rich american famous who melted-away along with the ailing economy? The last time I checked, U.S has a stronger economy than Nigeria. Well,you can convince yourself that this can never happen in Nigeria, but please don’t use Nollywood facts! Thank you.
However, the recent global economic meltdown didn’t inflict greater damages on America than the earlier mentioned one, because there are more small and medium scale businesses to tighten the bolts of the economy.
Individually, the same may apply. If you have one stream of income(ie you only have one business or you are an employee) and a certain disaster occurs, you suffer weighty consequences. Now imagine having, say three streams of income and disaster befalls one? Your guess is as good as mine. That’s food for thought for those of us who think they already are comfortable and do not need a new business. The idea here is simple; either create ‘extra’ income to serve as ‘shock absorber’ (in case of unforeseen circumstances) like I mentioned earlier, or ‘create’ one to fortify your expenditure, so as not to dip your hands into your capital. Now remember the golden rule: “Being wealthy means your income surpasses your expenditures”. Anything short of this means you are not rich yet. Being rich or poor isn’t all about having a nice time, having an expensive car or smiling to the bank. No, its about Naira and Kobo, balances and checks or better still, financial intelligence. Its as simple as can be, find a way to make your income supersede your expenditure, period. So how do you achieve that without a startup? Except you have a ‘Father Christmas’ balancing your surplus at the end of every month for you. On a scale of one to ten, how realistic can that be?
Another important note is that most often people discourage you when you dream of starting a new business. People say you are too old or its too late to start now. That’s far from the truth. The owner of KFC colonel Harland Sanders started the company at age 65 (honestly you can’t be that old and be reading this magazine). Maybe your next challenge will be” I have never being a business person, I was an employee all my life. Tell me who was born with all knowledge and skills. Even albert Einstein acquired his capabilities along the way. All you need is a mentor and lots of guts that’s all.
Being an entrepreneur isn’t as scary as people make it out to be. Its really easy, as long as you are ready to fail many times. Of course each failure is a lesson learnt. A lesson which increases your stamina and makes you better than you were. So far,the greatest challenge in starting a business is the starting part, all else falls in place once you love what you do. This means you must never hunt what you can’t kill. In other words,don’t start a business you don’t have passion for, you will labour in pains and eventually gas out! I usually give an example with Nigeria’s international sensation, J.J Okocha, former captain of the Super Eagles. If my version of his story is anything to go by, he was not a professional footballer when he visited someone in Germany. While he was there, he decided to while-away his time at a club pitch his host suggested to him. As he was juggling with the ball, doing his own thing, the club’s manager’s attention diverted to him and the rest is history. Check out his performance, his world rating and most importantly,how super easy it was for him. Watch his game again and see the pleasure on his face each time he played. That’s pure passion. Having passion for something means you will do it for free with great ease and that’s what it takes to keep you standing up each time you fall in business.