If you are like me (and I hope you are), you have probably sat through seminar after seminar, conference after conference and session after session hoping that someone would eventually tell you how to start a business. But what do they do? They talk passion. Follow the link for list of small businesses to invest in and how to deal with entrepreneurial risk
These sessions are designed to do just that. The leaflet or flyer promised just that! In fact, one of the speakers was so amazing you even started taking notes until she said that one word that leaves you blank – PASSION. Once again you realize that there’s no seminar designed to teach YOU how to start a business and the reason is simple – You are Passionless!
Admit it! Every time a speaker says, “The first step to becoming an entrepreneur is finding your passion”, all you hear is “you will never start your own business because you will never know where to start.” At least that’s what I used to hear. Not only was it depressing, it was downright annoying. I swear, one time I was this close to yelling “FOOD FIGHT!” in the middle of a seminar. Then I realized this seminar did not serve lunch!
The point (which you might have guessed) is that people don’t have JUST one passion. Many people have many passions. Most people don’t have an easily identifiable passion. It takes time! A large number of people have not even had that one serendipitous experience that clearly points out their passion. Summary: many of us are passionless but we want in. We want into that business world so bad because we have the need:
to be self-reliant – because nothing beats waking up with a sense of purpose
to make good money – no need to be modest about it, we are all in it for profit
to conquer our fear of failure – This is different from the need to be successful (I’ll elaborate in future articles)
So how does the passionless individual get into business? Simple! Let your other resources work for you while you wait for passion (believe me it will come).
First things first. Make a list of the resource at your disposal. When you’re done what you’ll have will look something like this plus or minus one or two items:
|Business Startup Resources Checklist|
5. Access to information
6. A CHILL ZONE
Each day we will deal with one, so let’s start from the very top.
No one captures it better than Robert Kiyosaki, in the concept of making your money work for you. While work is important, there’s nothing as dreadful as being stuck in a business you simply cannot wrap your heart around. The solution is to invest. Identify what areas can get you quick returns, take the calculated risk and let your money do all the work.
And, yes, any bit of money can do the work. Let’s take it to the street. Consider this case study:
Onome has about N5000 (five thousand naira) and a fondness for boiled groundnuts. She stops by Shina Street everyday on her way back from work to buy N100 worth of groundnuts. She could easily take Savage Street but she goes through Shina because there’s something about Ireti’s groundnuts – soft, always fresh and warm, and always selling out like hot potatoes.
On Tuesday, Onome passes through Shina as she has done every day to find Ireti packing up her trays. Her groundnuts have finished early because more people have heard about the groundnuts and a construction site has just sprung up opposite her. She now has more clients than her groundnuts can satisfy, and with the new construction site, the demand is stifling as she does not have the resources to expand.
Onome listens as Ireti suggests to herself that she could just tell another groundnut seller about the construction site. If only she had N4000 to buy 10 paint buckets of groundnuts then she could supply the site herself. Maybe even drop it off at the small kiosk in front then collect after work.
Onome has an idea. After discerning that there are about 25 to 30 wraps per paint bucket at N50 each, she offers to give Ireti N3200 for 8 buckets and an extra N1000 to deliver them cooked and wrapped. She will do this every two days until Ireti can raise enough capital. Ireti mentions that she also requires money for the plastic bags, salt, and other things. In all, Onome parts with N4500.
Right now I bet there’s a cynical person saying God forbid. Me? Become a groundnut seller? Never! What about a supplier, though? You see, Onome figured that if she gets 25 wraps per bucket multiplied by 8 buckets that would come to 200 wraps. She would drop off a bag of a hundred wraps at the site and another hundred at the tuck shop. She would give it to them at N40 per wrap leaving them with N10 on each bag sold.
At the end of each day, she has a profit of N3500. If she does this only three times a week, she has N10500. In a month that amounts to N42000, all from an investment of N4500 each time, and a little effort.
The lesson here is to not approach the next groundnut seller. The lesson is to identify what businesses exist around you that require your money. Chances are you’ll find one with existing manpower and technical know-how. The effort required from you will be minimal.
Of course, like Onome, there’s always the possibility that Ireti will never be seen again or you won’t sell every wrap, but when it comes to letting your money do the work, RISK is a primary player. So, in the meantime before your passion finally reveals itself, you can identify the different opportunities around you through which money can be made – money that can in turn be the capital that finances your future passion. Who knows? You might stumble upon your passion while exploring these opportunities or, indeed, discover that your passion actually is to make money through investments! (Think Berkshire Hathaway and venture capitalism.)