(By Francis Nmeribe)
“If you want to develop the attitude that supports you to move forward in life, then start with a skill. Get the skill in the area of your passion or what you love and, are happy, to do. Use your newly acquired skill in an innovative way. For example, if you learned to be an automobile mechanic, instead of waiting in a shop for people to bring vehicles for you to fix, why not be aggressive in searching out those who need services and rendering such service to them. Start with people in your neighbourhood, your teachers at school, your friends’ parents and relations, who know you well.“
ENTREPRENEURSHIP in my own words means legitimate activities engaged by a person or persons with the aim at first, of providing services that solve problems for people; enhance people’s enjoyment of their lives, promote other people’s security, peace and happiness and in return provide the same equities for the entrepreneur through the profit he or she made providing the services to others.
In life, it is what you seek that you find. If you resign from searching for the true enrichment of your life because the road is hard, you stay right where you are. One way of life which the advanced cultures of North America, Europe and the Asian tiger nations of China, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, etc, have which I strongly recommend we in Africa adopt is to live life with the end in mind.
From secondary school, young people in these advanced cultures learn a trade or more which they use to provide service for other people and thereby make money to put themselves through university and get married with at the same time. They do not wait for parents and patronizing elder siblings, uncles and other persons to sponsor them through education after a certain age.
It is wrong for a 21-year-old man to wait for parents or anybody for that matter to pay school fees for him. It is this sense of independence that can strengthen a young single adult’s mind to make the decision about his how, his or her life would turn out. It is Eric Eilholm who said that “one way to access personal power is to make a decision how your life would be different from what it is at present.” An independent mindset which starts with a decision to take care of yourself as soon as you turn into this great stage of life known as the ‘young adult years’ is the nucleus of the entrepreneurial spirit and entrepreneurship.
If you want to develop the attitude that supports you to move forward in life, then start with a skill. Get the skill in the area of your passion or what you love and, are happy, to do. Use your newly acquired skill in an innovative way. For example, if you learned to be an automobile mechanic, instead of waiting in a shop for people to bring vehicles for you to fix, why not be aggressive in searching out those who need services and rendering such service to them. Start with people in your neighbourhood, your teachers at school, your friends’ parents and relations, who know you well.
Instead of the common trend where a mechanic would shortchange his customers, why not you go the extra mile in satisfying the customer in such a way that he or she totally depends on you. Many people have gotten life-saving and enhancing referrals from satisfied customers who introduce them to great benefactors and new opportunities for growth in their trade or a change to another more lucrative vocation. You would be able to take care of yourself and a wife while you are young and you can make real progress in your life that counts.
We hear about unsavoury unemployment stories every day in Nigeria. We learn about people who spend five to 10 years after university without a job. Such stories in my opinion should not ever be told. It is disastrous to a man’s life to wait for a job in a country like Nigeria where there are no functional industries and no infrastructure to encourage investment. It is high time we moved away from the job hunting mindset to the job and wealth creation mindset.
Entrepreneurship is the key to the future. This is not just for the folks who leave primary and secondary school to learn how to buy and sell. It is for every young adult in Africa, especially for Nigerians, single or married so that we do not delay our blessing and preparation for leadership in the kingdom of God on Earth.
Entrepreneurial spirit is the leading light for the temporal salvation of mankind.
Even those who work at paid employment should start early in their employment life to learn how to be entrepreneurs. The need cannot be overemphasised. Most people would leave paid employment earlier than when they attend the statutory age of retirement. There are those who would make 35 years of service before they are 60 years of age. Most people would still be strong and healthy and able to work for many more years before they would really want to take the back bench in final retirement. For all of these people, it would certainly be awkward to go seeking for another paid employment where they would probably be reporting to someone the age of their own children. Entrepreneurship is the appropriate recourse for these people.
The only opportunity that retired persons have to be successful entrepreneurs hinge solely on skills acquired in one’s area of passion and practised throughout the period of paid employment as a side business which has grown into a business venture. Those who try otherwise find out before the gestation period of the business they started after retirement, they have no more money left to fund the recapitalisation of the business venture. The horrible state of these retired persons is best imagined than experienced.
The only way to avoid “turning age 60, broke and needing assistance” as Jim Rohn would say is to imbibe the spirit of entrepreneurship from young adult years and practising it throughout life and throughout paid employment.
Entrepreneurship, therefore, is the way forward for everybody whether you are currently employed in paid employment or not, in school or out of school, starting life or in the middle of life.
Think about it. Do something about it and see.
Nmeribe, author of “Retire early to wealth and fame,” a critical early retirement planning manual, writes from Lagos.
“Opinion pieces of this sort published on RISE Networks are those of the original authors and do not in anyway represent the thoughts, beliefs and ideas of RISE Networks.”