When I give talks on business and investment, the common statement I get from most young people is “I have this idea, but the problem is that I do not have the money to start it”. I always say start now, no matter how small you start. The hardest and most important part of doing anything is starting. You have to start in order to learn the ropes of the business.
Let us look at the story of Chinyere, a student of one of our prestigious universities. She was not from a rich family and her tuition fees were paid by her uncle. While at university, she struggled to meet her basic needs but she was not one to whine about her situation. Like every other young person, she liked and desired the finer things, even though she could not afford them.
At an early age, Chinyere had learnt to make chin-chin (a crunchy pastry made with flour) from her mother, so when she got a little money, she invested the money in the making and selling of chin-chin on campus. She made the chin-chin on weekends and during the week, she engaged the “any work” people and other women on campus to sell her product. Her friends laughed at her, saying things like “hmm igbo babe” “hustler” “the hustle is real”, etc. But she did not listen to them and persevered in her pursuit for a better life. Before long, she had inadvertently established a full production, marketing and distribution network. She started the business by selling to her friends then grew to selling her product across campus and then outside campus. She had also started making enough money to fund her expenses and indulge in the things she liked. At the height of her success on campus, she was able to support her mother financially and also indulge in the luxury of purchasing trendy shoes and clothes from abroad, through her friends who had traveled for the holidays. The same friends who laughed at her started acknowledging her success by saying things like “ahh you are lucky oh”, “chai if I had this kind of money”, “Chi I was there when you started oh, remember your girl oh”
Today she has grown this business to a multi-million Naira business that employs over 30 people and her product is sold nation-wide. The interesting thing is that her biggest informal marketers are her friends from university. When they buy the product, they tell their “new friends” the story of how the business started. Those new friends would also buy the product and tell their own friends the history of the business too. The sad thing is that many people say that Chinyere is just lucky. How do you call that luck?
That’s hardly luck. That’s success – the product of hard work, determination and daring to be different. It’s being creative and not allowing any obstacles deter you from achieving the vision you set for yourself.
Basically, what I am trying to say today is that whatever you want to do, whatever dreams or ideas you have, you need to “just do it”! Start now, start small. No income is too small. At worst, it would help sort out your “recharge card” needs, which is something. Make something, sell something ( a product or a service).
Somebody somewhere will demand it and if you persevere, in no time, that “little thing” that you started yesterday would launch you to that multi billion Naira/dollar dream of yours. Always remember that when it comes to making money legitimately, there is no shame in the game.
Remember, start now, start small – just do it!
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Paffy1969