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‘Tale Alimi: 5 Things You Should Know About Pursuing Your Passion



I was introduced to the world of motivational speaking and self-development when I was a teenager, and some of my best teachers were John Mason and Zig Ziglar. They are famous for propagating that we should find our gifts, be original and pursue our passions. I was fascinated by the idea that I was created with a special purpose and some gifts and taking their advice to find my passion has been an interesting journey filled with challenges and triumphs.

A lot of people who start a business or project start it with a great sense of excitement that they are finally going to do something they love and are passionate about. Some others who have not been able to take the step, look at them with envy and wish they had the courage to step out. Social media does not help matters as it gives us the opportunity to see the ‘luxurious lives’ that our celebrity role models and mentors are living and you dream of the possibility of living the good life like they do.

One of the most memorable speeches I have listened to was given by the late Steve Jobs. In the speech, he encouraged us to do work that we love and are passionate about; he gave this advice because he reiterated that pursuing your passion was laborious so if you didn’t love what you were doing, you would give up easily. If you are on either side of the divide wondering if you should pursue your passion or you are already doing it and it’s not going the way you expected, here are a few things I have learnt about pursuing your passion:

It Is Hard Work !
If you are really ‘pursuing’ your passion, you would work harder than you have ever worked in your life. There would be a lot of sleepless nights trying to figure things out, or creating your products and services. You would have to spend many days and night ‘rehearsing’ before you get to the main stage.

It Might Take Longer Than You Planned
When you start a new project or a new business, you have an idea of when you would break even or begin to make profit to live the good life, but the truth is; it usually takes longer than you envisaged. If you thought it would take you two years to break even, it might take you longer than that. A popular proverb says: ‘it takes 10years to create an overnight success’, so you have to commit to it for the long haul.

You Would Experience Rejection And Discouragement
This is a hard reality people don’t want to deal with, but it is the truth. It would take a few very adventurous people to try a new product or service. Most people usually thread cautiously before they try something new, especially in this side of the world where there is a lot of suspicion and people have had their fingers burnt. So get ready to deal with the discouragement and rejection and keep at it till you begin to gain acceptance.

You Might Run Out Of Money Or Energy
It has been proven by research that you need more money to start a business than you think you actually need. Some experts even advice you to have twice as much as you think you need to be on the safe side. A lot of entrepreneurs I meet are struggling with inadequate capital because they thought that they would make money faster than they are making with not as much investment. You might suffer burn out and just give up on the pursuit if you don’t prepare for the long term.

Pursuing your passion is a marathon and not a sprint, so if you have started don’t give up just yet. And if you have not started, you should still do it because like Zig Ziglar says; ‘what you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become’. Pursuing your passion would stretch you and bring out strength and talents you didn’t know you had!

So are you currently pursuing your passion or thinking about it? I would like to hear your view.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Hongqi Zhang (aka Michael Zhang)

'Tale Alimi is the Co-founder and current CEO of Owoafara, a fund matching and business support platform for African MSME's. She is also the Lead strategist of Tale Alimi Global; a strategy consulting boutique focused on working with visionary and forward thinking SME's to take their business from small to scale. She is the author of Uplevel and her latest book Small to Scale. She has a Masters in Business Administration from Lagos business school, a certificate in personal coaching from the coaching academy UK. She is a social innovation fellow with the startingbloc institute in the United States. When she is not thinking about innovative business models, she is an avid fitness enthusiast. Learn more about her new startup Owoafara:( Get daily business inspiration when you follow her on twitter ( and get an insight into her life on Instagram (


  1. Benson Ossai

    September 29, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Great write up.

  2. tinu

    September 29, 2015 at 2:52 pm


  3. Lamynn Jorlz

    September 29, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    This is really inspirational to me. I just have been trying hard and no one notices but this post just made me realize how much more I really need to keep going.

  4. chiemeka Ugo

    September 29, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Thank you very much for this write up. Just felt you were actually referring about me and my business especially during the end of the write up. I just started my own IT company with some friends. I have the best team and we are dead passionate about our new venture. But mehn if i tell you that it has been easy, i would really be lying to you. On several occasions, we have felt like giving up especially me and just going back to the labour market because i just concluded a masters degree in the uk and returned back to Nigeria. The IT service (Augmented Reality) which we are into is still very virgin in Nigeria, so you can imagine the lot of explanation and talk that we do each time we go and meet clients and also the Nigerian company mentality of not responding to emails sent to them especially the so called big organisations after sending countless emails. In fact my family self especially my younger sibling are not even helping at all. like the keep giving me this benefit our doubt that Nigeria is not yet ripe for our service and that we should just go and look for jobs. the worst is that i have turned down so many jobs offers just because i know that what i have is already a job and that one day it will surely be a success story. Every time i work late from house researching on what next needs to be done and the issue of funds especially keeps giving me sleepless night. We have gotten some funds from the other part of the service we render, but the money just keeps going back into the business. No savings from my end at all. But i know that soon our story will be a glorious story that when we finally make it, we look back and remember our days of humble beginnings. Following your passion has this joy that comes with it but when your not getting encouraged by your family members, mehn if you are not careful, you get discouraged and just give up. I always have this believe that good things of life does not always come easy at all. shoutout to all young entrepreneurs in Nigeria that are following their passion and believing that one day their idea will sell and get that one client that will change our story for life.

    • 'Tale Alimi

      September 29, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      Dear Chiemeka, the start up stage is always a struggle and this is common globally,especially for tech startups when you don’t know when the revenues would begin to roll in. As long as you are able to pay your bills, I would encourage you to keep at it and to also find Mentors and sponsors within the tech space who can give you the introductions and guidance you require to get the business off the ground. Well Done!

  5. Chiemeka Ugo

    September 29, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    Thank you very much for your words of encouragement. Really appreciate. Sure have jotted down your suggestions and will work on them. Thank you again.

  6. Lynn

    September 30, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    Passion! Passion! Passion! At what point does one acknowledge that……singing, dancing, speaking, drawing, writing etc is he/her passion?. I think and believe that finding your passion begins at that point /place where and when you start doing something ( anything at all) and with commitment, hard work and gradual growth and inflow of profit, its suddenly becomes your livelihood, passion, success, live and fulfillment. In a nutshell, please do not wait for passion, find something to do, and it must not even be something you love doing at first. just do something and watch it becomes your PASSION.

  7. Stanley

    October 7, 2015 at 8:51 am

    I totally agree with you Tale that pursuing your passion could bring out strength and talents you didn’t know you had. I have always had this love for writing and sharing. That motivated me to start a blog; though I work as a financial analyst in a fast moving goods company. Only recently i wrote on some reasons why small businesses in Nigeria fail using my failed viewing center business as a case study. I followed that up with why small businesses need to have a business plan before starting. This generated so much buzz on my blog that i started getting gigs to write business plans for people. Funnily, i found out that it was actually a piece of cake for me packaging business plans.

    I also agree with Lynn; anything can be your passion if you are committed to it. Little wonder the Bible said “Whatsoever your hand finds to do, do it with your might”.

  8. Somtochukwu Nwadukwe

    April 18, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    This article really encouraged me.Thanks Tale Alimi. It’s not easy starting out as an entrepreneur especially in Nigeria ,but I know that it’s worth it. So to every entrepreneur keep moving forward, we will have the last laugh.

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