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Life Hacks With Toby: Just Do It

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go-getterI have a friend, Jane, who has a beautiful vision for agriculture. She has a dream of building a big farm in Anambra State where she will cultivate cash crops and rear farm animals. When I sat down with Jane, I was convinced beyond reasonable doubt that that was what she was born to do.

I mean, she didn’t mind getting her hands dirty. She looked forward to checking up her animals with rechargeable light in the middle of the night. And she was excited at the prospect of weeding and irrigating her farm. I was simply baffled, because farming is one of those things I just don’t have the grace, (especially the patience) for.

Along the line, I asked her what she had done so far to make her dreams come through. At that point she started reeling out unfortunate events that had taken place in her past. The conclusion was that she had not done anything because she lacked capital.

“No Jane, lack of capital is not supposed to make your dream die”, I kept reiterating. I tried my possible best to let her understand that with or without capital she should at least take a step.

Almost immediately, I challenged her to get a piece of paper and write down 20 things she could do in seven days to raise the capital she needed to start. I assured her that if she could do it, she would get the money in a month or less.

To let her know how serious I was, I took the initiative and listed out the first five things she should do to raise the money. Immediately, one of the points ‘caught fire in my head’. It was a suggestion for her to go with me to see a particular philanthropist that I have a close relationship with. As far as I was concerned, kpatakpata he will say no.

Jane cringed at the idea, and became reluctant.

By some kind of strange coincidence that still baffles me till today, the man we were talking about breezed right by my office almost immediately. I stood up and started walking towards him amidst uncontrollable laughter. I mean, the coincidence was just beyond me.

When we finally met and greeted, I explained what just happened to him. It was a clear example of “talk about the angel, and the angel arrives.”

Without wasting time, he asked Jane to come to his office with her proposal so he will look through it and see what he can do for her. I couldn’t believe it. I was so happy that tears welled up in my eyes. It was like one of those Nollywood story lines. I mean, we had not taken any step yet, and things were already working in our favor.

To my amazement however, my wonderful friend didn’t even have a business plan. And when I asked her for a proposal with details of what she needed to start, she didn’t have anything written down. I was flabbergasted.

I personally drafted a proposal on her behalf and asked her to provide me with details so that it will at least be accurate. Funny enough she couldn’t do it.

In conclusion, my senior friend, the philanthropist, never got to see any proposal. And as I speak, Jane has still not started her farm.

It hurts!

Yes, it hurts me when I see friends who have so much potential, but who have remained on the same spot for a long time. These people can spend their whole day talking about their ‘bright’ future. They sing all year round about how talented they are. They dance in excitement due to the beautiful dream they have of ‘becoming great’ SOMEDAY. But somehow, they always forget to take any step.

Don’t be like that. Cultivate the habit of taking a step today. It is good to plan, but don’t plan and analyze your plans so much that you end up too paralyzed to take any step.

Do you plan to build a house but you don’t have the required fund? Just start it.

Did you see a guy or girl you like and you are fantasizing about talking with them and starting something? Stop fantasizing. Just do it.

Do you have a business plan that will cost #2,000,000 and you have less than #10,000? Start with what you have, and just do it.

Do you wish to go for your masters or take a course to advance your career? How long do you want to keep postponing it, waiting for a ‘more convenient time’?

Guess what? Now is the best time. Start now and make the necessary adjustments later. Why? Waiting is wasting! So, just do it. Eat that frog!

Successful people are not afraid to take action on their dreams. They know that their actions may not be perfect, and they could make mistakes. But they are willing to start the journey, and learn on the way. They understand that they will lose 100% of any chance that they don’t take. So even though the odds are stacked against them, they still go ahead and take action on their dreams.

Failures on the other hand spend all their time discussing their vision and celebrating their talents as if it’s a big deal to be talented. They forget that there is no talent-less human being, neither is there any ‘dream-less’ human being. They talk, plan, dream, and do just about any other thing that does not involve taking action. And even if they eventually act, they give up at the smallest obstacle.

Don’t be like that. Don’t be among the startling statistics of people who are quick to tell stories and give excuses about why they didn’t succeed. Instead take the bull by the horn and just do it.

Your Turn

What have you been putting off on that you need to do today? Have you had any experience where things weren’t perfect but you acted anyway, and things later worked out? Please share your experience in the comments section.

Toby Nwazor is a free lance writer and motivational speaker who believes that life is meant to be lived and not just existed in. He is equally an entrepreneur with a lot of hands-on experience in business start-ups, marketing, and customer service. He passionately writes every Monday and Wednesday on www.mystartupceo.com about helping entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs build successful start-ups

43 Comments

  1. DuffyDarl

    March 4, 2016 at 9:20 am

    Oh Toby, God bless you for this wake up call. Your write-ups are always so inspiring.

    • Toby Nwazor

      March 4, 2016 at 10:09 am

      Bless you too DuffDarl. Thanks for the compliment

  2. Nate

    March 4, 2016 at 9:21 am

    word. Its not easy but its worth the fight if you’ve passion for it

  3. Iny

    March 4, 2016 at 9:27 am

    This is so apt, and I experience it so much with people that it just saddens me, I used to procrastinate a lot but now I have learnt to just do it, however sometimes I just tell myself to slow down if I feel I am going too fast.

    • Toby Nwazor

      March 4, 2016 at 10:11 am

      Iny I used to be the commander in chief of procrastination, but some books helped me. Thank God for people like Brian Tracy and his book Eat the frog and No Excuses. Now, I just do it. Works for me, and welcome to the club of doers!

  4. keke driver

    March 4, 2016 at 9:38 am

    Toby! Toby!! Toby!!! I remember when I wanted to start a small business and it seemed it was NEVER gonna work out, one day I “angrily” went to the bank withdrew the money and I got a tricycle and hired someone trustworthy almost immediately, 4 months down the line, am grateful for that “Anger” #Just DoIt

    • Toby Nwazor

      March 4, 2016 at 10:12 am

      Gbam! I like that kinda anger. Necessity they say is the mother of invention. THat kinda anger is the mother of ideas that birth success. Kudos

  5. Toby Nwazor

    March 4, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Yes it is

  6. smackdown

    March 4, 2016 at 10:12 am

    There are those who are born to launch businesses and then there are those who just have ideas. I have a friend who sat on a really cool idea for years, because he was so afraid of failure he kept postponing his start date. Someone else eventually launched a company based on the same concept, and sold it for millions. My friend didnt eat for two days when he found out, he still has nightmares about it Lmaooo. My philosophy on this topic is very simple, God gives you ideas so you can do something with it. Not taking a risk is worse than failing.

    • Toby Nwazor

      March 5, 2016 at 1:39 am

      Eiyaa. I pity that friend shaa. You have said it all. I disagree with one statement though: “There are those who are born to launch businesses and then there are those who just have idea”

      Mba, nobody is born with ‘success’ in their DNA. life gives us raw materials in form of ideas, opportunities, etc. What we make out of it is what determines how successful we will be.

  7. Vuyanzi

    March 4, 2016 at 10:14 am

    Excellent article.
    Just do it. I took the bold step 2 yrs ago and I am loving it. Sometimes it’s not easy but you have to do it a step a day.
    My biggest regret- I didn’t start earlier.

    Although I don’t quite agree on the business plan thing. When I wanted to start my business, everyone kept asking me for a business plan. But I couldn’t write one- I am just not a writer. The business plan was holding me back.So I started without one. Till today I do not have one.

    What I do have though are foundational points I base my business on. So when someone asks me for my plan, I show them my 2 page points!

  8. Toby Nwazor

    March 4, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Hello friends, if you are a writer and you need a job please send an email with a writing pitch to KC on [email protected]. He’s in need of professional writers.

    I can chip in a word for you too if you wish (winks)

    Thank me later.

  9. its me

    March 4, 2016 at 10:23 am

    I appreciate this article because it is directed at me, have so many idea but something is always holding me back. I push people to go for what they want and will be happy with the outcome but when it comes to me there is always a but. God help me so that I can help myself

    • Smackdown

      March 4, 2016 at 10:40 am

      Help yourself so God can help you 🙂

    • Toby Nwazor

      March 5, 2016 at 1:36 am

      lol. as in eh

  10. Big Tee

    March 4, 2016 at 10:39 am

    A few years ago, myself and 4 of my friends had a round table meeting somewhere in Europe, we decided we will come to Nigeria, we will start our own TaoBao (Chinese version of Ebay) in Nigeria with our own Nigerian name, we had every details figured out, from warehousing to outsourcing of delivery, local content creation and even the number of months it’ll take for us to break even. Someone said security, someone said Nigerians are not ready for online ordering business model, someone said it is likely to fail. long story short, we all went back to school, Now when I see Konga, Jumia and OLX Nigeria, I’m unable to forgive myself, because we had the idea years before this people came through, and we just didn’t go for it. I guess Toby should also emphasize that we need to avoid dream killers, this people can discourage an eagle from flying abeg.

    • Toby Nwazor

      March 5, 2016 at 1:36 am

      Your story makes me feel bad. But then, other opportunities will come. I am glad you learnt from it.

      “Toby should also emphasize that we need to avoid dream killers, this people can discourage an eagle from flying abeg” My dear I can’t emphasize on it enough o. Dream killers are like poison.

    • Tosin

      March 7, 2016 at 10:34 pm

      your story doesn’t make me feel bad.
      many reasons:
      – lessons learned.
      – the business you planned now exists so the services are being rendered which is the whole point of companies, right?
      – there is room for competition or helping the existing businesses.
      – you have a million ideas left and the life to pursue them and people to pursue them with.
      i’m sorta unable to see failure in this context.

    • Big Tee

      March 11, 2016 at 10:07 am

      Yes its not a completely lost cause, but the first mover advantage is no longer there. I kinda prefer being the first person on lane (blue ocean) rather than being in an ocean of sharks filled with the blood of competition.

  11. wasek

    March 4, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Yes I accept your article but at the same funding is always the issue for someone to pursue his/her dream, especially we from the poor I have been hustling since I was 17 years it’s somehow frustrating sha but I still believe in God

    • Askkunbi

      March 4, 2016 at 3:55 pm

      Dear Wasek,
      I read somewhere that there are various forms of capital. Gifts, grants, word-of-mouth referral, perception, integrity etc.
      If getting cash seems hard, check your reputation or perhaps check your dreams again.
      I know many people who will give you cash or stand as sureties if they trust your word.

    • Toby Nwazor

      March 5, 2016 at 1:31 am

      I understand how you feel. But I agree with askkunbi.

      Also, you need to change your environment. Yeah, stop hanging around fellow hustlers. See how you can start making friends with people that have these funds. One day you will talk, and they will ove your idea, and the funds will come out.

      Remember the saying, “show me your friends….” Change your environment. If you are wondering how fund-loaded people can be your friends, start from your church. Take a little money from your hustle and make yourself look sharp/neat. If you look shabby, these guys will not want to be your friends. Birds of a feather flock together. It doesn’t cost much to look great. It’s all a matter of mindset.

      Look great, and you will feel great. Feel great, and great people will feel great about you. (Okay that’s my quote!)

      Make them your friends, prove your integrity and let your passion be ‘feel-able’, and soon the fund will come

      Best of luck

  12. LEM

    March 4, 2016 at 11:17 am

    Fear is the biggest dream killer not lack of funds. A lot of people have started businesses with little funds and were able to grow their funds/get support along the way especially as their passion was obvious to others. Conquer that fear and start something, there is no guaranty that you will succeed but its better than not trying at all.

    • Toby Nwazor

      March 5, 2016 at 1:24 am

      “Fear is the biggest dream killer not lack of funds”

      God bless you LEM for saying that,

  13. Cele-Ijesha

    March 4, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Tobi, this piece spills with inspiration. the fillip some people need to shake off and take off. But the problem mostly is fear and comfort zone. Those two can make the most talented become a shadow. They are so debilitating to dreams that it take a bad turn of fate to snap out of it and receive sense..
    Anyway, any one that needs an extra harsh shoving and rough handling, destiny sanitizing side-rib punch or slap, instrument wielding matchups, a saliva spattering shoutback, anyone that needs a bad turn of fate in short to ginger their dreams should brave it through Cele-Jesha-Mile2 or Mile12 on a not so good day and get caught up with the milieu. E wa so alright

    Madam shift that ur thing make another person siddon na, or you go pay for two people o

    • Toby Nwazor

      March 5, 2016 at 1:23 am

      You are so funny. Does all that happen in cele-ijesha-mile 2? What about oshodi under bridge? Hahahahaha.

      Bitter truth is that many people go through such experiences and worse without having that paradigm shift that will make them leave their comfort zones. It’s well sha

  14. Aisha

    March 4, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Toby, reading about your friend just makes me want to SLAP sense into her fuggy head!
    I am usually not this way, however, when I got to the part where her angel in disguise walked by just after you had both spoken about him AND she still did not realize that was providence from GOD makes me believe that some people will always remain poor even if you drive a truck full of money into their garage; simply because they have yet to work on their mind. She obviously has self-sabotaging beliefs and you personally saw how it became a self- fulfilling prophecy simply because of fear-based thinking!
    My heart weeps for her and soooo many just like her.

    • Toby Nwazor

      March 5, 2016 at 1:20 am

      I understand that feeling. It hurts. Worse still, I see her almost everyday, and we still greet and have small chitchats. But omoh, I can’t do her press-ups for her. lai lai. If you want to get six-pack, go to the gym yourself.

      I shaa hope that someone like you will slap her in the head enough to drop the self-sabotaging belief. E be like say my own slaps no enter her well enough.

  15. Ever Green

    March 4, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    Well I am very good at procrastination, I would love to be a song writer for people but each time I show friends my songs, most will tell me this is really nice and I should do something about it but few will tell me you sound like someone but I don’t want to sound like anybody I want to sound like me naso I go just leave it, but I will start working on it again but I don’t even know how I am going to sell it.
    Thank you Tobi for this article, thumbs up jare.

    • Toby Nwazor

      March 5, 2016 at 1:16 am

      Thanks evergreen for reading. You have great friends o. At least they even believe in your dreams. That’s a huge plus.

      You write songs? Wow! Keep it up. As for where to sell, my best option has always been the internet. Look for a song writing forum. Participate and let them ‘feel’ you. Soon you will upload your own work, and someone that ‘felt’ you in the past will be interested enough to buy it, or link you up with someone that can.

      Or you can equally hustle it out on the streets of naija. Go from studio to studio and look for potential buyers. It is going to be stressful, time consuming, and it will cost you more money. Worse still, they may offer you peanuts too.

      Either way, don’t keep your dreams. Explore them. Doors of opportunities will open for you. But they won’t open until you wake up, get your ass up, go out there and do something.

      Cheers!

  16. Njaysworld

    March 4, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    Very inspiring nad timely. Am planning on going full time blogging even though there is ni guaranty I will be successful. Although am saving up for the right time. This post just gingered me. Thanks.

    • Toby Nwazor

      March 5, 2016 at 1:03 am

      Njay’sworld, to be honest, if you start up with that attitude of “there is no guarantee”, I can give you a guarantee right away. You will fail!

      Yeah, that’s the blunt truth. Start a venture with doubt instead of 100% belief in it’s prospective success, then it is bound to fail. And when it does, you will be like, “Shebi I said it in the beginning that I wasn’t sure this stuff will succeed. I said it, and finally it has happened”.

      Throw away that self-limiting belief/doubt. Sit down and study about those who have succeeded in it. If they can, then you can. ANd if you can, then you will. If you will, then you must! With that kinda belief, you will definitely succeed as a blogger or in any other thing you set out to do.

      Kapich?

      About “saving up for the right time”, what are you saving for? Capital to start blogging? Okay, read the post again. You need to start NOW!

  17. lady S

    March 4, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    This article just speaks to me. I come up with very beautiful ideas but never go through with them. My biggest challenge is the course I am studying.. We all know how demanding and Time consuming medical school can be… I have a dream of participating in a pageant… That kind of dream that won’t let you sleep…. But everyone keeps saying I shouldn’t bother because of school… I hope God gets to help me save me some day… I have a deep feeling I will be great… But my biggest fear is not recognizing my opportunity when it comes.. Phew!

    • Toby Nwazor

      March 5, 2016 at 1:11 am

      “I have a deep feeling I will be great”. My dear, I totally understand that feeling. I used to, and I still have it. Guess what? Almost every other person alive does too. That feeling doesn’t mean you will be great or not. It is what it is, a feeling. What actually determines whether the feeling will become a reality is what you do now.

      I get your course of study part. But I am sure you know Robin Cook. Abi? He is doctor naa, yet he is famous today because of his novels. Same applies to John Grisham, though his own course was law. Same will apply to me, as a chemical engineer-turned-business consultant/ writer and speaker.

      It can apply to you too. It all depends on if you believe in your dream enough to do something about it. It doesn’t have to be a full time thing. And as for your studies, you can always work out a time table to accommodate your side hustle and your books. You won’t be the first person to do it. If others can, you can too.

      Lastly, if you have ideas without acting, the idea will fly to someone else. They will execute it and you will feel bad. Don’t let that be your story

    • Tosin

      March 7, 2016 at 10:37 pm

      again, i disagree about feeling bad. there are many more ideas, there will always be more. forever. why feel bad?

    • Tosin

      March 7, 2016 at 8:48 am

      i hope you win.
      at least contest.
      🙂 it will be fun.

  18. Chinedu

    March 4, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Fear is part of the journey in starting a business. A lot of people are trapped in delay, procrastination, fear, and excuses. And this overcome their desire to start or run a successful business. In every startups, the fear of starting should be a leverage to you that things are going to turn out fine and In order to minimize the fear, you have to avail yourself to more available information about your intended business.

    Research online, read everything about the business, message to people that can give you tips, hear from smart people but at the end, form your own opinion. The beginning of most businesses seems to be the hardest part, because it is the first time you are trying to do what you have not done before.

    Every big business today, was once a small business with that fear in them but the different is that they decide to take action , get started, make mistakes, get results, research till they got it right and repeat it. . Action is the proof of the idea you profess. Lets Take action and make the better use of our-self.

    • Toby Nwazor

      March 5, 2016 at 12:56 am

      I had to pinch myself to make sure I didn’t write those without knowing. You took the words right out of my mouth. Thanks Chinedu. You sound like a business consultant!

      Great counsel!

  19. zee

    March 4, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    Well said, Toby. But it’s not so easy for just everyone. I have had a dream of starting a bizness since 2010. The kind of dreams dat keeps u awake at midnite fantasizing. I dreamt and ate it. Then I started it as a side hustle while job hunting with my masters degree. No job for 2 yrs, I made some money but had to recycle it to survive n pay family/ health bills. Yes! I had two potential investors who asked for my biz plan… however, the terms were too high. Both asked for sex. Life happens! I eventually got a job but I still haven’t bn able to save enough. But I will do it! some day SOON!

    • Toby Nwazor

      March 5, 2016 at 12:54 am

      I quite agree with the not so easy part. It is very unfortunate that the two people that came had to make that kinda demand.

      In my opinion, you shouldn’t have given up on that idea. If two he-goats were the first people to be interested enough to want to invest in your dream, it doesn’t mean that better investors won’t come.

      Many times, what makes the difference between the people we celebrate as champions and the rest of the world; I mean Those who achieve their dreams and those who don’t is that factor called ‘hang-on-ology’ or ‘stay-put-ism’. you know, the ability to hang on for just a few more seconds without giving up. That could be the only missing ingredient in your own success story.

      And to answer the next question of “how long do I have to wait?”, my best answer is “for as long as it takes”.

      If the idea is great, and you believe passionately in it, one day, somehow, that door you’ve been knocking on will open. It just has to!

      Good luck! (By the way, kudos on being able to start it in the first place without a job, and with masters going on in the background. Must have taken a lot of zeal)

  20. Manny

    March 5, 2016 at 12:31 am

    Toby your head dey there. You’ve become my best writer on BN

  21. Leyi Ush

    March 5, 2016 at 1:58 am

    Thank you so much for this timely and well put together article, It pricked my conscience from start to finish. I have been consumed by fear and procrastinated several times on expanding my brand and branching into another business venture. Very motivational indeed!

  22. Tosin

    March 7, 2016 at 8:47 am

    i don’t talk to people who talk about lack of capital.
    i don’t talk to people who talk about capital, period, unless they’re Nobel Prize winning economists or similarly gifted at understanding capitalism and how to kill it or kill its problems.
    basically, no time.

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