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Here are 15 Things we Learnt from Oscar Onyema on Forbes Africa TV’s “My Worst Day with Peace Hyde”



The persistent rollercoaster world of business can be unnerving for a lot of people looking to become entrepreneurs. For most, it is simply easier, safer and more practical to grow in a stable employment where you have guaranteed income. But for some, the uncertainty of never knowing when your next payday is coming is exactly what keeps them going down the entrepreneurship route. For

For the Intrapreneurial head of the prestigious Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE), Oscar Onyema, the business world can have some truly life threatening challenges and as he navigated his worst day in business, here are 15 things we learnt from him.

1. Did you know Onyema was the first person of colour to hold the senior vice president position at Amex? After his Youth Corp, Onyema had a short stint in Nigeria before making his mark on Wall Street and the American Stock Exchange.

2. The NSE offers 3 products, Equities, Fixed Incomes and Exchange traded firms. Trivia for all you budding stock traders out there, which one is the most subscribed product?

3. Onyema was one block away from the tragic attack on the world trade centre in New York during 9/11 signifying his first worst day in business.

4. His second worst day was during the occupy Nigeria movement when the exchange was under attack during the strike process.

5. One of Onyema’s major concerns, when he relocated to Nigeria was security and so when his office was stormed, he began to question his decision. However, he decided to stick it out.

6. During the 9/11 attacks, Onyema believed he was going to die when he was trapped for about 4 hours before the rescue teams arrived. By his own admission, he saw people writing their wills all around him because they couldn’t communicate via their mobile phones.

7. Challenges are part of the journey of an entrepreneur. “Challenges will always come and it is how you respond to them that will determine your success”, says Onyema.

8. As an entrepreneur, your ability to plan ahead is crucial. According to Onyema always anticipate challenges and think clearly ahead of time where the challenge will be so when challenges happen you go into an auto-pilot mode.

9. Be aware of risks but do not let them cripple you. As Onyema puts it, always adopt a risk management approach to make sure that your response to any situation is clearly thought out and gives you the opportunity to survive whatever the challenge is

10. Make sure you have no regrets. According to Onyema, when he was faced with his challenging day, the one thing that went through his mind was what he had not accomplished yet. If there is anything you want to do, stop procrastinating and do it today.

11. Make sure you develop a healthy work-life balance. Onyema believes that Life is a conglomerate of experiences so the idea is to enjoy the experience and live in the moment such that you don’t regret when you look back.

12. Leadership is key. In moments of crisis, people are looking for leadership that will see them through the crisis and allow them to come out in the best position to accelerate their growth.

13. Never be afraid to take action as an entrepreneur. It is critical to be firm and action oriented to adapt to times of crisis, says Onyema.

14. Leadership cannot exist without followership. Onyema believes it is not about forcing people to do things but rather compelling them to believe in your vision

15. There is no short cut to success. It involves a lot of hard work and sacrifices. You need to be clear in your mind what you want to achieve and go at it with tunnel vision.

If you missed the thrilling episode watch it here!


  1. Iphy

    March 23, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    Quite an insightful read!

  2. Giogio

    March 23, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Good pieces of Advice for entrepreneurs.

  3. Bukky

    March 23, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    This Occupy Nigeria people have too much Wahala.

  4. white

    March 23, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    this is beautiful,

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