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‘Tale Means Business: How To Go From Being ‘The Business’ To Having a Business



“I am the business”.

I have heard this quote from several people especially entertainers. It sounds really cool and fancy, until you dig deep and understand the implications of that quote.

According to business dictionary, ‘A business is an organisation or economic system where goods and services are exchanged for one another or for money’. By this definition, when you are ‘the business’, if you don’t exchange goods and services personally, no money comes in.

I have been privileged to work with a couple of people in the entertainment space recently; these people have been ‘the business’ for quite a while. They have realised that their earning potential is limited by their ability to get up and ‘perform’. I can relate with their challenge because I am in the same space as they are, as a business coach.

As a knowledge entrepreneur, entertainer, coach or solopreneur you are most likely the business  – even if you have a team supporting you.

I believe I am attracting these people, because I am also transitioning my organization from being built around my ability to deliver, to running it as a system that can deliver with or without my active input.

If you are in the same space, here a few things you can consider to transition:

Define the product or service you can offer, that is not dependent your personal delivery
What are you really offering and how can you offer it without being the one to personally deliver it? Is it possible? Or can others deliver a part of it, so you can focus on building an organization?

Decide how you will structure your organization to deliver it seamlessly
What kind of structure do you need to ensure you can deliver the same or similar value seamlessly? You might need to break down the current implementation process into different roles or create new departments to help you deliver the product or services you are offering.

Document the process or systems that will help you deliver this
Systems are very important for your Organizations to run smoothly and deliver value. Even if you are in the creative business, having systems are important. Creating a standard operating procedure will ensure that your service process is clearly documented, and people can easily refer to it.

Deploy the right people to execute it.
People are an important key to going from being the business to having a business. You need to build a team of executors. You need people who can make decisions and take action without depending or relying completely on you to tell them what to do. Even if you can’t afford to pay a lot in the beginning, you could start with offering internship positions and training them to fit your organization’s culture. You could also outsource to competent organizations who could give you the same value for less.

A practical example of someone who went from being ‘the business’ to having a business is Mo Abudu. She went from hosting her show – Moments with Mo to creating Moments a show that spreads across various African countries with different hosts. By doing this, she could concentrate her attention on building an organisation and expanding its arms.

I wrote some chapters on creating systems, transitioning and scaling your business or brand in my new book Uplevel. You can learn more about the book HERE.

Now my question to you is: are you the business? And how do you intend to sustain it?

'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. EveningLight_talks

    April 7, 2017 at 11:46 am

    This is far more than an article… Its a motivation

    • 'Tale Alimi

      April 7, 2017 at 4:59 pm

      Thank you for your kind words

  2. nene

    April 7, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    after all is said and done, without money, a business cant thrive.

    • 'Tale Alimi

      April 7, 2017 at 5:00 pm

      You do need capital to run a business and there are other forms of capital you can explore apart from financial capital…

    • Francisca

      April 11, 2017 at 12:58 pm

      You are very right Tale. I will also add that capital is actually the last thing you need when starting a business. It is natural to think that once you have the financial capital, you are ready for business but in reality, a business that will thrive need more than finance to see the light of day

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