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Adedoyin Owotomo: You Are Not An Entrepreneur…So What?



There is an entrepreneurship bug going round in Nigeria. This entrepreneurship “mosquito” has bitten a lot of Nigerians, and the phenomenon is on the rise. With the advent of the recession, we have started to look inwards, through entrepreneurship, to soften its effects on us. It is really teaching us to become financially creative.

The hype about entrepreneurship has led to the belief that it….entrepreneurship…is the surest way to happiness, wealth, success and financial security.
Initiatives to support business owners, trainings, pop-up markets, seminars in everything entrepreneurial, are springing up everyday like clockwork.

However, the more I see this phenomenon boom, the more I begin to wonder if some business owners are cut out for the hustle.

Do not get me wrong, I am with #TeamOwnYourOwnBusiness and all for the #Sidehustle to make extra income. Nevertheless, I am very sure that not everyone is meant to follow the entrepreneurship path.

And that’s ok. It really is.

So you are not going to be the next Mo Abudu or Dangote? You will not have a building with your company signage, nicely furnished with your own dedicated parking. And your business card is not going to have MD/CEO under your name. All that is absolutely fine, and is nothing to fret over.

A lot of people put so much pressure on themselves because they think that every Tom, Dick and Harry that owns a business is running the show and cashing out. We think entrepreneurs are having a ball with flexible working hours and extended holidays whenever they desire.

While some of it is true, I can guarantee you that quite a number of entrepreneurs are waist deep in debt, while others are overwhelmed by the stresses of running a business and are considering going back into the workforce.

I give kudos to all the entrepreneurs who are out there working on their passion; however, we cannot all be business owners. I have come to realize that our paths to success are not the same.

You have to understand that it is not because you are unable to lead people or not innovative enough that has made you opt for paid employment. Sometimes, it can just be the simple fact that owning a business and doing work that is inspiring is a struggle financially. It can also be that the business you are considering is physically challenging. Or simply that you are best at executing other people’s plans and ideas.

There are lots of people fulfilling their dreams and following their passion in paid employment. They are successfully doing so and getting paid for it.

How are they doing it?

Successful employees make their job work for them and not the other way around. And what do I mean by this.

First of all, they start out with a game plan early their career. They research their career choice and its various career paths, determine the next career position they should target and develop the skills required to fulfill that role.

Secondly, they are professional and very reliable. They show up to work and work functions on time, manage work projects in a timely fashion, do not miss deadlines, always and promptly respond to emails, respect others and avoid gossip.

Another trait of successful employees is that they think strategically and take initiative. Their focus is on solutions to problems and not dwelling on the problem itself. They understand that they are human and take responsibility for mistakes.

They are also committed to the success of themselves, their teams and the company as a whole.

The crucial thing here is to understand yourself, your strengths, weaknesses and what drives you. Whatever your reason is for being in the workforce, it is important to work hard and make yourself more invaluable and never forget that the world needs people like you.

Just learn how to work your magic on whatever side you find yourself on and remember that the sky is not your limit, it is only the beginning of it.

Photo Credit: Sergey Khakimullin |

Adedoyin is the founder of the Greenhorn Career Network (, a career platform that aims at providing young Nigerians with positive and practical approaches to educate them on taking ownership of their future, setting and achieving their career and life goals early in life and most importantly, developing a positive mindset to help them navigate the real world. She is very passionate about seeing young Nigerians succeed in their chosen career fields and living their dream life. You can connect with Greenhorn is on Instagram: @greenhorncareernetwork; Facebook:


  1. BigJoy

    June 5, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    God bless you, I keep telling le boo’ this, not everyone is cut out for this entrepreneur something, as great as it is, i d rather just stay in my own career geh corner..

    • Adedoyin Owotomo

      June 7, 2017 at 6:23 pm

      Dear BigJoy,
      Thumbs up to you. And please be the best at it, so that you can achieve your greatest potential. Bless!

  2. Aunty babu

    June 5, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    Very well said… everyone is looking for a side-hustle, with or without the skills for it. It’s almost like we’ve forgotten that professional careers are equally as important.

  3. Bubu

    June 5, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Please we need more entrepreneurs to employ people, if nobody creates the job where will u work. Thank God you mentioned mo Abudu and Dangote, do you how many people they employ, and the truth is they don’t even employ up to 1% of what is needed. We need to encourage entrepreneurship in this country as much as we can. MTN and co, the banks are busy laying off people. who will feed those ones that have lost their jobs and their children if they don’t create a source of income for themselves and others. Entrepreneurship should be encouraged soo much in Nigeria, infact we need it more than any thing else. WHO CAREER EPP. Please leave that bank and start a financial service company for SMEs, we need alot of training services for entrepreneurs. If you have a thriving business please leave your job and face that business let there be opportunities for others that have just left school to learn and grow their profile or get the necessary skills to build a business.

    • Adedoyin Owotomo

      June 7, 2017 at 6:21 pm

      Dear Bubu,
      Thanks for your compliment. I would like to ask you who you think is helping Mo Abudu and Dangote achieve their dreams………you said it, it is their employees.
      I would also like to ask how you think the financial service company for SMEs you have advised to start will become a success. It will be primarily because of the employees.
      Yes we need more entrepreneurs, who have the vision but corporate organizations and SMEs also need to train and appreciate their staff who are helping them to implement their vision.

  4. Bad gang

    June 5, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    The surest way to sadness, depression and loss of self-worth is working for a nigerian…from the peanuts the nigerian pays you to the undermining of your efforts to the obsequity he/she expects from you to the lack of respect of your post office hours to the lack of respect and total violation of your job description (you hear a boss sending a subordinate to get his/her kid from school) among other notorious abuse of employer- employee relations… hence entrepreneurship became a wonderful alternative…I agree with you not everybody is cut out for it…too many scattered brains in nigeria are entrepreneurs and collapse under pressure…as for me I don’t advice anybody to work for a nigerian for more than say five years because the truth is most nigerian employers undervalue their employees and don’t understand the concept of gaining employee loyalty by treating them right and paying them according to labour standards….my mom always tells me ‘if you pay peanuts you get monkeys’
    P.S : to be a good entrepreneur, you must be a hardworker, goal-getter, team player etc be sure you have all or some …lol…before you delve into entrepreneurship

    • Nene

      June 5, 2017 at 7:02 pm


  5. Bad gang

    June 5, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    Forgive all the grammatical blunders abeg…lol…. reading bellanaija on office time ( extra hours actually, enforced by my nigerian boss) and speedily typing before my nigerian entitled boss catches me

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