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Francisca Ogunlade: 3 Reasons Why Corporate Employees Fail as Entrepreneurs

Francisca Ogunlade



Please hold on, I really don’t mean to scare you. However, 75% of corporate employees fail in business; be it a side business or a full time business after years in corporate employment. Have you ever wondered why it is so?

At a time, I thought it was a jinx, as I could not imagine how a high flying employee could fail woefully in a personal business. I have also had my fair share of failures but now I know better.

Let me share a bit of my failure story.
One beautiful afternoon, I got a call from a colleague and he introduced me to a wonderful health product. The interesting part was that I would get paid for using the product and get commissions from inviting people into the business. It was a networking business.

Being a sales person at work, I saw this as a walk over and I invested in the business immediately. My dear reader, I never smelled any commission as I could not introduce any one to the business. It is over six years now and I still have some of the products in my home. Let’s just say I leant how to fail honourably.

In the last three years, I have invested in three businesses and I am bold to say that I have made considerable success in each of them. This success rate did not just happen, it is because I have learnt from my previous failures and I’d love to share same with you. For the sake of this article, we will call our case study Sunshine.

Sunshine works with a pre-listed job description and role assignment. For 7 years, Sunshine resumes to her job function each day, working through her duties in a breeze and she has imbibed this way of life subconsciously. She sees life in this form of stability and order. This is the mindset that Sunshine takes into the business world. Sunshine does not know that building a successful business requires a level of disruption. Things hardly work out as planned especially for start-ups. Order is her first shocker in the business arena, as there is every cause for alarm.

Sunshine is a very busy hard worker and she hardly has time for social functions except family events. During one of such events, she got talking to a cousin of hers. He cousin invites her to a trending business and voila, her mind is made up. She resumes to the office and tries to contain her excitement till she shares her new found business idea with her colleague at work. Her colleague leapt for joy at the idea and Sunshine went ahead to invest in the business. Sunshine has set herself up for failure as she did not research her market and only got counsel from her busy colleague just like herself.

Sunshine once failed in a business before she started. This is because Sunshine was waiting for the big lump sum as her initial capital to start. Eventually, sunshine got her huge capital and invested all into her business. She made the huge mistake called OVER CAPITALIZATION. She invested more in finesse instead of founding values. I have been there so I know. The chilling boxes I bought when starting out in my event planning business are presently used as storage boxes in my home.

There are still other factors like Trust and Processes but I will be stopping here for today. I hope this article has helped you think things through, even as you start your business.

Do feel free to comment on other factors you know so as to help that corporate employee venturing into starting a side business.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime |Denisismagilov

My name is Francisca Onyinye Ogunlade. I am a Banker,a Side Business Coach and a Car Crash Survivor.I run Eftinzz Events Outfit and the Plan B Hub where i help corporate employees start a profitable side business in 90 days or less.Let’s connect via my blog or [email protected]


  1. Iphee

    June 2, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    The mistake most make is thinking “throwing”money at every problem solves it and not taking time to learn the ropes.

    • Francisca

      June 3, 2017 at 10:37 pm

      Thanks Iphee. You are very correct. many people fall into the NSO (Next Shinny Object) syndrome.

  2. Angel Salt

    June 2, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    #HEyBoss, this is it: “This is the mindset that Sunshine takes into the business world. Sunshine does not know that building a successful business requires a level of disruption. Things hardly work out as planned especially for start-ups.” Having the wrong mindset does not help any business venture. One must be ready for what it takes- the unprecedented disruption.

  3. Ify

    June 2, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Interesting topic but this article didn’t have enough “meat” for me. Was looking forward to something a bit more substantial as I believe this topic is a big one. I also guess those that have been there would be in a best position to share their learnings. Thanks all the same.

    • Francisca

      June 3, 2017 at 11:01 pm

      Thanks Ify. This topic is really a very large one. I am certain subsequent posts will do justice.

    • Indigo

      June 4, 2017 at 4:43 pm

      It will never have enough meat no matter how many times she writes in the topic.
      Ask her what kind of business you can do and watch her take you on a merry go round.
      All them supposed social media business gurus are all the same.

  4. Shiya Perzeen

    June 2, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Dear Francisca Ogunlade what the $%&(*%&*^$%^&#$#&* is a ‘corporate employee’?

    ‘Employee’ I know, ‘corporate’ I have heard of, but ‘corporate employee’, nah.

    Educate me.

  5. Francisca

    June 3, 2017 at 10:39 pm


    • Tope

      June 3, 2017 at 11:36 pm

      Keep it up

  6. Furo

    June 3, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    Very informative.

  7. Tope

    June 3, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    Success Gem

  8. Olubunmi Okonoda

    June 3, 2017 at 11:50 pm

    I think Francisca should be commended for writing this post whether some people think it has enough meat or not. She has made some valid points in her article and her content will keep improving as she continues to horn her writing skills. I would like to add that lack of a mindset shift from an employee that avoids risk to an entrepreneur that embraces risk, uncompelling value proposition, fierce competition in the busines world, lack of interpersonal skills, unrealistic expectations etc. are some of the reasons why employees fail as entrepreneurs.

  9. Star

    June 4, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    I always wondered the same too. When I was growing up, I noticed that many retirees who retired hale and hearty died few years after or lost all their gratuity.

    I honestly believed it was village people

    My question for the author is : Civil servants are banned from running businesses alongside aka Plan Bs, how then can a civil servant start a successful business after retirement in middle age and with plenty dependents asks often the case

    • Francisca

      June 5, 2017 at 12:53 pm

      Hi Star, your observation is very correct. As per civil servants, they are not banned from having a side business. In fact, many around my locality have. Other employees however have policies about employees having businesses especially if it conflicts with the employment terms (especially working hours) or if it is the same type of business ( like working in a school and having a school as a side business).

  10. Esther

    June 4, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Good One, good job……welldone

  11. Chibee Chuma

    June 4, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    It’s easy to think anyone who is working/has worked has garnered enough experience to push them through the business world but No, high flying employees really do fail in personal businesses.

    Thank you for the tips, Francisca.

  12. SLIKZ

    June 5, 2017 at 11:25 am

    GREAT !!!

  13. Francisca

    June 5, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    Hi Indigo. Thanks for your comment. For ideas on side business ideas, you can take up the free course website where I shared over 50 different aide business ideas you can choose from. My website is

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