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‘Tale Means Business: You Can’t Build a Big Business with a Small Dream

Tale Alimi



I finally figured out what was wrong!

I took some time off work to do some ‘internal’ brain storming.

Our company turned two, and though I was feeling grateful that we had been able to serve over 200 business owners and corporate executives, I was feeling dissatisfied at the same time…

Whilst some of our clients had gone on to achieve incredible results and seen multiple revenue growth, some others seemed to have shrunk back. My team told me that some complained that our methods were too demanding and they did not expect so much push.

I was perplexed and begun to consider why,  on one hand some people were achieving incredible results, some others were not.

I sincerely did not get the answer immediately until I shared a video of an interview of Aliko Dangote in our recent Business success blueprint class. The part of the video that struck me was when the interviewer, Peace Hyde asked him if his approach to everything was to think big and he answered with an emphatic “YES.’

As I watched that clip over and over again, I realized the difference between those who were getting results and growing and those who were not; it was really in the size of their dream!

You can’t build a big business with a small dream. What’s the difference I noticed?

Commitment vs. Desire
The people who grew did not just desire to have successful businesses, they were committed to growing their businesses. They showed their commitment by their willingness to do the work and invest in themselves.

Massive vs. small action
A further proof of their commitment was the size of the action and steps they were willing to take. We heard more excuses from the ones who were not making progress than from the ones who did. The more successful ones were willing to make more moves and take more actions.

Solution oriented vs. problem focused
We work mainly with Nigerian business owners and executives, and it’s obvious that we have a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) economy. It is almost justifiable to complain about the recession and why things are not working. However,  we noticed that the progressive ones (who were experiencing growth) were more focused on finding solutions; the others were constantly rehashing economic problems as an excuse for their lack of progress.

Playing big vs. playing small
I told a client the other day that life will give you what you settle for. This is not just a motivational statement, it is something I have seen practically working with these two sets of people. The ones who want to reach more people and serve at a higher level end up playing bigger, whilst the ones who say they don’t want too much end up not getting  much!

As I made all these findings, I had a meeting with my team and we agreed that we needed to focus more on serving the people who had bigger dreams and were committed to it because they were the ones who were likely going to build big businesses.

My question to you is this: are you trying to build a big business with a small dream? Or what is the real issue? I will like to hear your perspective.

By the way, the business success blueprint class is coming to Abuja next, so if you are an Abuja business owner who wants to play bigger, register to attend the class HERE.

'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 (

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