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‘Tale Means Business: Is Your Mindset Helping or Hurting your business?

Tale Alimi



I felt my business was not big enough to be proud of….

When I was running my last business, I thought until we were doing revenues in the hundreds of millions, I could not proudly say I had a ‘thriving business’.

What gave me this mindset? Expectations and wrong perspective.

I had just finished my MBA when I started my fashion business, we had done case studies of multimillion retail brands like Kate Spade and Tory Burch. I was excited to build a similar business in Nigeria.

I started it as a side business while working in consulting and put a lot of passion and effort. Though my start-up capital was small (N20,000 or approximately $55), I was determined to use my after work hours and weekends to make something out of this new business. It began to pay off as I turned over the money and was generating a healthy 6 figures in 6 months.

Then I knew it was time to play bigger and create my own ‘Nigerian multi-million business’. I started investing more into it and eventually resigned to focus on it.

That’s when I began to struggle with self-belief…

When the challenges of running a business confronted me, I had doubts about whether I had what it took to build a successful business. I was also not so proud of the fact that I could not boast about revenues in the hundreds of millions yet (As if Rome was built in a day).

I eventually got some investment into the business and was generating a healthy 8 figures, but because of my lack of self-belief, I eventually lost what I had spent years building.

In retrospect, and from my experience actively working with business owners now to build their businesses, I have identified 4 ways that we let our mindset hurt our business.

Lack of self-belief
I lived this reality and it clearly resonates with me. I shared on my Facebook live weekly show, The Edge that people invest in people and not ideas (because ideas are dime in a dozen). If you struggle to believe in yourself, it will be difficult for others to believe in you. When you approach your business with a lack of self-belief, it will show in the results you produce.

Fear of failure
I have seen people hinder their business growth possibility because they are afraid to fail, so they are not willing to try anything new. They are neither willing to take risks nor invest in themselves because they are afraid to fail. The truth is that running a business is a risk and there is a high likelihood you will fail at some things. I have adopted the John Maxwell mantra of ‘failing forward’ – which means making failure an event you learn from and move ahead instead of letting it be a monument.

One of my clients had been hesitant to make a necessary move that would help her business go to the next level. After a few months of pushing and encouragement, I realised the problem was perfectionism.

Perfection is actually a myth. There is no such thing; once you think you have created something that is perfect by your own standards, someone else raises the standard and does it better! One of my favourite quotes by Sheryl Sandberg is ‘done is better than perfect’.  If you keep waiting to get it perfect before you make the move in your business, you will never get it done.

I must confess, I am a recovering impatient person when it comes to following the process required to succeed in business. I began to change my mindset when I heard Tony Robbins say ‘we overestimate what we can do in 1 year and underestimate what we can do in 10 years’. I am the chief advocate for scaling your business, but building the foundation for a successful business takes time and we have to be patient with the process.

I have seen people trying to circumvent the process by living above their means, or making investments or moves that their businesses are not ready for. I told one of my clients the other day to stop trying to dissipate energy by doing too many things at once because he was not patient enough to stick to one thing until he saw the required results.

Is your mindset hurting or helping your business? I have designed a 10 question check list to help you answer this question. You can download it HERE.

Our upcoming business growth master class is themed ‘Mastering the inner game’, because like my mentor Mrs Adenike Ogunlesi of Ruff n Tumble told me, 80% of business success is mental. This is our most important master class yet. You can see details about it and register 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 (


  1. LL

    September 11, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    Thank you Tale. I was so sure my business was not growing until I was filling a form recently and realised that my revenue had grown by over 3000% in the last and customer acquisition was also growing. All these on less than 100k spent on marketing and myself as the only staff. I have decided to use this momentum to set down processes and begin to build a team. I really had to be shaken into the right mindset.

    • 'Tale Alimi

      September 11, 2017 at 7:19 pm

      Thank you for sharing. I am so glad this new perspective has given your business more momentum.

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