I came across a post on Twitter that implied a lot of people these days are becoming entrepreneurs, and how it is now a trend where a lot of people are jumping on the bandwagon to look cool.
Yes, agreed a lot of people are becoming entrepreneurs for the wrong reasons, because they think it sounds sophisticated or because they want to write hashtag team entrepreneur on their bio instead of actually advertising their brand name. However, I think a lot of people are actually realising that true fulfilment and true freedom only comes from taking that jump and building your vision from ground up.
I believe we have been programmed to go the 9-5 route, but no one ever speaks about that. No one ever speaks about the fact almost everyone does a 9-5 and entrepreneurs are just a 10% of the population. We go to primary school, secondary school, choose a major in uni, then get a job and get married. That is what has been engraved in our minds since we were born. You might be a very creative person, but be pressured to do a 9-5 because that’s what has been deemed as the normal way to go.
I’m actually of the school of thought that we are all eventually meant to be leaders, but before you lead, you have to serve; and you learn how to serve by working for others. You learn how a company runs, the protocols, and you develop your work ethic and self discipline.
A lot of successful entrepreneurs often speak about how they had to work for different organisations and try out different things before they found their own path that led to their success. You learn a lot about yourself and life, while you work for others, but then when it’s time, you take that leap and go and build your own dream.
While you might argue that not everyone eventually wants to become an entrepreneur and some people actually love structure and routine, I believe everyone on this planet loves their freedom and would prefer to dictate their own lifestyle, when/how long they get on holidays etc.
Everyone has a dream placed within them which they’d like to bring to fruition, but fear has a very strong pull. “A lot of people are hungry but don’t want to cook” I actually believe the only difference between a 9-5er and an entrepreneur is the guts to taking that leap of faith. Unfortunately life has its challenges and bills have to be paid, so it’s not the easiest thing to do. A lot of people balance both till they are sure and secure enough to make the jump.
The way life and society is set up, there has to be hierarchy, so we all can’t be 9-5ers or entrepreneurs. At the same time, one needs the other to thrive, and really can’t function without the other. The entrepreneur needs employees to support the dream and the 9-5er needs an entrepreneur to be employed..
Growing up, being a doctor, engineer and lawyer were the go-to jobs; we chose degrees that were mainstream in the hopes of a better future, but it was all a lie. The world is evolving a lot and it’s clear how vast the creative industries are becoming. A lot of us are trying to break into this new millennial age – these times of turning your passion into a pay cheque; but, some are struggling because they didn’t get the right foundation early enough.
You see kids these days thriving a lot more because they’re going after their actual passions with the right foundation, a photographer studying photography, a blogger studying journalism, a graphic designer studying graphic arts, a fashion designer going to fashion school.
Also, University isn’t the only route to success. A lot of Nigerians tend to see going into university as a rite of passage, especially MScs. While I acknowledge the benefits of university, as an MSc graduate myself, I believe not everyone needs to go this route. You learn the basic education in secondary school and university is meant for specialisation, so if you’re not going into a professional field then why waste those prime years of your life? If you’re a creative, you could perfect your craft or learn a craft, sewing, painting, designing, photography, furniture making, baking etc. You could attend seminars and workshops, read books on how to start a business and go from there.
A lot of people want to travel abroad for a masters degree. While some do it to get additional qualification, most do it for the wrong reasons – because they want to travel abroad or join the trend. I know people who have chosen the school but are yet to choose what to major in.
You see a trend of the ones who do so successfully; they come back and are back to square one, because all that degree is nothing without connection or networking.
Nigeria is very unpredictable and not the easiest place to secure a job so we need to think of ways to save money and use it productively. So instead of spending all that money on tuition, living expenses and paying monthly rent, enrol for short courses. For example instead of an MSc in Environmental management, you could do a short 3 day course in Environmental management here in Nigeria, for way less money and time. They both present qualifications and certifications.
The job market is so hard to penetrate, and the economy is so unpleasant that it is pushing a lot of people towards entrepreneurship. A lot of people actually don’t have a choice but to start a business just to put food on their table.
It is never easy to go against the crowd and approach the lonely road less traveled, which is why I believe people who are embarking on the entrepreneurship journey need to be applauded a lot more. It takes a lot of hard work, resilience and self motivation that not everyone possesses.
Love & Light xo
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