My expedition took me to a couple with synergy. They took themselves along in their decision-making. and were able to trust the decisions of the other even if they were not sure of the outcomes.
This couple showed a true example of courage and faith. Because it is easier making decisions when the outcome affect only you. When children and other dependents are involved… you are at risk of being labelled stupid. But you know what is said about using the stupid things of the world to confound the wise…
Let me know what you think
Innocent Moses Edogbo
Consultant, Business coach and a School proprietor…
How did you start…
I have always had passion for business. Unfortunately I used my first 13 years after graduation working for other companies. but when I discovered myself I resigned and opened a private firm which I am running today.
I always had the intention of having my business. Because I detested the idea of working for 30 days for one pay. I am a natural marketer. I can sell anything. No matter what, so long as it’s packaged properly I can sell it. I decided why not exert the advantage in doing my own thing.
In 2012, 12th of April. I resigned, moved my family from Ondo to Kogi State. In the last five years, I have been trying to develop a business. We started with #7500… today the balance sheet is way higher than that.
What were you doing…
My wife learned bead-making and wire-works and I was marketing beads and wire-works. Why I said the investment capital is 7500 is because that was what it cost her to learn the trade. While working Airtel gave me a plastic table and two chairs. which became our office furniture, that was what we used in training trainees in our early days. from the comfort of our living room.
Few months later, the YOUWIN scheme came up and we applied and were given a grant. We used that to get a shop. Where we sold materials for bead and wire works. train people in bead and wire-works and also sell finished products. So it was a three arm business.
While doing that I decided to also bring in my professional experience. as an Accountant into business. I started training and I was privileged to start with Kogi State Youth Advancement And Development in 2012. and I still train and do seminars till today.
Along the line, the business and consultancy was growing and moving well. But my wife had always had the dream of owning a school and teaching. which she got from Isaiah 27:6. so we opened a Nursery and primary school called Blossom International school. Where I am the Proprietor and she is the Head teacher. She has Masters in Education and I have Masters in Business.
I run three lines of business as it is. The returns within the five years doing my own thing. far outweigh the returns of the previous thirteen years.
My purpose of resignation was not because paid employment was not good. but because I was not passionate and happy with what I was doing. I was good at it and being cheered for it. I had a good relationship with my bosses but I wanted more.
Then, July 1st, 2017 while I was at a seminar in Gudu, Abuja. I got an inspiration to start a monthly program Business Breakfast With Innocent. Where we help and treat micro, small and medium businesses within Kogi state. to compete favorably with businesses across the world.
There were many, as usual… one of them though not common was the challenge of not starting on time. I was a young man who left a job and a guaranteed monthly pay. with a wife, three children, househelp and my younger brother who lived with me. that was a whole lot of challenge because the cash flow had gone down. I uprooted my family from one location to another without any guaranteed pay. With that, if I desired to launch far from home, I was hindered because I had dependents at home and I could not just leave. Had I started earlier, that will not have been an issue. To me it is a challenge to wait too long to start.
My wife wasn’t working because she had to resign when she was not giving time off in the office, to breastfeed the baby. She was not allowed to bring the baby to work nor go breastfeed the baby. We could not cope with that and she had to resign.
People say their challenge is poor capital. but I do not see insufficient capital as a challenge, though it exists. Because, I started my consulting business with no capital. I only had my qualification, experience as an accountant and my laptop. that was all I needed in getting opportunities to do one work or the other. like I said 7500 for the beads and wire-works business
My major challenge was how to cope with my family after leaving a guaranteed monthly income.
I had fears… but I went for an induction program in Lagos where Ibukun Awosika presented a paper. she said I have no apologies I am not an accountant. and that if she was on a panel that needed to hire people. she will not hire an accountant where managers could be recruited. She said accountants are too careful of risk that they lose out. She went ahead to say, in business you need guts. I felt that statement was for me. So I took the step and sent in my resignation
Another incident was the young man who supplies diesel in my office. He came on one occasion and gave some set of staff a bribe of 150,000 and it almost tore the staff apart. I wondered, if he could make so much at a drop and afford to give away that much. while I who paid him as the finance manager cannot make that amount in a month. then I need to face the fear and start something. Let me try to at least get the first customer.
I read a book that said the major job you need to do is talk to the first 20 people if they do not buy, the 21st person will buy. So I was thinking of how I will talk to the 20 people so I can get to the 21st that will buy. Another book said if you can survive the first eighteen months of leaving your job, then you have survived. I thought if it was like that, then I should have what it takes.
On a good day, whenever I sleep or think about resignation or remembered it, it was like blood was getting to my head. I was very scared but I thought if I perish I perish.
I put in my resignation, and my MD then, told them to give me time that I will change my mind. As he was waiting for me to change my mind. To prevent falling for the pressure I told him I will give up the remaining two weeks’ pay. and the next day I moved my family. To me I was burning the bridge of going back but not burning the bridge against the relationships I had.
The fear is there but faith helped in killing it. and today I realise that the fears were imaginations that never came to pass.
My marriage is built on trust. I have overtime brought my wife into knowing what I wanted to do. She was not the business type but I brought the business orientation into her. I had earlier told her to resign which was what propelled her to learn the trade and then I had to resign also.
We have built the trust overtime and she knew I am committed to the welfare of the family. so she trusted me to do the best for the family in my decisions. that I will not be deceptive.
Assuming my wife refused which was what I had not envisaged. because we had discussed and we had come to terms with it. and we were both prepared for the worst if both of us were out of job.
If you have a spouse who does not support your idea; be patient. give him time, pray about it and show through your actions that you can be trusted with the step you want to take.
I remember when I wanted to get married. my uncle was persuaded to reject the lady because she was not from the same tribe or state. But I politely told him I will not take a decision on marriage without him. because he is both my father and mother figure. And his input is pivotal to my choice. I also told him I was going to wait for as long as it will take for him to accept. I boxed him to a corner. he had to give his consent. So give it time.
If you go ahead without your spouse’s support it will not help your marriage. as you will be breaking one of the major principles of marriage.
Religion and Business Success…
Business is not run on religious principles. business is not going to thrive on sentiments of class, tribe or location. but business is a principle found on faith. It’s purely a game of principle. If you do not agree with the principles of business it will not work for you. the other part of your life will not translate into profit. The challenge of Christian folks is that they think it’s all about prayers. But Prayer is supposed to give you inspiration on what to do to run a successful business. Whoever you are Christian, Muslim, atheist… you will succeed if you apply the principles and rules of business.
There is no one without talent. God determines your destiny but you discover it. Talent is embedded. it’s your job to find it out. Everyone has a gift but it is our choice to get access and know what it is. it is our job to discover, develop and grow the gift. and trade with the gift
My wife and I are both entrepreneurs. so we do not have much challenge understanding each others business. My wife teaching is like a fish in water, she is in her element. I have a vision of going all over the world… with my consulting and coaching. Currently, I travel round different states in Nigeria doing what I love. We have a help who picks up loose ends with house chores and stuffs.
In twelve years of marriage we have not had any third-party… settling dispute between my wife and I. God is helping us and we are doing great.
I encourage my children to explore their interests. because it can be a pointer to what they will do. My first son wants to be an engineer, and he has dismantled virtually all the electronics at home. My second son wants to be a lawyer and my daughter wants to be a doctor. My first and second son do piggy banking. and the first one came up with the idea of using his money to buy snacks. which he resells to his school mates and I am happy he can think of that at his young age.
Readers are leaders. Authors have gone ahead to put their formation, experiences and thoughts in books. and these can help you avoid pitfalls. In reading you are intermingling with higher authorities
Don’t just read any book but books in the field that you are interested in and that will help your growth. Attend seminars, conferences. surround yourself with things and places that will build you up.
I encourage everyone to read because in reading you will grow faster and learn more
Business is not an option but an avenue to contribute. it is an avenue to create job for the entrepreneur and others. create wealth for yourself and others, even the economy. In entrepreneurship, you are either serving a need or creating value to grow an economy. Individuals grow the economy. That is what makes a great nation.
Business is not an alternative to a collar job. Young people should not be told go for entrepreneurship because there is no job. Because that is like scaring someone into do something. If it’s out of fear,you will not bring the best out of it. rather it should be an advocacy for entrepreneurship.
Business is an opportunity to serve a need or create a value. Young people should see entrepreneurship as a tool to grow themselves. and contribute to their nations’ economy. Think big and think global but be ready to start small. you cannot start today and take over the world. Start small, then from your corner you work your way up to being big. Whatever you are doing, be the best at it.
if you are in a paid employment (if that is your area) give it your best. if you are in Entrepreneurship, give it your best. because in our business clinic, we have discovered… Everybody is an entrepreneur but also not everybody are entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is a skill. There are three categories of people. those who have an innate flair for entrepreneurship. those who learn it. and those who through their makeup do not allow entrepreneurship enter into them. so we diagnose, guide and allow them make decisions
Think value…think contribution.
I hope you found this as interesting as I did, because I was able to pick a lot of things from here. what do you think? Don’t you just love their synergy?