Rant of an almost frustrated entrepreneur!
I would like to think of myself as an entrepreneur who was inevitably ‘made’ by circumstances I found myself in. For example, back in 2005 when I was only 11 years old, my parents bought me a Nokia 2100 and for those who remember there were 3 games on it: snakes, space impact and bounce. However its important to note that I was one of the few students in my class who had a mobile phone at the time.
Now I saw a strategic opportunity and that was 1. Most kids in my class loved playing games 2. They didn’t have the means to. So what did I do? I simply charged a fee of N10 per game and by the end of everyday I would have made an average of about N100-N150. And from this I made enough money to buy myself new trainers and cloths. Also in my later years in secondary school, I organized prom parties and ofcourse charged a sum on entry and also made a truck load of cash.
But, the period I got into Covenant University wasn’t a very good time for my parents and as a result they couldn’t give me as much money as they would have loved to. So naturally I turned to the precious skill I had pruned over the years. I immediately sought out a need, and ofcourse in an environment filled with young people, it didn’t take long to find one. I immediately started a buying and selling business which lasted my whole first year. And then in my second year, I Co-founded an IT company, got it registered under the corporate affairs commission (CAC) and begun transacting business.
Not long after that -still in the first semester of my second year — I decided to dropout of school to chase my dreams!
I was out of school for a semester and a half, and I went on to spend the next 4/5 months on the streets in Lagos. This period was filled with ups and downs, believe me, however I managed to make my first million at the age of 17. I had proven my point and decided to go back to school the following year.
Now in present day, I’m the Co-founder of a tech company, smartedu.io . And I must say the game has changed since back in 2005. Permit me to say entrepreneurship has somewhat lost its ‘value’. Because now running a “startup” has now become a “job”.
You have an idea, you pitch the idea and if the “investors” like it, they “employ” you. I think there is something fundamentally wrong with this model, but then again what do I know?
But ofcourse money is a scarce resource and ofcourse entrepreneurs have little or no choice.
After a series of tries to raise money from so called “angels” we have decided not to run our company as a “startup” — chasing after investors — but focus on building a sustainable business! For too long we have shifted focus from the engine of any business which is satisfying customers!
I would also like to on this platform, announce that we have successfully sold smartedu.io :).
I and my team have spotted another strategic opportunity and like Buffet said: “never ignore a great opportunity”. Heavy customer development is currently being done, and the entire team is working round the clock to meet criteria for the launch.
I would like to thank my awesome co-founder Stanley Ogbuchi. If it was anyother person, I’m sure I will have given up and taken that Exxomobil offer.