Rants of an almost frustrated entrepreneur Part 2 — How I made my first million at 17!

So this is a follow up article to my last one, majorly because I got a lot of people asking how I made my first million at 17.

Here it goes:

  1. God- Psalms 16 vs 6a says the lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places. The key word here is “fall”. Which in itself implies some sort of “chaos”. Basically you can’t make the lines “fall”, that’s Gods job. Also you don’t know what to pray for as your ought; imagine Joseph praying to become the prime minister, his prayer points would have looked something like this:

The point here is trust in the Lord your God, and He shall direct your path! Never cease to confess Gods word in your life, I particularly love these scriptures: Ps 16 vs 6, Romans 8 vs 28 and Psalms 1 vs 1–3.

2. Keep moving forward, No matter what- A few days ago, we had something very important planned, only on the day for us to get a massive disappointment. This disappointment was so massive that after I said, “nothing spoil, we keep moving regardless”, the entire team looked at me like I was crazy. But at the end of it all, we set out and this turned out to be one of the most successful days we have had.

“Pastor come, pastor no come, service must hold”

3. Work your butt off! — they say “nothing of worth comes easy”.

This entrepreneurship journey is HARD!!! And it’s not for the faint hearted, it’s so hard that I heard one of my mentors say jokingly that he doesn’t encourage people to go into entrepreneurship anymore! You’re are going to have to make massive sacrifices, you’re sometimes not going to be able to afford outings, and woe unto you if you have a babe that’s very demanding.

You can’t cheat the grind. It won’t be easy but please EMBRACE it!

4. Find 2 or 3 mentors — This to me is one of the most important rules and it cannot be over emphasized. You are going to need advice, and I mean a lot of it. I would suggest that your mentors be people that are just about 2–3 years ahead of you in business, and not veterans that have forgotten what it was like to not have 5k in their account. You need mentors that can still appreciate the “Hustle”!

5. What you have in your hands is all you will ever need- Now this is a very very very tricky one as I did not believe it myself until a few days ago, I just heard my pastor say it over and over again, (but I couldn’t comprehend it!). But now, in retrospect I realized that for as long as I can remember its resources that I’ve had around I’ve been taking advantage of.

6. Failure is key! Embrace it! — Imagine if we hadn’t continually failed at SmartEdu for 3 years… I wouldn’t have met everyone I have in my network today, I wouldn’t have understood how to deal with customers and competition , I wouldn’t have understood “never taking no for an answer!” I wouldn’t have understood the value of making something out of nothing.

Failure is key people…embrace it!

7. Get an awesome co-founder like mine!- I would advise that this person is someone you know EXTREMELY well, for example Stanley and I were roommates for 2 whole years…. sharing kettle indomie from the same plate and falling asleep watching suits on the same bunk bed.

Believe me you will need somebody to encourage you when the chips are down, you will need somebody to pick up the conversation when you’re short of words and most of all, you will need somebody that will put as much blood and sweat into the business without getting paid for it!

8. Like Stanley says, CUSTOMER IS KING!!!- Customer first, not your software, or mobile app, or clothing line, or e-commerce site, but customer first! For example very late yesterday, we got hungry at the office and went out to buy chicken barbecue, on getting back we stopped at a woman’s shop to buy garri. On that same line, there are 3 shops that sell the exact same thing, and I asked one of my colleagues why he thinks everyone buys from only this particular woman, and he said “customer service”.

9. Listen to Pastor Poju- It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Buddhist or an idol worshiper or even an atheist… Half of the things in this article are things I learnt from him and applied in my life and my business. I mean the man teaches PROCESS!

Go on to www.insightsforliving.org and download some of his messages on the just concluded series, “mystery of capital” (Yeah, he taught us how to generate capital!)

On a final note, I didn't necessarily know all this when I started out, but I picked them along the way - learning from experience.

In essence never stop learning!

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