In business, everyone comes with his capabilities and competitive advantages, as we juggle for opportunities in markets. Some come with endorsed business cards. Some come with their degrees. Some come with celebrated family names. Some carry iconic brand names. You must find your own and use it. When I was starting, I needed to break-in into the heart of Nigeria. Yes, the people who make decisions.
I knew I had capabilities in my firm but I did not have the network to connect with decision makers. So, I developed a plan. I was over-educated and Nigeria likes that. For three months, I offered and spoke in many institutions for FREE under capacity building [he came from U.S. and was offering free courses]. Interestingly, if there is no money involved, you can organize one within days. Just like that, I made friends and connected with leaders. I sold my education before them. You possibly have something else.
Do not be depressed that your friend had a networked uncle that introduced him. I want you to use what you have NOW to kickstart that open door. Your background must not hold you back if you believe you have something. Pursue excellence and weed your mind the poison that you have no privileges because you came from no-name family.
The progress of tomorrow is only made possible by the capabilities of today. If you develop a habit of respecting people despite your skills, Nigeria would reward you irrespective of lack of big parents or uncles. People would discover you. And once people like you, opportunities would open. But where you want to insult people on the way, you have lost your call.
Visit Nnewi and see men who did not even enter secondary school as MD/CEOs of big factories. Have you asked yourself which Ivy League school founders of Chisco, Young Shall Grow, etc attended? But they have the most advanced transport logistics in Nigeria with decades of success. The same happens in Kano with merchants trading from Mali to Sudan. Visit Osogbo, the same story. It is latent but our nation has opportunities.---
1. Advance your career with Tekedia Mini-MBA (Sept 13 – Dec 6, 2021): 140 global faculty, online, self-paced, $140 (or N50,000 naira). Click and register here.
2. Click to join Tekedia Capital Syndicate and own a piece of Africa’s finest startups with a minimum of $10,000 investment.