How to start with nothing – Fola Daniel Adelesi

“How can I start out in business or in any other thing I want to do when I don’t have any money and the circumstances around do not encourage me? Is it possible to start with nothing when we all know that you will need money to start whatever you need to start and you will also need money to do some publicity for what you want to do?” These and many others are the kind of questions that I get when I go to speak in some meetings especially when I have to discuss entrepreneurship with young or old people. I know you can do a lot even when you don’t have money because I have done it and how to do it is what we need to look at.

For some of the people who ask me questions in the meetings where I speak I just perceived they are making excuses for not willing to try anything new and you can practically read the innocence on the face of some others. For those who are trying to make excuses they will argue with you even when you are willing to show them that it is very possible to start something with nearly nothing. The response of those whoa are willing to learn is rapt attention to your explanation and you find them asking question after question not because they are trying to find a fault where they can prove to you that you are wrong but because they are trying to understand you.

Some of the people who cared to listen are already doing fine today after listening to a few tips on how to start something with nothing. I have said in several articles that all I had was a gift when I started and so does every other person! For some other people they may be passionate about a kind of service that the people need and that will be of great commercial value to them if they are willing to try out those services.

There are two kinds of people who have two different ways of making money in the society. Some have the ingenuity with creation and they invent or innovate for the need of others. These are people who come up with products for others to buy, use or sell to other people. Other people’s ingenuity will come to play when they are rendering a service and the only way they can make money from that is to learn how to place a commercial value on the service they are rendering despite the fact that the service cannot be quantified. These two kinds of ingenuity will be interwoven in some places and they will be you understand how to create a commercial value for what you can do.

A great example of interwoven ingenuity is the fact that I did not invent the computer but I do a lot of writing. In this case the man who is inventing the computer can decide the cost of his computer based on the cost of production and the perceived that I, the user, will derive from it. Another example is that I do a lot speaking in conferences and seminars but there would have been no easy way for me to determine the value of what I have done if the clock was not invented. Now that the clock has been invented I can say I have been speaking for an hour therefore, my time is worth ….(Whatever amount you think). The ingenuity of invention (clock) and service (speaking) have come together to create a commercial value for me.

I don’t need to have all the money in the world to start speaking and to make money from speaking. All I need to do is to refine my abilities and be sure that it is ready to be commercialized. That means you must prepare yourself such that if you find your own gifts and abilities for sale on a shelf you will be willing to buy even when you do not know where it is coming from. If you think you do not have a gift I can tell there is probably a gift that you have not discovered inside of you. And you also need to know that your gifts may not be about a visible and an uncommon ability to be displayed. Your gift could just be that you can render a service but when you are the one rendering that service you will render it better than any other person.

You can build yourself to a level in some services where everybody will know if you are not the one who did what they are seeing on display. They may not be able to explain why they feel this one is not from you but they just feel it is not up to the standard that you render. This is what Fela Durotoye calls predictable excellence. Where to from this place is included in the following:

1.) Have an identifiable gift or service

When people mention your name a picture must come to mind and I make bold to say that the reason some people are still poor today is that they have not been identified with any service for which they can be paid. When people do not know what business they can do with you there is no point blaming them for not giving you money. People will not just throw money away because money was not designed to be given away just like roses. Money is a means of exchange and you must have something to exchange in order to have money.

2.) Refine it, and advertise it.

Whatever you have found must not be left in its raw state. Some people have found some gifts and services that can be exchange for money but they have not gotten a dime because they have left what they discovered in the raw state. Polish what you have. If you can write don’t just write it anyhow. Make it appealing to people. If you can talk don’t just talk anyhow. Learn how to talk because there is a difference between uttering words and talking or speaking. Every human being is expected to utter words except for an abnormality so learn how to stand out despite the fact that every human being is expected to utter words. Whatever gift or service you have must be advertised if not people will only admire you for your gifts. Those whose gifts are admired don’t make money until the gifts are commercialized. While advertising the gifts and services that you have it is important to note that you may not always wait for money to produce the goods before delivering them. If you care a great deal about integrity which you cannot do without in business you will let you clients know that you have integrity and that you will deliver if they trust you with their funds. With this you can collect money from clients to produce or purchase some goods and deliver as promised at the stipulated time. In the case of a service you can collect about 70 percent of what is required to render the service so that you have something to start with. This is what is also called ‘other people’s money.’ It’s about doing business with funds from your clients.

3.) Trade and transfer it.

The important thing which now answers the question of starting with nothing is to trade and transfer your gift. I have heard a few fanatics who feel your gifts should not be traded but I have s simple answer for them. When Jesus proverbially gave some people talents the Bible first recorded that the gifts were given according to their abilities which means he expected results in some varying proportions. When they eventually came back with gifts he also dealt with them according to the results from the initial gifts. If you are not supposed to trade your gift why will Jesus question the attitude of the man who did nothing but bury the gift?

The emphasis I would like to make here is that you are to trade and transfer the gift. Some people never make money because all they do is use the gift. You have to replicate your abilities and gifts in other people. When you do this you will be empowering some others directly or indirectly for their finances. When you are transferring your abilities to others you may not be expecting monetary rewards but you know that you are building other people and consequently contributing to societal development or nation building. At some point the people you have impacted may come back to say thank you using monetary rewards or refer some people who need your services to you.

Trading your talent is where you make money directly by structuring your gifts or abilities and services into a business organization. People pay for products that you have created or pay to consult you on areas where you are perceived to be gifted. At some point you would have to learn where you must trade and transfer abilities at the same time.

There will also be times when you will transfer abilities though you are supposed to trade it but you are doing it for the sake of building relationships that will now fetch greater platforms to trade.

I have said you do not always have to start with money. What you need to do is to start with a mindset about what you want and I bet you can get it.

About the author Fola Daniel Adelesi

Fola Daniel Adelesi is a professional public speaker who also trains other speakers. He's a highly engaging training facilitator and he holds his large audience spell bound when speaking at gatherings. Apart from his several platforms which include banks, insurance companies and religious organizations where he facilitates trainings, he has been a part of some national television shows and he spoke so intelligently. He's an author, business consultant and highly skilled master of ceremony with excellent poise and diction. He was on the Debaters TV reality show season 1, he presented 'You Can' on Radio Continental in 2011 and he did motivational segments on Galaxy TV from Dec 2008 to August 2009. Fola Daniel has authored at least 5 books including ‘Writing Business Proposals,’ ‘The Mentoring father’ and ‘Get up and hit that goal.’ He talked about Social Media on Info.com - An ICT Show on Lagos Television from August 2015 to late 2016. He’s a regular guest on some national tv platforms (including Channels TV and Television Continental) and a delight to their audience. He trained as a communications professional, works as a business consultant and was also trained at Lagos Business School in collaboration with Google as a Digital Business Manager. He is the President and CEO of the Edible Pen Group.

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