My challenge as an entrepreneur (25) – Fola Daniel Adelesi

Let me say emphatically that my launching was a success because of some of the challenges I had gone through. You have read some of them and I am still going to talk about some of them now and even later. I am sure you have not forgotten I said that I prepared my book launch with ten thousand naira. That sounds ridiculous to some people and by now you might be asking what kind of launching it was.
Don’t forget that I did several conferences and seminars that landed me in debts so I greatly utilized the lessons from the previous seminars when I needed to do my book launch. Don’t forget that I had been writing and speaking consistently with or without pay so I was building relationships and gaining credibility from students and lecturers at the same time. Don’t forget that it was consistency that helped me scale through the screening exercise where the representatives of the school at Nigeria International Model United Nations were selected.
After my selection to represent the school I met with the Dean of student affairs and the Deputy Registrar, students. I also met with the Welfare Officer of the university who accompanied us to Port-Harcourt and Abuja respectively. I sustained my relationships even after the conferences so when I needed to do my book launch it was much easier than it would have been for many other people who do not have the kind of relationships that I have. I needed to use one of the big halls in the university without paying a penny. The university does not charge for the halls but again I am sure you have not forgotten the bureaucracies I told you about. I sometimes wonder why it takes donkey years to do what can be done in a few minutes and executed in a few hours.
I did not have to go through all of that again. I only directed my letter to the Dean of faculty of Science, the one who would approve the letter, through the Dean of Students, Professor Dolapo Alabi, the one who knew me so well. He simply wrote a sentence on my letter and asked me to take it to the faculty of science. By the time I went back for my approval I realized that the letter was approved the following day. Now let me tell you the gravity of that instant approval. I once requested to use the same hall that I used for my book launch. I wrote my letter well in advance and kept visiting the office in charge to get my approval. Days after days and weeks after weeks went by without any approval yet and the conference date was drawing near. I fixed a deadline when I expected to get the approval. I changed my venue since they did not meet my deadline and started my publicity with the new venue in view. You will be surprised that the letter requesting approval from the university for an auditorium was sent to the Directorate of student affairs a day before the conference was to be held and at a time when non of the staff could perform a magic. The officer who would attend to the letter would only see it in the morning, the day for the conference, and would still send it back to the faculty for final approval. If I waited for all this imagine what mess would be made out of the conference.
I took a great advantage of my relationships (built since year one) with some top management officials to give the book launch a face lift. The Vice-Chancellor was hooked up in a meeting and could not attend but there was a strategic plan on ground. I had successfully brought Mr. Chika Nwaozuzu, the Faculty Adviser of Nigeria International Model United Nations’ Society (NIGMUNS) from Abuja since we had participated in their conferences and I had been appointed as Secretary General of year 2008. I knew that the Vice-Chancellor would gladly host Mr. Chika so what I did was to talk to the Dean of Students, Professor Alabi. Professor Alabi was talking to the vice-chancellor and I was talking to Mr. Chika. That was the secret of getting Mr. Chika to meet the vice-chancellor and I took great advantage to present my books to the vice-chancellor. He talked about youth endeavours and he launched my book publicly. Trust me. I took pictures with all the principal officers of the university and a hot shot with the vice-chancellor. Don’t miss hot shots when you can get them. You never can tell where they will be useful.

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