My challenge as an entrepreneur (38) – Fola Daniel Adelesi

When you do not wait for things to get rosy to begin, the experience you gather in the rough times will qualify you for the rosy days. I have seen people who keep waiting for a nice time to do whatever needs to be done. Some say they are waiting for the perfect time.


One of the problems of waiting for the perfect time – getting abundance of resources needed to start – is that you will not learn the lessons that will make you strong enough to navigate in the storm when there is any you have to face and believe it, there will be a number of them to face. You will not understand what it is to wait and what you can be doing while waiting for something that is worth waiting for. When you fail to understand what it means to wait and what to do while waiting then you will assume that everything works at the speed of light. The implication of this is that you will not have the patience that produces results!


I must confess to you that I did enjoy every bit of setting up my office despite all the challenges that I encountered not because I relish the struggles but that the struggles produced a better person out of me. I learnt a new lesson from everything that happened and you must also understand that every new lesson learnt made me more qualified to run something bigger than what I am currently running.


Take one step at a time on the ladder if you do not have a suicide mission. When I started out Edible Pen I knew so when that one of the tools for the organization was writing and that was where the name of the organization emerged from. Writing articles and distributing to people freely was a plan and the idea was because the message needed to spread as fast as possible. Money would be a barrier if we had to put a price tag on the paper to be distributed so I did not think of charging any amount. This meant that I had to print nearly every week using my money to print and make several photocopies yet the plan was to distribute free. Sometimes my vice-president, Adeyemi Johnson, would go out of his way to make sure that we made the articles available on weekly basis. We kept doing this and in our little way we were blessing some lives because people began to look forward to receiving our articles.


After a few months my mum bought me a printer so the work seemed easier now that we have a printer. We did not seem to realize initially that there was something in the printer called ink which was making it to write magically on papers. We printed every article printable and did that as often as we could. Very soon the reality began to hit. We were running out of papers and both colour and black ink were running low.


We ran out of paper and ink and we had to start buying so here what we did. After moving with a friend who is skilled in computer graphics I learnt ways of minimizing quantity of ink consumed from adjusting the settings of the printer from the monitor. After some time a found out about the refill kit for black cartridges so I started buying the refill kit. We were refilling the cartridge instead of changing the cartridge. I only changed the cartridge one in a blue moon so that we could print more articles at a cheaper rate.


I sometimes messed up my carpet while refilling the cartridge but I did it because the price of a cartridge was four times the price of the refill kit. Sometimes I had to buy used cartridges from the guys selling computer accessories because the once in the printer were no longer usable. As for papers, I had to keep an eye on my mum’s room to make sure that there were no plain A4 papers lying fallow in her room. I raked everything I found and sometimes asked her if she had hidden some of the papers somewhere. After sometime I had some stipends left for paper because I had created other products like audio CDs which were generating enough money for me to run a charity like organization.


I understood the importance of paper when I discovered my purpose. I understood the importance of pen when I discovered my purpose. From then I began to say that, what some other people’s pen writes ends up in the trash can but what my pen writes ends up in the library. Believe me, it is amazing that the absence of paper or something as seemingly negligible as ink can ruin a company.  

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