My challenge as an entrepreneur (45) – Fola Daniel Adelesi

A man whose net worth is determined by his wardrobe will see fashion in everything and the funds needed to jack up his business, as a result of his ignorance, will be worn to impress those who do not need to be impressed.


I once heard Pastor Tunde Bakare say that, “some people borrow the money they do not need, to buy the things they do not need, so as to impress the people who don’t even take note of them.”  


There was a day a lady called me out of a leadership meeting where we were discussing how we were going to handle some of the people under us. She was calling my attention to my broken shoes. At that point I could only think that the most important thing was to change my shoes but an amount of money came into my hands just a few days later.


At the same time a bank was selling shares so I had two things to think about. I needed to make a quick decision about the shoes or the shares. Instantly I decided to buy the shares and not the shoes so I was, for some time wearing shoes with the leather practically breaking.


Why did I go for the shares and not the shoes when it was obvious I needed the shoes? I simply said to myself that I could buy a shoe that will wear out in another six months or at most one year. My alternative was to buy the stocks that will appreciate with time and buy me as many shoes as I would and even more than I can wear at a time.


Though I have bought several shoes after dropping that shoe, I have also sent some of those shoes packing and my stocks are still appreciating. Unknown to some entrepreneurs, they are walking about with the funds that their businesses need. I am sure that if you take a survey of those young entrepreneurs who claim they don’t have enough money, you will find some of them whose wardrobes are more expensive than their entire business worth.


On two different occasions I was to attend a week long conference in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria and in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State respectively. I attended to Port-Harcourt conference in a pointed black shoe that used to be my best shoe but it was already crying for help at the time I went for the conference. I had to customize my walk so that people would not really know the state of the shoe and I restricted my movement where necessary.


The other trip to Abuja was attended in a worn out shoe. Today I can afford any kind of shoe that I want to wear but I had to go through the period of wearing what was available so that my dreams can be given a voice. As a result of some of these sacrifices, I have several books in print and I have several audios, videos and DVDs in bookstores around the country and outside the country. Young businesses die because their owners try to impress people at the expense of their businesses.

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