My challenge as an entrepreneur (60) – Fola Daniel Adelesi

For a long time I did business without an account but I knew that I was not going to get anywhere if I continued to do business that way so I decided to work on getting to that level where I could do business with the “big guys” in the society. What that meant was that I needed to open a corporate account because I have seen situations where you have noble ideas but people do not want to be a part of the noble idea because you do not have a corporate account.
This may sound like something very simple but you will know that it is not as simple as it sounds if you have tried to do business with some corporations. The first time I won a cash prize for writing an essay I was given a cheque and there was no way I could reach the drawer of the cheque needless to talk about asking that person to open the cheque. I was left with no choice but to look for a bank that would use it to open an account for. The reason I was looking for a bank is because I was a second year student in the university at the time and the bank where I already had a savings account refused the cheque. They said they do not allow students to run current account. Why they had that kind of policy was strange to me but another new bank on campus jumped at my cheque as soon as I walked into the bank.
Some months later I wrote a proposal and I realized that I could only get paid if I had a current account so I thanked the guys who first gave me a cheque and never opened the cheque. Despite this I needed to move up. I was beginning to consult for organizations and I realized that some of them had reservations for writing cheques in personal names even if they knew you before hand and some of them simply would not do it. What this meant was that we had people who really wanted to deal with us but they were withholding their money because we did not have a current corporate account.
Eventually I had to think about a way out of this so that I would stop shortchanging myself. I had just finished a professional examination at the Institute of Strategic Management at the Time and I was to pay a sum of N10, 000 for the induction so what came to my mind was to convince my mother to pay for the induction long before hand. I offered to pay forty percent of the money if she would give me sixty percent immediately so it was a deal. When she made the sixty percent available I didn’t have the forty percent that I said I was going to add because I was expecting an amount of money that was not forthcoming. I had to re-lobby so that she would release the whole money so we got talking for more minutes until she eventually gave in and released the balance. I went straight to the bank and sometimes I look back and laugh because at the time the bank was only asking for five thousand naira (N5, 000) to open a currant corporate account.
A few weeks after I had open the account with the bank deducting three thousand five hundred naira (N3,500) from my five thousand naira (N5,000) I got a text from the Institute of Strategic Management of Nigeria asking us to pay up for the induction. That got me on my feet because I had used their money to open an account. I had to start running after my debtors and push sales of books during conferences and seminars holding around that time to be inducted as an associate of strategic management.
Fola Daniel Adelesi, ASM

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