General Issues

Weekend Special- The Business Behind The Business

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To start your weekend, I decided to post something related to business and the too many entrepreneurship talks that go on these days. It is my latest article and was recently published in Punch Newspapers, see page 26 of 19th August 2015 or you can just read on here. Enjoy!

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Have you ever sat in one of those halls where loads and loads of information on entrepreneurship are being fed
to the audience who most times are quiet and eagerly waiting to put what they have learnt to use? Or, one of
those places where you are taught how to start your business, how to leave your job, how you can’t remain
an employee forever among other issues? You are made to listen to musicians, actors and actresses, fashion designers, dancers, photographers, models and caterers
tell you about how once they discovered their passion, either left school, or left their jobs, or some didn’t even bother going to school again, all because they wanted to pursue their passion.

I have listened to speakers, i.e. public/motivational speakers, so much so that my ears are full. What is worse is that everybody who has “blown” so to speak, on the social scene now seems to be a public speaker. I was at an event one day where there were many speakers lined up to speak to us on life after school.
Amongst them was someone who has excelled in her niche without attending the four walls of the university. The speaker who had spoken before her, had said that getting a degree was very important and he had given us his reasons why he thought so which I would share with you as we progress. This lady then mounted the stage and said a university degree was unimportant. I understand that she had made a name in her area without the help of a university degree which of course I must commend as it is a rare feat, but to say to an audience of university students that a degree isn’t
important? Were they supposed to drop out of school to pursue their different passions at the time? I can tell
you that about 60 per cent of the students left there confused.
These public speakers have so flogged the word “entrepreneurship” and wrongly, that, on a daily basis now, businesses without content are opened and the result is that due to lack of sufficient business management training or lack of enough skill in that area, they close down as they cannot compete with the businesses already on the ground.
Now, nobody is interested in getting the training, as they have all forgotten that it takes skill and not just talent to excel. Nobody encourages you to stay on your job, or get better at it, or satisfy your employer, they are all talking about you leaving your job, and starting a
business.
Nobody is talking about the business behind running a business, because, believe me, it is no small feat. That
is when you have to buy the pack of biros for your employees, when you have to refuel the generator constantly, replace the pack of pins, the little money that leaves here and there; nobody teaches you all of this at entrepreneurship talks, instead, starting your business is painted as all rosy and “gishgish gashgash”.

Strikingly, they never bring the doctors who have excelled in their fields, the lawyers, the engineers, the nurses, the teachers, the accountants, and where are they? We could do with listening to them speak to us more often. Where are the employees who love their job
and are satisfied with them? We need them too. I know of someone who, according to him, had never been a CEO, but he is GMD of different companies, now that is an employee I want to hear from. We can’t all be
models or make-up artistes or musicians.

And if truly you want to start a business, think properly, make a business plan, dont just rush into it, get better at your present job, learn how to interact with others, watch your employers closely; a bad employee will
definitely make a worse employer, and when it is time to leave, plan your exit, so you don’t end up in the job market months later.
If you are still a student, get good grades, finish school, because getting a degree gives you an edge in that
business of yours over the next person; we are in a competitive world after all, so going through school sharpens your thought processes and helps you think
outside the box, or if you prefer to learn a vocation, try to be the best at it.
There is always enough space in the sky for more stars.

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56 thoughts on “Weekend Special- The Business Behind The Business

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