3 days ago, one of the security men that man the gate of the estate where i live came to meet me to inform me that i was supposed to give him money. I was surprised and asked him for what? He quickly tried to remind me of a day he helped wash my sister’s car, she wasn’t around then. Of course, his money was paid without further questions.
Just today, i sat at my desk and tried to put some of my thoughts down, and my mind went to the rate at which entrepreneurship and the concept of small businesses is being promoted by a lot of people; even people in the corporate world long to be their own bosses or are planning their exit strategy. I wonder when i see retired people venture into new businesses, how in God’s name do they think it will work? All their
useful time and energy have been used up; their capacity to take risks and manage failure in business is extremely low at that age. There may be extremely few exceptions but i’m yet to find anyone with a huge business who started between 55 and 60. Anyway, that was kind of a digression.
This post is for all young people, whether employed or not. you can make money working with your hands. before i finished university, i had learnt beadmaking, dress making and a few other things. My parents were
clearly the richest around our neighbourhood, people wondered why they would subject us to such apprenticeship under semi-illiterates! I’m sure they know better now. Being choosy is what is killing most people.
You can go into a new field and redefine it, and before long, people will begin to rush in that direction. I know that the day the minimum qualification into the police force becomes HND, we’re in for a brand
new Police Force. I know someone who came out of the university with a first class who confidently says she can sell akara for a living, she believes she will do it with a difference. She’s about starting an apprenticeship on hairdressing. I believe attitude is vital in being successful ultimately.
Back to the aboki at my gate. He started by washing cars packed within the estate very early every morning, such that people got to their cars and they were ever squeaky clean, most people regularly tipped him,
maybe a few ‘stingy’ ones would put up an attitude of ‘who sent him?’. After a while, he started charging for his car washing services. He now charges #200 per car. Now, there are about 30cars in that compound, can you try and imagine how much he makes per day? He also supplies water to people whose pumping machines have faults and even sells recharge cards now! all from the proceeds of the car washing and some savings.
I said all that to say that there’re opportunities everywhere, we only need to see them and take them, be willing not to be choosy, to start small and grow; we will certainly be better for it. I once spoke with a
lady in her early twenties who was a school drop-out, who by reason of her way of life of keeping multiple partners and high standard of living, found it demeaning to manage a pay-phone business. She eventually ate her words when she saw someone who started the same business at about the same time and as at the last time i heard, had opened 3 centres.
Until graduates begin to redefine jobs and vocations that have over the years been termed to be for semi-illiterates and drop-outs, there will be a lot of untapped creativity and a limit to how much can be achieved and how far they can go. I’ve met a number of graduates who sew, do make up and their education and exposure gives their work an edge; they make a living from doing so.
The time to take all the risk is now, the casualties will be more bearable now than later. Let’s flee idleness and get engaged, let’s qualify for the job whose interviews we go for by reason of what we have been able to think of and do. There’s no excuse for lazying around. We are not qualified for rest until we have laboured. I once heard a man i respect so much say ‘the alternative to hardwork is hard life’. Dust yourself up and get cracking!