Entrepreneurs think big and far but start small and near: …Your local environment is a viable starting point for a start-up

It is common in our society for people to live part of their lives and chuck the rest, sometimes ‘happily’, down the drain. It is equally quite often for most of us to believe that we can just be idle and for some strange reasons, what we want in life will just happen overnight. In fact, these are deep seated beliefs in our society and whilst effort to explain it proves difficult, the attempt to understand such beliefs still remains a life mystery to me up to today.

In fact, I do not know if I am the only odd one. I presume I am not. Moreover, what is intriguing is that, to these people, life is but by chance, luck and prosperity is designed for some people as poverty is also a gift persevered for another category of people. Sadly, this is where our major problem is as a people and until we begin to critically examine ourselves objectively, we will continue to linger in pervert and insufficiency of everything for some time to come.

To these people, investment is only for the rich who are divinely ordained to get richer and not for the poor who will continue to get poorer; no question about that they insist. Another one that is disheartening is the belief that a single successful person in a family or a society is usually chosen spiritually to be the custodian of the wealth of everyone therefore become the automatic breadwinner of the whole lot. With this, those who are close to such people fall into entitlement trap and do not see the need to fend for themselves again. Interestingly, they feel it is the responsibility of such successful people to take care of them, their families and their entire social problems.

That is why we see most of our young men and women refuse to think and feel satisfied being followers all their lives. As a matter of fact, what we know is that these are just beliefs and not facts and when people want to push their personal responsibilities onto others they rely on the traditional belief system to get what they want. That is not all, one other thing that retards our progress is that we are caught up in a perpetuating cycle of victimhood where we as a people feel that because we are this, suffered that, and do or say this we are entitled to automatic divine compensation. Above all, we claim to be highly exulted morally, ‘well cultured and behaved’ hence we will not need to stretch ourselves much to get what we want in life and will be rewarded one day since God’s time is the best.

Folks, we may be wrong and need to think again about our own state and position in the world’s struggle for progress and development after six decades of such beliefs and self-aggrandizement. Certainly, we need to question our beliefs, put them to test and challenge our limitations as a people. Take a note, England is not developed because they organised some of the world’s scriptures, neither Saudi Arabia nor Israel is developing because they are associated with the origin of some of the most organised belief systems of the world.

Without doubt, it is primarily because of planning, planning and planning with the help of knowledge acquired from research and open innovation over the years. Also, we should be mindful of the fact that, God helps those who help themselves. If these beliefs serve us right they will survive our interrogations and scrutiny, and if they do not withstand the scrutiny we then and can advise ourselves and become masters of our own fate and the captains of our souls to be able to disrupt the current status quo, for it does not lead anywhere. Surely, we are not winning with what we accept as the norm and can only win when we change it to conform to conventional economic development models. For us to belief in successful living, we need to get rid of what we do not want in our minds and build up a mental equivalent of what we want as a people.

Honestly, with the current stakes, we will continue to sabotage our own success because the current norm does not create a pattern of winning behaviour among us but that of losing behaviours and the young are the most vulnerable.

We need norms that will give us the visualisation of and belief in the attainment of our desire through real and practical actions guided by specialised knowledge. The upshot of all is that, the current system sacks away our self esteem and remains as the greatest deterrent of our success. Without questions, everyone who got to where they are today had to begin somewhere so we should not be discouraged in life though. Sometimes, Mother Nature succumbs to pressure and burning desire, so the desire to succeed should be a persistent struggle for every human being in order to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. With that, we can create value in society and get the price for success.

Comprehensive planning

On this account, some people go through life without a sound plan through which to accumulate fortune. Also, many more go through life without a purpose and vision and no wonder millions of the human species definitely go through life in poverty, misery and despair. To emphasise, every human being needs plan to start with life, thus, a roadmap to success because no one’s achievement can ever be greater than how sound their plan is.

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Of course, everyone needs an organised plan to crystallise their desire into action, one that is real, practical and workable. In any case, I must be clear here and state that there is no single laid down blue print called the ‘Master plan’ or a ‘one-fits-all’ plan for everyone to religiously follow but a purposefully designed and directed action structured conveniently to lead one to achieve a stated goal. Implicitly, a plan is not exotic, alien, difficult and forceful but self-made, well-thought through, easy to follow at will and environmentally friendly.

To start with, you need a plan to support the achievement of your vision as it pulls you to be the person you promise to be one day. For instance, to start with short-term goals in the plan one needs to settle on how and when to get off bed every morning to do something towards one’s vision; it could be to wake up at dawn to read a book to pick up knowledge and skills or listen to an audio, TV talks, Radio recording or someone from YouTube. Another could be to reduce the frequency of visits to a spot where one sits and argues as the best orator in town and rather spend your time and money on workshops, seminars and educational programmes on entrepreneurship.


To be exact, the Business and Financial Times (B&FT) truly has a good read on entrepreneurship and business development to guide you to be the person you promise to be one day, look for it and read. Also, one can go online and listen to young people on the other side of the world to learn how they make it in life. It is part of the plan to stop posting junk and superfluous stories and pictures on Facebook and WhatsApp.  Sometimes too you can look for successful people in your local area and observe how they do things and behave, and all these may constitute significant parts of your short-term plans toward your vision. From here you can design your medium-term and long-term plans in pursuit of your vision with your life purpose.



Most of us do not save or know how to save our money for our own future and even feel that it is only the rich who save or should save because they have excesses. Can I make it clear here that everyone can and should save some money at some point? In fact, successful people save much of their money and spend the rest whereas average people spend all of their money and do not save at all for anything.


Meanwhile, life cannot go like that and will be better off if everyone saves at least 30 per cent of any amount of money they receive from any source. Even, if you are financially pressed to the limit and are barely managing to survive at the moment and want to save and start a venture you can create another income stream for savings. For example, get out there, do something for someone for a token on a regular basis and save that in a bank towards your dream and there are several other things one can do. Again, create something that will generate some income no matter the size for tomorrow and sacrifice today for later for as a delayed gratification.


Nonetheless, savings do not only mean money to entrepreneurs but any material value needed for future good can be stored safely anywhere. Sometimes too entrepreneurs save waste and rejected materials for sale or future use for profit especially starters. In addition to that, such material can be used for starters to beat down overhead cost. For another example, some by-products can be reused as main or supporting raw materials to the advantage of a business start-up. Besides, people save in relationships and networks that they find themselves in and need to use them when starting a business, after all what is the point. Strictly speaking, social capital and network capital are savings overtime and must to be tapped into to develop businesses.


Invest in your life

Just like saving for the future, investment should also be done by all and the best way has always been to gather the past and invest in the future. First of all, analyse your life and boldly ask the right questions and answer them objectively to do the right investment with the answers in your future. If you believed investment was for the rich and that only rich always have the right to get richer, you will think again and invest your new thinking your future. If you were the only ghetto super star at your sitting spot or drinking place, think again and invest your stardom in your future for useful venture and also mingle with better stars who will mentor you and nurture your stardom to create wealth. Of course, investment with money can equally be done in books, market research, consultancy and information gathering. Then investment into materials needed to start your venture is also paramount.


To highlight, opportunities for anything are not in short supply so you only need to be ready to receive them. Really, life is quite interesting sometimes, because whereas some people go to the sea of opportunity with water tankers to fetch, most people go with tea spoons also for the same reason. Behold, do not behave like the latter, take your share of the sea of opportunity, at worst with a drum and not even a bucket. Last of all, you do not need to ask anyone to go to that sea, you only need to get ready and develop yourself.

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Personal development

It is highly uncommon to find someone’s income really exceeding their personal development in life. What we know is that a person’s income is always a reflection of their level of personal development, hence if your performance is just about average due low level of personal development you definitely can only attract about average income. Indeed, to deserve better, you will have to develop yourself better because better is not wished but developed just as success is not pursued but also a value you develop. More exactly, personal development is a continued pursuit of specialised knowledge and skills to enable you acquire what you want in life and the only way life will be better for you is when you get better. Luckily, no human is born to be static like a tree, we can change therefore are privileged to choose and change our situation if we do not like it. Therefore, if you cannot change the system then change yourself and create value since everyone will have to take responsibility to create value in life and attract success.


Set a team-up and form a mastermind

There are two types of businesses; those that succeed and those that fail. So the question is: why do people with knowledge, skills and integrity fail in businesses although others succeed effortlessly? Definitely, it goes without saying that unity is strength, and it is on the basis of this that any business built on a formidable team stands a higher chance of succeeding. More so, professional experience shows that everyone is truly capable of doing something meaningful in life. For this reason, entrepreneurs do not try to be ‘champions’ or ‘Jacks of all trades, masters of none’, thus, trying to learn it all, know it all and do it all. In reality, all successful entrepreneurs will admit that the ‘do-it-all’ mentality is an illusion therefore not possible in business success.


Verily, every successful entrepreneur will always attribute their success to a team and not themselves because an individual alone cannot stand in to execute the functions of all the components of a successful business model. Success is a value entrepreneurs develop with a team of mastermind and do not necessarily pursue it as a single brainy person who can fulfil all. To do that, entrepreneurs concentrate on three main areas of their operations to form a primary mastermind compressing personalities that can passionately and accurately join the dots. By extension, a business team should be made of product or services development, marketing and finance management personnel. These personalities are fundamental for entrepreneurs in starting up a business which can guarantee success. Even, apart from being significant to your success the type of team you assemble determines your value and prospects to investors and heavily influences their decision to invest in you or not.


Think big but start small

Most people, particularly from our side of the world, always believe that we are by default not destined to lead in anything under the sun. To them, we are meant to remain at the bottom of everything and the only thing we are good at is mediocrity. Actually, this is solid and entrenched in many peoples’ minds. To illustrate, you listen to what they say: ‘these people are great, look at what they have done, see this, it is genius, they can do anything. As has been noted, there is no ‘we’ at all for anything amazing. It is unfortunate. Unquestionably, for such a mind, business means small; the roadside table for survival, a single store from hand to mouth, a one-man show business to keep body and soul together and small with no innovation and expansion.


That notwithstanding, as a starter do not look farther than your local environment to start, your raw material may be next door, cheap and sometimes free to take advantage of and fill a gap or a niche in your local market. Thereafter, set a high standard without any fear, an ambitious aspiration and the aim to serve the international market in the long-run. Remember, you will not be offending anyone with that and only be putting in effort to claim your birthright as human. Strangely enough, the average minds will dismiss all these but sophisticated people know that whatever the mind conceives, the mind can do because it has no limit except those limits that we human acknowledge to exit. To solve much of our social problems, thus, individually or collectively, entrepreneurship and innovation is highly imperative in the 21st Century.


The author is a consultant in entrepreneurship and business development, and an expert in university-industry interaction and knowledge transfer for innovation. He is also a co-author for two textbooks: Financial Entrepreneurship for Economic Growth in Emerging Nations, and Innovation and Social Capital in Organisational Ecosystems. Contact: Email: 00233545581420; fatahi507@yahoo.com

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