January 2016 started off as a rather unpredictable month for me, hell unpredictable year… the logger head and disagreement between me and my team leader had reached a head; due to his inability to reason or see things from another perspective continued to drive a wedge in our personal and professional relationship while impeding our organizational growth and bonding of the leadership team; atleast that’s what I thought; our relationship was now fragile that a simple quarrel between me and Twum would usher in the beginning of a new chapter in my life.
January 20th 2016 I was coerced into resigning as a team lead and national director for Human resource and international volunteer opportunities; this became a situation faster than I could blink my eye, twum kicked out of the organizations’ secretariat and lodge; this combo of being jobless and homeless had me dug into all I had absolute control over; my heart, mind and will; thus I found social media marketing, around me I found a friend turned brother today, I would say I was blessed by God with a human, who saw fear lurking in my eyes and more importantly the will that tried to vacate and displace these fears, he made a choice to help me build this light (social media marketing), so little it was, he decided to help me build it till became a brand people an identify with and say nice things about.
But this is not about how I started this entrepreneurship journey, no its not.. its about what I learnt recently about starting up a business, things that can and is killing startups faster than they can see the dawn of day.
Fast forward, January 2019 I celebrated 3years of starting up a Branding and marketing consultancy firm, so I can say with sheer certainty I have had ups and down, tasted bankruptcy, won and lost, make very foolish decisions but still possess the will to continue to strive harder, better with the motivation to gain more results.
for past time, I love movies..not just for the theatrics, but to learn the lessons, understand the themes and test the theories suggested by actors and film director through the movie for its applicability and relevance in todays’ time. Also I try to mirror happening in this movies to my reality and see if her themes and ideas can help me today.
Startup is a series I would recommend for any startup be it tech or fashion or food or whatever, you would learn great lessons. Some of the lessons I learnt include but not limited to
- Start with Why; Simon Simek, Steve Jobs, Tony Eluemelu and other life time achievers and influencers will remind you that you have to check and re-check within your heart for the answer to the most important question “why”. This question is supposed to help you evaluate the gravity of what you want to do, predict your fulfilment level 10yrs down the line, if you pursue whatever you asking Why for; The question Why is so powerful, it can give you a new purpose, expose the flaws in your plans and current path, point you in the right direction as regards the kinds of people you need to help you reach your goal, this question is so powerful, huge and scary that people usually just avoid the question, as it goes ahead to threaten and reveal their shallow mindset and how vulnerable they are and risk-prone they have become, in my next episode; we will delve into Why and why we should always ask this questions and how is benefits us. Every business owner, Entrepreneur wannabie must ask why.
- He that pays the Piper, detects the tune! This is a saying, I have been hearing since I was born but am not sure I understood it more than this series did explain to me, this movie carefully thought me that, the 2 fools (Your friends and family) that help you kickstart your ideas are a blessing, because they bought whatever pitch you gave them and parted ways with their money so you can start something and they backed out so you have total control, this is blessing whether you liked it or not.. because as soon as you get a partner or financier? There goes all your ideals and values that you built your company on in the first place. So if you have to save, invest and get good returns so you can be your own angel investor, do so; or better still find a thriving startup, invest some of your money in it, become a CEO of the company so you can protect your investment and be ready to buy out when shit is about to hit the fan.
- Cash is King. I have always heard this saying and I often wonder how, even though I can literally see it in my business, I guess I wonder why cash has to be king afterall. So for entrepreneurs and co-founders, ensure that your cash flow is strong and hazard-proof; cash is king, this is a fact, you cant change it or negotiate with it, the more liquid you have in hand and coming in, the faster and more informed decision you can make. There is a local slang in Liberia which reads “Fast nickel is better than slow dime” as entrepreneurs, ensure that as you run your business, cash is king, cash at hand can make all the difference.
- Your People can make or Mar you; as you start, you need people, not just people who will do things you can do while you focus on those things they cant, you need people who will go through the journey of building the company with you, these people do not have to be skilled as you, they do not have to be as knowledgeable as you in the field or industry where you find yourself or you are building the startup, No! I cannot over emphasis this, in a nutshell, you need People understands the why of your idea or company.
These sums up the major lessons I picked out from that movie, again I would recommend this movie to you, I suggest you see it and also pick out other valuable lessons from it.
Have a Great day.