When I was a child, I dreamt of having the most beautiful houses in town, the most comfortable environment and raising hopes for the defenseless . I often wondered then why some people will not be rich. I concluded that they weren’t smart enough or hardworking enough(Maybe both).
Growing up I saw old businesses folding up and new and innovative ones taking its place. I also saw some passive players just making their money without really improving on their venture. I went back recently to the place I grew up and saw that the woman selling in the kiosk and the one selling akara are still in the same condition. They are probably making an average of the same amount they were making the last time I was there.
The reason for this phenomena can be established. I call the first one the Comfort-zone roadblock and the second I call the sentimental roadblock.
As humans, sometimes we are afraid to invest into unknown market and find solace easily in the known terrace, no matter how small they earn from it this to me is the comfort-zone roadblock. Funny enough, the little is just enough from this view and there is no need according to them for improvement. For people like this we have their biggest community in our country; from the bus driver to the Car dealer. I really have nothing against this set of people, but my concern is that our economy will not improve if we keep doing business in this manner. I have gone to many eateries and the park is all dusty and dirty I wonder why they just think the main thing is to eat and get out or stalls that keeps you waiting for someone to come from inside the house to sluggishly attend to you and the most painful are our banks that see no reason to improve on the ATM that has been out of service for years or the ones that will gladly reject your card. How do we explain the long queues complaining about how bank deducts from their accounts. Please is there no one thinking of rising above this average? Why is everyone comfortable with this? Start acting on your business for the sake of the legacy we pass on to the next generation. We must show them that there is a reward in being dynamic. It is not compulsory that the bus looks rugged before it can travel to Ibadan(Sorry, no offense, I learnt to sight Ibadan buses from Kilometers because of how rugged it always is). It is high time we stopped squeezing ourselves inside buses with all the exhaust fumes killing us inside the bus. You are so tired when you get to your destination that you cannot even eat. We don’t have to be tired at all. If you are in the transportation business, you can bring all the beautiful buses to the system and discard the rough looking ones, so many people have done that and are gaining popularity in the business. I saw an IBM stand that says
“Let’s build a smarter planet”
This worst scene is the sentimental roadblock and sincerely speaking it WILL happen to every business owner in this country except you do not really have feelings for others. People will always come to you for help, they will definitely come to borrow money from you, they will promise they would pay back as soon as they get well. You think at this stage that you have no choice, he is your friend after-all. Then also are the people that will ask you for favors and beg you to give them your lowest price for your highest quality. You can go on and tell me tales of how you were close friends from childhood, how he gave you money to buy your first car and other moonlight tales but it doesn’t change the fact that most of this people won’t do this for you if they had the chance to help you. I will say that before your favors and charitable giving you must ask yourself
- Is this something that wont adversely affect your business?
- Is it a symbiotic relationship or it is just a practice of charity?
- Are you borrowing out from your business funds or personal pockets?
- Have you asked a neutral and business oriented person about it?
If you can honestly answer these questions and none is a miss, then you can make your decision. It is good to follow emotions, but take your brain along with it. You keep doing business with a partner that is giving you substandard services because he is your best friend. If the horse is wounded, why suffer it? It is time you tell him to improve or you opt out of the deal.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” Mark Twain
Let us leave the topic for posterity to tell if it is worth your attention or not. I am looking forward to next week before then, excel and be dynamic in your business.