Yesterday I attended my first day at the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa training. I had missed the first two days because of an Excel training I was facilitating for some of Nigerian Breweries Otta staff on Monday and Tuesday. I was given some training materials and one particularly stood out. It is a book titled The Bloomberg Way. It is more like Bloomberg's reporting style guide.
The introduction is what inspired this blog post. I have listened to Michael Bloomberg (not in person; in recorded video) talk about how he started Bloomberg. How after he was let go by Salomon Brothers when the company was acquired by a bigger company, he took his severance package and started Bloomberg. But the preface of that book gave the story I didn't hear Michael Bloomberg tell. In 1989, he decided to start the journalistic arm of Bloomberg and when he called a senior reporter at the Wall Street Journal for help in setting it up, one main area of concern for that reporter was Michael Bloomberg had no experience in journalism. All his life till then, he had been a stock trading and investment guy. It reminded me of Sir Richard Branson's business way.
At the start of something great is a just a passion. Not knowledge nor mentors nor elaborate plans. Just simple passion.
Dangote has no technical training in the fields he's ventured into -- ranging from cement manufacturing to sugar, salt, tomato paste and now crude oil refining. All he has is a quiet passion. He moves quietly and determined.
Most of the telecommunications companies I know were not started by Electrical Electronics Engineers. The only one I know that was started by an Electrical Electronics Engineer is MainOne (Funke Opeke). Even banks are seldom started/run by people who read banking and finance.
Once you've got a passion for something, that is all it takes to turn it great. As long as graduates of political science don't dominate the political space you can be sure that your doing great in any field is not tied to your educational/technical background. Take Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, they've got no astronaut background but they've got the most advanced space companies in the world, doing stuff NASA can only dream of.
Passion is always superior to knowledge. Never let your lack of (technical) knowledge cripple your passion. Go start something great!