Entrepreneurship Will Harden Your Heart

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image: smurfitschoolblog.com
When we hear that companies sack hundreds or thousands of staff at once, we often don't think of just one person making that decision that puts those hundreds or thousands of staff and their families into sudden hardship. But the truth is that one person made the decision even if he had to sell it to his management team.

Being a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, I have seen the direct effect of how some businesses and professionals are put out of job when the technology or products that their business offerings is built around is discontinued. And if you think Nigerian companies don't get affected by this type of issues, then think again. In 2013 I got a training project from a company whose business is built around BlackBerry enterprise solutions. By the time I started my business in April 2014 and reached out to them for projects, the company was no more. They were out of business as people shifted en masse from BlackBerry. Okay, BlackBerry didn't kill itself and put its partners in difficulty. However, it is a common thing for companies to discontinue products and ruin business for partners who are entirely into supporting/providing those products.

If you venture into entrepreneurship, it is just a matter of time before you get to start being more logical and less emotional. You will make decisions that will look heartless to some people and you'll know ahead and still go ahead. 

For me, I used to be the guy who can't break a promise and who can't turn down requests (if you press hard enough and the request is not a sinful one). Now I don't think twice about not honoring an earlier promise if situation around it changes adversely for me. I would rather think about how to explain it to you and beg your forgiveness than how to not break it (my previous action path). And now I turn down requests like its a hobby (that's on top of the ones I don't reply to). Before you think I have become a monster, it is because I'll be dead or mad if I keep being my former self. I get more requests than I can ever possibly handle and in business being rigid is same as digging the business' grave. The very people/companies you almost kill yourself for will move on to other consultants/suppliers and blame you for your predicament. And that's not the worse or the part that gets at me, it is that they wouldn't think twice to burn you if there's some gain to it.

Now my heart is hardened. I think about what is logically right and I lock my emotions out of my business as hard as I can (unsuccessfully sometimes). I have annoyed more people than I can count, usually by not going out of my way (killing myself) to render some help to them. I used to think they would hate me for life. But guess what? Years or even just months after, they come back to me and don't seem to remember the event I can't seem for forgive myself for.

So I am going full force logical. I am currently in Republique du Benin for a seemingly trivial and personal appointment. I skipped a meeting with a client today/tomorrow that is a big deal to the client that if they hear what I am doing currently they will think me the devil's very representative to hinder their progress. I did it because this one is more big deal to me than their project. I am done killing myself for others. Now I will have structured offerings and strictly stick to providing only those services. They always survive and even thrive without me, I am not going to let anyone fool me into thinking I am their messiah. I need to survive and thrive. My business needs to thrive and that will require a lot of deliberate strategy and no more emotion driven business. 

I am putting an end to consulting projects. I am only going to offer products I control end to end, even if it means spending years building and structuring it. So instead of doing quick Naira data analysis projects I would rather spend time and money building a training and an online data analysis product that I fully control.

Sorry today's post is a long epistle. I just had to write out my troubles and free my mind.

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