Today 14th December of 2017 I took a stroll at about 7:09am to go get cold-water starch for the shirts I laundered. Definitely stores had opened in my neighborhood and I just walked to the nearest one. As I was making the transaction, I observed the next shop on the same line was selling the very same stuff that this store was selling. Its what we in Nigeria call “provision shop”- where household items are sold such as soaps, toothpaste, toilet paper, milk, bread and so on. Another similar thing with these two shops was the shop owners; there were both mothers of little kids that were present in the shop.
We humans are ruled by emotions and these emotions come to play in almost every decision we make in our lives. If one of these shops was owned by a single lady with no kids, most likely and maybe for most of us too we would have bought from the lady with the kids. This is because we want the lady with the kids to be able to feed her kids from the proceeds of her shop.
Let me point that I have lived in this neighborhood for about eleven years, right from when the roads were not motorable and up to 2013 when Liyel Imoke the then state governor awarded the contract and the road was haphazardly done and till today. 80% of businesses in my neighborhood is the “provision shop” next to hair dressing saloons. So when a new line of shop is built, its either and most likely used for provision or maybe a saloon. So if someone should have a capital of about five hundred thousand naira for instance, the first and easiest thing to think of is to open a “provision store” and for those who have the skill they’ll open a saloon.
This trend tends to be the case in almost every part of Nigeria; once one person starts something and it does well, everybody starts doing the same thing. But why cant we think differently? Why cant we think to make a difference in the world we live? Must we all follow the same line that leads to a life of status quo? We ought to start challenging ourselves to start breaking status quo. There are businesses we can start that require less capital but can produce much more profit than what the whole street is already doing. Most people want to settle for what will not stress them. A place they can just go and seat from morning till evening and go home and sleep and repeat the process all over again the next day and the next day for years.
But this is not where true greatness lie, this is not where the wealth we desire to command comes from. The life of no-stress is the life of mediocrity that is nice and comfy but can’t make you live the life of your dreams.
Just yesterday I package a manual for a guy who wants to start a garbage pick-up business that I’ll help him start in 2018. During the year I also drew up a business plan for a young lady that wanted to start a door to door cleaning service. My friend who is a paramedic told me of how he started a poultry in his backyard and the profits are outstanding. These are business ideas that’ll actually make a difference in the lives of people around you.
I always tell young people in secondary schools when I have to opportunity to go to their schools and speak; “Think Contribution, Think Difference”. If you can think towards what you can do to make a contribution to the lives of people around you, or how you can engage in a trade that will actually make a difference, profit will never be your problem. Humans need services! That’s why a company like Uber came up and became a multi billion dollar business in less than three years. Just think of how you can serve human beings and you’ll never be poor again.