Monday, 13 July 2015


When you have an idea you’ve got to be careful who you speak to. If you speak to people you think should know more because they’ve been reading the same kind of books you read, you may not be exactly right.

When I look back today, I realize that we could have done that business. Though I don’t know how successful we would have been with it. Anyways, our academic goals did not manifest as expected. For me, I did not even finish with a strong two-one but I managed to do lots of human capital development work on campus and made some money from simple publishing. I made much money from emergent investments too. One of my two friends went into commercial motorbikes investment. He owned bikes and had some folks ride them for him on agreed profitmaking basis. He went on to become a National Executive at a renowned Christian Fellowship in Nigeria. He did not meet his original academic goals too. After making money from investment, the third guy went on to continue his studies at the university’s teaching hospital. He had always wanted to become a pastor and he did become one in a Pentecostal church. Surprisingly, he did not meet his academic goals either.

Lesson learnt; when you have a good idea or something you really want to do. Just start doing it; even if it is getting the plans in place and making findings. But be careful who you speak to because if you are actually meant to fail, you would and you will acquire the right lessons needed to succeed at another time or in something else. This is because, there are people who actually go into what you only planned to do and they do succeed. But if what you planned to do is not meant for you, you are most likely not going to succeed at it. Usually, people succeed at what is meant for them and only have the inherent proclivity to persevere when it is really meant for them. When it is not meant for them, they simply go through it because there are lessons they need to learn from it to succeed when they move on.

The guys that eventually put up the barbing saloon ran it till I graduated. I don’t know if they stayed back but we never planned to stay back even if the idea succeeded. Our plan was to sell it off upon graduation. We had planned to incorporate additional business value such as sales of recharge cards, our own newsletter and other in-demand publications. That was something they did not do. But the commendation there is that they added much value into the actual barbing service that I thought it was worth them having the idea. I know this because I was one of the customers that they managed to win. They did it like we would have done it. They respected their customers so much and made each service seem like a big treat. But unlike we planned, they did most of the barbing themselves and probably spent less time in class than we eventually did.

So, when you find something that you’d really like to do, start doing it. It probably won’t hurt if you start it inch by inch, task by task or stage by stage.

In our own case, we thrived in the things that we put our time, focus and energy into. We did not thrive in areas where our fears, doubts or discouragements had a better part of us. We set academic goals but did not reach them. There were times when I got very angry upon seeing my results because I had bad grades. For one of my friends, dropping from strong two-one straight into two-two was never anticipated. In fact, none of us saw it coming for him. For the third guy, I don’t even know what happened. He just told me he finished with a two-two despite all the scholarships and awards he got in secondary school. Though our academic goals were not met, there are lessons learnt and insights applied into other areas of our lives for positive results.

The key to getting something done is doing it on paper and in practice. There is much good in the saying that in pursuing greatness, you don’t count the years. Rather, you count the hurdles you need to jump to get to the finish line. Just like in projects, you may plan to finish early and actually finish late. Interestingly, you may even plan to finish late and find a twist of earliness in reaching your ultimate goal than anticipated. Aiming for the very best, finding effective workarounds for external limitations and working towards expected deliverables often guarantee great outcomes. This is also in line with the saying that if you shoot for the moon, at worst, you will eventually find yourself among the brightest of stars.


Wishing you the very best,

James Olumoraks

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