The Best Approach to Starting a Business (Self-Employment)

You've probably read a lot about starting a business, especially as a first-timer. And for those who have failed at one or two businesses, you must have realized you didn't do things well from the beginning.

What may still be missing for the second category of business-starters is spotting exactly what was done wrongly.

Reading content addressing 21 things to consider before starting a business, 11 factors to consider when starting a business, or 31 steps to start a business is probably not the best to start with.

I've owned a business and run a few for other people. With my over 17 years of active running of businesses, I've realized there was a missing point in these trending articles and best-selling books.

In this post, I will be discussing this in detail and encourage you stop acquiring any other knowledge apart from what this post is about if you're starting out a small, medium-scale business or self-employment.

This is because what you're about to learn was my own approach and it worked. Following this simple step taught me better and more that your favorite articles and books are teaching put together.

This post will be right for you if you're about to be a self employer.

Business is Practical and Shouldn't Be Approach Otherwise

I may not be bold to talk of anything else, I'm sure starting, running, and sustaining a business is practical. It's a surprise, today, when you see people learning to start a business by reading.

You read business?

Let me be frank with you. Business is like Mathematics. You work Maths before you can be sure you know it. We all know what will happen to you in exams if what you do is to read Maths.

In fact, the outcome of reading Maths is you won't be able to solve an equation to the end because things will get messy along the way.

Students who practically solved Maths problems would be able to break the equations when presented in exams.

Back to our business thing. 

If you truly want to succeed in business, from the start to the end, follow this uncommon approach.

Every Prospective Business Owner Must Practically Learn the Business

Especially if you're aiming to be self-employed, you need to get involved in your proposed business type if you truly aim for success. You're self-employed of you will control a business that majorly requires your personal involvement and probably a few other staff e.g computer business, marketing firm, logistics, etc.

Remember, I told you I'd managed some businesses before mine. One was into marketing, the other was into computer and education consulting.

And today my own business is into education consultancy. With the acquired practical knowledge in marketing and computer, I've done better in my education consulting.

Of course, there was no literature I read before I took this approach of learning the business before I ventured into one. I just had the instinct that reading about a business or how-to is not enough to start and manage a business to success.

Although it's probably the most difficult approach especially if you already have the money to put to work. You may be tempted to send your money on an errand. It might be too late before you realize you'd just sent your money astray for not doing things right from the start.

Although I had the computer, basic education, and marketing knowledge before I worked with my last employer, I learned more through working with him especially the business know-how.

Most people have the resources too. The office is ready, furniture, equipment, and money. In the end, they fail because the business know-how is lacking.

I know of a brother who had seen a successful business and imagined he could do well at it too. He started but ran out of luck in just one year. He lost 3 million naira within 12 months before he realized he ought to have worked with one of the organizations already into this business so he could know beyond what's being seen from the outside.

Of course, some people equally think of starting by learning but they wouldn't want to work with little or no pay. 

This is a big mistake.

It won't take the life out of you if you work free or almost for a few years before you start an adventure you plan to sustain your long future.

The first firm I worked with paid me on commission. Being a marketing company, we were paid for our sales. I was there for a year before marriage. I left when my commission started taking off. I was only happy for the experience by not for the commission.

I joined the last firm collecting N6000 which was 5% of what my well-employed friends were collecting elsewhere.

I remember how my wife was mad at me when I revealed my wage. 

Of course, I didn't see that as salary but a stipend to sustain myself while learning my way up. 

Your own reason for being reluctant to learn the business is because you don't want to descend yourself so low. After all, you're BSC or HND holder. Let me shock you!

I'd returned from NYSC after by HND before I followed by instinct too.

Some people couldn't buy the idea of learning the business because they believed the business was too small to be learning. Why would you learn how to buy and sell just phone accessories? After all, you won't buy an item at N55 and sell it N51.

There is more to that small-sized business than buying and selling. And you can't read them in books. You have to be part of the system.

With my last employer, I worked for about 3 years with an 85% salary increase in the last year.

I started my business in year four, 2012 January to be precise. 

Putting my acquired knowledge into practice, my business was a success right from day one to date.

My material success can be a point of reference for you to see how things went in just 10 years. I bought 2 cars and built 2 houses in a decade. 

I don't mean to pride that but just to let you understand what the sacrifice of descending yourself lower to learn the proposed business before you embark on the journey.

For one reason, I will never repeat the same mistakes my former employers made. I just replicated what we did well back then as soon as I started my own business.

I enjoyed my 80/20 principle. With this, I'd known 20% of activities that brought in 80% returns. For my business, I just focus on the 20% and rake in the 80% of revenues


This piece will get boring if I should keep pouring my mind. To this end, you should understand my message. 

Don't make the same mistake 98% of failed businesses made. They rushed in and rushed out. 

You'd better get practical about business because it's truly practical. It pays back 100% if you already get yourself bodily involved. It will not only teach you all the nitty-gritty of the venture but will let you know if it's the right take for you.

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