Compared to the 70s and 80s, Nigeria has more entrepreneurs than ever before. This development is as result of internal and external factors.
With regards to internal factors, an increase in technology transfer (in the digital age) has created an opening of opportunities through smart devices (phones, tablets, computers) and access to the internet. Under utilisation of talent, unemployment and the need to survive have created a drive for entrepreneurship. External factors like the influx of foreign companies have also triggered people to set up their own businesses.
Many entrepreneurs set up businesses with the aim of catering to niche markets and providing an alternative to social needs.
With there being the need to work on entrepreneurial development, Business coach and strategist Tale Alimi set up a business development company in July 2015. Alimi who has released a new book called ‘Up-Level’, talks to Pulse about the lessons she’s learnt about being an entrepreneur in this new age.
Pulse Nigeria: Did you always have plans to be an entrepreneur?
Tale Alimi: Whilst growing up, I saw my mum start several businesses, so starting a business was not strange to me. Entrepreneurship however is much deeper than just starting a business, I believe it is a calling. I see it as a calling because to be a successful Entrepreneur, you have to be willing to provide solutions for problems that go beyond meeting your immediate needs. I didn’t always start out saying I wanted to be an entrepreneur, but I always wanted to be a solution provider.
Pulse Nigeria: When was your idea conceived and when did it take off?
Tale Alimi: I decided to start my Business coaching and business development company in July 2015 and we officially started on the 8th of August 2015 which was a Sunday actually! I had been procrastinating for some months because of the usual fear of starting, but that day I just decided to start and hired a part time admin personnel.
Pulse Nigeria: What was your mission at the outset?
Tale Alimi: To guide aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs in Africa to create authentically successful businesses through our products, services, programs and platforms that will create value for them and their stakeholders and positively affect the growth of the African economy.
Pulse Nigeria: How did you raise the initial capital?
Tale Alimi: My start-up capital was actually quite small as I was inspired to practice something I believe in; think big, start small and scale fast. I used a bit of my savings to bootstrap the business and we have grown organically since then.
Pulse Nigeria: What risks did you face?
Tale Alimi: I faced the risk of low acceptance or patronage of our product or service offering. In the first year, my heart was literarily in my mouth and I had to keep encouraging myself to keep pushing. I had made a pact to give it one year and do my best and if it did not work, go back to paid employment. Thankfully we are still here and starting a new arm of Tale Alimi Global next month.
Pulse Nigeria: How would you define success? And to what do you attribute your success?
Tale Alimi: For me success is a journey not a destination. To me this means waking up every day and living to your highest potential. It means saying no to mediocrity and choosing instead to excel in what you have been called to do on the earth.
I believe firstly success is our God given endowment. Which means knowing you are successful is as important as going out to do things that makes you successful based on the world’s standard. Therefore I attribute my success to first acknowledging that it is my God given endowment and from this premise I apply myself through hard work, failing forward and leveraging every skill, gift and talent I have. I am also blessed with a great support system of Mentors, role models, Family and amazing people like you who have given me a medium for my message.
Pulse Nigeria: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Tale Alimi: I will say believe in yourself and know that you have all you need to succeed on the inside of you. That does not mean you should not seek the help of role models, mentors or coaches like myself, it just means it starts with your self-belief.
Pulse Nigeria: What is your new book about?
Tale Alimi: 'Uplevel' is a book that is written to provide a step by step guide to help the reader find their niche and convert it into a profitable passion. You could call it a business cum self help guide. It is written to address some common questions I have had to answer and I have heard frequently from people like; What is my gift or talent? How do I find my niche? What is the passion I can turn to a business? How do I start and ensure I don’t fail? How do I grow my brand or business and profit from it?
I also decided to write this book because it was a long road for me to find my own niche and it came after several false starts, mistakes and failures. The book is the guide I wish was available to me when I was on that journey and I hope it will be a guide for the reader to help them find their niche, share their story in an authentic way, build their tribe of at least ‘1000’ true fans and profit from their passion either in business, career or life in general.