So you got hit with this idea, on your way back from work.
It makes so much sense to you. You are almost hysterical with joy. Just thinking about it on the bus home makes you sweat.
You are sure that this is it. This is the idea that will finally change your life forever.
You got home and dropped your bag and thought about it some more and each time your heart jumps.
But you realize that you don’t have enough money to see the idea come to life.
So you called your uncles and your aunties and your siblings and all the friends you have in this world, to tell them that you have found that idea you have been waiting for all your life which is guaranteed to change your life forever and the only thing you need now is that they lend you some money so you will get to work.
When you wake the next morning, the effect of the idea on you has magnified and blossomed so much so that you decides that it will be your last day at work. You are going to put yourself out there to face your idea once and for all.
That day at work, you look at your boss with scorn. For the first time you realize how puffy his face is and how you so much want to put your fist through that face and see what happens. You have endured him enough and now you look at him and feel an irresistible urge to tear his head out and that doing it will give you the ultimate satisfaction.
The next day, you were able to raise some money and you went to work. For the next week and month, everything is alright. You are basking in the glow of being one of those that is living their dream.
Then the problems begins to show their heads. Those little annoying problems you never knew you will encounter suddenly begins to give you sleepless night.
Of course you have no clue of how to solve them. The only thing you know is to pile money on the problems and hopes they go away. You spend so much money that it hurts.
But the problem? They never go away. They keep piling up and piling up until they overwhelms you.
And then you go broke.
You have no money and you have no job either. And you are sitting on a pile of debt. And you look back and though how wonderful that your boss had been, how you will want to go back and tell him how sorry you are, and how you will want him to give you another chance.
The Truth About Ideas
Almost all ideas are like that. Once they drop into your head, they makes you feel this drunken euphoria that you are going to conquer the world. And the more you look at them the more certain you are, the more they glow, the more beautiful they look and you wonder why on earth has no one else thought of the idea before.
Until you start working on them.
The truth is that ideas don’t really work like that. They are not as easy as taking a bus from your home to the office. They are like travelling through a storm in the middle of the sea.
They need time and like everything other thing that glows, they need time to undergo purification.
What Will You Rather Do?
Borrow to finance, not to start.
What do I meant by this?
Instead of borrowing to start, be in the business first, then borrow to finance your business.
Look at it this way, you got hit with the idea, you find someone who knows a lot about your idea (there are always people out there who knows about it) and learn as much as you can. Or you can go to some place where you know you can learn. It can be anywhere, it can be online, it can be on the streets, it can be in a store, it can be working for someone in an office (you can even work for free if you can afford it as long as you know you are learning).
Just learn. Even if this idea drove you so mad that you quit your job, don’t go starting the business at once. Go and get some experience, learn about it as much as you can. Your learning process could be as low as three months, it could be years depending on what business you want to start.
Then start something. No matter how small, start. You can even do it for free. It’s called building your portfolio. Telling people that you can do this, that you have learned so much of it that others can trust you to do their work for them.
When you must have acquired enough experience and done something tangible, you can then borrow. You can now dip yourself into the ocean and see what happens.
When you borrow now, you are not borrowing to start your business because you have been in the business for a while. You borrow to finance it, to expand it, to get more things done.
A Typical Scenario
Let’s say you want to start an okrika business (used clothes business). You have done your primary assignment. Nigeria has a very large population and most of our population are young and these young people want to look good going to work and other engagements they might have, but they can’t afford to buy designers. So you figured that you can close this gap and serve these millions of Nigerians with your okrika.
So you go to an okrika market around you and begin to learn. You make friends. You ask important questions. You learn how to source for the clothes, you learn how to price them.
You learn the best way to sell your own. Are you going to open a very nice store by the street corner and package the clothes to sell at higher prices or are you going to sell in the market or are you going to be one of those that display the clothes on the ground beside a busy street ringing bell and shouting on top of your voice to draw people’s attention.
You learn the best ways to account for your business. It might not be the best accounting system out there but it’s enough for you not to worry that a sales girl or a sales boy will rip you off.
After you have gotten all the answers, then, you try things for yourself. You go and buy a handful of okrika and see what you can achieve. If it worked, you try again. You might encounter some obstacles, but you try again anyway. And you try again and again and again.
Now you have learned everything there is to learn in okrika. If you now decide to borrow, you are not borrowing to start an okrika business, after all, you have been in it and know everything there is. But you are borrowing to finance it. You are borrowing to pay for that nice store around the corner or you are borrowing to get a big stock and make more profits.
It’s different when you have no idea about an okrika business and you jump straight to borrow and start.
That business is doomed from the start to fail.
So why must you not borrow to start a business?
Because it is very likely that your business is going to fail unless you have a pool of money stacked somewhere that you can always throw at your business to solve problems until you have gathered all the experiences you need.
Do you agree with me or you don’t? Tell me in the comment session and also tell me what you think and why