Being self-employed and “your own boss” is becoming more sexier and appealing now than ever. Almost everyone wants to be their own boss, even my younger brother who is still in Uni has been telling me “Big bro, I don’t want to work for anyone when am done with school, I want to be my own boss just like you”. Little does he know that its not as easy as it looks or sound, actually, a lot of people don’t know as well so its a universal thing. I won’t lie though, the idea of being able to work for yourself, not have a boss, work at your own times, pick your days off (even if entrepreneurs don’t have days off) and do what you like is so intriguing and some times feels so far fetched but its not. In this post, I will not give you “Woo Woo” information like a lot of people do just to hype you up, I will give you practical knowledge and guide just like I always do on The Presidential Hustle, I will keep it 100 with you and at the end of the post you should have something solid to work with.
Before we go into the meat of the post. Let’s get on the same page by understanding what Entrepreneurship means in the first place. My best definitions are:
An entrepreneur is an individual who, rather than working as an employee, founds and runs a small business, assuming all the risks and rewards of the venture and Entrepreneurship is the process of designing, launching, and running a new business which is often initially a small business offering a product, process, or service for sale or hire.
“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”
(1.) Planting The Seed.
One of the first things is to pick the particular niche you want to start a business in. Niche means different things to different people but in this context, what I mean is – are you going to go into a Physical Product / Service Business or a Digital Service / Product Business. For example, if you decide to become a lecturer – even though you are not selling a physical product, you are providing a physical service which means you always need to be physically present in order to provide your service while if you are a Website designer, Blogger or have any other digital skill, you are not selling a physical product neither are you providing a physical service, its all digital – you can be anywhere in the world and work from anywhere without having to be present physically to provide your service.
Let’s look at the weeds.
(1.1) If you want to go into the Physical Product Niche, you will need to have a product. It can be one that you’ve manufactured yourself, a product already made in which you are re-selling in order to make profit or you sell a product that already exists but a little bit cheaper or better than what is already in the market. To be honest, I have done both. I remember going to Lagos Island to buy stuffs like Snapbacks, Shoes, Sunglasses and watches and re-selling them to friends and people in Uni and online (also called “Flipping”), I would make more than 100% profit because I always sold them twice the price. I also wanted to sell “Jesus Piece” when it was hot and trendy, so instead of buying already made ones – I created my own company called “Milli Wood”. I would go online, google an image of a Jesus piece, print it out and take it to someone in the neighborhood who could make it and I would then buy beads and rope and make the Jesus piece by myself and then sell it to people on Facebook or anywhere I could make a sale. I even created a free Blog where I listed them and was getting phone calls and texts from people who were interested. You know the funny thing? The blog is still alive, this is the link http://milliwood.blogspot.co.uk/ , I was laughing my ass out when I saw the blog today, it shows my early beginnings. Below are pictures of the products 🙂 (Don’t laugh at my early beginings, looooool)
When I started that, I was not aiming to be rich because I was still a teen – it was just the entrepreneurial spirit in me from the beginning to start something of my own and make my own money even though I was getting allowance from my folks. Because I personally loved and rocked with the products, it was interesting for me to sell them and find unique ways to sustain the business. So, if you decide to go into the “physical product” niche, ensure you have some kind of love or attachment to the product because when you do – its much easier and enjoyable to do the business. I would also advice you to look into trends, trends play a major role as well. When something is Trendy, you want to be part of the people who makes money off that trend.
(1.2) If you want to go into the service business (which I recommend if you are broke with no money and want to work from anywhere in the world) you have to find a need and provide the solution. Its as simple as that but it gets deeper. For you to provide the solution to a need, you MUST have some type of value to provide and value comes from having a skill. I always love to give the Website or Graphics designer example because its my field. Thousands of businesses are created on a daily basis and more are already in existence. Whether new or existing – they all have a unique NEED. They require a strong online presence for their brand / businesses and they are willing to pay you good money IF and ONLY IF – you can add value to them. What kind of services do you think they might be interested in? Web Design, Graphics, Social media Management, Search Engine Optimization, Video editing & production, App development, Content Creation, Digital Marketing and the list goes on.
So, knowing that there is this need which will continue to rise, you need to equip yourself with one or more of those skills required and turn that into your hustle by providing your service to them. Sometimes you might be able to learn and acquire skills for FREE and sometimes it might not be free, if you are reading this post – I believe you are learned and you know everything cannot be for free. You use money to make money and if you are paying to learn a skill – its an investment in yourself, you learn from someone who is where you want to be whilst avoiding their mistakes.
Skill doesn’t’ always have to be IT related. It can be anything, as long as there is a market or potential market or set of people who are willing to pay to have that service rendered, you are in business. Since you are not a charity organization, try as much as possible not to do things for free. Ever heard the saying “If you are good at something, never for free?” That’s because for you to get money, you need to make use of your skill to provide a service and know you should get paid for that. For example, a beat producer has a skill and will always make money with beats he sells, a fashion designer will always make money when he uses his skill to sew a dress for someone, a comedian will always make money when he hosts a show or he’s paid to make a parody video for a business or brand on social media.
So, get a skill that has a market! Use all the resources you have to learn that skill so you can become valuable and then charge people who need it! (More on charging and getting customers & clients in the next point)
Skills = Value = Service = Money.
(2) Watering The Seed.
It was very important to touch on the point above before coming here because a large number of people do not understand that the basic and underlying principle of making money or being self employed starts with sewing the seed. This second part is what most people do not talk about or talk less about and I will be very blunt with it! Because you now have a skill, created a product or found a product to resell doesn’t mean you will make money or get customers immediately! The world does not owe you customers or clients. What will make you a hustler or good business person is understanding that simple fact and coming to terms with the fact that figuring what you intend to do is just the beginning, this is where the real work starts.
The world does not owe you customers or clients.
You can be the best website designer in the whole wide world with 100s of businesses around you who do not have websites but if you do not know how to convert your skills to money by turning those businesses into customers and clients, you will become frustrated and broke, none of those businesses will give their business to you and you will probably hate me because you thought I said once you get a skill, the money will follow. In a perfect world, the money should follow but because we do not live in a perfect world – you will need to bring customers and clients in with deliberate actions, even if its convincing someone or a business of a need they did not know they required.
Because the probability of your business becoming a success on the first day, week or even month is slim.., this means that if you currently have a job, its not a good idea to QUIT if you do not have a lot of money saved. You want to start your business as a side hustle and when you see its gaining traction, making a sustainable income and you are certain that if you put more hours into it – it will make you the same or even more than you currently earn, this is the only time you should quit your job and go full time.
By watering the seed, what I mean is – doing all you can do to make your seed grow. You’ve done all the work in picking a niche and deciding what you wanna embark on. Now, the next thing is learning and mastering how to bring customers into your new business so you can make some money. Do not be like over 60% of other people who complain about how bad business is only because they are not getting customers to patronize them, there are 7 Billion people in the world and a large number of them NEED what you have to offer, they just can’t find you or maybe don’t even know they need it. Your job as a hustler / entrepreneur is to give your product or service the exposure it deserves so you can bring in clients and start making money. This is one reason why people think entrepreneurship is hard because you are responsible for starting the business, running the business and bringing in the bread.
Your job as a hustler / entrepreneur is to give your product or service the exposure it deserves so you can bring in clients and start making money.
My advice is this, you need to become an avid learner of ways and strategies successful people in your field are making use of to get customers and clients to their businesses. Look at your competitors, copy what works for them, do not always feel the need to re-invent the wheel and try to be patient godammit! (A big booty wasn’t built in a day 🙂 ) You also need to be willing to give up ideas and businesses that are not working and move on to something that works. I cannot tell you when to quit, your guts will always let you know. Listen to your guts – he’s your true friend! Nothing worth having comes easy.
Nothing worth having comes easy. A big booty wasn’t built in a day
FUN EXAMPLE: I was on Instagram today and I saw an IG account of someone who sells local Nigerian Herbs!!! (a.k.a Agbo Jedi). I didn’t stumble upon his page because he has amazing herbal products but because he ran sponsored ads which ended up on my feed and instantly I checked the IG profile and I ended up following the page and will be buying some herbs from him (am in London, they are based in Nigeria) I never thought I would see an instagram page that sells herbs, because in Nigeria, the herb shops or sellers are mostly local and un-educated but whoever runs that IG page surely isn’t, he/she knows that there is a need for the product obviously but he cannot wait in his shop for people to come buy, he/she needs to put the product out there. This same principle applies to any hustle!
(3) Harvesting The Fruits.
Harvest time for me is when your business / hustle is bringing in consistent money at the end of the month. When there is a steady inflow of cash you will be able to expand your business/hustle by thinking of other ways of making money. I think the “hardest part” is point 2 (The watering seed part). Once you have that locked in, let me officially welcome you to a life where you do not need to WORK from 9am-5pm for a boss in order to get paid. Don’t feel excited yet though because now that you are the boss of your own life and everything depends on you and the actions you take!
The harvesting stage isn’t a stage to buy expensive things and go crazy with your earnings and profits, instead its a time where you think deep on how to use money that is coming in to enhance your business and other streams of income you can create for yourself. Trust me, I know its not as simple as it sounds but that’s why we have ourselves and have the internet to keep learning new things. I have a philosophy that if my hustle can pay all my monthly bills and am able to eat and afford the things I need, I am happy because I work from home, have the whole day to myself to think, read, learn and be better than I was yesterday and this is something not everyone has – most people are stucked in jobs they don’t like so they can be able to feed themselves and their family.
Let me recap once again. You have to make a decision on what business or field you want to go into and start a business or career on (Planting the seed), you then need to water your newly planted seed so it can germinate, this means you need to understand and learn how your new hustle or business can bring in consistent clients and customers and last but not the least – when you are making some profit / money (a.k.a Harvesting), its time to be strategic in the way you spend your earnings or money – try to make sure its not just a one off thing, make that flow consistent!
A startup entrepreneur can build almost any type of business. Here are a few business ideas to get you started (source Oberlo, adjusted by The Presidential Hustle:
- Ecommerce store owner
- Freelancer (writer, accountant, designer, developer, social media manager)
- App creator (chatbots, social media apps)
- Service based business (food delivery, cleaning, )
- Consultant based business (wedding planner, life coach, what ever you know and think you can teach others)
- Marketing businesses (Facebook adverts sepcialist, social media influencers, SEO brands)
- Affiliate marketers (Amazon, Clickbank, etc)
- Blogger (Product reviews, niche blog, magazine)
- Vlogger (YouTube, Twitch)
- Flipper (domain name, website, house/apartments)
- Real estate agent (condos, houses, commercial)
- Photographer (taking photos for clients, sell photos)
- Crypto Currency Broker (buying and selling bitcoins and other crytpo currencies)
Are you currently an entrepreneur, planning on starting something, not seeing growth or sales, still have a job? Drop your comments below lets talk, I will love to know your perspective and what you think of the article.