Undoubtedly the giant of Africa - with an estimated population…
By Abdulkabir Olatunji
Are you ready to beat your opponents to pulp and knock them out? Are you ready to get bloodied and bruised in the process?
Don’t run away yet. I am writing about entrepreneurship not boxing. You see business is very much like pugilism, your ‘opponents’ might include lack of finance, hostile business environment, competitors, bad partners, bad customers and an almost unending list.
You have to train to acquire all the required skills like Product Development, Marketing, Human Relations, Accounting and of course, Management that will help you overcome these challenges.
No pain, no game is the mantra if you want to be successful in business, you need to learn discipline and delayed gratification, a boxer is required to follow a strict regimen and maintain a proper diet to achieve optimum fitness and performance. You as a businessman have to learn financial prudence and discipline while learning to invest where you will get the best Return on Investment (ROI).
No boxer goes into a match expecting not to be hit with punches, the idea is to either knock out your opponent or outscore them via points at the end of the bout. Entrepreneurship is similar; you are going to experience disappointments and setbacks. You might lose a few big fights but the objective is to counter these with better strategies, new ideas and innovations that will give you the required victories as you strive to get to the top- become a champion.
After you become a champion, you strive to stay on top, beat your top challengers and seek to extend your reign for as long as you can. An entrepreneur whose business has achieved successes and is on top also seeks to maintain market leadership. Ultimately, you are going to lose your coveted position. However, you should seek to reinvent your organization; diversify, improve your core business with new people and technologies. No boxer remains on top forever too; they eventually retire and if they want to remain in the boxing business might go into coaching, promotion or media work. Some move on to other areas of life and use their experience from boxing to aid their success in these new endeavours. Just like the entrepreneur, diversification is important for the boxer.
An entrepreneur really is a boxer of sorts. Therefore, prepare well, get into the ring of business, give more punches than you receive and over time after the pain, blood, sweat and sometimes tears, you might become a great champion.
See you at the top!
Abdulkabir Olatunji is the Head of Strategy at Jarus & JAN Internet Group and an Associate Member of the Nigerian Institute of Management (AMNIM). His interests include writing, blogging, all-things-tech and analysis of current affairs and sports. You can follow him on LinkedIn and on Twitter @maclatunji