On the day US president-elect Donald Trump spoke to newsmen for the first time since his win of the presidential election, what was meant to be a press conference ended up being a press confrontation as Trump refused to take a question from CNN. The news network had reported that US intelligence officials had briefed Trump about unverified claims about his relationship with Russia, a report he described as false. To express his displeasure, he refused to take a question from CNN reporter Jim Acosta. He yelled “You are fake news” instead. Many see the tycoon’s actions as childish but that won’t be a first.
A colleague at the office who hardly follows politics watched Trump act like a child and wondered how he became rich. “How does somebody who acts like that amass such wealth?” he asked me.
My colleague said he had always wanted to be a businessman; working for wages is not his thing. But he has had to work for people all his life because he does not know how to achieve his business dreams.
“You are just too scared,” I told him. “That’s why you’ve not been able to actualize your business dreams.” HJ knows what he wants and he seems to have a strong conviction that his business will be successful but he has been too scared to start.
“You know what, bro, reacting to issues like a 5-year-old does not stop you from being rich; being scared to start does.”
Nigerians are entrepreneurial in nature and we would all have already had small businesses capable of dragging the country out of recession in 2017, if not because we’ve been too scared to start. Sometimes, we wait for a huge capital that will enable us start big. This never works: even if you get the huge capital you desire, it does not guarantee the success of your business. The development phase the business is supposed to pass through is avoided with huge capital and this comes back to haunt, and in some cases end the business. In a blog by Joel Gascoigne, he noted that one of the habits of successful people is that they start small. “Make it smaller: you’re more likely to succeed,” he wrote.
So, I told my colleague, forget Trump’s childishness; think about his business acumen. Trump may not be an all-round smart guy, but he has proven that he is a shrewd businessman. He understands the basic principles of business and he has used them to his advantage. “Those are the things you need to learn, my friend,” I told HJ.
I sounded like a guy that knows a lot about starting businesses. I shared my little experience with HJ and told him why the businesses I started failed. He listened with rapt attention and the words that came out of his mouth when I finished speaking showed I had influenced him. But then I asked myself; “what have you learnt from your business failures?” The answer hurt me badly. I had been more of a talker than a doer. I had been low on self-motivation. Poor me!
But it all ends today.