“You’re sure you want this promotion?” Mr Chimdi’s query to Chinenye, was as condescending as ever. “Yes sir.” Chinenye had muttered hesitantly at first. Then, her “I’ll do anything” had come a bit more affirmatively. But, as a devilish smile curled up on her M.D’s lips, she knew she had made the poor choice of words to reply her boss. Her dream of becoming the youngest C.O.O of one of the foremost multinationals in Nigeria, which comes with a fat paycheck and free weekends to ‘flex’, now dangled precariously between the legs of Mr Chimdi. And as it stands, dining with the king would require lying with him.

So, for Chinenye, it was either that, or a continued tedious hours of work and a far-from-commensurate pay, plus frequent weekend overtime. But, for a passionate, creative and opportunity-taking lady like Chinenye, there is a third option – becoming her own boss.

Now, having defiantly classified herself as ‘unemployable’, after which she then sort opportunity in automated solutions and related services for tech companies and private individuals, Chinenye explores the world of a techpreneur, outside the confines of the Monday-to-Saturday and nine-to-five humdrum, where she blends her passion with profitability.

Why do many people venture into the entrepreneurship world?
Is it for the money? The freedom? Both creatively, mentally and financially? Or the sheer bravado of firing your own boss?

Having read Paulo Coelho’s ‘The Alchemist’, flipping through pages of insights, the opportunities it paints, the freedom it gives my mind, and the life lessons from finding one’s path, owning and enjoying the process – one hurdle after another; and having heard the story of KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken), Colonel Sanders, an entrepreneur who began selling fried chicken from his roadside, I will suggest six genuine reasons why people become entrepreneurs.

– Autonomy
Autonomy is a primary motive for entrepreneurship. Bosses set rules themselves. People who want to express their creativity and depth in their work might be so occupied that there will be little or no space left for creativity and expression. And so because of the power and control working under people bring them, they may find that as a small business owner, they can set their goals, control their own progress and run their businesses how they deem fit.

– Creation of job opportunities
Entrepreneurs create employment opportunities not only for themselves but for others as well. Entrepreneurial activities may influence a country’s economic performance by bringing new products, methods, and production processes to the market and by boosting productivity and competition more broadly. Entrepreneurs provide new job opportunities in the short and long term. You can directly impact society by introducing a service or product that people use.

– Mindset to thrive outside the cooperate sector
Have you ever asked yourself or a friend of yours if Dangote was actually born in Nigeria? This sounds funny but the reality is that entrepreneurs are resilient people who crave for success-by-failure. This reminds me of the sayings of Magic Johnson, the popular American basketballer, who said, “I am successful today because I have failed and failed and failed over and over again.” In entrepreneurship, success is synonymous with failure. It is often said that when a budding entrepreneur fails and he learns from such failure and also remains resilient, he/she will eventually be successful.

– Creating something from nothing
It is rather unfortunate that several people are held back because they have a wrong impression of themselves. Many a times, people have erroneous beliefs that entrepreneurs are either special breeds or a few individuals with wealthy background. Lessons from the experiences of successful indigenous entrepreneurs in Nigeria show that the mindset of innovation is important. What does this mean? It means looking at what already exists and thinking through how such can be modified or improved into a brand-new product or services that will command value. Not all entrepreneurs are inventors but majority of successful entrepreneurs are, however, innovators. You may find that you don’t fit into the cooperate world the way many friends and family do, and this steers you to start up something for yourself.

– Turning your passion and beliefs into business
Earn a living doing what you love. Let’s face it, money is definitely important. But when you are able to make a comfortable living doing what you love, it’s a win-win situation. You have the ability to create a business as well as impact others through your passions and beliefs.

– Experience personal growth.
It is a great feeling when you look back and see how much you have grown as an individual. You begin to test your limits as a person and see just how much of a risk- taker you are. You begin to maximize every opportunity that comes your way, get new insights on your strengths and weaknesses.

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