‘The Secret of getting ahead is getting started’


‘The Secret of getting ahead is getting started’
– Agatha Christie
fThe  quote  which  is  the  title  of  this  article  is  a practical  one  and  not  just  motivational,  as  it  is  the reason I am few lines ahead from the second I began to write this article on a fresh page.
To  move  a  car,  it  requires  that  you  start  it  with  the ignition  facility  or  by  applying  force  if  you  want  to push, as it is popularly said that ‘a thousand miles of walk begins with a step’.  So does any entrepreneurial feat.
I  started  my  journey  without  a  clear  direction,  not  even  a  direction  at  all,  but  I  had  an  idea painted by the popular stories called biography and the exciting experiences they recount such as trips in jets, popular followership, esteemed opinions, influence on every aspect of the world, etc.
It began with buying of gift items for my classmates who were in the boarding house who really
needed to give something to their friends and pals either at birthdays or valentine periods so, they describe what they want and I get it for them and take a commission. I did this through my senior secondary  school  years  and  became  very  popular  with  several  referrals  and  I  became  the merchant  of  the  school.  I  remember  having  to  get  experiment  materials  for  our  biology  class based  on  my  merchant  activities.  I  was  the  only  option  and  I  walked  into  the  school  on  a Thursday morning with a live rabbit in my  hands, shortly before assembly.  I was as a wonder unto  many.  Though  there  were  risks  involved,  such  as  rejection  of  goods,  seizure  of  goods, punishments, etc.
Thereafter I graduated from secondary school  at Seventeen  and had made so much extra cash,
spent  it  all  at  graduation  and  needed  to  make  more.  Funny  it  was  because  I  didn’t  save
adequately:  a serious lesson I had to correct before I got into the university. So I got myself the
gift  of  a  bank  account  at  my  eighteenth  birthday.  I  did  more  by  joining   my  friends  to  run  a laundry  business,  I  had  to  do  a  lot  of  talking  to  several  people  to  convince  them  drop  their clothes  or  have  them  picked  up  by  us  to  be  cleaned  and  ironed.  So  many  No  and  some  yes responses  but I left every conversation with a smile on either my face or the person’s. I did this for some months become gaining admission and was able to save  some money and the journey was moving on well.
On gaining admission into a tertiary university, attending lectures became monotonous  for me so I made more friends some of which were elderly and volunteered to come around them to assist in what they wanted done. I also joined some organizations and learnt so much. I was young and careful so  I got offers to drive some cars which I did very well  because  I had a  driver’s license which was  a  gift from  my parents  when  I  clocked eighteen.  I drove several cars for fun,  got stipends,  gifts,  met  several  people  and  had  intellectual  exposures  that  the  petty  cash  wouldn’t have afforded me.
I came across a fascination of how images were manipulated and backgrounds changed and so I ventured  into  graphics.  The  initial  tutor  was  a  photographer,  so  I  had  several  trainings  on photography and had to work logistics for photo sessions in and out doors. I began to like the creativity of photography but I wanted a way around the computer doing my own manipulations.
There  into  graphics,  my  appetite  was  whetted.  I  collected  several  posters  and  bills  with  the consciousness of improving the design if there could be a way to do it on computer. Eventually I got into a company that does printing and learnt  to design and got exposed to printing and the media business as well.
I seemed like I was now in form to get ahead. I started making handbills and posters for friends and organizations. I decided to step further and so I registered my business with the  Corporate Affairs Commission  and could pay tax as a good business. I now combine my skills in buying, negotiating,  logistics,  photography  and  design  doing  things  that  come  naturally,  making  some money. I currently design images and print on  photography material and frames to be hung in office,  rooms,  offices  and  halls.  I  also  make  customized  laptop  skins,  branded  shirts,  book covers, magazines, newsletters etc.

Some  may think I am  exception, I will say no. I only dared what those ahead have faced and
overcome. The likes of Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Mark Zukerberg, The African Dangote and
the list go  on. The most amazing of it is the story of a young chap who had the idea of having
parcels  and  mails  delivered  over  night  no  matter  the  size  presented  the  idea  as  his  academic project. His lecturer,  who here was his  first challenge  gave him a C for spending so much time on a ‘dumb’ idea. He went ahead to put his idea to work, scaled through several hurdles, fought several  challenges  small  and  great  from  the  point  of  rejection,  but  it  is  obvious  the  idea  is  a global relevance and has become a verb as a result of it impact and frequent usage, that idea is called Federal Express. People would prefer to FedEx their parcels or goods or themselves every now and then for an overnight delivery. Now FedEx has several jets, ships, trucks, bikes and so on that see to overnight delivery  globally. The secret to his position as a leading courier service company  was  that  he  started.  Facebook  started  out  of  a  dormitory,  so  also  can  every  great entrepreneurial  feat.  Anyone  can  achieve  anything  if  only  we  will  work  at  it.  It  is  opined  by Leonardo Da Vinci that ‘the maker made all things available to us through labor.’
I  actually  started  with  something  basically  because  I  wanted  to  be  able  to  make  decisions  by myself and on the long run,  not have to depend on my family or the government for financial assistance. I started and now I am moving ahead to become  an entrepreneur  of repute, affecting the  economic  terrain  of  my  state  and  country  sooner.  I  have  started  and  the  only  certainty is getting ahead. As Nike will say ‘just do it’, I will say, get started.

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