I had an option of outsourcing a contract  at the same price to an established person in the field and a young graduate with the skill. I decided to give the young graduate the contract as a way of supporting his startup after seeing some of his works. It was the initial stage of the contract so I gave him samples to try. 

After the contract was handed over, it became difficult reaching this graduate- he hardly responded to calls and texts and will always give excuses. In the end, he didn’t deliver as expected- he did something different from what we agreed.

Though I was disappointed, I liked his zeal- he had an enthusiasm that suggested he is ready to work. I asked what his vision for his business was and he responded, “I want to dominate the market”. I smiled and said, “That is great”. 

There are a lot of young entrepreneurs with good ideas and enthusiasm to start their own businesses but are not ready- their zeal alone is not enough to survive on the market. But there’s potential for everyone to succeed in business so I wrote a letter to young entrepreneurs on how to dominate the market. 

#DearYoungEntrepreneur, don’t be quick to chase money from a client, build a reputation. Be known for excellence, diligence, and standout for something great and unique. Your good reputation will draw you millions- your name will be mentioned in high places when you are not around.

#DearYoungEntrepreneur, don’t get satisfied with what you know, there are more to learn from people and your industry, so Network- be in the company of people you can learn from and grow with. Get wisdom, extra knowledge, inspiration, and be challenged by others who are excelling in the industry and their works. Networking is not always about receiving from people, know and prepare what you have to offer. Don’t be too driven by competition that you forget to learn from them. 

DearYoungEntrepreneur, you will make mistakes but some mistakes can be avoided, find Mentors. There will always be people who know more than you, have excelled in the industry, and have made all the mistakes you have made and will make, look for such people and submit to their leadership. Don’t get comfortable making mistakes because you think you are building a story for the future. Some mistakes are not worth your experience and are not lessons for the future. Learn from a mentor. 

DearYoungEntrepreneur, you will never progress in business or venture when you get comfortable with making excuses. Of all the things you will need for your business, excuses are the easiest and cheapest to find, avoid them with passion and learn to take responsibility. Learn how and when to say “I am sorry, it is my fault and I am correcting it. How can I make it better for you?” Don’t follow your ego to destroy your business. Take responsibility and make room for growth. 

DearYoungEntrepreneur, every client is important to your business. They all may not behave the way you want but there is value in them, understand this and treat them right- give them the best of your service. Invest in quality customer service, the success of your business hinges on this. 

DearYoungEntrepreneur, the world we knew 20 years ago is not the same today, things change and so must you- never stop learning, improving, and growing your skill and craft. Innovate to serve better, become the best, adapt to change that makes work productive and efficient and become a master of it, ask relevant questions, read, and commit to continuous learning. 4 years of schooling will not be enough to teach you all need know about business, learn daily and make it intentional. 

DearYoungEntrepreneur, above all things, choose Integrity. Be where you  said you will be, honor your word, and speak the truth no matter how much it will cost you. Be that person customers can trust and entrust their businesses with and prove it with your attitude and character. 

#DearYoungEntrepreneur, your zeal to do something on your own is admirable, your effort is encouraging, but just a good idea doesn’t guarantee success. Have structures, systems, and a business model to enforce your idea. 

DearYoungEntrepreneur, have a vision and a plan for your business. Be driven by an ultimate goal and focus on it, else you might change direction and trajectory any time something new or different, which doesn’t necessarily serve your purpose catches your attention. There are changing and new trends daily, some are good but not all are needed, if you are not focused and driven by a bigger picture, you might be a victim of tasting everything you see on your entrepreneurial journey and eventually you will get poisoned and collapse your business. 

DearYoungEntrepreneur, you can’t do it alone. Nothing great is achieved alone, you will need people who will be your strength in your weak areas, those who will be your wisdom when you are clueless, those who are more skilled than you, and those who will encourage you until success is achieved. Become that person that can attract these people and invest in a team that can make the dream happen. 

Entrepreneurship is not just something you do when you don’t want to work for someone, it is a solution you provide in exchange for money, when built well, it becomes a legacy serving generations. It is worth knowing that not all solutions on the market are being patronized, a good idea doesn’t necessarily make money, so #DearYoungEntrepreneur work smart and standout.