Are you sure you are ready for this?
This was the first question I asked myself when I wanted to resign from my white-collar job to become an entrepreneur in agro commodity sourcing and trading some years back.
At a point, my mind was divided; one telling me, Julius are you sure you want to leave your comfort zone and turn yourself to a “bush rat” lol.. Moving from one farm to the other? Secondly, if you fail to build your dreams you will end up building other people’s dreams so you better forfeit these luxury lives now and achieve your aim which will bring more comfort to you later. So I had to make up my mind and stand up even when standing wasn’t easy.
Having known that the journey is not going to be easy, I’d prepared myself for the worst to come and started making lots of sacrifices that will make me remain focused.
My number one sacrifice was when I discovered that most of my family members and friends did not share or rather accept my opinion to turn myself to a “bush rat”. I rather decided to cut them off for sometimes at this point, I only revealed my contact to little of my close friends and associates that keeps encouraging me always. I have been able to focus more having some of my friends by my side so I use “if you can’t join me, don’t pull me back tactics” to drop so many allies at that time. Although it wasn’t easy but I have to stand by my decision in other to move forward.
Another setback came up when I traveled to source for a commodity out of my country for the first time and I had to sleep at a park somewhere in Mali. It’s was too late that night before getting to the village where I will board my last destination bus to the interior and there was no option other than to find a place to rest my head. It was a rainy night which I hardly forget and the negative spirit set in again saying “Julius, go back and enjoy your life.Why did you choose to suffer yourself this way”? I felt like crying when I woke up and I discovered my surrounding was so dirty beyond where I ever thought I can pass a night. My lost hopes restored when a young girl of about 8years old ran to me and offer me a jug filled up with water to clean my face because I was looking too rough with my bag. I offered the young girl money but jokingly left without collecting it and I never set my eyes on her again until I left. I said to myself “God is with me”
“Every good thing in life comes with difficulties and challenges which makes the hardest way becomes the only good way to glory and success” I will put a temporary stop here now and ask you this question I asked myself years back “Are you sure you are ready to do this business”. If your answer is yes, I will give you some words of encouragement which I did not find anybody to give me when I needed it most.
Prepare yourself; you are the only person in this world that knows what is good for you. Becoming an agropreneur is not easy the road is filled with ups and downs, life threatening challenges, even loss of money, sleepless nights and a lot of sacrifices. You can only pass all these hard stages when you prepare yourself. Remember “if you are afraid of failure, you can never win” .
Ready to sacrifice; are you the type that loves movies, partying, clubbing every Friday night, sticking with your phone always, computer game addict? My friend, I must be sincere with you if you can’t let go all these, you will end up losing all your money to local farmers that you send money for sourcing and you never care to check them.
You have to stop discrimination if you want to excel. You must learn how to relate with everybody you meet on your ways, children, poor, old, rich, Christian and Muslim quickly learn how to relate and adapt with people, learn how to be calm with them, their ways of life until you get what you want and move on.
Talk less and learn more; getting to a location for the first time, don’t turn yourself to “Mr knows it all” allow the locals to do the talking just listen and learn. Don’t over emphasis that you know more than they. They will tag you proud and quickly hate you and the consequent is bad. The fact remains that, No villager or locals would leave his fellow-man to be 100%loyal to you as they always protect their self-interests.
Be friendly and smart; don’t go to the locals and form prince in the city “hell no”. The moment they discover this traits of “money miss road” in you, they will bring you down to none and outsmart you. Make tangible friends with the locals and use your instinct to choose the most reliable among them. Remember nobody is perfect.
Be determine and courageous; the beginning might seem very hard and rough. You lose money as this is peculiar to other businesses. I will be the last person to write an article that will tell you it’s a smooth one. The journey is full of ups and downs but just remains focused and resilient.
Finally, always remember that agro commodities trading is not as easy as some organizer of seminars would say “make million trading charcoal” for a beginner, set a goal that even if this money am going to trade with did not yield much profit as I wanted, let my capital comes back to me. Sometimes, not all the businesses. I travel far to do succeed. But the most encouraging aspect was that I always hook up myself with another better business opportunity from that region. So don’t set your mind on most do business when you travel open your mind and be flexible enough.
Then is the answer to the above question is no, then I have some advice for you;
If a Chinese man can leave all the luxury in Beijing and Hongkong to work in Borno under intense sun and fear of insurgency where most Nigerians run to hide mere hearing the name ‘Borno’.If an American can leave maimi beach, vegas club to become tomato farmer in Nigeria and If a Vietnamese can be inside the thick forest of ogbomoso for oak wood charcoal racket, what are you waiting for?, For the government to create a ministry for able and agile men to collect stipends.? Don’t waste your time please.