November 18

Entrepreneurship Advice from Richard Branson

Richard Branson is the founder of the Virgin group and well experienced in creating business. He often shares his knowledge and experience.  I love to read from him as a source of motivation for my entrepreneurship dream. Just in case you are still considering leaving your day job to become your own boss like me. This piece will be a good read, it was original published on entrepreneur.com  when he was ask a question about leaving your day job and starting your own business by Nick Kiremire.

richard branson                                        Forbes.com

Q: When is the best time to leave a day job and start your own business? Also, do you think that some people are just cut out to be employees and work for corporations their entire lives? – Nick B. Kiremire

I have been lucky enough to be my own boss since leaving school at age 16, so I’ve never faced the decision of whether to leave a day job. But at Virgin we’ve started hundreds of businesses, so I know that turning an idea into a successful enterprise requires a lot of hard work. I also know that it can sometimes feel like there’s never a good time to start another company.

Launching your own business is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling things you can do. And while thoughtful risk-taking is something to be encouraged, it’s important to keep in mind that most new businesses fail within the first year and a half. So before you give up the security of a steady paycheck, you need to be as sure as possible that the risk is worth it.

For example, back in 1972 our team started Virgin Records alongside our first business, Student magazine. We eventually changed our primary focus from the magazine to the record business, but only after we were certain that there would be a strong market for records. Back then, the decision was an easy one because demand for our records was growing so fast that it quickly outpaced requests for our magazine. We had proof.

Today, proving that there is demand for your product or service (while keeping your day job) is easier than ever. Crowdfunding websites such as Indiegogo, for example, let you test out your business idea through videos, and if it’s an idea that viewers like, they’ll put money toward it (often before you’ve even created your first product). If you strike a chord with potential investors and are able to collect adequate funding, you’ll have proved that a market for your product or service exists, and you’ll have enough money to start building the business you want. So seeking funding for your business before giving up your day job is a very smart move.

We recently launched Virgin StartUp loans in the U.K. to give entrepreneurs the funding they need to get set up, as well as guidance on creating a realistic cash flow forecast. Often, this forecast shows that a business will not bring in enough money to support the entrepreneur for quite a while, so it’s wise to preserve a regular income before you dive into running a new business full time.

That said, at Virgin we encourage an entrepreneurial spirit in our staff, and many of our employees have gone on to launch successful businesses in a range of industries. But just as many have stayed on to celebrate 10- and 20-year anniversaries with Virgin.

Just because a person enjoys the benefits of working for someone else doesn’t mean he isn’t cut out to be an entrepreneur. For a long time, students were taught in school that their goal upon graduating should be simply to get a good job, and that’s what most tried to do. This sort of thinking was shortsighted — not everybody is cut out for a 9-to-5 job, and little consideration was given to supporting the job creators of the future.

Things are changing, though. The most recent recession saw tens of thousands of people suddenly lose their jobs after spending most of their adult lives on the same career path. This prompted many to consider whether it would make more sense to work for themselves rather than for a company. These days, more people are deciding to take their future into their own hands and become their own bosses.

This focus on entrepreneurship has filtered down into education systems, as well, which is a great thing. We’re doing our part to expose young students to entrepreneurship through initiatives like Virgin Money’s Fiver Challenge, which provides 5 pounds to children aged 5 to 11 in the U.K. so that they can set up mini businesses and see if they can make a profit. Programs like this can help to create more entrepreneurs in the future and might even prevent some people from believing that their only option is “to work for corporations their entire lives,” as you put it.

Of course, no business is guaranteed to succeed. But if you’re looking for an excuse to stay in a job rather than focus full time on your business, you’ll always find one. When you do eventually cut away the safety net and put everything into your startup, it is key that you launch it in an area that you’re passionate about. Remember to have fun, and if the venture doesn’t work out, learn from your mistakes so you’ll be better equipped the next time. Good luck!

September 24

FATHERHOOD

For most of us, one of the things that make us happy in life is having a child. Especially in this part of the world, where children are considered to be the fruits of marriage and source of joy for a couple, which even becomes a problem when a couple is married for sometime without an issue. It is indeed such a big blessing to be a parent. Ask those who are not blessed with children or who lost their child to an illness or accident, and you would realize that being blessed with a child is a blessing.

http://responsiblefatherhood.com/

In the past 4 month I have experience what it feels like to be a father – a responsible one for that matter – and I am enjoying big time because I have learnt and still learning a lot and exposed to new perspective about life. Fatherhood has open up for me a new window of a purposeful life. I enjoyed going back home to see my son, and the joy I feel when I hold him in my arms cannot be infinitely quantified  to the joy I feel when I am expecting the bank credit alert for my 30-days labour.

The role of the father to me should be more than that of just finance (making the money available for the family) and administrative (pick and drop the child at school and such tasks). The father in spite of his busy schedule should be involved in activities such as care, discipline and communication with the child. It’s no gain saying that a father’s presence has a huge impact on the development and wellbeing of their child. All of the things that are presumed to be the mothers’ responsibilities can also be done by the father once in a while if time permit.

I have principles and plans on parenting our son which I will be working together with my wife on.  I did like to share some of the gems on the list that might benefit you:

  1. Teach him how important worshipping and prayers are.
  2. A one on one time with him often – this will ensure steady communication.
  3. Nurture a hobby with him especially the one he enjoys and picks early.
  4. Draw up a list of clear goals with him for all areas of his life.
  5. Schedule his week together with the family schedule.
  6. Read books with him including school work.
  7. Help him keep a journal of important activities daily.
  8. Always remind him of what makes him special.
  9. Have a daily commitment we do together.
  10. Let him know how importance and sharing and helping others are.

This are the top ten on the list, but I am sure updating it from frequently as situation permits. I hope I am not overhyping fatherhood, please don’t blame me if I do. It is probably  because I didn’t enjoy an iota of fatherly love so I promise to give my children all I can.  Please feel free to share yours in the comment below, if you have for others to learn. And if you don’t you really need to start consciously considering it.

September 23

TAKING CARE OF THINGS

Taking care of things is as important as having the things. Like the yoruba adage that says “our hands are capable of taking care of things”, I was going to work today and I was putting on the shoe I wore on my wedding day which I have specifically bought for that occasion. But I haven’t worn it since after the wedding day and as usual has gathered dust on the shoe rack. I just took the shoes, cleaned it with a rag a put it on. My wife refused and insisted that I must apply polish and shine it before going out – one of the fruit of marriage ♥ – so I did and rushed out. Just on my way checking out my outfit as I looked at my shoe, I appreciated that I had properly taken care of that shoe before going out.

Frobinwoodchurch.wordpress.com

Frobinwoodchurch.wordpress.com

Everything you possess and use is worth taking care of and nurturing, whether material or non-material, physical or non-physical. To start with is your body and your soul; we need to give good attention to our body; meditation, nutrition and exercise are good for us. I am sure we all know how to do this just that we tend to be careless sometimes and our soul needs to be nurtured with such things as the word of God and its Obedience, self development, honesty, integrity and all such good characters. This we must be able to balance not losing our soul by too much attention to the body and not ignoring the body with much care for the soul. Both the body and soul has the same right over us in this regard.

You possession such as houses, cars, cloths, shoes, books, etc needs to be taking care of. Apart from thinking about the money we used in acquiring these things and how we hustle to get the money, we also need to be grateful for having them by not carelessly handling them considering how we may feel from the lack of it. It doesn’t really take much time to do these tasks and you quite save a lot of money from it. Meanwhile money itself needs to be handled with care – more of it will come to you when you handle it well and vice-versa.

Lastly thing actually worth mentioning first is our relationship with others, this sometimes determine our level of happiness and success in life. Relationships with our God, spouse, siblings, friends, neighbours, co-workers, classmates, business partners etc require our emotional investment. We need to fund these relationships with high level trust, sacrifice and selfless care. If you are having problem relating with somebody, you check yourself and measure your level of investment into such relationship. When you build a healthy relationship with whoever come your way, you are contributing to the world been a safe place to live and improving the quality of your life and others.

If this piece motivate you positively, please share with friends, they will be glad you did.