Welcome to Inspire Africa Project! The purpose of this series is to show us, especially business people that every economic challenge usually open up different doors of opportunities. Anyone that goes through a trying time usually emerge stronger and wiser. I know quite well that a business man who used to get $10,000 with N2 million will be looking for about N4 million now.
I know that you can order for goods abroad when the exchange rate is N360 to one United States dollar, and when the goods arrive, the exchange rate might drop to N300 to one dollar which will drastically affect your business. I know all that, but the question is, in the midst of all these, is there any hope? My answer is yes, and I will show you why I said yes as you keep reading.
David was the youngest son of Jesse, but he was made to take care of his fathers’ cattle ranch alone in the wilderness. You and I knows that the last baby of the house is usually pampered by both parents and siblings, but in David’s case, the reverse was the case. Although David must have seen what his family did to him as an injustice, but that assignment released the winner in him.
While taking care of those animals he developed an uncommon skill for using a sling to kill animals. So lion and bear can for lunch, and he practiced his latest discovery on them and both of them died. I can imagine David saying, “Yes! Although my family abandoned me in this wilderness, but I have discovered an uncommon secret of how to use ordinary sling to do extraordinary things!”
One day the opportunity to test his new discovery on a bigger platform showed up. He went to deliver food to his elder brothers in the camp, and saw how Goliath was terrorising God’s people. With that same inferior weapon called the sling, he defeated a warrior called Goliath and became a national hero in one day! If you take away the experience David had in the wilderness and Goliath, David would have ended up as daddy’s boy the rest of his life! So when Goliath (economic challenges) show up, kindly get excited because God is about to take you to the next level.
Between obscurity and adversity there is a bridge called Goliath! If you run away from him, you will remain in obscurity the rest of your life. But if you step up and give him a bloody nose, your stay in obscurity will come to an end! Let’s look at another way to overcome this present economic challenge.
2. Generate New Ideas and Grab New Opportunities. Do you know that while you are lamenting about the present economic challenges, somebody somewhere is making millions everyday? The challenge is that most traders and business people do one thing forever. That the exchange rate is unstable doesn’t mean the world has come to an end. If dollar is becoming a big headache can’t you look for another line of business that will demand only Naira?
Let me ask you some questions. Do you know that if every Lagosian eats three plates of food daily, that will amount to about sixty million plates of food? That means, Lagosians spend billions of Naira daily on food and it presents great opportunity to bid farewell to foreign exchange challenges! Do you know that gradually, made in Nigeria goods are becoming the norm?
Do you know any farmer that plants rice anywhere in Nigeria? Can’t you do a feasibility study, enter into a deal with all the major restaurants in Nigeria to supply them made in Nigeria rice? I still remember the story of a young man who became a millionaire when government banned the importation of the product he was selling. He thought of what to do and started packaging plantain chips in a special way, and money started rolling in.
I wish you can order for one of my books titled, The Entrepreneur and read how some of the major corporations across Africa overcame economic challenges. I shared an interesting story in the book about what happened in Zimbabwe few years ago. The annual inflation rate in Zimbabwe was estimated at more than 8,000 percent (although un-official estimates were as high as 25,000 percent). An estimated four million people, representing one-third of the population fled the country.
To address this, government introduced a rigid policy that made things very difficult for business owners. Yet, many entrepreneurs did not run away; rather, they kept looking for ways to create wealth. Innscor which operates the fast food chain, Chicken Inn went into crocodile farming. What in the world were they doing with crocodile? Well, they were looking for new ways to make money when the economy wanted to give them a bloody nose.
They literally shifted from their core area of specialization and things began to change. Innscor became one of the biggest producers of crocodile meat and skins in the world and brought in much needed foreign exchange. Kindly get the book and read the full story, and other adventurous stories that will challenge you.
Stop mourning and whining about the economic situation, put on your thinking cap and generate new business idea that will demand little or no foreign exchange. This world is a product of idea, right inside your brain are ideas that will turn you into a global personality. Welcome to the world of unlimited possibilities! To be continued.
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