Sunday Ehigiator reports that the 2019 Youth Empowerment Programme of the Rose of Sharon Foundation was tailored towards ‘Reshaping The Mindset of The Nigerian Youth’
There is a close inter-dependency between a person’s mindset and his or her behavior. Each reflects an important component to the change process. Mindsets can either be intellectual or emotional elements that affect our perceptions, interpretations, and actions. They guide what we think and how we feel about people and things.
Mindsets are formed by a combination of organising models, values, beliefs, preferences, and attitudes. Because actions are typically based on a person’s thoughts, feelings, and priorities, most behaviours have a mindset behind them that is used to justify the person’s perspective at the moment.
This premise recently gave room for discussion for all entrepreneurs; including aspiring entrepreneurs, to have the right mindset of possibilities in their quest for growth and success.
The event was the 2019 Youth Empowerment Programme organised at Yaba College of Technology Lagos, by the Rose of Sharon Foundation (RoSF), which was themed ‘Reshaping The Mindset of The Nigerian Youth’. The event which recorded a massive attendance of over 2000 entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs, likewise provided a window of opportunity for all in attendance as IT experts and other successful entrepreneurs took turns to orientate all present, accordingly.
Step in the Right Direction
In her welcome address, the Founder, RoSF, Mrs. Folorunso Alakija noted that with the growing rate of unemployment today among the youth, and pressure from friends to take shortcuts to attain success, it was imperative for all concerned to begin to focus discussion on their mindsets. According to her, “the youth are our future, hope and also those we would be handling the success baton to. But a lot of things have continued to decay in our present day society.
“Impatience seems to have become a norm among our youths. We need to start talking about this because these are our future leaders. The future of this great nation belongs to them. As you all know, this event used to be exclusive to youths registered under our foundation before now, but we realised that this is something that would be very beneficial to everyone; hence we decided to throw it open to all. I specially welcome you all in attendance to this great event. As an entrepreneur or aspiring entrepreneur, you need the right mindsets to excel. You need quality mentoring and don’t have to follow shortcuts, because it would only lead to destruction.
“The theme for today’s programme is ‘Reshaping the Mindset of The Nigerian Youth’. It is step towards the right direction and a better future. The United Nation regards youths as a person between the ages of 15 and 24 without prejudice to other definitions by Member States. This is so because this age bracket is considered to be when we are most active as humans. We need to begin to work on the mindsets of our youth especially in this age and time when they are exposed to several societal vices like prostitution, cultism, drug trafficking, hooliganism, examination malpractices, rape, drug abuse; the list is endless.
“We must begin to instill the right mindset of education, hardwork, entrepreneurship, tenacity, patience, contentment in our youths so they can attain the future they best desire. If you are here, you are in the right place at the right time and in the right hands. Among other people that would be sharing vital information, that you need to succeed, with you all today is the Head of Department, Marine Science Department, University of Lagos, Dr Onyema Ikenna Charles; Certified Value Chain Expert, Agribusiness Development Coach, Adeniyi Solabunmi and Certified HR Consultant, Motivational Speaker and Life Coach, Gbobaniyi Olushola.
“Always know that you can be a successful entrepreneur without getting involved with crime if you endeavour to get skilled, educated, and cultivate a right attitude and have the mindset.”
Speaking on the theme of the event ‘Reshaping the Mindset of The Nigerian Youth’, Gbobaniyi decried the trend of impatience and lack of discipline among the Nigerian Youths. According him, “I laugh when I hear some youths speak in some kind of ways. I say a guy who hasn’t taken time to learn the craft of music and master it, just want to go into music because according to him, he wants to be like Davido, and have all the money to spray about. It doesn’t work that way.
“Know that everything is a gradual process. You can’t just be a master without first being an apprentice. You must begin to change that mindset of shortcuts. Fine, I hear youths saying they want to leave the country for America or other European countries and I ask them, when you get there, what will you be doing? What is that skills you have acquired that you think it is enough to provide for your needs there. It is never easier out there, ask some of us that have been there.
“In fact, the cost of living over there is very expensive and that is why you see people working round the clock just to keep up. Isn’t it better you remain in your country and solve a problem that would fetch you wealth till eternity, than go there and begin to live as a second class citizen in penury? We must begin to change that mindset. And as youths, always know that there is no easy way to success. You must work for it. I am sure some of you may think Madam Alakija just all of a sudden became the richest in Africa; No. Go and check her history. There must have being a time she conceived in her mind that this is who she want to be, and she began to take steps towards it. But it all began with her mindset. So work on your mindset. If you can think it, you can have it.
“And you all must know that you are Nigerian for a reason, and it wasn’t your decision. You had no control over who your parents should be nor the country you should be born in. But you must have control over your mindset by firstly re-engineering your mindset that you can make it in Nigeria and be great here. Secondly by learning from the mistakes of our fathers and avoiding a repetition. Thirdly by applying what I call KEY; meaning, Keep Educating, Yourselves. Fourthly, by finding your purpose, and stop living other peoples life. And lastly by starting small but thinking big.”
Adding his voice, Real Estate Merchant, Mr. Onifade Olarotimi said, “One mistake most entrepreneurs make and why they crumble even before starting is that they borrow to start business. Don’t ever borrow to start a business you are just beginning. When you do that, you have already killed the business even before you started. No matter how well you thing you have learnt about the business, start with your money. You can borrow to grow the business, but never to start it. Even the bible makes it clear that the borrower remains a slave to the lender, so save up to start it. Start with your own money. But another problem we have among our youth is that they don’t know how to save. They don’t have a savings habit. Let me teach you my monetary doctrine of five jars.
“Once you earn any money, open five jars. The fist jar is your 10 per cent tithe if you are a tither. The second is for charity; hence whenever anyone asks you for help, it is from there you touch, and once it is finished be disciplined not to touch other jars to solve other people’s problem. I know there may be some exceptional cases, but they are rare. So be disciplined and learn to say you don’t have when you don’t have and not wanting to please people, thereby going to touch money from other jars.
“The third jar is your savings. It is biblical that at least 20 per cent of whatever you earn should be saved. So save your 20 per cent on any income. The fourth jar is for investment. Note that investment is different from savings. Investment is that money you input into a business to make more money while your savings is stagnant, and only grows by adding more savings or when you get interest from your bank on what you save. So invest your money even as you also saving. Then the the fifth jar expenditure. That one you can use to take care of your personal expenses and bills.”
Also speaking, Life Coach, Mrs. Oluwadamilola Coles expressed her delight with the turnout of young entrepreneurs to the event especially, female entrepreneurs. According to her, “I am so happy to see a lot of women in this hall because I am a living testimony of self dependency. By my family history, none of my parents has a divorce history but when mine happened, I took it as fate but it was easy for me to cope with it because I had something doing. I had a job to feed myself and children and take proper care of them more than I could ever had imagined. So you all must be equipped mentally.
“I know for those born in this part of the world they have tendency of looking down on themselves a lot, but you have to fight yourself out of that notion that you can’t make it here in Nigeria. There are several things you can do and several genuine business you can go into and start with less capital. But first you must have a mindset of wealth creation. Remember that you are attracted to what your mind sees. In this country, it is either you have money or you have the right people. If you don’t have either of the two, then you are out of the game.
“Don’t do business as if you are doing someone a favour. Know that business is about solving problems, so factor in the people’s financial power, age, sex, and needs before deciding on what business to venture into. Then when you go into the business, study your competitors, know what they aren’t doing too well and improve on it. Also work on your packaging and delivery; very important. It all begins with the mind, but also pay attention to your health. To these ends, I will also add to what was earlier said by one of the speakers; keep a jar for your health because it is only when you have good health that you can work.”
Speaking on how ICT can be maximised by entrepreneurs, ICT Expert, Michael Agboola said, “ICT can be utilised in numerous way. Aside deploying it for branding, marketing, and the rest, you can likewise acquire several skills on it free of charge. You can learn for instance how to do online marketing yourself, and some other skills free of charge on www.g.co/digitalskills and would be certified. So maximise ICT as much as you want to grow,” he said.
Another high point of the event was the introduction of three orphans; Doyinsola Popoola, Dr Opeoluwa Akinyemi, Hammed Mabadeje and Dr Antonio Moturayo, who were sponsored through school by the Rose of Sharon Foundation, as they had a brief chats with the participants, where they shared their inspiring experiences through life with participants to motivate them to be a success.
Of a truth, participants were inspired from the experiences of Doyinsola Popoola, who graduated with a first class from University of Lagos, and went to win an internationally funded project, to that of Hammed Mabadeje, who lost his both parents at a very tender age and had to drop out of school, till he encountered RoSF who saw him through a foreign university, where he later graduated with a second class upper and now an entrepreneur who deals in exotic cars, among other experiences as shared.