By HRH Appolus Chu
Everybody dreams of being successful, but not all are working towards success. Poor people talk about money. Rich people talk about things. Wealthy people talk about ideas; and ideas rule the world. Ideas make you independent and self-reliant. Ideas come from what you focus on. What you focus on will determine where you will end up in life. Many of our youth today are focused on the wrong things and things that are not useful.
Focusing on wrong things make you lose the value of your name and integrity. Focusing on things that are not useful will not take you anywhere. They can result in the loss of your life. Focus on fixing problems. Problem solvers are wealth-attractors. Problem solvers can never be hungry. It doesn’t matter how small the problem you solve for others, there will always be a market and a need for you. You might be a person who mends aluminium pots and pans, do it well. You might be a bicycle repairer, auto mechanic, cobbler or farmer, take pride in what you do because there is dignity in labour.
The biggest distraction in Nigeria today is politics. Politics has so distracted the Nigerian youth that even those who went to the University to study professional courses like law, medicine, engineering, accounting, coding and programming, are rushing into politics. People are abandoning meaningful and desperately needed careers to pursue politics. But politicians never created anything. Politicians are supposed to be managers of society, managing it to make it conducive for people with ideas to lift society to greater heights.
Another distraction is the illusion of quick wealth. There is no such thing as quick wealth. You can earn money quickly, but wealth is grown over time through a process of investing in an idea, working hard and being disciplined. Wealth is like a tree. It must be watered, given adequate manure and carefully tended over many years before it begins to yield fruits. Wealth takes patience and concentrated focus. Those who lack patience see crime or criminality as a short cut to success. But crime and criminality will only cut your life short.
Greed and the desire for quick wealth are the primary reasons why people are abandoning their careers and pursuing politics in Nigeria. They know that if they succeed in becoming a councillor, local government chairman, assembly member, state governor, or get appointed into any public office that they can quickly make money in a short tenure. But what they fail to realize is that if they make so much money from politics and retire while they are still young, maybe in their 30s, and God has ordained for them to live up to their 80s or 90s, that they have only succeeded in making themselves redundant.
It is that fear of redundancy that pushes some people to commit all sorts of atrocities to remain in power. They recruit people to help them retain power by all means so that they can remain relevant to society.
Greed and the desire for quick wealth make people impatient to grow in their careers. It fuels corruption. It is what motivates a person who is just graduating from the University and looking for a first job, to want to start from the top rather than growing from the bottom up. It is the reason why people no longer think of beginning a career in the police force or other security forces as recruits, rather they want to start as top-ranking officers. They want to start as Permanent Secretaries in the civil service and General Managers in companies, not realizing that such highly placed positions are for persons who have put in upwards of 30 years into building their careers. It is by spending so much time building their careers that such people have learnt to plan, save money, grow wealth and acquire property from their salaries; yet the graduate of today wants to get everything such people have and their positions overnight.
Those who have spent years building their careers have learnt discipline and respect for order by going through the process and stages of growth in that career. Instead, what we see today are people looking for every means to skip the process of growth. That has become one of the major problems of Nigeria today as many unqualified, unprocessed and undisciplined people are looking for ways to occupy offices and leadership positions that they are untrained, untested, and unprepared for.
Young people are full of energy – that is how nature designed them. They must look for avenues to discharge their energy. The wise ones among them think of lofty ideas and pour their energy into making those ideas work. The ignorant ones are the ones who pour their energy into different vices and criminality.
A vice is anything that is against God, good conscience and the natural order. Vices and criminality bring shame, reproach and ridicule. Engaging in criminality puts you at the risk of losing your freedom and makes you an enemy of society. It drives you into hiding as you become wanted by the police and other law enforcement agencies. Criminality deprives you of the normal and needed atmosphere and environment for making meaningful plans for your life. Criminality deprives you of rest and peaceful sleep, because you are always on the look-out for law enforcement agents.
There is no profit in criminality or illegality. The pleasure or enjoyment people think they derive from the proceeds of crime doesn’t last, because at the back of their minds they are always scared of being caught and exposed for their crimes. Criminals live their lives surrounded and haunted by the shadow of the fear of being arrested and brought to justice for their crimes. No criminal lasts for a long time because they are always hunted by the law, their community and their own conscience.
Don’t think that by being a political thug, hired assassin or belonging to a cult and killing people you have become great, powerful or famous among your followers and feared in your society. You will surely be brought to justice. Your atrocities will certainly catch up with you one day. Besides, can you really say that those evil acts you are engaging in are giving you joy and peace?
If you are doing anything that steals your joy and peace, you are deceiving yourself. Be truthful to yourself and get out of that lifestyle. What is the joy in engaging in things that get you nothing but reproach, curses and infamy? Why must you only be known for evil and doing the wrong things? Why live your life in a way that whenever your community or society hears your name they frown at you and avoid you? Why join a gang or cult group to do evil when you can pursue your own positive idea and become great?
People who have genuine ideas for business and other meaningful pursuits go ahead to live comfortable lives, keeping the glory of their families and making a name for themselves. These are the people adding real value to society and their lives. Everywhere they go, they get praise and honour.
People like Aliko Dangote, Jim Ovia, Tony Elumelu, Innocent Ifediaso (Innoson Motors) and the likes, set themselves apart by pursuing their ideas. They understood that ideas rule the world and today they are ruling the world because they committed themselves to the pursuit of their ideas. Many young Nigerian graduates dream of working for oil multinationals like Shell, Total and Mobil, but they forget that these are companies that grew out of other people’s ideas. They are companies owned by individuals.
Rather than endlessly waiting to work for others, why not engage your mind to think and come up with an idea that will make other people work for you?
Every great business or enterprise in the world, every product or service that people are enjoying today, are ideas that some people nurtured until they became reality. These ideas are adding value to the world and making money for their owners. Inventions like the IPhone and every other device that is shaping the world today, proceeded from the thoughts of people.
When is the world going to start benefiting from your own thoughts and ideas?
It is time to engage you mind. It is time to think. It is time to come up with something genuine and legitimate that will put your own name, your community and society on the map of the world.
It begins with an idea!
When you have a good idea and patiently develop or nurture it, you will not need to pursue or run after money. Instead, money will pursue you, because people will pay for your idea.
Your idea doesn’t have to be something outrageous or mighty. It can be something as small as running a shop, but you can diligently nurture it until it grows into a supermarket. It can be something as meagre as vulcanizing tyres, but you can do it so well that people will travel long distances to bring their tyre problems to you and they will pay you for it. From vulcanizing you can grow to become a dealer in tyres and even owning a tyre manufacturing company. Innoson Motors started from a motorcycle parts dealership, but today they are manufacturing cars.
Don’t be afraid or hesitant to start small. No great venture or business that people are celebrating today started big. They all started small, because it is in starting small that they learnt to handle challenges and saw avenues for growth.
So go ahead and start small. Develop a small idea.
Sometimes you may need to merge your ideas with other people’s ideas or market your idea to other people for them to invest and bring in the money needed to grow your idea beyond you. What those investors will need to see is your discipline, diligence, industry and sincerity in growing that idea.
As long as you are patient, persistent and committed to nurturing it, over time that small idea will surely grow into something great.
*The World is Waiting for Your Idea is a book written by
HRH (Dr) Appolus Chu, the Egbere Emere Okori and Oneh Eh Nchia, Eleme