If you’ve ever found yourself in a really bad situation while running your business; that phase where things just seem to go south, trust me, you’re not alone. Most entrepreneurs have had a fair share of this experience.
I’m not even referring to the normal hitches one would have to face in business as an entrepreneur, I’m talking about the big guns. The point where it seems like you’re surrounded by too many obstacles and problems with all of them pointing at your vital organs.
Ask Wick!! It’s a rather tough situation.
The question here is; Would you retreat, fight or surrender?
I was reminiscing on a period in my life where all hell broke loose in my business, I got so drained by the process and I could swear that entrepreneurship wasn’t for me. So I decided to take a big break, maybe even a big quit. I stopped dreaming. I forgot why I had begun my entrepreneurial journey in the first place. It didn’t matter, because being an entrepreneur in Nigeria made things ten times more difficult.
When a business venture fails there are two most likely reactions from the entrepreneur. You either give up or dive back in again.
A Lot of times I regret stopping when I did, taking that big break and sulking. I wish I knew half the things I know now and didn’t let myself get overwhelmed by the process.
These tough times come as a result of many different things. The list is endless I must tell you.
While thinking back on this I decided to discuss with a good friend of mine, Israel Ihaza @real_israelihaza, a young entrepreneur who I have watched grow and build a successful Real Estate company known as Ishaz PropTech Global. A rather resilient and astounding young man.
Israel believes in improving the livelihood of the average Nigerian man and does strive for this in all he does. He sings it as an anthem and it drives all the solutions he has come to build.
He is someone I know people admire, look up to, and love to hear about his achievements. But what I wanted to know was if he had come in contact with the big guns and how he navigated through that experience.
Israel started off selling software installations, then pads for women early on in university (which is rather interesting, because he struggled with profiling as a man selling female products). He started the ishaz organization as a business management company and later ventured into Real estate management which currently metamorphosed into Ishaz PropTech.
Everything was beautiful for a while and then he experienced a serious setback in his life and business, in his words
“ That was the toughest period of my life”.
He had an ongoing family crisis that sadly led to him deferring his admission to Covenant University. Added to this, 90% of his team members gave up on the business dream and left the company, which made his company suffer for it. He also lost his cousin to blood cancer that same period and his girlfriend as at then had just broken up with him (just wow!). Those three months were the toughest period of his life and one can only imagine how this man was able to scale through all of this and still thrive today as an entrepreneur.
There were three things he told me, that kept him going through that intense period in his business, even though he was losing hope and almost gave up. he said;
- “What kept me going was my vision. Your vision has the power to keep you through the toughest times”
- “Celebrate your small wins. Don’t forget how much you’ve attained when going through these tough times”.
- “Find what inspires you again. I listened to motivational messages of people who had failed to get inspired to move ahead”.
What did Israel do when faced with the big guns?
He fought (this was more psychological), he stayed put, he didn’t give up, he didn’t lose sight of his vision.
The period was so dark for him and it led him to battle with depression which I believe is a common experience most entrepreneurs go through, business can drive you insane!!. But thanks to good mentors and a clear vision; he was able to Re-strategize to get things back and up again.
We spoke about getting back up as an entrepreneur and here’s what he had to say;
“Entrepreneurship is not for everyone. My why kept me going, that is why as an entrepreneur you must know -exactly why you’re doing what you’re doing. A Lot of companies had serious downtimes during the pandemic but bounced back because they did not forget their why. Even in a crisis make sure you give your business 100%. Don’t be tempted to change your brand message during a crisis, because you have to be seen as consistent both in your message and company values. Lastly, leverage on mentors in your dark times, as they would inspire you to get back on”
It was a heartfelt and intense conversation.
Talking to my friend opened me up to a lot, and I plan to talk to a few more of them and serve you “the tea”.
So until next time, I remain yours in this entrepreneurial journey.
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