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  1. Photo credit: ronnieb from morguefile.com



    She schooled in the United Kingdom. Have some silver spoons in her bag (Born with a silver spoon I mean). Before she came back to Nigeria, she got a job to work with Accenture in Lagos. But that would not be. She was posted to Ogun State for her National Youth Service (NYSC) . Accenture being a very ethical firm would not allow her to serve in one state and be working in another. Accenture gave her the opportunity to come back after NYSC, but she never came back. Why?


    Last Friday, I was at The Future Workshop for Entrepreneurs. One of the Speakers was Bukola Adubi.
    When she started her presentation, I simply engaged with my phone. I was a little bored at first. As soon as she started to share her story, I got interested. You know story inspires.

    She spoke about Thinking Long Term when it comes to business. Most of the things she shared was not of interest to me until she spoke about the Hotel she’s running. I asked her how it was for her to get her first set of customers. The answer she gave resulted in some nuggets I’d like to share with you today.


    Inherited Building

    Her parents built a golf course, which was later turned into a Golf Hotels and Resort. While she was doing her NYSC, her parents were thinking of getting a foreigner to run the hotel. At that time she came in and started to run the place. Let’s say she’s fortunate. Not everyone has the kind of opportunity she’d be enjoying. You can’t throw money at a business and expect it to grow by itself, can you?

    Can you throw hammer at a broken chair and expect it to fix the chair all by itself?

    That’s it. She only got a building. She was left with the task to turn it into a viable business. Do you agree with me that there is a huge line between the Ninety rooms she got and a good business?
    There was no GSM signal/network at the location of the hotel/resort. Situated is the middle of no where a few minutes’ drive from the town. Don’t you think would be a challenge? Why would you lodge or come to relax in a resort and will not have signal on your phone?

    Putting the soul in the building

    There is no way she would have been able to make a success of the ninety rooms she was handed over, if she did not make the building look, feel and act like a business.

    She had to go through the task of inviting MTN network and Globacom to come and site their communication mast there. Off course they argued, since the surrounding areas where not developed. Eventually, Globacom and MTN network came. They now have their mast on the Hotel premises.

    I asked her; “How were you able to hire your staffs, since you are fresh from school and do not have training or experience in HR or running a business of such magnitude?” She told me, she was going to do it for a while then go back to Accenture. So, she hired staffs from the surrounding village that can do basic tasks like; cleaning and mopping the floor, fixing local delicacies like Amala.

    That was how she began. She never went back to Accenture. Later, she grew the business, hired more competent staff from Lagos and went for training three years after she started to run the hotel.

    Lessons
    • Money is not the most important factor in running a successful enterprise. No doubt she was given resources to start of the business. Would she have succeeded if she had not faced the challenges and came up with solutions to the problems? She had to turn an hotel in the middle of nowhere, it a town not so filled with activity into a great business.
    • Start with what you have where you are. When she first started running the business, she did not have all the training and knowledge, however, she started and got better with time. She started with workers who were not very skilled. Now they have multinationals as clients (9 years after)
    • Life is full of choices. We need to make up our mind on what we want and go for it. Life in Accenture after NYSC would have been an easier route. She had been assured that her space will be reserved. But she chose to stick with putting ‘soul’ in the building she was handed.
    • It is never done. She showed us a book she’s currently reading. The book is an insight into how the Elite live, walk, talk and think. They make up a huge list of her client. The business is never done or perfect. There will be need to keep building and tweaking. This will help the business to survive and have longevity. (Trans-generational)
    look withing you and around you and put a 'soul' in what you have.
    Business rules are the same, regardless of the resources we have at our disposal. 

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