Today, I want to share a very useful work process that has helped me through very complex projects or ideas in my entrepreneurship journey. Many of us carry on our very extraordinary goal in our minds everyday. Only you can feel the heat in your stomach when you think about it. It’s so precious and you see it happening but it’s all in your head and you seem to get overwhelmed. If I am talking to you, it is ok. You are super creative, passionate and I get you. I have this vision to empower small enterprise owners in Africa. This vision came about from my own personal experience.
When I was in school, at Auchi in Nigeria, I literally managed a secondhand boutique business from under my bed on campus to pay for tuition. I say under my bed, because the clothes where stalled in a carton under my bed. I was not the only one. So many young ladies on campus then had a side business. Some earned enough to send money home to their families. So basically, millions of small business owners, side business owners, entrepreneurs in Nigeria, around the cities in Africa, are the backbone of our continent. Entrepreneurship is the key and spine of any economy.
Governments are less invested in visions.
But unfortunately, Our governments are more interested in their own pockets. Ok, nope! That’s is a negative and discontructive way to express the reality. Rephrase! Some officers in power who would be capable of empowering the SME landscape are just not invested. Others lack sincere knowledge about what to actually do. Others are so corrupt, that they get a heart attack from their obesity caused by lavishing stolen money. You just have to take matters into your hand and begin to develop your own vision and ideas.
Entrepreneurship in Nigeria is like a norm for many youths. Some do not realise that they are entrepreneurs but they know that they do business in Nigeria. With my vision to create a massive impact in the SME sector, it could be overwhelming sometimes. Especially when I see the loads of work that needs to be done. So how do I cope and keep myself inspired, on track as an entrepreneur? I use my favorite goal-to-habit strategy, that I will share now beneath, but before, I should introduce my 6 key program to you.
In my 6 key program, you can follow a structured step guided with short tutorials on how to transform your ideas, be it gigantic or extraordinary ideas, to a real business. You can visit our program page to learn more. If you already have an idea and entrepreneurship is something you will like to venture into, then join my one-on-one coaching room for free now to connect and get feedback to grow your idea. Now here’s a list of the process i follow to streamline my ideas.
List of the secret work process.
- I name it – give the idea a name. Articulate it!
- Find the big picture one goal in the articulated idea.
- Break the goal into sub-goals and keep breaking sub-goals to sub-sub-goals etc.
- Choose one sub-goal according to logic thinking of what’s next and break it down again until it is a “skill”.
- A skill is an ability or your capacity, so now, it all depends on you. No external factor involved. Find the skills you need to master.
- Build the skill through practice.
- Target one practice and break them down into bits. These bits we call habits when you make them consistent.
You are your boss! That’s entrepreneurship.
Make sure each habit does not demand more than 1 hour of your time on a stretch, except you are now super motivated. Build consistency and continue to do your habits. Follow through with the other sub-goals. Entrepreneurship is a blessing but also a challenging journey to embark on. Be aware that you would not have someone bossing you around or setting deadlines for you to make you work within a structured framework. Nope! If you need that, go get a job.
If you are in for doing business and you want to engage in entrepreneurship, then this is a special work process technique that will come handy. It is also similar to our action plan technique that I teach in the 6 key program. Now let me expand more on the list above.
Articulate it. Name it, to frame it
If you cannot name it, you cannot frame it. So try to articulate the idea into one or more sentences. This is the first thing I tell my students and producers in our network to do. This is what the dictoíonary say articulate means – having or showing the ability to speak fluently and coherently: . Well then, you have it. You should be able to speak your vision. Speak it out loud to yourself, fluently. The moment you have this exercise done, you can move to making it the big picture goal.
So for my idea to create impact in Africa, the big picture goal would be to empower African SMES by giving them the tools they need to build a life and business they love. See that I included the “how” – giving them the tools. So you should try to be very specific in outlining your big picture goal. If you still find it hard to find an idea for yourself, here, read my blog on how to find the right idea. Maybe this would inspire you.
Shred that big picture.
Have you been able to articulate your vision or mission? If you have then, we can move to the next which would be to make this your goal. So, since my goal is to empower African SMES, this is the clear goal – “to provide African SMEs with the tools to activate their own power and create the life they love”. You can see that there are so many aspects within my goals. My goals is still very giangiantic. So we need to put it in a shredmill and shred it down into the significant parts.
In this case, it would be;
- Goal 1 – identify and create the tools
- Goal 2 – find ways to help the SMEs activate their own power
Start with the most significant.
So you see I have broken down this big goal into 2 parts again. Now I will choose one part to focus on. Let’s say “creating the tools” is my current focus. I often love to start with the most significant part and focus on that. If you have a team, it is much easier. One team member can be responsible for one major goal. If you do not have a team, then you sure would love to follow the next tips I would be sharing.
I know that doing business in Nigeria, or entrepreneurship in general can be even more challenging if you are on the journey alone, so I also encourage you to read through some old blog articles, visit our free forum to get some more useful content and definitely subscribe to my newsletters to stay updated.
Why do something that doesn’t fulfill you and doesn’t pay your bills?
Sometimes, some goals have to happen simultaneously to work properly. What do you do if you are all alone or you have a very small team. It is simple, scrap out the goals that does not bring you the most income and the most fulfillment . Why do something that doesn’t fulfill you and doesn’t pay your bills? Now, it is often easier to stay on board if you have this goal hand written out large on a sheet of paper and placed in front of a place you visit up to 4 times a day.
So for me it is my bathroom, my workspace, oh and of course my kitchen. Well, my kids are curious, so I have to place it way high up and have copies ready to replace it just incase someone else decided to add their goals on it as well:-). If I place it there, I get to see it very often and when I find myself caught up doing something not in line with the goal, I self correct. That’s how impactful entrepreneurship works.
What is the next logical step?
Now that you have one goals to focus on, lets skill it out. Skills are personal abilities. So if your goal still has a big “to do”, you need to continue to break it down, till you get to the stage that it becomes a skill. A skill, meaning, it relies solely on your personal ability or capacity. What are the abilities or capacity you will need personally to be able to create this goal. For example, for me, I need to create tools for African SMEs – Goal.
To be able to identify the tools I want to create, what would be the next logical step? I have to come up with the tools. Meaning I have to identify the tools. This is yet another sub-goal! How do I identify the tools? I need ideas. I have to research to get those ideas. It required a skillset – the ability to research and gather information.
Get more skillsets.
Another skills could be time management. I guess this second skill would often be in your skill list as this is the center of everything. We all have only 24 hours and approximately 7-8 hours out of it, we have to sleep and let our bodies regenerate. So basically we have less than 16 hours for everything else. Now I have identified 2 skills. Let me use the second skill to illustrate the journey from here, since that would affect many readers. Entrepreneurship in Nigeria or elsewhere in the world demands that you can manage your time effectively.
From skill to practice to habits.
What practices do you need to do to build that skill of time management? For example you need to make time. Yes, that’s how simple it is. Make time. How do you make time? You need some habits. Now you need to identify some little but specific things that you can do consistently to make time. For example on Sunday evenings, you would sit down for 10 minutes and plan out 1 hour in your schedule to dedicate to identifying the tools. Another path following the second skill of research skill would be to develop the practice of gathering information.
A habit or specific action would be;
- to go to the library for an hour.
- listen to the news for 10 minutes. etc.
Top bottom to bottom top again.
Get what I mean? All these habits has to connect to the goal of tool identification. Because the goal of tool identification is connected to the goal of creating tools, which is then connected to the big picture of empowering African SMES with tools. You see how we went from top bottom to bottom top again? If you work your vision and idea using this process, you can, and have the power to achieve anything. Just activate it.
A quick recap – Get the key take away.
No matter what your idea is or how extraordinary or gigantic it may seem in your mind. Name it. Articulate it into a goal – the big picture goal. Then begin to shred it down into smaller goals. From sub-goals, you end up with skills which you build through practice. And practice is successful only if you can get habits to master consistently.
Thank you so much for staying till the end of this article. Please, please do me a great favor. Share your thoughts, experience and share this article with your friends if you liked it. Remember to stay connected on social media @iamjoadre for instagram and @joadre for facebook. Subscribe to my newsletter to know when the next article or video is posted.