This is the story of a man who lost everything he had and then triumphed to create the best company I have seen in many years. The story has many lows and plenty of highs. By reading it, you will learn how you can take what this man did and use it to build your own billion naira business.
I know what you’re thinking, “Tim this sounds like total BS!” It’s not. You have to believe that anything is possible, and once you get to that state of being, having the type of success I am going to describe in this story, is not as hard as you think.
Now, here’s how you can start a billion naira business in 5 EASY STEPS:
1. Surround yourself with winners
Business is tough in the beginning. You’ll need a multitude of experts to be able to execute on your vision. Find out who they are for your industry through LinkedIn and then contact them. Keep trying every expert until one of them agrees to talk with you. Then, sell the vision of your business.
2. Call anyone without hesitation
This is a key skill. Your business will need money; otherwise, it’s going nowhere. Unless you are rich already, you better get used to calling investors and Venture Capital firms without hesitation. Hesitation and fear will prevent you from ever owning a billion-dollar company.
3. Have an infectious personality (be honest and humble as well)
A personality that screams to everyone that walks past you that you’re a good person. Don’t be afraid to talk about your previously failed consulting business and tell people your bankrupt. The more honest you learn to be, the more honest people will want to help you.
Begin to catch up with everyone you know who will be required to pull off this crazy vision for a business that you dreamt up while out on the booze with your mates. Approach the company who has what is needed to facilitate your business model.
Walk through their big glass doors and sit down on their ten-year-old leather chairs. Tell them who you are and why you want their help without any sense of arrogance. Always listen to their feedback and show them you’re a lifelong learner.
Be prepared for them to laugh in your face. Find the one person in that company that believes in your dream and in you. Get them to give you the product you require and to officially back your business.
Then, a few months later, hire this person and bring their contacts and knowledge into the engine room of your startup.
When everything is going in your favor, pick up the phone, and be told by one of the guys behind the big glass doors that you are in breach of a number of serious regulations.
Take the bad news with a grain of salt, go and see your wife and kid, and then come back the next day ready to defend yourself knowing you haven’t done anything intentionally wrong. As the next few days progress, you realise that the team of people you met behind the big glass doors are mostly against you.
Find the two people who still have a look on their face like they want to help you, and ask them for assistance. Don’t be afraid to tell them the consequences of what might happen to your business if they ignore your request.
Continue hiring people to build out the product even though you know that this small problem could cripple the business. Know that how you act and who you’ve become is what has allowed you to get this far.
Know that the previous failed business and your current status of being bankrupt is something to be proud of. It’s the license you need to start a billion-dollar startup.
Take the less than ideal solution that your friends behind the big glass doors offer you and commit to getting yourself back into the position you were in with them. Know that the trust they have in you is what’s needed to reverse the seemingly irreversible.
Continue to be the main sales person in the business and attract world-class customers from every industry. Use these customers as validation for when you are trying to pitch your vision to the naysayers. Promise these new customers the best user experience imaginable and demonstrate to them just how big their problem is.
Leave each customer meeting by giving everyone a smile and shake all of their hands firmly no matter whether they are the CEO or the toilet cleaner. Be humble as you continue to win customers and never let your ego get in your way.
Bringing back old faces
Late one night, come up with the idea of hiring all the people who you had to fire when your first business failed. Be okay with the fact they may say no to your offer and make the call regardless.
When three of them accept your offer, know that it was your infectious personality that attracted them to work for you again. Start seeing how who you’ve become has created your business. Start seeing that for the business to continue to grow you must grow.
A bold move
As the scoreboard of wins starts to pile up, go out to the investor network again that you built up at the start, and raise more money. Bring on a brand name consulting firm to validate what your business does and be prepared for some long days and nights.
Be okay with working seven days a week even though you have your second baby on the way. Know that if this capital raise fails, you could look really stupid, and you may not have enough money to keep scaling.
As the capital raise continues, and your relationship with your friends behind the big glass doors grows, make the bold decision to send in the employee you hired off them, to negotiate you back into your former position with the original product you had before the breach.
Be open and honest with them and make them see the opportunity that goes well and truly beyond money. Make them feel like they are a part of your business and that they matter. Use your impeccable personality and your infectious good vibes to blow them away.
When they say yes to giving you what you need, remain humble, put your head back down, and get back to work. With each win, celebrate them with your team – not too hard, though. Keep battling through the 101 questions that your consultant friends keep asking you and ponder how ironic the situation is.
The hidden strategy
Think to yourself that the turning point of your startup depends on the very thing that made you bankrupt in the first place (consulting). Have a brain wave and know that you have now found your hidden strategy; you can speak these consultants language because you used to be one.
Sit down at night when you get home, and keep looking at the annoying spreadsheet that needs to be reviewed for the 100th time. Know that even though numbers do your head in, you’re on the journey to success and nothing is going to stop you.
The ultimate high
After months of back and forth, pick up the phone, and get the news that one of the most iconic brands in the country wants to invest in your business, and become your number one customer. Put the phone down and know that you are now a millionaire with a famous board of directors.
Ring up your friends behind the big glass doors and thank them for believing in your business. As you wipe your face from the tears of joy, think about how awesome it’s going to be to welcome into the world your second child.
Think about how the highest of highs seems to come in two’s. Remember how your infectious personality and just being you, made all of this success and the millions of naira happen in the first place.
Go back to the office on Monday being more humble than ever and shake all the hands of the people that made this dream possible. Turn on your computer and see your friends behind the big glass doors post the news story of your success on social media and tag you in it.
Never forget how freaking awesome the journey has been and how important your first failure was.
4. Remain loyal
No matter how many times you are given amazing opportunities, always remember who helped you get where you are and remain loyal.
5. Pick up some sales skills
You’ll need them – trust me! Your whole life is going to become nothing more than selling your vision to the world.