CHRONICLES OF AN ENTREPRENEUR: MEET THE SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR

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Tell me about yourself

  • My name is Adetola Nola, I am a serial entrepreneur, I do several businesses actually, 80% real estate, so basically my business is about selling affordable housing to the low income earner or average income earner if there is anything like that. I do real estate and we provide property solutions and help people diversify their investment, that is basically what I do, I have other investments like agriculture, travelling and tourism. I am a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. I studied chemical engineering, I went to a lot of secondary schools. However the most prominent would be Ibadan Grammar School. I did my primary school in Ibadan. I have got three siblings, three beautiful ladies.

What does your business do

  • In times like this when stocks in Nigeria are down, people don’t invest in stocks again. People are always looking for ways to diversify their investment. Right now if you are not into financial asset management, then you are into real estate. We noticed that early and we started helping people diversify their investment in real estate. We buy properties for people. Sometimes we flip it; this means we buy a property and allow it appreciate for some time and then we sell. We also buy land cheap and keep it for a while and sell. Just solving people’s property problem and in the process making more millionaires per day. We are making more millionaires daily.

Why did you decide to be an entrepreneur

  • I actually started my entrepreneurship life back in school and I think the major reason I decided to be an entrepreneur is that I like taking risk and I also didn’t want to add myself to the labour market. Right now my company has a staff strength of almost 30 people and if their exist 1000 persons like me in Nigeria that means we have directly created 30,000 jobs and indirectly about 100, 000 people are feeding from us. The ability to take risk and solve problems was what made me decide to be an entrepreneur, because solving problems and giving value to people is what makes anyone an entrepreneur , of course money comes as a reward

What did you start your business with

  • When I started my business when I was in school, I started with nothing, they always say that ‘’normal people buy stuffs before they sell, entrepreneurs sell before they buy’’ that was the idea I always had, even before we buy anything we must have sold it. We sold through pictures. The business grew very much and I guess life wanted to teach me a lesson and then it went down again back to nothing. I moved to Lagos in 2012 with 40000 naira, when I was almost depressed; actually its part of being an entrepreneur, sometimes you would be depressed but you just have to be persistent. I was squatting in my cousins house in Gbagada. That was the money I had and that’s the truth. There was a place after Iyana-Ipaja where we normally buy fairly used shoes, then we would go the island and buy boxes to pack the shoes, we could buy the shoes for 2000 naira each and buy the boxes at the rate of 400 naira each and take it to big churches like Daystar and House on the rock every Sunday and even offices and we would sell for up to 6k or 7k then and we were making money after that I started my shoe business.

What entrepreneurship myths will you have to debunk

  • People always believe you need a lot of money to start a business or make money. But that’s not true, rather when you have an idea and you have the courage to pursue the idea, the universe will just help you out. People will just help you. The first person that invested in my shoe business then was a pastor. He gave me 500,000 naira. His leg is very big and I made a shoe for him because whenever he wanted a shoe, he didn’t always see his size and I made a shoe and it was comfortable for him. He looked at me and said ”what do you need to make shoes like this? ” and I told him and he gave me the money, he didn’t loan it to me rather it was a gift and I believe it was the universe way of helping me out. But if you are not doing anything and saying there is no money and just sitting in your house, the universe will not do anything. Secondly I believe not everybody is meant to be an entrepreneur and you don’t have to lead to be an entrepreneur. It’s okay if you believe in people’s idea and help bring that idea to fulfillment .

What is the greatest lesson you have learnt so far in your entrepreneurship journey

  • I have learnt a lot of lessons actually, but I think the greatest would be that you keep learning every day and to be successful takes a while. To be a successful entrepreneur you don’t need to be very smart, you just need to have massive courage and work with smart people. You should have the best people around but the courage they don’t have to take risk is what you have over them. I have studied most entrepreneurs and billionaires, they are not the smartest, but they possess the courage, persistence and risk taking which is what is number one as an entrepreneur. when you are an entrepreneur, you need to get the best people to work with you, I think that’s the biggest lesson I have learnt so far

What is your advice to prospective entrepreneurs

  • I believe you can’t really know why people go into entrepreneurship unless they tell you because while I was out of school and a lot of people offered me jobs including my father but I kept rejecting them, that I wanted to focus on shoe business and I was making 30,000 in a month. But there was something I was trying to get out of it which a lot of people didn’t understand. People can’t say you are doing it because of money, I could have gotten money from another field. The main aim of entrepreneurship in the long run is profit, but what you are after when starting a company shouldn’t be money but solving problems, when you see that your product or service can solve problems, then you have taken the first step, secondly as an entrepreneur, you have to be ahead of others, you have to outwork them if you can’t outsmart them. There are a lot of smart people in Lagos but they are lazy, so you have to outwork them. I believe in working hard, people will say don’t work hard, work smart, but if you out work people, you are adding value to yourself. Basically adding value to yourself is important for any prospective entrepreneur, because the more value you add, the more money you are likely to make. That’s the only advice I have for them.

How would you know if you are cut-out for the entrepreneurship life

  • I think it’s in born to lead, there is this instinct that tells you that you are not doing enough by resuming 7:30am everyday but rather you have to create a business that solve people’s problems. But to make money can be taught, people can teach you how to make money, invest e.t.c. and then you get rich. A lot of entrepreneurs were not born rich, they started from nothing but they fought their way to the top. They started early, outworked others, added value to themselves. So I think it is inborn and you should know that this is what you are called out to do.

You can reach me on social media on the following handles

www.nolatravels.com

 

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