A long-time friend called me two days ago and we had a really long talk. I love these long talks, especially with friends and especially when they challenge me.
We talk about day-to-day issues and growth since we’ve been caught up in the busy ways of the modern era.
You know that one friend that you call whenever you have a new but crazy idea? Well, this time he didn’t call me for that. He called me and the first thing he said was: “I am weak.”
I’ll give you the details of that conversation in a few, but after what ended up being a very insightful talk, I realised a lot of things.
Most young entrepreneurs are, for lack of a better word, trapped. We have a breed of millennials who are undergoing depression.
I got to realise this when I attended a session with some speakers who focus on mental health.
Basically, there’s a long chain of issues that need resolving so we can claim mental health, but one of the big gaps tends to be ‘finding purpose’.
Sometimes we set up businesses in the hope that the money will trickle in, but things don’t turn out as planned. This affects most of us negatively, but it’s OK. It is OK to fail. The times I failed are the times I got my most precious lessons.
And it’s OK to seek help. The world has set a target for most millennials: go to school, get a job or open a business, and become successful.
Keep in mind that most millennials are on social media, and in this world, it is difficult to differentiate the truth from the lie as most photos and posts are filtered.
We have a generation of young people who smile for the ‘Gram’ but frown right after posting.
Then the person at the end of the likes feels like they haven’t achieved anything near what their friend has.
I have failed so many times and I’ve opened and closed several businesses because they didn’t work out. So it’s OK to fail and to feel weak.
What matters is what you do when that happens.
Now, back to that phone call. So my friend calls me and we talk for an hour as he confesses that he is weak.
This sets off a discussion on where you find strength when you’re weak.
This stage is usually very sensitive – most of us give up and fall into the dark hole of depression.
Many of the people who either go back to a 9 to 5 or give up were products of a trial business with ‘Internet expectations’. Remember, most of the information that you see on the Internet is compressed knowledge.
I’ve been doing business for a long time now, and even if I decide to write a book about my 10 years, to fit my story into 400 pages would mean I’d focus on the lessons that I think are most important to you and I.
Keep in mind that I can’t transfer emotions or the real-time moments I’ve gone through. I always give an example of the classroom.
A teacher walks into a class, teaches all the students the syllabus using the same textbooks, but after exams are done and the results come out, there’s always a top student and one at the bottom.
Basically, we understand things differently, so the approach that works when it comes to business will be different for all of us.
Finding purpose is very important in an entrepreneur’s life. When passion balances with purpose, the road is not guaranteed to be smooth, but it will have direction.
The moment I got weak, I realised this could be my breaking point, so I got a few friends together so we could starve our weaknesses and flip them to strengths. And I was on a mission.
I called a friend of mine who was very keen about management, but was working at a 9 to 5. After I presented my idea to him, he was so excited and four months later, he quit his job and now serves as my manager and business partner.
The mission was to look for a group of young people in search of purpose, and in the process turn visions into reality.
The same presentation I gave my manager is the same one I gave Lisa, my PR, and Jr, my DJ. And before I knew it, I had a group that was focused and had a clear purpose.
So in one of the sessions I had with my team, we all admitted that we’d been weak at some point of our lives. We were weak but now we’re feeding from each other to build this empire.
Let’s talk to our friends, let’s be happy and let’s grow.
The writer is an entrepreneur and award-winning artiste.