Young Entrepreneur, how full is your bucket?

Source: Bola Lawal (twitter @bwlofhouston, Instagram @chelseabwl), Cofounder/CEO of ScholarX www.scholarx.co

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do” - Pele

This quote by the Brazilian Football legend; is one of my favorites of all time. Learning, as a key ingredient in the path to success resonates with me. To learn is to increase your mental capacity, thus fill your knowledge “bucket”. Personally, I live to learn in every situation I find myself and my journey through entrepreneurship has not been any different. I can still remember the very humble beginnings not too long ago when all we had was an idea, and no clue of how we’d execute effectively or even make any kind of impact. Then it became clear that our ability to learn and keep learning will be the true test of survival. And so far, we built a brand that reaches close to 100,000 young Africans in less than a year.

It is true that you gain a lot of knowledge from failure, however the more you educate yourself, the lower the chances of making avoidable mistakes. There are a few things I did that helped me through the learning process and I’ll be highlighting them below, and hopefully you’d be able to apply some of them to help fuel your hustle

Mentors

Experience is truly the best teacher! In this tough game, the best set of people to learn from are experienced Entrepreneurs. These are people who have been battle-tested and can guide you; especially on making vital decisions. When choosing a mentor, make sure you approach individuals who won’t sugar-coat things. My mentor/advisor for example is a “no-nonsense” kind of person that won’t praise you just because you hit a milestone. He will instead challenge you to strive to attain even much bigger goals, it pushes you to work twice as hard.

Self-Education

Education is a continuous process and sometimes we of often only focus on formal (university) education. Whereas, informal education plays a huge role in personal development. So, whatever your level of formal education is, make it your goal to partake in other learning sources. For me it’s, signing up for Webinars, attending seminars, watching “how to” videos on YouTube, taking free online courses, and maximizing other self-study opportunities

 

Reading

Reading is essential, particularly you can pick-up vital lessons in detail and it is very important to develop a habit of picking up interesting books from inspirational writers. Malcom Gladwell is one that comes to mind, and I’m currently reading “Outliers” where he examines the story success and how it’s closely related to one’s environment and timing.

Social Networks

Social media can be much more than just keeping up-to-date with your favorite celebrity. It is a great networking and learning tool. There are thought leaders and pioneers on these networks that freely share information and teaching points that could be very helpful. So, ensure that you seek out individuals you feel could help you increase your knowledge. Also, you could join certain groups (Facebook) where like minded individual share knowledge and experiences. For example, I joined Facebook groups like; Silicon Africa, EdTech Africa and, Diaspora and Africans Network and they have been very helpful

Travel

Travel is truly the only thing that you buy that makes you richer; in knowledge. You think you got the whole world figured out till to go to other places and realize that there a lot of things to learn and opportunities to take advantage of. Yes, I understand that travelling costs, but you can start small. For example, if you/re based in Lagos, it won’t hurt to go checkout what’s going on in Ilorin or even Lomé. I recently visited South Africa (Johannesburg and Cape Town) and I was amazed by my discoveries. I learnt a lot from locals and it was obvious that our solution was much needed in the country.

 

Opportunity Hub is a Weekly blog post by Bola Lawal (twitter @bwlofhouston, Instagram @chelseabwl), Cofounder/CEO of ScholarX, where he shares his personal experiences with aspirational Students and young entrepreneurs on taking advantage of opportunities; and related topics that could help them achieve their goals