Building Business in the Presence of Hardship
We’ve heard the stories at least a dozen times — Struggling teen works hard to transform their lives from a spiraling mess into an inspiring success story. So many people have done it, while many struggle to get off the ground. Is there an X-factor that separates one from the many? Is it luck? A quick glance at the self-help and success section of a Kindle store will show hundreds of books claiming to know the winning formula, yet so many simply end up adding the books to our Goodreads list and never looking at it again. There are people who have made the change, and there’s a lot we can learn from them.
Insecurities are a Silent Barrier
When you come from difficult circumstances, a big chunk of your emotional resources is used just to get through the day. There’s very little left of this to focus on your self-esteem. It’s hard to take steps forward when your insecurities are hampering every move, so investing just a portion of your emotional energy into building this self-esteem is worth it.
Mike Ogbebor is the CEO of Newline Investors Capital, a venture capital firm in Houston, Texas. A renowned public speaker, wealth coach, and real estate investor, the Houston native is a jack-of-many-trades — but as a seven-year-old immigrating, Mike’s future wasn’t always certain. While a thick African accent made some laugh, his dreams shined through the hate. By embracing his sound and adapting his message, his talks gained traction.
You’re afraid to fail because you have no safety net
For people who come from a comfortable childhood, with supportive parents and little financial issues, there’s a sense of freedom. There’s room to make mistakes, there’s room to fail. You can change your path on a whim and still feel like you’re making progress. When you don’t have this safety net, you’re afraid to take chances and make mistakes. That safety is found in money, and the sooner you can make it – even if it means dropping out of school to work for minimum wage – the safer it feels. This sense of safety is a myth and it only lasts as long as your first paycheque.
People who start their own enterprises and take chances despite not having the money have a vision of going for the long-game. Overnight money and success aren’t possible. Every extra bit you have should be an investment in your future. If you’re deciding to leave school early to make money and work, ensure that you’re taking a portion of that and putting it into a fund that you can use to expand on your dreams at a later stage.
We’ve been told to stick to one thing
Hundreds of years ago, there were people around who were physicians, astronomers, architects, and mathematicians – all in a day’s work. Now, we choose one specialty and dedicate our academic and personal futures accordingly because everything is connected. Art, language, and math work together, and combining multiple interests has led to better growth. Our potential is severely limited by the notion that we can only do one thing. It’s especially apparent when you come from a childhood where people have been forced to stick to one minimum job for their entire lives.
For Mike, this was a hurdle that he was determined to overcome. He started at medical school but then decided to leave that to pursue his business interests. Even now, he’s investing in and juggling multiple ventures. From real estate and dialysis investment to a venture capitalist firm, the restaurant business, and motivational speaking. He puts his time and energy in anything that piques his interest.
You might have quite a few steps to take if you want to be the person who managed to turn their story around. You’ve made the first step by reading and listening to other stories. A possible next step is to find a book that resonated with you and take notes. Find the methods that can work for you, and take it on one at a time.
Mike is currently sitting at over a million followers on Instagram.
For more on Mike, you can find him on Instagram @Mikeinc__