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Monday, June 10, 2013

The Lagos Business School.......Day 1 @ccHub

The LBS (Lagos business School) Experience……..

Between my husband and my father, (bless them!), my fees were paid. I sold my wedding gown and my sister’s chief bride’s maid dress and saved the money as back up money for the little things. My mother was scandalized, but every time I looked at that huge dress (couldn’t even fit into my small wardrobe) sitting there, I thought to myself, what a waste.

 If you went to a federal university in Nigeria like me and then experience education outside the country or at the Lagos business school, you would agree with me that you would wonder what on earth you spent Five years (as is the case of an engineer’s) of your life doing! If you don’t know, let me be the first to tell you that you haven’t been to school until you have been to school! Covenant and Babcock people, I am not referring to you (apart from your rules and regulations, you have a somewhat proper school experience). I am not saying that my five years was a complete waste, but you go through school like you’re groping in the dark in the most of the government owned schools. We were focused on turning in assignments and passing exams, not the actual learning.

From the gate of LBS to the classrooms, everything spoke serenity! The environment, the staff, everything was clean and pristine (clean is a big deal! We are in Nigeria). Lecturers as we knew them, were referred to as facilitators and they were, in the true sense of it. Compared to the “note hand out” style I was used to, here there was an interactive and robust style of teaching.  We had Thad take us through a brush up of algebra and basic statistics. Watching him talk alone, you knew he was passionate about knowledge transfer; every class was insightful and fun. Engineer turned Accountant, Mr. Owolabi took us through book keeping and accounting, he broke complex things i.e. Debit and Credit, General Ledgers and Balance sheets (Greek to me before the MBA) down in a way that even a baby would understand, well almost!

Okay, enough of all the sweet talk, the initial excitement wears out when the real work starts and it did before we could say Jack Robinson. We were divided into groups and I was the group leader of the most laid back and playful group of our set, Group B, we got results still, that was the point now. I wonder if they did some sort of personality test and put similar people in groups. Group A, headed by efiko Blossom (she always had her hands up even before the facilitators posed their questions, lol!!), was the most efficient group of the set.  LBS drilled me into shape; we had a business casual dress code and had to be in class before the facilitator. If you were as little as one second late, you were late, finito! Try as you may with your tales of Lagos traffic, I am pregnant (I was in my second year), any of those stories and you were reminded that the world was not a fair place, besides traffic was not peculiar to you. This is Lagos, deal with it! There was a time I was running late; Ajah traffic has always been a menace, my friend Pamela and I got out of the car and hopped on a bike from VI to Ajah straight. If only my FCMB Bosses could see me now! Never late for a class, hehe, even with the same mainland – Island commute. Life! It’s about perspectives about how important something is to you.

We graduated in September 2007, full of dreams and hopes and we were more than ready to take on the world.

You know the funny thing, Entrepreneurship was a final year elective and I didn’t take it as an option. Imagine that! Most of the people I know that took it on the other hand, are working for someone, somewhere.

Life Skills Learnt
Punctuality, Accounting appreciation (can’t say I became a guru per say), Business Ethics, Group dynamics and leadership skills, Communication Skills (Because every class was interactive and you were even graded for your class participation, I learnt to speak up and listen too, off point participation attracted sanctions)

Me and my MBA baby!

2013…….10 June, 2013

I resumed at the hub today. Feels like I am in school again, everybody looks so busy, buried in their computers. I picked a good spot, because shortly after I settled in that seat, guess who turns up? The Budgit founder, Awesome! His data analyst sat right beside me through the day, we had had some chit chat about the hub and who’s doing what. I have a mini list of people I must speak to already. Working at the hub has its disadvantages though, first of all I almost froze with the air conditioning in that place, then secondly I got so buried in work, I didn’t realize how time flew by, now I am as hungry as a lion. These are small things that can be fixed though and I will.

Back to business, Father’s day orders have started trickling in, can’t complain. I just have to keep on going and I know it’ll be fine. Speaking of which, not one single request for gift ideas has come through on @asktrezorlandia! Na wa o, and this is a free service, meaning even if something is free, if people don’t see the need for it, they won’t use it. Perhaps those who need it don’t even know it’s there. That must be it.  I need to make people aware that it’s there.  Marketing, marketing, marketing!! It’s all about marketing. Help me Lord. No wonder the marketers boast that they are the soul of a business. I am beginning to see how this is true.

I stumbled on something yesterday that I think I should share. I found it useful, I hope you would too. A couple of entrepreneurs sharing what they wish they had known early in business.

They are short and straight to the point. My winning ones are;

When I started out I wish I had known that … outsourcing work would free up so much more creative time for myself. From little things such as the cleaning the studio to actually getting the products made for you.”  - Dominic Crinson – Designer

“I wish I had known that it’s all going to be alright and that anyone can do it with enough hard work and self belief. If I had known that when I was young, I could have saved myself from hours of worry and self doubt.” -Medeia Cohan – Programme director

Marketing is the hardest thing you’ll ever have to do. We tend to underestimate how difficult it is to reach people, and more importantly to keep their attention. Throwing money at something never necessarily solves a problem and having a voice and personality is one of the most effective tools anyone can master.” - Doug Richard – Entrepreneur

 I think this guy read my mind! Also, notice the post about financial planning? Doesn’t it feel good to know you’re not alone; it’s a global struggle for entrepreneurs. Try Xero! I tell you, since I got on board, I can see some sanity coming into my accounting and hence finance would be easier.

Entrepreneur Tips
  1. Obviously from the post, you already have an idea what my first tip is. MARKET!!!!!  Never under estimate the importance of this to your business. You can have the best product or service, without a market you have no business.
  2. Have a clear Objective, it’s so much easier to get help when you know exactly what you are trying to achieve.
  3. Business is not just about your talent but also your business acumen
……..Slowly but surely, you’ll get there.”