FLOURISHING IN AUSTERITY: Practical steps to take in a recession

“Recession is an opportunity to leap, not a season to squat.”

We are in a recession. That’s the  reality. But it doesn’t have to be your own business reality.

I’ve often said, “Recession is an opportunity to leap, not a season to squat”, and the earlier you take that to heart, the better for your experience in business.

There are things you can begin to do now to recover your business from the grip of the recession – practical things. These practical steps are the focus of our discourse in this compact course courtesy #StrictlyStartups.

Flourishing in austerity flyer

Quickly, the course details:

Date: Friday, February 19th 2016

Time: 6:00 pm (GMT+1)

Venue: WhatsApp

Access Fee: N2,000/ $10 only

To register, pay the access fee into designated bank account (international course participants will be provided with a bank dollar account to pay into), send your NAME, WHATSAPP NUMBER and BUSINESS NAME to STARTUPPLUSNG@GMAIL.COM.

To get bank details, please call Rachel on +234 808 844 1154.

You are an Icon!

This course was made possible by StartUpPlus Africa’s #StrictlyStartups Project.




Yesterday, I taught a fashion startup to write their elevator pitch as they applied for the British Council’s ENTERPRISE CHALLENGE 2016 closing today.

To be one of the two who wins N1.5m each and the top 20 participants to be mentored and enjoy networking, you must be able to write an ELEVATOR PITCH that TICKLES.

This evening, by 6pm, I will be teaching an open class on how to write an Elevator Pitch that tickles.

Guess what? It’s FREE!!!

Simply, send your name and WhatsApp number to startupplusng@gmail.com to join the class for FREE.

Once we climax in attendance, we close the access.

Find details on HOW TO WRITE KILLER BUSINESS PLANS here: https://goo.gl/qd4Dvz

To startups,

Adeleke David (Mr. Effectiveness)
Economic Revolution Strategist
T: @davidadeleke

>>> #StrictlyStartups is a publication of StartUpPlus Africa. Monday, February 9th 2016. All rights reserved. <<<

StartUp+ Conference hosts 120 Nigerian Startups (@StartUpPlusNG)

It is no longer news that startups in Nigeria are heeding the clarion call with the evolution of hubs, incubators, accelerators, and VCs. More than ever before, there is a need to provide support for the growth and flourishing of startups in Nigeria.

StartUpPlus, a startup ecosystem, is at the fore of this movement providing dedicated support that ultimately gives startups control over their growth and flourishing. In a statement by Adeleke David Adekunle, Executive Director of StartUpPlus, “one of the serial killers of startups is absence of cashflow which places a lid on their growth potential”. Studies demonstrate that only 4% of startups alive today are expected to remain alive by 2025; quite staggering!

StartUpPlus, in response to this critical issue, has set the stage for startups to convene to share, learn and deliberate on the subject of cashflow. On Friday, May 1st, 120 Nigerian startups (aspiring and existing) will gather at Protea Hotel Ikeja, GRA for StartUp+ Conference Lagos 2015 #SUCLagos2015 to do justice to the theme, Cashflow: from startup idea to revenue. The central focus of the conference is how to rake in revenue from your startup idea in the shortest possible time.


SUCLagos2015, a 4-hour conference, is supported by Protea Hotels, Konga Online Shopping, Cakes by Raychels, Photography by Motif, Praiseworld Radio, Poise Clothing, CVMedia among others. All available seats have been booked already; but a waitlist is open which gives you access to discount coupon from conference partners and privileged support programs from StartUpPlus. Register on the waitlist here.  

Now, startups can start selling their productson Konga, Nigeria’s largest online shopping mall, easily. Simply click: konga.com/sell and enter “Startup” in the field for referral code to get your Trading Officer FREE! This special offer is made possible by Konga and StartUp+.

StartUp+ Conference, the StartUp+ logo, the power ring with + are property of StartUpPlus.

The Problem with being an Entrepreneur (2)

We started out by looking at the story of Louis in my last post. Did you answer the questions?

So can we take a look at some of the problems with being an entrepreneur?


Problem One: Structural Problem
You will be faced with a lot of issues from the outset that are purely structural in nature. If you don’t understand what I mean by structural problems, I bet you already are facing such problems or you are about to face them and won’t know what is wrong. The ability to execute your technical competence very well doesn’t confer organizational skills on you. Organizational skills are what it takes to build an organization in a way that puts the odds in your favor. Let me put it like this: you need two kinds of companies not one; a holding company and a trading company. Most entrepreneurs are never told when they start out. The trading company trades with clients and customers to make the ongoing profits while the holding company owns the assets in the trading company. If you still don’t understand, ask a lawyer.

Problem Two: Financial Problem
By this, I do not mean insufficient capital; in fact I do not belong to the school of thought that money is always the first thing needed to start a business. By financial problem I mean accounting, bookkeeping and financial management tactics. Most people starting businesses do not realize how much they have to do per day. You have to learn how to keep your books, bank account(s) and make financial decisions strategically. This can erupt into business failure and bankruptcy if you violate the laws guiding organizational financial management. I’m not writing to teach you how to do that, but to show you the problems. Visit my blog for that.

Problem Three: Sales & Marketing Problem
This can be the most delicate problem of any enterprise as some are facing today. You cannot be an entrepreneur and report that you don’t like selling, you’re not good at marketing or that you’re shy to talk to people. Let me help you out: Go get a job! You are not an entrepreneur at heart; you don’t have the software pre-installed. I always jokingly tell people during conferences that the MD is the Chief Seller, Chief Marketer and Chief Public Spokesman for the company. Those are unabdicatable responsibilities of yours. Brian Sher, in his book What the Rich know and desperately want to keep Secret, advised “Never delegate your marketing and sales to anyone else”. Why? No one can sell what you produce or offer the way you can. Remember, bringing in cashflow is the most important area for any company. If you’re not making profit, you’re not in business. Bradley J. Sugars quipped, “You can cut costs to profit, but you can only sell your way to prosperity.”

Please find the last set if problems in my next post.

You are an Icon!

Adeleke David Adekunle
Mr. Effectiveness


The world of work has witnessed over the years, a radical shift in the workplace that has birthed some amazing stories; stories that inspire one’s courage and desire for something larger than life. Among these stories is that of Olujimi Tewe, the Human Resource Consultant and Founder of Inspiro Consulting (you can read the story here: http://www.bellanaija.com/2011/03/28/career-leaps-faith-success-the-olujimi-tewe-story/)

That story validated a lot of things for me, in fact many people have made that much anticipated leap after encountering his story. But I want to call your attention to one rarely considered area of entrepreneurship; that is why I am writing this piece for you to get well informed. For a few years, I belonged to the school of thought that said “you can only be rich if you’re an entrepreneur”. How wrong I was, as I came to discover later that being in the seat of entrepreneurship doesn’t hand you the magical wand of prosperity.


First, let’s consider the experience of Louis, a creative artist. Louis grew up in a middle class family and learnt practical living as a boy. By the time he was six years old, he was already destroying his mother’s tablemats in the name of cutting cardboards. Soon, he started to do still life drawing and abstract arts which got the interest and attention of his father’s friends who came visiting. Some bought his artworks to encourage him to keep at it. By the time Louis gained admission into the higher institution, it was to study fine arts. Louis became so good at doing arts that he won several awards in school and was widely known across campus. On one occasion when they had a rag day, Louis was mistaken for a mad man. His interest in painting and pencil works got him to start an art studio, a business funded by his father who was proud to see his first son making waves with his talents and interest. Within three years, Louis had gained recognition from the National body and department of arts in leading institutions but his business did not take the same plunge. Three years after he set up the studio, it was no longer in existence. He had veered into different genres of art including stage drama, movies, lightening and set design. None seemed to present him with any fortune. Eventually, all the prospect and talent Louis had amounted to nothing. Now, with a wife and a set of twins, pressure keeps mounting for him to get a “proper” job. What exactly went wrong with Louis and when did it go wrong? What could he have done differently? What mistakes of his can you avoid? This craze for “being my own boss” topples those who wander into the jungle of entrepreneurship and frustrates them so much they lose a lot of money, time and credibility not because they lack talent or big dreams but because they have not learnt to handle the crucial problems with being an entrepreneur among other things.

You can learn more about the “other things” on my blog: http://www.mreffectiveness.wordpress.com. Now let us see the problems with being an entrepreneur. These are really problems that can easily become crisis in your hands if you are not an entrepreneur at heart and if you lack the relevant knowledge and skills required to effectively handle such problems.

Look out for Part 2.

You are an Icon!

Adeleke David Adekunle
Mr Effectiveness

For Bosses Only!

If you have people working with you in your organization, you most likely will admit that people are some of the hottest headaches of a boss. You already have the matters of finance, strategy, competition and even marketing to worry about, and here comes the folks who are supposed to ease the burden adding theirs to it. Well I am yet to see any enterprise where personnel management is not a big deal. All the blue-chips and international organizations of this world have personnel problems that are blue-chip and international in rating. So this is the good news: you are not in a peculiar situation.

I was with a colleague and friend who also is like a mentor to me some days ago, and he was lamenting how his grocery manager had suddenly gone AWOL that morning without authorization. She travelled before dawn as far as five hours away without informing him; worse still she left her mobile phone at home so that she could not be reached. When he called the line, her husband answered the call. An hour later, she called in saying she lost her twin but it sounded like a cock and bull story to him. He was just exhausted from deep within. In my personal thoughts, I came to a conclusion that there was a missing link between his thought pattern and hers. Apparently, she was not seeing things the way he was seeing her. I was reminded of management guru, Peter Drucker’s insight: “The only worse thing than training your people and losing them is not training them and keep them.” She had some level of training from him as a business development expert but I showed him that she had to be let out to sit in trainings with managers from across the city facilitated by other speakers. And my thoughts narrowed on this:

“We cannot expect a better behavior of people we have not taught to behave better.

We cannot require of people, higher performance when we have not trained them to exceed expectations.

We must not judge their errors when we have not corrected them in love with discipline.”

                                                                                    ~Adeleke David Adekunle

Give your people your all before you require of them their best.


To your workplace effectiveness,


Adeleke David Adekunle

Mr. Effectiveness


This is a sequel to my blog post on The Baddest Guys on the Bloc!



Discovery 2: Problem Masters

Most people that I know hate problems. In fact, if you sift the prayers of one billion people, it is a cry to escape a problem. Majority love to avert problems; I bet you do too. But listen to this: If you want to be one of the baddest guys on the bloc, you must love problems! They never run from problems; in fact problems excite them. They have a natural ability to find problems and a special skill of solving those problems. I wrote recently that there are three kinds of problem-solvers: those that solve past problems, those that solve present problems and those that solve future problems. Spread into these three categories are bad guys in every facet of human endeavor. If you can do with a little advice, solve future problems in addition to any of the other two. Nothing gets past a bad guy; it must be solved however long it takes.


Discovery 3: Adaptability

The baddest guys don’t go around carrying a beaten face. They never allow an air of depression around them. They always appear stronger than everyone else; and that is not because they never feel fear but they are simply courageous enough to over-step the fear. I have often said that courage is not absence of fear but boldness in spite of fear. Whatever the conditions are, the baddest guys have learnt to adapt as fast as possible and as smoothly as they can. While others are whining and complaining about the harshness of the business environment, they adapt to the new realities. They know that every moment spent in refusal to adapt is an opportunity lost for meaningful changes to be made. This is the reason why even in the most difficult conditions, some people – bad guys – are exceptionally productive. It is not exactly that they have a better ideas, they have simply adapted long before most others. Adaptability gives a new perspective which births different strategies from the usual. I find it rather interesting that they are quick to spot changes in working conditions and business atmosphere faster than others can, giving them the advantage of pioneering adaptation.


 Ultimately, the baddest guys on the bloc excel in these three areas better than most of their contemporaries. If you think I am lying, look around you. If you think I am half correct, look at the names that are respected in your field/ industry. If you think I am wrong, continue the way you have always done things. Whatever you do, know that every man is responsible for his own success or failure in life. I hope you become the next bad guy that I will have to study.

You are an Icon!

To your effectiveness,

Adeleke David Adekunle

Effectiveness Expert