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 to join the class for FREE.

Once we climax in attendance, we close the access.


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. <<<


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


Image Image







If you listen to FM radio or watch MTV Base, BET, or SoundCity, you must be a fan of the top ten countdown just as I am. Many times, I have questioned the order in which the videos were presented. The only problem was that the producer never heard me.



There is a favorite countdown I wish to reel out in this post. Watch out for it, so it doesn’t land on your head like a coconut. Before I get into them, can I ask you a question?

Have you ever failed before?

I bet your answer is yes. But if you answered “No”, you have to prove it to me. But seriously, have you failed woefully, like three times in 7 weeks?! I have. That was my New Year gift from year 2013. It was a terrible time for me. My bubble burst; my banana was smashed; my passionate drive was quenched; my dreams were almost shattered. It was devastating. Let me not bore you with details of what happened those three times, but know this: those failures taught me some very valuable lessons that I will never forget for the rest of my life!

Here is the top ten countdown of valuable lessons from three woeful failures in the first 7 weeks of 2013:

Number 10: STAY IN CONTROLNever give up control of your business to your customers or prospects.

Resist the temptation of relying on your prospects or customers to know what your next move should be. Run the business, stay in-charge of your life, and don’t become a passenger.

Number 9: STAY COMPOSED – Don’t be too far out there in exuberance.

Good ideas command one’s enthusiasm, but you must keep yourself within the reach of reality. Don’t get so excited about space that you forget about the law of gravity. Keep reality before your very eyes.


Number 8: AVOID RISKY FOOLISHNESS – Don’t run into debt if you can avoid it (in fact I ran into many of those debts foolishly!)

Taking risk is inevitable in business and in life. Playing safe doesn’t prevent nasty stuff from happening, but you must resist the impulse to be foolish and irrational in decision-making. Don’t be foolish with risk.

Number 7: PLAY THE GAME – Entrepreneurship is a game; a game of trying out an idea to see if it will work; not a do-or-die affair.

Enjoy the process and pokes of your path in life. Games are to help us recreate while we reconfigure for the next challenge. Enjoy every bit of the show! Laugh at yourself often, and try to “confess” yourself.J

Number 6: BE FLEXIBLE – Don’t be egotistical. Stubbornly sitting on to a dead horse won’t make it run.

Whatever doesn’t work doesn’t work! Be open to new idea, especially from unlikely sources. Be creative and flexible. Rigid people lack a broad perspective. Don’t be too proud to try suggestions from others.

Number 5: BE POSITIVE – Redefine the failure to your advantage.

Never let the experience have the final say. Whatever you name the event is what it becomes. Make sure you have the final say; and ensure you customize it to favor your progress.

Number 4: SEEK COUNSEL – There’s always a wiser option that is more uncomfortable.

When Jimi Tewe told me to postpone, it was like the sun was crashing down on me! Good counsel is not supposed to be comfortable; it’s meant to make you comfortable.

Number 3: MAXIMIZE THE MOMENT – Failure is a treasure not a seizure.

Take advantage of whatever opportunity the moment carries within it. Though I failed, I took advantage of it to market our first 3-days workshop (which was highly successful) to the same prospects. Be crazy!

Number 2: LIVE, LOVE LIFE AND YOURSELF – Don’t punish yourself; enjoy life.

If you are goal-getter like me, you never stop half-way. And what if you stop like I had to stop? Move on. Buy yourself what you love to drink or eat. Go swimming. Go on a date with your beloved. Sleep. Live life!

Number 1: STAY TENACIOUS ENOUGH – Never give up till it’s obviously dead.

Don’t give up until it is obvious nothing else can be done. Most people give up way too early. For me, I gave up after 4pm the day before the workshop was supposed to hold. Wait out your hope hours.


There it is! My top ten countdown of valuable lessons I learnt from a streak of critical failures within the first 7 weeks of 2013. I hope it helps you handle failure better, and avoid terrible aftermaths that accompany such failures.

You are an Icon!

To your effectiveness,

Adeleke David Adekunle

Effectiveness Expert


AFRICAN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT takes a boost as Icon Coaching and Leadership Centre equips fifty shortlisted entrepreneurs in six choice sessions spanning 3 days. Sessions include Business Development, Business Branding, Effective Communication, Effective Marketing and Selling, Career Leadership, and Poise, Etiquette and Panache.