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I’ve started many a few different online ventures since 2009. Offline ones too but online since around 2009.
The first was a digital magazine and discussion forum. My idea was birthed out of the experience, actively participating in a lively forum. Before the million global use of social media, hundreds if not thousands of conversations started each day on that forum. Each topic and subsequent reply made in a bid to help one another achieve the goal of healthy long natural afro hair. This hair forum is still running and busy today, unlike many forums that had to bow to the giants that are Facebook, Instagram and such like.
My online mag/forum was aimed at young Nigerian Women and would fill a gap in the market I was feeling. I wanted a space where spirituality and empowerment were top of the agenda.
Getting the website designed was comparatively straightforward. I discovered the real challenge was persuading people to leave Facebook to chat on my forum. If only I’d known back then that patience is the answer.
Patience and foresight are two most important qualities in business
It took a few months, a year at best, for the impatience to exceed the strategy. I switched focus towards building a web design business that would be immediately fruitful.
Humanity has been programmed to want instant gratification. Rarely do you find those aspiring entrepreneurs who maintain the long-term vision. Usually, it boils down to experience and natural tenacity. The latter being less common.
Humility is the greatest quality that a man can have, and arrogance is undoubtedly the worst.
The reality is this. After a few months run of advertising, zero sales, most new brands will decide their products are not wanted. “Perhaps,” they’ll ponder, “Tt’s more than the products, and it’s the brand that our customers do not like.”
A young woman shares fashion and makeup tips. “It can’t be that hard,” onlookers will remark. Her results are phenomenal – 4367 likes after just 1 hour on that last post. It will be disheartening to her imitators when a day old post hovers around the 50 likes mark even after two years of what has felt like a hard graft. Fully developed social media profiles can make the onlookers forget that patience is the answer.
My advice is to put out as much content as possible, each day on as many platforms as you can manage. But it takes a while for the true fans to notice. Large communities of the ideal customers are built after many years of consistency and creating strategically framed stories.
Rather than running, you pace yourself making decisions to create content that is of value. The results may be minimal, but you recognise that the impact is long-lasting.
Patience is the answer because after many years of hard graft and laser-focus, the results begin to look the way you’d imagined.