Failing to Balance Studies and Entrepreneurship; a Real Life Experience from Kwame

Your education is that one whistle waiting to be blown. As soon as you wear the gown, your life begins in a grand style. That has always been my mum’s anthem.

Earn a degree before anything else. The future kicks off as soon you do. This is the mantra of many who have a bright and overblown perception of the employer’s ability to make you rich and successful. They usually would do anything and learn everything on how to get a job.

Who doesn’t Want a Degree?

I’m a few minutes away from earning my much revered bachelor’s degree and guess what? I’ve lost it. I don’t believe what they always told me anymore. I can’t dance to my mum’s tune anymore. I’ve lost touch with the rhythm. I’ve gained my own grounds and my roots are much firmer here.

The future for me now begins the same moment you gain hold of your financial mastery.

[junkie-alert style=”red”] University degrees may be dictating career prospects but a degree without a good knowledge of money is an end in itself. Let’s get this straight. [/junkie-alert]

My Opportunity at Entrepreneurship

In my second year in the university, I had an offer to co-start a business on campus. I ridiculed my best friend the whole time she explained the terms and conditions to me and only attributed it to her current academic turmoil. She had dropped by a wide margin from first class to a weak second class upper.

Lola, you’ll have to just sit up okay. You’ll do better I promise. Doing business isn’t a haven for this. It’ll just skyrocket the tension.”

“Kwame, you don’t understand”. Her Nigerian accent was highlighted in the passion with which she spoke. ‘I learn alright. I’ve just shifted my preference a bit. I’m going to finish school for sure”.  She opened the student portal on her phone and showed me her results for the past semesters.

“See, my least grade is a C and it’s only a few. The A’s and B’s are just not strong. I’m totally fine. I know what I’m doing. Besides, I’m not asking you to be like me. I just want you to be a part of this. It can be a 70-30; I don’t mind. “This is real life thesis, Kay”

Books over Experience

I was completely lost. We were on two different pages. She was in another book even. Where in the world is her mum? I could hire her mine, to help this mess. “This is rubbish!! “. That was somewhere in my mind. “Okay okay, what about us learning together. I’m sure it will help a great deal” I told my my friend. To myself, I was being the empathetic friend. I was doing my course mate and best friend a big favor because she was obviously depressed and straying. On my scale, she was making an unnecessary, hasty decision.

I understand you Kwame but I can’t let this opportunity slip through my fingers. Be on my team. Let’s sail together. I’ll take your advice and study more. Call me if you take mine.

“I admire  your energy Lola. I am in love with your idea. But I can’t fail my parents. I am sorry” I told Lola.

On Hindsight

Years down the line, I regret not only declining to be a part of Lola’s team but not getting this brainwave early enough. It’s not late. BUT it’s not so early either.

The Payoffs

Lola is the CEO of “Aisle Media”. They’ve covered the biggest weddings and done a thousand decorations.  I on the other hand am the proud owner of a piece of paper that spells a ‘specialization’ that would be questioned every other day on every panel.

Today is our commencement ceremony. Lola is seated right beside me. She’s proved to me that she took my advice. She’s graduating with a first class like me. Lola has the same sheet of paper. But wait-a-minute that’s not all. She’s worked with lots and lots of people. She moved out of the school lab and savored real life experiences. She’s well networked and confident. Who can defend that sheet of paper better?

My Lesson is my Business Advice to you

I have only one lesson to share with the world today. “School doesn’t hold down the jockey on your opportunities. I’m not a fan of bad grades so I’ll plead with you to be into your books more than you are into your finest crush while on campus. But then again, don’t let this (academic pursuit) write off your ideas. Your GPA may not matter much during recruitment, so don’t decline your contracts and don’t waste the business opportunities on campus. The experiences are valuable learning opportunities, even if you don’t succeed. So don’t you dare dim your goals. Increase your spirit.

A good balance always does the whole magic.

Peace! ”