OOTC with Chude Jideonwo: Why I am an entrepreneur in the business of nation building – Part 1
Continued from yesterday
In 2015, StateCraftInc worked massively and publicly for the elections of MuhammaduBuhari. This time around, he was not just a client who fit the values of our business; he was also my personal choice.
I was silent, in fact, for the entirety of my professional duties, deliberately, because I needed full concentration. But a day to the polls, I made the decision to speak out, just in case I could also convince anyone by the power of my personal voice. I wanted, deliberately, to put my voice on the line.
But in February this year, two years after that decision, I decided that the government needed a wake up call. And I was back on the streets, demanding better, holding the government accountable, supporting EiE behind the scenes to make the #IStandWithNigeria protests come alive.
I could only do that because I run a business.
Because I understand that, whatever the temporary backlash and loss of potential revenue that comes, we are blessed with the systems thinking in my organization, beyond my person in processes and people, to generate wealth in the long term.
Of course, over the years, there has been backlash to these decisions.
In 2014, after our #BringBackOurGirls stand, we lost all our work for any federal government organ. I watched with some amusement, and empathy, as friends on that side of town were too afraid even to even attend my book launch.
But, as always, we accepted these with equanimity; didn’t even think, until now, to speak of it publicly. This was the reasonable consequence for the actions we had chosen to take and the way we had chosen to run our business with heart; to always stand, as we say, on the right side of history.
We have always had faith in the concept of “delayed revenue” – in the durability of the market. That faith is not even at all in today’s revenues, which are tiny by the standards of the future we see, it is a faith in the long-term value that a truly solid business proposition can guarantee. Today is never tomorrow.
And in this same way, I know that there are very many businessmen in Nigeria can stand to lose a few millions. They can, if they tried. They just haven’t started to think like that yet. We have to encourage them.
Business gives you the independence to walk away; the independence of thought, and the independence of position to say no, or to say yes to what truly matters. It gives you the freedom to take risk and made decisions that may not make sense in the interim, but serve a long-term strategic purpose.
That is the short-term advantage.
Then there is the long-term advantage, which we will address in the concluding part of this piece.
Jideonwo is co-founder and managing partner of RED (www.redafrica.xyz), which brands including Y!/YNaija.com and governance consulting firm, StateCraftInc (www.statecraftinc.com). Office of the Citizen (OOTC) is his latest essay series.
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