I often get asked different versions of this question by the same set of people and the questions all boil down to one thing, someone who is looking for a quick way to become a millionaire.
If you have stayed long enough on the internet, you will notice that this question has all the ingredient of a troll question. While that may be true, I have also found out that a totally innocent person can ask a naive question such as the above. So what you will learn at the end of this post is how to ask question without appearing like a troll on the internet. But first, I will walk you through the process of becoming a millionaire.
So are you ready to become a millionaire? Good, let’s start with this little disclaimer first.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER 1
If you are looking for a quick fire way to become a millionaire in a week, you should stop reading this because you wouldn’t find the answer anywhere in this post, but if you are looking for a practical principled based approach that has proven to work time and again, then continue reading.
After the disclaimer, if you are still reading, it would seems to mean you are one of the few species of human who still believes in the principle of nothing good come easy. I salute you for that.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER 2
Depending on your situation, there are more than one way to become a millionaire, for instance; Warren Buffet made his money through investing in stocks, Tim Cook, Satya Nadella, Sundai Pichai all made their money by working for big company, and there is Bill Gate, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk who became billionaire as entrepreneur.
Notwithstanding the above, entrepreneurship (which is the focus of this post) is central to becoming a billionaire due to level of control and leverage it contains.
With all that out of the way, how can you become a millionaire you ask? The easiest and most obvious answer would be to look for anything people can pay 1 dollar for and sell it to one million people. But that wouldn’t help much. A more accurate answer will be to start a need-based business that has the potential to scale exponentially to the masses.
But how do people come up with great ideas? Books have been written on this topic and I for once don’t claim to be an expert on the subject. Yet, there are few things I have picked from people who have come up with great ideas over the years. One, not all great ideas appears great from inception, even Zuckerberg admitted that no one could have convinced him that Facebook will scale the way it did in such a short time. Also, I disagree with people who claimed that great idea can only come in certain places. Idea that could change our world as we know it can come to you anywhere; under the tree, in the bathroom, in your dorm etc, you just need to have the right awareness. In coming up with the right idea, my advice will be to spend some days, weeks or if possible months looking at the world around you thinking of one problem that need solving and that people will be willing to pay for. It’s that simple or that hard it all depends.
Assuming you have finally figure out that one business idea with huge growth potential, well done! But that is not all, now is time to validate the idea. To do this, savvy entrepreneurs will start talking to people who will be paying for the final product. Among other things, they want to find out how much the people are willing to pay for the product. Now you may be wondering why should a total stranger decide the price of your product if they don’t even know how much it would cost you to make it, well, that is because the price you call your product doesn’t matter, what matter is what people are willing to pay for it.
If after this stage you still have a profitable business and the potential customers can’t wait to start paying you.
Congratulation! But don’t go and price the Mercedes Benz yet.
Now this is where the real job begins: it time to roll up your sleeves and start work on turning your idea to a product.Now, this is when things become more complicated. The 2+2 surprisingly will not equal to 4 anymore (welcome to real world) and things you assumed would be seamless would turn out to be more complicated than you had ever imagined. Everything that could go wrong will indeed go wrong.
When that moment come (and it will come, it doesn't matter where you are in the world, but it is even worse if you are in Africa) it is natural that you feel overwhelmed, confused and dumbfounded.
Only then do you have a legitimate reason to ask questions without appearing like a troll. When you can show people how serious you are through all the efforts you have put into making your idea a reality.
The question is are you ready and willing to do this?
Start by annexing the creative part of your brain to come up with the idea the world will be willing to pay for, you can do this!
Footnote: As you can see, the road that leads to a millionaire island is full of potholes, one smart way you can mitigate many of these potholes is to leverage on the knowhow of others. By so doing, you will be leaning on the shoulder of a giant which will save you time, money and stress.
OLANIYAN TONI is the co-founder and ceo of Scalerites, a Lagos based business and marketing development company providing end to end business solutions to Africa startups. You can connect with him socially on twitter or professionally on LinkedIn