It’s an honour to be speaking about my entrepreneurial journey. I’m a proud Agripreneur, Founder of Haideys’ Global Services. And the journey has been both sweet and sour. I became an Agripreneur in 2014, although I’ve always loved business and still do. I’m a firm believer that our experiences form the kind of people we become.
The 1st question people ask when I tell then I’m a snail farmer is – why snails?
And I say – why not? The issue with people in general is the need to follow the crowd and do what everyone is doing.
I discovered an opportunity and a need after being approached by a friend to supply an International buyer with snails. So the 1st thing I did was visit all the local markets I knew of (in the west), and after visiting the major ones, I could not gather half of the quantity I needed. I asked around for snail farms where I could procure from within that area but found none. So here was I with a demand and with cash but no snails
So I decided to save up and start one.
The first issue / challenge I had was poor planning. I spent money on setting up the farm and got stranded as I did not have money to stock it up.
Secondly, I failed to realise that the vision was mine, I was expecting everyone to catch the fever of the golden opportunity
And i have come to understand that your vision is your child, don’t expect that your family and friends would nurture and care for it as you do.
Third challenge was getting the right staff. And this is a still problem. I try to reward the best I can, train and all. I have come to understand that there are some questions that getting the answers to would only make you loose focus but when you find that loyal staff do all you can to keep them.
I try to reward good behaviour by giving a percentage of growth attained to employees (similar to profit shares)
I would summarize my other points under :
I believe these attributes are key to the success to any business
1. Patience : A farmer tills the ground, plants, waits for the rain and eventually a harvest
Most entrepreneurs are looking for ‘get rich quick schemes’. If i invest ……., how much will I get in six months.
And some quite just before theu breakthrough.
I lost almost all my livestock at some point, but that didn’t stop me. I had a goal, I was focused and I saw the light at tbe end onf the tunnel so I started again.
2. Passion : Its important to do something you love to do. If not, when the wind blows and the rain pounds, you will get discouraged
Keep yourself inspired. I have pictures of the international farm i want to be like, how I want my products to look and in general what I want my company to look like when it arrives.
3. Persistence : Keep at it. I believe so much in this saying ‘whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might’. Persistence makes you better at what you do because you have done it a thousand times.
Other important things I have come to understand :
1. The people that help you the most are not necessarily those you know.
A little show of kindness, a greeting or a smile would not hurt.
2. You are 7 people away from anyone you want to meet
It simply means, you can get any info or meet anyone you need to meet, all you need to do is ask the righr people the right questions
Most importantly, as we also see in the life of the farmer. He does not eat both profit and capital
He reinvests in the next season for another harvest
Saving and reinvesting is a something almost all of us are guilty (me inclusive).
Discipline and putting systems and structures in place are key.
3. Life does not give you what you deserve, it gives you what you demand.
4. Change is constant but growth is optional
And finally, in helping people achieve their goals and meet their needs, your goals will be met. So focus on the need and money would come easily.
By: Aisha Haruna