On the 1st of July 2017, I attended Shift 2.0, a business and career development conference hosted by Yomi Joshua. Speakers for the conference included insightful people like Ekundayo MayowaYemi AdesuyiAde Obasa and Yomi Joshua himself.

It was a remarkable experience and that’s why today, I’m putting up a list of the four most important lessons I learnt during the conference.

1. The surest way to get a business idea.

Different people go through several means to get their ideas. One nice and smart means of generating ideas though, is to list out the problems you think your country or community is facing. When you’re able to do this, you’ve listed several business opportunities open to exploration.

Now, go over your list again and see where your capabilities best fit. If you can, choose any of the problems you are likely to be most passionately involved in. Then start a cause on the problem, draw out plans to solve it, while making money.

The point is, make a business out of solving the problems and challenges facing your society.

2. Play safe even as an entrepreneur.

It is usually said that an entrepreneur is a sure-fire risk taker. However, it is necessary to note that an entrepreneur shouldn’t take risks senselessly. That’s why, while starting a business anew, it’s advisable to not place all of your money on it. Instead, deep your feet in a step at a time, not all at once. Say you are planning on putting a million naira in a business, put about a hundred or two thousands in it first and see how it goes before venturing all in.

The point is, do not place a huge sum into a first trial at a business unless, of course, you are very very sure about what you’re doing. Or else you might get your ass seriously burnt.

This concept is similar to widely recommended The Lean Startup business methodology.

These other two lessons are applicable both in business and in life.

3. Plan to fail.

Yep.

It is usually said that he who fails to consciously plan is unconsciously planning to fail. That’s an honest statement that is as true as it can be, but what if planning to fail is done consciously as a safety measure? What if planning to fail goes alongside your planning to succeed? What if that’s a wiser option?

This is not to say you should deliberately work towards failure, rather this is saying you should expect failure during your planning stage and prepare exit routes in case the failure eventually comes. You know what they say about hoping for the best while expecting the worst? Yeah. Mix a healthy does of pessimism with your optimism.

This last one, I think, is the biggest lesson so far.

4. Overcoming fear is the first success.

Before your life or business begin to attract paparazzis and poke-nosers, before your success becomes the talk of town, your actually success has long begun — right there in the closet or in the garage or wherever you were when you took the first step towards your business or life goal.

One of the first and deadliest things that hinder successes is the fear of taking the first step. The fear of making the first call, of scheduling the first meeting, etc. Once you’ve overcome this fear and jumped this hurdle, you’ve successfully crossed over to success pathway. So what’s that one thing you are afraid of doing? Take that one step towards it today and overcome it.

Now, welcome to the success express.