•Tells City People
Many youths and the elderly who do not have a clear vision of what to do to earn a purposeful living have now found a place and a mentor who has dedicated her professional services in entrepreneurial development through which she has redirected many to discover their true values and direction in life.
On Tuesday, 31st of May, 2022, Dr. Mercy Bello Abu spoke to City People Magazine’s Port Harcourt Bureau Chief, Emeka Amaefula-(+234(0)8111813069). Below, she narrates how youth-cum-job seekers can be self-reliant in doing things that they are confident in and which will give them lasting financial benefits. Below are excerpts.
Please introduce yourself.
My name is Dr. Mercy Bello Abu. I am a Management Consultant, Author, Trainer, Public Speaker, Entrepreneurship Enthusiast, Gender Advocate, and most especially a Clarity and Personal Development Coach! I’m known as… The Phenomenal Clarity Coach.
How did you come into doing business?
Business is not something you come into, it is something you choose. You are the sum total of your decisions.
I chose to do this, because there are some kinds of decisions that you make in life that are entrusted to you. So, having been in that environment of business, you know the environment tends to shape you. So, in that environment of seeing my parents doing business so much that we never used to lack anything, not that we had everything.
But to a certain extent money was not an issue as whenever we wanted something, we were told to go to the shop, go and sell and make money. So, we grew up with that mindset, that hardwork pays.
So, we have been using it to go out to look for money because we had the platform to utilize and make money.
For me, it is something that I naturally gravitated into. That was what I knew all my life. So, business or entrepreneurship is what I have known all my life. This is captured extensively in my book, “A Toast To Entrepreneurship.”
We have a situation where white-collar jobs are no longer available as it used to be in the olden days as the population increment and the large number of graduates coming out from Universities each year gets increasing, who do not have capital base to start business, what do you have to say about this?
The thing is that a lot of school leavers keep saying ‘Oh, we don’t have capital, we don’t have that.’ I used to have a training entitled Starting a business with zero capital and the people would say, is it possible to start your business with Zero Capital? In the hierarchy of one to ten maybe it is down there. What I have also come to realise is that a lot of people use that as an excuse to remain where they are inasmuch as it is genuinely very important to start doing something.
Right now, we have many avenues where people can go and learn some skills that you can monetize your skill to now generate capital.
And I never cease to talk about a Mentee of mine that learnt how to make shoes from a free skill acquisition program organized by a church. She went for this program and went back to sit down. When she met me in 2016 when I was invited by ACCESS Bank Plc to give a talk to their customers, especially women group, I did mention that I have a daughter who was about completing her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in 2015 and I was like, what do I use to keep her busy? And she went online and saw some links that she can actually import things online and make the normal gain. She contacted them and they gave her the pictures. It was like a book and she posted it on Facebook and Instagram and people were ordering for it. So, they paid, they paid for delivery as the goods got to them. That was how she started her business in 2015. When I said that, it was like Eureka!
This my mentee went back as she has actually made some black School shoes for sale. So, she brought them out and snapped some pictures and posted them on Facebook. And somebody said “ah! You make shoes?” they placed their order and she made her profits and went back. That was how this lady started business. As I speak, she has a factory where she currently employs 15 able bodied men and women in Ibadan, Oyo State capital. She had to relocate from Port Harcourt to Ibadan because of nearness to raw materials. So, when I come across some of the grants and loans available to Msmes & SMEs, I try to see that she has access to them.
This is because she puts them into work. She wasn’t saying that ‘I am physically challenged’ or ‘I can’t do the work’ her story is one story that is phenomenal and so she started from nothing, She learnt that skill from a Free Skill Acquisition program on how to make shoes. She became diligent and she went and perfected the art. Do you need money to do that? Through resilience and consistency, every one of us were willing to see any opportunity to assist her. When the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) loan allocation fund came, she was one of the beneficiaries as she got N9.9million. to establish her shoe factory in Ibadan. So, it is a story of no capital, at least, I am her mentor and I saw how all of these went.
So, if you say that there is no fund, what are you doing? She was found in a place of work. She was found doing something. She didn’t stay back and say ‘ok, I have learnt this one but I don’t have money’ and she started telling everyone. She learnt a skill and an opportunity presented itself and she used it.
Money is not the problem but you are. You first of all must have the mindset. That is why for us in the Institute of Entrepreneurship formerly The School of Clarity but now with registration, we have to changed it to The Institute of Entrepreneurship, Clarity and Mentorship ( IECM), you have to look at a lot of issues about the mindset. You are held down by your mindset. You are elevated because you have a different mindset. So, that is why we chose to do this. A lot of people wonder why they are not doing well in life and business because from the get-go, you have already programmed yourself to fail. Because by default, it was like “oh, I know that I am not going to make any success of it.” So, for us in the Institute of Entrepreneurship, Clarity and Mentorship, Clarity for Mindset orientation is key. Even in your own business, you need to know why you are in that business. You need to know what you are doing in that business. And where you are going. A lot of people start business before you know it, they are frustrated and tired of it . I keep telling them that for most people that are doing well, they have a winning mindset. Indeed, mindset is everything.
In their individual businesses, they have put in so much work. Look at the one I just discussed about the European Union Trade, for the EU, to perfect the trade liberalization in the European Union. It took them 72-years to start enjoying what they are enjoying today. But here in Nigeria, we want it now, one year, two years. It doesn’t work that way. My mentee just started doing shoe making, she has been planning and preparing for it, as she was going to various skill acquisition centres, seminars and conferences. The one that she went for was organized by Redeemed Christian Church of God. It is an opportunity for her to leverage on the opportunity and maximize it. But for a lot of us, we sit down and say ‘because I don’t have money’. I ask them, “ Ok, you said that you don’t have money. If N5m is given to you now, what will you do with it?” Give them N5,000,000.00 in the next six months, they will just blow the money. So, can you now see that money is not the issue. But mindset. No plan, No vision, no goal.
That is exactly what the Institute represents. The end result starts from your mind. If you are a winner, it starts with your mind. If you are a loser, it starts with your mind. When you realize that no one is coming and that it is me and me alone, you will run differently. You will pursue life differently. You will push differently. But when you are thinking that there is one help that is coming from somewhere, and you are waiting, one year, two years and so on before you know it when you look back, you will ask yourself. Where did the years go?
MINDSET, that is why it is a huge thing for us as I have started taking this gospel to the universities.
At what stage did you start to push this Clarity in Entrepreneurial studies?
That is a good question because sometimes most of these things are from what life teaches you. I was going to maximize this thing because I knew from day one what I wanted. Yes, that was a moment from Clarity. That moment you realize that yes, this is what I am meant to do. You say, now that I have seen the manifestation. Now that I have seen the result, being the outcome, what else am I supposed to do? When you start to Coach and Mentor people, for everyone that comes around you, you don’t know why you are struggling in that position. It is because there is no clarity. Because once you have clarity of purpose, it changes the narrative. I didn’t say that once there’s a chance that money will start coming but there’s a sense of fulfilment. Because you know what you are doing and what gladdens your heart. What makes you happy and what gives you joy with passion. And once you are doing that, it’s just a matter of time, you will be noticed. So, as soon as you deploy it that is where focus will now come in. You are so passionate about it because energy goes into where focus is. And whatever you put so much energy into waking up, dreaming it, it doesn’t have any other choice but to grow.
That is now what drove us to start teaching this and telling our mentees and our students. People that come to us that this is the hub, the crux of the whole matter. Which is the clarity of mindset orientation.
Is it only meant for individuals or you can do that for organizations too?
Absolutely we have a lot, we have this one-on-one that is popular, we call it 90mins “Clarity Session” for individuals because a lot of people are involved. As you might be starting business, after like ten years you are fed up, you need a Clarity session. You can even get to your 50s to 60s like somebody in his 60s called me that ‘I need a clarity session because I am stuck right now, that I need to have a clearer view as to what I need to navigate to change certain things because my business folded up’. This is because he must have done things for years and he’s feeling like no, I need to change certain things because as you age, you know we evolve. So, he is now looking for what to do so that he/she won’t be physically involved and still make money’. All of these, you need a Clarity session to navigate that situation. -Then, we work with established institutions, currently in Partnership with Ignatius Ajuru University of Education Rumuolumeni, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, at their Entrepreneurial Center, taking this Clarity of Mindset down to them for the youths re-orientation. You keep hearing about unemployment and under-employment. What do you think that is involved…Identity crisis and mind set re-orientation is better because they don’t have a clear view of what to do. This is because they have been told a lie all these years that once they come out, there is a job waiting and there’s no relevant required skill to be redeployed to get these jobs. So at the Institute of Entrepreneurship, Clarity and Mentorship, We are poised to redefine entrepreneurship, curb identity crisis among our youth and create Clarity for mindset reorientation generally.