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5 Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Take Away From The Presidential Election

Nigerians continue to bask in the euphoria that has accompanied the conclusion of the just-concluded presidential election which has been quite notable as it has ushered in a few firsts in the history of the nation.

The 2015 Presidential Elections will forever be a point of reference for many political analysts (and should even become a major part of the curriculum for political science and public administration courses). However, the lessons from the elections are not merely restricted to the field of politics. Discerning business people and entrepreneurs can take away a few lessons from the elections too, and below are 5 of such lessons:

 

  1. Try: And try. And try. And try again. The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Muhammadu Buhari, emerged the winner of the presidential election on his 4th What this means is that, he had been picking up a presidential nomination form from a political party and contesting elections every 4 years. And he has been doing this for the past 16 years! He tried 4 times and was only successful on his 4th try.

Lesson: Few entrepreneurs are willing to try for that long to attain a goal, especially given the magnitude of the resources that will go into such endeavor. However, persistence is a trait that pays up in the long haul and a trait every entrepreneur has to cultivate.

 

  1. Focus on Your Challenges: Many people who followed the electioneering campaign of both political parties will admit that the All Progressives Congress focused more on the problems beguiling the nation and proffering solutions to such problems (although it is still to be seen how practicable these solutions are). The strategy adopted by the Peoples’ Democratic Party, on the other hand, focused on the achievements of administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, and tried to downplay the failings of his government.

Lesson: As much as an entrepreneur should celebrate every milestone and achievement in his business, it can be counter-productive to underemphasize the magnitude of the challenges facing a business. Identify your challenges and try to develop solutions.

 

  1. Embrace Technology: So much commendation has been given to the Independent National Electoral Commission over its adoption of the chip-embedded Permanent Voters’ Card and the use of card readers for the elections. Many people had being skeptical about the use of the hitherto untested technology and the impact they would have on the elections and some political parties had called for the head of the INEC chairman over the technology. Although the technology encountered a few hitches which are expected in disruptive innovation, it can be said that its use played a significant role in making the elections difficult to manipulate. Despite the teething problems encountered, many are of the opinion that the country can build upon the technology and make Nigeria’s election process better, and other nations are already looking to adopt the technology into their own election process.

Lesson: An entrepreneur should never be afraid to take advantage of technology in achieving his business’s objectives. Many technology can seem doubtful at the start but one can never know until it is tried out.

 

  1. Ignore Naysayers: Prior to the elections, the level of insecurity in the nation had been one for concern with so many doomsayers making predictions of violence and outright war over the conduct of the elections. Many of the world’s governments would have bet their nations’ treasury that Nigeria would not have been able to conduct a peaceful election…and they would have plunged their nations into penury. Because Nigeria proved them wrong. Yes, there were isolated cases of violence and outbreaks of fighting, but that was all they were: isolated cases, and not the widespread incidences of violence as hitherto predicted.

Similarly, the president-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, could have listened to all the supposed reasons why he could not contest the elections and could have thrown in the towel early. Instead, he went on to defeat an incumbent president, a feat that will set a precedent in Nigeria’s history.

Lesson: Entrepreneurs should learn how to tune out the naysayers around them. Not everyone will share your dream or believe in the possibility of your ideas. However, as long as you show commitment, this should not be a barrier to the attainment of your goals.

 

  1. Know When To Walk Away: Many people have commended the incumbent president, President Goodluck Jonathan, on his magnanimity in conceding defeat to the winner of the elections. Given what was at stake, he proved to be quite the gentleman and someone who has the best interest of the nation at hear.

Lesson: Entrepreneurs should learn to identify when to throw in the towel. It never makes any sense trying to pump energy and resources into a project that has since lost its viability. As such times, it becomes necessary to fold, count your losses and regroup for another charge.

 

BONUS:

 

Branding: This election presents the perfect case-study for Public Relations professionals and Branding experts. The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress and winner of the elections, Muhammadu Buhari, had what many saw as an uphill task given the negative image he had as a previous military ruler who had wrested power from a democratically elected government. However, he was able to overcome this barrier by engaging in a brilliant PR campaign that saw him totally repackaged as the reformed democrat who would further entrench the rule of law in the nation, a campaign blitz that identified what it was that majority of the nation’s populace wanted and projected the candidate as the man to provide these for them.

President Goodluck Jonathan, on the other hand, had what can best be described as major PR and branding meltdown as his spokes-people failed to put their principal in the proper light.

Lesson: Branding is essential to the success of your business. Understand the people you are looking to sell your product or service to, and brand yourself as the solutions they need for their problems.

About Author

BWN
This is BizWatchNigeria. Nigeria's first online business Newspaper.

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