Exclusive Interview With Guardian Newspaper

Exclusive Interview With Guardian Newspaper

1). Why business impact and ICT training, you could have done something else, what really is the attraction? Tell us a bout the activities of your organization, your services, products, mission and vision. Above all your clientele?

Samson Olatunde: Thank you. Business Impact Ltd (BIL) is actually a product of my quest to become an accomplished entrepreneur. Our passion is to help individuals and corporate bodies succeed in business. One of the ways to accomplish this is by giving them quality internet presence.

Today, BIL has 4 departments: Business Impact Academy (BIA) which was set up to train individuals and SMEs on Entrepreneurship (online and offline business models), ICT and Wealth Creation Principles. The Business Impact Consultancy (BIC) also provides solution to challenges of individuals and corporate establishments with respect to advertising, branding and enhanced exposure via the World Wide Web. Besides, Business Impact Media (BIM) has been able to reach out to youths, entrepreneurs and SMEs through the Entrepreneur Platform Conference, the Business Growth Conference, the Entrepreneur Platform T.V show, Student Enterprise, and the Below 45 Entrepreneur Mentorship Forum and several books. In addition, BIL has extended its tentacles to Real Estate with the establishment of the Business Impact Estates (BIE). And as a matter of fact, within few years of operation, this unit has met the needs of a good number of Nigerians with respect to acquisition of land.

Our clientele include: Inside-out Media Limited, Enlightened Media Limited, Generic Solution Limited (Avenues to Wealth), Merak Media Consultancy Services Limited and Neo Media& Marketing Limited, among others. We have over the years at one time or the other also interacted with academic institutions including: Covenant University, Ota Ogun State, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago- Iwoye, Yaba College of Technology, Lagos State, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, among others. Additionally, we have served individuals and also different church organizations including Winners’ Chapel Ota, some RCCG Parishes and the International Church Growth Ministry.

1a). You into training, media, consultancy etc, how easy , difficult or challenging are these various aspects of what you do? Have you blended all together successfully? What is unique about your services

Samson Olatunde: Candidly, by God’s grace, we have been able to successfully amalgamate our areas of operation. The principal thing that has kept the company is that we love what we are doing. I have affinity for teaching and public speaking and that has been the force behind our training school and the media department. Besides, I love sourcing for solutions for people and corporate organizations, and that is the bedrock of our consultancy department.

Really, media operation is the most challenging because of the high cost of airtime on TV and radio stations. And since our quest is to get across to Nigerians regarding viable, legal business opportunities on the internet and offline, we are devising means to get across to larger number of Nigerians via TV and Radio stations. Our services are exceptional principally because we are extremely committed to excellence, and the success of our clients is our priority. For this reason, our clients have continued to experience significant feats. In point of fact, we have been receiving e-mails from several Business Impact Academy alumni informing us about flourishing ventures they have been able to set up.

2). When, why and how did you get into this/ for how long have you done this? And how lucrative is this industry, what would you advise those desiring to follow in your steps?

Samson Olatunde: I started my entrepreneurship journey about 7 years ago. I was 22 and an undergraduate of OOU (Olabisi Onabanjo University), Ago Iwoye. Really I was entitled to monthly allowance of N4000 from my parents but I knew that I could make more money and attain financial independence. I then borrowed my friend’s computer system and began a miniature computer training centre in a church hall outside the university campus, and people kept coming. However, the key catalyst to my success was the SADC (Success Attitude Development Centre) seminar I attended in 2007. There we were given some online information materials to market and I promoted mine with great gusto and people started to order for the products. This fetched me N4, 000,000 in 2 weeks and I later went on to register Business Impact Ltd. Sincerely the industry is lucrative but it is largely dependent on God’s help, positive attitude, ability to source for good information, mentorship, hard work, faith with action and perseverance. All these virtues I would advice aspiring entrepreneurs to embrace.

3). Have you always done this? What were you doing before now or after graduation (if you like?)

Samson Olatunde: I actually bade farewell to the job search tussle even before I left the University. So I only continued with what I started during campus days. I left NYSC to start work in my own company.

3b). Have you built a brand or brand name yet, if not, when and how do you intend to?

Samson Olatunde: Well, I agree with Jeff Bezos that, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.” Sincerely over the years, “Business Impact Limited” and the name “Samson Olatunde” have been etched on the minds of several Nigerians. No doubt, we will not rest on our oars. We will continue to deliver first-rate services to our clients and also keep informing Nigerians about opportunities that can transport them from poverty and mediocrity to desirable and fulfilled living.

4). You’ve just been awarded the UN’s Ambassador of Peace, what does this award entail? What was the selection process like? How did you emerge?

Samson Olatunde: As a matter of fact, it is more of responsibility than pomp and pageantry. In fact it is a commission to be an embodiment of peace in the first place, and then let it radiate to my immediate environment until it engulfs the nation and the world at large. I believe that peace is contagious. The selection I am sure is actually not on basis of competition. However, I was appointed as a result of my quest for youth development and the worthwhile achievement within a space of 3 years.

5). What is/are your roles as the ambassador of peace? For how long are you ambassador of peace.

Samson Olatunde: I appreciate former UN Secretary General’s statement: “Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace. If, however, they are left on society’s margins, all of us will be impoverished. Let us ensure that all young people have every opportunity to participate fully in the lives of their societies.” My major role therefore is to be an exceptional crusader for peace. A strategic way to accomplish this is to be not just an advocate for youth emancipation but also an exemplary trainer of tomorrow’s leaders. With respect to the award, it is not tenured.

6). With all the insecurity all around us, insecurity, unemployment, corruption, high cost of governance, poor state of infrastructure, election rigging etc), how would you apply your new role in this environment?

Samson Olatunde: The challenge before us in Nigeria calls for strategic approach. Most of the time we only take away fruits of evil instead of dealing with it from the root. As a matter of fact, the restiveness in various parts of Nigeria today is to an extent caused by idle youths whom the International Labour Organization (ILO) refers to as “a costly group.” I am therefore devoting large chunk of my efforts to youth empowerment. I believe that if Nigerian youths are made to see better ways to channel their youthful strength and intelligence; they will no doubt become assets, and then cease to be threats to society.

7). Being a very successful your practicing entrepreneur of r great repute, how would you like to partner with the federal government to imbibe the culture of peace in Nigeria.?

Samson Olatunde: Like I said earlier, one of the ways to cause peace to become our way of life in Nigeria is to first and foremost capture the youth. We have started different youth initiatives including the Student Enterprise which we are convening in higher institutions. We have visited 7 campuses within the last 5 months and through inspiring and life-changing discourses from acclaimed speakers and other sessions, we are determined to re-orientate young folks to direct their potentials for personal and career success, entrepreneurship and development of Nigeria and Africa as a whole. But to be factual, such a project is capital intensive and we may need to partner with government at all levels to be able to take such life-changing summits even to young people in the nooks and crannies of Nigeria. “As a man thinks in his heart so he is or will become.” Hence we have to engrave the culture of peace, innovation, enterprise and honesty on the mind of young ones and even adults too. We are also embarking on book projects that portray exemplary Nigerians, and we believe this will inspire several youths not to see the Nigerian situation as an opportunity to dive into violence and a life of mediocrity, but to see it as a stepping stone to success. “Circumstances are the rulers of the weak; but they are the instruments of the wise” said Samuel Glover.

8). Would you mind being Nigeria’s Ambassador of peace? ( Laughs.. ?would you really mind? What would you like your role to be in capturing the youths as peace advocates/to embrace peace?

Samson Olatunde: Candidly, it is not really about the designation; it is about affecting lives positively and bringing about the much needed change to our country and continent. I will still like to continue to be an agent of youth emancipation. This entails making young people understand that they have no excuse not to succeed or engage in vices. We have to make them know that they can actually become outstanding personalities either as entrepreneurs or career men and women in spite of the challenges we currently face in Nigeria. And I opine that when a young person sees a bright future and the powers he possesses to change things not by holding dagger or gun; but by innovative thinking coupled with positive attitude, he is bound to become a campaigner for peaceful co-existence and positive change even in that little corner he finds himself.

9). How can every young Nigerian like yourself key into this much- needed role of today?

Samson Olatunde: One of the greatest instruments that can help to achieve this is for young people to develop a new mindset. We must begin to see possibilities in impossibilities. The Nigerian dream is a possibility and we youths must not focus on the ills of this country but see bliss. John Mason wrote that Edison was afraid of the dark—yet he overcame that obstacle in a big way and invented the light bulb.” That should be our attitude to Nigeria. We must cease to be complainers but endeavor to be problem solvers. What’s more, Charles Caleb Colton said: “Times of general calamity and confusion have ever been productive of the greatest minds. The purest ore is produced from the hottest furnace, and the brightest thunderbolt is the one elicited from the darkest storm.” So every youth must make sure to see gains even in the midst of pains and then take up the campaign for peace and positive change. Firstly, however, we must heed the words of the legendary Mohandas Gandhi: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

10).What other landmarks or achievements have you gotten in your career or educational

devt?

Samson Olatunde: Indeed, the several hundreds of Nigerians whom we have been able to train on wealth creation, investment and financial intelligence, and personal development and who are experiencing more fulfilling lives are our greatest achievements. Moreover, I have received a good number of accolades prior to the International Peace Ambassador award. They include: “The Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2009” at the 13th Success Digest Enterprise Award (SDEA) and the “Entrepreneur of the Year 2011” Award by Green Hope Youth Empowerment Initiative. I also bagged Merit Award for Excellence 2012 bestowed by Covenant University College of Science and Technology. Furthermore, one of my books is being sold on the largest online bookshop—amazon.com

11). Some many young Nigerians are checking out like Andrew to “greener pastures”, is this the way out or solution for the young? What is your story? How did you preserver? What can young Nigerians out there learn from your story?

Samson Olatunde: Well, it depends. I believe the principal thing is for youths to develop concrete vision for their lives. We have several Nigerians doing fine abroad while many others are depreciating over there too. So it is not bad to stay back in Nigeria and start to think outside the box and grab some of the many opportunities that exist here than to waste away in another man’s land. In fact many of our people rush back home after several years abroad. There is no place like home, you know.

Like I said initially, I began my cruise to entrepreneurship at 22 as an undergraduate. I was studying Business Administration and I so much loved to become financially independent. I did not despise days of little beginning, so I started a small computer training centre using my roommate’s computer system. I succeeded in that venture but would still go after opportunities. I discovered Dr. Sunny Ojeagbase’s SADC and had to obtain money from my friends to attend one of their seminars. The seminar was really an eye-opener for me. We were given the right to sell some e-products and I saw this as a great opportunity to make good money. And that was just it. I started smiling to the bank. In fact I paid my friends back from the money I made.

To be candid, faith in God, deep certitude that I can make it, mentorship, great passion for what I do, quest for sound information from any legal source such as books and the internet etc., have contributed largely to my success. Besides, I am always prepared to go after opportunities and it is certain that success is a product of intercourse between preparation and opportunity.

12). How have you been giving back to society? Just how busy are you, do you have time for mentoring?

Samson Olatunde: We are doing quite well, but there is still much to be done. I have mentioned some of our corporate social responsibilities in my previous answers. We believe so much in education and we travel along that line. Education (not just schooling) is one of the greatest tools for national transformation. Hence we convene free summits so that Nigerians can receive insight into some of the limitless business opportunities around them and effectively maximize them. Furthermore, the cutting-edge conference tagged Student Enterprise is being conveyed to institutions of higher learning and has been made to be absolutely free for every Nigerian student. We have also launched the Corpers’ Business Network and Samson Olatunde Foundation an initiative designed to reach out to the less privileged in society.

I am a very busy person who has to combine office work, attending to clients, reading and research with speaking engagements and also productive thinking and my time with God. Of course, either intentionally or accidentally, I am mentoring people. For instance we still provide mentoring for the alumni of Business Impact Academy (BIA). Additionally, my blog and forum, www.olatundesamson.com and books have opened up limitless opportunities to mentor hundreds of people even beyond the shores of Nigeria.

13). What is your contribution as a young Nigerian to the development of the nation? How would you describe yourself, what you do and what you represent?

Samson Olatunde: My contributions which at present looks like a mustard seed to nation building are quite obvious in the answers I have been providing since the beginning of this interview. The best way to transform a nation is to educate its people. This I have ventured into. Business Impact Ltd has trained more than 6000 people since inception and an initiative such as Student Enterprise is positively affecting the lives of thousands of Nigerian students. I have also received over 40 invitations to speak to on Youths and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) platforms and all our initiatives including the Entrepreneur Platform TV program are indeed life-changing. What’s more, the books and DVDs I have published which includes Trading Your Time, How To Become An Internet CEO in 30 Days, Turning your ideas into Steady streams of cash flow, Developing Your Financial IQ and Skills Acquisition Practical Training (DVD are inspiring several people, especially aspiring entrepreneurs.

Really, I am a progressive Nigerian who believes in God and his ability to take anyone who has faith, works hard and develops the right attitude to great heights in life, irrespective of background. I am also an adventurous fellow, an avid reader, trainer, inspirational speaker, business growth strategist, and in addition, a devotee of entrepreneurship and youth emancipation. I associate with anyone that has integrity, thinks big and has a positive mental attitude even in the midst of adversity—someone who sees far beyond the challenges of the present.

14).What, if I may ask is your dream Nigeria? Where do you see yourself in the next 10 /20 years? How do you intend to get there? Do you partner with or borrow from the work and performance of other well established business training gurus like renowned Pastor Emmanuel

Samson Olatunde: I look forward to a Nigeria that every citizen and even foreigners would take pride in. An icon in the League of Nations, a corrupt-free zone where poverty will be at the barest minimum; a nation of outstanding inventors, producers and manufacturers—sound entrepreneurs, not a nation of consumers.

Furthermore In the next 10 years, by God’s grace, I envision myself to have gone very much further in empowering several young people and adults alike. We look forward to training not less than 50,000 Nigerians yearly. So in the next 20 years, we intend to train approximately 1 million Nigerians. In fact, I look forward to seeing at least one successful entrepreneur in every Nigerian family. Furthermore, initiatives such as Student Enterprise by then would be convened in several campuses across Africa. And really, Business Impact Limited would have become a pride of not only Nigeria, but Africa and the world at large because of the greater strides we would have taken to better our world.

Of course, success will be a mirage without good mentors and I have benefited a lot from many of them including those I have come across physically and those I met online or on the pages of books. Some of them like Pastor Emmanuel and Dr. Sunny Ojeagbase are even members of the Business Impact Ltd Advisory board.

14). Have you looked at the Presidents transformational agenda, how would you assess it? Is that the way out or solution to Nigeria’s unending problems?

Samson Olatunde: The President’s agenda is quite extensive and sound. However, it is the implementation that matters and not just the proposal. Therefore the president would do well to ensure by means of all the powers vested on him to ensure sure that all those projects do not just remain on paper but that they are transformed to their physical equivalence as soon as possible.

15). It’s been 1 year that the president has been elected president, how would you rate him? What percentage would you give him, how would you advise in if you were to be in his front?

Samson Olatunde: I do not want to score the president at the moment. Sincerely Jonathan has good intentions. He really wants to better the lot of Nigerians. However, it is not easy to fix decay of decades in just one year. Besides, there are lots of challenges trailing his administration such as insecurity and corruption. He also has to battle with the hardened mediocre and conservative mentality of several Nigerians. Yet, I will advice him to take the bull by the horn and selflessly and without sentiment fight corruption from the root. If corruption is reduced to the barest minimum, the efforts of government would soon begin to yield palpable fruits. Besides, I would like him to give Nigerians the kind of brilliant, inspiring and charismatic leadership that a nation like the US has continually experienced. Something that can make the average Nigerian say “God bless Nigeria” on a normal day just like an average American would say “God bless America.” Above all, he must be close to God and always ask him for wisdom.