WINNING THE ODD WAY. “You’ve got to be odd to be number one.” ― Dr. Seuss

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Dear reader,

I welcome you to the month of April. My continued wish is that your road forever be full of challenges. Above all, may you always find a rising strength and divine grace to overcome each of these challenges as they come your way.

This week, I am discussing the odd way to success. This odd business is simply about the use of abnormal approaches and absurd thinking to combat the uneven. Life, after all, never promised us of smooth sailings; it is how prepared we are that often comfort us of smooth landings.

An anonymous once argued that except your idea is one that makes people laugh when they listen to it, such idea is not so a big shot. His view being in line with big ideas often enjoy certain ridicules by the common minds not ripe enough to comprehend their possibilities. At a time when most Nigerians would not have mentioned faeces as an opportunity to be successful, a man became famous for saying “shit business is a serious business.” And this brain behind the introduction of mobile toilets in Nigeria, Late Isaac Durojaiye, ended his life on a successful note as a man who redefined the business of faeces in Nigeria. Durojaiye, popularly called Otunba Gadaffi, did not only made available mobile toilets, he went crazy with the idea of using the mobile toilet doors for advertisement. Recently, the company was reported to be the only manufacturer of mobile toilets in the West African sub region.

In a publication on weird but successful small business ideas, a writer, Heather Levin, discussed six small business ideas that has made millions of dollars since inception. Among them is the idea of a barrier to keep bedbugs from biting. The inventor of this barrier, Tony Abrams, was reported to have created barriers that go underneath the legs of a bed and trap bedbugs as they attempt to crawl into the bed to bite sleepers. Another odd idea is Hangover Helpers managed by two college guys in Boulder. These guys were reported to show up at people’s houses, after night partying, to help them with breakfast. They then clean every room where the party happened, including cleaning dishes, pots, and pans, and recycling all beer bottles. These guys have already been featured in Forbes magazine and on CBS among others.

It is not enough to think anything crazy would be fine to go with as a business, but it is important one thinks the crazy way to find a business worth going with. The reasoning between the lines is that finding solutions to the problems of the world cannot be conceived with the same mindset that caused these problems. The approach to solve any problem must not be even – it must be odd – it must be reversed!

Most of the world’s most successful businesses were results of strange thoughts, likewise the strangest solutions so far. So many of us consider solving challenges by being even. We are quick to project our reactions towards what we see and what comes first to our mind. Whereas, most times, a better solution becomes available with an extraordinary reasoning.

To propel a business, an Entrepreneur must be one with odd qualities. It takes extra thought to attain the extra miles. No entrepreneur thinks the way of others and surpasses others. Hence, the success of every entrepreneur will be determined by how odd he is in approaches to originality, creativity, and marketability of his product(s) and service(s).

Below are three notable qualities of odd people worthy of emulation:

1. Be original: We all have one or two persons that are amazingly odd in their approaches to life. We find their lifestyle extremely difficult to comprehend. Yet, many of us really wish we can learn to live and see life from what makes it so interesting to them. These are one set of people who happen to life. They do not let life happen to them. They are simply who they are. Fortunately, we are all born with this originality too; the task is discovering and developing who we were meant to be.

2. Flexibility: A psychological research has proven that being flexible passes as a test for intelligence. Since odd people approaches life the unusual way, they are capable of matching any circumstance they find themselves and living such circumstance to the fullest.

3. Teachability: Another amazing quality about winning the odd way is the ability to learn and unlearn. Those who often win the odd way are students of the socrates’ philosophy – they act like they know nothing. This helps them to learn odd approaches rather than sticking to available options.

As recommended by Mother Theresa, “we must never be afraid to be a sign of contradiction for the world.” I dare you to be different.

We Can. We Will. We Must

Akolawole is a Social Media and Customer Service Executive, a Columnist with Stockswatch newspaper, a Techie, Media geek, and an active Advocate on Entrepreneurship and nation building. He can be reached via akolshoremi@gmail.com and/or +2348085366022 (SMS only).

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