Saturday, 18 November 2017

An Intreview With Akan Imoh

Precious HLG: Can we meet you?

Akan Imoh: My name is Akan Imoh. I was born on the 25th of December, 1990, which means I'll be 27years old on Christmas day. I'm a graduate of the University of Lagos, where I studied Political Science and also the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, where I studied Mass Communication.

Precious HLG: How was growing up like for you?

Akan Imoh:

Growing up was fun for me. I grew up in a house that had lots of love. We were four kids, two girls and two boys. My parents were the best. They made sure we were trained excellently. Two things my parents did that shaped our lives was that we were  introduced to God at a very early age and made sure we had the best form of education. I remember one thing my parents always said is 'train up a child in the way of the Lord, and when he's old, he'll never depart from God.' This helped a lot. During my growing up age, I never missed church. Sundays and weekday services. My father would bundle us all in his car and take us to church. It became a part of me. Trust me, we all somehow grew up with a deep love for the things of God.

Also, for education, my parents didn't spare any dime. They weren't so rich, but education wasn't what they wanted to ration or manage. I went to the best of schools. Very good private schools which were also expensive. I remember several times, I was sent home because I hadn't paid my school fees. It was a regular feature. I was always at home for a larger part of the school session. But, I always somehow still came out top of the class.

These two factors during my growing up age helped shape me to be what I am today.

Precious HLG: Being a business consultant, an analyst, brand engineer, among other things. How did you discover your passion?

Akan Imoh:

Discovering passion is a very serious business (laughs). Today, I am a Business Consultant, a PR & Brand Expert and a host of other things. How did I find myself doing all these? Simple. First, is understanding that your purpose is in God. It's not about what you want to do with your life, but, more about what God wants to do with your life. Hence, there's a need to connect with the father in your discovery stages. Also, there's a need to experience life. To make sure you never sit at the edge and just watch life pass by. You must get into the thick of things. Some call it 'trial and error', I call it 'trial and discovery'. This is because, the more you do things and get involved, you'll begin to find out more about yourself and what you can do. For me, I made sure I got the best out of life. I didn't let anyone tell me I couldn't do something. I already understood that my life was going to somehow revolve around the media and public life, so, I kept on moving and pushing myself.

Precious HLG: What are the challenges you've faced becoming who you are today and how did you tackle them?

Akan Imoh:

As for challenges, I have really faced a whole lot. Number one challenge has to be financial. You need money for a whole lot of things. Even when you have ideas, if there is no money, you won't be able to execute your idea. Sometimes, I need money to start or run a project. Also, I've not been able to experience very rapid growth because of financial strain. There's a kind of influx of money that comes into your business and you'll be able to experience hyper growth. But, even as I say this I have come to realize one major thing, and that is 'no challenge can stop you.' I've learnt to scale all challenges. I started my business with a capital of just N5000 and I've grown over the years. So, you see that its about your mentality. If you have the belief that no challenge can knock you down, you'll be able to surmount all.

Precious HLG: We all know education is important. But in your experience so far, does one have to be well educated before one can become a renown business man or woman?

Akan Imoh:

 I don't joke with education. I take it very seriously and I tell everyone who I have had cause to mentor or advise that they should take schooling seriously. I am a graduate of one of the best schools in the country, UNILAG. I plan to go for a Masters, and not just one, but, two masters, one MBA and an MSC. Not stopping there, I would apply for a PHD, simply because I would love to lecture someday. So, I tell people that if you want to be close to me, you must go to school. I don't care if our educational system is poor or something, you must 'sha' have gone through a tertiary institution.

Now, on to the umpire if education in doing business.  Its simple, yes, you can start a business without having to have been well educated. You might have the right business skills required to do business. But, let me tell you this. In the 21st century, this era you will need more than just knowledge of how to buy and sell in order to do well in business. Business is going way beyond what it used to be before. There are a whole lot of dynamics to it and the fact that you've gone through an educational system for years that exposed you to different forms of knowledge helps you do better in business.

Precious HLG: Who is an entrepreneur? And can anybody be an entrepreneur?

Akan Imoh:

An entrepreneur is a person who decided to solve a problem in the society while making profit out of it. The 21st century is an era of entrepreneurship, so we are seeing a massive rise in entrepreneurship. And yes, anyone can become an entrepreneur. There's no law that says who or who can become an entrepreneur. But, you see, not everyone can become a successful entrepreneur. It takes a lot of knowledge, discipline and several other factors to make one successful at it.

Precious HLG: How have you been balancing your career with other important aspects of your life?

Akan Imoh:

Balancing is not easy. I tell you. This is where real discipline has to come into place. I once wrote an article about the need for entrepreneurs to structure their lives and imbibe personal discipline. If not, you'll just realize that you're running in circles, working and getting really tired, yet, achieving nothing. So, you need structure. I went through this phase a while ago and learnt many things  First, you need to filter your whole life. Separate the essentials from the non-essentials. If anything does not benefit or help you in anyway, don't waste your time on it. You need to reduce your friends to a close circle, stop all unnecessary activities, no more time wasting activities. Your focus should be singular. You should be focused on growing your hustle.


Also, three things that are very key for you to maintain a healthy lifestyle as an entrepreneur. You need to take these three things very seriously:

1. Your faith
2. Your health
3. Your family.

When I say your faith, I mean your religion. You need a higher power to do entrepreneurship. You need a God to cry to when things aren't working fine, you need a faith to hold on to. Never joke with this. I'm a Christian and I don't joke with the power and potency of God in my life. I don't joke with my quiet time. Its a time for personal reflection for me.

As for health, you need to begin to mind what you eat and drink. Make sure you get enough sleep hours. Don't stay awake all night chatting. You'll wake the next day feeling grumpy. Make sure you exercise.

And for family, no matter how much money you make, you'll never be happy if you don't have your family and friends around you. Spend time with them. Learn to laugh, learn to be happy.

Precious HLG: Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Akan Imoh:

In ten years time, I see myself married to an awesome woman, the very best on earth. I see myself with kids, two or three. I see myself running a major consulting firm with clients all over the world. I see myself being a lecturer at one of the top business schools in the world. I see myself on the board of several companies as either an Executive or Non-Executive Director. I see myself being a key figure in the economic development of Africa as a whole. I see myself being a role model to many young people. I see myself more and more devoted to God and leading a life taught by Jesus.
Precious HLG: What's your advice for youths?

Akan Imoh:

For young people, my advise is simple. Don't stop, keep going, keep doing it. It might look like you're not making any headway, it might look like its not making sense, but, stay there and keep doing it, someone is watching you, someone is taking note. Don't stop.

 © Precious Deji-Omolere

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