by Michael Edison Odiase
I bumped into an old friend recently, Jay; a self-made entrepreneur and grossly successful his own right.
Born and raised from the harsh concrete jungle which is Brixton, he initially came into his industry (one which brought over £10 billion of revenue in UK alone last year), as a “runner” and in the space of 3 years he has managed to scale up the ranks and is now a regional distributor employing hundreds of young hopefuls looking to emulate his footsteps.
Unfortunately, he is involved in a very complex legal matter pertaining to a business transaction that quickly went sour. As we spoke he told me more about the trade, how every morning would start as early as 4 am, trafficking through long commutes, meeting with ill-timed and some-time badly mannered clientele as well as challenging employees who with little business acumen often tried to overstep the boundaries of business management.
But this was all he knew, and clearly was very good at avoiding the distractions which are so openly expressed within his field, allowing him to concentrate on being the best he could be. To many in his neighbourhood, he is revered as a local hero, community champion and even a source of inspiration.
On a good spell, he could boast of margins in excess of £10,000 but yet still cash flow can be somewhat sporadic with heightened competition in the field.
Reading the above description, you wouldn’t be wrong to assume Jay to be a highly motivated, ambitious business man. What may surprise you however is his field of work…
You see Jay is not you’re your typical entrepreneur, rarely would you find him in a 3 piece suit dressed to the 9’s in the financial district. No, he does not hold the occupation of a banker, trader, or any of those other fancy titles…
Jay is in-fact a drug dealer! Or better put a Street Entrepreneur…
Last year, drugs and vice combined added £10 billion to overall GDP in the UK’s economy! The streets have been plagued with black market activity for years, and with the prisons fast reaching full capacity governments and communities alike are looking for viable options!
What if there was some magic formula that could transfer the energies and discipline it takes for a drug dealer to build a national distribution channel centred on young people – into something more viable, with some mainstream dignity.
Imagine if all the world’s most notorious drug dealers, gang leaders and Vice captains alike suddenly re-tuned their efforts to become financial traders, corporate managers and social entrepreneurs respectively. Not only would it save lives, but it would create jobs for our youths, increase revenue for taxes which could in-turn increase the budget allowance for the public sector and health care… the possibilities would be endless!
Now that idea is not so far-fetched! The only thing that separates an individual from walking the line of drug dealer vs corporate trader is simple, their MIND and the way in which it is SET (MINDSET!). Best described, the core component responsible for a person’s current state. The programming of the mind defines a person’s quality of life.
The mind is a processor and will utilise whatever information it is exposed to. Over the years, consciously or subconsciously you feed your mind with information, habits and codes to cause it to reason in a particular way.
Let’s take a practical example. An accountant and a scientist are both given a simple glass of water and asked to write a paragraph detailing its use. From the accountant you may expect him to give the % of water which makes up the body, how often and what quantity should be drank daily and maybe even as far as how much an average bottle of water would cost.
However, to the scientist his preferred approach maybe to analyse the construction of water molecules, the density of water at different states and temperatures etc… This is a perfect illustration of how we programme our minds to work.
Think a young child growing up in an abusive home, there mind would be unceremoniously exposed to dealing with situations abruptly with harsh or few ill-chosen words. Growing up in such an environment has heavy implications to ones mind-set, temperament and overall mental being sometimes revolving in a vicious generation cycle.
Changing your mind-set and building a healthier mental structure is a conscious effort which everyone can do!
Here are a few tips:
#1 GIVE YOURSELF TO THE RIGHT THINGS
The things we watch, hear and read are all teachers. Make a conscious effort to give your time and attention to inspiring, motivational and constructive media outlets.
We all are prone to make mistakes but saying things like “I’m so stupid”, “I’m AFRAID I can’t help” etc. are all subtle but negative seeds you sow in your mind, and the more you say it the more you become.
#3 CREATE A VIDEOTAPE
Have a mental image of the life you want to live, the person you are and want to become. So even when life throws you a curve ball, that mental image cannot be distorted.
So from the hoodies in Brixton, to the Bankers in Canary Wharf, life is a direct expression of the things that you have allowed into your mind – ultimately and to some very large extent you can filter the things you allow into your mind.
By this you can control the words that come out from your mouth, words that often precede a corresponding action and wants these actions are done continually; reacting in anger, anxiety, finishing a set task, achieving a goal they will ultimately shape your character and destiny!