Without entrepreneurs in various industries, our world will be filled with unemployment and no innovation. Every big and mighty company started one day with someone and bloomed into what it is now with continuous effort and the right practices.
Our People Work column is designed to take a look at entrepreneurs outside of the fashion industry to see how their entrepreneurial journey has been so far and lessons that have helped in building their brands.
Last week, we spoke with Temitope Ogunyemi about the work ethics that have helped him grow his laundry business. This week, we spoke with Onyinye Enyioha of Totalview Media on the major lessons he learnt from challenges he has faced in building his brand.
Work role: Founder | Virtual tour Developer.
Laptop: HP Elite book 735 G6.
Phone: Samsung Note 10+.
Best work quote: Sell the problem you solve, not the product.
Best cloth to wear: Anything comfortable.
Please tell us about yourself and what you do.
My name is Onyinye Enyioha, a graduate of computer science from Bowen University, Iwo, Osun State. Presently, I lead an amazing team at Totalview Media where we specialise in building digital solutions for organisations.
Such solutions include 360 Virtual tours and building of Websites & Web Apps.
Nice! So, what inspired you to start Totalview Media?
Surprisingly, Totalview Media was never on the cards. However, some years ago, a mentor needed a virtual tour service and reached out to me for recommendations of any virtual tour developer.
At the time, I had no idea what it was all about but it sounded exciting to me and so with some faith and courage, I told her I could handle the task. I began doing some research and study about the technology, and that was how the whole journey started.
Wow! That was a bold move to make. Well done. What was the first project Total View Media got? What did it entail?
Our first project was for Salem University, Lokoja where I served during my National Youth Service Corps. After months of practice, I felt ready to take on a real project and Salem University was the perfect place to get started.
Interesting. How did you land this job?
I spoke to some of the lecturers at the University about developing a virtual tour of the school. They were excited and gave their support to the project.
I then wrote an application to the university about it and they granted me access to the various areas of interest for the capturing. It was pretty exciting.
That’s so awesome! How did the project go?
Sometimes we spend time learning various things but never get the chance to apply them in real life. The true validation of knowledge is our application to real-life scenarios.
The project was a big eye-opener for me as I began to encounter some challenges I did not see when learning. At the end of the day, the project was successful, I presented it to the management and they were very thrilled and excited about it!
As a matter of fact, despite my intention of using the tour as my outgoing project to the University, they still paid me a token of appreciation and offered me immediate employment! I didn’t accept the employment, however, as I had other engagements.
That whole experience made me realise I was giving real value and that boosted my confidence.
Wow. The joy of a job well done. Congratulations. What was it like working with real clients for the first time?
It was scary and exciting at the same time because we had talked so much about the product and it was now time to deliver. But regardless of the fear, I still went ahead and did it and it turned out beautifully well.
That’s so good for you. What are some of the rookie mistakes you have made along the way?
As a young entrepreneur, sometimes you are excited about your product or solution and just want to get it out to the market. It is easy to get so carried away with your solution that you forget there are still business principles and processes you need to learn.
For me, I did not know how to sell the value proposition to customers and that affected how I communicated to certain clients. You may have a super cool solution, but if you cannot speak to the needs of your potential clients, you will just be wasting your time.
Yeah… That is so true. What did you learn from these mistakes and how have they shaped your growth thus far?
It is very vital to speak to the needs of your clients. Focus on their problems, not your solution. This changed the whole conversation for me and the results were quite visible.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced along the way?
As a young entrepreneur, one of the biggest challenges I faced was finance to get some necessary tools to improve the quality of our products.
Getting the necessary funds to run a business successfully is one major challenge young entrepreneurs in Nigeria face. What is one thing you wish you knew before you got into business? Something that would have made entrepreneurship easier or that would have helped you scale faster?
You need people. Relationships help speed up processes. I know sometimes as entrepreneurs, we want to be extra careful with who we share our ideas with, but you will still need to risk talking to people.
If you are the only one thinking and running your business, you will most likely not scale fast. Our prayer should be that God connects us to the right people.
Do you have any last words for entrepreneurs on doing business?
Embrace rejection. Not everyone will buy or use your product, it doesn’t mean they hate you. There are times you will question if you are on the right path or doing the right thing, but I would say always go back to the reason why you started and draw strength from there to keep forging ahead.
Thank you so much, it was good to have you here.
You’re welcome. Thank you too for having me.