Title: Be Your Own Boss

Author: Joe C. David

Page Number: 256

Publishers:  Perdec Associates, # 35 Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria.

Copyright Date: 2003.

Type of Book: Trade Paperback.

General Subject Matter: Business/Self-Help.

ISBN: 978–060-780-3

Book Format & Organisation: The book is the standard 51/2 x 8 size of the trade paperback. Its binding is perfect, and its cover is laminated which adds lustre or gloss to it.  Its pages are composed of 100g white paper, and the book is divided into fourteen (14) chapters. There is also a table of content, dedication, acknowledgement, introduction and “high praise.” The “high praise page” is a referral/recommendation page of the book from eight business/corporate leaders.

Cover Design: The prominent cover colour of the book is amber, while the wordings of the title are navy blue. There is no specific acknowledgement by the author for the cover design of this book other than giving the general credit for the book production to the staff of Perdec Associates. Below the title of the book is a picture taken from above the subject, which is a spectacle seated man busily typing away on a laptop. The wordings of the book title are embossed.

Special Features: There is no map or index in this book, but I can assure you that it is laden with quotations from diverse personalities (ancient, medieval, and contemporary). Another notable feature of this book is that the author has provided many tables on statistics pertaining the economic, social and vocational sector. The author also highlights nuggets, extracted from the contents of the book and enclosed in little rectangles and squares throughout the book.

Price: Not stated.

Purpose:  The purpose of the book is livid on the cover page which states:

“WARNING: This book is hazardous … can change your life and business forever. Strictly for the success-minded.”

The above quotation is pleasantly paradoxical since most dictionaries have often defined “warnings” with a “sign of something bad coming,” or “advice to be careful.”

Chapter Review:  In the first chapter of the book titled, “The 3 Rs: You Will Either Resign, Retire or be Retrenched,” the author explains why the reader ought to consider becoming his boss or self-employed. This chapter is a poignant excursion into the insecurities of the salaried employment and its ultimate cyclic effect on the society. The author debunks the assertion of the society that tertiary certificates are the solution to a better life. The author goes on to list wealthy individuals, although outside Africa, who succeeded without the acquisition of formal education.

Chapter Two is titled “12 Reasons Why You Must Be Your Own Boss.”

Chapter Three is titled, “Releasing the Mind for Successful Wealth Creation.” The author argues that there is a nexus between poverty, failure, underachievement and the mind. He asserts that many physically disabled people have risen above their peculiar challenges to excel because they reoriented their minds for wealth creation. He goes on to list five reasons why people end up in poverty. The author also lists ten ways to release the reader’s mind to financial independence.

“Creating a Winning Business Plan,” is the title of Chapter Four.  This chapter is like a lesson note from the Lagos Business School, and it is rich in vital wisdom. It dwells on the Small to Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) and why business plans are so important to them. The author goes on to state the importance and need for a business plan, as he further distinguishes between a feasibility study and a business plan. The author provides a template outline for the plan of activities of an SME.

Chapter Five is titled “Prerequisite Habits for Guaranteed and Lasting Success.” This section is closely related to Chapter Three as the author extols the need for the reader to recognise opportunities and remain optimistic. The author goes on to define “success,” “desire,” and “success habits.” The rest of the chapter is on goals, characteristics of goals and how to achieve them.

Chapter Six is titled “Indirect Means of Financing Your Business.” This chapter focuses on the importance of money for the commencement or expansion of a business and the elements required to help the reader raise the much-needed capital against all the odds. In this chapter, the author also lists secondary sources of raising investment capital.

Chapter Seven is titled “Direct Means of Raising Your Investment Capital.”  Herein, the author list six modes of raising direct funds.

“Obtaining Loans from Banks,” is the title of Chapter Eight.  The author list the seven Cs required by bankers before approving a loan to their customers, and how to prepare a loan request or proposal.

Chapter Nine is titled “The Concept of Second Income Entrepreneurship.” This chapter is a must-read if you cannot afford to read the subsequent chapters of this book. The author proposes the need for a second income venture to alleviate poverty. The author recommends over one hundred and fifty suggested second-income businesses; one hundred and sixty-two in all. A prospective entrepreneur, who carefully considers the options gracefully provided by the author, will find one of the business ventures worth considering.

Chapter Ten is titled, “Effective Marketing Strategies to Beat the Competition.” The author delves into marketing and the indices, groundwork and tools of effective marketing.

Chapter Eleven is titled, “Developing an Investment Mentality for a Secured Future.” The advice the author renders here is poignant for spendthrifts. The author lays emphasis on the saving culture and the philosophy of investing while exploring the principle of wealth creation and the opportunities for different types of investments and their benefits.

Chapter Twelve is titled “Networking for Success.” The summary of this chapter is that business success is not an accident and hermits rarely find it, as valuable contacts are vital to business growth.

Chapter Thirteen is titled, “Employing Others.” The author expects the reader’s business to eventually grow to the point that the entrepreneur would become an employer of labour. The author offers, in a nutshell, guidelines for hiring of and maintenance of a productive workforce for the thriving business.

Chapter Fourteen is the last chapter of this book. It is titled “Health is Wealth.” It is a brief section which stresses the importance of good health as the platform for the enjoyment of business success.

Evaluation: “Being Your Boss” is a well-researched book, albeit gloomy book, against the backdrop of scary statistics on the stark level of unemployment and abysmal growth of the Nigerian economy. The author must be given credit for painstakingly compiling valuable local content data, which mirrors the Nigerian business environment, into this 256-page book. Although first published in 2003, it is still relevant to needs of the Nigerian society today. It is the work of a man who went into the “field” and consulted widely.

At page 29 of Chapter 1, the author criticised the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme and its shortcomings in not providing self-reliant programmes for serving corp members, who in most cases end up in the labour market after the programme. Incidentally, as at date, the NYSC has introduced skill acquisition and entrepreneurial development workshops for corp members assembled in camp – but alas, it’s just for three weeks of the camping.

Also noteworthy is the fact that the author in same Chapter 1, on page 30, also admonishes the church to do more for their members than preach the “prosperity and miracle gospel.” It’s an indicting but necessary rebuke.

Overall, thumbs up for a classic Nigerian book on business/self-help!

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