Profit is beyond money — Joel

The Chief Executive Officer, Minds and Moments Initiative, Mr. Adeniyi Joel, is  a 29-year-old entrepreneur. In this interview with NIKE POPOOLA, he talks about his passion

 What is the nature of your business?

We are into educating, enlightening and empowering young people to be reliable, resourceful and responsible to themselves and the nation. We employ different methods as long as they impact the lives of the youth positively. For instance, we do capacity building training, consult for companies, do research, manage events and do public speaking.

 What led you to do this kind of business?

What led me into this initiative was my bad experience while I was growing up, especially when I was in higher institution. While I was in secondary school – Federal Government College Ijanikin – there were traces of un-seriousness and truancy but when I got into the higher institution, these vices grew worse. I lived a purposeless life. I engaged in a lot of bad activities. I joined a cult partially. I was initiated into a cult in order to get some spiritual powers for protection and respect in the school. I narrowly escaped death during a fight between students and indigenes of a particular community.  I happened to be among the students that led a protest and along the way, I was shot by an indigene. To the glory of God, I survived. During the protest, the school was shut down so I had to return home. I pretended as if I did nothing in school but as God would have it, I went for a youth revival programme in my mother’s church and I was chosen to lead the youth team for the revival. At first, I wanted to object but I later agreed and that was when the change began. It was at this period I felt really sick because of all the spiritual concoctions I had taken for protection. I can say I died because my mother told me I smelt like a dead person when I regained my health. Thank God for His grace; I had an encounter that changed me totally. When I finally left school I was not happy because I didn’t achieve anything. There was nothing to show that I went to school. I became a wanderer. During this period, I began to regret all my bad actions in the past. It was really a painful and sorrowful time; I wished I could change the hands of time. It was at this point I decided to be an agent of positive change to the youth that I come across, build their lives positively and also share my experience with them so that they will not be a victim of the kind of life I had lived. I vowed within me that I would use all my potential, skills and talents to ensure that no young one around me would live the kind of life I lived.

 Does your business huge capital to do?

Yes, it requires a lot. We believe that the future of every nation is the youth and for the future of a nation to be secured and bright, a lot needs to be done for the development of the youth in different areas.

 How profitable is it?

It is profitable to us as long as we see our projects being supported and it is impacting lives of young ones positively. The profit of any business or organisation is not only based on the revenue that comes in but mainly the positive impact that such products and services make in the lives of the consumers. It is through the positive impact and satisfaction that will make the consumers advertise the product or services to other people. From there, there will be an expansion and increase in the business or organisation. The profit of any business or organisation is to see its growth and expansion.  We are building lives, helping dreams come true and giving life and hope to the youth. When we see the organisation achieve this, it is a great profit to us.

 How does your business impact on the development of the society?

We engage in different projects and activities that are targeted at bringing positive development to the youth. We do this through life building skills, purpose discovery sessions, counselling, orientation and empowerment. We partner and support individuals, businesses and organisations which are in line with our goals and objectives. We also assist vulnerable children and orphans. Recently we visited the Agape Motherless Home in Akure, Ondo State to support them with clothing and other things needed for proper upbringing of the children. There is a project that we are embarking on now titled Life After School. The project will involve going to almost all the senior secondary school for mind orientation and life building skills.

 What motivates you in life?

God and my country Nigeria. Whenever I wake up I see a positive change happening and wherever I see it, I plug into it  and move ahead because I believe that one day, the change will be visible for all to see.  For the needed change to happen in Nigeria, it must start from the youth; not only because the youth are future leaders, but because the strength of the youth is a great potential for the development of every nation if wisely discovered and utilised. Most great inventors, achievers and philanthropists that we are celebrating today set the roadmap for themselves when they were young, when there was still strength in them to explore. I believe we will get there someday.

 Did you make attempt to look for job after school?

No. I didn’t do that because I already knew what I wanted to do. The only thing I did was that I volunteered and partnered with some organisations to gain more knowledge and experience on how services are rendered to serve humanity.

 What is your educational qualification?

I have a bachelor’s degree in criminology and social work. I have worked in radio and TV as a presenter, teacher, facilitator, monitoring and evaluation officer, researcher

 What is your advice for youths that want to be successful?

The first step to success in life is discovery of purpose. If the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is unavoidable. Some youths don’t know what they want. If a youth can faithful strike out the meaning of life existence and the purpose for their existence, they are already setting the track for success. Just like what every other athlete will do after getting on the track, youths that want to be successful should give it their best shot with all their zeal to achieve their purpose. Success is a journey and not a destination. Don’t stop striving for success because you have achieved a dream or goal. Stop when you can finally say “I have fought for a good course.”

 What are the challenges you have encountered so far?

A challenge is that of support.  Government and major stake holders in the country need to believe in the youths of this country. A man cannot invest in what he does not believe in. So for the government and major stakeholders to invest in the lives of the youths, they need to believe in them. If we don’t, who will? Many foreigners are hijacking our resourceful young ones in Nigeria to themselves because they believe in them and they see great potential.

 Do you have time for social activities?

To be busy is different from being in business. Many are occupied with a lot of activities that only make them busy and not in business but I can say I am always in business and not busy because I set my goals and priorities right and profitable. I am not too outgoing but to an extent, I still have time for social activities; for example, I go to a cool place to relax and refresh.

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