Name: Richard Owusu Sekyere
Organization: Africa Institute For Skills Development
Role: Founder & President
– World Youth Forum 2019
– Master of Science in International Business
– Chartered Financial Economist
As an entrepreneur, I have become comfortable with chaos. Interestingly, because of the risk, insecurities and pressures within the entrepreneurial ecosystem, especially in Africa, it is estimated that young entrepreneurs are more exposed to psychosocial issues, like stress, depression and others. I experienced some serious moments of stress and frustration in later parts of 2018, so much so that I wanted to give up on my entrepreneurship journey.
I had made some business decisions that didn’t go well for me. I lost some funds, lost contracts and lost friends who were business partners. This hit me so hard that I became very stressed and depressed. I had to lock my self-indoors for two days.
At this point, the only thing that was in mind was to quit. In my mind, everything had fallen apart and I felt stressed and depressed. Yes, I have experienced a lot of downtimes as a small business owner, but the stress of that period in 2018 was far beyond anything I have felt before. All this was because I knew deep down that the project failed due to the fact that I took poor decisions and trusted the wrong people to handle some affairs for me.
It failed because I built the wrong team. I gave up in my mind and really thought all hope was lost until a mentor called me and gave me words of wisdom and encouragement. She reminded me of why I started my journey as an entrepreneur and why I needed to keep going. That helped me rise again.
I am the kind of person who ignores challenges and focus on getting over it preferring not to remember such moments. However, I realize the lessons from challenges, especially as it has made me comfortable in chaos; that is what I began with and now I have become unperturbed and through my organization I have been involved in the training of many youths.