The entrepreneurship series on The Good Citizen Show kicked off in May with the first guest, Ibrahim Bakare. He is the CEO and nail tutor of Sugar Coat Tips nail salon in Lagos, Nigeria. He is a prime example of a young man who still believes and practices the virtue of delayed gratification amid peers who are occupied with various “get rich quick” schemes. In his words, “With the right ethics, you can still make it in life.”
He runs the nail salon with his brother and a friend, which is an anomaly in such a female-dominated field. He grew up in an environment where gender roles were not too stringent. House chores, cooking and cleaning were handled by everyone. When asked how his upbringing impacted his business and helped him grow to the point he is now, he said his father was a major caregiver in the home. He said his father didn’t let the fact that there was no mum in the house get in the way of being a nurturer.
Hard work and consistency were key in starting up his business and getting customers. Building on his good reputation and customer referrals, without the aid of Instagram ads, his business was able to grow organically. Though he struggled to get to that point, he still took it upon himself to find little pleasures in life.
It was difficult for him to not fall under peer pressure and venture into illegal business opportunities. He held on to the virtue of delayed gratification and the belief that he was going to succeed in what he was doing eventually. Telling the story of a woman who offered to teach him the 419 (fraudulent) business of 419, he was able to overcome the temptation by holding on to his principles.
He got the nickname “lover boy” for being “too soft” and not resorting to vices. He said he believed in things that last forever. He still desired to be comfortable and rich but he was willing to wait for however long it took to preserve his peace of mind. He was all about imparting excellence.
He defined what success meant to him through some key role models of his. He started the business with his mentor, Mrs Yetunde Olowo who saw him through the business.
In the business, his brothers that were also his business partners were more of his accountability partners than anything else. Through the business, he was able to train himself through Yaba College of Technology (Yabatec), and his brothers were able to get married and have kids.
He advised listeners on the show to stay true to their principles because hard work pays. No one should try to cut corners to get to where they want to be in life.
Listen to the full interview here.