Steve Courage’s Biography
Steve Courage is a Nigerian entrepreneur and writer. He’s the owner and CEO of the 27th Century (a limited liability company based in Lagos, Nigeria). Some of his famous works as a writer and business teacher are; 13 secrets school did not teach you about how to be rich, African Business University / Courage Business University, etc.
- Early Life.
Steve Courage was born on 29th of December, 1986 as Abodunrin Stephen Afolabi in a small town called Iree, Osun State, Nigeria. A few weeks after his birth, he was taken to a village called Oyi-Adio Ila Orangun, Osun State, Nigeria, the village where his parents lived and worked as farmer and tailor /petty trader.
Being born with a Sickle Cell Disease means that Steve would spend all his childhood hoping to die (as a result of terrible pains from incessant health crisis) and in fact, at age 12, a medical expert actually predicted that he might not make it to adulthood.
- Early Involvement with business
Steve’s mother was a petty trader at Ayi-Adio’s village so at around age 7/8 she started getting him to hawk groundnut around the village. Sometimes after that, Steve started helping his mom to go to other village to buy what she would sell and handled a few things around their home shop.
At age 11 he joined his stepbrother’s shoe making business (now in Iree, Osun State, Nigeria) to learn shoe making and later to another step brother to learn photography. Also around this time, he got involved with a few personal businesses, like packing sand when it rained and sell it for house developers, buying raw corn at wholesale and resell after roasting and (later) doing labourer for break layers.
Whether it was due to extreme poverty, his mother’s influence or pure love for enterprises, Steve enjoyed anything that had to do with making money.
- Problem With Being an Employee
One day when Steve Courage was around 13, he asked himself, “Why is everyone teaching me how to be an employee?”
At this point he was in secondary school and it seemed to him that everywhere he went, school, church or even at home, the only thing every adult talked about was job and good jobs. Won’t I be happier if I work for myself? If I can be an entrepreneur, why should I work for another person? Above were some of the questions the 13 year old Steve had trouble getting answers to.
At 15, Steve lied to his parents that he needed money in school and used #2,500 (two thousand five hundred naira) collected from his parents to buy a used bicycle. This, he would later consider his “first business” because he was proud of how it all went.
Steve’s bicycle renting business model was simple. After school hours, his mates would follow him to an open field where they rented his bicycle. Five minute was #5 (five Naira) and ten minutes #10 (ten Naira).
- The Boy Fell in Love With Entrepreneurship
One Saturday morning, as usual, Steve biked out of home to the open field at a place called “Poly Junction”, Iree, Osun State. There was an open field in front of a church at the “Poly Junction” and many young people would be there to “have fun”. Part of the fun these people needed was to ride bicycle and Steve was there to be at their service. Few hours after he opened business, Steve moved to the side to count his money and counted about #180 (one hundred and eighty Naira).
To a 15 year old Steve, #180 was a lot of money, even so because #20 was his daily food allowance at this period. Again, Steve Courage asked himself something like, “If making money can be as easy as this, while would I ever need to work for another man?”. That day, for the first time, the 15 year old Steve seemed to fall in love with entrepreneurship.
But again, nobody around him was talking about entrepreneurship.
Even though he had a lot of fun doing business and making money, nobody ever made him feel that he was doing the right thing. His parents wanted to be sure he had good grades in school, his teachers talked every day about good job and, as the last child in a big polygamous family, everyone else expected him to behave well, study hard and one day work for a big company, so it was hard for him to know whether his passion for business is right or a wrong thing.
At 16, Steve Courage sold his bicycle for the same amount he bought it over a year ago, and again, it occurred to him that he’s really smart.
His next venture would be photography business. At age 12 (thereabout) he had started following his stepbrother around (home-service photography). They would move from home to home to take people’s photo for birthdays, when they had new clothes or just anything else. Now at 16, Steve bought a small analogue camera to start his own photography business. His customer, as in the case of the bicycle renting business were his mates.
During the break period at school, he would take his mates and juniors to the back of the classroom where no teacher would see them and take their photos as they wanted. Banana leaves and the unused school fish pond were their usual backgrounds and when the day came for sport events, since he had Sickle Cell Disease and couldn’t do sport, he would be busy taken the photographs of his mates who were doing sport. Each photo cost between #18-20 to produce and he would charge #40-60 for each short (depending on whether you’re his friend or not).
Again, at 16, making money seemed easy and Steve’s love for entrepreneurship grew. But not forever.
- The Dark Age
Steve ran his photography business all through his secondary school but something had slowly started to change and that was his dream. Having lived in the world for 17/18 years and hearing the same message (job, job and good job), by 18, Steve Courage no longer dreamed of being an entrepreneur. Since everyone talked about having good grades in school, he had at this time become the best student at the commercial class and since everyone talked, hoped and wished for a good job, now he wanted to become a professor of Accounting and later dreamed of becoming the Central Bank Governor of his country.
Steve at this time fell in love with the then Central Bank Governor, Charles Chukwuma Soludo, cut off his photographs from the newspaper, pasted it in his room and read every news about him. Since he read that Soludo is a professor of Accounting and that of Economics, Steve dream became to become a professor of Acounting and that of Economics.
Having admission to the Osun State Polytechnic in the year 2005, Steve chose Mr. Dipo (AKA Tallest) who was the overall best student in his department as a mentor. He wanted to break Tallest’s academic achievements or at least become as famous as he was.
One year after being on campus, Steve became the only student in his class of about a thousand students to get to Distinction. He became so famous that he won a political office as the “Class Governor” of his class. However, like a divorcee, Steve still had a place in his heart for his first wife (entrepreneurship). Though he at this time wanted to become what the society said was normal, he still read a lot of books about entrepreneurship, talk for hours with friends about entrepreneurship and even invested whatever money he was able to get from his father in different ventures.
Crazily in love with entrepreneurship as a child, gave in to societal pressure as he reached adulthood, at age 20 Steve would go back to his first wife, entrepreneurship.
- Dropping Out of School
By 20, Steve had already renewed his love for entrepreneurship and had made himself a promise that he would never live as an employee. To prepare for his entrepreneurial journey, he started reading even more about entrepreneurship and when in June 2008 he wrote his final paper for diploma at the Osun State polytechnic, he decided never to sit down in any classroom again in his life so he never go back to his polytechnic to get his Diploma certificate (he didn’t even check to know what his final grades were). In what looked like a drama, Steve Courage announced to his family members that he would never go for his Higher National Diploma, go to a university (as they had planned for him), collect his two year diploma certificate from the polytechnic or even sit down in a classroom again in his life. He would rather build a business of his own or die trying.
- The price of disobedience
Okay, let me stop referring to Steve Courage in third person pronoun. He’s me. Since the only person who knows my story is me, I’m the one writing this biography of me and now I want to add a twist to it.
You see, every society has rules and regulations and the only way to live peacefully anywhere is to follow such rules. Disobeying any rule in a society naturally comes with punishment and that include even unspoken rules.
One of the unspoken rules in many of the world’s society is, “You have to go to school, get certificates and live your life as an employee”. If you like yourself, don’t disobey this rule. I did disobeyed that rule and I suffered greatly for it. I lost the relationships of my family members, got ridiculed by several people and got rejected times without number. That is the price of disobedience.
Aside from the price you have to pay for going against the crowd, the universe is also not that generous. The universe is stingy and rarely give people what they want. Except you’re willing to fight with your very life, you will probably not achieve your entrepreneurial dream.
I failed in the business world for almost eight years. That is the universe’s way of testing whether you truly want what you say you want. Usually, people who don’t want success as much as their life don’t get it. The reason why these people don’t get it is because after a few mistakes, rejections and failures, these people often turn back and look for whoever they can blame. Some blame the government, the economy or even their parents. It’s all well.
- My First Business Breakthrough
I got my first business breakthrough in the year 2016 when I was able to crack a simple code which allowed me and my team to build an Agric Technology company (we called it AgricExperts and you can find the website for it at AgricExperts.com ). I made my first few millions (in Naira) mostly from the AgricExperts and as the saying goes, “The first million is the hardest”. I had my second breakthrough and the third followed within a short period of time.
Today I am the owner of the 27th Century LTD, a Lagos based limited liability Company which generates millions of Naira in monthly profit.
Steve Courage’s Net Worth
Okay, I’m including this section in this short biography because I noticed that some people are searching for “Steve Courage’s Net Worth” in Google. I don’t know why these people care about my net worth but here is what I have to say; it doesn’t matter.
There are two kinds of people in the world; people who can afford whatever they need and people who can’t. I’m grateful that I have more money than I need to care for all my needs and that’s where that ends.