What Do You Want?

Simply ask; You won’t die from a ‘No’

3 min readJun 11, 2021
Babatunde Akin Moses | Co-Founder, Sycamore.NG

Hey T-Tribe

Its Friyay!!!, Y’all know what that means

Today, we have Babatunde Akin Moses, the CEO of Sycamore.NG, a peer to peer (P2P) lending platform which connects lenders to borrowers. Babatunde has extensive consulting and finance experience with close to a decade spent cumulatively at Shell, KPMG, PwC and Pezesha (a P2P lending Fintech in Kenya). He has passion for Nigeria and therefore is bullish about enterprise and governance, in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. He is passionate about being part of the solution to the problems/challenges we live through as Nigerians.

He shared with us his key takeaways from the book Risk and Return by Yomi Jemibewon

A year ago, I shared excerpts from Risk and Return, a book about the origin of CardinalStone Partners by Yomi Jemibewon, on my blog. Risk and Return is a book I believe anyone at a turning point in his/her life (especially as career or business is concerned) will find useful.

In the excerpt, I mentioned how he and his partners decided to raise N3 billion for their business, even though he had intended to raise almost 8 times less. N3 billion isn’t a little amount of money by any means but the people involved had

  • …arrived at it after serious calculation and calibration (they weren’t just guessing number)
  • …the confidence that they could raise this kind of money
  • …known each other for excellence based on past experiences and encounters

The key takeaway for me, was the audacity to even think they could request for such an amount from investors! One of the things we’ve learned in our course of running Sycamore is to simply ask for exactly what we want. There are times I would just ask a potential lender/investor for 10 times the initial amount I had in mind. I have been shocked by how many times people have said yes to this. Besides, what’s the worst case scenario? They will say no right? Nobody will die from a “No”. In fact, if you take the rejection well, that answer may change in a month or two. You just have to be courteous and patient in the interim.

As with everything, context, timing and wisdom applies. Having said that, you should ask for exactly what you want. Best case, you get a yes. Worst case you get a no, and life continues.

There you have it,

Ask for exactly what you want (You won’t die)

Have a great weekend!

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