Evans Ibok, Nigerian technologist, knows what it takes to make something from nothing.

At the Olotu Square, a technology hub, he applies his 5+ years of experience to help startups through Olotu Square Hub Incubation Program.

“I am passionate about lean methods, business model design and what it takes to make startups successful.” Evans explains, as a tech evangelist, UX designer and hobbyist programmer who transitioned into a product role.

“Life helped shape my reality — And I have 6 lessons I hope to help others with. I want to help mentor and motivate people to push for what they want, even when the going gets tough. It’s never over until you give up on yourself,” Evans says.

Evans was a 24-year old drop out who lived with his parents when he was forced to support his family during an economic crisis. “Like many Nigerian entrepreneurs, I was filled with big visions on building a business but had no clear execution plans.”

Evans realized that having dreams wasn’t just enough and he needed an action plan. He tells entrepreneurs today to make connections in the Nigerian startup sector. Attend every event you can find, connect with people on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and other platforms. Network like crazy.

As Evans mentors for the African Entrepreneurship Award, he has 6 pieces of advice:

1. It’s okay to have no idea what you want to do with your life when you’re young. Some people never figured it out until they had experiences that led to that realization… and most people still haven’t.
2. Life is a teacher, it comes with lessons. Don’t be too stubborn to pay attention
3. Have experiences above all else. Go out, experiment, fail, rinse… and repeat
4. The only thing that matters is your belief in yourself. Don’t ever lose that!
5. Never stop learning!
6. Be Patient!