“If success is a mountain, I will take the risk to climb to the topmost.”
The month of October threw me into the full research experience – field research where I was moving around the city of Lagos, most especially Yaba area of the city, in search of young entrepreneurs who are doing outstandingly in their businesses; and are also willing to do more. It was very interesting meeting new people and also exercising my hobby – talking, those who really know me know I love to do this well.
At a point on this project, I almost lost interest, why would I? I love meeting new people and discussing, so, why? It got to a point that it was difficult to come in contact with a representative of the big companies and largely growing start-ups in Lagos-Nigeria. They proved so difficult to come in physical contact with, even after I gave a phone call, made a visit to their offices which availed me the opportunity of enjoying the ambiance of their reception desk and receptionist and I also had to use a contact-person – which is a norm to track the so-called big people, mind you I made use of the social media platforms too. I was worried and down but this experience taught me persistence because the normal “Fisayo” would have given up immediately they became inaccessible. Well, I persisted and continued calling them, at a point, it seemed like I have nabbed someone from Andela but unfortunately, she never again replied my email messages, how did I feel at this point? Sorrowful? Worried? Down? Well, a part of me felt like these adjectives but you know what? I told myself, this is teaching me persistence – trying until you have tried all available means.
When I returned back from Lagos I had to serve as a business advisor to a brother of mine who started a business that as to do with delivery of items at the University of Ibadan. The business is booming but he became disturbed about competitors. According to him, he started the business first within the University campus but people on seeing the stride at which the business is picking, then the influx into the dispatch business within the campus rose at an alarming rate. Should he then give up at the sight of a competition? No! And so, I advised him not to stop but to continue and to try different strategies through which he can ensure growth in his business. I never stopped at just counselling this young entrepreneur with the ordinary words of the mouth but also by telling him about a young Kenyan entrepreneur I recently read about (though my recent research experience got me to know him).
Joel Machariah, is a young entrepreneur who started running his own business as early as age 8 by selling his candy in primary school; at age 17 he started trading in the stock exchange market. When he started off at age 17 the business boomed and he was able to build his business and his own self-sufficiency. Unfortunately, the 2007 world Stock Market crash affected his business and he lost all his savings and he also became indebted because he had to pay back his clients’. He was, before the crash already living on his own but during this crisis, he had to return to his parents’ house. He was out of business, no cash flow but he still believed and then later he came up with a new business two years after, this business was called Pesatalk, a blogging platform that allows people to be informed on financial education. Within the one year he started Pesatalk, he lost it to his investors because they could not agree on terms. Obviously, he was back to square one but he never did give up, today, he is the owner of Abacus, an online platform for stock trading in Kenya, which also teaches people on financial education – investment. In 2016, he was named by Forbes Africa, as one of Africa’s most promising entrepreneur under 30.
What are you doing now that you are scared of following through with a process? Giving up is never a thing to consider but persistence and regeneration of ideas are key to success.
This brother of mine told me he was indeed motivated by Joel Machariah’s story and I believe you are as well.