Taken from a friend’s BB display picture
I woke up this morning to the following BB broadcast…
“I was raped at the age of 9” – Oprah Winfrey
“I didn’t even complete my university education” – Bill Gates
“In my childhood days, I stitched shoes” – Abraham Lincoln
“I struggled academically throughout elementary school” – Ben Carson
“I used to serve tea at a shop to support my football training” – Lionel Messi
“I used to sleep on the floor in friends’ rooms, returning Coke bottles for food money, and getting weekly free meals at a local temple” – Steve Jobs
“My teachers used to call me a failure” – Tony Blair
“I was a 3rd class graduate in my first university” – Prof Wole Soyinka
… And the popular story “GEJ had neither shoes nor a school bag!”
Wake Up Peeps! What’s your story? Is it an excuse for failure? The Lord be with you. J.Okene (JP)”
These are famous people we all know and look up to and need we even talk about the Abiolas and the owner of Coscharis Motors (who never went to school). But truth is we all have our own success stories and no we may not be popular yet, we are still an inspiration to ourselves and others and should continue to be. We need to inspire ourselves to continue to “keep keeping on no matter what”.
When I read the BB broadcast, I immediately added 3 more to the list. Here goes:
“I sold sand and cement to pay off my loan to the company and feed my children when I made up my mind to resign from paid employment since I never got promoted” – Mrs Adebola Alanamu, Dealer, Conoil Service Station (my mother) – I promised I would tell you her story…. and I will very soon…
“I used to walk for miles to school without shoes” – Adewale Ajayi, Partner, Tax, Regulatory & People Services, KPMG Professional Services (my mentor).
“I used to wake up at 5am and drive for at least an hour (to and fro) everyday to pick up a girl and drop her off at school every morning before she resumed at 8am and I still had to be at school by 9am else I’d get kicked out of school if I didn’t meet my 80% attendance. Why did I do this? I needed money to complete my various final projects and graduate collection to enable me graduate from Fashion School” – Temitope Williams. – Yup… that was my story! In fact, I did so many odd jobs not necessarily to make ends meet but to maintain a certain lifestyle and I was determined never to work as a waitress!
So yes! You and I have our various stories. And it is what keeps us going everyday. Someone told me that people only get inspired by stories of popular people who made it. I beg to differ. I am inspired by normal people who have achieved a lot… regardless of whether they are celebrities or normal people. It’s the stories I count. And it is even more believable when you see and speak to these people everyday! It makes you believe in yourself!
I went through enough challenges in South Africa and almost quit fashion school when my friend died but I kept at it, of course with lots of support and encouragement. When I also felt like giving up as a young business owner, I kept at it. Not because I had a point to prove to myself (by then I was at my lowest ebb and didn’t really care anymore) but simply because I didn’t want to disappoint those who believed in me. And now, it seems my hard work is finally paying off!
So what’s the moral of my story?! You may be going through enough issues now with your fashion business. And you feel like giving up. I talk to people going through challenges all the time and who have either given up or are on the verge of doing so and I try to encourage them to keep at it. And forget what others say…. only giving up totally makes you a loser. Giving up on a certain perceived route to success does not! It simply means you need to backtrack and carve out another route for yourself and try to do things differently.
And know this! As long as you have life and God, it is not over until it’s over! Make positive confessions and surround yourself with people who have your genuine interests at heart. Keep at it and it will eventually pay off!
Enjoy the rest of your evening…