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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hope is not a strategy......

2010...... Dangote+Trezorlandia+Family

The year 2010 was a busy year, I was juggling a full time job, a business and family. I tried as much as I could to keep a balance and not have any drama. Lucky enough the valentine's day in this year (one of Trezorlandia's busiest days) fell on a weekend. There's a small story for the first one which was in 2009 and for every single valentine's day actually. I will share those of the other years in separate posts.

Valentine's Day 2009, never was. Here's why. A cousin of mine told me I could get items from the states delivered in Nigeria in three weeks, so I gathered my savings and ordered teddy bears (red ones), some keep sake items and other things I thought would be nice. A week to valentine's day, I started to panic because there was no sign of the goods nor could my cousin give me a specific date for when the goods would arrive. She said the shipping company had some hitches. A day to the d-day, she calls to say she's sorry that the goods would not be in till the next week! Omo!! See crying (told you already that I like to cry, we just start o). I was stuck with goods that had valentine written all over them. Gbese!

About my talk in the the first paragraph concerning juggling three areas of my life with no drama, I lied, of course there was drama! Are you kidding me? One time I had to package a surprise for a client's anniversary. I booked a table for the pair at southern sun, got fresh roses and had them placed on the lady's seat, bought and signed the cards and arranged them on the table, got the cake and arranged with the waiters to bring it in at an agreed time, you know now all the works to create an ambiance. I was running back and forth between my office and southern sun, just to make sure everything was set. Of all days, this one was a really busy one at Dangote, I had a few reports to turn in. Still, I managed to set it all up and then rubbed my hands together and waited for feedback from the client. They were booked for about 7, so I was surprised when around 7:30 my phone rings and its my client. Here's the conversation that ensued,   "Sade, what is my name?" Oh oh, where's this going? I answer him and he goes "then where should my name be on the card?"!! Shucks! I had signed the card wrong, with his name at the top and her name under *Opens crying tap*, I stuttered a little, confused and completely ashamed of myself. How could I have? I apologized profusely and offered a discount, but he was too angry to even answer and just went like whatever. Chai! I called the next day after crying at my cousin Bimbola's desk, while she consoled and tried to calm me down, she was like haba egin (ondo for addressing an older relative) it is not that bad now. He wasn't as mad as he was the day before, whew! The thing about such mistakes is, you never, ever make them again! Unless you have screws lose in your head. At least not the same mistakes.

During this period, my brother Kehinde and partner Emy were so helpful, I will forever be grateful for the roles they played in building trezorlandia. With her crazy busy schedule, Emy would take time to have phone meetings, take care of offshore orders and was just there to listen to me whine and lament about this supplier and that supplier. She invested her time and money. Kehinde was there for me at every call, attending meetings on my behalf, reviewing documents and looking for new clients to convert. We hopped on okadas (motor bikes) to do out first interview with Lara George on gifts because I had to be back at work on time.

Interview with Lara George

I borrowed my friend Ayo's video cam for this and stayed up all night to learn how to use the video cam software to do the edit. When there is no money, you have to work extra hard. Use your brain, nothing is rocket science. In my uncle's office back in the day, he had this message on his wall that went something like " Lord somebody (I forget the name now) tried to replace a bulb in his house and got electrocuted, serves him right, you should learn to let professionals do their job". This may be true for electrical engineering or maybe medical sciences but to work a software, especially when resources are scarce? Naah!

I cannot but mention Happiness Enweremadu, who is my full time staff till date. She was more than a blessing, very smart and never complaining. I would send her from one end of Lagos to another and she would not miss a thing. When I was leaving Dangote, with no office, no guaranteed source of income, no nothing! I asked her if she would like to work with me and without much thought, she agreed.

At the pace at which it was all going, I reached a point where I had to ask myself, Sade are you doing this or are you doing this? I had to make a choice, a choice to leave my guaranteed income in the comfort of Dangote and pursue my dream of building a business that I know will outlive me. I  use "know" now because I can't be hoping at this stage, #hope is not a strategy.

Of course making this decision is never an easy process and it wasn't for me. I will tell you about how I made the final move in the next post.


2013........25th June

I have been a bit lazy, aside from the fact that I was down with malaria. I am in that place where I just don't feel like doing anything. Imagine that. Somebody that is looking for money o. One major challenge with this journey is the ability to stay motivated, in the face of all the challenges and struggles. Motivation is so important. Like the artists you need to find your muse and hold on to it.

I haven't been to the hub in almost a week. So much for my strategic positioning near the Budgit guys. It must not go to waste! I started the Abraham Lincoln book finally, but the first few pages have been a bit of a drag, efiko style writing, booooring! I am under pressure to finish it though, as I have opened my big mouth, more like used my big fingers to type it for the whole world to read that I am going to read it (I hope this makes sense? lol!). So boring or not, I will do my best to finish it, so help me God.

It's gone quiet again. No birthdays, no anniversaries, no weddings? People! Where are you at? Oluwa, connect me by fire!