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Tunji Andrews: Dear Entrepreneur, This Too Shall Pass

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It was 6:35am, I had about covered 80% of my 11 km walk to my place of work as a N17,000 per month teacher. I honestly needed the job (Even though the pay was always late) but it was all that was left for this broken man, who had just seen yet another great entrepreneurial pursuit, go up in smoke right before his eyes.

I honestly was tired of life, I was deep in debt, and even if I paid all my monthly salary, it would take me a few years to pay it off. My phone started to ring and I took it out of my pocket to see who it was. It was my mum, obviously worried, having not heard from me in months. I cut the call as a tear escaped my eye. I felt the full weight of all the shame in the world fall upon me. I felt like a disappointment, a failure, a good for nothing son. What a morning.

However, it was just about to get a little worse, as I heard a hoarse whisper behind me. “Give me that phone before I shoot you”, I heard the person say, interrupting my thoughts and making me realize I could now see the school (I worked at) up ahead. “Give me that phone. You dey mad?” the voice said again. I looked at the phone, a dead looking Nokia 6600, the only thing of value I had left in the world and something inside me snapped.

“Why did all these things have to happen to me”, I thought. I chose to commit myself to honest enterprise, I crashed and burned, walking long hours daily to teach for a salary that was always at least 3 weeks late; and yet this FOOL WANTS TO STEAL MY PHONE! I turned back and charged at him, in the most insane act of my existence on earth. Clearly shocked, the thief tucked his gun, turned and ran in the opposite direction.

Please do not try this. You may get shot.

However, I am beyond lucky to still be alive to share this. That was lunacy at its peak, but it is what frustration can do to you, if you let it. I can only assume that the universe still had use for me, sparing my life that day.

Fast forward a few years and I’m writing this on a client’s private jet, heading home to my family. There’s still the pressure, some anxiety, debt (Yeah, it never really ends, only becomes more structured and sustainable) but honestly, if I had been told then that life would have my sun shine a little brighter, I would have managed those days a lot better.

So, while all around you may seem chaotic at the moment, maybe the possibility of total embarrassment is knocking at your door or you even have no door because your landlord kicked you out; take heart and diligently document those stories. As you will tell them some day to those coming behind you, with a smile on your face, saying “Dear Entrepreneur, this too shall pass”.

Tunji Andrews is the Lead economist at TTAC Africa, a European Union consultant, under the EU SUFEGOR project, a financial literacy advocate and a renowned media personality.His work, which brings him in contact with thousands of people, continues to help bridge the knowledge gap within the Nigerian society, in the areas of Macro economics, personal finance and entrepreneurship.He's an award winning business radio show host, with various radio shows across the country, Co-host on Ndani TV's analyse this and celebrity blogger hosting the #DearEntrepreneur series on Pulse TV.

16 Comments

  1. LL

    September 14, 2017 at 8:42 am

    Thank you Tunji!!!

  2. Iyke

    September 14, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Beautiful piece!
    11km walk everyday??That’s huge man….
    Been doing 15km walk every friday for sometime now and don’t recover until sunday morning ?
    I have failed in so many stuffs in my life……I never questioned or asked ‘WHY ME’….Why not ME? Mental strength that’s all we need. Embracing the ‘NAVY SEAL training’ ideology has greatly made me the man that I am today.
    #thaksforsharing
    #shownoweakness

  3. faosat

    September 14, 2017 at 9:53 am

    This too shall pass!! this word ring on my head.thanks

  4. Theresa Doghor

    September 14, 2017 at 9:57 am

    i am writing every single thing down for my memoir
    Those who did me good will certainly get a mention
    Those who did me evil, I will give you another name but people will recognize you from the descriptions in that very interesting memoirs
    You are all part of my success story and a good one it will be indeed.

  5. yomi

    September 14, 2017 at 10:08 am

    Thank you Tunji for this article!
    WOW OH WOW Tough times don’t last, only tough people do!

  6. Bukie

    September 14, 2017 at 10:13 am

    Thanks Boss!

  7. Didi

    September 14, 2017 at 10:39 am

    Thank you so much. Just this morning I was praying for people to place orders and invest in my business so I could start paying off the debt I owe. But this too shall pass. Thank you Tunji, God bless you.

  8. Benedict

    September 14, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Dear Tunji,
    I am inspired by your story but would like to know if this is fiction or a true life story. We hooked up on linkedin lately if you remember. Do have a great one..cheers

  9. ooop

    September 14, 2017 at 10:55 am

    debtors just called to find out about repayment, sudden headache sha for me. reading this gave me hope that what we are building will soon come to pass.

  10. l

    September 14, 2017 at 11:27 am

    Thank you for this encouraging write up. However, i have a principle of not having any debt as a business person. Start small, think big.

  11. Fabulous

    September 14, 2017 at 11:37 am

    Thank you for sharing this. Just what I needed.

  12. Isioma

    September 14, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    This is so encouraging. Thank you Tunji.

  13. isaid!!

    September 14, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    Thank you Tunji

  14. Tunji Andrews

    September 14, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    Hi guys, glad this encouraged someone. It gets very dark sometimes in the life of an entrepreneur but I’ve come to learn that what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. Please remember how reading this made you feel and when you’ve exited your dark place, encourage someone else too. Stay blessed

  15. nwa nna

    September 15, 2017 at 12:04 am

    Thank you! What I’ve learnt as an entrepreneur is, you’ve got to out work & out grind them consistently no matter what!
    For every new level there is a devil!

  16. Kelvin

    September 18, 2017 at 7:39 am

    Tj, I sure remember a part of it. Well its a good story we should always be thankful for. …….the days of huble beginnings.

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