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”.