Nigeria is hard. There are just too many bottle necks besotting the most simple processes. Entrepreneurship in Nigeria is even harder. But hey, whoever said it was going to be easy?
A few days ago while stuck in the world-famous Lagos traffic, I thought to myself while standing in the BRT bus: some people do this everyday? We had been in traffic for about two hours and I wasn’t even sitting! The queue at the BRT station had made me promptly join the ‘standing line’. Now I was shifting my weight from one leg to the other. The guy standing behind me was obviously a veteran; he came prepared: large earphones plugged to his Samsung phone. He was oblivious of the traffic.
Spread across the bus were all office types. It seemed it was standard routine. Sit in the BRT bus, plug-in your earphones, find a comfortable sleeping position and zoom off. Poor souls. They would get home late, and before they could lay down to sleep well, the alarm would already be jingling. And the mad rush would begin again. Five, sometimes six times a week.
People who want to live long should definitely not run that routine.
A friend of a friend once told me he once didn’t see sunlight for about 2 months. He’d rush out at 4.am, have lunch at his desk and by the time the day’s work was done, it was late evening! How crazy is that? But what was the alternative? Body and soul needs to be kept together, bills have to be paid, and if it took such a crazy routine of morning traffic, (sometimes) hateful job and evening traffic to pay the bills, then I guess it just has to be done.
I can stand morning traffic, I can even stand evening traffic, as long as I know I’m going home to my boo. But I cannot stand a job that I dislike.
A huge, really huge part of our lives is centered around our work, and we spend more than half of our waking hours at work. It just doesn’t make any sense to spend the better part of our adult lives in environments we do not like. It rubs you of the joy that life should be.
Many times I have heard people say how much they dislike their jobs. Hence, Mondays have become the most hated of days. Many times i have also heard people talk about what they would rather do, if they had the chance. Unfortunately, many of these dreams are being slaughtered by the very people who own them.
And the reason isn’t that far-fetched. We have been conditioned by convention handed down to us by our parents! Go to school, get good grades, get a good job. Yes, we’ve gone to school, yes, some people have got good grades, majority na olodo, and yes some people have good jobs, but even they are dying at it. Even those that have bad jobs are still dying at it! We can’t seem to tear our minds off the fact that a good job doesn’t have to be a 9 to 5.
I remember back in school when I was studying microbiology. Not that I really even cared about microbiology, just a course they told you you had to do because that was what was available. Like for real? And that’s where it all begins to fall apart. Anyways that’s a story for another day. To me, Microbiology was dull. Sporangiospores and petri-dishes was just not my thing. I was graphical, I was an artist. I wanted to draw and paint and just design things.
I knew in my mind I did not want to end up in a lab looking into microscopes and poking fecal matter submitted by patients. No way. But I still had to do microbiology. Although I didn’t learn much microbiology, the school taught me how to sell stuff to my classmates! Art, birthday cards, valentine cards, pencil portraits etc. And that was vital! I had a sale-able skill. And sold too!
Somewhere along the line, I discovered computers, in fact, the first desktop computer I ever had to play with had a total hard disk size of 4GB. 🙂 That was plenty of memory at that time, the time of the 3.5 inch diskettes and windows 98. I rocked that computer till it wouldn’t come on again. But it fired me up, it was going to be the next best invention in the world. And it still is.
So my graphics morphed into designing stuff for my greeting cards on the computer and then I altogether forgot about the greeting cards. 123greetings.com and co stole the whole show. Internet became prolific, Google indexed the whole thing, MySpace came, Friendster too, then Facebook killed them both and a host of others too.
Then the thought: What if I could create my own website? Wow, what a thought. It would be so nice to have my own website! Or even build websites for other people. So, i asked Google and with the help of a few really good people, i got the hang of web design. This thought was only about 3 years ago!
Today, more than half of the work I do on web design are for clients I have never met and may never meet. And I do it at my convenience!
We live in a rapidly, rapidly changing world. We have left behind the industrial age of our mamas and papas and are now in the information age! You can learn everything about anything or anyone or anyplace in a matter of minutes. That’s huge! You have definitely got to put that potential to profitable use. That’s what your smart phone is there for.
That’s why i think there is absolutely no reason anyone should be stuck in a job they do not like simply because the tools available to you today to start living your dream are just right there at your fingertips, and best of all, they are free.
Today, just one video file can be larger than the size of that whole computer hard disk of a few years ago and if the video was about you, or about a sale-able skill you have, it could very well make its way to the other side of the world in a few minutes and create value for you.
You’ve got that idea that hasn’t let you rest for a while now, what have you done about it? Take only an hour a day to work on it, you’ll be in a better place a week from now.
We are all still marveling at the recent sale of Whatsapp to Facebook. 19 billion USD is quite an outstanding figure for a software service. It’s not even a tangible good you can hold in your hand, it’s a piece of software installed in your phone, and these two guys who created it, Brian Acton and Jan Koum , left Yahoo to do so. If they can leave yahoo to pursue their dreams, you can too.
You probably don’t work at yahoo, and probably don’t have software development skill, but you’ve got your own dreams, and your dreams are valid, and only you can chase them! Act today.
Don’t you want to also love Mondays the way I do? Cos for me! It’s just another fun day to work. Or Lounge!