How strong is your resolve? This is a story of determination and pure passion. People will say and do things that may hurt you and make you rethink and doubt your purpose and goals, but stay true to yourself and don't let the opinion of others derail you because you are on the part to success.
I have always loved to sell. I can't explain why exactly. I think it's in my blood, Mum(God rest her soul) was a Serial Enterpreneur and Dad has always been business minded.
So my journey started from way back in secondary school. I was a girl guide and when we needed to raise money, I was always in the fore front, meeeeeeen! my hustle game has always been tight. Lol
I started taking business more seriously after my NYSC, I sold waist trainers, partnered with a friend who opened her store and I stocked lingerie, then I expanded and started selling clothes and shoes. Loads of failures and successes in that journey before it became something people started to envy.
During this journey I had good jobs, infact my first job was in a bank and after the first month we started earning like N105k, that was almost 12 years ago, so you can understand I wasn't selling because I was hungry. I had the passion and I wanted to start something then that I could retire into. I had always said I will leave paid employment by the time I am 30 years.
From banking, I moved on to work in one of the biggest indegineous oil and gas company in Nigeria and guess what, I still sold. There was no stopping me. Several times I meet people who basically turn up their nose at me simply because I sell. When the conversation gets deeper and they get to know more about me, their countenance changes, but by then, I would have already become withdrawn.
Over the years even as the business grew, I had stock worth millions of naira, I sold on different platforms without even needing to market, but a lot of small minded people still couldn't see the big picture.
I remember going to a party, and I was about to introduce myself to one of the ladies there and she said condescendingly "I know you nah, are you not the lady that sells bra?" I have never seen her in my life, as shocked as I was, I responded,...
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I responded "Yes I am." it was ridiculous how someone could summarise my whole existence and use only a tiny part of my business to define me. It wasn't exactly what she said, it was how she said it with her eyes rolling and turning away while I was moving towards hee for a handshake. I knew I was always going to remember that day. I almost felt bad for a split second before my gangsta alter-ego took over, and instead of letting that bother me or make me feel bad, I said to myself "Deyo, your business has grown, she knows you but you don't know her, you rock babe."
Well, from this bra business, without selling clothes and shoes, I would never have ventured into Logistics. When shipping companies started showing me pepper and almost killed my business, I decided to take them on and find out all I could about becoming a shipper. This didn't happen in a day, but I was determined to give people the kind of service I expected from them. I knew it wasn't easy being in their shoes because there are a lot of factors out of their control and things often went wrong, not necessarily from them, but as a customer, I expected empathy, I wanted them to let me know what was going on and I wanted to be spoken to with respect. I didn't get all of these thongs, so I was determined to give it to my customers, so here we are.
Some people will always want to belittle your hustle, don't let them. In fact, they will beef you for doing something they thought was impossible. Don't let them get to you, let your gangster alter-ego takeover.
Remember that girl that sells bras? Well, her business grew just enough and she resgned from her enviable job two weeks ago.
I didn't get to do it at 30 though, but it's better late than never.
This was written when we had 2 bikes and 3 staff. It's been a year, we haven't even scratched the surface but we are now 19 Staff, 8 Bikes and we had to move from a standard office space to a 3 bedroom apartment to accommodate us. Cheers to moving into a full building in a year.
As an entrepreneur, you have to keep learning and working hard, and with support from the right team, it will all be worth it.