When one of my ex-colleagues sent me this message a couple of days back, it brought back so many memories, and though I’ve been through so so much, I really wouldn’t have had it any other way.
It’s been 10 years since I left MTN. When I was leaving, a lot of people were scared for me. People asked, “What are you going to do?” I remember a colleague of mine, we were work friends but we’d never met. She called me up, and we spoke for about two hours. She asked me, “What are your plans, girl?”, and I said “Well, I’m just going to see where it goes”. At that time, I didn’t have the skills that I felt I needed to start making jewelry for sale, and I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do next. All I knew was basic beading, and I couldn’t imagine leaving a job where I was earning almost half a million per month, to make N4,000/5,000 beaded jewelry. I thought of how much my dad had spent when I went abroad for my Master’s degree, and how some people had told him at the time that it was a waste to spend so much on a girl. Was I not fulfilling their ‘prophecy’? I’ll tell that story another time.
The common thinking is that entrepreneurs are risk-takers, and I would like to modify that bit. I know it seems like risks to the rest of the world, but in reality it’s just a matter of choices, and perspective. At the time I chose to leave, I was doing great at my job. I’d won awards for 3 years in a row, my work strategically positioned me in front of the right eyes in top management, I enjoyed my job, but I was getting restless. I had two options – move up, or move out. I knew I had so much I wanted to do outside going to work. I simply couldn’t imagine waking up in a decade, and having only my job to show for my time. I had young children who I wanted to be there for; I wanted to be more involved in life generally. Work wouldn’t let me do that. The only part of my desires that work fulfilled was financial security, and even that couldn’t compensate for the lack of satisfaction I had with my life. For me, it wasn’t a risk at all, it was just me taking charge of my life.
I’m so grateful for my journey, and for how far God has brought me. I now have such a rich and full life, I’ve learnt so much about myself, about others, about life. And it’s been great, G-R-E-A-T! I LOVE where I’m at. My advice to anyone who is thinking of taking the proverbial ‘leap’ – think of what you’d like to be able to have done with yourself in the next 10 or 15 years, and if where you are now isn’t anywhere on that path, rearrange your circumstances to take you one or two or three steps closer to your goals. Save aggressively, start a side business, take a course or start learning about your area of interest, and if the only thing holding you back is fear, then just do it afraid. I promise you, you won’t regret it!