Tuesday, 23 May 2017

“Don’t you think is time for you to try something else since you failed in that?”

Olagunju, Success Taiwo (OST)
Recently, I was in a conversation with a friend and we started talking about business and this question came out during our discussion!

“Don’t you think is time for you to try something else since you failed in that?” 

I looked up his face I decided to school him about me. Is true we have known each other since I became a member of a church community that I attend in Braamfontein; but the part of the truth is we don’t always talk much.

I have ample experiences after working in a numerous industries in Nigeria from year 2000, after my high school graduation in 1999. My first job was as an Estate Agency Assistant. My lovely father wanted me to do that because our family has a number of property way back from my grand-father and grand-mother but please note we are not wealthy!

I worked from real estate industry to medical industry, hospitality industry, media industry (photography), IT and communications. In 2003 I felt the push to start something of my own. I started something new; Unicorn Nigeria Enterprises; and we were in business until October 2006. We traded in chain supplies of products and items needed in hotel and hospitality industry while we also dabbled into newsprints and books supplies.

As soon as I finished high school; I always wanted to go into business. I have been making money while in high school selling various confectionaries made by my mum to my friends and my proceedings I always saved it up in order to spoil myself during holidays. 

I’m so sorry, I don’t really fancy university degree but I value education. Education makes you go from A to B but my imagination takes me everywhere and that’s why I left my pursuit of one. Don’t get me wrong; a university degree works for as many as those who want it but my love for business craft is stronger!

In October, 2006; after series of major success in my first business; I decided to conquer another part of Africa. I invested my saved proceedings into some blue-chips in Nigeria and the rest I put into relocating to South Africa. Coming into this Southern Hemisphere of Africa is a dream come true for me. Though, I didn’t want to come at first owing to various past violence history of South Africa, scary news over media and discouragement from friends but I thank the Lord that I came anyway!

It was hard at first most especially when I finished spending my Basic Travel Allowance (BTA) on documentations, hotel and accommodation, food and other things that are important and not forgetting being crooked by my fellow compatriots. I decided to go back into hotel and hospitality industry in South Africa. I worked at various 3-5 stars hotels and restaurants; worked as a security at some point and finally in an Internet cafe as a manager but in 2007 I decided to try a new business entirely in South Africa.

I gathered up everything that I saved up and also wired in some money to start something. My initial idea was to start a financial services company that would cater for Nigerians in South Africa in a form of co-operative. After registering the business it was nipped in the bud because we didn’t meet the financial services board’s requirements. That was a big slap for someone who just came into a country. Modestly, I saw it as a temporal failure to me but I learnt from it and that I have not stopped in believing in doing a successful business in South Africa.

Now I have enjoyed a jolly ride of a decade in South Africa and after learning through an entrepreneurial training for two years and putting together my five years experience as an entrepreneur I believe I am set for success. "Success is the progressive realization of a worthy idea." I am still on course with my idea to set up a profitable business or chains of profitable business in South Africa and that I am not giving up is the counter response to what my friend said “Don’t you think is time for you to try something else since you failed in that?” 

Understanding what success means would make you triumph over a temporary failure, set-backs, trials, and whatever we might encounter in business. Doing business as a foreigner in South Africa is tough; let the truth be told but I am more determined to win because nobody told me the road to financial freedom would be easy!

My blueprint to be the world richest someday is officially ready and God is involve in this whole movement from the way go!

By Olagunju, Success Taiwo.

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