I’m excited to be here with great minds like you.
Thanks Sam Semako for this opportunity to engage with brilliant souls.
My journey into career started in a very interesting way and informed my earliest choice of career path.
About a year into our marriage, I went with hubby to visit her cousin who was preparing to get married.
I stayed back to help the wife to get some stuff done.
I was to be there till hubby passes by in the evening from the office to pick me.
We gisted as she wrote a list of things she wanted to pick from the nearby market.
That was when I remembered hubby and I had discussed I was to pick some stuff from the market too.
I searched my bag for the money and ‘na dere kasala burst’.
Because of the rush, neither hubby and I remembered the money.
I chatted hubby and he asked that I tell his cousin (they grew up together and were very close) to give me the money.
He was going to reimburse him when he came to pick me.
My people, I opened my mouth many times but the words did not come out.
I tried and tried but the words stuck under my tongue.
This story began my career journey in banking.
I had to overcome my fear of the word ‘NO’ by working in a Nigerian commercial bank as a marketer, the ajebo terminology is ‘Relationship Officer.’
And did I learn to speak to people, be rejected and not feel bad.
Never Lose An Opportunity to Learn
My weakness helped me choose my 1st career path.
My fear for rejection led me to become a marketer and I made use of that opportunity practically to hide my negotiation skills, separate rejection of my idea from a rejection of myself. And hey, even if I was rejected by a prospect, I didn’t have to reject myself.
We all are at different stages of life and have made career choices for different reasons.
You have to understand why are you in the field that you are in.
If you are a starter and you are in it to EARN, you may want to add the letter ‘L’ as prefix and get to work. You have to learn to earn.
I saw a lot of frustrated start-ups who are sad that their earnings have not reached that of their mentors or industry giants that they look up to. HAVE YOU LEARNT THE LESSONS?
Take each failure as payment for research and development and devise another winning plan. Keep tweaking your plan till you get it right.
So I knew that I wasn’t into banking to become an MD of a bank. I knew why I ventured and so I had an exit plan.
Being the best graduate from the business school of that bank, fresh intakes are usually trained for about 3 months in an intensive and then sent out to the field to deliver. I had the choice to pick any preferred department.
Some advised that I choose Treasury as it would earn me some extra bucks. I CHOSE MARKETING IN A BRANCH BECAUSE OF MY “WHY”.
Remember, I needed to deal with my fear of rejection.
Know Your Exit Plan and Set Goals Towards It
A colleague of mine in the relationship sphere would say that any organisation that doesn’t have free entry and exit is a cult.
I had a 5 – 7 years exit plan. I eventually exited banking on the 8th year.
Permit me to digress a little.
If you believe in the “Fire Your Boss” syndrome, raise up your hands.
Before you fire your boss, make sure you will not be fired bossing yourself.
We all don’t have the skills to be an entrepreneur.
[bctt tweet=”Know yourself. Understand your proficiency and work it out.” username=””]
Back to my career story and lessons.
Go the Extra Mile
I worked with different interesting people as managers who liked to assign tasks to me that were not part of my Key Performance Indicators.
I did them gracefully, sometimes I grumbled sha.
Most of the times, I did them happily and diligently too.
Today, in my entrepreneurial pursuits, those skills have helped me close deals and endeared me to my clients.
If you sabi speak English and would rather stick to your job descriptions, you may stick to that level longer than you imagined.
I became an indispensable staff. I didn’t have those horrible nightmares my colleagues had.
One fear in marketing as a Nigerian banking is being transferred to a dry land, where your shoe soles will testify that it can only be your village people that orchestrated this redeployment.
I don’t get too excited when people come to me for mentoring. Many of them do not want to work the walk.
You must be ready to walk the extra mile to meet your career goals unless they are not compelling enough.
Life Is Not Fair! Accept It. Don’t Waste Your Time Debating
Life is not fair! Period.
There will always be people in the upper rungs of the ladder than you, and people below you.
That’s how the cycle works.
Understanding this, will help you FOCUS ON YOUR FOCUS and STAY COMMITTED TO YOUR COMMITMENT.
[bctt tweet=”Focus on your focus and stay committed to your commitment.” username=””]
If you began to debate why Dangote gets dollar at a cheaper rate than the businessman struggling in the streets, you will exhaust yourself mentally and will not be at your optimal productivity level.
I learnt that LIFE is not fair in a bitter way, albeit in a lesson, it took me time to process.
I naively thought all I should focus on in my banking career was to meet my targets, concentrate on my work, etc.
As a person of high moral standards, I couldn’t subscribe to eye service of any kind nor try to parley any senior officer for favours. Why should I?
I didn’t fully understand that life was not fair and my regional manager had a lot of power that he wielded as he liked.
I spent 3 years plus on a particular level because of that.
I’m not subscribing to butt liking. NEVER!
I just want you to accept that POLITICS exist in all spheres of LIFE and each industry has a CABAL.
[bctt tweet=”Politics exist in all spheres of LIFE and each industry has a CABAL.” username=”dinmanwobi”]
Your concern therefore is “How can I make myself relevant in this industry?”
And for the BOLD, “How can I become a CABAL?”
Consistency Is a Key to Success
To become relevant and indispensable, you have to be consistent.
And so after 8 years in banking, with my fear of rejection dealt with, I left banking and ventured into my PASSION (or so I thought).
If you are planning to transition into the entrepreneurial world and you are thinking,
“Finally, I can rest and have my time to myself. Do the things I want to do when I want to do them. Nobody breathing down my neck.”
bla bla bla
PAUSE and receive the best advice ever (even though I don’t like giving advises).
Don’t resign yet. Stay on that job till you learn that following your passion is equal to hard work.
Harder than you ever worked as an employee.
That thing of having time to yourself as an entrepreneur is A BIG FAT LIE.
Shebi I could chose to deliver on my target or not? My monthly salary was assured ni. If I try it now, na hunger strike noni. No two ways about it.
Until you transition into an investor, where your money now works for you. Passion is not enough to survive.
Consistency is the mantra you must chant daily to make your business, passion, or any other grandiose name you call it work.
The Fastest Finger Wins
Look! There are no monopoly of ideas. As the sun shines on everyone, so does ideas fall into us all.
Only the person that takes immediate action, launches the product and wins.
Don’t be like me caught with the perfectionist bug.
I have seen industry colleagues launch products I have designed mentally, many times and all I say is “Chai! And I wanted to do that o.”
Take action on your ideas.
Don’t wait for them to be fully formed.
Make that mistake.
Launch that nonsense.
Write that book.
Create that program.
Stop thinking about it.
Do it even if it means doing it afraid.
Just do it.
It’s good to have an accountability team or a mentor or someone higher than you whom you consult. However, don’t wait on that person to commission your work or tell you what to do always.
FOLLOW YOUR GUTS.
I wrote a book that I gave away as my 40th birthday gift to humanity chronicling my journey from shyness to confidence earlier this year. I was looking for a catchy title and I shared the one I wanted with my writing coach who didn’t think it was so catchy.
He opined that I change the title and come up with something else. Each time I thought of a title, the same one kept coming up. For me, it represented what I wanted share and so I stuck with it.
The next time we talked about the book was after I had released it. He buzzed me to say he admired that I went with my guts and stuck to my choice.
That was how “How Stella Wore Shorts to the Beach” – My Journey from Shyness to Confidence was released on May 21st and it’s still being downloaded till date.
It’s a free ebook. If you would like a copy, just go to this http://bit.ly/My_Rebirth and get a copy delivered to you.
I remind myself of this thought as often as I need to.
When I begin to question myself, I remind myself of it.
When it seems like I am paying too much school fees, I remind myself of it. (hope you know that failure is only but payment of school fees. At least, you have learnt how not to do it.)
When those crazy thoughts come to my head and people say “Ha, it’s never been done o.” “This is not how we do things here o.”
I remind myself of it.
And here is the thought:
All the experts are experts on what was. There is no expert on what will be. To become an “expert” on the future, vision must replace experience.
– David Ben-Gurion
[bctt tweet=”Take Action On Your Ideas Now!” username=”dinmanwobi”]
Believe In Yourself Or Nobody Will
You are a god, creative blood runs in your veins.
Imagine when you were born, you were born with the cure to cancer.
Do you know that the world will keep dying if you don’t invent the cure to cancer?
Imagine the Wright Brothers, they tried and tried. Failed and failed. Their tenacity paid off.
Today, we fly about in planes just because they persisted.
Today, my company create unforgettable experiences for couples in our Getaways just because we persisted.
[bctt tweet=”What will posterity get because you persisted? ” username=”dinmanwobi”]
Remember, “There are no experts of the future”.
Go and create the future!
Thanks for having me share my journey and lessons with you.
Sam Semako, It was an honour to be on this amazing platform of brilliant change makers. Thanks for having me.
Chris, Nsukka Enugu:
Please ma, with the current rate of unemployment and the issue of lack of capital, what would be the best route to take in pursuing a career especially for someone who just graduated. Thank you.
Thanks. For your question, find something to make money and start doing it even if it is selling pure water. Sometimes fresh graduates are waiting for this elegant work to do, a job that befits their status etc.
Hunger no know status o. What can you immediately find to do; do it gracefully even if you are earning little, at least you are learning big.
Munachi Egbulonu, from Enugu:
Ma, what was your most challenging experience? Did you ever consider quitting?
Yes. I considered quitting at different times. First, when I felt marginalised because I wasn’t doing the eye service thing.
Remember the lesson on LIFE IS NOT FAIR?
I also felt like quitting when I worked with a team of dishonest and scheming people who didn’t have values aside from ‘how can we make the fastest money out of this’. I was a misfit as I wanted to uphold my integrity and not go against my values.
At all these times, I asked myself: “If I exit now, am I ready for transition?”
I had to separate my emotions from the real deal. It hurts no doubt but I was more committed to my big picture. And so I stayed till my exit plan was ready to be activated.
How did you manage your exit from the banking sector, considering the fact that you may have developed some level of personal relationship with some individuals at work?
How can you successfully exit a work atmosphere where corporate and formal tone have been mixed with emotional and personal rapport?
If you recall, I went into banking with a mission of which hanging on to friends wasn’t part of it. I have friends I made in banking that are still my very good friends till date. I had a plan, I executed it and moved on.
Who says we can’t remain friends if we are no longer colleagues?
SOMETIMES PEOPLE PLACE SENTIMENTS BEFORE THEIR GOAL.
Some friendships have expiry date.
Remember: You are the average of the top 5 people you hang out with.
Know when some friendships have reached expiry date and know how to exit without acquiring new enemies.
Samson from Lagos:
Ma, how were you able to meet your target every month? I like your daily routine.
Meet daily target? For where? I be winch?
If you know the target of marketing officers in Nigeria banks, you go rephrase this ya kwenshion 😃😃😃
No, I didn’t meet my daily target always. Sometimes, I did.
On the average, I would say, I didn’t meet my financial targets daily. I met my learning target most times.
Thanks so much for your time. It was an enlightening time and I appreciate you all.
If you have “meaningful” questions, you may want to send me a mail: email@example.com
If you haven’t requested for a copy of “How Stella Wore Shorts to the Beach”, what are you waiting for? Just click on this link NOW and receive this transformational tool in your inbox. http://bit.ly/My_Rebirth
If you have ever believed a name that limited you, you need this resource: http://bit.ly/My_Rebirth