STRATEGIES FOR LEAVING THE TROUGH IN STYLE.
Someone said the best place to start building is from rock-bottom because there is only one way to go – UP.
Troughs attempt to break you, but don’t let them.
They attempt to make you feel you have nothing going for you, when in reality, you have more going for you.
Not easy to say when you are in it, but if you will stick it through, it will always pass.
Just keep a healthy mindset, depend on God, declare the right words, and be strategic, it eventually fades, and the next place to go therefrom is upwards.
And when you come through, you will be grateful for everything it enabled you to learn.
Lessons stick better through it.
Though time that can never be regained also get lost through it.
When you get through it early with minimal losses, you will be grateful you learnt everything at that stage when the stakes are still lower.
It helps you to maneuver others wiser and faster.
It’s always better to learn from other people’s experience where you can.
So, this write-up is about some of my experiences and the lessons on the way, probably it might be useful to someone out there.
ASCERTAIN HOW YOU GOT THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE:
This trough was brought about in the first place from trying to rebuild my second food and provision business (that used to turnover millions) after its fortunes began to dwindle from handing the reins of management exclusively to someone else, in pursuit of white-collar opportunities, which I didn’t get back then and I’d to return to resuscitate the business.
We did succeed in bringing it back up, but not without selling some of my shares, and taking loans from family, friends and loan apps.
We got to top rating and became the toast of customers again because I HAVE ALWAYS PRIORITIZED CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE. YOU CAN’T COME TO MY OUTLET AND NOT WANT TO REFER YOUR FRIENDS AND EVEN ENEMIES TO ME.
But the problem came, when after six months into the rebound, authorities forced us to vacate our business location which was especially pivotal to the whole operational set up and high rate of turnover.
The reality of the unpaid loans and workers’ salaries stared me in the face.
I lost some of my assets, my whole finances were messed up and I started experiencing some health challenges.
Space will fail me to write how everything began to nosedive from there despite several attempts to salvage what was left of my business, how I lost 100s of thousands partnering with a wrong person and I was plunged into further debts until I’d to return to my parent’s house.
This was very depressing for me. I mean I was controlling millions in assets and stocks and here I was having to depend on people again.
THAT’S WHAT A CHANGE IN GOVERNMENT POLICY CAN DO TO ANY BUSINESS THAT IS TOO CENTRALIZED OR CONCENTRATED OR THAT DOESN’T HAVE NETWORKS IN GOVERNMENT ITSELF.
God, Books, Relationships and deliberateness (the contents you feed your mind, declare, and do) were very instrumental in keeping me going.
Along the line, my health had substantially improved. I kept on re-strategizing to resuscitate the business.
Although I got some help from my previous customers towards remodelling a location, but it was only enough to put the corporate account in place.
DON’T JUST BUILD BUSINESSES WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS, BUILD RELATIONSHIPS, HELP PEOPLE OUT SOMETIMES WITH YOUR BUSINESS, KEEP YOUR COMMUNICATION LINES OPEN. YES, SOME CUSTOMERS WILL TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOU BUT YOU MUSN’T LOSE YOUR OWN ESSENCE. THAT’S ANOTHER THING I LEARNT AND I THINK IT’S A STRATEGY EVERY BUSINESS OWNER SHOULD IMBIBE.
I still tried every frantic means to raise the money: Bank loans, Grants, Crowdfunding sites, but nothing worked.
All through this time, I was getting all the more depressed and losing self-confidence. I felt so helpless, so useless but I kept on praying, fasting like I’ve never done before and just managing to keep my head up.
The lending platforms I was owing had now began to pester me. I was practically losing my mind.
I had to reach out to my family and friends to at least get the institutional creditors off my back. I was able to pay all the loans to the loan platforms.
Other people too many to mention also helped me psychologically to keep my sanity all through these times. With the loan agencies paid, at least I got some relief.
AT THIS TIME, IT WAS EASIER TO SEE ALL THE THINGS I DIDN’T HAVE THAN THE THINGS I HAD – A HOME, A FAMILY, GOD’S LOVE, MY BIRO, MY HEALTH, YOUR SOUND MIND, TRUE FRIENDS, AN INTERNET ACCESS, LAPTOP, PHONE, TENACITY, STRENGTH, – THE LIST IS ENDLESS WHEN YOU CHANGE YOUR MINDSET.
I started to realize that maybe it was God saying it’s time to take a break from this business you’ve always known. It’s time for a new level, it’s time to gather more knowledge that you will need to help yourself and others in the future to prevent them from going through what you went through.
I started sending my Curriculum Vitae out, reaching out to various people, but it seemed the job still wasn’t forthcoming.
At a time, I just stopped struggling and just handed everything over to God.
In fact, I stopped the frantic search for a job and became almost completely miserable.
I was practically only sleeping, waking, eating, doing house chores, praying and hoping for a miracle to get out of that state.
I just resolved in my mind that if it was God that took away my business, then he would sort me out. I know he makes all things beautiful in his time.
I just prayed for strength to wait for his time. That was the state I was when I did that write-up of September 24, 2019 (shared yesterday).
It was in that state of mind, a few months after, around March 2019, that the change began.
My sister sent me a link to a job in an insurance company. I fit into the age requirement perfectly and the fact that I had run a business before, made me feel the role was tailor fit for me and that was what started my journey into the world of insurance and investments generally.
IF GOD’S ALL YOU GOT, YOU GOT MORE THAN ENOUGH. I WISH ABOVE ALL THAT BUSINESSES AND ENTREPRENEURS WOULD BE IMMUNE FROM SUCH SETBACKS LIKE MINE. I WOULD ADVISE YOU DON’T CONCENTRATE ALL YOUR RESOURCES INTO BUSINESS ALONE, SPREAD IT AROUND TO OTHER AREAS, OTHER AREAS THAT ARE NOT PRONE TO THE SAME KIND OF RISKS.
I underwent valuable training at the insurance company, I began to give advice on insurance linked investments.
I started writing about it too on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. It was while doing this and still reaching out via e-mails that my brother-in-law’s cousin that I had been reaching out to for about two years before then as regards getting a job, contacted me concerning a job opening in an Asset Management Company in Abuja in October 2019, and my knowledge in investments began to grow deeper.
Now, I not only recommend insurance linked investments, but also other asset classes such as mutual funds, treasury bills among others and I have clients invested in both areas.
I’ve started getting back into business gradually and I definitely believe I would come back to rebuild my erstwhile business on a grand scale someday because there is a vision that drove me into it in the first place, but for now, I would just enjoy the ride on this journey into investments and managing my current businesses.
I’m very certain everything would align eventually.
But, don’t think this is where the story ends, watch out for the next twist tomorrow.