Entrepreneurship Series (V): Humility

Posted: May 23, 2016 in Uncategorized

I can’t remember how I came about this story, but I suppose it must have been from one of those local animation magazines, or a newspaper skit or the like, definitely not something I watched or listened to.

it was about this man whose lottery ticket turned out to have won him a huge sum as results were declared overnight, decided to go to work before going to the lottery office to claim his winning. It was the kinda sum one could be set up for life with. He’d never really liked his work, going there daily only because it provided his source of livelihood, hence what had happened with the lottery was a fulfillment of his long held dream.

He considered he’d had it up to here with work a long time ago, particularly seeing that he could never rise to managerial though his wages were reviewed upwardly as and at when due. His relationship with colleagues, subordinates and bosses had remained less than platonic and overtly official when not antagonistic, even his occasional smile was wry towards them, and he could hardly get along with anyone for more than six weeks at a time at work. This winning ticket was his passport to freedom, to that good life he’d always dreamt about. Even if he spent half of his winnings on frivolities and trivia, he’d still have more than enough to start a small to medium scale enterprise.

But as he approached his workplace on foot on the day, his anger overtook him, he remembered the many years in which all his efforts appeared to have gone unnoticed and unappreciated, rather having invectives by the boss and snide remarks by colleagues and subordinates thrown his way. There was no need to be nice, but he didn’t take it out on those he met as he made his way to the Boss’ office, who was already making his mouth into asking why he was just coming to work minutes late, and though the question hadn’t been put to him, he replied that he was coming to tell the Boss about his intention to resign, as he had had enough of the poo that’s been thrown at him since joining the company, and that even if he was served a sack letter for coming late that morning, he would simply tear it up, at which point he manipulated his pocket, brought out his winning lottery ticket and tore it up into very tiny bits!

Since I started doing my Entrepreneurship Series, I have particularly focused on a certain niche, that is the working class, nine-to-fivers who despite intending to have a business, start a business, become employers of labour, be entrepreneurs, are also unwilling to do away with their jobs. Employees and workers tend to meet with lots of situations in the work place that leave them very angry at the end of the day, but would return to these jobs because at the moment they do not have alternatives, beside the fact that there’s no guarantee that the greener other side is without those same challenges as they currently face and more, even if the pay is better. It is for those discountenanced at their jobs for one reason or the other, and building a source of income by the side simultaneously that I have retold this story, because of the tendency of these ones to lose their humility, once their “side hustles” begin to yield even if not abundantly, but consistently.

Even if the side hustle has done so well enough for the employee to begin to consider quitting his/her job, it is very unwise to tow the path of the lottery winner whose story I just told you regardless of the provocation, not because of the fear of the side business collapsing like the winning lottery ticket getting torn, but because it is not nice to behave like the lottery winner, and there’s no sense in leaving behind animosity where one has worked while heading out for the so called greener pasture. It is admirable instead to quell existing hostilities, blunt over frictions and bury hatchets at the work place when one decides to leave, not stir up or establish or fuel the smouldering embers of one. No one really benefits from such negative energy or toxicity either while leaving the workplace for good or while remaining but because of lack of humility begin to see others as inferior just because the one feels s/he has one or two over co-workers in having the foresight to set up his/her business and seem not to be too bothered or empathic during financial crisis amongst other sources of instability that negatively impacts the pocket of other employees.

This lack of humility may also manifest in the way such people develop nonchalant attitudes to work, appearing ill motivated and losing respect for authority, even daring them to do their worst. They may apologize less, even when they are in the wrong, amongst other behavioral traits they begin to pick and show off in the office. Many times, some of these traits developed along the line may go totally unnoticed by the dramatis personae, till an acquaintance that’s not sycophantic (some of whom you’d find in offices as close friends of even the least liked personalities) brings such to his/her attention. It is pertinent that when these are broached that the subject should ignore the messenger but take note of the message. One of the mantra I have grown to imbibe, is that if the devil tells me that something about my behaviour is wrong, regardless of what I feel about the devil I will still take the message and if I find it to be a true reflection of things I will quickly make the necessary amendments to my ways.

In essence, what I am trying to say is that as long as one has decided to work at a place, it follows that one has to give his/her best in growing that business in accordance to his/her letter of employment, more so in consonance with the many promises made in the application letter while the job was been sought in the first place. Did the holy books not say to treat others as we would like them treat us, and as regards the workplace to not despise our humble beginnings?

If therefore you want your business to grow, you shouldn’t toy with others’ businesses, the best you can do if you feel underappreciated and mistreated will be to leave, and if you decide to stay even with all of the so called negatives and more present, do your best while at it. Let the adversities (if ever they exist) spur you to aim for greater heights, especially as with what I have been advocating all this while, when the good is that your job provides and continues to provide the seed capital for your business, and you’d do well to continue to maintain the status quo, till it becomes untenable to keep the nine-to-five and the side hustle simultaneously.

Business-Plan.jpg            nairaland5


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