A couple of years ago, I attended the Platform which held at Tafa Belawa square on Lagos Island.
I got into the tent as early as possible with my binders and a pen in place to scribble every salient points from the speakers. I was lucky enough; I was able to get a seat very close to front row. My sitting position afforded me the opportunity to sit where I could have a better view of the speakers even before they were ushered unto the podium. Yes, I love studying people that closely.
The second or third speaker (I can’t remember very well now) blew me away. He started by trying to get participants agree on a particular population figure of Lagos State. Some participants said Lagos had fifteen million dwellers, others were of the opinion that Lagos had more than twenty million people. We later settled for a figure; we settled for a working figure of twenty million people.The moment we agreed to work with twenty million people, the speaker switched gears.I haven’t heard somebody teach about Financial breakthrough with such clarity and some practical, real examples. “Can you imagine, we have twenty million people in Lagos? Twenty million potential customers in just one state. Are you thinking what I’m thinking about right now? I am talking about twenty million people with different needs. We are talking about twenty million people that can be serviced; twenty million people that can be sold to. We are talking about twenty million hungry people that need food on a daily basis. We are talking about twenty million people that need shelter, toothpaste, water, foot wears, vehicles to take them to and from work; twenty million people that need healthcare. Some people out of the twenty million need cars, some of them need somebody to take care of their cars. Some of them need parts replacement for their cars. Among the twenty million people are people in need of education, some of them need bags to put their books in, some of them need books and pencils.Wow! However, the tough question is what are you doing to meet the need of these twenty million people in Lagos? What are you selling to them? What services are you willing to offer these people?”
It was a real practical session on how to make money in Lagos. How to stop complaining about lack of money and take some practical steps to getting out from the financial woods. I couldn’t wait to get home to regurgitate on what the speaker said. I was totally challenged. Something shifted in my mind. I was fired up. I could feel it. I knew my life will never remain the same. I was simply restless especially when I saw the practical steps from the speaker. At the end of the teaching, we all rushed to his book stand and guess what, most of the materials they brought finished there and then. I promised myself that I will create value and money will come in exchange of the value. I started thinking of what value I could bring to bear on the Lagos populace. Hitherto, I have always complained about the crowd in Lagos, the high density. However, after that day, my view of the population changed. I developed a phrase which I often use whenever I see a crowd; I would shout “see money.” I see everybody in Lagos as a potential customer.
My brain was bombarded with all sorts of ideas, I kept thinking of what I could offer the people of Lagos and be handsomely rewarded for it. Throughout that night, I kept asking myself “what are you selling?”
I took a cardboard paper and wrote “what are you selling?” and pinned it on the side of my bed. I looked at the writing on a daily basis. When I walked through the streets of Lagos,the only things my eyes saw were the different opportunities that littered everywhere. I would stand on the major roads and imagined what would happen to my account if I sold to all the people that passed by. I played the teaching again and again in my head. “What are you selling to the people of Lagos?” I kept asking myself.
One day, an idea came to my mind. Where I stayed there were fruits that were not readily available. I go those women and ask and they will say, they don’t sell such fruits. Instantly, I told myself I needed to breach that gap. The one fruit on my mind was pineapple; I made up my mind to go for it. I asked a few questions, made a few inquiries as to where I could get cheaper supplies. All that settled, next, I was faced with the challenge of raising the required capital for the business. However, I was so convinced that the business would thrive in my area. I met a couple of people to either help me raise the fund or partner with me. Most of the people I met were sceptical about the business. Some of them told me that fruits are highly perishable and therefore a high risk business. Three months down the line, my idea had not found anyone willing to bring it to reality. I decided to consider an option that I never thought would work. I put a call through to my uncle, the most unlikely person to listen to my proposal. I asked if I could come in to see him; I was surprised he accepted to see me same day. I met him at exactly 5:00pm, the actual time we scheduled to meet. He listened to me as I narrated how I was going to strike gold with that business idea. When I finished, he asked me how much I needed to start the business. When I told him the amount, he laughed and jokingly said he would retire if he had that amount. He probed further to know how I arrived at the figure. I broke the figure down for him and how much I would make from each supply. He praised the idea but added that he could not offer any help at the time. I left his office feeling very disappointed. I carried on, thinking about what I could start with the little money I had.
Eight days after my visiting to my uncle, early in the morning, he called me. “See me today in my office” he said. On my way to his office, he called to say that he was out of the office that I should ask his secretary to give me the envelop he gave her. He had written exactly the same amount I requested on the cheque with a note that he would need a weekly progress report from me. Wow! You can only imagine how I felt. I swung into action the following day. I had already hinted some of those women about the business I wanted to embark upon and when I delayed in starting, some of them were the ones who came to ask why I was delaying. I had to go back to them to tell them I was about to commence the business.
True to my conviction, the business started on a high note, we hit the ground running from the first day and money started coming in. You know how they say it “the rest is now history.” My finances have since improved drastically. I paid back the loan exactly the same time I promised my uncle. To my surprise, he returned the cheque to me after he showered me with praises.
Let me ask like the speaker asked us that day, what are you selling? Please do something today and God will surely send you the required help.
NB: The speaker is Pastor Sam Adeyemi of Daystar Christian Centre.
Photo creadit: bwaw12.blogspot.com
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