10 January 2017

Hafiz Adewuyi

A short conversation between wantrepreneur and entrepreneur me

For the past three weeks, I've been enjoying my first official annual vacation since I started working in 2014 (2013 if you include pre-NYSC and NYSC work). In two days time, my leave would have come to its end. I honestly wish I could say I am looking forward to it. All I can imagine is how I would have to abruptly end my essential sleep at 4:30 every morning. How I would struggle to stay awake for the first four working hours of the day. How I would get into squabbles with many colleagues and how I will have to work hard at maintaining a positive attitude to work all day long. How I would have to wear clothes I don't feel comfortable in for five out of the seven days in a week. How I would have to leave home before dawn and return at dusk when all the will to live life has left me and I have to force myself to smile so I can trick myself into a good mood. How I would wonder on the journey home at 9 pm if my guaranteed monthly pay is enough reason to spend my life doing something that brings me next no to joy and leaves me feeling physically spent, yet mentally unfulfilled almost every day. How I would have to acquiesce to requests that go against my personal values and are sometimes purely exploitative, because "you can't afford to stick out like a sore thumb".

Did I hear you say: "Brother if you're tired, go and start your business now or find another job"? Well, for the latter, it's not like I have not tried. But then again I don't really try that hard at it, for one reason. I believe that if I get good enough at what I do, then I would not really have to try very hard to get a job that meets my needs (esp. non-financial) to a large extent. So I try to focus on getting better versus actively distributing CVs and stalking people on LinkedIn. Plus, working on getting better is more fulfilling and rewarding than submitting CVs that get opened only one in 50 times.

As for starting a business, the conversation that follows hopefully will clarify why I am yet to pivot my life in that direction, even though everyone says your 20s are when you should be dabbling in everything your heart tells you to.

See your life. Despite the fact that you think about quitting your job almost every day, in another two days now, you will get dressed in your stupid oversized formal wear and resume back to work. Do you think a 15-day break will make you feel better about your work when you resume?

Let me be! At least, that is where the salary that has given you and me financial peace of mind for the past one year is coming from. You know I want to give way for you to shine, you know I try. But it just that you're full of so many visions and promises for how the future can be and nothing else. I would really be more comfortable giving way for you on centre stage if you could give some level of guarantee.

Ugh! Here we go again. We've been here so many times already, I'm actually getting tired of responding to you. There can't be any guarantee and if I will be honest, you actually have to be prepared for the absolute worst you can imagine. Life is not freaking fair, and that's why you have colleagues who have not been promoted for the past seven years and they think the worst is yet to happen because they still get an alert at the end of every month. Is that where you honestly want to be in another two years?

Heck no! That can't be me. You know I try. I try day-in-day-out to cover up the gaps in my skill and knowledge. As a matter of fact, in 2016 alone, I signed up to six MOOCs on Udacity and Coursera and went past the introduction videos. Oops. Did I just let that slip out? My life sucks but please friend, I don't want to end up like those my colleagues you talked about. I feel absolutely terrified when I imagine what it must feel like to be them. It's not yet two years and I already feel terribly under-compensated for all my trouble. 

But you know, I'm still better than all the jobless graduates with M.Sc and PhD out there. If I leave this one, who knows how miserable I would become if after a few months, I don't get engaged in something both fulfilling and rewarding.

You just need to grow some balls man. Men with little balls always carry last in life. You are a very meticulous, thoughtful and smart person who when you allow yourself, can turn the impossible into possible. Please find your courage. Just find your courage and forsake everything to focus on your heart and let it lead you to make your full impact felt in your world. Until you do that, you will never find peace, trust me. 

Thanks for the advice. I understand all that you've said and I actually know how spot on you are. At least that much I can tell from all of the entrepreneurship articles and books I've consumed in my short lifetime. Like you've also told me before, all of this knowledge amounts to absolute nought if I don't get out there and actually get something done towards bringing my idea to life. 

But I'm really sorry. In the meantime, you will have to bear with me while I work on myself. I want to be sure that I actually have the ability to persevere towards my goals in the face of ego-bashing challenges. I feel like I still need a lot more training in this area and since the beginning of this year, I've enrolled myself in a couple of challenges that I believe will help me learn consistency which is something I'm sure is an essential characteristic if I'm to survive in the cold harsh world out there into which you're trying to push me. 

Also, I intend to give you some pilot time on stage by dedicating some portion of my daily time to your motives. I know how hard it can be to keep this going for an extended period of time, but I don't think past failure is good enough reason to not try again. Happy now?

Oh well. What can I do? I think I've tried. You're the boss and the best I can do is to every now and then, remind you of all the unimplemented ideas that have been with you for donkey years. I hope you find the courage to step down for me soon enough so I can take my rightful place at the centre stage. I've been hidden away for too long and it's literally eating away at me every single day. I just hope I'll still have enough life in me to perform when you finally do the needful and go find a coffin!

Eish! Don't be so mean. You know, if not for me - however mediocre I might be - your ass would be sleeping under the bridge. Respect yourself o!

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