A couple of years ago, I met three people, a publisher, travel consultant, and blogger. When I met them, they were each starting out. The publisher was working with me at the time. He is still one of the most restless young men I had ever met. He is restless with ideas, always into a million things. When we met, he was writing for a top daily newspaper at the time, whilst writing scripts for a popular TV show on NTA.
I knew then that he was doing a temporary job in the nine to five space. I knew also that he’d be an important person someday. At work then, he was our team’s television during the first Obama election. He would provide us with the latest websites to visit for up-to-date news. We would analyse Obama’s campaign speeches at the time and talk about speech writing as a profession. At work, he missed deadlines. As the team lead, I knew he was working through the night, that’s why he was missing deadlines. But missing deadlines had its downsides yet he didn’t go unpunished because when he eventually gets the work done, it was always brilliant.
On the side, he ran his youth recognition awards. Yearly, I am always amazed at the caliber of young people awarded. These are people who were genuinely making such a difference. For instance, there was a lady who went to a dustbin village to help children in that area get education or some young persons in Osun who were growing and packaging rice. For me, each year was a big difference as most of them are either in their early thirties or under thirties. So when he decided to quit his day job, it was natural. Even though he was struggling with funding, the youth award went on. I often attended the events wondering how he fed the guests as I knew all too well how difficult it is to get brands to spend. Again the youth market didn’t hold half the appeal it holds now but Mr. Publisher just kept on.
One day, I got a visit from this Messrs restless telling me he would be going into publishing a magazine. Having known people who had been in publishing for decades, I felt I owed him to relay the stories. But he was quick to address my concerns with statistics and consumer insight. In spite of my apprehension and the ‘lion on the street’, he carried on. Later, he extended his print publication online.
The challenges of the boisterous city of Lagos didn’t let us catch up as often as we would have loved to, but phone calls allowed us share ideas or just hear what is happening in the media. In one of our conversations, he brought me up to speed on how he now have 45 staff in his payroll, had expanded his foundation to give it a more Pan-African appeal. Recently, he launched a book, and was listed on Forbes as an influential youth leader/young entrepreneur. I’m not sure that I was overly amazed, at least not as much as when I met the second person, a travel consultant. I was truly amazed at the size of her business, how far it had grown over the years. I remembered her as being persistent. She was persistent with her requests, and clear about her focus. Today, she holds the franchise for big brands in various segments within her businesses.
I suppose the common thread between the two is the nail that they each both knocked, persistently and consistently. I told the travel consultant recently, that I knew the wall would give way to her hammering. It told her the ten diameters; six inches nail that she placed on the wall had no choice but to give way.
The third person, the blogger takes the prize for being amazing. She had come as a model choreographer on set of an event I was putting together. I knew her but not beyond trying her hands on a book and being an ex-model. I don’t think blogging was popular when she started or that she knew exactly how she’d make money from it. But she stayed on it and today, no youth product is sold in Nigeria without it being advertised on her blog. Her young followers are eclectic. They are addicted to her blog. No doubt, hammer and nail theory has helped these three people.
Consistency is, undoubtedly, a sure tool to success. I’ve sharpened my nail today. Joiners, anyone?