May all your dreams come true. And may you always have a reason to thank God
See y'all after the holidays.
Anyway, that's not what I want to talk about today. I want to share my struggles with you all.
I run a company that's about 3 years old. I make most of my profit from my modeling agency and events that I coordinate. It's not much but it's enough to keep me going.
In 2006, I decided I wanted to publish a magazine. When I first shared this dream with a few friends, they told me I can't do it, publishing a magazine is capital intensive. They told me that most people who start magazines always give it up, 'cos the terrain in this country doesn't encourage sustainability and consistency. There's always the problem of high cost of printing, distributorship, not getting adverts to sustain it etc. I was really discouraged but I told myself this is my dream and I will go after it with everything that I am and have. Thankfully, I'm still young, so I have a lot of years to get it right.My first edition cost me almost a million naira to print and promote. At the end of the day, I didn't get back up to 30% of the money I'd spent. Loosing all that money demoralised me for a long time. I was broke and I had to start all over again. I got my edition 2 ready but didn't have money to print it. I heard a lot of 'I told you so's but paid it no mind. I was focused on raising money to get it printed. It took me ONE year to raise the money.
So after my 2nd edition came out I got three members of staff and two independent marketers to go look for adverts. By the end of the year...no one brought back any advert. They told me the same story I'd heard many times...adverts don't come that easy, especially when it's a new magazine. Meaning that I have to look for money to print the third edition again.
Like the first edition, I'd spent almost a million to print the second edition and like the first time, I didn't make up to 20% of the money back. So basically, I'm printing at such a high cost, selling at a loss, no adverts and on top of it all, the magazine wasn't flying off the shelves.
A few people told me to chill a bit and give myself time to recover from all the loss but instead I started work on the third edition. By February it was 100% ready but I didn't have the million or so it will cost to get it printed.
In Dec, a friend had recommended a marketing company specialised in getting adverts for magazines and newspapers. I'd gone to them with copies of the first and second edition, letter heads and everything else they wanted from me. They told me to come back in six weeks, which was the end of January.When I went to see them, they gave me the same story. Two editions isn't enough to get adverts. Advertisers have to be sure the magazine is here to stay, people are reading it, it's in circulation, a lot of copies were printed etc. The guy told me to start expecting adverts after my fifth edition or thereabout. It dampened my spirit, because I knew I needed the extra cash to pay for the cost...without adverts, it would be difficult. So in my head I was thinking not another one year.
As I was stepping out of the office, the guy's partner walked in. The guy explained things to him and the partner looked at me and said, "The only adverts you can get for a magazine this new are adverts from your friends who just want to support you. So if you know anyone, go to them. If you're looking for adverts from corporate organisations who don't know you and have never even seen or heard of the magazine...It's not possible."Not POSSIBLE!
There are many words I don't like...one of them is; IMPOSSIBLE! Don't talk to me and use the word IMPOSSIBLE! It does something to me. Because I know IMPOSSIBLE is NOTHING!
When I got back to the office, I got out my file that has the addresses of most registered companies in Nigeria. I picked out 15 companies and said to myself "By God, I will get at least one advert, even if it kills me. I'll be damned if I'll wait another one year".
Before the guy made that remark, I'd already accepted that I wasn't going to get any advert for the magazine. But now I turned to the marketing guy seated at his desk, asked for all my documents and walked out of their office. This was Thursday Jan 31st 2008.
What I am here to say to you is this; don't let anyone tell you what is possible and what is not. Don't let anyone tell you what you can or can't do. People don't know you like you know yourself. They don't know what drives you, they don't know all your talent and skills, they don't know your strength and capabilities...so why should you let them tell you what you can or can't do?
If you believe and have faith in that thing...it will be yours. Mine was adverts, maybe yours in a multimillion dollar deal. Maybe it's just a 1kobo deal. Whatever it is, I am here to tell you, it's not impossible to achieve it. It will be hard, trust me on that. And you will meet people who will tell you it's never been done before, or everyone else who had tried before you, failed. Well the thing is; you're not everyone. Nothing is unachievable if you believe so much in it. Because your belief and faith will push so far that you will even surpass your expectations of yourself.
I'd made up my mind to get at least ONE advert, but I ended up getting FOUR. Much more than I'd expected. And what pushed me so far was my believe that I CAN DO IT. Now, I tell myself that my edition 4 will get at least EIGHT adverts and I have absolutely no doubt that it will happen. And oneday, I won't have to beg...they will come to me.
Oh I believe in me so much...and getting these adverts has re-instated my faith in ME
If you want to be successful in life, four things that I will recommend.
1. Work; I know when you come to my blog and see how often I update, you can't help but wonder if I realy have a job. Trust me I do. You will probably not meet another young woman as busy as I am. I am always on the road. I work my ass off. I'm chasing this and that, that and this...and I know one day, it will pay off. You really need to get off your ass and work almost till you drop.
2. Perseverance; Don't give up easily. There will be times you want to give up because you've fallen too many times, you've failed too many times, you been told you can't do it too many times and it gets to a point where you wonder whether you should hold on or let it go. I'm saying to you, HOLD ON. Keep trying. Don't ever give up on your dream. When you keep working at something consistently... it will give. It has no choice.
3. Believe; You can't succeed in life without faith. If you don't believe in what you're doing, what motivates you? What keeps you awake at night thinking great ideas? If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the drive... it can be done. Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.