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Last year 2017, precisely February, 2017. I got involved in a network marketing business. Perhaps, two things motivated me to sign up. First, I love the product, and second, the compensation plan was fantastic. Like many people, I needed the extra cash.
Prior to joining the business, I was bored with my job or was it the school? On the surface, things appeared just as perfect. I mean, I was doing an excellent job as the head of school. My monthly paycheck, which never failed to come at the end of the month, was very good. My boss? Haa! The Montessori woman spoilt me silly with praises and gifts. The pupils were making us proud in terms of academics and extracurricular activities. Things were just as fine as they could be yet, yours faithfully was bored with the routine of the job.
For several days after signing up with the network marketing company, I studied how the business works like a student preparing for Jamb. I came up with a simplified seven pages graphic illustrations of how the business operates and the prospect in it. Obviously, my teaching prowess came to bear on it.
Copies of the document were sent to many of my contacts that I assumed would be interested in the plan. Not too long, some of them began to indicate interest and so, they signed up. I created a WhatsApp group where I gave presentation on a regular basis. Moreover, there are people who wouldn’t do business with you unless they see you physically. Hence, I make out time to see such people in their offices, homes or wherever it was they wanted me to meet with them.
Things seemed to be going on well as I was gradually building a structure. But at a point, I noticed that I was being drained emotionally. To worsen the situation, all the people under me were not recruiting save for one guy. In network marketing, recruiting is king. As a matter of fact, if you are not recruiting, you’ve got no business.
At this time, I was no longer with the school. Though leaving the school had nothing to do with the business. That’s a story for another day.
One night, as I was lying quietly on my bed, I began to reflect on why I was experiencing such emotional trauma. Suddenly, the answer dropped into my mind like a meteor from the sky.
“Ronke, you are expending your energy on something you were not born to be known for”. The freshness of that truth pierced my soul rendering me speechless.
I was wondering what was wrong with having a side business. I got an answer:
“The business is not wrong but the business is wrong for you. Any business that doesn’t revolve around education is not for you dearie”. That was another shocker.
Okaaay, I get it. But I need extra cash to be able to start something of my own soon. Wetin I go do na?
“You’ve got plenty of money Ronke. In fact, you are a millionaire”. I laughed like a drunk at the ‘joke’ of this unseen but familiar Voice.
Hen hen… so, I get plenty moni na in I dey jones like this? All my bank accounts dey red like the eye of persin wey drink ogogoro. Biko, show me where the moni dey?
“Am not referring to your bank accounts. Those are CURRENCY not MONEY”. Money is something that holds its value, currency represents that value.The potentials in you is greater than any bank account. However, the conversion of those potentials into liquid cash or currency is up to you”.
Hmmm…am with you Voice, tell me more.
“You are teacher, an educational consultant, a writer, an editor and a motivational speaker. All these are areas you could build an educational business around and make some good money but you are not maximizing these potentials as you ought to”.
You don’t understand, I ve been saddled with the responsibility of running a school. The expectation is high and I’ve got to meet up with the target set for me. So, there is no time to do something else!
“But you’ve got time for the networking business. Same time could have been invested in your educational career. You are wired to be an educator. For this reason, anything you do that won’t take you in the direction of fulfilling that vision is nothing but a waste of destiny. You might make a lot of money but you will not be fulfilled”.
The silence that followed was deafening. By now, I was feeling like a kid caught stealing meat from the mother’s pot except in this case, I didn’t steal anything. The Voice was right. I got used to chasing the wrong dream so much so that it became natural except that I wasn’t feeling well about the whole thing.
You see, I feel well when am in the class teaching; I feel well when I speak to a group of youths with the aim of helping them make better informed choices regarding their academics and social life; I feel well when I train teachers on the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of curriculum delivery; I feel well when I lift up a dispirited colleague in the profession, encouraging her to be the best she can be; I feel well when I pick my pen and let out my juicy thoughts on paper; I feel well when I help to edit someone”s literary work and give tips on how the writer can be better. How comes am not feeling well about this business? Now, I understand.
I couldn’t sleep for the rest of that night. So, I have been wasting my energy on the wrong vision. Waoh! The most disheartening thing was not just the money I was going to lose but also, I may lose the respect of the people I brought into the business. In addition, I had wasted my precious time and energy trying to build a castle in the air. Seven good months went down the drain just like that?
Understand that there is nothing wrong with network marketing. It is a nontraditional business model that has been in existence for decades, especially in the European world. And there are people I know who are excelling in network marketing. As a matter of fact, the company in question is still in existence and people are still signing up.
However, you’ve got to understand that it is not every kind of business that is meant for you. Let me put it more clearly: YOU ARE NOT MEANT TO CHASE AFTER ALL KIND OF DREAM. According to Myles Munroe, “you were designed to be unique and to fulfill a particular purpose” in life. Discover that thing and start working at it until it becomes a reality.
Two months after the revelation, I got an offer to lecture in a private polytechnic. It is a part-time job so, it afford me the time to do other educational related business. By the first week into the job, I knew I had been healed. My God, the feeling was, and still is, beyond expression! Just pure bliss. Indeed, nothing like a purposeful passion. It is an antidote to depression.
In today’s gloomy economic condition, most people are drifting as far as career is concerned. Now, this is understandable. Nevertheless, our focus shouldn’t just be about making seven figures.
Of course, money is very important but there is more to life than mere currency. We should be cautious of jumping into any kind of job, business or opportunity that looks promising without taking cognisance of our own passion and vision for life. Not every road is your direction.
Hey! Am not against having a job pending when you start working on your vision or find your bearing. I’ve done some menial jobs in the past. But I knew those were just stepping stones to my dream. Neither am I opposing the idea of having a side business. However, you need to be careful not to give more time than necessary to that which is meant to be secondary, at the detriment of that which is meant to be your core.
It is ironical how people who build big projects or achieve great fame can be successful and depressed at the same time. You know why? They worked outside their vision.
Don’t get it twisted, you might work outside your vision and still make lots of money. But you see, having money and having deep inner fulfilment are two different thing. YET, YOU CAN HAVE BOTH. Most people are not aware that their millions lies in their vision.
So, my friend, stop wasting your energy chasing the millions outside your vision. Remember, you were created to be unique and to specialize in something that will contribute positively to humanity.
Written by: Ronke Amos
Teacher | Writer | editor | motivational speaker | educational consultant