Ade’s prayer from his final year days was that he lands a plum job right after NYSC, so it came as no small relief when he got an SMS to attend a job interview for a trainee position in one of the new generation banks, two weeks after completing his service. Quickly, he went to the bookstore and purchased the GMAT text which he studied night and day in preparation for the exam; in fact his mother had to compel him to go to bed in the little hours of the morning or he would have forgotten to sleep. On the exam day, he got up early to beat the Lagos traffic, dressed up in his borrowed suit, packed his certificates, calculator and pen and raced to the bus stop.
But, it was a rude shock that greeted him when he arrived at the exam centre. All around him, as far as the eye could see was the most mammoth crowd he had ever seen; it resembled the throng that pours out of the stadium after an international football match- his heart sank. After scores upon scores of applicants arriving and hours and hours of waiting for the bank officials to show up, a noisy chant broke out in the crowd. The people were calling for the officials to come out and start the exams, ‘Or heads would roll’, they threatened. As the noise grew louder, the crowd grew edgier and just as Ade began to think to himself that this is not what he bargained for; canisters spewing some whitish smoke were flying all around.
The crowd violently broke up at the sight of police tear gas and Ade also took to his heels to avoid getting stampeded. When he finally got to safety and took stock, he found calculator and wallet gone, jacket pockets ripped away, eyes congested, nose burning and bruises all over his legs. He bent over, tears streaming down his face as he wondered if this is what life after school had to offer.
That brings us to the philosophical question, ‘How is life designed to deliver our daily bread?’ I daresay the egg holds a few answers for us. I asked some teenagers a while ago what was needed to sustain life and they answered with things like food, water, friendship, house, rest, clothes etc. I told them that all life needs four things to survive namely: food, water, warmth and air (oxygen). The egg that would one day hatch into a chick has these in its own survival kit; helpless and lifeless as it appears. The albumen contains its nutrition made of water-soluble protein, its shell is covered with microscopic pores through which life-giving air traverses and warmth is provided by Mother Hen as she incubates the egg. So what about humans? Hasn’t some sensible arrangement been made for us too? Or is it Ade’s kind of ordeal we must endure to survive?
I feel that like the egg, we have all been provided with what it takes, not only to survive but to thrive. I also feel that our survival kit resides deep within us, just like the egg. The problem however lies in the fact that Nature did not preclude us from participating in the process. It leaves out a few things for us to do, just like it leaves the warmth-providing part to Mother Hen. Out of sight she lays her egg, in a safe and secluded place she has to sit on it for 21 days, if the chick is to break forth. This, I must confess is the hardest part and the morale of this whole post.
If only we could find some private place for ourselves where we would shut everybody out for a while and tune out all the voices of discouragement, fear and conformity around and within us to find our own existence kit. If only we would take that time to sit down, to ruminate or to meditate like Mother Hen, our chick might never hatch. In fact, in entrepreneurial studies there is a jargon called incubation. It is a place where prospective entrepreneurs meet and rub minds, ideas are born and fine-tuned and finally nurtured to life.
This philosophy of natural endowment and personal responsibility forms the bedrock of this blog and the pad from which subsequent posts will be launched.
Let’s continue next week with how to get you become the entrepreneur life designed you to be.