Inspirational Story : This will inspire you for good

inspirational story of a successful business man

This is an inspirational story of a successful businessman, Kech Simons, who shared his story of success and how he rose to the mountain top of life.

On the morning of April 4 2004, one of the most devastating tragedies of my life would play out. A team of angry looking thugs, acting under the instruction of my then landlady, would converge around the container shop that doubled as my office and home then. Their objective - to remove to the last pin all belongings of mine from the very container, and forcefully eject me and my younger brother.

Within some minutes, their mission was accomplished. My 350,000 naira worth of wares and trade accessories had all been recklessly thrown out, to the entertainment of a huge crowd and passers-by. And the few properties I had to my name then - a rickety table and chair, a couple of clothing, plates and books - were all left littering along the road. The very shop that had hitherto served as the only address I got in Lagos, was forcefully taken away from me and sealed.

Indeed, it is about the most traumatic of all misfortunes I have encountered in my whole life, as I was suddenly left homeless, my young thriving business brought to a halt, and my life robbed of every direction and purpose.
I had actually spent about 8 months in the cheap-rent container shop running a startup. And being poor and helpless, I had planned to stay a bit longer pending when I'd grow enough capital to afford a better shop and a house. But the melancholic landlady, for reasons best known to her, wouldn't want me to stay a day longer. She just wanted me out at all cost, in spite of my constant plea for more time, and my offer for a higher rent. By hook or by crook, she had eventually lived up to her threats.

It would take several hours before I could regain my sanity. And as soon as I did, I was faced with some troubling posers. Where would I possibly store my scattered fragile wares and damaged properties? And where would I stay to continue running my young business, knowing that without a shop at such a strategic location, my type of trade wouldn't hold? Worse still, where would my younger brother and I lay our heads at night, if at all we must continue staying in Lagos?

Of course, standard shops at good locations, were much like gold then, pretty expensive and scarce. And so were affordable houses. Even so, I was dead broke at that very moment and had no one I could possibly turn to for help. No rich relative. No friend. But in spite all that, the last thing I could ever contemplate was QUITTING, or PACKING MY BAGS and returning back to Onitsha.

''There must be a way out'', I kept muttering to myself, drawing courage from so many stories I had read from the Holy Bible.
Fortunately, a friend of mine, who happened to work in a local church nearby, was present while the gory drama played out. And seeing my predicament, he called and was able to convince the head pastor to grant a little space for my goods in their church premises. Some of my stuff I was forced to give away. And the damaged ones I threw away.

At night, my younger brother and I would pass the night at the outer premises of a nearby building, at the mercy of cold, a squad of angry mosquitoes, and an unsettling noise from passing vehicles. The trauma we went through, I'd say, could only be likened to that of being robbed, kidnapped and banished to an unknown land, at the same time.

Yet not for once was my spirit broken.
After about a week or so, I was able to convince an acquaintance to accept me and my brother in his one-bedroom apartment. He already had about 4 guys squatting with him, and accepting me and my brother, was surely going to turn his 10-foot by 10 apartment into a sort of concentration camp. Yet, he reluctantly accepted us. Space would not permit me to narrate our experience in not only his room but also in the face-me-I-face-you yard of his.

But then, with each passing week, things only took the turn for the worse. Of course, there was no business anymore, and thus no income. By each day, I would move around town, frantically looking for a company I could supply stuff to, but deals were not coming in frequently. I would even sometimes hang around the vicinity of my former shop, in the hope I could see a customer come around, but since they had noticed the shop was sealed, they had all concluded we had folded up and never bothered coming back.

From two square meal a day, we gradually found ourselves struggling to have a meal for a day. We were now closely taking the shape of those kwashiorkor figures of Biafran war memory. And for that reason, I was forced to auction off whatever remained of my goods so I could raise money for us to get by, make a deposit for any available cheap apartment, and then send some money to my indigent parents. To go back to Onitsha, I would never consider. In fact, I'd rather die to try to succeed in Lagos, than to return back to Onitsha a failure.

But then again, I must confess my absolute faith in God and His restoration power, were my major staying power through the whole turbulence. Though the faith oscillated and faltered sometimes, yet never for once did I doubt that HE could alter the course of events anyway. How HE would do it, I never knew.

As I got down to my last penny many moons later, having auctioned off my whole goods, and with no business deals in months, I had to resolve to send my hapless brother back home. Though he wouldn't want to go, I wouldn't want him to continue sharing in my refugee-like fate. To a life of poverty and suffering, I had already got accustomed. But to conscript, or consign another fellow into it, much less my blood brother, that would be so uncharitable of me. And so my younger brother returned back to Onitsha, back to my disappointed parents. 

By now, everyone had given up on me. No one ever believed I would ever come out of that mess, let alone succeeding. Some folks even openly mocked me, while many criticized and blamed me for being responsible for my woes. But like a monk, I stoically soaked it all in, in a faint belief that I would someday come out of it all, and hit it big.

But then, shortly afterwards, I would receive a casual call, from a prospective customer. He had stopped by my former shop and found it sealed. But through my business card that he had months earlier collected, he was able to find my contact number and called. He wanted some materials urgently supplied to him, and needed me to come down to his office almost immediately.

Of course, I was flat broke and had no single penny for transportation. Even so, I had lost every motivation for trying out new supply deals, having practically lost out in every deal I had laid my hands on in the recent past. The little supply runs I had spent my energy, time and money on, all failed to yield justifiable profits. And this particular one appeared as if it was another call for a waste of precious time. But somehow, I felt I should just give it a trial. No harm in a trial, a friend once told me

I had to beg for 200 naira from a relative for transportation. And with it, I was able to find my way to the man's office hours later. And after pleasantries and a few interviews, the man asked for a certain type of product - some type of acrylic perspex sheets. He wanted it in a large quantity for an urgent job for Globacom and had gone around the whole product shops in Lagos searching for it, but couldn't find even a single sheet. It was very scarce in town. But somehow, he felt I could help to source them for him since I was once in a related business. He charged me to go around and scout for them.

Of course, I knew almost all the importers and stockists of the products in Lagos, but from his submission, he had already been to all the places, and none of them had a single sheet of the product. Right in his presence, I pulled out my phone and made calls to everyone I believed could possibly have the products, but there was no single positive response. And neither did anyone know where else, or when they would get them.

It was indeed looking almost like flogging a dead horse. But somehow, I felt undeterred. There must be a way out, I believed. There can never be a problem without a solution already existing. (This conviction I gained from the miraculous exploits I gathered from the Bible). And thus, I told the man to grant me a day or two so I could come up with a solution. Of course, he had no option left. So he resigned to it. And I left.

As I got home, I sat to seek out the solution, with every determination I could muster. I had to scroll through my phone contacts, calling almost everyone who had once done anything that related to the product. But the response bounced back the same. The products were no more available in town.

Yet I wouldn't give up.
The next morning, I woke up with a different mindset. From my little knowledge of how God operates, the solution to all of our problems He always keeps within our reach. However, they are always hidden in the least expected of all places. The best of treasures are never found where everyone easily goes to. And so I made up my mind to change my strategy. I would seek those products at places they were never supposed to be found. Of course, I stood to lose nothing from trying.

Before long, I had called virtually everyone on my phone contact list. I even had to call someone selling clothing materials, and other unrelated products. And as I scrolled down more, I got to the number of an acquaintance I had not spoken to for years. He worked in a company that stocked diverse products, in the past. The company, however, had lost out of the market, and thus no one remembered they still existed. But I just felt I should just try and enquire from them.
I quietly called and asked him if they had such products in stock. He doubted at first but asked if I could give him a moment so he could run through their inventory, as they had some 10 years earlier dabbled into such products.
About 15 minutes later, he rang me back and excitedly told me they not only had the products but actually had them in large quantity. Woooow! I couldn't believe that gospel.

For me to believe, I would have to visit their warehouse and see things with my own naked eyes. Seeing is believing, they say.
About some hours later, I had teleported myself to their warehouse. And lo and behold, those 'scarce' products were neatly stacked in a corner of one of their storage facilities, covered with dust from years of abandonment. They had actually imported them about a decade ago, and no one had ever come to ask for a single sheet, so the goods were abandoned. Out of excitement, I yelled out a scream and ordered the storekeeper to cover the products with tarpaulin. How could a bunch of gold be so carelessly exposed to dirt? Even so, I wouldn't want a third eye to behold them.

I then quickly alerted the already frustrated customer of the great news. Expectedly, he didn't believe me at first. He would rather I collect an LPO, and deliver the products to him straight away, or take him to the said warehouse, so he could see them himself, and make payment directly.

His order, worth about 2.4 million naira, was obviously way beyond my capacity. And there was no way I could easily finance the supply. He too wouldn't risk paying money upfront for products he was dead certain was unavailable, and to someone without a verifiable address. The only sure way out, was for me to reach a concrete agreement with the sellers, as regards my own markup, and then taking him to the warehouse. And that I did.
Before 10 am of the next day, the man and I were already at the warehouse.

The now delighted man saw the products, and after much inquiry and verification, every necessary document was prepared and signed. He then left and proceeded to the bank for payment. And about an hour later, his lodgement was duly confirmed.

My own mark up being 300,000 naira, was shortly afterwards redirected to my own account by the sellers.
And that was how I went from being dead broke due to a buoyant chap overnight.

Some days afterwards, a small shop, almost adjacent to my former shop, came out vacant. It was nothing short of miraculous. And thankfully, the rent fell within my affordability. I went straight for it, and within some hours, the payment was made. A new lease of hope for my dead business was of course berthed.

I had spent about 190,000 naira for the shop and its renovation. And the remainder of 110,000 naira I channelled to stocking up goods. Days after, my younger brother would return to join me. And that was how my first enterprise - I-krylic International was resurrected from its premature death.

Within 3 years, of course, the resurrected business would be having a balance sheet of about 7 million naira. And I would be living comfortably in a 3-bedroom apartment, in a much better neighbourhood, cruising my then dream car - an E-class Mercedes Benz. Life would return back to normal, almost as if I never went through any wilderness.

This little story of mine I shared to reinforce in us the fact that 'Quitters Never Win'. Of course, If I had quit in the face of that mind-shattering misfortune I had, the eventual outcome I believe, would be totally different. And thus I enjoin you to remain steadfast in the midst of any challenge or misfortune you encounter in any endeavour of yours.

If we stick long enough for anything, it would surely click.


I say thank you to Boss (Kech Simons) for sharing his inspirational story with us. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave your Comment here