Two months had passed, and Stanley was getting frustrated. He is a wholesaler not a retailer. He had customers but not the kind he was envisaging. He did not want to sell one crate or 12 bottles or 1 bottle. He did not want to turn his little kiosk into a ‘joint’ where men come with ladies to while away time or talk about the woes of their families. He wanted to do big time.
It was five months and not one crate had left his shop! Had he sold in units, he would probably have had the need to re-stock by now. But no, he just would not. Stanley sometimes would fast for days and drink garri. He just plucked some unripe mangoes on his way home the day before. He had to eat something. He began to doubt his position. ‘Just maybe he was taking the wrong path’.
His parents and siblings had boasted everywhere back in Awka that Brother Stanley now had a business. He had not sent any money home in five months. Everywhere he wanted to supply in his environment did not need him. They already had suppliers. And he had no money to hire a truck for carriage of any kind. He had exhausted all his little savings. The die was cast. He would sell in bits like Anozie. He had been foolish. Anozie was probably smarter! Mama Kafi the pepper soup seller just cursed him loudly and demeaned his dream. Maybe she was right. He had been thinking he wanted different. Maybe, just maybe following the band wagon was easier.
This is the seventh month and on the last day of the second week, he was already lost in the business, doubting his vision for his business. He was going to go back to Uncle Dike and borrow some money but what would Uncle Dike think of him? One who was not man enough? His sister’s WAEC fees were already due and his parents had sent word that they expected money for that and some needs at home. Why?
He did not notice the sound of the hooting of a car horn whose driver had just parked nearby.
“Hello. Na you dey here?” Were the words that knocked out of his reverie. He stuttered and nearly fell off his chair in a bid to show some respect and professionalism to a potential customer. “Ehm na me sir. Wetin you won buy?”
“I no buy yet I won pay for 200 crates of beer. Make you mix am. Different different. I go pay money for 150 down now. When I come carry dem next week, I go balance the rest.”
A stunned Stanley brought out his receipt booklet, hands shaking and tearing out his first leaflet ever, “Just write ‘Princewill’” said the customer. He handed the receipt to Mr Princewill who drove off while his mind raced about satisfying this customer. He had prepared all these years for this day… the start of his own empire.
What ten lessons are there in this story? What inferences can be made? If you were Stanley how would you go about getting the remaining 100 crates for your customer?
It is good to watch the steps of those that have gone before so we have lessons to learn; but it is also better to have our own dreams and follow those dreams through during tough times; those times are inevitable. Staying the course would end up being profitable for anyone who dares.
N.B: Story inspired by Dangote’s Ten Commandments on Money written by Peter Anosike.
By Oludara Ogunbowale