2010. My office in my parents house
My whole life fell to pieces as I heard the words “I’m sorry Gbemisola you’re going to have an extra semester.” I could tell that my Dean, Dr. Aina, was very unhappy about what Prof. Sonubi did to me, but there was no way she could remedy the situation, the examination had already been done.
I was devastated, I had never repeated a class in my life, I was an above average student in primary school, honors roll student in secondary school, prefect in SS2, Head Girl in SS3. I didn’t know what it felt like to fail a subject, and here I was facing an extra semester in my final year in OAU, not because I failed the course but because I was 30 minutes late for the exam, and Prof. Sonubi refused me entry into the examination hall. I don’t recall how I got to my room that day, but I remember the exasperating feeling of being that student that would be left behind in school while others graduated.
So it happened, I was left behind for real. They all went to NYSC camp, while I went back to class with students a year under me. Honestly, I don’t remember how my academic life was those extra six months that I spent in school, but I remember that it was during those painful months that I bumped into eyebrow grooming. Let’s just say my life changed when I discovered that there was always a baby girl hiding under those pile of bushy brows.
Fast forward to life after school, now that was the tough cookie! Automatically my classmates were a year ahead of me in life, they were gainfully employed, some were buying their first cars, and some going on vacations abroad. Have you ever bumped into your old school mate and wished you could magically disappear? Yeah that feeling… I don’t pray it for my worst enemy!
H&E first products
It was year 2001, no job was forthcoming, parents were retired from work, and I was broke as hell. Something had to give. So I decided to plunge headlong into makeup artistry, IF I PERISH, I PERISH! Business was slow. This was the ‘no-social media era’, gawd it was tough! I got married 2005; my husband and I made some poor business decisions that landed us in debts, and we had three children who didn’t care if the price of garri had gone up. My dear life was hard. However, I had a strong conviction that I have a future in the makeup space, and so I wasn’t going to give up on my dreams. My business strategies changed many times but the goal remained the same- to be one of the biggest makeup entrepreneurs to come out of Nigeria. I continued to struggle for many years, but when my break came, it was a total turn around for me, I look at my life today and I don’t feel left behind in anything. I am not where I want to be, but I am pleased with my journey and content with where I am at this time of my life.
11 O’clock is relative
Who defines time really? Society tells us we need to have graduated by 21, married by 25, owned a car by 27, started a family by 28, a business by 30, and built a house by 40. Who set these standards for God’s sake??? As if that wasn’t enough, I’ll open Instagram and see “Most successful 30 under 30”, like what the heck! LinkedIn is the back breaker, I log in to my account and I am bombarded with accomplishments; something in me shudders at the achievements of those my age or younger than me, as my successes suddenly seem insignificant and menial in comparison. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not doing badly at my age, and I am always happy for those doing great in life and business cause I understand it does take a lot of grit and hard work to follow through with ones’ commitment to success at a young age. However, it doesn’t make sense to believe the myth that we are doing badly if we are not successful before a certain age. For crying out loud, I didn’t buy my first car until I was 40, its four years after and I am still driving the same car, neither have I built my first house.
My present office
Wo, I cannot coman kill myself, Gbogbo wa la ma je breakfast!
Do you want to hear the truth? Time is relative. For some people the process takes 10 years while for some it takes 25, ask Ray Kroc (McDonald’s). Eventually we will all cross the finish line. The question is HOW you will cross the finish line, not WHEN. The HOW is in the process. What do you do while hustling? What happens to your mind? What is your attitude towards this race called life? Are you learning, are you evolving? Or are you grumbling and complaining through the process? You see, process is inevitable, you need to go through it to develop the sustenance skills required in your next level. No doubt people will say all manner of things to you, they’ll say ‘you’re slow’, ‘you’re being unrealistic’, ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’, but you have to own your journey, and decide you’re gonna give it what it takes whilst you trust the timings of your life. PROCESS IS KEY, trust your process. Where do you think I learnt how to constantly reinvent myself in order to stay relevant in the industry? Or how to remain in business despite the constant unfavorable business climate in Nigeria… girl, it was during my process.
Some of our products today
So my darling, be aware of your process and have faith that things will eventually work out in its own time, and not the time society sets for you.
Are you going through the process? I’d like to hear your story, please drop a heart, a comment, or share with someone.