Why I have refused to give up on my dreams – @Olurounbi

Ruth black

In case you’re about to give up on yourself, your job or anything important to you, hold on. I may try to persuade you otherwise.

As many people know, I am an entrepreneurship enthusiast and a storyteller. I am amazed by entrepreneurs and startups. As such, I love to tell the world their stories – their journeys, struggles and victories fascinate me. I also have a very soft spot for women in tech, in leadership, in business and generally, women doing great things.

As Director of Entrepreneurship at Nigeria’s oldest private newspaper, Nigerian Tribune, I try to promote African development through entrepreneurship.

But the thing with my passion within the Nigerian journalism space is that it is not quite lucrative. In other words, it is not very financially rewarding. Many colleagues have drummed this into my ear for years. At first, I blocked those words from my mind. I would tell them, “I’m not in this for the money; I’m only doing what I love to do”. But as time went on, I began to allow myself to “notice” how dry the field I work in is, and how little my efforts yielded in terms of my plans.

I had thought that within the space of 5 years, I would have met and interviewed a certain number of people, written a certain number of stories and books, and made a certain amount of money. But those plans have not quite worked out. It didn’t look like they were going to happen anytime within or close to the time frame. Given that I have been doing this for close to three years now, you can only imagine the discouragement that I have faced.

Every “No” I received felt like a personal attack on my abilities, mocking me. I was frustrated. I was bitter. But no-one knew this. Still, I kept working. I kept doing what I loved to do, although sometimes halfheartedly. Tired as I was, I kept working.

Then recently, something happened that changed my life. I went to a couple of places and as soon as I mentioned my name, they told me how my work inspires them. They spoke of how they started their businesses, how they applied for and got some funding. Those words forced me to take stock of how far I have come, and how far I have gone. And I can tell you, I’ve come pretty far.

As such, I have chosen to adopt an attitude of gratitude. No; I’m not where I want to be yet, but I’m not where I was yesterday. Looking at my achievements have encouraged me to keep going, to never look back or give up on my dreams, my self, my job and my work. I recall the line of that song that says, “I’ve come too far from where I started from… I just can’t give up now.”

Don’t give up. Keep at it. You’ll smile.

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