Do not throw away water you have in the bucket because you hear the thunder clap

Fatai Ayeloja
5 min readMar 23, 2017

This title is a Yoruba proverb that means, One should not throw away opportunities at hand because you hear about other opportunities that may be yours.

I fell into this kind of situation almost a year ago and it cost me so much. But I thank God for the opportunity of getting the second chance of working on getting back on my feet.

This is actually what happened. I hope you learn from my mistakes. I was an undergraduate student and an entrepreneur. I had a small business of my own back at school: A business center which I offer the services ranging typesetting, writing computer programs for my school mates, doing online research, graphics works and online registration for both lecturers and students in and outside the school.

I was a bit comfortable because I was living in a two rooms apartment and have my then fiancee (now my wife) and my younger brother living with me. I took care of them in a way that I could and also take care of my school bills. Pretty cool ahn?

But I was not satisfied with what I had. You know the saying “You don’t value what you have until you loose it”?. Yeah, that’s it.

My problem starts with wanting to get more funds to expand my business going into selling computers and mobile phone accessories etc.

So I sat down one day and thought of what to do. No friend to give me a loan, banks will surely just tell me what collateral do you have, my parents are of average earning folks, don’t wanna stress them because I have younger ones like three.

So I obtain an employment form to be recruited into the Nigeria Immigration Service; a paramilitary outfit. I was about to graduate just a few months to go then. I attended a Polytechnic, and in my country the polytechnic issues you certificate for the first two years spent in the school which is National Diploma Certificate and if you chose to come back after one year of Industrial Attachment, and undergoes another two years making five years you get another certificate called Higher National Diploma. I had just finished writing exams and my project so I could not use my Higher National Diploma certificate; meaning a lower pay. But to me then it is better than how much I make in my business.

I started the process of the recruitment application, went for the exams, physical examination, interview and eventually got the application letter. I never knew you are not a staff in a paramilitary outfit until you are deployed after training school.

My business was running with 30percent potential because of my absence. My younger brother and a younger friend are helping me out with work and I get some returns every time I came back home at the weekend. But they were not planning to stay long after they graduated because it was their final year as a National Diploma student.

So I got home one day, my business closed down, no one to operate it. I thought to myself why do I occupy this space and paying the shop rent when I do not even use the shop anymore. My mindset was I got the appointment letter now, I am a staff/Officer of the Nigeria Immigration Service. I wish I knew better. What I did was move out of the business, sold some of my machines and concentrate fully on the service training.

I started borrowing money from friends, take money gifts from my parents and siblings hoping at the end of the training all the package attached at the first start will be given to us and I can pay all my loans back to their respective owner.

My nightmare happened on a particular day 5th of September, 2016. We were summoned by the Comptroller general of the Nigeria Immigration Service that they have been told to let us all go for a while in preparation of going to training school proper. That is after we have spent 3 months of military drilling, alot of money, tedious excercise, getting injured, during fasting and other day, getting sick and getting well, risking our lives with the hope of a better ending. Men! It was not easy. She, the Comptroller General of our command said we are to leave with immediate effect for the next two weeks that we would be called back soon. We should lay and wait further directive.

We all went home that day. One week gone, two weeks gone, three weeks we became nervouse. I got no where to go to, no work to do, remember I had sold my business. Home started becoming so boring, one month gone still no contact was made. We started calling people of authority in the service to know what is going on. They were all giving us a false hope, that soon sooner soonest we will be contacted. Till today we have not been contacted.

We started hearing rumours from different angles that the recruitment excercise was illegal and was not done properly. Can you imagine? After three months of serious work. I even lose my belly fat, LOL which is probably a good thing, I got skin burn from standing in the sun from morning till even every five working days of the week throughout the induction training period.

Government making policies, politician playings hero that they will do something about it. My dear friends nothing is done till this moment. Then I started realizing my serious mistake; selling my business when I have not even started the work proper. I heard the thunder clap and I simply throw my bucket of water away hoping more rain is about to fall.

Almost everyone knows my brand in the school “Aliph”. I was never broke, we ate what we like and sleep well, I had generator at home and at my office (which is a big deal here in Nigeria, LOL).

But i throw it all away because;

  • My research was not enough
  • I made decision without considering all unforeseen occurencies
  • I was not patient enough
  • I didnot value what I had
  • I undervalued my business and brand power

Now I am working my ass up just to get myself together and start a business again. I am an entreprenueral person, I dont do well with taking orders but I have got to just put up to that for now till I get back on my feet again.

I hope you learnt one or two things. CLICK the LICK button, SHARE with your friend and families and post your comments down below on what you think I might have done to make a better decision.

Thanks for reading my lengthy post.

This is my first online article. Peace.

This article was first published on Linkedin.com

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Fatai Ayeloja

I write about my journey as an adult lifestyle, love for tech and sometime just vibes