“Let me tell you a bit of my own story, and I hope it inspires you to go out there and get yours.
I started my hustle very young, just fresh out of secondary school. I started modelling even before I got into the university.
At the university, I also continued my modelling career and I also started organizing beauty pageants,
I organized Miss University of Lagos for three consecutive years and in 2003, I decided that I want to contest in a beauty pageant.
I contested in Miss Nigeria 2003, and I failed.
I finished university, and I started my own company; a Modelling and Events Company. I hustled a lot back then to keep my company afloat.
When the money wasn’t coming in as I had hoped, I decided to put my hands in other businesses. So I started a magazine. I failed at it.
I started a Marketing and Public Relations Company. I failed at it.
I started a TV Modelling Show. I failed at it.
I attempted to start a Reality TV Modelling Competition. I failed at it.
I did an Annual Fashion Show for 7 years, I didn’t succeed at it. I didn’t make money.
And then I wrote a book, I didn’t sell up to five hundred copies. I failed. I failed so many times.
Infact 13 years after I have started my hustle, I was still broke, I was still struggling, I was still trying to find my way.
Some days I would lay on my bed, and I would cry my eyes out. I would get up, work, fail and then, I would cry some more.
I would ask God why?
I worked so hard since I was young for so many years, why have You refused to bless me?
There were days I would leave my house, very early, very, very early; enter my car, and drive around Lagos, from morning, till evening. I would go from one company to the other, from Ikeja to Mile II, from Yaba to Lagos Island, with proposals in hand, asking for sponsorship, asking for someone to hear me out, begging for someone to believe in me.
99% of the time, I went home empty.
Nobody tried to help,
But you see, no matter how bad it got, no matter how many doors were slammed in my face, no matter how many times I fell, I never stayed down. I never gave up. I never stopped working. I never stopped praying. I never stopped believing in myself.
Infact, giving up was never an option for me. I was going to continue to work until I got my breakthrough.
If I had given up, I won’t be standing here right now talking to you.
But, what I didn’t realize when I was crying my eyes out and calling myself a failure, was that God had already put something in my life a few years back that would change everything.
As you all know, I’m a blogger and before I had my breakthrough in blogging, I blogged for 4 years passionately without making any money.
Those days, I would beg for 100 naira to pay for browsing time at the cyber café, but then in 2011, everything changed. Companies started to pay me for something I had nurtured with love.
And just 6 years later, haa.
You may not fail as many times as I did. Or maybe you may fail more times than I did.
But you have to remember that failure is part of success.
If you never fail, how are you ever going to learn?
The only true failure in life, is when you stop trying, when you give up.
No matter how many times you fall, you have to get up and you have to keep going.
There is something amazing waiting for you at the finish line.
Listen to me and listen very carefully.
You have a purpose in this life.
You were created by God for a reason.
Find your purpose.
Believe in your purpose.
Live your purpose.
You can give yourself the life of your dreams.
You can achieve success beyond your wildest imagination. It’s up to you.
In this journey of life, you are the master of your fate.
The captain of your soul. You are responsible for the choices you make in your life. So make the right ones.
Please, I beg you, believe in yourself.
Believe in your dreams. Surround yourself with people who share the same vision with you.
People who support you. Never ever let anyone tell you, you cannot do anything.
Work hard, work smart, and remember there is no testimony without struggle.
I wish you all the very best.”
~ Linda Ikeji