man working in office

Back in 2008, just after I passed out from National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), I decided I’ll remain self-employed and start building my Architectural practice. Few months after NYSC, a class mate of mine who was already employed with an Architectural firm in Abuja, called me up and told me there was a job vacancy for an Architect in the firm where he worked. He said to me that he will like me to avail myself for the job. At first, I was quite reluctant because I had earlier resolved not to get employed to any firm, but to rather be on my own. But my friend persuaded me and tried to make me see the need to get some working experience from an already established firm before I eventually venture to be on my own. I thought he was making a sensible point, so I availed myself for the job.

I started working with the firm in about October 2008, in their Port Harcourt office. Just after a month of being with the firm, I got a call from my boss and he said he’ll rather have me in the firm’s Abuja office. The office in Abuja was still quite new, not up to a year old at the time. I was reluctant at first but I had no choice but to accept the transfer. I had lived in Port Harcourt all my life, so moving to Abuja to start a new life was a whole challenge and experience for me. Couple of months of my stay in Abuja, I started getting private jobs from personal clients in Port Harcourt. That period I got a contract to design an ultra-modern church building in Port Harcourt and I successfully delivered that job, and subsequently several other Architectural design jobs started coming from Port Harcourt. So, I was always travelling to Port Harcourt to meet with my private clients. It got to a point that I was always in Port Harcourt almost every other weekend. At some point my office salary was only good enough to fund my several flight fares in a month to Port Harcourt and I started living on proceeds from my private income.

The most difficult part was that, most of the clients I had in Port Harcourt had no idea I was not even living in Port Harcourt. I always made sure any meeting in Port Harcourt was fixed during weekends. But at some point, the weekend meetings where no longer enough. There were times some of my clients or the jobs I had at hand required my presence in Port Harcourt during week days and at the time, I was still employed with the firm in Abuja, so I found myself at a crossroads. I knew I had to make a tough decision, whether to forego those Port Harcourt jobs and retain my salary job in Abuja or tender a resignation to my employer and proceed to a life of full time, self-employment. It was one of the most difficult decisions I ever had to make in my life. Deep inside me, I knew I wanted to move on with my life and be on my own. After all I never really wanted to be anybody’s employee right from the onset. On the other hand, I was afraid of what lies ahead. I was afraid that if I resign, I will not be able to cope being on my own as I will no longer have a guarantee of the regular monthly income I enjoyed as an employee. But I had to face my fears and I conquered it.

After giving it several thoughts, about one year after working with my previous employer, I took the bold decision and I registered my private company BAM Design Consults Limited in November 2009 and went ahead to resign, forfeit my salary job and returned back to Port Harcourt to face my career. I did not inform my parents of my decision to resign because I knew they will discourage me, I just had to damn the consequences and did what I had to do. It was a move I made without having a clue on how I was going to pull through. But in all I decided to trust God to lead me every step of the way.

At first it was not easy. The saddest part was that, shortly after I resigned, all the jobs that kept making me travel frequently from Abuja to Port Harcourt suddenly ceased. Jobs were no longer forth coming. I had many days I’ll wake up in the morning without any agenda or a single item in my to-do-list. I almost had regrets for resigning, but then I knew better days were waiting just ahead of me. I stayed strong and courageous through those low moments and today the rest is history. BAM Design Consults is still standing tall and is an employer of labor in the Architectural and building industry with a number of projects to our credit.

I did not share this story to brag, No! Neither did I share it because I’m the most successful young Architect out there. I know many of my colleagues who are doing countless times better than me in the profession. But I just want to use a bit of my story to encourage you. I shared it to give you a clear picture of what fear can do. Had I listened to the voice of fear and doubt, I would have stayed back from taking the risk, BAM Design Consults would not have been in existence today, the persons who the business has helped over the years to put food on their tables and clothes on their body and a roof over their head, would probably have been somewhere else still struggling to find a meaning out of life. I also would have not have found myself where I am today. I would have been living below my capacity and God given destiny.

Fear is one of the greatest destroyers of destinies. Fear will fill your mind with doubts. The greatest fear is the fear of failure. So many people are just too afraid of failing so to avoid failure and embarrassment they rather remain in their comfort zone and play safe. To avoid falling down they rather remain in the ground and refuse to try climbing. But you need to know that tomorrow belongs to those who choose to take a fearless risk today. You have to get rid of fear and put on the cloak of faith in God and trust him to lead you all the way.

I’m not asking you to resign from your job if you don’t intend to, I just want to tell you to damn that fear and chase your dreams. Nobody in this world can stop you except yourself. With God all things are possible.

“‘Do not fear [anything], for I am with you; Do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, be assured I will help you; I will certainly take hold of you with My righteous right hand [a hand of justice, of power, of victory, of salvation].’”
Isaiah 41:10 (Amplified) AMP

AB Emeruwa

(Excerpts from my forthcoming book, Ministry Out Of Your Misery)

For more inspiring Articles, please visit www.abemeruwa.com


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