I had an exasperating conversation with a fellow member of a WhatsApp group yesterday. I had shared my response to a video on LinkedIn featuring a toddler who was assisting his parents in transporting containers from a van to a warehouse. My reaction to the video involved proposing that both Africa and the wider world could benefit from observing the independence of the young Caucasian boy in the clip.
In my view, the West is more advanced because parents encourage their children to become independent at the age of 18, while most Africans still rely on their parents’ financial support throughout their university education and even into their 30s. However, the following morning, a member of the group responded to my video, attributing the problem of unemployed youth and an underdeveloped African continent to the education system and poor governance.
Let me share with you the story of Irene, a 22-year-old woman from Cameroon who caught my attention when I asked members of our young and independent community to share their testimonials. To my surprise, Irene was already a member of our WhatsApp coaching and mentoring group, but I was unaware of her presence until then.
Irene experienced a mindset flip as the first step in changing her life. She discarded her blame list and regained the strength and power to transform her situation. Once her mindset blockage was removed, Irene made a deliberate choice to incorporate some of the mentoring advice and business strategies that I had been sharing with the group. In her testimonial, Irene mentioned that she used her summer break to work at the Cameroon GCE board, earning a little over $100. Instead of using this money to purchase liabilities like bags, wigs, or shoes, Irene made a different decision. She did something that most members of Generation Z rarely do.
To start her business, Irene invested all her money into purchasing 25 birds along with their feed, vaccines, and medicines. Although it was her first time starting and managing a business, she took the leap of faith.
Despite facing an early setback of losing 3 birds, Irene persevered through her hard work, persistence, and patience, which contributed to the success of her business. With the application of some business strategies that I had shared with the group, she was able to double her investment within just 8 weeks.
1). She created more value for her clients by taking the slaughtered chickens to her customer’s door step i.e. convenience
2). She remained in control of the entire supply chain process for her business.
Irene’s success story highlights the potential we possess when we move away from the victim mentality and strive towards victory.
The story of Irene highlights the importance of mentoring and how the guidance of the right coach can lead one towards a better path.
Irene has now gained valuable experience in starting and growing a business, having overcome her fears. If she continues with her courage and drive, she is sure to achieve even greater success.