EVERY HUSTLER HAS A PAY DAY: the importance of persistence and applying wisdom in the everyday struggle

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau

“Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come” – Robert H. Schuller

“The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it” – Arnold H. Glasow

“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there someday” – A.A. Milne


I was in colleague’s car riding to the filling station. We had to get some petrol that would be enough to convey us to a friend’s wedding venue outside town. Mobb Deep’s Shock Ones II was blaring from the car stereo and I was happily bumping my head to the beats and rapping along. Omo, that song was the perfect song I wanted to listen to at that moment. I quickly checked my wallet to make sure I had enough cash. Yes, I did – 5k as wedding present and 2k for petrol. A voice in my head told me to increase the 5k to 10k. For wetin? Na Dangote pikin dey marry? All these mumu voices wey dey talk to me every time sef. It was high time I saw a powerful priest to exorcise those demons. Maybe Father Mbaka will be a good one. Pamurogo!

I put back the wallet inside my pocket and continued rapping along with Havoc of Mobb Deep. A few meters to the filling station, I beheld a young man (probably in his early 30s) carrying a tray on his head. It was obvious the guy was hawking some goods. I thought it was cashew nuts he was selling so I decided to buy some. My colleague cleared by the road side as the guy ran up to the car. He diligently brought down the metallic tray from his head and kept it on the ground. Surprisingly, I realized it was chewing sticks he was selling. My people, I didn’t say toothbrush or toothpaste or toothpicks. Let me say it out loud – Chewing Sticks. My goodness!

In this 21st century, a grown man would wake up in the morning, say prayers to God to bless his hustle for the day, take a bath (or none) and then proceed to pack bundles of chewing sticks on a metallic tray, lock his door, say goodbyes to his neighbors and leave the compound to sell the chewing sticks. Chai, eee speak lee kwe! How does he expect God to answer his prayers? I mean, pardon me if I am sounding like a village wizard. But who uses chewing sticks any more in these contemporary times. Correct me if I am wrong though.

A lot of people keep disturbing God with prayers and spend endless hours at revival services praying to God to change their destinies when they are actually the ones holding their destinies tightly with both hands. They are literally suffocating their destinies by engaging in the wrong hustles. Most people don’t realize that there are ‘stupid hustles’. Very stupid ones! An example is this able-bodied young man selling chewing sticks. Other examples include selling rosaries in a Muslim community (e.g. Chibok). Or selling firewood in Victoria Island! Who go buy that one? Some people actually do hard work while others work hard. Those are two different things – one pays better than the other.

It is important for young people to realize the importance of adequate research and survey, followed by a detailed business plan before embarking on a hustle. Who is your target population? And would these people need the product or service you are offering them?

And while doing so, it is pertinent not to follow the bandwagon. Everyone is selling women panties and bras; so you also join them because it is the in thing when you rightly realize you don’t have any passion for such business. When the ‘pure water’ business became prominent, everyone rushed into it because one person tried it first and it was successful. It is pertinent to stick to a hustle that makes one happy as well as one that also brings fortunes along the way. And giving up on such a hustle should never be an option.

The story of Patrick Soon-Shiong is an important one. He was accustomed to having people doubt what he was capable of doing at every stage in his illustrious medical career but he succeeded to turn the tides around to become arguably the richest doctor alive. His life has been all about doing the ‘impossible’ and treading on grounds that most people are scared to thread on. Over time, this brought him fame and fortune, and most importantly, HAPPINESS.

There are others with such inspirational success stories. Every single person on earth has the same option to either decide to be successful or not. And the first step in this journey towards becoming successful in life is to discover a perfect hustle that is lucrative as well as one that makes you happy.

Eventually, I bought two bundles of chewing sticks. The seller told me each bundle was sold for 20 naira. I handed him a 500 naira note and as he wanted to go about looking for change, I asked him to forget about the change. He almost knelt down as he was thanking me and raining blessings on me. Nigerians and their drama!

On the road to the wedding venue, I wound down the window and threw away the chewing sticks. My colleague asked why I did so and I proceeded to give one of my boring and crazy epistles:

“I didn’t need the chewing sticks but I felt pity on the young man. So I had two options. The first one was to ‘dash’ the young man some cash and the second one was to buy the chewing sticks with say 500 bucks and ask him to keep the change. Now if I had gone ahead with the first plan, there is a chance that the chewing stick seller would see me as a ‘ritualist’ who wanted to use him for juju. I mean, that’s how most Nigerians would think. But I proceeded with the second one. At least, the 500 bucks could get him a good meal for dinner and maybe one bottle of his favorite beer to wash the meal down well well”.

Ok, that was my epistle. But that’s total bullcrap. The biggest mistake I made was not lecturing the young man on the importance of focusing on the ‘right hustle’. And because I didn’t do so, I would have to do penance to rid my conscience of any guilt.

In this nation where take home salaries are not enough to feed a dog, not to talk of feeding the husband, wife, kids, house-help and the relatives squatting in the house, it is important to have a side hustle. This life is a freaking rat race; a survival of the fittest. Therefore, everyone should endeavor to hustle hard, stay focused and keep pushing.

But remember, not everyone that perseveres get to eat the sweet fruit of success. Some die wretched and unhappy while hustling. Capisce!

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