Determination is everything

…it helped me start my own business

Your thoughts (13) Determination is everything

It all started in our family living room.

My friends, my siblings and I were talking about how to make it big in life. You know, become the next Dangote or Tiwa Savage. We do that a lot.

But this time it was different, my older brother’s friend told me something that changed my life.

He said, ‘Zainab, you like shoes, why don’t you start a shoe business?’

I laughed at first and told myself only people from rich families can start that kind of serious business.

But then I thought about it again. Nobody was born successful, we all start from somewhere.

All of a sudden, I was deep in research. I went online and started looking for people in the shoe business. I started following them and some of them even followed me back!

I started asking them questions – how they started, how they manage their businesses, and so on. I learned so much.

I decided on a name for my business and started drawing designs for sandals. I looked for a good shoemaker in my neighbourhood who could help me make them.

Next thing I did was ask family and friends for help. I saved some money but I needed more. I wrote down all my plans and used this to help my family and friends understand what I would do with the money.

I didn’t get all the money I needed but I still started with what I had. Instead of making 10 shoes like I planned, I made just 3 shoes.

And people in my neighbourhood bought them all, they said my designs were so different.

The way I danced that day eh!

I felt gingered to continue and I was doing well. My shoemaker could not make too many shoes at a time so after a few months I decided to start importing shoes.

I did some research and asked my online shoe business friends for some contacts. Finally, I decided to buy some shoes from a woman in China. That’s how I started international buying and selling lol!

The shoes came into Nigeria 2 weeks later and I was so proud when I went to pick them up. They looked as beautiful as they looked in the pictures. I was so happy that I took time to find a trusted seller.

Of course I had to overcome many challenges – the fear of buying from the wrong person, the fear that nobody would buy my shoes, the fear that I would lose my money. In fact, for some of my first sales I made a mistake and did not charge enough money to make any profit. But I learnt fast from my mistakes, I asked questions all the time and I had the determination to make it work.

I am still working on making my business better and sometimes I still make mistakes. But the most important thing is that I keep my main goal in my mind. I want to grow my business to a point where people from all over the world know about my shoes. When I know my goals, I stay focused.

How about you? Are you trying to do something that seems hard? Share with us and you may get some good advice or answers to your questions.

Feeling more confident?

Share your thoughts

Log in to comment

Your thoughts


Dear, i admire your confidence. I have a business plan, however, executing it is the problem. ...

5 months, 3 weeks ago

I would like to sell fashion bag's and other fashion materials but i don't know how to start or what...

7 months, 3 weeks ago
Read more comments