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Life has granted you permission. Maximize it.

Dear Rule-breaker, this is for you. Now, you have been fully authorized to fully live. Without Limits.

I am a lion. I permit myself to roar.

It all started when I gave myself permission.

Permission to say YES,

Permission to say NO,

Permission to be,

Permission to do,

Permission to dream,

Permission to choose,

Permission to be different,

Permission to be unbreakable,

Permission to choose life and living.

I am a whale, it is my nature to swim.

Over a decade ago, I sought permission.

Permission to solve my own problem of financial hardship.

I sought permission to be an entrepreneur.

I had figured that if I could generate funds by doing something,

I would get by.

One problem though, I was in medical school, studying to be a Physician.

We were incredibly busy.

It was possible not to sleep in days.

Spare time was a forbidden luxury.

We burned the midnight candle, literally.

Resources available to me at the time were severely limited.

This truncated my focus.

I hated that.

I was surrounded by colleagues who seemed to swim in plenty.

Or at least, had enough.

Some had rich parents.

Some were daddy’s little girl who would get whatever they desired at the snap of a finger.

Some lied to get more.

Some had state scholarships.

Some had oil and gas scholarships.

Some had multiple boyfriends.

Some had sugar daddies.

My parents were not rich.

I was not daddy’s little girl.

I cannot lie.

I had no scholarships.

I could not have boyfriends. Didn’t even cross my mind.

Sugar daddies? Never! (even if I thought of it, my dad would find me and skin me alive, right there in my dreams).

“What are my options?”, I pondered.

Creating my own way. I forged ahead.

Background.

My parents were raising 5 kids in a developing nation.

No credit system.

No student loans.

No financial aid.

Nothing.

You pay for everything out of pocket.

Sometimes we had enough to eat and sometimes we did not.

My dad worked hard. Really hard.

My mum worked hard.

5 kids.

Wanted us all to have the best of education (and we did).

But resources were never enough.

As the first of 5, I was the sacrificial lamb.

There was no point asking for more from them.

They just did not have it.

At a point, there was 3 of us going to college in the best University in the country.

All payments were out of pocket.

Clothing, and shoes were a luxury. Underwears? smh

Trips? Never existed.

Eating out? In your dreams!

3 square meals? Urrrr…..maybe, maybe not.

Groceries were barely provided for.

How can I focus to study when I could barely feed?

I need to solve this problem.

Adversity is the birthplace of creativity.

This option didn’t make sense,

But my mind was made.

I will start a business.

I took the jump and did not look back.

Valentine was around the corner.

I would capitalize on that season.

I had an idea.

I will ask my Aunt who is a baker to bake me some valentine cakes to sell.

One problem though.

I needed capital to start.

I did what I believed to be reasonable — ask my dad.

He’s a business man.

“He would proud of me”, I thought.

“My initiative to solve my own problems must impress him”, I had concluded.

Optimistic about my business plan and logistics, I approached dad.

Urrrrrm, things did not go as planned.

Dad would not hear it. AT. ALL.

See….dad had good intentions.

He wanted me to focus.

Good grades were a must.

My first business proposal was to the most important man in my life, at the time.

My Dad.

I thought he would be impressed.

See, dad is Mr-Perfect, No-Nonsense, Highly-Meticulous fellow.

Till date, he is still the most hard-working man I know.

The guy is a hustler!!

Thorough Long-Range Planner.

Highly Critical.

High Standards.

Flawless Executioner.

That was the man I sought approval from constantly.

I would do anything just so my dad could look on me favorably.

As the first of 5, I was nowhere daddy’s girl.

And I wanted to be.

Thing is, his standards and expectations of me were super high.

Something, I mostly could not meet.

He wasn’t raising a “Daddy’s Girl”.

He was raising a warrior! (That is how I have chosen to see it).

“You will be distracted”, Dad said in an intense tone, not looking at me.

But I was already distracted, having no money and worrying about my needs.

“You need to focus on your studies”, he argued.

How else can I do this “focusing” thing? I stared back in disbelief.

“You cannot start a business”, he concluded and dismissed me.

Discouraged and heartbroken, I left his presence.

Then, I thought, “there’s mummy…..”

Off to ask mum.

“Mummy, …………………………….”, I presented my case before her.

Arguing the matter as best as I could.

I won the case.

She agreed to loan me 5,000 in our local currency.

Imagine my joy.

My thrill.

I was going to be a business owner.

Finally!

I have been given the air to FLY.

I had previously spoken to another medical student, a senior.

He was running a business center.

I had asked him to supply me a dozen order of single burner hotplate to sell.

He agreed to do so with no down payment. Thank God!

I would sell, make my profit and give him his share.

With no business degree, exposure or training,

I launched my first business.

Which eventually became what I call a Mini-Walmart.

Mini-Walmart; as I had a little bit of everything.

Confectionaries. Candle. Water. All kinds of Snacks. Hotplate. Eggs. Noodles.

All you need, within a stone throw - My room.

It was against the rule to sell anything in the female hostels.

There I was. The RULEBREAKER.

That was my first badass act.

The fire in me to transact could not be quenched.

I liked money and money liked me.

I loved and enjoyed the exchange and flow of cash.

In a cardless society, the feel of cash against my palm was priceless!

Oh such crispiness….smell the cash…..feel it. Pocket it.

I was my own Stock Inventory Personnel.

Research and Development Guy.

Sales and Marketing Consultant.

Customer Service and Relations Officer.

Head of Purchasing Department.

Client Satisfaction Personnel.

Investor, Adviser and Chief Operating Officer.

I handled all complaints, enquiries, feedback, right there in my room.

Returns and handling, were all done by me.

All because I gave myself permission.

#REBEL

I had approached my aunt with my idea.

“Bake me 9 cakes”, I had asked, “3 each of these shapes and sizes and sale price”.

I must not fail.

Valentine week is coming.

I had traveled from school to her place on a week day to get fresh Val cakes.

My flyers were out a week before.

Designed by me.

Simple and straightforward it read,

“Get your Valentine cakes for your loved one at room XXX”. No epistle to it.

Pasted it around hostel walls, notice boards, reading rooms.

Unafraid that I might be caught.

RULE-BREAKER!

Within few days, all 9 cakes were sold with backup orders.

I had sold 2 hotplates in a week too.

Business was good.

“This is encouraging”, I thought.

Within a month, I made mum’s loan amount back.

I fully refunded her, having enough to pour back into my business.

I was 20 and and now in clinical year.

Rotations were busy.

But nothing would stop me from re-stocking my market.

I started with 1 kitchen table pressed up against my bed.

Filled to the corners above and underneath with goods.

I had approached one of my mum’s friend who sold female clothing.

She travelled to Dubia, England, Italy and all those fancy places to buy nice things.

She was kind enough to give me goods to start with no down payment.

And with that, I added feminine clothing to my business.

I would sell, make profit, and give her what’s due.

Permission to come in.

“Nice dresses, designer wears, shoes, bags, watches, jewelry for sale at room XXX”, my ad read.

Unafraid that I might be caught.

RULE-BREAKER.

I was warned once, and my ad was pulled down a few times.

Word of mouth prevailed.

Reprinted ad several times. In black and white of course.

Thank God for Microsoft word.

My ‘shop-in-room was’ open from dawn to dusk.

In as much as I was in the room, I would sell.

Sometimes till 12 midnight.

Medical students were majorly insomniacs.

Don’t judge me. I did what I had to do.

I did all of this without failing a medical exam.

I dare NOT fail.

My dad would kill me. Well, perhaps skin me.

Well, maybe not kill or skin me or I would rather not imagine the wrath to come.

So it was a good thing to have my grades in decent shape.

I was enthusiastic.

I was on FIRE!!!

Fellow students once asked me,

“How are you doing this? We barely have time to read”.

I replied, “I don’t know, I just find the time”.

“Don’t you feel tempted to eat the sweets, and chocolate?”

“Nope! That is business. Every sweet has a money value attached to it and pre-accounted for. No temptation whatsoever, else I pay for it. That’s my seed and I am not eating it”, I explained.

On weekends, while others partied or leisured away.

I could be found in the open market, buying and negotiating to refill depleted stock.

I had taken account of goods my customers had asked for that I did not have.

I would find those items and add to my collection with pride.

I had a notebook where I kept account of everything.

Items. Type. Amount purchased. Cost price. Selling price. Profit.

As a Christian, I even paid my tithe for forecasted profit before making sales.

I also went to the market during the week to restock.

Within 4 months, my business size and profit doubled.

I now had 2 kitchen tables. In my room.

Poor roommate. She had to deal with that.

I had goods under my bed.

Business was good.

I was basically energized that I was solving a problem.

Not my own financial problem, though that was the original intent.

But the problem of proximity to purchase needed items.

See, the shopping mall was a distance away from the female hostel.

Sometimes, girls would need something and are already in bed, in PJ, and/or don’t want to walk all the way to the shopping mall.

They would come to my room to get the needed item.

My prices were competitive too.

Some would even be very upset if the item they needed was out of stock.

“OOOOOOH! Why don’t you have……?”, they would exclaim in frustration.

“Sorry”, I would explain, “someone just bought the last one.”

I was solving a major problem, I finally came to realize.

I ran my business for 4 years.

NONSTOP!

It can only keep you out if you let it. Permission is granted!

Permission is a powerful thing.

Permission is a beautiful thing.

Permission is a significant measure.

Permission is an advantage you get to give yourself.

Permission to say YES,

Permission to say NO,

Permission to be,

Permission to do,

Permission to dream,

Permission to choose,

Permission to reach beyond myself,

Permission to invent and innovate,

Permission to be outrageously bold,

Permission……to be YOU.

Because permission sells.

In between, medical practice when I had a break,

With nothing to do for income,

I resumed selling stuff.

I would pack 4 bag full of lady’s wears, shoes, jewelries,

Each weighing over 20 lbs each.

Jumping through different buses, to get to downtown and the island.

I sold to women in corporate offices buried in elongated buildings.

One of the ladies, out of curiosity, asked me one day,

“Hey! My colleague told me you are Physician, why are you doing this?”, she looked shocked.

I looked up at her, and smiled very broadly, sweat rolling down my face and said,

“Because I enjoy it”.

This was something I chose to do.

I wanted to be an entrepreneur then.

I still want to be an entrepreneur now.

Fearless and Free.

Permission Granted.

Use it.

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