About a year ago, I got an idea to start up a second-hand online boutique. I think I was going to call it Second Hand for search optimization reasons. I knew nothing about this business so I contacted a friend who had the same drive as I did to make money. She and I talked at length about this idea and even had a proper meeting with notes and all. Also, I sought advice from a friend who sold bales of used clothes, wines and imported canned foods on the move. He told me what I had to do to kickstart the business and shared the average cost of a full bale of clothes. What discouraged me was that, according to my on the move friend, I couldn’t choose the clothes I wanted, that selling in bales was a matter of LUCK.
The thought of fasting and praying hard before dropping about N70,000 for a bale made no sense to me. How could I pay so much and have to sieve clothes to make sure none had patches, holes, and stains on them? So I did a stupid thing. I relied on what I heard from one person and a couple of comments online. I never went to any bend-down-select market to find out how the business works or carry out any form of offline research. I also remember my business partner went AWOL on me; then I lost all the notes containing our grand ideas. Somehow somehow, the push for my second-hand cloth business died, got buried and became forgotten.
Fast forward to September 13, 2016, someone tagged me in an Instagram post owned by @BuyOkrika.
The person who tagged me considered it a joke that someone was selling clothes and shoes at a price range of N100 and beyond. But it was no joke to me. It was at this point I realized that this post could have been my own. The business could have been mine. As I visited the page, the Biblical parable of talents came to me.
**Aside: Holy Spirit, I know that was you.
Matthew 25: 13 — 29 (Amplified)
Let’s start from Verse 19:
Now after a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came and brought him five more, saying, Master, you entrusted to me five talents; see, here I have gained five talents more.
His master said to him, Well done, you upright (honorable, admirable) and faithful servant! You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much. Enter into and share the joy (the delight, the blessedness) which your master enjoys. And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, Master, you entrusted two talents to me; here I have gained two talents more.
His master said to him, Well done, you upright (honorable, admirable) and faithful servant! You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much. Enter into and share the joy (the delight, the blessedness) which your master enjoys.
He who had received one talent also came forward, saying, Master, I knew you to be a harsh and hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you had not winnowed [the grain]. So I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is your own.
But his master answered him, You wicked and lazy and idle servant! Did you indeed know that I reap where I have not sowed and gather [grain] where I have not winnowed? Then you should have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent away from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents.
For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will be furnished richly so that he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have will be taken away.”
Now, I didn’t mean to go all Christian on you but this is how the process of idea generation works (for me).
This is why sometimes it seems like someone stole our ideas and we just can’t seem to get over the feeling of losing potential greatness.
However, I’m really happy for Buy Okrika. I wish them all the best and look forward to other big assignments.
From henceforth, the plan is to stop thinking too much about it and just do it.