When it comes to doing what one loves, I must say that in my 4+ decades on earth, I have had my fair share of enjoying the things I have done in life.
From studying my dream course, Electronic Engineering … I remember that right from my secondary school (high school) days, I knew I wanted to study some kind of Engineering. People often assumed that as a brilliant science student, the most natural course for me to study would be Medicine & Surgery. But nah! I hated Biology so much and only read it to pass my exams. I am a Maths and Physics babe. 😉
My French teacher was shocked when I informed her that I would no longer take French because I would not need it as much. I had to choose between French and Technical Drawing and I went with Technical Drawing because one, I enjoyed it and two, it would be much more useful to me in my course of study.
“French would be much more useful to you because some names of drugs are written in French”, she quipped.
“Drugs?”, I asked.
“Yes, drugs because you are going to study Medicine.”
“No, I want to study Engineering ma.”
This I said in the presence of the French HOD and our school principal who she convened a meeting with after trying to convince me for a while. They looked at each other and left me alone for good.
So from an early stage, I knew what I loved and I knew how to go for it.
I went on to study my course of choice. I wasn’t necessarily keen on Electronic Engineering in particular, any Engineering course would do. I would have loved Civil Engineering because I consider myself a pro in Engineering Drawing hehehehe and I love it so much. But they told me no, Civil is for boys.
I did my internship (IT) in a weird place. Weird because the company is an Electrical Engineering company that installed transformers but I took on a completely different role while in the company. You see, the MD of the company, an Italian, was always on about the internet. CompuServe this, dial up that, email this, webserver that. Remember, this was in 1998 and I and two other guys were the only ones that listened to his endless talks about his strange World Wide Web.
He saw my interest and with my computer skills, he made me a member of the organising committee of an internet conference he was planning at that time. He also had an Internet Society, an organisation he formed that is made up of internet enthusiasts (mostly university professors) and I started sitting in on their meetings. For the conference, he invited people from all over the world to speak and I was in charge of making some of the arrangements. At the end of the conference, I had so much material that talked about the internet. I became even more fascinated and this led to my doing another thing that I enjoyed!
With all the knowledge I have gained about the internet and all the material I had with me, when I got back to school for my final year, I went to one of my favourite lecturers in my department Dr. Osuagwu and told him that I have a project topic and asked if he would be my supervisor. Luckily my project topic, which is about the internet, is not lecturer specific – normally one would need to go to a lecturer that handles the course that the person’s project relates to – so I went to the one person that would make the project writing experience a good one. Dr. Osuagwu was well loved in the department so it had to be him! He did not fully understand what I was talking about. In his exact words he asked me:
“Floppy Disc what will I be supervising, eh?”
He gave me that nickname in my 3rd year and it stuck. All the engineering students knew me by that nickname and still call me that till today. 😀 But he said he was confident that I knew what I was talking about and said yes to being my project “supervisor”.
I went on to write my project, even created a dummy website for my university with the help of expert web coders. Another thing I loved!
After graduation, I went on to serve (Nigerian NYSC) in a telecoms company in Port Harcourt. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at Bruswich. It was a small company but it was my kind of work. There were 4 of us in the team: 2 engineers, 1 youth corps member engineer (that’s me) and 1 student engineer (intern).
We had the time of our lives, at least I did. Very hands-on. We went for field work every single work day and we would go to the mammy market in Onne for lunch – they have the best Nigerian food there by the way. We would climb NITEL masts, go to houseboats to install telecommunication equipment, go to Bonny Island on speed boats etc. It . Was. Fun.
On the NITEL mast at Garrison, Port Harcourt.
After that, I got a job with Schlumberger. With this job, I had the opportunity to travel the world. With the world class technical training and experience I received while in this company, when I moved to other companies, all I needed to do was submit my CV and I was hired, straight away, no need for an interview. Now that I have gone freelancing, oil exploration companies ask for me by name! Some of them even want to get me to work for them directly (poaching). All these come with doing what you love and most of you already know how much I love my day job.
But if you think that all these listed above are awesome, you’ve got another think coming! Of all these fun that I have had, of all these love that I have had for the things I am doing and have done, nothing beats my website gig. This my hobby turned online business, nothing beats it! You see all the Nigerian recipes, YouTube videos, Facebook fun with Nigerian food lovers, nothing like these! Words fail me each time I try to tell the story of me and my website because I do not know where to start. You may find bits of information here and there on the web about me and my website journey but there’s no comprehensive story.
But yesterday, I received an email that blew my mind. Lanre Solarin sent me an email and said that I should check out his case study about my website. I receive such emails of people writing about me and my website from time to time so I went over just to take a look at the page but when I started reading, I was hooked. Mid-way, I turned and asked my husband if he wrote something about my website on a blog because he has been in this journey with me and he alone can write such detailed analysis from a business point of view.
All I can say is that with that story he wrote about me, Lanre sure knows his onions about online businesses. I’ll stop here and let you read that in his own words so go over to his blog and read his: How Flo Madubike Built A Digital Business From Her Cooking Skills [Case Study]. You can also click the image below.
What is that thing you love? Can you do it in the comfort of your home and make money from it? We are in an era where online business is the in-thing. Ours is a generation where if our certificates are not getting us what we want, we need to put away our certificates and whip out our talents and skills.
Even if your certificate is getting you something now, years down the line, you may not want to tow the certificate line. When I started all these, I did not know what I was building, I still don’t know what I’m doing LOL. All I know is that I had a skill which is a bit of foundation in website creation. I had another skill which is preparing Nigerian meals that I and people around me enjoy. I discovered I had a talent which is explaining something in the language that most people understand. The whole online business aspect was an accident.
If you think that you have something that you can take online and do not know where to start, you should surely get in touch with Lanre on his website, click here. Your own “accident” is waiting to happen but it will not happen till you DO something.
If you have a thought but think that it is worthless, comment below to state your fears and watch me burst that fear. Like I always say, I am not an expert in anything; but I always make sure I know enough to be dangerous! Go on, state that fear below and I will try my best to burst it. 😀 Lanre is also on standby to help me out. 😉
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