Most times when people see how my life has turned out, how happy I am, how insanely confident I am and severely positive I am, they quickly assume I have had it easy.
It’s so hard for me to convince anyone at one time in my life I was so scared of rejection. During my time at university I spent a great deal of my time trying to get into the media. I did several job interviews, tried writing here and there but nothing came my way.
I reached a point in my life and just decided to give up on pursuing the whole writing thing. But what I didn’t know then was that rejection was an all round bitch, she found me in business too. I thought by quitting job hunting I was going to get rid of it but in business it plays a very dominant role it is so hard to keep up with it.
I just didn’t know how to conquer this fear, I had tried to talk positive things to myself daily but every time a customer rejected my chapattis for some reason or the other I felt offended and closed up shop for some days.
Then one day as I was heading to Iganga for Easter with my big sister, I decided to buy a book from a hawker around Jinja road by Praise George titled “start with what you have, where you are”. The moment I turned the first page, I read it up to Iganga and when I reached my sister’s home I had gotten a mental dress down.
All the beliefs I had put in my system had to be flashed out within Easter Holiday. I had to set myself up for success and getting rid of all the impediments like certain fears had to happen.
In that book George says we are born with only two fears, the fear of falling down and the fear of loud noises which two fears we have all mastered as we grew older.
From that point on, my new goal was to go beyond my limits to scare off all my fears. With his wise counsel I revamped my chapatti business from a stationary post to hawking them. But with that I had to find ways of keeping them warm so I had to spend another 45,000/= on foil, Fay, and plastic plates to be able to appeal to my target market….the dying man.
I am not very certain where I read this but someone wrote that to be a great sales person, you need to sell something to someone who is dying. They have nothing to gain or lose. That was my target too as I headed to Mulago National Referral Hospital for a try out in the burns ward.
The ward smelled mucky, you couldn’t eat a thing there let alone stay for more than an hour but I sold 12 chapattis there so you can imagine how long I spent there. The whole time I was in that ward I felt like throwing up. There is just one vivid image I will never take out of my mind of a man who was totally burnt and his body looked like meat at the butcher.
He raised his hand up and gestured for me to sell to him, the pain he was going through with every move he made to raise up and get something to eat couldn’t equate to fearing rejection. For 3 months I dedicated myself to sell, some days I got rejected and went back home with all the chapattis I had made, some days I gave them to street beggars because I wanted to keep the illusion in my mother’s mind that I was at least learning something.
But the greatest lessons I learned on that journey were;
Selling something to someone means first getting interested in them, asking about how their patient was doing, inquiring what they were planning to do in case the worst came to the worst for a sale to happen.
That my biggest fear wasn’t rejection, It was pride that caused me to think I was being rejected, it was expectation that made me think I was being rejected and as I got humble I realized If I set my pride a side I can keep at job searching until I got what I wanted that’s how I ended up at the Independent Magazine.
Every time a media house rejected me, I went back again and again. I called again and again until they realized I wanted it that bad.
What is your biggest fear and what are you doing to conquer it?