“The new year always brings so much promise with it, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the highs and lows of the previous year, celebrate the wins, and figure out how to get better in the new year.” – Me on January 1, 2020.
It feels like a lifetime ago because of the way this year has gone. We’re halfway through the year but who’s even counting?
In the midst of all that’s going, dear entrepreneur, young business, growing business, big business etc, I’m writing to you today to say keep going!
It probably sounds a bit cliche for me to say this right now but I promise you, I’m writing this from the heart. Today, I’ll share 3 stories that embody the phrase, “keep going,” and I hope you draw inspiration and encouragement from them.
The first story is about our amazing friends at Uber.
We’ve maintained a business relationship with Uber for years – processing all their payments in Nigeria. When I founded Flutterwave, I knew that we needed a client like Uber. The problem was how to get Uber to the table, and not only listen but trust that a new startup with no other client the size of them, would successfully process their payments. If you want to keep going, not only do you refuse to take no for an answer, you have to think out of the box. I used a valuable resource I had – the trust of my former bank employers.
We got the client, a lot of our processes were manual, but we kept grinding. Today, we’re powering Uber as they roll out their Uber Cash feature across Africa. From convincing them to do business with us for just Nigeria, to doing business across Africa. Great things happen when you keep going.
When the city lockdowns were introduced, it hit a lot of businesses hard. We knew we had to do something. We knew we had to help businesses #KeepTheLightsOn. To help businesses #KeepTheLightsOn, we built the Flutterwave Store as a simple and easy way for businesses to sell online during the lockdowns.
The second story is about a family-owned chicken egg business that went from 0 sales due to the pandemic to 135+ crates sold in a week.
The family-owned business operating out of Ayobo, Lagos, Nigeria, didn’t have a customer problem before the lockdown. Their customers included schools, hotels, and other businesses. The lockdown meant their active customer base disappeared all of a sudden. Despite this, they had to keep going. If you want to keep going you have to use technology to give yourself a chance to keep going. They created their store using Flutterwave Store, shared with friends, colleagues and on social media. 0 customers to 135+ crates sold is what happens when you keep going.
My third and final story is also about another business using the Flutterwave Store.
This one is actually special to me because I know what it means for things to not go exactly as you envisioned. I know how much it hurts when your hopes are dashed, I’ve been there so many times. A brilliant author, Achalugo Chioma Ezekobe, planned to launch her debut novel – Mmirinzo – with the usual fanfare, you know, a big party and all of that. She set out to celebrate it as we all would have done in her shoes but the universe had other ideas. The pandemic struck and lockdowns meant parties were banned. If you want to keep going, you have to adapt, because in life you don’t always get the cards you want but you have to play regardless. She substituted her offline plans with online plans.
With her team, they created buzz on social media, created a Flutterwave Store to sell and then hit the genius button. During big launch parties, patrons usually donate money to support the author but with their online plans, Achalugo Chioma Ezekobe and her team had patrons donate towards subsidizing the shipping cost of the books. Mmirinzo sold 200+ copies in just over a week right in the middle of the pandemic. I particularly enjoyed reading about Igbo metaphysics and learned a few new things. Achieving your dreams is what happens when you keep going.
This has turned out longer than I planned and I hope you stayed with me all through. I want to see you #KeepTheLightsOn, I want to see your business stand tall.
It’s never been easy but you’re a winner. Please, keep going.
“Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow is worse, but the day after tomorrow will be Sunshine” – Jack Ma