A very inspiring tale to encourage you.
Just after I received my fee structure from Moi University for my PhD, totalling N850,000 in 2012, I met my dad, Alhaji Abubakar at Cooperative bank in Kaduna.
I explained to him that I had the admission letter and he smiled.
I told him however, “Baba, there is a problem. They need N850,000.”
He held my hands, then slowly but reassuringly, said, “Just begin, my son.”
To ensure his point went home, he got into his account and gave me N14,000 in an account that had N20,000.
I was touched.
I added N16000 and paid N30,000 into the account, and my journey to PhD began.
Today, having reached the dream, I remember the words of my father.
In everything you do, always remember, JUST BEGIN.
Just begin, no matter how difficult it seems to be.
It appeared to be difficult, but as time lapsed, I realised dad was right.
At some point after my defence, I gave up.
I still had a solid N300,000 to pay and they wouldn’t give me a chance for my final defence.
Then came a very unlikely help.
I had supported a gentleman to undertake a project evaluation two times in the year.
I received his call cautiously asking me to meet him.
He was carrying a brown envelop in his hand.
He began, “Aliyu, you will forgive me if you find my action inappropriate. For two consecutive times you have given me a job without asking for a Cent. This is very unusual with many people. I did not know how to approach you, but I am deep with gratitude. Please accept my small gift.”
I quickly peered into the envelope and saw they were two bundles, likely in hundreds.
He confirmed that it was N200,000.
I told him, “I have helped so many people, many known to me, some were my school mates who never returned a Cent. God bless you. Please don’t give it to me. Pay it straight into the university account.”
I couldn’t believe it.
The words of my father, “My son, just begin” came to mind.
Don’t worry how it will end.
If you are building a house, just begin.
If you are planning to buy land, just begin.
If you want to continue with your education, just begin.
If you want to pay dowry, just begin.
Nothing is more powerful than that advice.
We just need to begin.
And I have revised this philosophy.
Whenever someone is doing something, I always encourage them to just keep trying.
When things get thick, I always say, keep walking.
When things are intimidating, ignore.
Let’s keep trying.
Don’t give up on life just because your challenges appear to be insurmountable.
Do not be defeated before you begin.
Whatever looks like a mountain will soon become an anthill…but only if you begin.
Not long ago, someone asked me, “Aliyu, are we going to manage to build the office we want?”
My answer, “Let’s just begin.”
I believe in the power of starting.
No one loses a race until they respond to the sound of the gun and begin.
The secret lies in beginning.
Overtime, God has seen me through a number of projects because of this philosophy.
I have parcels of land that I acquired by simply paying N50,000…and, overtime, these have multiplied.
I persuade you this day never to allow yourself to be threatened by the size of your problem.
Begin in a small way to do something about it.
If it is lack of money do something small to get something for yourself.
If it is a marital issue, look for a way to solve it.
In whatever you face, just begin.
Even those with big debts can do something about it.
Just begin and it will shrink each day.
I was not a millionaire, but sometime ago, I wanted to have a feeling of being one.
I drew a plan of how to hold a million in my account, at least for a few days.
After some months of beginning, I discovered it was possible.
Three years and half of savings later, I got my first ever million.
Even though I used it later on investments and expenses, it felt so good.
Let’s all begin.
Let’s ignore naysayers and prophets of doom that believe we can’t do it.