Kobina Ansah: 5 lessons 5 years after quitting my permanent job

Kobina Ansah In 2015, I took a bold decision that changed the course of my life greatly— I quit my career as a Biology teacher of St. Roses SHS, Akwatia. Well, I never set out to be a teacher (neither did I ever dream of being a writer) but by dint of fate, I found myself teaching these young, brilliant girls how to pass their exams. It was a whole new level of adventure and fun between 2011 and 2015.

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I woke up one morning and decided to chase my inherent passion— writing. I didn’t know whether or not it was going to pay off. All I knew was that, at least, I was going to die with the fulfillment that I was not afraid to live.

Whew! So far, it has been five (5) good years of great experiences; some sweet; others not too sweet. It has been five (5) years of trying to carve a niche for myself and the lessons that have come with such are innumerable. I have sometimes wished I had waited a bit longer before jumping off the cliff. I have, at other times, also wished I had jumped off the cliff earlier!

Being an entrepreneur in this side of the world comes with a lot of crashing moments that test one’s purpose for setting out on that path. Indeed, hard times test our purpose while good times test our passion. I have gleaned a lot of lessons from what life has thrown at me in these past few years. I hope it blesses anyone who’s on a similar journey.

“Sometimes, those you want to be like want to be like you!”

It’s such a sarcastic feeling when you see people who so badly want to be you. Little do they know that you actually also wish you were them. They have no office bills to pay but you do. They can afford to pamper themselves anywhere but you can’t.
Entrepreneurship is one crazy ride where those out there want to be you when you actually want to be them. They are insured but you are not. They have a lot more security than you do.

I have learnt to cherish and honor what I have. You must learn to do same. The rich man you want to be like wants to be like you, too. You think having his money will make you happier but he thinks having your peace of mind would have made him the happiest man on earth. Be content with what you have!
“Anything that is watered grows!”

I started my plays at ETS Drama Studio on University of Ghana campus. It was a small, open space that could house a few hundreds. Sometimes (and oftentimes), we could not even fill that space to the brim. There were many vacant seats and it seemed like the seed I was sowing didn’t look like a viable one. Within a time frame of five years, we have migrated to National Theatre and looking forward to filling all its storeys with our new play, #EmergencyWedding. Growth!

When you sow a seed, you don’t see growth happening but that doesn’t mean it’s not. Everything is hidden in the soil. Likewise, when we sow consistent efforts into our dreams, we may not see sudden results but that doesn’t mean there’s none. As long as we keep watering those seeds, growth is happening… but in the soil… and we just don’t see it because we are not privy to what happens there!

Whatever your dream is, keep at it daily. If no one shows up today, continue tomorrow. Someone else may show up. No matter how little your audience may be, keep feeding them with quality content. Day by day, you are watering your seeds… and one day, you will be amazed at the fruits that have been borne!
“You die when you stop thinking!”

After these few years of rocking the entrepreneurship boat, I have come to admit how much the survival of every business depends on creativity. When you fail, you ought to think… and bounce back. When you succeed, you ought to think… and keep succeeding. Thinking is the oxygen that drives every business!
Death is not when we stop breathing. It is when we stop thinking. A business grinds to a halt when creativity dies. Each day is a new day to create something new. Each moment should be spiced up with something refreshing… and it all begins with thinking.

Thinking is pivotal in our lives. We should always be thinking about new ways to solve our problems. We should be creative about how to live life better each day.
“The harvest season of your peers may not be same as yours!”

One deep lesson these five (5) years has taught me is about harvest seasons. I have learnt to acknowledge the fact that just because I started a business within the same period with others, our breakthrough must happen around the same time. I have come to understand that, just like the same fruits on a tree, we all have different harvest seasons. Others may be due at dawn… and others, dusk.

I have not had as much success as I envisaged in these few years of travelling this journey. However, others have. They have achieved so much within the same period. It doesn’t mean their blessing is not from God neither does it mean I am late to the party. God chooses whom to bless at a particular time.

When you see people’s dreams ripe in their harvest season, be happy for them just as you would have wanted them to be happy for you if you were to be in their shoes. Everybody at life’s table will be served.
“One last time!”

All the great inventions you see today failed severally but the inventors always said, “One last time!” They kept giving themselves another chance until the invention became a reality. If we were to give ourselves one last time, life would have been much easier for us. Many of our dreams would have been a reality.

Every time I fail in our events, I just smile and whisper, “One last chance”. I learn from our errors and vow never to repeat such, bouncing back even strong.
Before you give up on that dream, say to yourself, “One last time”. Before you let go of your purpose because no one is helping, try one more time!

SOURCE: Kobina Ansah is a Ghanaian playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications (www.scribecommltd.com), an Accra-based writing firm. His new play this 2020 is “Emergency Wedding”.

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