I’ve observed we live in a dispensation and a society where and when people a repugnant to any form of pain. We hate discomfort of any kind, we love life, we love ease; we love convenience and cheap success. We do not like to make sacrifices but expect the best life’s got to offer.
This in my opinion is why many of us, despite our hard work still don’t have much to show because the key to real success is sacrifice not just hard work.
Sacrifice is the will to give up benefits, comfort, convenience and ease for a greater good or reward from the future. And sacrifice is usually quite painful.
The most successful people in history are those who understood the power and purpose of pain and used it well to their advantage. People of the past with no relevance in today’s history are those who wouldn’t tolerate or endure any hardship and they interpreted pain as unfair and unnecessary suffering; hence couldn’t decode the opportunity and profit hidden in the pain. They wasted great opportunities and advantages – they made no mark in life. However, there are some who did extremely well.
Let me illustrate by this true story.
Mr. Candido Da Rocha is arguably the first known Nigerian millionaire. Daroach was a native of Ilesha in present day Osun state. He was a slave returnee from Brazil. He returned to Nigeria in 1870 from Salvador in Brazil and quickly built a lucrative business and made a lot of money taking advantage of the same horrific travel experience of a slave through the South Atlantic trade route.
His first experience of travel through the route was as a slave, in chains, tied to other slaves in a lower deck of a slave ship, travelling day and night for months, in pain, hunger, in anger, sadness, sickness, untold sufferings and discomfort. A very agonising experience.
Returning to freedom in Nigeria in 1870 could have been for him a great testimony and the slave travel experience, something to forever remain bitter about. But in his mind, he saw an opportunity in his painful experience and began to use that same travel route to export and import products and he became very rich subsequently. Da Roach didn’t run away from the experience of the pain, he didn’t call a pity party, he didn’t feel sorry for himself, rather; he converted the horrific experience to an opportunity for prosperity.
Darocha subsequently introduced and developed a superior water supply system in Lagos. He opened an office at Kakawa in Lagos Island and he became a testament to the industrial will that led to the establishment of the Iju water works that served the entire Lagos in the 20’s before it was taken over by the colonial administration.
Darocha laid pipes from Iju to Lagos Island, Yaba, Ebute Metta and other communities in Lagos where there was high demand for pipe borne water. He was selling water to Individuals until it was taken over by the colonial government paying Daroacha for the supply of water to Lagos and was thus a pioneer of private ownership of utilities in Nigeria.
He was so wealthy that it was a popular saying in Yoruba that if you try to borrow from someone or think of getting him to spend money he doesn’t want to spend, he will respond saying do you think I’m as rich as Da Roacha?
Da Rocha, a man from Ilesha, sold as a slave to Brazil, in pain, agony, truma, and severe abuse, returned to Nigeria and turned that experience into an opportunity and eventually became the richest Nigerian in his days.
Dear friend, what exactly do you consider painful, tough, challenging and intimidating today?
What is your attitude to pain and severe hurt? Do you look out for the message in the pain, the opportunity in the pain and the advantages of the painful experience?
The purpose of pain is to build you, mature you and develop you emotionally and psychologically.
Many of us fail in life and business because we attempt things that we are not emotionally and psychologically prepared for. We set goals and fail because we refused to let pain develop us to that point when we can achieve the goals with ease.
Riding a bicycle for instance looks easy when observing a rider, but to mount one and ride will make you realise you need to learn how to do it if you don’t know how to.
Don’t just assume you can succeed in business because you’ve seen other people succeed. You need growth and maturity to handle some kind of business and commercial pressures. This growth and maturity is delivered through pain and huge sacrifices. If you want to go far in business, you must grow through pain and mature through sacrifices.
Stop blaming people, the environment, the government, the system and everything else for your business pressures. Endure the hardship, take the lessons, mature through it and decide to become bigger. Learn every lesson and become unstoppable. Push forward no matter how hard it seems and I promise you, gradually and eventually, you will achieve good success. Don’t run away from pain, it is the real secret of your power in business.