Stop Making Excuses
Madam, it seems it’s twins you’re carrying o, but I’m not 100% sure, so…
Don’t tell your husband.
Those were the words of the doctor that day.
But I said this must be a joke.
No, no, it can’t be true.
I already have one set of twins; what do I need another one for?
Thoughts running through my mind.
How can I combine taking care of twins with my fashion business?
How can I survive sleepless nights and still be optimally productive in my business?
How can I effectively play the roles of a mother of five children and a wife and still run my business?
My mind was bugged with so many questions.
I had no option but to console myself.
And I said to myself, I’m sure the doctor didn’t see well.
He said he was not 100% sure.
So, it can’t be twins again.
I came out of the consultation room and broke the news to my husband.
And he smiled…
But I knew deep inside that his smile was not from deep within.
And he said, but the doctor said he wasn’t sure.
Let’s wait until the next appointment.
Some weeks later, we returned to the hospital.
But we met a different doctor who conducted the same scan.
I was expecting different news than what the previous doctor had given.
But that was not to be.
He said, “Madam, you’re carrying twins!
I closed my eyes in a bid to digest the news.
But it wasn’t going down my throat.
I couldn’t imagine having another set of twins.
Tears almost dropped out of my eyes.
But I managed to put myself together.
God, how on earth would I be able to handle this?
Help me, oh Lord!
Those were my prayers.
But still, I couldn’t figure out how I was going to do it.
It won’t be easy, for sure.
But it’ll be more difficult if I quit now.
So I encouraged myself in the Lord, like David.
But for weeks, I couldn’t grasp proper sleep at night.
Always rolling from one side of the bed to the other.
Too many things are running through my head…
I have upgrade training to attend.
I have a fashion business to run.
And I still have to play my role as a wife and a mother.
How would I be able to do all of these with two babies by my side?
Even though I didn’t know how I was going to do it, it didn’t stop me from moving.
I kept moving.
The path to follow wasn’t clear.
But my destination was crystal clear.
Becoming one of the most sought-after fashion tutors who’d create a niche for herself.
Amid all of these, I needed to get a new space for the fashion school.
I saw a space I liked, but after going back and forth…
Some forces stood by and ensured that all my efforts to secure the space ended in futility.
So the landlord suggested his apartment to me.
I felt it was a great idea, and I obliged without a second thought.
Though there was a challenge.
The property needed a lot of work because it had been vacant for years.
But I didn’t mind.
I fixed it to my taste.
And after spending a lot of money to fix the abandoned property,
The same forces stood again and said, I must vacate the property.
Mind you, this same property had been abandoned and of no use to them for years.
Until I brought life into it.
My supposed “angel”, the landlord, danced to their tune and asked me to stop work because he wanted to lease out the property.
I was devastated by the actions of my landlord.
At this time, 95% of the work had already been done.
But after some arguments and disagreement,
I accepted it as fate.
I was ready to settle for a refund, even though the landlord told me he didn’t ask me to do the work I did on the property.
Which translates to the fact that…
I’ll get a refund for the payment of rent and not for the mess I cleaned up on the property.
This was his position until he suddenly had a change of heart.
He called me some days later and told me to continue with my work.
(I’m sure he couldn’t strike a deal with the person who was to pay for the property.)
A bit relieved from this stress.
I thought it’s all good.
Let’s move on.
But when it seemed like these storms were over,
I discovered that the fashion masterclass training I was to attend in Abuja has been moved to Lagos without prior notice.
All this stress with big belle.
Wetin be this again?
At this point, I felt like my world was crashing.
The training was slated for 3 weeks after my delivery.
I specifically chose Abuja for this training because my mother-in-law and sisters were there.
They’d be of great help to me.
But this sudden change to Lagos
How would I survive in Lagos with my twins?
I don’t have relatives in Lagos who’d help me with my babies.
I wanted to forgo the training and the huge fee I paid for it.
But on second thought, I asked myself:
If this was NNPC or WHO training I was going for, would I resist it because I just gave birth to twins?
A capital “NO” was the answer for me.
So, I said to myself…
This is my “dream”, my NNPC, and my WHO.
I won’t forfeit it for any reason.
Thank God, my husband supported me.
I didn’t care about what people had to say.
I only cared about my dreams. (People can judge me if they want to, I don’t care.)
I’ve got a dream to pursue, and my kids will have theirs as well when they grow up.
And I’m doing all it takes to chase it to the end.
I went to Lagos, notwithstanding.
The hardest decision I’ve taken in my whole life
Looking back, it was surely the best decision I’ve ever made.
The training was a game-changer for me and my business.
It made me a better fashion designer.
I had a mindset shift because of the network of the people I met in the training.
My perception of what I can achieve as a fashion designer also underwent a drastic upward change.
When I came back from the training, I rested for a few days and went back to business.
I started dishing out premium value to my students as a result of my experience and the upgrade I went for in Lagos.
Just when my students were about to graduate, my landlord showed up again.
He said he had finally leased out the property and that I should vacate immediately.
This is barely 8 months into my rent.
What would I do?
I was angry, but, you know, my anger wouldn’t change anything.
I told him I needed to finish with my students and get another space before moving out.
I was on this matter when my students were working on their final project.
But you know…
We don’t show people what we go through behind the scenes.
People only see shining objects and just assume that “this one nor get problems”.
Well, all of these didn’t discourage me from finishing strong with my students.
We did finish strong despite all the odds that were against us.
“We have a new space for business.
It’s more serene and beautiful .”
Wait for it…
Fix your eyes on this space.
Business must continue!
Listen, and listen attentively!
Being a Nigerian is enough of an excuse for you to fail.
Talk more of the other challenges we face as business owners.
But I choose not to fail.
My name is Mary-Anne Osanemo Dare Alabi.
I am a fashion designer creating a niche for myself.
I teach fashion design.
Fashion design is my passion.
And I display this passion by helping prospective fashion designers kickstart their fashion businesses.
And I also help existing fashion designers get better at their craft.
I love learning, unlearning, relearning, and upgrading my fashion skills.
And I don’t give “excuses.”.
I do what I can.
And leave what I can’t change.
So stop making excuses!
Change what you can change, and leave what you can’t change.
It is said that excuses are the nails you use to build a house of failure.
I don’t want to fail! So no excuses!
I’m sure you, too, don’t want to fail!
So stop making excuses.
Upgrades are a must!
See you on the other side.