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Everything was going smooth for Femi Otedola a business man from Nigeria until life happened in 2008. He experienced a big business setback!

His shipment of one million tons of diesel setting sail for Nigeria fell in price before it arrived its destination. Otedola, owner of Forte oil and 500 filling stations in Nigeria, lost one billion Naira from an avalanche of misfortunes that hit at almost the same time: plunge in oil prices, devaluation of the Naira, and stock price crash. In addition, he was accruing interest on his business loan.

He had two options: “to commit suicide or to weather the storm”, he tells Forbes Africa. “I decided to weather the storm. I just knew it was a phase I had to go through. You see, God prepares you for greater things and of course, experience is the best teacher, so I had to learn my lessons. I took the bitter pill”.

In 2014, Otedola had bounced back from crisis to clinching his former position on Forbes richest list with a net worth of 1.8billion dollars.

Kechi Okwuchi had a dream of working at the United Nations. But that dream was cut short on December 10, 2005. She was involved in a plane crash. Kechi was one of the two survivors of the crash that claimed lives of 107 passengers on board. Kechi was a high school student and 16 years old at the time of the accident.

The crash left Kechi with third-degree burns. “Kechi has undergone over 100 surgeries including skin grafts and several non-invasive laser treatments that have improved her everyday activities”, reports a National newspaper.

Kechi (middle) with her mum and sister.

The turning point for Kechi was that after the accident, she discovered she could sing. And that got her many fortunes–she became a finalist on America’s Got Talent show in 2017 and in 2019 a finalist on the premiere season of America’s Got Talent: The Champions. Today, she is traveling the world as a singer, motivational speaker, and an advocate for bullying prevention and sustainable living.

Your story may not be like any of the aforementioned ones. It may have been a tougher ride for you or a minor setback. However, what matters is that in spite of the intensity of setbacks these two people suffered, they rose above them and you too can if you don’t give up. The one who gives up may never win.


Know It Can Happen To Anyone

A setback can make you feel like a total failure. This could lead to self-pity. The moment you start believing that you are the only one something bad is happening to, depression may begin to set in. Therefore, t is important to know that for every success, there may be many failures.  

Accepting that setback can happen to anyone will help you readjust your mind and keep you from slipping into self-pity and depression. This is not to say that when something bad happens to us, we should begin to wish there are other people in the same boat as we are. No! It actually means that you weren’t singled out in the universe to experience the setback. Tough times are part of life. So it can happen to anyone. Because we know tough times are a part of life, we learn the lessons just like Otedola did and move on.

Accept That It Has Happened.

There are things in life which we may never have control over. Femi Otedola’s story and that of Kechi Okwuchu are great examples.

Otedola didn’t have control over the oil prices. Similarly, Kechi did not have control over the pilot losing control or the bad weather which were cited as the cause of the accident.

When you don’t have control, you will need to accept the event that has occurred.  If you do, you will find it easy to get past it and the energy to move on.

Wallowing in the pain or the loss you suffered will release negative emotions; and these can set your health and well-being on the wrong path. And consequently, that may become another ball game entirely. Without your health in place, you will hardly have the strength, vigor or passion to pursue your dreams.

This vital lesson was what got Kechi on her feet: “I learnt that we have little control over our lives and things that happen to us as human beings. But we have to control how we choose to react to those things”, Kechi says.

In conclusion, this year has dished out quite a number of things that were least expected. But as the saying goes, “tough times don’t last but tough people do”.

Therefore, you can overcome whatever setback has come your way in this season if you permit yourself to. What is important is that “your scars do not define you, it’s your passion that gives rise to the vision you have for your life”, says Kechi.

Read Also: 4 Tips To Rebuild Your Business After A Crisis