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A very interesting thing happened in the market when I went shopping last Saturday and I was taken aback, but had a rethink and realized that that is exactly how things should be.

I was buying spinach from a lady whose table was next to another one who also sold with fresh vegetables. Unknowingly, I moved from the front of the woman I was buying from to the next one which was just next to it and the owner quickly asked “Sister wetin you dey buy?” I replied pointing to the table by her and she asked me to stand directly in front of the table I had picked vegetables from. The woman selling to me also pleaded with me to stand in front of her table and I did. While she was slicing my vegetables, I noticed the other woman was talking with her and asking for the knife with which she was slicing. They exchanged the knife and the tray without a fight and were chatting about other things irrespective of the customer-position episode. I was surprised.

It reminded me of a conversation by two ladies, a couple of years back, one of them wanted to delve fully into confectionery but stopped because her friend was already into it and doing pretty well and she didn’t want to have to struggle for her friend’s customers. When she gave her friend the reason, she laughed and told her it didn’t matter, but she just could not do it. It is clear, so clear that that lady would have been able to continue with her plan if she just looked carefully at all the sides of the coin and had a proper business plan.

Most stand-up comedians in Nigeria know themselves and interact a lot, same goes for actors, motivational speakers, artists, and preachers. Artisans have associations and decide on minimum prices, make-up artists pass jobs they cannot handle on to other people in their field when their hands are full. Everyone has his circle and should build himself to be the best that he can be whether he stands alone or with others, but the following steps will help you ‘compete without competing’:

  • Know your craft.
  • Attract followers to yourself.
  • Discover what makes them tick.
  • See what others are doing and learn from them.
  • Carve a niche for yourself.
  • Look out for haters.
  • Find out why they hate and correct your flaws.
  • Always learn something new.
  • Be excellent
  • Be consistent.

The sky is wide enough for every bird to fly, so be confident and be all that you can be and release others to do the same.

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This article was first published on 11th October 2016


Omonefe Oisedebamen Eruotor loves to read, write, sing, cook and bake. She is passionate about the young ones who will become the leaders of tomorrow and writes pieces that can inspire change. To her, every single word counts in making the world a better place and creating a healthier tomorrow for the generations following. She is the author of A Mile in Her Shoes (on Amazon)

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