An Entrepreneur’s Diary of Being Broke and in Debt – Pt. 2

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An Entrepreneur's diary of Being Broke and in Debt
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If you missed the first part, click HERE to catch-up.

I know some of you might ask, what is the big deal about getting a sign? Why not just do what you want to do?

Well, my English name is Gideon. Like the biblical Gideon, I am big on God and on signs. So for most (not all) of my major decisions I usually seek for a sign.

And in case you’re wondering, what is the big deal about spoken word poetry? Must we organize a show? Well, I’ve asked myself over and over again, and now I no longer ask again. My gift/ talent is writing, my passion is spoken word poetry, and in these two lies my purpose and fulfillment.

Ok, there was rain, but it fell and stopped before the stated time. So it was a sign, but it was obviously not in line with what I asked for. No rain would have meant no show. But there was rain, so we went ahead with our annual poetry competition, War Of Words Season 8.

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We used the same venue from the previous year, and paid only for fuel for the generator. Our service providers got no upfront deposits, we had won their trust over the years. Most of the poets had to pay a registration fee, so there was a drop in the number of entries. Then we sold some merchandise during the 8 weeks of events.

Prior to the start of events in Oct. 2019, the cost estimate was about N5 million. My rent was due early 2020, as well as, school fees for my children. The fear of my wife, made me save for rent, school fees and some for Christmas.

But, isn’t it crazy to invest money in something that has no guarantee of returns?

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Yes, in reality, it is crazy. But in my dreams, it is not. Besides, nothing ventured, nothing gain. So I would rather regret what I did, then regret what I should have done but did not. If I wanted to play safe, I would never have left banking.

The poets gave it their all, the judges added value & the audience were in awe of the poetic display. It was a great show. The show was awesome & all that.

However, after the show was over, my eyes cleared when my crew served me with about N1.5million as outstanding expenses. This sum was mainly made up of the cash prizes for the top 3 poets & unpaid bill of 2 service providers.

For the first time in my life, there was no safety net of 13th month, salary, leave or the annual upfront allowance.

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Olumide Holloway
Olumide Holloway, better known as "Olulu, the King not from Zulu" is a POET-prenuer, Writer, Spoken Word Artist, Content Provider and Concept Developer. He is a major promoter of WORD UP (a foremost Spoken Word Poetry event in Nigeria), and War Of Words (the biggest spoken word poetry competition in Nigeria, that discovers, nurtures and promotes new and emerging poets in Nigeria). His core purpose is to build capacity in people using Spoken Word Poetry as a tool, mode of expression, and as a medium to address, (as well as, solve) issues that affect the society. You can connect with him via Instagram @olulutheking, Twitter @olulu4ever, email: olulu4ever@gmail.com.

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