I started this darn 2019 with a whole other set of dreams and goals and plans. I mean, I wrote about it in my book of plans: be the best employee at MAX, surpass KPIs and shit, DigiClan too, I had major plans for that. I spent the entire holiday researching strategies.

I pre-planned my travel itinerary and leave days. Then, I planned my weight loss goals, my church-going goals, told myself “love can wait at least a year (it was too complicated)” and finally decided how much money I wanted to have at the end of the year.

And 2019 came and said “meh, we don’t do small easy dreams here”.

Urghhhh! And then, everything went downside up. I went and started something – a whole tech startup, complete with an office and an entire team of people, people that I have to pay salaries – every month!

Then, I spent the year failing at it – the start-up thing I mean, not the salary thing – multiple times. Severally (this time I am using the word right). However, that was alright because every failure meant every time we got back up, we improved. Over 600 people who previously didn’t have jobs definitely had a better Christmas because of this startup thing.

I also did that thing I said I wouldn’t do – I fell in love. That’s all actually, no gist there.

I learnt something from it though, something I should have learnt a while back. Love doesn’t always need you to “fight for it”. Love can be peaceful and undemanding. Love can be easy and worry-free. More importantly, love can be reliable. Some days, I keep waiting for what’s hiding to pop out when I have relaxed in this love thing. I keep watching for the signs, but so far, it’s been “F’ara bale Z, I gats this”. I might just stop holding my breath.

Church, not so much, but surprisingly my relationship with the maker is much improved (I think).

Travel was meh! Actually, I had that one important trip to Kenya, so it wasn’t entirely bad, but compared to my beginning of year plans, it was an abysmal failure. It turns out that doing a startup thing means that you are either too busy or (more often than not) too broke to travel.

Cash in account at the end of the year? Sigh. Can we skip this part? Or wait first, does startup value count? Then I am very good because the startup thing took all I had (and didn’t have) and now, I am the brokest rich person I know – about a couple of sneezes away from a GoFundMe. Send help!

I learnt hard lessons this year, especially with this startup thing. I am going to share my top three.

1. Networking and collaboration are key to upward progress. Everyone needs someone in the pursuit of their dreams. Network like crazy and stop burning bridges!!!!!! 
2. Choose consistency over talent any day. Be consistent, whether in major steps or in tiny little steps. Whatever it is you are trying to achieve, just keep going.
3. Opportunities abound, especially in the middle of chaos – you have got to learn to see it. People who will win are people who can recognize these opportunities.

Oh, and get mentors! This year, purely by a stroke of luck, I gained the two best mentors in the history of mentors. I love them to no ends and I am most grateful to learn from them.

2020: I have no huge plans, just bits of consistent monthly goals. I want to be intentional. Deliberate!

I want to take my three major learnings and utilize them (create more jobs, more opportunities, learn more and do more with this startup thing, which, by the way, is called TORA Africa). I want to tell the world about what this startup thing is doing, so I definitely do want to travel more. The love thing and the religion thing is on Tesla auto-drive and they are going quite well.

Oh. Plus, I definitely want more money. Please, universe, send me money and opportunities and money!! This broke thing does not fit me at all!!!

I love how your year blew up and all the lives you were able to touch. I’m convinced that you’ll consolidate all these gains in 2020 and we are all here for it. Well done!

Ized Uanikhehi

Ized is Papi's Mummy & a Grace Junkie. Resilience and 'Never-say-die' are her a.k.as Tour guide on the "Hell and Highwater" road, Digital Media Professional, by Day & Night. Find her as @zegbua on twitter/facebook/Instagram.

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