Updated: Feb 4, 2022
Throughout our lives, and as we grow older, we receive all kinds of advice from our elders and the community around us: our teachers, our religious leaders, our mentors, motivational speakers that we chance upon on television or social media.
Our minds get saturated with quotes and advice. There’s just too much advice out there. But do we really take the time to think about what we are being taught? Or are we just receiving and swallowing?
So, this week, I want to rant about some of the “advice” we have received and common quotes we have heard regurgitated to us that we should all really think twice, thrice, or multiple times about.
Point One: Follow your passion and you’ll never work a day in your life
Lies! Following your passion will only mean that you have more “gas” to do the work. It means you will willingly wake up at 5.00 a.m. and sleep at 1.00 a.m. to get more done. It means that you have more inspiration to educate yourself further in the field, to go above and beyond.
But that’s still work.
If you have the opportunity to turn your passion into a business, then there’s the added responsibility of human resource management, invoicing, bookkeeping, taxes, procurement and logistics, asset management, project management, digital marketing, customer care and so much more. Even when you have people handling all these, you have to oversee these tasks to make sure everything is on course to meeting your goals.
Following passions aren’t the fairy tale that many perceive it to be. So, if you buy into this “you’ll never work a day in your life”, you’ll get so discouraged when the hard and low times hit.
Follow your passions because it’s what brings you fulfillment and choice.
Point Two: Money can’t buy happiness
Lies! We’ve all heard this one a million times over. Money doesn’t blah blah blah
To all those people, I ask:
Has the beep of the Yaka Metre ever entered your dreams? Have you ever been on bunkenke about your gas? Have you ever forgotten about your bank account?
When things are tight, money is very much happiness. To everyone who insists that money can’t buy happiness, I say, “Define happiness.” Happiness for some people is financial security. It’s not having to deal with the anxiety of bills that won’t stop stacking up.
Yes, there’s so much more that brings us happiness like friends, family, sunrises, health, good company, peace of mind. But let’s not negate the fact that there’s happiness in being able to buy cute throw cushions, to pay for a vacation and not worry about your rent.
Point Three: Friends will ask for discount prices. True friends will pay full price, to support you, your time and your work.
Lies! Your friends and family don’t owe you business. Ooop! Did I step on some toes? I’m about to step on more toes.
A lot of people get into business and assume that their friends and family will be the most obvious client base. *🙃that’s not how business works, boo*
If this is one of your beliefs, I’m sorry (not sorry) but family and friends are not your obvious client base.
First of all: the double standards.
Sue has a business and insists that there is no such thing as a “friends and family” discount in the way she handles her business. She insists that she treats everyone like any other ordinary client who she has no connection to.
If you want to apply this concept though, then your friends and family should be able to treat you like any other seller or service provider who they bargain with until they reach an agreement.
They should be able to decide whether or not your products or services are worth the price without considering their connection to you. They should be able to bargain if they wish to because just like they are any other ordinary client to you, you are any other ordinary seller to them too.
That should be fine too.
Secondly: target market
If your business sells gym outfits, exercise equipment and the like, you shouldn’t be angry when your cousins and closest friends don’t buy from you yet they don’t care about physical activity or fitness.
Don’t get angry about your friends and family not buying from you yet they aren’t your TARGET MARKET. They might buy a few things from you once or twice to support your business. But if they aren’t your target market then reserve the energy you invest into feeling betrayed into targeting the right audience.
Maybe, it’s your price point. (Again, target market)
Your friend Trish is a thrifty one, so when you charge her 3 times more than the market price and expect her to pay full price, she feels cheated of her hard money (again, HER money) Thrifty
Trish knows where to get the stuff you’re selling for cheap. In fact she knows the whole seller who brings this stuff into the country. Lee.lax!
Are there people who you can charge 3 or 5 times the average market price? Yes. Your friends and family might not be those people. That’s fine. Find your target market
Thirdly and finally: is your stuff quality?
Some people throw shade at their friends for not supporting their business but are you investing in the best stock? Would your friends be proud to spend their hard-earned money on your products or services? When they do spend their money on your stuff even though it’s not the best quality (and chaps be knowing that their stuff is not premium), you had better be grateful.
And throw away the entitlement while you’re at it.
Point Four: “Too blessed to be stressed”
Lies! Two things can be true at the same time. Some people assume they aren’t blessed because they’ve got some level of stress in their lives. They’re waiting for a moment when they are absolutely free of all stress to know they are blessed.
This isn’t good for your mental health.
You can be successful, fulfilled, blessed and still be going through some shit. The shit doesn’t disqualify the high notes.
Point Five: Only people who study sciences get more lucrative jobs and the most money
Lies! You can make it in just about every field you commit your time and mind to. The Ugandan education system made some of us feel verree useless because biology and physics didn’t love us back. The “scientists” were treated with so much care and concern.
Point Six: If you swallow a seed, it will grow into a tree.
Lies! I’m still waiting for all the seeds that I swallowed to grow into trees and for the bubblegum to twist my guts.
Point Seven: Having it all
Lies! We’ve been sold the dream that we can have the perfect career, marriage or relationship, house, car, body, the perfect consistent healthy routine and everything, absolutely everything all at once. We’ve been sold the dream that we can have all these things but not at the same time.
Let’s stop stressing coz that shit ain’t healthy.
Michelle Obama understands this and she wouldn’t lie to us…neither would Oprah:
You can have it all. Just not all at once. Oprah Winfrey
When you achieve one of your goals, sit in that moment and appreciate your strength fully without thinking about how everything else hasn’t fallen into place yet.
Point Eight: Trauma gives you strength
Lies! Of course, no one ever out rightly says “trauma gives you strength”. They’ll say things like, “there’s a reason why you went through those parts of your life or hardships”, “you are where you are because of the bad things that happened to you.”
Fam, trauma traumatizes you. PeriodT. It alters your body and your brain. It puts your guards up and causes you to be in the constant state of anxiety and hyper-alertness. That's exhausting.
I’m not a psychotherapist but I think being able to grow and achieve so much in spite of your trauma doesn’t mean that your strength and resilience were born from the trauma.
I think it means that you always had that strength within you. I think it means that the trauma just brought your strength and intelligence to the forefront because you had to figure out a way to survive.
Some people use this “trauma gave you strength” talk to invalidate the harm that people have gone through and the feelings they are still dealing with. Others use it to validate being abusive. That’s not okay.
Point Nine: Purity culture
Hooo, the lies, bwana! This is going to be a controversial one. Even though these vastly different topics all together, for the sake of this blog, I will add the way “women dress their bodies” under this point. Purity culture and teachings will have us believing that certain things are absolute truths:
Purity teaching one: People who remain virgins until marriage are the purest humans in the world. That they are spotless even though the same religious teachings that are against sex outside of marriage condemn so many other acts or habits.
My opinion: Double standards, ahoy!
Purity teaching two: People who do have sex outside marriage are shameful, disgusting, irredeemable creatures of the dark side.
My opinion: We live in world in which child molesters and murderers exist but sex outside marriage is the act that damns your soul?
Purity teaching three: If you remain “pure” until marriage, you will be rewarded with the best sex of your life when you get married.
My opinion: I’m so sorry to anyone that believes this. Good sex, great sex, is not a reward you receive for staying a virgin. It comes from learning about your body, who you are, what you enjoy, experimenting and communicating with your partner.
Purity teaching four: If you cover up your body, you will receive more respect from society.
My opinion: You will be sexualized while dressed in a gomesi, a large dera or even a brown sack. Women are objectified and disrespected everyday regardless of their age, religion, dress code and status.
Dress however you feel like expressing yourself…as long as you feel comfortable.
Point ten: What success looks like
Our elders will have us think that success looks a certain way. To them if you don’t check specific items of the “life milestones” list, you’re doing life wrong. To them, you’re failing at life.
Success and what it looks like should be determined by you and only you. Not by social media. Not by your parents who claim to have figured life out by the age of 23. Do you, boo! All this to say, when you find advice or sayings or quotes out there, take a moment, think about it, do some research, be objective. Create ideas and thoughts of your own. Form your own thoughts and ideas and then challenge them continuously. “Group think” doesn’t serve us all.