The Business Man Flirting With the Idea of a 9-5 — A Week in the Life

January 18, 2022

A Week in the Life” is a weekly Zikoko series that explores the working-class struggles of Nigerians. It captures the very spirit of what it means to hustle in Nigeria and puts you in the shoes of the subject for a week.


The subject of today’s “A Week In The Life” is a businessman who sells electronic gadgets for a living. He talks about his unconventional approach to business, being dealt with by the exchange rate and why he’s considering getting a 9-5.

MONDAY:

Today was a rough day. I woke up late, got delayed in Lagos traffic and had to pursue dispatch riders up and down.  On top of that, I also had to figure out where to buy dollars at an affordable rate so I could restock my goods. 

Between clueless bank officials, CBN’s ever-changing policies and dispatch riders, I had my hands full in fire fighting mode. 

Frustrated by the bank, I spent a huge part of the day on the internet looking for someone who wanted to send naira home. Then I also spent some time recalculating the cost of my goods and giving room for price fluctuations. 

In the middle of this, I kept on getting calls from customers asking for their goods, and dispatch riders complaining about one problem or the other. 

When I could no longer bear the information overload, I put my phone on silent, paused all notifications, and went to cool my head. 

I just told myself that tomorrow is another day to try again. 

TUESDAY:

I run my gadget business unconventionally. I don’t own a physical store, nor have social media presence or even hold on to stock for long. I work mostly based on word of mouth referrals. I take custom orders to help people buy phones on eBay, Amazon or from trusted dealers. And when I buy stuff for myself, I sell everything off at computer village. I don’t keep any stock.

I don’t know why I’m like this. Maybe it’s because I’m not crazy about the idea of owning a store, or perhaps it’s because I dislike the processes that come with keeping stock. 

My method is less stressful because I can fulfill orders on my phone. I also have a car to drive around for pickups and occasional deliveries. 

I’ve been running this business like this for over 10 years, so I guess I’m doing something right. In recent times, though, the business hasn’t been as good as it used to be. I’ve gone from making 10-20% on a phone sale to making 5-8%. This means that if I used to make ₦25,000 on one sale, I now make around ₦8,000. 

I blame two things: high exchange rates and losing my customer base to japa. While I don’t have the answer to stopping my customers from running away, I’d rather not dwell on the dollar matter. I don’t want to sound like a broken record. 

Today, I’m going to personally deliver all the goods the dispatch riders failed to deliver yesterday. The thought of the traffic I’m going to face is discouraging me from leaving the comfort of my bed. 

WEDNESDAY:

Well, I guess that there’s something in the air this week. First, I woke up to an email from Amazon saying that they had blocked my account and frozen my money. According to them, I had too many “suspicious” card activities. They didn’t even give me a chance to explain that because I’m always sourcing for affordable dollar rates, I have to use different cards from my family and friends abroad. 

This afternoon, my agent called to say that my goods were experiencing delays at the port. A few minutes later, customers who had paid upfront started calling me to ask for their property. There I was, caught between not wanting to lie and not wanting to give excuses. 

Well, since you asked, my day went perfectly well. How was yours?

THURSDAY:

I’m up early today, not for work but to think. In recent times, business has been slow. What was once a sweet business with highs and lows now has a lot more lows. And the hoops to jump through keep on increasing. 

Now, I’m considering getting a job that serves as a safety net. 

But what are the prospects out there for someone who hasn’t worked in a formal job for more than 8 months in 10 years?

I’m definitely not doing anything that requires me to submit a CV or write one foolish essay or test. . Tech sounds nice but I don’t want to code. Maybe I’ll do hardware…

Truthfully, my ideal job is one where I’m helping people solve their gadget problems. Just text me that your laptop has a problem or you’re unsure of what laptop to buy and watch me light up. Not sure what phone to get? I’m your guy. You want someone to give IT support? Na me.

I’m honestly a bit confused and my head hurts from all the thinking I’ve had to do this week. 

Wo, I don’t know what the future holds, but I’m grateful for the life I currently have. 

Regardless of how my job search turns out, I know I have no regrets about running a business. 


Check back every Tuesday by 9 am for more “A Week In The Life ” goodness, and if you would like to be featured or you know anyone who fits the profile, fill this form.

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

March 16, 2020

At a job interview, how you say something matters as much as what you say. The most effective way to convey your passion and excitement is through action and behavior. Unfortunately, most people don’t pay attention to these things so they end up ruining their chances. There are certain things to do to improve your […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

November 27, 2019

Do you have a face that could make angels jealous, or should you really be walking around with a nylon bag over your head so you don’t scare children? Well, this quiz is here to answer that by telling you exactly how good-looking you are. Take and find out: 11 Quizzes For People Who Aren’t […]

April 1, 2020

Everyone has a Nigerian bank that matches their personality. You could either be as likeable as GTB, as efficient as Access or as mature as First Bank. Either way, all you have to do is take this quiz and we’ll let you know with almost 100% certainty. So, go ahead:

April 3, 2020

While the rest of the world loves to treat our continent like a country, there are actually 54 African countries. So, in a bid to test your knowledge (and educate you), we’ve created a quiz to see how many of their capitals you can correctly name. Go ahead:

More from Hustle

Graphic design with text a week in the life of an apprentice and an image of a sewing machine
October 4, 2022

18-year-old Susan* is learning to sew to keep herself busy during the ASUU strike. But in Nigeria, apprentices are at the mercy of their bosses. Find out why tailors lie and how she’s making the best of the ASUU strike in this week in her life.

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

September 13, 2022
Vs The World is a Zikoko original video series that follows best friends Astor and Hassan as they take on the world.
August 23, 2022
Zikoko Ships is a Zikoko Original series where we invite two people who share a relationship to play the Zikoko card games
December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X