Bayo Adeyinka, author 30 Things I Learnt Along The Way, finance and leadership enthusiast, inspirational speaker and mentor tells his personal success story of how he rose from a driver salesman to a successful bank manager.
According to Adeyinka, courage and determination is the key to success. He advised and encouraged Nigerian youths to work hard at whatever they are doing currently for there is dignity in labor. “No job is beneath you….” he advised.
The seasoned career coach who is never shy to air his opinion shared his story to his Twitter followers in May 2020, as a way to inspire the youths to continue to strive despite their current situation.
This Time 20 Years Ago, I Was A Driver Salesman. I sat for an interview with hundreds of candidates. The interview was handled by a foremost fast moving consumer goods company. We initially thought we would be employed by the company.
It was when the final 8 candidates were selected that we were informed we would work for a distributor. Salary was 8k monthly. Scope of job? Driver salesman- you’ll pick up goods from the warehouse, load into your bus, sell along an allocated route and meet specific daily targets.
I needed a job badly. I was tired of sitting at home. So I picked up the offer. I couldn’t drive well then but I wasn’t going to fold my hands and do nothing. I wouldn’t allow what I couldn’t do well interfere with what I could do.
At least, I can try. I still recall the first time the key of my bus was handed over to me. It was a branded bus, with images of items sold all over- from shampoo to sanitary pads, confectionaries and other items. A lady was paired with me on that first day.
The bus was a manual drive and I started the ignition with the vehicle in gear. It lurched forward. My partner was scared and the look on her face was as if she doubted if I could actually drive. I told her I was used to driving cars and not buses.
Sometimes, all you need is just courage.
My assigned route was Ring Road to Ojoo in Ibadan. I prospected stores on that axis. I pitched to clients and demonstrated the benefits of our product.
I recall that a particular brand of sanitary pad came out and I was at the University of Ibadan to demonstrate how that pad worked better for ladies. I took one out and poured ink to show the absorbent qualities. Some laughed at me. I must admit it took guts to do that.
But I was willing to succeed at sales. I had a daily target to meet. It was a very difficult job- loading cartons of goods, driving, selling, helping prospects and customers arrange their shelves and so on.
I remember I had a pack of multivitamins in the glove compartment of that bus which I took because of the stress.
It was while I was driving that bus that I got a bank offer- I resumed on May 30, 2000, a Tuesday. 20 years after I was a driver salesman, I’ve worked for 7 banks.
I’ve won awards. At one time when I was a Branch Manager, my team sold the highest volume of a particular product and I was rewarded with an all-expense paid trip to Dubai for 2 weeks. I was lodged at the Four Points by Sheraton at Bur Dubai.
I went on the desert safari and had a great time. That was my first ever visit to the UAE. At another time, I consummated a transaction which was the biggest of that type that year all over Africa.
I was over the moon when MDs of various countries of that bank sent me congratulatory messages. I’ve supervised Regions and worked across various geographies. I’ve met people I thought I could only meet in my dreams many years ago. But it started from that driver salesman job.
Dear readers, what have you learned from Bayo Adeyinka’s story? I believe his story is the right motivation you need. May we not tire out, for we gain nothing by quitting.