A few weeks after we reported the first coronavirus case, the trajectory of my life changed. I recall that day because it is one of the most memorable days of my life.
On that day, I woke up and prepared to go to work. If anyone told me the events of that day earlier, I would have said that they did not know what they were saying. I did the usual routine, and I went to the office.
At noon, the head of the human resource department called me into his office. When I got into his office, he greeted me and informed me that because of the pandemic’s impact on the aviation industry; the company had to let me go.
The retrenchment came as a shock to me. I had survived an earlier sack, and our CEO has said that there would be no more sackings. The pandemic grounded almost all flights, and the company had to revisit its decision to keep the remaining staff.
When I got home, I did not know how to break the news to my family. My wife had to leave her job because she was expecting a baby. We limited the risks for her and our unborn child. She left her job and made me the sole provider for her and our three kids.
I eventually broke the news to my wife, and she tried to hide her concern, but I could see it in her face. Besides our upkeep, we had recently taken up a mortgage.
I could not sleep that night. I stayed up worried about my family. Late night thoughts made me realize that I had to find a solution.
How We Respond to Challenges Defines Us
I had to start a business, but I had the effects of the pandemic to consider. An entrepreneurship class I had attended helped me find my idea. I realized that I needed to find an opportunity amidst the chaos.
With the little money that I had, I started a dropshipping business. I partnered with some friends that owned a local store and stocked some of their products. I delivered the products to customers’ premises. The delivery option turned out to be an excellent marketing strategy as people were sheltering in their homes to avoid contracting the virus.
The first few weeks were tough, but the business excelled once I started getting referrals.
The Lessons I Learned
My experience taught me several vital lessons.
- Diversifying one’s portfolio is important. Losing my job almost made me file for bankruptcy. An earlier entrepreneurship class helped me start my dropshipping business. It is now sustaining my family. The enterprise is not too demanding, so I will manage it when I get another aviation job. Having over one source of income ensures you cushion yourself if you lose one revenue stream.
- One should not rush when deciding on issues affecting their future. I never envisioned that I would lose my job when I took my mortgage. I got the sack, and I had to find an alternative revenue stream to pay the mortgage. If I had not been innovative, I would have lost the only home my children know. I will make future decisions knowing anything can happen tomorrow.
- Just because you are down, it does not mean you are out of the fight. I had to be innovative in finding solutions. If I had not sought a way out of the difficulty, my wife would have delivered our fourth child to a shaky life. We would have had to give up our home. I never gave up, and we can now afford to pay our bills, sustain ourselves, and make mortgage repayments.
One cannot predict how life goes. Things can go well for you, but a second later, you are in trouble. Dealing with these challenges defines us.