My name is Mercy Aboki from Wukari local government area of Taraba State; I’m Jukun by tribe. I was born into the family of Major and Mrs JM Aboki on 7th December, 1990 in Adamawa State. I am the second of three children. I started my educational career at Command Children School, Bonny Camp in Lagos State. From there we moved to Kaduna where I attended Command Secondary School. I proceeded to Nuhu Bamali Polytechnic, Zaria for a National Diploma and Higher National Diploma where I studied Mass Communication, because it has always been my passion since childhood. Immediately after graduation and National Youth Service Corps at Army Day Secondary School Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State, I applied for a Post Graduate Diploma in Mass Communication at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and subsequently, I obtained a Master’s Degree in the same institution. I am into buying and selling of imported jewelries.
How It All Started
I am new in the business world. I started February this year. I was at work on a particular day, and was talking to a colleague on how being broke was tiring and that I was tired of collecting handouts from friends and family. All I did was log into Facebook and saw packs of earrings, loved them instantly. I went further to research on how to get them. When I did, I placed an order, paid before delivery. They got delivered after some weeks and here I am after 10 months. I started with as low as N5, 000 but today, I place orders of N100, 000 and above.
Who Taught You?
I was not taught. Seeing people go into business and being successful at it was enough motivation to start mine instead of living life as an under-achiever. I looked into all kinds of business and stuck with jewelries. In fact, being broke made me take the bold step.
Being seen as a pest every time I ask for financial assistance got me here. I also do not want to let my family down in any way. The thought of leaving an indelible mark in life has always pushed me further.
What Sets You Apart From Competitors?
I specialise in jewelries and I give my customers what they want. I usually show them what is available in the market without imposing on them. And when they decide on having any, I place the order.
Linda Ikeji, even though she is way up there, I can make it. Being totally independent financially is something I look forward to on a daily basis.
I love to travel no matter the distance. I play badminton, watch movies and find time to read motivational and business books.
Sometimes I think about what goes on in people’s head about me. I wonder if they feel my goods are too expensive or cheap. I also go as far as wondering if they love my products. There are times I ask myself if I come across as stupid to them when marketing. I have the fear of appearing arrogant to customers even when they delay payment. I usually find a way to make them understand the growth of the business depends on the monies I make.
Secret of Success
I live below my means until I get enough money. I take responsibility for my low performances and do not blame anyone. I ask questions whenever I need clarification in life and business. I cultivate new opportunities; record them in case of an escape plan. So, sometimes if I fail, I try the other way. I create goals that motivate me to achieve something possible.
I have not achieved much because the business is still a baby. I look forward to sharing my achievements with the world.
I look forward to having a shop next year, going into other businesses and utilising online platforms to expand the business. I am based in Zaria and presently, have customers in Abuja and Port Harcourt.
There are times I wish someone would believe in my dreams for the business and invest to help it grow.
I do not have regrets. I only learn when I fall.
Most Memorable Day
The day I lost my mother. I was in Zaria in search of a job, when I got a call and was told the sad news of her death. I cried all through on my way to Abuja.
How do you combine your job, business and family life?
I work and whenever I am less busy in the office, I move around to market my products to colleagues. I know when to draw the line between family and business. There is no clash whatsoever.
Women need to start a business no matter how small, instead of solely depending on their husbands. They need to wake up and stop asking for money to buy matches, maggi and salt. They should explore the business world and their husbands will gladly contribute financially towards the growth of their businesses. For the ladies, men admire independent women. Equip yourselves while you can.