What does it take to be Africa’s number one blogger? Turns out it could be four years of blogging consistently without pay. That is Linda Ikeji’s journey. As someone who has followed her and watched almost all her videos, I have an idea of her hustle but for this post, I’ll let her tell it herself. So, read along.
My name is Linda Ikeji. I’m a blogger. I’m 35 years old and I have never…never ever in my life slept with a man for money. Not only have I never done it, I have never even considered it…and here I am with a house that cost me over half a billion naira.
Listen, you are beautiful and you are stronger than you know. There’s absolutely nothing you can’t achieve if you set your mind to it, put your heart and soul into it.
Up until five years ago, I was a struggling entrepreneur. I can’t tell you how many offices in this Lagos I sat in for hours waiting to see people who could support my business…but most times, I never passed the reception area. But I never gave up and I never stopped believing and here I am today.
You too can be this..you can be better than this. No dream is too big, no dream is too small, no mountain is too high…it’s all in your mind. It’s all up to you. If you believe in you, in your God who is guiding you, then the sky is your starting point.
Please stop waiting around for a man to give to you…to put food on your table and put clothes on your back. I promise you, you can do it for yourself. Start thinking big, believe in yourself, be creative and start working. Realize that your dreams are valid…and nobody will make your dreams come true except you. Find what you are good at. Find something that you are passionate about. Work hard at it. Be consistent. Be patient. Start young. Even if you’re not young, it’s never too late!
I have been hustling since I left secondary school..started modeling before I entered university in 1998. Was running a modeling agency even while I was a student and made it a full time business after I left university. I never doubted that I would succeed one day, because I was determined. And please do not think this happened over night. I’ve been blogging since 2006…November this year will make it exactly 9 years. God, consistency and hard work brought me here today.
Unfortunately, a lot of our young girls aren’t patient and some are lazy, they want it quick and fast but it doesn’t work like that. Success takes time – takes hard work – takes passion – takes consistency – but more than anything else, it takes the Grace of God.
I was a 30 year old broke woman and on my birthday, a very sad and depressed me turned to God and begged him. I told Him you promised me, when will You fulfill Your promise? Am I not Your child? Have I not lived according to Your teachings? When will You bless me? Please God help me…and with tears in my eyes, I begged Him. I cried and I begged and I begged and I begged. A few months later my life changed. Never underestimate God’s love for you and the power of prayer.
And never stop working. Listen, I make enough money to hire so many people to work on this blog while I go do other things and enjoy myself…but I don’t do that. I’m up while some of you are sleeping, and already blogging before some of you wake up. I don’t take this for granted. I know to stay on top, I have to constantly work and nobody will be as dedicated as I am because this is not their own thing. It’s mine and I have to keep feeding it. So I’m constantly here!
Young ladies, I promise you…you too can do this. You don’t need to spread your legs for any bladdy man – because of how much? N200k? That’s how much my shoes cost – so why should you give up your body for that? Your sacred body? God’s temple? N200k that you can make in a week or even in a day if you pursue your dreams and still have your dignity intact? You think people don’t see that you’re messing around with all dem old married men and talking about it? Think ladies, think! When next a man propositions you…tell him to get lost, that you will get yours yourself! Abi, aren’t you a woman? You know what they say about women? “A woman is like a tea bag, you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.”. You are so strong, you don’t even know!
Also, if you want God to bless you, you have to have a clean heart. All these backbiting, hating on others, trying to bring people down with hateful words/actions etc – God doesn’t like ugly. He has over 6 billion people to look after and you think he will pay extra attention to you if your heart is ugly? Wish people well, help people when you can. Be good to others. But more than anything else be good to yourself. Believe in yourself. It’s very easy to give in to feelings of self-doubt and back down when things get tough, but you have to know that God will not give you anything you can’t handle.
I swear to you, you are underestimating yourself. If you know the power that you have inside. If you know the things that you are capable of. If you know how far you can go…how high you can reach but you are holding yourself back because you’re afraid of failing, because you don’t think you have it in you. If only you know that you’re stronger than you think. You are so powerful, you don’t even know it. I’m not more special than you are. I don’t have two heads. We serve the same God. Why can’t you succeed? Think ladies, think.
Like Barack Obama’s sister said, poverty is not an excuse! I used to sell/market beer at Sheraton hotel, Lagos when I was in university for N1,000 a day. I once lived on ‘puff puff’ and garri for weeks in UNILAG and I was supposedly a top model but nobody knew what I was going through.
Trust me, I knew poverty. Did you know I lived in Idi-oro, Mushin for 15 years? Up until when I was 25? Did you live in Mushin? Eh, so what’s your excuse? I can’t even say some things here for my family’s privacy but here I am today because I never doubted myself and I never allowed all the doubters to distract me. I was focused. I was determined. I worked hard and I knew the God I served won’t let me down. The road was long, sometimes very frustrating and painful but look at me now. God did it because he saw that I was willing!
“Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, ?She doesn’t have what it takes.? They will say, ?Women don’t have what it takes.?
Please believe in yourself and watch God use you to set as an example for others.May all your dreams come true!
Oh by the way (addressing the argument I read online this weekend) I don’t do anything else. I blog from 4am till midnight, where do I have time to do anything else? When God wants to bless you, He will bless you…even if you’re selling toothpick.
Source-Linda Ikeji Blog 2015