Backbone of Success

Education has always been a key necessity in life. I’m sure we all know this. So why is it that when we hear of success stories we do not hear he got an A in his high school education. Heck even some of our politicians did not manage a C.

Let me start by telling you where all this is coming from.

I was reading the story of Alfred Dunhill. A great man, a visionary. He was uneducated in a time when Education was of the utmost value. Now, Dunhill worked in a church in London as the caretaker. He swept the floors and kept the podium clean.

He had been hired by an old pastor who was not a stickler for rules which explains how we got a job without an education. However, as if fortune had turned its tide, time had come for the man to retire and the church was under new management. The old pastor was replaced by a new rigid young pastor. As the new pastor came to learn about Dunhill’s education background, he discovered that he had not attained a high school certificate. So he gave him six months to attain a certificate or resign.

Dunhill had no option but to resign. Attaining a high school education in six months was nearly impossible. As he was taking a stroll down Bond street, Dunhill had an impulse to smoke. He walked along that street looking for a place to buy a cigarette and surprisingly he could not find a single shop that he could get cigarettes from. He moved on to a side street and was able to get a cigarette.

As he walked back into bond street, he realized there was a market gap. As i said the man was a visionary, he started a small shop on that street which succeeded above and beyond. He got customers not just from his street but from the other streets as well. Soon one shop turned to two and two turned to four and before long there were sixteen shops. It took him three years to become the leading tobacconist in England. Who would have predicted it, from hand rolling to machine rolling the man became a Millionaire in only three years. Soon after he entered into a purchase agreement with some American so as to keep the supply of tobacco flowing.

Fast forward to the present date and Dunhill is the most expensive brand of cigarettes. This was a man who had no education, a man who many probably looked at and thought he has no future. Yet as we remember the man we remember the words echoed in his legacy; “if i knew to read and write, i would still be sweeping the church.”

This is my thinking, if this man was educated, would he not do what most of us in his position would do, the logical thing. Over analyse the situation, run around looking for a job desperately. We would probably call everyone we know begging for an opportunity. For us we see the trouble coming after, we see the societal judgement, we panic and we end up missing the opportunity. We do not step back and see our failure as another opportunity. We do not follow our hearts and rejoice in our misdeeds the deeds that close one path for us to discover another. If we were smart we would follow the script. get a high paying job, highly influential, probably be in someone’s pocket since in a world like ours, don’t you need connections to get to where you want and how many times are those connections free.

The beauty of success is the sweat, it is the sleepless nights spent worrying and scheming. Fixing the millions of problems that arise on the road and praying earnestly to get to a point of stability where you are sure you have food on the table and smiles all round from a family that is neither rich or poor just contented.

Education is a stepping stone, it is what starts the engine but our gut feeling, our intelligence natural or acquired is what gets us there. You may live on the streets now but it does not take millions to start a business. It just takes the hundred or the fifty or even the five dollars you have to get you going.

Dunhill serves to inspire the world not to let an obstacle push you under but in the midst of ashes, RISE.

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