This is one question I get asked so many times- how did I find my purpose? How did I know what I’m doing now is my purpose?
I think the best way to answer this is to share my journey so far.
The Beautified Network or Becoming Conference is not something that I just started last year; I have always been passionate about helping young women discover and walk in their purpose and so way back in 2011 during my NYSC, I’d invite girls from my church then to a hangout at my parent’s house and we’d talk about everything from books to boys to career to goals and they would ask questions which I’d try to answer and then we’d pray together and feast on the sandwiches and punch I made and just have fun.
As a matter of fact, what I really wanted to be at that time was a Makeup Artiste; I remember right after school I wanted to attend a Makeup School but did not have the money and when I asked my aunt who lives in the UK for it (N50,000) she involved the entire family and I was lambasted for thinking about going to learn makeup after all the money they spent sending me to CU to study Accounting, so instead of focusing on taking my professional exams I was thinking about painting faces; my mum could not even support me because she’s MFM and obviously learning makeup was like learning to be a Delilah.. LOL! Anyway, I cried so much that night but the next morning, I got up and wiped my tears, I called the owner of the Makeup School and I went to see her. When I got there, I explained that I really wanted to be a makeup artiste but did not have any money to learn, but if she could trust me, I’d pay the full money in installments every month from my NYSC allowance once I started and that was how aunty Love (I call her aunty Flawless) of Flawless Touch Makeovers took a chance on me and trained me. God bless her forever. After my training I registered my first business- DivHadassah and gathered my friends for a photoshoot to build my portfolio; I got a job with Kingdom Africa TV- I was doing the makeup for the presenters and guests on different shows; I wasn’t paid in cash but I did the job like I was paid a million bucks! I also had two real brides who paid me plenty money (well it was plenty as at that time)
That same year, after volunteering for and attending Steve Harris’ very first event tagged “No Excuses” I had my first make up workshop where I taught participants how to do their makeup like a pro. The title of the event was so daring and funny – GET RID OF YOUR MAKEUP ARTIST.. LOL! I was so scared of having this workshop, I thought no one would attend but guess what? About 20 people showed up.
I’m sure if I had continued as a Makeup Artist, I would have ’blown’ by now but somehow I just felt like there was more to me than being a Makeup Artiste.
I used to send out beauty and inspirational tips to my BBM contacts, I tagged it Beautified with Funto and the feedback I received from the tips were amazing. One day I got a message from Bankole Williams saying that I could actually collate all these tips and put them in a book; that was how the journey to publishing my first book started and I launched it in August 2013.I was so scared of doing the book, I remember I used to say to myself- who would buy my book when even Tara the queen of makeup and beauty in Nigeria hasn’t written a book so what makes me an authority to write a book on beauty? What would people think? You can view pictures from the book launch here
To fulfill all righteousness, during my NYSC I also registered for my professional examination- ICAN and to God’s glory I passed all my papers.
Sometime in 2012 I met Simisola and we found that we shared similar passions for raising girls and so we started LACE (Ladies After Christ’s Example) in 2013; we organized quarterly events for teenage girls and there were a lot of testimonies; I remember after every event we had, I would go through the feedback forms filled by the girls who attended and I’d just be crying. LACE is still running, even though we are not as active as we used to be.
One day in 2014 I was writing out my thoughts and ideas in my journal and the idea came to have an event for young women like myself where we would just fellowship, build friendships, eat nice food and just have fun; we would talk about our dreams and goals and basically just inspire and encourage each other. That’s how the first ever Beautified With Funto came about. It was supposed to hold in December 2014, but I got married in November and was still settling into marriage so I moved it to January 2015. I was scared ehn.. I kept thinking- would people attend? What would I talk about? How would it go? Etc. Guess what again? Over 40 people turned up and it was amazing!
February 11, 2015, as I was taking my usual morning tongue-strolling, the word “Becoming” dropped in my heart and immediately I knew it was to be a conference for women. After praying I got back to the house, told my husband about it and started writing down plans towards it in my journal. I opened my calendar and the date JULY 18 jumped at me and that very day I called Terrakulture to book the date down, I wrote down a list of people I’d want to work with towards the conference, I wrote down the list of speakers … And the rest they say is history.
So this is about 70% of the story of how I’ve evolved into who I am now and I believe that I am still evolving; I am still becoming. This is definitely not all there is to me, there’s still so much more that I can be that I am yet to become.
So here’s what I’d like you to take away from my story:
- Your purpose is related to your passion. What is that thing you’re really passionate about? What makes you angry when you think about it? Or what makes you really emotional. For instance, I get angry when I see young women with no sense of purpose or direction.
- Everybody is not going to support your dreams and that’s OK but don’t let that stop you. Most of the time it’s the people closest to you that will even discourage you. Remember the part of how of got lambasted by my family because I wanted to train as a makeup artist.
- Never be afraid to take risks. If you’re going to be great and live in purpose, you’re going to have to take a whole lot of risks. My entire story is full of risks. After I got lambasted, I took a big risk in going to see Aunty Flawless to explain my predicament. All through my trip there I was thinking to myself- what if she says no? … But what if she says yes? If I did not go to meet her because I was scared she might say no, I’d have missed the opportunity. I took another big risk when I resigned my job as an accountant which I did not mention above.
- You’re going to be afraid. Very afraid. But you have to DO IT AFRAID. There were so many times I was scaredddddd to my teeth. Even up till now; I remember before Becoming 2016 I was so scared. Two weeks before the conference only 54 people had registered and I had already paid for the hall which seats over 350 people. I kept thinking, what if more people don’t register? What if the hall is empty? What if this, what if that.
Remember the story of Joshua, after Moses died and he was to take over, God kept telling him
“be strong and very courageous!” Why? Joshua was very scared of taking over from Moses and leading the people to their promised land. I’m sure he was thinking something like- What if they don’t listen to him? What if they don’t like him? the truth is anytime you’re about to do something great or take a step in line with purpose, the enemy would try to use fear to stop you and so regardless of the fear, go ahead and just do it!
- Finally, believe that your steps are ordered by God. This is literally how I live my life. I believe that every step I take is ordered by God because that’s what the bible says. So even if I mistakenly take a wrong step somewhere, God will still make it work together for my good. I find that a lot of people are not pursuing purpose because they are just waiting to hear a still small voice telling them this is God’s PERFECT WILL for them; they’d probably be waiting till Jesus comes.
Habakkuk 2:2 says “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets. That he may RUN who reads it.” It does not say “that he may WAIT who reads it.” So once you have a dream or an idea, first believe it’s from God because you have the MIND of Christ, write it down and then RUN with it.
I know this has been a rather long post, but I just needed to pour out my heart on this issue of finding purpose. Hopefully you’ve been blessed and have some clarity as regards your purpose.