Haters will be Haters.
You know when you get so excited to tell that one person something that has happened to you? How your mind gets so eager that it can’t help but play out the conversation in your head before it has even happened? For me, that person has always been Ben. The first time I kissed a girl, when my Dad passed away, when I bought my first car – call Ben – was the first thing on my ’to do list’.
“Ben, I finally did it you guy!”
“Eeh. Did what? Please tell me all that money you spent betting on football finally paid off!”
“Nope! Even better! I quit my job! I honestly feel like I am flying! Like I am breathing for the first time.”
“Hello? Ben? Are you there?? HELLO!”
“I don’t understand what could have possessed you to do such a foolish thing. If you are under the delusion that I am going to be giving you pocket money monthly, please set yourself straight.”
“Who lied to you that this is why I was calling? You know how hard I have been working on the business. I am now managing over 8 creatives. I am past the breaking even point; you’ve seen the studio yourself.”
“But Gabu, that is not a serious business!! You won’t get rich hanging paintings on artists’ behalf.”
After that the phone went dead and for the life of me I could not fathom why he would react so negatively. This was something good! Something I had worked extremely hard to achieve, even at one-point envisioning that he could come on as a partner.
Life happens and you move on. Business was growing as a result of developments in e-commerce meaning our clients were now spread across the world. I remember when I was getting on that plane for the first time to go to EUROPE and how it seemed unbelievable that this came from a conversation with my mum and a disgruntled coworker looking for a trusted outlet for her work. Suffice it to say, the trip was fantastic and very successful! I managed to get two or three partners who would help out with shipping and distribution. Real believers of art, so much so that we didn’t have to pay them. They just wanted to see our artists prosper.
At least I’ve got one person who I know I can always count on, my bank. Since the business has picked up I honestly don’t have the time to go to the bank as frequently as I used to. When I complained about this to Ben, he immediately suggested that I check if the bank had online banking or some sort of e-portal. The Consolidated e-banking portal has got me covered. I remember when I was sitting in the boarding lounge paying rent for the studio, and paying the artists, it tore me up that Ben wasn’t a part of it.
At that moment I knew that I had to do something to make him realize that my business was not a joke and neither was I. Not just for him but for everyone who still had doubts, for my own wellbeing.