It was last April that I took this decision. To leave, leave this company listed on the PARIS STOCK INDEX located in the CBD of Paris, to sell the beads of South African women on the Internet.
At the tender age of 25 when I had just completed my 5th year of university in a top French business school and was in my first permanent job just after the end of my apprentice, I was bordering on depression. The more months passed, the more I wondered, was it “that” life? Yes “that”! You know, this heavy routine which dulls you, these repetitive tasks without interest for you and even sometimes for the people who ask you to take them.
Well known as “All work and no play”, I was calling it “the slow death”. I took more and more consciousness of my discontent. When my friends were asking me to go out and I did not want to, because my work as a consultant annihilated me day by day, made me lose my self-esteem and took me away from the life which I had always dreamed of.
Two months earlier, I met my friends whom I knew two years before in South Africa and one of her spoke to me about the closing down of her organization of outstanding artists with exceptional stories. When I saw their creations, I was totally captivated, and very saddened by their situation. I went back to France feeling powerless as she kept on telling me about the difficulties her team was going through after the closing down of this organization.
At 8:50 in the morning, on the train, while I was once again late for the work, after 2 hours of hesitation to get up and face a new working day, I sat next to a young man (that I shall call David). He was enthusiastically telling his friend that he had launched his company a few months ago, that he was not managing to live on it as yet but that he was happy of his new life so far.
In seeing David’s happiness and the self-fulfilment, I asked myself the following question: why does David manage to be happy by barely making ends meet at the end of the month whereas I, with 3200 euros gross salary a month, no children and no rent to be paid, I was still unhappy.
I quickly understood that my happiness stems from my achievement on a daily basis rather than from my salary. To become the leader of custom jewelleries made in Africa!
I soon quit my job and started the procedures for a new life in South Africa. I invested all of my savings into this new life and restored this organization by trying to access a world of consumers and new retail platforms.
I involved my sister on this adventure and our objective is to become the leading supplier of African custom made jewellery in France eventually worldwide whilst having a social and economic impact in the African countries.
I now sleep 5 hours a night instead of 8, I am doing 2 jobs (the one that I call my “food work” and the one which gave me a second breath). I work on my project during my lunchtime and take on-line courses after work. I am breathing again!! And you know what: I have never been happier, and have learnt so much about myself and my capacities during these last 3 months.
The happiness that the work with these women bring me is indescribable. I feel useful when I show them new designs inspired by their culture which we are going to sell on the Internet and I am happy to hear every time I meet them, that our work brings them hope and allows them to live on their art.
Here is my biggest challenge today: to make of this small company, a sustainable company and to cement the second chance we have promised these women who depend on us.
To learn more about you (website, twitter, video presentation …)
Website : www.ikhayamossy.com