Bits of SuccessUncategorizedBits of Success: When Push Comes to Shove

March 16, 2021Marketplace Editor0

‘Hello, Children…….’

‘How are you all doing…………?’

‘………today we shall be talking about Chickenpox vaccine.’

‘Do you know what Chickenpox is?


That was me in 2006 after I just joined a Pharmaceutical company. The honeymoon was over and a few months into my career, I was yet to conduct my first clinical meeting presentation. I was a Medical representative handling the vaccine portfolio, posted to the North-Eastern part of Nigeria, and based in Kano State. Let me quickly say here that the first six months of my career as a rep. were probably the worst in my entire life (details in subsequent write-ups).


At this point, I was at my wit's end, trying to fix meetings with clinics and hospitals but due to the nature of my products and the pressing needs of the clinics and hospitals, a vaccine presentation was simply not an ‘A lister’. Those familiar with that part of the country know that, based on history and antecedents, vaccines were not very popular at that time. It also did not help that I, the rep in charge was a naïve, grammar-speaking dude from another part of the country.


Selling was hell…literarily. Medical professionals and non-professionals alike could not help in mitigating this matter. I remember engaging a bank manager trying to talk to him about Hepatitis B disease and the need to vaccinate the staff. After all the detailing, talking and pseudo begging the man looked at me astonishingly and said ‘….the diseases we know we have not treated, why should I worry about the one I am not sure I will ever have?


The pressure was mounting from the head office. I needed to schedule a meeting (and that is the least any rep could do apart from regular detailing). I had not achieved any mileage, no meeting……nothing new…absolutely nothing! I was made fun of by colleagues who did try their best for me, I was the underdog.


I had always known the company had a presentation slide for parents different from the more detailed medical presentation. This was a presentation in layman's language, for mothers to know more about the preventive measures for possible childhood diseases. In that part of the country, gathering women together was near impossible so with all the mounting pressure, I had to think outside the box.


One day, while driving through one of the streets of the metropolis, I saw a private nursery school and suddenly, the idea of having a presentation with these children using the parents' presentation slides came to my mind. Of course, it was nothing about them but more about tucking some materials in their bags to take home to their parents. This very act, though mundane, was the turning point for me. A few days after the meeting, I got a call from the school to schedule another meeting with some of the parents. This was the beginning of my vaccination campaign in the region. I got a list of their various clinics and had these clinics get vaccines for their clients directly through me.


While this event gave insights to many things, (with its immediate gains and temporary drawbacks) it literarily effected my resolution when push came to shove.


At different times in our lives, we will get to a point where nothing else matters, it is either we swim or sink. Ladies and gentlemen, you never have to sink, you have all it takes to swim. This has nothing to do with motivational speeches, but if we look deep within and around us, there are people, places, and things that will always come in handy to make a difference.


There are different stages in life where one is pushed around by all sorts of pressure, both real and imagined, and never seem to be able to make sense of it all. The truth is, there is a deeper inner self in us all that really and truly wants to succeed if only we allow it. When push comes to shove, you must give it all you have got. You do not need to have everything, you only need to have enough so simply make do with what you have. We all make mistakes, but we can also rise above these mistakes. I have learned over the years, never to regret my mistakes but to learn from them because life is all about learning.


Our very existence is for us to judiciously use all we have to the maximum, holding nothing back. Look around and within you, there are things you can tweak, remodel, rearrange, or refurbish to your gain.

Your change starts when push comes to shove. You have all it takes to succeed, and YOU WILL!!!


Adeola Akinjomo is a Sales Consultant and Columnist with a passion for small businesses and start-ups. He is a member of the John Maxwell Team, Success Power Premium, and other Leadership Affiliates. He can be reached at

Bits of Success (BoS) is a bi-weekly publication of Naijassador Marketplace.

Marketplace Editor

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