Around September 2015, I logged out of Facebook, deleted the app and for the next few months, I stayed away from the noise.

I was depressed and at a wilderness season in my life. I was what you would call being jobless and maybe hopeless.

It was a wilderness experience that I struggled with silently, most of the time I was asking myself various questions.

What I am meant to do with my life?

How did I find myself here?

Why was my case different?

When will it end?

When will I be happy?

When will I get a job?

I had hoped to find a job immediately after service year—NYSC—but it didn’t happen to my plan. By some goodwill, I got a teaching job which didn’t end well. I left my job as a teacher vowing never to teach in any Nigerian school.

My job hunting didn’t produce any fruit either. I was frustrated and felt like nothing was going to change, my life would go on like this without a breakthrough, the future was so bleak.

Nigeria will mess you up, Lord knows there are lots of unfulfilled dreams here. Not everyone has the courage to break free from the shackles of disadvantages the average young person living in Nigeria has.

After a while, in the middle of that season, I decided to make do with whatever I could find to keep going. No plans just a desire to get ahead.

Since the reality was not any close to what I had dreamed of, I came to terms with my misfortune or status, it depends on your point of view.

My journey to growing without a mentor started from there on and it’s because I have triumphed that I felt it was due to help someone—a young, naive and struggling human—believe and learn how to grow without a mentor.

Grow Without a Mentor #GWAM is a series on how to get ahead in life and career without forerunners and mentors.

In the next 30+ episodes which will be released weekly as short articles on this website, I’ll be showing you how my journey progressed and how you can become your own leader.

I believe in the power of self-leadership and reinvention. We are only as limited as the fight we put into our desires.

You either give up or find a means to forge ahead even if it’s just the next step you can see.

The journey thus far

Back to my story, after I accepted the reality of life, I decided to turn to the internet for help.

Through this unplanned but consistent commitment, I became exposed to the digital ecosystem, mastered the key skills for thriving both now and in the future.

You can see my professional bio for more deets.

I have volunteered for life-changing causes over the last five years which gave me rare access to resources most young people don’t.

I equally picked up my career as a writer and did write a real book—Red Roses, Stained Glasses.

I worked on my networking skills and have had people in my network refer me for jobs that got me the opportunity to work with clients from Nigeria, South Africa, Malaysia, Germany and UK.

I got certified as a professional book editor and digital marketing specialist and currently making a big career move—I’ll keep you posted on this.

My life is far from perfect, I am not yet rich, I have not won any award but between where I stand now and where I stood six years ago, the POV is different, clearer and better.

And what is most important, I found purpose and the right calling to which I am dedicating my life and career. You are reading this because of that purpose and drive.

Now, let’s get started. But before that, here’s a disclaimer.

Even though it’s possible to make a substance out of your life through self-leadership, it does not eradicate the roles mentors, forerunners and guides provide.

I just wasn’t that fortunate to have a mentor when I started. I made a lot of mistakes and learned by trial and error.

So, if you have mentors, stick with them. But if like me, you find yourself alone and unclear about the right steps to move your life and career forward, then follow me as I share with you everything I know about leading yourself to become who you desire and deserve to be.

One of my favourite songs of all time since I was a teenager raised by a single mom and a good uncle that died when I needed a father figure is by the late Whitney Houston and it goes like this:

Everybody's searching for a hero
People need someone to look up to
I never found anyone who fulfilled
my needs
A lonely place to be
And so I learned to depend on me
I decided long ago
Never to walk in anyone's shadows
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I'll live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can't take away my dignity

I’m sure you know Greatest Love lyrics. These lyrics exemplify how I’ve lived my life since I was a kid. You don’t have to be beaten out of life because there is no one to guide you.

If life doesn’t give you lemons, you may have to first find lemon seeds, plant a seed and nurture it before you can get a lemon harvest for your lemonade.

As we progress, I implore you to pick ideas and use them to reinvent your life. As I look back and believe these ideas have helped me come this far even without anyone to show me the way, I believe they can help you too.

You too can lead and attain greatness without a mentor, hero or forerunner.

I am rooting for you.

This series is published every Thursday, you can opt to sign up for my newsletter below to receive a link to all my posts every two weeks or you can bookmark this website.

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  1. Onome 23.01.22 at 11:07 pm - Reply

    This is epic. Keep writing, Esther.

  • December 22, 2021