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Get out of your comfort zone and stretch

I graduated with a degree in Chemistry at the age of 19 with no care in the world and not knowing what to do with my life. I had two desires: work for an oil company or a bank!

With a chemistry degree, that was a tad too ambitious. I mean, I come from a country with over 160 million people which churns out tons of graduates every year.

And to make matters worse, I lived in a small city with limited growth opportunities.

A state owned Bank was then recruiting fresh graduates; for which I promptly applied, but did not make the cutoff; whereas a school mate of mine who had studied accounting got recruited. Shortly afterwards, one of the foremost audit firms in the country, KPMG also advertised for graduate trainees; I gave it a try and was fortunate to be recruited.

I had no clue what debit and credit was, when I took on this job, but I was determined to succeed, at this time, this was my only available option.

There began the journey outside my comfort zone. Your comfort zone is the place where your internal conditions is in harmony with your external circumstances. I made it clear to everyone that I was clueless but willing to learn. It’s important not present a false image of yourself at any time because you put yourself under pressure to live up to it.

It was at KPMG that I got my first real motivation: I got to hear of the Chartered Accountancy exams which records many casualties because it is very difficult to pass. Incidentally, It was compulsory for all trainees to write and pass the exams. I made up my mind that I was going to face it squarely and pass, which I did.

Reflecting back, I guess this was where I got my mantra: “nothing is impossible, if you put your mind to it”.

I, however, left KPMG after a few months before commencing writing the exams, for an attractive opportunity in the big City of Lagos, but the challenge to do the exams had been recorded in my mind.

In my new endeavour (not accounting firm), I commenced my target to attempt the accounting exams. Remember I had no accounting or business knowledge at this time, I was a scientist. Furthermore, I was not getting any practical experience (which was available in the audit firm I had left), but I was driven to stretch. I took the various stages of the exams and after several attempts (learning experiences) finally earned the Charted Accountant Certification.

Recently, I taught on the law of the rubber band from the best selling book: 15 Invaluable laws of growth. The law of the rubber band says that “growth stops when you lose the tension between where you are and where you could be”. There must always be a discomfort inside you which will push you to stretch beyond your current state. Stretching is uncomfortable and painful but necessary.

Start stretching …….. and start growing….

You can do it!


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