Don’t Let Them Brainwash You

People always use the words “manipulate” and “brainwashing” in negative ways.

But it’s so wrong.

Of course, I’m not trying to argue with y’all, but let me tell you a story.

You see, 2 years ago I got an offer to work with a top 5 Nigerian bank.

I was just done with NYSC 3 months before, recently moved to Lagos, the selection process was crazy but I’d scaled through quite easily.

Didn’t have a background in traditional finance but I planned to do an MBA within 2 years.

Everything was perfect, or at least I thought so. And it looked like my stars had aligned.

But there was a small issue.

You see, just before that job offer came in, I’d been teaching Spanish on the side as a way to get by while waiting for a job.

The first client I had suggested I get a job in sales.

He’s a big time sales manager in one of the biggest wine distribution businesses in Nigeria.

I won’t say I really understood because everything I knew about sales, especially in corporate Nigeria was those bankers with wornout shoes walking under the sun begging people to come bank with them.

Didn’t sound appealing at all.

Just at the beginning of October, my client had to cancel because it was the start of the ember months and it was the season for serious business.

I was in a rut.

My only source of income at the time and I didn’t have a place of my own – I was sleeping around Lagos like an ashewo, fam 😁

As fortune would have it, I stumbled on this tweet.

I said as fortune would have it because my notifications were turned on for Toyin Omotoso.

I jumped on it and he replied, I asked to DM and we booked a date for the first meeting.

Subsequently,  we agreed on 2-3 sessions every week for 2 hours per session.

I’d leave my friends house at Satellite Town on those days we agreed on by 10-11am in order to beat traffic for 4 o’clock meetings in Lekki.

Omo😆

Now, this is where it gets iffy.

You see, something crazy happened during those meetings.

After I was done teaching Toyin Omotoso Spanish, we’d start talking about stuff in general and next thing he’d start talking about sales and marketing, direct response,  copywriting and lots of stuff.

I had no idea I was being brainwashed – in a good way 😆

Because when the job offer from the bank came in, I was in a bus at CMS when my phone buzzed that afternoon, I wasn’t so sure I wanted it anymore.

After our class that day, I told him I’d gotten a job and he was happy for me, congratulated me and all.

But then I told him I wasn’t sure about the job anymore. 🤔

I said I wasn’t sure if it was what I wanted out of life.

He told me to go take the job, and if I didn’t like it, I could leave.

Mind you, there wasn’t any job offer on the table from him.

But that was all I needed to hear to validate my feelings.

After the first day of work, while in the bus on my way back home, I kept asking myself:

“Is this what I’d be doing for the next 2 years? Living like this?”

It was around 11pm when I got to my street, I took out my phone and called 2 people: my good friend KCee who I always bounce ideas off and my mother.

My mother said 12 of the most shocking words I’ve ever heard:

“Whatever you decide to do is fine by me. I support you.”

It felt like a strange load had been lifted from my shoulders.

Made me wish I had dropped out from uni when I wanted to.

Never did because of her.

I knew it would break her heart so I just stayed on.

So this was crazy!

When the girl I used to ride the bus with called me the next day as she didn’t see me around, I made up some flimsy excuse.

I never went back.

I quit after one day.

I went back to teaching Toyin Omotoso Spanish and after each session he took my brainwashing and manipulation programming up a notch.

He’d print out tons of sales letters and give them to me to copy out by hand over the weekend and show it to him at our next meeting.

He’d give me books on sales, marketing and direct response to read.

The stories I was hearing then.

People running direct response campaigns and making millions.

Someone making one million Naira in a day.

From words.

As in the ABC?

You have no idea how things like this rewire your mind & recalibrate your brain.

But fam I kid you not, at some point it felt like pouring water on stone because I was a complete rookie.

I didn’t understand zilch. Nothing. Nada.

Big headed olodo 😑

This week makes it 2 years since then.

The internship program ends in October and the girl I used to ride the bus to work with sent me this message weeks ago.

Did I make the right decision?

Lol, yes I did.

Because hunger wire me like thief between December and January 2020. 😭

But roughly 3 months after I turned that job down, I got an offer to be an apprentice copywriter under Toyin Omotoso’s tutelage.

Now, I’m currently the Digital Content Manager, Chief copywriter and content creator at Expertnaire.

2 years later, I’m in the sphere of Copywriters who are good enough to charge $5,000 per pop.

But job titles, money and growth aside, I’ve had a more peaceful and fulfilled life.

I’ve grown like weeds, my guy.

There’s something CJ Johnson always says on Twitter:

Keep reading those books and listening to podcasts and brainwashing yourself.

I want to add keep taking risks, betting on yourself, manipulating your mind and brainwashing yourself.

Like the title of this article says: Don’t Let Them Brainwash You, instead do the brainwashing yourself.

It’s worth it.

– Uche

PS: If you’d like to be brainwashed too, then you should read this 👇🏿

https://tinyurl.com/f55p2rwy

Uche Okoro

Writer. Sales & Marketing. Business & Investing Afficionado.

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