Some people don’t know that professionalism matters in business. It’s not always about what you do but it’s sometimes about how you do it.
My mother used to say that it’s important to find dignity in what one does and people will show that respect one really deserved.
I used to wonder what she actually meant by this. I will just say it doesn’t really mean much to me. Then I came across the amazing story of this calculative, focused, and vision-driven young Nigerian.
I personally believe this young man has something in him. So who is this Nigerian and what’s so amazing about him? Well, below is a piece about this young man as narrated by Chiemezie Claire Asunugwo-Anyanwu who hired his services.
Who is this amazing young man?
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His name is Bashir Suleiman, he’s a Mai-barrow (barrow pusher or ‘Personal Shopper’) and a proud one at that. I was privileged to have him gather my groceries and produce for me as I shopped in the market today.
First of all, he was well-dressed in his clothes well-ironed as if he was going to proper office work. I was told by the fruit seller who saw my initial surprise when Bashir approached me that it was his custom to dress well daily to his Mai-barrow job.
It got even more interesting when I caught a whiff of his “perfume” and noticed his socked feet in a pair of well-polished sandals.
Other barrow pushers approached me but with my curiosity already piqued and biased towards Bashir, I felt it an honour to have him gather my stuff for today.
Next, he had very good communication skills, though his grammar may not have been ivy-league standard. However, we communicated very easily while he helped bridge the gap between my Hausa language spattering and my needful communication in the same language with my customers who spoke little or no English.
Being attentive and caring
Bashir was very much involved in every bit of my shopping making sure I wasn’t cheated and my change was properly counted out and given to me. He also showed me the best places I didn’t even know existed in the market to buy the freshest produce at competitive prices.
Bashir was attentive, involved, sharp, smart, fast, and market savvy too. Whilst we were shopping, he got as many as 3 different phone calls from customers like me who were en route to the market and wanted him on standby for them.
One told him where to wait for her while the other told him she was prepared to wait till he was free to serve her since he was currently engaged. Bashir did his job with a great attitude and a smile, he was polite and courteous yet humble and ready to serve.
Beating all stereotypes
In the end, I had to give him much more than I have ever given a Mai-barrow (and believe me I always tip them generously) because Bashir beats all stereotypes and made my life much easier today.
Of course, I left with Bashir’s phone number decisively saved in my phone book. People like Bashir have further strengthened my belief that the future generation of our country can and will excel and be better than the past generations.
Tomorrow we may just see a registered company, “Bashir Uber-Mai-barrow Ltd”, with clean, well dressed and courteous service boys, making shoppers’ lives easier, earning good money, even paying taxes to the government and contributing their quota to the system versus the modern-day entrenchment of criminality by the teeming unemployable youth that is not ready to work yet maraud the society today.
Now, this is what I call, progress, long-sightedness, wisdom, and imminent vital prosperity. Let’s all join hands and make the skies of these young men a stepping stone by encouraging them in whatever ways possible. Thanks for reading… Thanks, Bashir.
Please note that this is a Facebook update posted by Chiemezie Claire Asunugwo-Anyanwu on her profile.
Why professionalism matters
Bashir’s story teaches us that dignity and professionalism matter in business. This is especially needed if you really want to become successful in what you are doing.
In our society, people normally look down on barrow-pusher. People usually see them as street urchins but Bashir has given a new meaning to barrow-pushing.
He opted for one of the lowest-paid jobs any young man will do. However, he found dignity in what he does. As a result, he got so much respect from his customers who are supposedly very rich and highly placed in society.
Since this story was posted on Chiemezie Claire Asunugwo-Anyanwu’s Facebook here, it has been shared and re-shared by almost 10 thousand people, and the comments generated are so many and highly encouraging.
And just like the writer said, Bashir can start his own Uber-style barrow business and become really successful. Lesson learned? You should always remember that it’s not about what you do, it’s usually about how you do it.
Presentation matters too
Presentation is the key to successful street marketing. Bashir presents himself to customers as a clean and highly professional young man. He shows his customers that he knows what he is doing. This helped him to easily acquire new customers.
The idea is that when you present yourself as a happy and smart seller, people will be more eager to do business with you. In another word, making business connections is much easier when people can trust you. Also, let people see a true reflection of who you are in the way you present yourself.