There was once a man, I will call him Gambo. Gambo was a tout at one of the parks in Sokoto. He it was who lifted the toll lever and was in charge of toll revenue collection every day, working from morning up until evening. He had minimal education as he only had a primary school certificate. One very regular day, an expatriate stopped by at the tolling point and requested to be referred to a place where he could buy sand and laterite in truck loads for his construction project. Gambo asked a few questions and realized that the expatriate was a site engineer managing a contract who required daily deliveries. Then he said to him, what is your payment arrangement? And the man said to him that payment would be made daily and on site for as many trucks as were delivered. Without much ado, Gambo took the site details and promised that deliveries would be made after confirming again that payment would be made at the end of the working day for as many truckloads as were delivered.

As soon as the man left, he made his way to the truck park at the other end of town and called a meeting of the truck drivers, (several of whom were idle at the time) and made arrangements to have as many of them as were able supply the required materials to the site. On the very next day, he mobilized the trucks to the site, went into the portakabin, collected the cash from the expat and paid off the drivers, after taking out his hefty commission, of course.

And that was how this barely educated, enterprising toll collector grew his business until he established his own construction company and employed several graduate engineers amongst others to manage his thriving business.

Seize Opportunity 2

Gambo’s story is very much like that of David’s encounter with Goliath, both of which made me realise that, oftentimes, we go around searching for opportunities. Opportunities usually will come our way.  But we fail to recognise them or we are ill prepared  to take them when they come.  For David, it was an ordinary day until he was challenged by the rantings of Goliath. Likewise for Gambo. It was also an ordinary day until he was approached by the expatriate. Both stories taught me the power of recognizing opportunity.

seize opportunity 3

God alone knows how many opportunities I may have missed out on because I simply didn’t recognize them. Gambo could have laughed and said, ‘see this oyinbo, no be here dem dey sell building materials O! Abi oga you miss road?’ He could have also said, ‘Oga, I no know’ or simply directed the man to the place where he would find same for sale. There was nothing about the man’s question that screamed ‘life changing opportunity’ on the surface, but he recognized it.
Seize the Opportunity4
Secondly, he took the risk. It could have fallen through but instead of analysis paralysis at the very beginning, he simply took the risk and made the move. He was willing to go out on a limb, risk his reputation and then deal with any fallouts later. Sometimes, our knowledge stands in the way, as we are unable to take spot on risks because of our over analysis.

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Next, he kept the story to himself. He maintained the liaison with the expatriate and built credibility until he could start his own business. I’m sure that took years of honest, diligent business to enable him build a brand. Some of us would have been so excited with that big break that on the very first day, upon receipt of the cash for the deliveries, the town would have heard about the opportunity and then someone else who had more money or more skill may have stolen the business idea from him. Some testimonies are meant to be incubated until the right time when they are birthed. Speaking too soon could kill your Isaac. Perhaps that is the reason some of us have lost our business ideas to others. Because we spoke too soon, or rejoiced publicly, too soon? Perhaps.
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He was clearly humble and wise enough to take time out to learn the ropes of the business and identify areas of business extension before he eventually set up his. Learning the ropes is extremely important. He hired engineers et al, but not before extending the business, so he included more offerings in his delivery business until he had covered the entire value chain. And this man did not even have one truck when he began. He probably didn’t have the spoke of a bicycle wheel.

seize opportunity 7

I opine that Gambo was financially prudent. He didn’t get overly excited with the profits from the business so much that he changed his lifestyle. To have the financial might to set up his own business within a few years, he must have ensured that he maintained financial prudence. Some of us strike gold and then we suddenly change our lifestyle overnight, often in response to the Joneses who are running their very own race. Sometimes, recognizing opportunities isn’t our challenge, sustaining a viable entrerprise on the basis of that opportunity is.

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I am certain that, all around us, there are many more opportunities like Gambo had, we just need to be alert to see them, prepared to seize them, and patient to sustain them.

Have a productive, opportunity seizing week.



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  1. Opportunities usually come in the things that seem simple and likely to be overlooked. And the fact that we over analyse sometimes is very true…God bless u Eloho

    1. Your comment is so spot on! God bless you too my dear Sisan. God help us see the opportunities in the seeming simplicities that everyday offers.

  2. Lord help me recognize opportunities and act on them. you hit the nail perfectly on the head. Fear of failure most times has kept me from acting on opportunities and truly being prudent goes a long way. thank so much for the insight. i always find your write ups inspiring

    1. Amen! God will help us recognise and seize opportunities when they show up. You are welcome dear, glad it blessed you.
      N.B Let go of fear, it will stifle your faith. Shake it off and walk as one who is living by a God ordained script. God has your back.

  3. May we be able to get there prepared.
    Opportunities come in funny packages called work and relationships…both require effort to confront and bring the best out of them.
    Thanks for sharing this.

    1. This is so true, “opportunities come in funny packages called work and relationships…both require effort to confront and bring the best out of them”. Thanks for sharing this, very complementary to this peice. God bless you.

  4. Opportunities. Opportunities. Opportunities. Opportunities. Opportunities. Opportunities.

    Just making sure I recognize it when I see it. 🙂

    So many lessons in this post. Thanks for sharing @Eloxie

  5. ‘Opportunity usually comes our way’……that’s a great reminder for me today. I pray I recognize the next one coming to me. Bless u Loxie.

  6. These opportunities are everywhere, God brings them to us each day and recognizing and taking action is our responsibility. We should always trust the Holy Ghost. Even in the little thing, I choose to see the opportunity in it, I remember when my mum ran a business and people would come by and ask where they could get minerals and recharge cards, my mom quickly recognized the opportunity and she began to sell it, she not only made financial profit, she made the people happy, because they didn’t need to go around searching for those items anymore. That’s true success

    Great Post Eloho,…its my first time here and I love it, I’m inspired and refreshed.
    Do checkout my blog. I blog at

    1. Hi dear Tenderonii, I am so excited to have you here and I am so glad you enjoyed your visit. Thanks for sharing your story, that right there is exactly what the Gambo post showed. When we meet the needs of others, we create true value and inspire true and sustainable success as well. I will definitely visit your blog. We’ll be seeing each other in blogville then. Much love!

      1. ooh dear Eloho, thanx for replying, I actually posted my comment twice because it didn’t show that it had been delivered to you both times,..I was even like, well I hope it delivers, and yes it did. See you on here dear. I’ll be happy to see u on my blog. Thank you

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