Backstory To My Backstory
My name is Farai Kufakwedu. My first name means happiness while the last name means ‘our dying’.
Like seriously, who the fu*k gives his or her family a name that literally means our dying? That’s a huge bone I intend to chew with my ancestors when we meet. But I digress.
The words that make up my name belong to a Bantu language called Shona that is spoken by people living in present-day Zimbabwe. Canada is my home now. A bit on that later.
I am married to Loice and we have done our part to perpetuate the human race by bringing three live humans into this world. Two girls; Mary-Angel and Victoria, and a boy, Divine.
My wife currently juggles three full-time jobs managing the day-to-day upbringing of these three humans, a task whose excellency of execution has made me believe that God is a woman.
My 9-5, Which Is Really a 6-6
To bring home the Benjamins (are Canadian dollars also called Benjamins? ahh who the fu*k cares? You know what I mean) I currently work full-time for one of Canada’s largest energy producers where I, like most people here, work 12-hour shifts.
Hence I said above….which is really a 6-6.
Besides my full-time job in Canada’s oil patch, I have just started building my fourth business using the lessons I got from the mistakes I made in the past when I created companies while I was working or was in school.
Baptism Into North American Side Hustling
Having lived in Toronto since I moved to Canada in 2001, I moved to Fort McMurray, Canada’s oil capital, to intern as a 2nd-year chemical engineering student in the first quarter of 2007.
I have started and operated a side hustle of one kind or another since my university days in Zimbabwe so by the time I moved to Fort McMurray for my internship six years after crossing the ocean, I had the Canadian system sort of figured out.
It was time to get my side hustle on.
As soon as I settled into my internship role at Nexen’s Long Lake Project, I started a bottle recycling side hustle. Being blissfully ignorant of what not to do to avoid getting fired, I broke every side hustling rule possible running that gig in the small oil city.
It’s a miracle I wasn’t fired. It is really.
By the time my internship ended in December 2008 and was ready to go back to continue my studies in Toronto, I had achieved four things:
- Had registered a security guards business (having worked as a guard full-time while in varsity)
- Had decided that I would hustle for contracts and run the business while I continued my studies full-time
- Had raised – from the full-time job and recycling hustle – a small fortune enough to kickstart the security business
- Had managed not to get fired, thanks to my God-send boss.
When college started in January of 2009, even though I had committed to continuing with my program, I found myself researching possible clients for my security business during lessons and skipping classes to hustle for my first contract.
As Les Brown puts it; I was huuungry!!
Balls-To-The-Walls Into Business
To say my mind was not in my studies would be an understatement.
By the end of February, as mid-term exams closed in, I realized that I was nowhere near prepared in any of my seven courses.
To my credit though, I had created a database of 80% of all high-rise condominiums in Toronto, representing a deep pool of potential clients. This database of possible security services customers, unfortunately, was not going to be of any help to me in my chemical engineering midterms.
I thus decided to quit my program and go balls-to-the-walls into the business.
GreenWill Security & Concierge Services
Fast forward to mid-2012. The business had close to 100 employees pulling in just over $1.5 million per year in revenue from 15 clients. We were now offering very high-end services that I fittingly called Four Seasons security, concierge, and valet services to buildings where some of Toronto’s rich and famous resided.
Life was good. Or so I thought.
Due to the several mistakes I made right from the onset of the business, by the end of 2013, the company was dead. The Canadian Revenue Agency garnished my accounts due to a business tax debt.
I was forced to shut down. 😥😥😪
Getting Back Into The Game
Losing my business is the most devastating event that has happened to me. Not even the loss of my mother on the day my first daughter was born brought me the same amount of grief as I felt when lost my business.
Even my di*k wouldn’t get up for several months after the loss of my business. That’s just how bad it was.
It took me a solid four years to get back on my feet to a place where I felt ready to venture into business again. I know what you’re thinking. It didn’t take me 4 years to get into the undersheets business. Heck no!!😜
When I decided to get back into business, my wife and I were looking for a business with a model that would fit all the criteria we had established. See our criteria for selecting the business we got into.
We decided to build a physical products business in which we create private label brands that we market leveraging the wildly successful Fulfilment by Amazon program or Amazon FBA. We are extremely happy with our decision, a decision that has evolved into our desire to help other people succeed in their side businesses.
My Mission With This Blogging Platform
Feel free to browse around the different rooms/pages.I appreciate you for passing through my home in cyberspace.
I do hope you will invite me into your business building journey by joining the community of Pipeline Builders.
I would love to hear from you.