Mr Richard Akita : Is a retail management consultant, author, radio show host, entrepreneur and life performance coach, he draws his inspiration from past encounters and has an insatiable desire to learn from every opportunity and loves empowering others to pursue their dreams.
We are humbled and exhilarated to have the renowned Life Coach Mr Richard Akita share his journey with us on ‘Earn Your Crown’. His story is one that has a sense of adventure that knows no bounds.His passion in self-development has led him to continually research and apply new knowledge acquired with his clients – not only equipping them to excel, but empowering them to impact their community, and to be legacy minded.
However he is zealous about seeing people serve their community with excellence, whilst discovering and utilizing their greatest assets in worship and service to God and their community.A union of over 30 years with Najate (his beautiful wife with whom he’s conquered every phase with) and counting has been blessed with two young adults.
Intertwined in pain, hurts, failure and victory is the hunger of discovering our reason for being, said Mr Akita as he takes us down memory lane to a path he never thought could get better. But with zeal and commitment, it all turned to his favor.
“In 1989 my wife and I, set off on the greatest journey. Full of hope, passion and an enthusiasm we believed could withstand the challenges of life. Yet our first encounter deflated us and knocked the wind out of our sails”.
We decided to open a hairdressing salon, this was during the property boom where gazumping (make a higher offer for a house than someone whose offer has already been accepted by the seller and thus succeed in acquiring the property) was common practice.
We invested all our money and borrowed from the bank, bought all the equipment’s and just before signing the documentation the landlord moved the goal post and we lost the property. The shock and failure was so intense that we could not see the woods from the trees.
Aged 23, I could not muster the courage to venture out and took comfort in working to pay off the debt.Being broke, in debt and clueless is not the best place for creativity. Rising from failure is not as easy as it is told. We had to work 3 jobs, we cooked and delivered kenkey, plantain chips to the local shops, we took on contract cleaning jobs, my wife after finishing her shift as a hairstylist in the salon would come home and still carry out hairdressing service privately.
All if not most of the income went towards servicing the loans, we planned every expenditure, live within our means where even a bar of chocolate was a luxury item. We learned to ask, “do we really need this?” for every purchase.The beautiful thing in all this mess was having each other as we worked through, encouraged and motivated each other but above all we planned, agreed and focused on the task. Thus, we learned not to negotiate from a position of desperation.
These painful seasons in retrospect was necessary, if you asked me during the period I would have disagreed, but through this we resolved not to borrow beyond our financial capabilities and rather invest the surplus monies after we had cleared the loans and understood the power of unity and focus.
We built a substantial financial security that has made our integration to Ghanaian business organic.Some 27 years later we stepped out again and opened the salon “A Touch by Najate” in Accra, Ghana.Thank God for His grace, the doors of opportunity and favour is overwhelmingly exciting.
Like the olive tree, we never knew the ‘why’, but today we see the benefits of the disappointment.The wilderness years built us, developed and sharpened our skills, above all taught us to depend on God and aligning our will to His.The greatest challenge I have encountered has been the recurrence of failure in my business life and the lack of discipline to set, focus and work towards achieving my goals.
As the saying goes ‘nothing will come to you if You aren’t ready to make any sacrifice’ : What did Mr Akita do differently to turn things around?The epiphany moment shifted my paradigm when I discovered that failure was my key to success. I started reviewing the failure with new insight and decided to learn from it.
In reviewing the failures, I had encountered I stopped blaming everyone and took the responsibility and acknowledgement that my actions, decisions and sometimes pride had yielded the harvest I was experiencing. Amazingly once I stopped blaming others I started being creative with solution driven ideas.
This minor shift brought peace and aroused the hunger to use every encounter as a learning opportunity.Whilst I learned from the failure of opening the salon, I leveraged the lessons and focused on personal development to build my capacity.The passion and drive to become an entrepreneur got me hooked on trying out ideas within the cleaning industry, fashion and life performance coaching.I read extensively and became a mentor to others. Through teaching others, I saw the fruition of monetized ideas and that encouraged me to keep stoking the fire for entrepreneurship.
I earned my Crown eventually: Life challenges us only to reveal the hidden talent. Failure taught me to be tenacious, yet persevere at the face of slow growth. It assisted me to appreciate organic growth and the rewards of seeing one’s birthed ideas impact a community of service users.To you who has taken time to read my story : ‘Life is never fair but will give you the opportunity to test your resilience and tenacity to learn and keep on learning’.
We only have one life, so let’s make it count.