“Aunty, I only came to say thank you…” How rejection became my motivation – Bankole Williams

A few years back, after chasing a particular client for business, I finally got the chance to go through the selection process.

I aced the pitches and was selected to run a training for them. Finally, the door into this bank had opened for me. This testimony was grand; as I had sought the opportunity to work with them for over 3 years.

A few days after my first training with them, I visited their office and decided to go the extra mile to see the Head of HR in the firm to say thank you.

Wrong move!

Apparently (unknown to me), this lady had not been part of the selection. The minute I said I’d been selected as a facilitator to the bank, I could see her judging eyes ‘size me up’. I could hear her thoughts – ‘who gave this young boy work?’

She sat me down and told me how the bank’s plan was to engage international institutions like Insead and Cranfield to train their staff.

“I advise you to go and partner with these international firms if you desire to succeed in your field”, she had said.

My jaw responded to gravity šŸ˜².

‘Aunty I only came to say thank you!’.


This lady took the wind out of my sails! I had gone to say thank you, and food was taken off my table!

In fact, I received no call to work for that bank for the next 2 years!

‘God why so close, yet so far?’ I cried.

However, that night, I wiped my tears and made a commitment to myself

‘I will be the best at what I do such that these international firms would need me’, I vowed.

Today, that young boy whom the lady had looked down on is training staff of the World Bank!

I am eternally grateful to God for that lady because that rejection I received from her became my motivation. It sent me to grind so hard such that I would NEVER be ignored again.

Rejection is preparatory ground for you to build the muscles to handle the blessings ahead.

Keep grinding! There is more in front of you!


Bankole is the Founder of Live Your Dreams Africa; a platform he set up to challenge Africans to live their lives intentionally towards the achievement of their dreams. He is a Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a UK Certified Life Coach and a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) from the International Council for Managing Consulting Institutes(ICMCI). He is also a Fellow of the International Management Consultants Certification Board (FIMCB). He is also widely regarded as an Employee Engagement Expert. He is the author of ā€œEngaged to a job I hateā€; a book on career advancement& employee engagement. He was awarded Nigerian Author of the Year at the Yada 2012 Readers Choice awards. View his complete profile at www.bankolewilliams.com/about