Mr Francis Olusina Daodu is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the popular 1860 Travels. SEGUN KASALI chats him up on life and living.
WHAT motivates you in life?
My passion for all I do or hold dear propels me. Vision and discipline are also factors. It is not enough to dream success but one must be disciplined to achieve it. Challenges will come, but passion will see one through them always.
How would you describe the impacts of this motivation on your life?
I have got this far by being passionate about all that I had to do. Every man wants to succeed, but will every man succeed? Something makes the difference between the first and the last man in any race and it is clearly about how passionate the winner is to succeed. I made it through the stiff hurdle to this point and worked myself into all I needed to achieve.
Stiff hurdles abound where demands are particularly huge. Starting from tertiary to post-tertiary demands, work and entrepreneurial startup years till now, challenges abound.
Have these challenges influenced what you are doing today?
Sure, they greatly have. As a rule of life, something must motivate you, which is the passion you have for what you do. As a travel professional and an entrepreneur, my passion for the industry has not just got my successful strides, but had also kept me going during difficult moments way before the advent of coronavirus and its effects on our industry.
How much of it is affecting your trade?
It is unfortunate that travels and tourism is one of the industries worst-hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The world has never witnessed anything this bad, We are praying that God should have mercy upon the world and give scientists the knowledge in finding vaccine to completely ward off the scourge.
What would you be doing if not what you are doing now?
I would have been fully into Information & Communication Technology. I studied computer engineering and I also have a passion for technology.
Do you regret not doing it?
No regrets at all because I am generally fascinated by travel technology; hence we are currently deploying a lot of travel technology solutions in our day-to-day activities here. I am able to find a meeting point between travel and technology.
How easy has it been getting to this point without your parents?
It was not rosy as I was not born with silver spoon not to talk of the impacts of losing one’s father less than two weeks after the May/June WAEC. It was very difficult to say the least as I was never able to cope with the sudden expenses. I prioritised my spending within scarce resources. I would say the spirit of my parents led me through, particularly from the type of upbringing I had, knowing the ways of the Lord as an altar server in the Catholic Church. A sound educational foundation also greatly assisted me.
Your experience with your father before his passing.
My dad taught me to be diligent, to have the fear of God and to deal honestly with others. This became a watchword in all I did after his demise.
How helpful was your mother without your father?
My mother became the man of the house till her death. She was our prayer warrior and our all. I am sure she is proud of all her children in death.
How much of their absence did you feel on your wedding day?
I cried on my wedding day, particularly in the church. I felt sorry for them a lot. The joy of every parent is to witness the big day of their children. My parents did well for other people’s children. So, you can imagine the pain of not being able to witness theirs.
How did you meet your wife?
I had been praying for a life partner with basic qualities of a good mother as partner. One evening, I decided to attend mass and I noticed this lady who caught my attention with the way she participated at mass. Immediately after mass, I decided to see if she came with anyone. She left on her own. At this period I tried to find out who knew her but nobody seemed to know her as I was active in my parish at the time as a youth executive. One of my friends later told me she was a member of the choir, so I encouraged one of my friends to invite her to join my association in church so that we could know more about her. She graciously accepted to join us after a lot of persuasion and as soon as she joined, she offered to assist the exco in some tasks. This allowed us to see more often. I kept watching her while trying to know more about her. I used this period to understand her so that I would be sure she possesse the qualities I was searching for and as soon as I concluded I made it known to her. It was very strange to her, but something led to the other and she became my wife. But it was not easy because she was too defensive and detailed. I didn’t expect less from a lawyer anyway.
How long did it take her to say yes?
She finally said yes after about two months of trying to understand me, trying to be sure I had honest intentions.
How do you resolve your conflicts?
I listen to her and she does to me as well. We try to be very objective and to ensure that we don’t go to bed without sorting out our differences and through the help of God, it has been a worthy journey so far.
What is that food she knows you can’t do without?
She knows beans and plantain is my best food. I have been eating it since day one.
What is that thing that gives you so much joy?
Ultimately whenever I am able to find solution to anything that troubles my society or any environment, it brings me joy, as service to humanity is part of my life goal and to the very many I can touch, I struggle to do that in my own little way.
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