We have finally reached the month of December in a year that felt like it would never end. 2020 was the start of a new decade, and I’m sure many of us had high hopes and great plans for this year. Not only that, we are living well into the 21st century, though sometimes it doesn’t feel like it. One thing I’ve learned from this year is that things don’t always go as planned – no matter how hard you try. Sometimes good things happen, and other times – not so much. It’s how you react to it that counts.
Unfortunately, as far as we have come as a society, there are areas in which we still lack. Racism is one of them, and this year is an example of that, especially with what is going on with BLM across the country. Heck, even when the coronavirus pandemic first started, there were outbreaks of racism directed towards Asians. And the profiling of the “Karens” and pro/against mask-wearing. Yes, these are sensitive topics, and I’m sorry. What’s my point?
Like I stated earlier, it’s how you react to things that will make or break you. Or taking your experiences and making something of yourself. In this area, we are more used to diversity and people of all colors, but that’s not true in other parts of the country. Faith Mba grew up in Nigeria, lived in a couple of different countries before finally settling in Westminster, VT, with his wife. Living in a tiny town with his accent and skin color, Mba stood out. With a history in sales, first back in his country selling women’s clothing and later working for Enterprise Rent-A-Car with his Uncle in the Netherlands, he knew he wanted to get into the automotive business once he got to the States. When he was living in the Netherlands, he picked up Dutch and German, hoping being proficient in multiple languages would help him become more versatile.
Mba’s first job in the business was as a salesperson at a Kia dealership close to home. Early on in his career, he, unfortunately, experienced some racism where a man did not want to do business with a “black person.” Instead of supporting Mba, management turned the customers to one of his coworkers instead. Unfortunately, he worked for a store that didn’t support him and even told him that they would never promote him because of his skin color.
Situations like this can change a person. Mba did not let this stop him. He ran and excelled in his career, traveling up to 228 miles a day to prove himself. And he did. He worked his way up to management and succeeded. About six years ago, he was ready to take the next step and let his interest known that he would like to become a Ford dealer. Lo and behold, the store he took over happened to be the one who discriminated against him. And here he is, years later, proving them wrong. In the last couple of years, he acquired a new showroom and is currently growing his franchise.
Faith Mba could have let his early years deter him and sink his spirit, but instead took this experience as fuel to succeed. His lesson to all of us? Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something simply because of your race, age, gender, etc. If you want something and you work hard, you can succeed.