No Pain No Gain: Hard Work Pays Off

Nov 19 , 2022
By Eden Sahle

I received a book copy the other week that is yet to be released. It is a biography authored by the noted politician Andualem Arage and titled “Yaltenebebew Anbabi”.

It is a story of an entrepreneur I longed to meet, Negash Balcha.

He was a man of affluence, a role model for many and one of the elders appointed to stand before my father when my husband asked my hand for marriage. Sadly, the man I heard extensively about tragically died of complications during the pandemic. It was heartbreaking. We never got to meet. I attended his funeral and had the opportunity to meet people he helped. However, I was contented to meet him through his biography, which depicts and celebrates his life.

Negash made his fortune from the depth of poverty. But, he was known for his gameness to open doors of opportunities for others he never had growing up. His struggling parents moved to the capital from a small town, Wegeram, seeking a better life. They have lost eight of their children and could not send their last surviving boy, Negash, to school. They returned to Wegeram, holding their failed dream, hoping their youngest child would one day fulfil it.

No sooner had his father passed away. The faith in the family’s future, including his mother, lay in the youngest of the five surviving children. Negash’s dream to succeed in Addis Abeba did not die; he took three Birr from his uncle to start life’s journey.

His incredible 79-year seems like a well-written suspense novel that forces readers to continue flipping the pages. His story gives me the courage to push past challenges overcoming obstacles. The family was important to him, and getting married and having children at a young age was a start.

Looking at Bethlehem Plaza, his commercial building around Megenganga, or several other successful businesses makes it hard to imagine that he struggled to meet his essential needs at some point. Negash’s path to success was not easy. He toiled and earned it all. His background could have set him up for failure, but his determination allowed him to beat the odds. He did not survive but thrived, taking failures as a lesson rather than a discouragement.

Negash shows it is all about managing the emotional turbulence that comes with weathering failed business ideas and the empty wallet that comes in between. It is about dealing with losses, humility while climbing the ladder, and bringing a dream into reality. We must make sacrifices to endure the pains of paying high prices to reach our goals. The road to achievement is not roses and rainbows.

As a role model, Negash showed those who put their efforts selectively are the ones who move up to the top to accomplish it. And those that do not get discouraged by poverty will ultimately attain their dreams.

Negash’s biography shows that great life is achieved by focusing on what we want to accomplish and avoiding destruction. Life’s success is built through pain and suffering, accumulating wisdom that can be passed to generations. His legacy reminds us of the virtues of service and returning to society, living to a greater purpose than himself.

He proved that what we get in life should not be determined by our unfortunate background. Dreams should be realised through effort. Negash’s life shows that owning a successful business involves taking enormous risks and working long, tiring hours without knowing the outcome.

PUBLISHED ON Nov 19,2022 [ VOL 23 , NO 1177]

Eden Sahle is founder and CEO of Yada Technology Plc. She has studied law with a focus on international economic law. She can be reached at

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Put your comments here

N.B: A submit button will appear once you fill out all the required fields.

Editors' Pick


Fortune news