I am nervous about writing this article because I feel either incomplete or lacking in courage. But I have pushed myself to do it. I have to walk the talk especially after I encouraged us to just start in my article last week. My friend and career coach Victor gave me a confidence booster through his post on LinkedIn. He says, “it is ok to experience butterflies before you start, however, don’t wait for them to fly away before you take action.” I feel my butterflies are still in the caterpillar stage. We are crawling as far as this series (that I’m about to start) is concerned but we have to keep moving if we want to evolve into butterflies and take off. Maybe if we wait too long the butterflies will fly away and leave us behind and that would be tragic.
Before we take a deep dive allow me to share how this series came about. It is a result of two crossroads that I have encountered in my life so far. The first was twenty years ago when I started my tent business. The second one was in 2014 when it was time for yet another season. And that I’m currently working on.
I have been asked many times how I started my business in 2000. Up to this day I have not been able to articulate it logically step by step. I use the story of footprints on the sand to make sense when explaining how I started. The story describes two sets of feet walking on the beach. One is supposedly mine and the other is God’s. Then suddenly only one pair of feet is visible on the sand.
The person giving this story complains to God that how come they have walked together all along then when FISH* (just in case my baby sharks read this story) hits the fan he only sees one set of footprints, which he assumes are his. That’s when Sir God informs him that when things got thick it wasn’t his feet on the sand. It was God still walking on the beach of life. But this time He (God) was carrying the guy through those trying times. That’s how I relate to that season of my life in 2000. I was being carried from one season of my life to another. I call it a season of God accidents. Or God-incidences. I’m in that space again.
That was my first encounter with halftime but I was unaware that it was a major transition for me. I felt it was my initiation by life into manhood. I recall getting onto a plane back home from the US in 2000. The plane was almost empty. It was a long lonely journey back. It seemed like I was leaving everything to return to nothing. I had an MBA degree from America, my brother was hooking me up with a job and I had a five-year visa. Yet I was longing to come back home to a depressed economy with nothing to my name. I had no savings or capital to start a business. Banks would not waste their time on me as I did not have collateral to borrow against. I was not loanable at all. I must have been a high-risk borrower even to shy locks he he.
Against the odds, I still came back home. The push within me was much stronger than the logic without. I took a chance on my gut and returned against the wishes of my family. In hindsight, I don’t blame them because it did indeed look like the dumbest decision coming back. I recall my parents asking me why I want to come back home. I told them I want to do business. “Which business?” they asked. “I don’t know,” was my response. All I knew is that my life is meant to unfold in this country and continent. Sometimes you have to be physically present in a location for your destiny to start unfolding.
Kweli, I stressed my folks as I look back at that scenario. Now that I’m a parent may I remember to be open if and when any of my baby sharks express their desire to follow a path that beats logic and seems ridiculous in my eyes. So, help me, God.
After a season of being carried along the beach Happening Ventures was founded and here we are twenty years later. It’s been a ride of a lifetime. Every day I went to work I whispered a prayer of thanksgiving for the courage to follow my desire to return home. I loved my life and setting up for events. But its time to move on now. I am back to crossroads season two and jumping into my new season of significance. It’s been a few years in this transition and I believe I’m making progress pole pole. Corona has accelerated it in a positive sense.
That’s the series of events that’s birthed this True North program. My single aim is to encourage folks to give their gut or dreams a chance and overcome the fear and anxiety that hold us captive. I’m convinced that some of the best businesses, careers, or ideas are the ones that have never been started. Mainly because folks are held back by fear.
We will deal with the internal dialogue that we all have when considering a transition. I found that how we respond to that dialogue will determine to a large extent the decisions we will make. A lot of self talk to counter what our feelings or emotions are telling us is required if we are to rise above the noise and hear clearly.
If this series that we will dive into next week will give courage for someone to transition into the life they deserve and desire, then my story will have been worth telling. Should any of you my good readers want to unpack your situation further after reading these articles feel free to drop me a line on email@example.com and we can bungee jump together. Well, I may not jump with you but I’ll hold the rope for you.