O’s Success Tips: Find Out The Reason

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That was the question I asked myself at 3 am in the morning as I struggled to stay awake writing a monthly 1000 word newsletter article.
Why was I up so late?
Why was I doing this?
I must admit I knew why, or at least I thought I knew why.

Years ago the idea of financial independence crept into my mind, an independence that would allow me enjoy the riches of life. I dreamt of the day I could wake up on the shores of Dubai watching the sun set with no worries in the world except where my next vacation destination would be. This perception of independence was reinforced by Robert Kiyosaki in his best seller “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” in which he talked about the “Mind Your Business” concept. A concept that emphasized the necessity for readers to start their own business in order to achieve financial independence. With that thought in mind, I set out to start a public speaking career. I had heard the numbers; public speakers paid $5000 for a 45 minute speech. I pulled out a calculator did the math’s and figured that $5000 for one speech was really not a bad financial plan. I was excited and immediately started brainstorming on ways to promote my public speaking business. My first idea was a monthly newsletter series. One that would consist of uplifting words with a ubiquitous collection of www.ofilispeaks.com skillfully placed amongst the contents of the newsletter to promote my site and business. It worked; the reaction was great, hundreds of hits per months. I could already see the money coming in, it won’t be long and soon I would achieve my dream…

That was roughly a year ago, since then I had gotten paid a grand total of $250. To run the newsletter, I was paying at least $55 a month; you didn’t need a financial advisor to tell you that Ofilispeaks Inc was a bad investment strategy. I was running at a loss, so many times I would have a contract signed only to be told hours before the event that the organization was in a financial bind. Excited to speak, I would accept a gas reimbursement that would sometimes be met with the same financial bind excuse that preceded the gas offer. Most of my clientele were non-profit organizations that gave back to the community, and I felt guilty pressing for owed funds. My next line of strategy was to write, my goal this time was to somehow write so well, that it would be featured in a national magazine’s monthly “Dear Diary Subsection.” A simple plan, that would see the electronic newsletters I sent out released in an actual printed magazine. The idea was phenomenal and the reaction from editors was great. Unfortunately the excitement almost consistently faded away on the day the articles where to be printed and published, the editors never called. 12 months and no prints, no money just a business model that epitomized financial disaster.

After months of writing and editing, I found myself asking the question “why?” At 3 am I was stuck at my desk, minutes past my self established newsletter delivery deadline, I was profusely editing an article. My eyes were sleepy, my body drained and my mind drifted intermittently from the Dubai shores to my Dell Inspiron. I wanted to sleep but I had to get the newsletter out. I typed and typed inching ever closer to completion…I woke up on my keyboard with the words FHGJD displayed on my Dell Inspiron screen, a typographical-representation of the instant moment my forehead struck the keyboard from sleep deprivation. My eyes were hurting but all I could recall at that time was the annoying sound from my alarm clock, I was late! I jumped off the chair and proceeded to unofficially break all 3 records for fastest shower,  dressing and driving.

On my way to work, I kept asking myself the question “why?” Over and over again till I arrived at my desk. I was searching for an answer, but couldn’t quite find it. I grudgingly alt+ctrl+del my work computer to existence, as my sleep deprived eyes simultaneously adjusted to the bright CPU monitor light. At that moment a co-worker of mine stopped by my desk and told me of how much he loved the last newsletter and how it had motivated him to accept his body the way it was. I was shocked “people actually read this stuff?” I thanked him for his comments and proceeded to log into my inbox. That morning I was greeted with a surge of emails, a number not unusual for a typical morning, but peculiar for the source of the emails. Half of them where from Nigeria, apparently there was an interview that had prompted several people to send emails to my inbox describing how they were motivated to keep fighting even in the most difficult of times. I was confused, I had no recollection of the interview being referenced, but as I kept reading my mind drifted back to an interview I did in December. At that time the interview was an opportunity for me to promote my business, but what started out as a selfish publicity campaign led to my moment of realization. A moment that reached its zenith as I absorbed the words of appreciation engraved in my inbox. At that instance my mind flashed back to the students at different colleges that had come up to me after a presentation to say how I it impacted their lives.  I felt stupid and selfish, somehow in the past few days I had become blinded by my quest for financial independence and failed to view the broader picture. A picture not painted with words of self aggrandizement, but rather with the principle of humble service. For the first time that morning I realized “why.”

Many of us are stuck in the “why” predicament when it comes to accomplishing our goals. Many times our “whys” are selfish and shallow, they consist of reasons that focus solely on us. Reasons that are never strong enough to carry us through the difficult parts of our journey. However if our reasons are deeply rooted in the well being of others, we start to realize that we possess a subconscious energy. An energy that blossoms even in our lowest-moments, the give-up-moments, the quit-moments. At these moments that energy subconsciously takes over, pushing us past our physical and mental limitations. For months I never tapped into my “why” energy I didn’t even know it existed. Because of this I was frustrated with the business I had set out to do, but when I finally tapped in, my mindset and attitude changed. I was motivated not by the shores of Dubai, but rather by the thoughts of people uplifted because of the words I wrote or said.  Those thoughts are what keep me energized and focused on my goals.

We all have a “why” energy deep inside of us, but if we don’t harness it we might never reach our lofty goals and aspirations. Find your “why” and you would have enough energy to keep moving forward, even when the storms of frustrations arrive.

Okechukwu Ofili
Africa’s #1 Success Coach
Copyright © 2008 Ofili Speaks, Inc. All rights reserved


Author: Ofili

Words by Okechukwu Ofili of ofilispeaks.com
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