When I was 18, I was on the train from Grays to Upminster and I had a “LIGHT BULB” moment. I called my mum (who unfortunately passed away three years ago), with so much excitement and I said, “I think I know what I want to do, I think I want to become a motivational speaker.” She said:”Ifeoluwa my son, that is great, I think you would be good at it”.
Let me talk about my mum – my mum was extremely supportive; anytime I had an idea or a new ambition, I would discuss it with her first, she would always give me advice and support me. Even when I was in year eight and she found out I was selling sweets on the play ground illegally to make money to buy a PlayStation 2 (because I didn’t want to ask her for the money), I thought she was going to beat me but she still supported me until I got shut down by the school. Anyway… I didn’t know what I wanted to speak about but I had a burning desire to speak. So I applied to various places to speak, made phone calls and sent emails. Some replied, some didn’t and some made me promises that they never fulfilled. Every time I got rejected or ignored, I went back to the drawing board and I developed myself. I downloaded and watch videos of the greatest speakers such as Tony Robbins, Les Brown and John C Maxwell. I watched their videos daily to learn their techniques because I knew one day my opportunity would come and I had one job; just one job which was to prepare myself because success comes when preparation meets opportunity. I remember practicing those techniques in front of a mirror with my toothbrush; I did everything my power to prepare.
Three months ago I was given the opportunity to speak at a TEDx event in Croydon. I was so excited and humbled that I was chosen to speak on an international platform but my development did stop there. In fact, I went the extra mile to develop myself and I utilized the service of a speech coach. He taught story-telling techniques, he taught me how to breathe in order to give out emotions, he taught me how to pause for emphasis and he taught me how to translate from phase to phase in my speech.
A couple of weekends ago I delivered my speech at TEDx and I got an amazing reception from the crowd. People asked for my contact details after the event, which I gladly gave.
Lessons to be drawn – in life when you tell people who you are, when you tell people what you are about or when you tell people your dreams they may laugh in your face or ignore you. That is absolutely fine as long as you do not let what people say about your dream cloud the greatness you see every morning inside the mirror. Nobody believes in the dream unless you make it a reality. Every time you get rejected, go back and develop your skillset and keep trying because trying never kills, it only makes you wiser. It took me five years to get on the TEDx international platform, I never gave up because I knew the pain of long term regret is far worse than the pain of short term failure. I kept on pushing and developing myself until my time.
The funniest part is that some of the people that ignored me have reached out to me, like I said no one believes in the dream until YOU make it a reality. NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAM BECAUSE THERE IS SOMEBODY OUT THERE IN THE WORLD DESPERATELY WAITING FOR YOUR DREAM TO BECOME A REALITY.
It is a new year let us start it right. Let us start it strong.
Watch the TEDx Talk here: