START WHERE YOU ARE WITH WHAT YOU HAVE
Many years (in fact many millennia) ago a shephard was called by his Master and given a difficult assignment: to go and confront a foreign King with a critical message - to free the slaves he had so they could go their way for that Master. Puzzled, the shephard-cum-servant wondered how he could confront the foreign king without any "special tools" and any "strategic plan" and "specific presentation skills", etc. And thus this servant had to confront the sender with a clever question: "What if they don't believe me?" He queried.
And then the powerful sender asked him "What do you have in your hand?"
And the guy was like, "Ammm.. A stick... Jus a stick. Yeah"
And the sender says, "Toss it down"
The guy did and boy! Stick turns into a snake! What? He had to run away for fear.. "What's going on here?", I believe he was so wondering when the sender told him to "Keep Calm and take the snake by its tail". Are you kidding me? But he did. Story short, Moses (yes the Moses of the Bible) went and confronted King Pharaoh with "just a stick" and his brother and the slaves were freed.. Not because of the stick though.
I have come to learn that most people would like to do something grand with their lives..but they want to be grand first before they can do it. Kind of they want "to be Picasso first before they can be Picasso". And most of them for "good" reason – they they're wondering how on earth they can get it done with "just a stick" in their hand. I was one of them. Until I learnt how detrimental to success that can be.
You might have a big dream or vision yourself and you are probably wondering how "well prepared you need to be" first. And that is a good thing. Look, Abraham Lincoln said he would spend the first four hours sharpening the axe if he was to chop down a tree in six! Smart man. Preparation is extremely important. It makes the execution smooth and even faster.
Nevertheless it is critical that you don't despise meagre beginnings in the guise of preparing yourself. It seems to be a Godly principle to bless abundantly those who accept small beginnings. Those who don't belittle starting where they are with what they have. This is not a Bible class here, but there's a verse in the Bible that reminds us mortals not to despise humble beginnings.
There are people who either out of ignorance or a wish to have that grand entrance have waited to be ready all their lives. You shouldn't. Get started where you are with what you have. Even if it's just a stick.
See I grew up thinking to be big you have to start big. Starting small was never an option for me. Whatever I wanted to do I wanted it started big, huge if you will.
One day I met a local entrepreneur at a seminar. He was talking about all these topics: confidence, adding value, etc, etc. After the seminar I approached him and asked him what I was to do to be a motivational speaker. Guy looks me in the eye and asks "So how long have you been doing the talk?"
"Excuse me?", I asked, quickly adding: "Amm.. I haven't started out yet.." Wasn't that why I eas asking him what should I do to get started in the first place? I wondered.
You know what he told me? "It's not what you don't have but what you do have. You must start speaking. Speak to your friends, your neighbours. School children, folks at church, your neighbours, etc etc! You are not "going to be" a speaker.. You either are or you aren't! You must start speaking and then get to perfect the hussle as you go along.."
What a paradigm shift that was for me?
So I picked my stick by the tail and went home and started practicing alone. Recording myself on my mobile phone. Listening later and laughing really hard at my own "talk".. How it sounded. But I got confident and I started sending the audios to a few friends. Some would laugh. Some would give me their feedback. I didnt tell them why I was sending them the audios anyway. But as I grew more cinfident I started visiting nearby Secondary Schools and asked for a chance to speak to students. No school turned me down, to my surprise. I had nothing except bus fare and a book I would carry, any book, and a notebook, plus the message I had in my mind. That was my " just a stick". Then surprisingly some students started asking me if I could document my messages and sell those to them. I worked it out somehow. And they started buying the document, unprofessional as it looked. And that was when it occurred to me that if I had waited to be Robin Sharma or Tony Robbins first, I would have waited forever. I hadn't started the talks as a serious venture but just to try but I learnt enormous lessons. I am on my way to resuming the talks in the coming days and I believe I will have even greater contributions to make and a bonus of a little experience too.
So what about you? Do you have a dream? Are you waiting until you can get hold of the $5 million dollar loan before you embark on your Real Estate dream? Are you waiting until you have everything before you start that football team of your own? Are you waiting until you are a CPA or Ph.D before you start your own enterprise? Has God called you to ministry and you are trying to get all prepared first - whatever that means. Think again...
How did Bill Gates start?
What about Mandela?
How did Shania Twain start?
Do you know how Silvester Stallone started? You'd be surprised?
What about Agatha Christie or that creative mind behind Harry Potter?
Most successful people that you admire today started out with "just a stick in their hand". God blesses those who have faith! The daring ones.
Start where you are my friend. Pick your stick and start that business.
Unless of course you too like Dangote have a rich grandpa who can give you "additional seed money" of 500,000 naira or you too like Trump has a rich dad who can give you "a small loan of a million dollars"!. Otherwise just start small and grow big as you go.
If you wait to have everything you need you might wait till forever comes. What you have with you, a dream, the confidence and, the passion and your faith in God, are more than enough to fuel you to get started. Don't let the gas run out for nothing. Get started now.
[Well this is one of the things I have addressed thoroughly in my upcoming book... Stay tuned..)
Thanks for reading and God bless you.
I welcome your thoughts in the comment section below.