Before starting my first commercial venture, I had a long list of people who I thought would be interested in me and what I do. I could literally list a whole bunch of people from family and friends who I thought “owed” me their part of making my dream a reality.
I was so passionate about my vision to change lives and imagined everyone around me was as passionate and driven as I was. There were so many times I wanted my closest friends and colleagues to jump unto what I was doing and give me all the support I needed financially and emotionally to make this work.
Sometimes, I even went to the point of literally developing a budget for the project with an “assumed” amount of money I expected these people to bring on board depending on my relationship with them or their economic status. Thus, I had a mental picture of an amount I expected from each and every one of my inner circle of family and friends.
I always imagined and dreamed of how much my dream of starting a Youth empowerment initiative could allow me to reach out to, train and raise a lot of young leaders across the globe, as wells as how it will liberate me by making good use of some soft skills I knew I had and always wanted to exhibit.
I spent days and weeks, into months, day-dreaming and night-visioning my vision to the point that I almost got “possessed” by it. In fact, there was little to no time in my life, around this time, that I ever left someone’s presence without sharing my vision with them. Sometimes, all I expected from them was a “Wow!” or some sort of joy in their face as I talked to them about my vision. In most cases, I expected them to go like “Great! Here is a cheque for x cedis. Call me up when you want more!”
Unfortunately, this was never ever the case! As a matter of fact, the only places where this was possible was in my dreams and imaginations, and I simply couldn’t understand why. I just couldn’t see why these people were so “dumb” not to see the potential in what I envisioned.
The worst part is, others, who have been “lured” to promise me some support financially, ended up not showing up in the first place least to talk about honouring their promise of support. Some people who had even encouraged me and given me a little “it’s a good idea” compliment also had suddenly altered in their approach and seem to not care at all about something they seemed excited about. I had even concluded that, all their compliments and comments were “fake”, and they only did so because they were just being “nice” to a somewhat crazy idea from a crazy young dude, and not really because they shared in to the idea as much as I did.
For many months, I simply did NOTHING! Of course I did something. I actually did two things: WORRYING and CURSING! By cursing, I don’t mean expecting something bad to happen to them for not helping me reach my goals. Instead, I always wished for that day when they could finally “regret” for not investing in me and my future. If that is not close to cursing a person, I don’t really know what that is. By worrying, I always went into a state of asking myself if I was wrong for thinking different. I always worried if the people I thought that cared about me could “leave me” at this crucial point where I needed them most.
It is very easy for anyone who may have gone through what I shared to think likewise; and strange enough, a whole lot (over 97%) of people (prospective successful people) especially the youth, still suffer from this syndrome.
It is a syndrome, like AIDS, because it stops you from doing what you are supposed to be doing, which is to be responsible for your life and your future.
I am not saying that asking for support is not important neither am I saying you shouldn’t tell people about your vision for your life. Far form that! There is nothing great than a passionate lady or gentleman getting support financially and emotionally from people close to them to help achieve their goals. It is the best thing to happen to you.
But if there are clear signs of that not happening, you should never ever wait for it because chances are it won’t happen for two reasons: not everyone sees things from your angle because we all have our problems to fix individually, and, it is YOUR LIFE and YOUR FUTURE and not theirs.
Come to think of it, how would you feel if I asked you to stop looking after yourself and your family to fund my education? How would you feel (as a clergy) if I told you that I want to create the world’s largest wine company and that you should invest in it? What about telling you to give me your annual savings to fund my wedding?
If you’re very honest to yourself, you realize that each of the scenarios above is very “stupid” for you to do if I asked you. This is because you personally don’t see how relevant it is to you and your personality to do something just because I asked you to. That is same with how people (your friends and family) feel sometimes when you expect them to invest in you and your life.
You might be asking, “But why will you promise me in the first place if you cared less about my vision?” Well, the truth is, they would tell you if they could. The only reason they don’t tell you they can’t help, and sometimes get to the point of promising you something even though they knew they won’t deliver, is because they don’t want to “kill” your dream by breaking your heart, because you trusted them enough to discuss your future with them and the last thing they could do is to discourage you from pursuing a vision only you can see.
The point I am trying to make here, therefore, is that don’t expect someone to help you achieve your goal because IT IS YOURS and not theirs. It is the hard truth! If you need to start that business, create that company, get that dream job, marry that beautiful spouse, star in that movie or perform on that big stage; just get one thing straight that NO ONE IS GOING TO SUPPORT YOU TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOAL. So stop waiting to hear from that relative or connector and get started no matter how slow or small it seems. There is someone watching you from afar and they will come in only if you believe in yourself so much to not give up on your dreams. Remember, IT IS YOUR LIFE!