Dare to Dream… The Power of Positive Confessions. [Part 1 – How It All Began…]

Dare to Dream… The Power of Positive Confessions. [Part 1 – How It All Began…]

Pre-Wedding Shoot by Ayodeji Samuel

Ok so I’ve finally found the liver to tell my long-overdue story.  To be honest, I had written it several times in my head but for some reason never posted it.  I guess after receiving more wedding gifts over the weekend from 2a students and the sermon on Sunday, I decided it was finally time… perhaps what worked for me would also work for someone out there.

I actually have no clue how to start so I guess I’ll start from what I think is the beginning… 


Mark: 22 – 24: 

22: “So Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Have faith in God’.
23: For assuredly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.
24:  “Therefore I say unto you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”

Yes!  Pastor Poju pretty much preached this every Sunday.  Every sermon always had spoken words and positive confessions chipped in somehow.  And in November 2011, I decided to practise what he preached and it worked.

No no… practising what he preached was not about finding a man.  I gave up on dating after the last one ended a month before that.  Practising what he preached was more about facing my work and confessing the success of the Training Center I was just about to start.  So I started a routine of fasting, making loud positive confessions (in the privacy of my bedroom of course), focused solely on my work and pretty much let go and let God. 

But sometime in February 2012 I think, I decided to chip in the bit about a man.  It was a request that was made during that same period of fasting and prayer.  I remember saying something like “Lord You know the deep desires of my heart.  You know the kind of man I think is best for me.  Please bring him my way”.  And I prayed… out loud again.  And like the Pastor preached, after I confessed it, I believed it, left God to do the work and literally forgot about it!

Not long after, I got the invitation to speak at Headroom.  I planned to reject the invitation since it clashed with my classes and I did not like flying but Femi (our friend/MC), promised to get another speaker, a certain Jobberfellow, on the same flight so I would not be bored.  Well… the Jobberperson happened to miss his flight and I had to endure the looooong 45-minute flight to Abuja.  

He finally arrives at the end of the event and sits on the stage talking about what, I have absolutely no clue… and neither did the over 200 chics sitting in that hall I’m sure.  Rather than listen to what he had to say, we chose to get carried away by his soft-spoken humble nature… well at least I speak for myself.  I could not believe that someone who seemed to have achieved so much in such a short time could be that humble.  And yes for a split second, I did think it would not be a bad idea to date him.  But I quickly killed that thought.  After that last awful one, I had completely tuned off men.

Well that was until Attraction No 1!  I noticed during dinner that he was left-handed!  Haha… yes!  For some strange reason, I have a thing for “lefties” 😀  Not long after, Attraction No 2 reared its head!  On the way to the airport, he told us he did not have a car!  I knew I had to know more about this guy who clearly could get a car if he wanted to but chose not to.  For someone who always made mouth that she could only date a guy whose car was finer than hers (not that my car is particularly fine), that was pretty strange right?!

Anywayz, we gisted all the way to Lagos.  It seemed we had a lot in common and we were both drawn to the other’s story: he a medical doctor turned internet entrepreneur, I an ex-accountant turned fashion designer.  Of course, seeing I can talk for state and country about my work, he became a potential investor and we booked an appointment to meet the following Wednesday in his office.  Work-related thank you!

Back in Lagos, he offers me a ride halfway to my end and imagine, his friend drops me off at a bus-stop close to my home.  A whole me!  In fact, I have to get an apology from Lekan for that!  But rather than get pissed, that was Attraction No 3! 😀  I was used to being doted on by guys, so this was somewhat a first.  The guy did not “send” me as they say and I was not used to that!

I got home, sent an epistle of an sms thanking him and he responds with a three-word one-liner!  Attraction no 4!  No abbreviations or any of these annoying chatroom acronyms.  All words were spelt out in full!  Great!  The guy can read and write!  But a one-liner?  After all that gisting on the plane?!  He can’t be serious!  

Day 2, I remind him of our appointment, I get another one-liner response.  Day 2 in the pm, another one-liner.  At this point, I was thinking more of the investment opportunity so I wasn’t going to let him off that easy.  

Day 3 (Monday)… another epistle from me and a 2-liner from him!  I’m like HA!  Gotcha!  And there you were giving me one-liners!  I knew I’d break you!  Day 4 perhaps 3 lines and I’m smiling to myself.  Day 5 (Wednesday) I’m asking him for directions and he gives me an address which to me was in Lekki Phase 3 whilst he is claiming they are in Phase 1.  I challenge me and he retorts with “please o we know our address and our address knows us”.  I burst out laughing!  Attraction No 5 – he has a sense of humor!

Anywayz to cut the long story short, meeting went very well, we continue our chat via sms.  Why?  He doesn’t use a Blackberry but some “toy phone” as I call it.  Attraction No 6.  He has a mind of his own and does not follow the crowd.

Then the smses start getting longer.  Like 5 / 6 pages… well into the night.  Attraction No 7, he shares my love for chatting and gifting all night!  Those who know me will tell you I used to be a chat-room junkie!  Before I knew it, I always had my phone beside me, waiting for an sms.  This is Day 6 only.  

Day 7, we planned to meet at my office but I didn’t give an address so he got to Surulere, spent half an hour waiting for an address and descriptions but he gets zilch!  But did he get angry?  Nope!  In fact, we made another date for the very next day!  Attraction No 8.  No overblown ego! 

Sunday, our meet-day and I am having a rough day and a tight deadline!  No wayz I was going anywhere till I was done with my work.  And my faded t-shirt, jeans and oily face fit right in with his faded t-shirt, cargo shorts and Nike flops.  Attraction no 9!  I love a guy in shorts and flops!  

BUT could I go out?!  Nope!  No wayz I was going to leave my work so we ended up buying TFC chicken and soaking garri (something I had not done in years) while he watches me work.  Attraction No 10.  He is down to earth and I felt completely comfortable around him soaking garri!  Best date for as far back as I can remember.  No pretences or keeping up appearances.

Gosh!  The list continued and the rest they say is history!  đŸ˜€


Within a month, he proposed.  Yup!  Literally within a month or even less.  Not on bended knee; not with a ring.  More like a joke, he says it to me and I pretend not to hear him.  He says it again and I laugh it off.  Then a few days later, he says it again and I still did not take him seriously.  He probably said it like 10 times before I finally believed him.  I couldn’t believe it would be that easy.  So I said a tentative yes but none of us said a word till we were both certain.  We needed to give room for either of us to walk away from it without friends and family being involved.  When I finally told my people, they only knew him as AA… again just in case we broke up, there would be no sentiments.  Noone knew him so it would been easier.  I think we told people like 2 or 3 months later and only after the ring came.  I needed evidence not verbal promises.

But then, even when the sign came, I didn’t wear it for ages…. did not need the attention.  I was still too focused on work and did not need any distractions.  It took ages before it dawned on me… even after I had developed my wedding concept book and started the full-blown planning of the wedding.

Looking back, I know deep down that confession I made in the privacy of my bedroom at that early hour had everything to do with it.  I know many of us pray but some never say them out loud.  I never used to until I started listening to the sermons and reading the Bible.  Remember Proverbs 18:21a “Death and life are in the power of the tongue”.

What amazes me is how many believe in meditation but not in speaking out confessions.  Besides, ever noticed in Yoruba movies (for those whose parents watch them all the time) that for any of their potions to work, they have to chant certain incantations out loud and believe it works.  So if they believe in it and it seems to work for them, then much less we who believe in God.
Since I have had first hand experience on the benefits of making positive confessions (not just on this but so many other things), I have told everyone who care to listen.  

And I say this to all single ladies out there who are being taunted everyday by those stupid broadcasts and messages on how old and grey they would get if they were too choosy!  That’s bull I tell you!  It has nothing to do with you and don’t let those losers out there make you feel bad.  It is not about your weight, or your height or your looks or even your sexy body.  No one knows what the recipe is… they can only try to come up with all solutions for finding the right man or lady and they may not even work for you.  

One thing that will never fail is your belief, the power of your words backed by prayer and fasting!  

Also, don’t treat every man you come across as a potential.  I know if AA and I hadn’t worked out, we would have been great friends.  I am still friends with all my exes, even the last one who left me bruised.  In fact, I moved on the very next day though it still hurt.  In fact, I so moved on, I even asked him for a loan to run the FECs which he gave me and which I returned to him.  

And that’s another thing, never harbor any bitterness towards anyone who has hurt you.  It is hard… yes I know it is tough.  I would never have moved on that quickly if my mentor hadn’t come over that evening to drag me to church and I remember the song the choir sang that day “God is able to do just what He said He would do”.  And by the time I was out of there, I was fine and threw my all into my work!  And guess what?!  I met AA while working somewhat.  You know what they say… “Ambition is the new sexy!”  Guess that was another attraction for him. 

And please don’t give yourself an ultimatum.  It is never about the wedding, getting married or the event.  It is more about the companionship.  I listen to radio shows all the time about ladies who made getting married their New Year’s resolution.  That is one resolution that is not yours to make as it is outside your control.  Try and focus on something else like your work or your career and it will happen someday.  And please be yourself.  Some ladies would rather deprive themselves just so they do not intimidate guys.  My take on this?!  A guy who is intimidated by your success is worth your time!

Oh… and stop with those ridiculously long lists!  When you find the right guy, those things won’t matter.  I had my long list!  At the end of the day, those things that I thought mattered didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.  

Perhaps it was not all my confession only though.  I know that so many people also prayed for me too because when I finally broke the news about the engagement to friends and mentors, I kept getting the “Ah!  Finally my prayers have been answered.  I have been praying for you”.  I think many people were concerned that I was only about my work and nothing else… which clearly was a valid concern.

SO for those hoping to write their own stories, I am also praying with you.  Not just for the right companion, but for the right job, the right career, the right… anything you hope for.  Confess it, believe it, trust Him and you will have it!  Just believe He will bring what is right for you in your direction and when He does, grab it with both hands!  

So there you have it!  That’s my story.  Goodness!  It is one long one!  But you have seen the end and now you know how it started.  Time to read how more of my positive confessions materialized during the planning of the wedding.  Hopefully it won’t take too long either.

Have a great week people!

Cheers!
Debut Collection from Colour-Me-Design, An Ex-Martwayne Student :-D

Debut Collection from Colour-Me-Design, An Ex-Martwayne Student :-D


I was about to wind down for the night when I received a link in a broadcast from one of my ex-Level 1a students, Priscilla, who is currently serving in Anambra.  She registered for the Foundation Course just before she left for service.

To be honest, I had actually forgotten she was serving when I called her my “runaway student”.  I asked her what she had been up to since she absconded from the Course and she goes “Please see what I’ve been up to and share your views“.  So I went to my system, opened the link and my jaw hit the ground at what I saw…


The chic had been busy working on her collection!


I did recall her on her last day furiously churning away at the machine on some ankara peplum belt as she called it but I just assumed she was wearing it to a party.  Little did I know…

Just check out some of her ankara garments and accessories from her debut collection titled “My Generation, Beauty in Diversity”.




 
Stunning peplum belts…


Tee-Shirts…



She has more stuff on her site so you can view them by clicking on the link:

http://kikisbluebook.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/the-wait-is-overcolour_me_designs-debut-collection-is-here-check-it-out-below/
Now Priscilla claims she could not sew before she joined the Course.  I am not too sure I can remember actually since these designs are clouding my judgement but I will reconfirm this from my assistant.  But I know she only completed Level 1a.  She did, however, confirm that she did a lot of research on her own and continued practising what she had learnt when she left for service.

I have told her she should drop a comment in the relevant section, repeating all she said to me via Blackberry.  Hopefully she will not abscond.

Now this is someone to watch out for.  She had a goal and she went all out to achieve it, regardless of location or her skill.  She continued to improve on what she had learnt and churned out her pieces and accessories all by herself!  I am too impressed.  

People if you like her work, which I am sure you will do, please contact her to place an order.  According to her, the pieces are between N3,500 and N5,000.  I’m not too sure which of these garments are hers but I suspect all the ankara work.  Furthermore, her pictures clearly show you how you can combine her pieces with regular garments for that chic look.

Wow!  Garments!  Photoshoot!  Website!  Like uber-wow!  This girl is on a roll!  I am so  inspired now!  And I hope you are as well!  Now none of us has an excuse anymore!  No not 1.  If she can do it, so can we!

More than 1,000 Thumbs Up for Priscilla!
Torn Between Entrepreneurship & Employment

Torn Between Entrepreneurship & Employment

http://us.123rf.com/400wm/400/400/donskarpo/donskarpo1204/donskarpo120400003/13012786-career-cross-roads-concept-compass-with-red-word-and-two-arrows-on-white-background.jpg

So I’m chatting to a Blackberry contact about her intention to register for the Foundation Course when she suddenly asks me this question out of the blue:

__________________

“Do you think it is worthwhile for a young graduate from another discipline entirely to stick to fashion design without first working at her own qualification or you’ll rather advise that such a fellow works for a number of years and fall back to the fashion industry?”

The reason is I have 2 degrees in a completely unrelated field from fashion and I do have a bias for what I studied.  After a long series of processes, a company has called me for a position in this field but I do not want to let go of my fashion business.  I have built it to a certain level and have a steady clientele but I also want to have a feel of the organizational structure out there to justify my many years of academic hard work.

Unfortunately, I do not have a business system that can run without me in place yet.  I have been doing 70% of the work so right now, without me my business cannot continue.  I have a family and young children to take care of, with the huge demands of the type of work, with the possibility of working weekends, and my family commitments, I will have no time for the business.

Some have opined that I can hardly combine work and my business altogether effectively.  What do I do? :_(

_________________(edited to protect the identity of the contact).

Don’t worry she’s aware I’m posting this as I asked her permission.  I try not to break my code of confidentiality but I thought it would help to post this since I am sure many people out there are facing this same predicament (even if not in the field of fashion).  

This is not the first time people have sought my opinion on similar matters and my heart really went out to her.  I could really identify with her predicament and can only imagine how tough the decision must be for her.  However, I did not bat an eyelid when I gave her the following response…

“So I think you have your answer then.  A business which cannot survive without its owner  is not a business (at least in the long run I should have added).  So you need to learn how to create structures in your business.  With the demands of this new job, it will be tough!    


I suggest you weigh your options carefully.  It is a great opportunity but you need to know what is more important to you.  You can choose to work there for a while, say 2 years tops!  That experience will help you gather the funds and knowledge you need to take your business to the next level”.

And that is pretty much the advice I have given to others who also asked me the same questions in the past.

I have always being a firm believer in work experience.  When I left school, there was this mad rush for Masters Degrees and other qualifications!  My dad pretty much hassled  me about some form of Masters Degree but I refused!  I knew I wanted to work!  I loved the idea of being independent, earning my own money but more importantly, I knew I wanted to run my business someday.  So my plan was to work somewhere for a while and study the structures in a professional environment so I could apply the same principles to my business.  And I am thankful I did!  A lot of what I know now and the contacts that have been largely instrumental to my business today have been from the places I have worked.

Whilst the prospect of being an entrepreneur is very appealing, that work experience to me is key!  But then again, this particular situation is quite peculiar.

1.  She has 2 degrees in a certain course; 
2.  She wants to work in a field related to what she studied since she has a bias for that field;
3.  She would like to justify her years of study by working in that field (not a really valid argument in the scheme of things.  I know enough people who studied a Course and are currently doing something else and are better off for it); 
4.  She is a practising fashion designer with a steady clientele and revenue; and 
5.  She has a family to consider and the work hours vis-a-vis her current lifestyle would be detrimental to her family life.

Hmmnnnn… pretty tough one!  Looking from the outside in, I would ask 3 questions:

– how long she can sustain the business if she’s the only one doing all the work; 
– why she is the only one doing all the work; and
– if she has put in business structures in place in her current fashion business.

As for me, I vote for taking the job because of its obvious benefits (the work experience and the money she can save to move her business to the next level) but then again, she does have a family, business and clients to consider.  Though the truth is, if she’s still so good, her clients will come back and she would have gained even more knowledge to better manage the business.

And who says she even needs to shut down entirely. She can still run it on the side on a low scale and make it easier by outsourcing production or training someone to handle affairs for her while she’s at work.  Perhaps if she does this, she’ll come to the realization that things can happen in her absence and she never really needed to sew the garments herself.  I have never been an advocate of designers / entrepreneurs being at the sewing machine… at least not all the time.  You’ll never do anything else… But then again outsourcing production or training employees does have its hassles.

But I still vote for her taking the job.  I think work experience is key and I’m sure she can make it work if she’s determined to.  Some companies even prefer work experience over qualifications.  And she should not think of it as letting herself down.  I know of a facilitator who once told us she took up a management position because she reached a stage when she got bored.  But her case was different… her company could run itself in her absence. 🙁

Truth is, it really is a tough one and I wish I had a simple answer.  But each decision has its own consequences and it appears my fingers are tied on this one.  

Her solution to this predicament?  I would say “pray about it” and weigh the options with her husband.  The answers will come when she least expects it…they always do!

If you have any advice for her, you can post them here or send me an e-mail and I will forward it to her.

Many thanks!

PS!  Don’t forget the Foundation Course coming up.  Registrations are still on and I am looking forward to it.

Cheers!

A Frustrated Entrepreneur’s Take on the “Freebie” Mentality

So I’m going through my e-mails this morning and came across this hilarious e-mail from Efe Imiren of Serviceforts.com.  As hilarious as it was though, I could completely identify with the guy’s frustration as s/he typed it out.  
 
But anywayz, Efe’s E-Mail titled: “What To Do When People Don’t Value Your Ideas” speaks for itself.  I, for one, can completely identify with his frustration.  I lifted it as is so you read it and decide if the writer is justified.  
 
—————-
 

 

This email summarizes what successful Internet and information marketing business owners go through on a daily basis – and

I am sharing it with you for TWO reasons:

1) if you own an internet business, don’t give up, take a cue from this writer
2) if you are one of such customers described in this writers’ email – you know what to do – just click the blessed unsubscribe link, but I know you my readers are not one the folks described in the email below, I trust you

I’m just sharing the mail with you so you know you are not alone when you experience difficult customers at your job or business

Enjoy the mail!

————————


From: An Angry Internet Marketer (Name With-held)
Email Title: Get off my list!!!

Am angry…yes really angry

The last thing i will ever want to
do is send promotional emails to
someone who does not want it.

I cant imagine at this age people cant reason..
You sign up to receive more information on
how to better your financial life..You were
not forced,

You also went ahead to confirm your subscription..
so now i send you messages on what you optin for.

You start complaining…You want it to be free

Mike Adenuga is rich enough to
make glo calls #1 per minute.
But he wont why because we all want more….
And the same fools who want free things will
buy glo cards everyday

i mean is it not craziness why on this earth will
you want to make money without any commitment
its never done anywhere.

I spend thousands of naira on my
Internet business even though
its not my only source of income.

i pay autoresponder bills
i pay hosting bills
i buy marketing course that increase my knowledge
i go to workshop hosted by senior colleagues
i pay monthly browsing subscription on my
visafone modem{i dont use free browsing}

Infact i just spent 100,000 on a 
project am working on presently

I spend tons of naira advertising my business

why i do all these is i know i want to make profit…
so i have to spend……

Anyone that wants me to give out my strategies for free
must be sick upstairs.

In fact why should i do it for free,
Do i know you from adam?
am i running a charity organization or a NGO?
Did you not pay school fee in school?

So why should i teach you things that
will better your life for free

I am not forcing you,if you are not interested in my stuff
go below this email and unsubscribe.. Yes get off my list!

I don’t want you on my list if you are under 18 years
I don’t want you on my list if you are looking for 
free things; because you will never get it
Dont give me that crap that you are student..i dont care

Mind you i am an Engineer by profession
Run internet business part time.
and have other email list that pays my bills too.

So why do i need you, in fact i don’t…
so get off by using the unsubscribe
link below this email

Final words—
I would not entertain any
whining after this warning.

Get off my list!!!!!!!!!

——————————

Gosh, This fellow must have been really-really upset. But if you notice his email, he also gave you tips on the tools you need for your internet business and also a rough  estimate of how much it costs to run a successful internet and information marketing business.

Anyways, take a cue from Oscar Wilde’s advise today “To Live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people only Exist”

Live your internet business dreams today, and don’t let cranky customers dissuade you, they come with the business.

Have loads of fun on your job or business today.

Cheers

Efe Imiren.

You can help stop the Nigerian-browser freebie mentality, by spreading the word that –
a life of quality does not come cheap, it comes with bills to be paid. 🙂 by Efe Imiren.

 

 
————–
 
Haha!  Well… what says you?!  I also feel that way sometimes when people criticize me and pretty much all businesses for charging for certain services they “believe” should be free.  Only difference is I may rant and rave in private.  But truth is, many who expect freebies seem to forget that:  
 
1.  Time is money!
2.  People are running businesses and there are bills to be paid.
3.  Those who provide these services have invested a lot of time, energy and funds acquiring the knowledge you expect them to give you for free which I believe is entirely unfair.  In other countries, students take out loans to fund their education.
 
My take on this is I believe we live in an overly-indulgent environment where people expect things for free.  You are in traffic or go to the market and some person approaches you for a hand out or worse, tries to intimidate you into giving him money.  Others feel they are entitled to your hard-earned money!  
 
I can never forget an experience I had a long time ago when the CBN asked everyone to trade in their 5 kobo and 10 kobo coins for the new 50 kobo and N1 coins.  A “beggar” came in with 2 salt bags filled with coins and walked straight to a corner where she had already laid out like 4 large rectangular trays filled with rows and columns of prior-arranged coins.  I thought to myself…. “my goodness, this woman has more money than those she is begging from”.  I was sure I had even probably given her a 5k coin before and I didn’t have nearly as much money as she had.  That completely changed my view on giving beggars money.
 
When my nieces were around, they kept complaining about the money I was spending on them and even offered to pay me back for the money I spent on hotdogs and drinks at the movies…. and the oldest was 11.  But not the average kid around here.  In fact, dare I say, they’ll complain that what you have bought them is not enough.  Question is who exactly is to blame for this mindset?
 

My standard answer to people who claim “designers charge too much” is well… you have no idea what costs they are incurring, what their rent is, what they pay their staff, etc.  And what I say to those who charge too little based on conscience or so they appeal to customers is, well… I hope you are making ends meet.  A student of mine once shared her experience at an FEC last year when she said after 6 months, she and her partners realized they only made a N20,000 profit on their fish-farming business.  So sharply, they woke up to the reality and adjusted their prices accordingly.

 
What I try to live by is, yes I may feel a product or a service is pricey but I will never use the terms “It is too expensive”.  What I say is “Well, I cannot afford it yet” and try to put myself in the person’s shoes.  In an environment where there is hardly ever any electricity, running a tiny 4-litre “I better pass my neighbor” Tiger gen for 8 hours a day, 5 working days a week, 4 weeks a month would cost N7,760 and this excludes your outrageous PHCN bill, your employee wages or salaries, your rent, your Blackberry service, your phone bills, your water bills, your transportation costs, your feeding, and all other associated costs.  So go figure!  
 
The interesting thing is, though I have no clue what this person was charging on what would definitely generate income for the subscriber, it probably is much cheaper than what the average subscriber to his/her mails spends on concerts, entertainment, movies, hair and nails.
 
Anywayz, I can go on and on about this but I better stop now.  Looks like my internet service provider seems to be having a “lucid interval” so I better take advantage of it now.  I have been unable to access the internet pretty much since the month started!  Yet subscription fees paid will not be refunded when the period expires.  At least now you know why the average person around here has at least 2 phones and 2 ISPs.  Some have lines on all networks!  Very sad and a “low-down dirty shame” that we pay so much for services those in Western countries take for granted and never get our money’s worth! >-(
 
Have a great week ahead!
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