Have you ever been in a phase in your life when you ask yourself “what's next?”
That was me in the late year 2001. I felt I had accomplished every goal I had set for myself (even though there weren't that many). I had finished university, I was working two jobs (is that an accomplishment?), I had two well rated radio shows, I had won 3 championships as a basketball coach, I had traveled to different countries doing reports and coaching basketball, and above all, I had a very beautiful girlfriend (I think I should have started with this one .......)
So what's next? That question kept bugging me for a while. I was still going through the motion, but my passion was not there anymore.
Then (by now you must be familiar with my “then's”), I received a call from a lady I didn't know at that time. She told me she was from Montreal and she was a friend of my best friend (if you read one of my blogs, it's one of my journalists friends who made it big).
We then met and she told me that my friend was a big time journalist in Canada (I had lost track of him for a while). She connected me to my friend. When we finally talked we had 7 years of catching up to do. I told him about my “what next” situation. Even now, my friend still stretches me with big ideas. He is just a genius (I once saw him write a complete book in two weeks while we were sharing our dorm room at the campus).
“Let's do a project together”, my friend told me. What project? I asked. Long story short, my friend agreed to bring journalists from Canada for a week long training seminar for local journalists, and in return, our journalists would be invited to receive training in Canada . What a brilliant idea!!!! Except one thing.....I would have to pay for everything (flight tickets, accommodation, blablabla....). Of course I was up to the challenge!
I went to my boss at the radio station and told him about the idea. He was excited about that. And when I told him about paying for everything, he couldn't believe I would come up with such a bad idea. He told me to go back to work and forget about it. I went to work, but I wasn’t going to give up. Come on man! What are you talking about? I had found an answer to my “what next” question. Even now as I write this blog I can remember how excited I was at that moment.
After asking for help from a couple of friends in preparing the project proposal, I went out knocking on doors asking for sponsors. Some of my friends thought I was crazy (I think I was...seriously!). But some of my co-workers at the radio took me seriously. The team was made and off we went everywhere asking for sponsors. After a while, a man that I respected a lot, heard about my project and asked me to come out to meet him.
He introduced me to a very successful businessman. This businessman offered to sponsor the entire project. He even added some awesome elements to it.
The long and short of the story is that (and it is really a long story), we brought 3 journalists and 2 musicians from Canada , 6 other musicians from a neighbouring country for 12 days all expenses paid. After the training, we did a series of 3 concerts, a VIP concert in which the President of the country was invited (I still remember him dancing. Unbelievable!!!!); another concert in a night club, and the last one at a packed stadium on a Sunday). We were able to secure a sponsor, the National Airline Company, which provided an airplane to the Canadians for a tour of the country.
I was part of the tour (fantastic view from above). It was during this tour, while travelling in the plane, that something came to me. I had made it!!! I did the project! (which cost over 35 million in the local currency).While my friend was cracking jokes in the plane, I was crying. I cried like a baby (not a pleasant sight, I have to admit). My “what next” question had found an answer. Since then, I have never stopped asking the question “what next?” However, in the process, I lost my beautiful girlfriend. Maybe that should be my next “what next” question. How about that?
Moral of the story? When stuck in life,...... think about inviting a Canadian.
Always a pleasure