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Monday, December 26, 2011

My Journey to my best Christmas Ever.

Please ask me how I spent my Christmas this year. I am serious. If you do not ask me, I won't tell you. My bad! Let me rephrase my question. Please do ask me with WHOM I spent my Christmas.

You are so right. She is finally here. I did not want to tell you that before she comes just to avoid the paparazzi at the airport. I am talking about my wife of course (I know you were thinking that I was speaking about Angelina Jolie).

Yes, this Sunday December 25, 2011, my wife finally landed to Pearson Airport at exactly 12.49 PM local time (I was so mad the plane was 4 minutes late lol). Do you remember our small wedding ceremony last year? It was on December 27. If you can count, you can realize that she just came to Canada two days before our one year anniversary. What a timing!!!

It is simply a divine blessing to finally see her here. I am so happy about that, but I know someone who is so mad about this news. I am talking about the guy who owns a convenient store where I used to buy my calling cards. He told me the other day that he will have to shut down his business lol. I told him not to worry because I call my mom every Sunday (not as frequent as he was hoping).

Do not be surprised to see that this blog is the shortest I have ever written. It is simply because I am kind of busy now (showing her around. What did you expect? Lol)

Just the other day I was with my friend Kijanya and we were talking about how 2011 has been a year of so many blessings for me, and he just said to me. My friend, you should start praying now, thanking God for what he did for you. I told him that he got it all wrong. All of this happened because I started praying and thanking God BEFORE all these things started to happen. He just said: “I would like to pray to the same God that you pray to”. Then I thought: “He is the same yesterday, today and forever”.

I told you I would write a short blog, but I am thinking about writing about what I have experienced this year (there are so many stuff that I haven't shared yet). Stay tuned. One more victory that I am now waiting for and you will get the whole story, uncut with special features lol

I got to go. Someone special is waiting for me.

Moral of the story? Do you want to spend you best Christmas ever? Just go to the airport and someone you love may show up.

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Monday, December 19, 2011

My Journey to Newmarket

As my friend Jim is driving me to my speaking engagement in Newmarket, he just says: I think your next blog should be “My Journey to Newmarket”. And here it is Jim. I kept my promise.

I like to be around Jim, who has now become my speaking buddy. Whenever he is asked to speak he often invites me to go with him, and I have learned to do the same. Boy are we having fun together.

So, on our way to Newmarket, he asks me: “What are you going to speak about?” , to which I responded “I don't know!”. He laughed so hard at my response, but it was the honest truth. I have been speaking a lot the last few weeks that sometimes I find myself in front of the same people who are attending the same events I am attending, so I don't want to repeat the same speech they have heard many times. Good thing that I have so many stories to tell, all I have to do is remember one of them.

And it happened. By the time we got to Newmarket, I saw a number of familiar faces that had seen me speak before, so I had to find something else to speak about. Here is a small segment of my speech in Newmarket. Hope you will enjoy it: Click here to view it

Did you have fun with it? I hope you did

I heard once Bob Proctor say (and I am paraphrasing here) that if you miss your goal, don't change your goal, change your action plan. It is such a powerful statement. Guess what! I missed my goal for the month of November. So, I had to change my action plan. Do you know what I came up with? You won't believe it. I said to myself: what if there could be a way of achieving more by doing...less (it sounds crazy, doesn't it?). But I had to try it

So, for several weeks now, all I do when I get up in the morning, I write down my to do list and then I do...nothing. I pick up one of the books that Jim gave me and read it, or if I am inspired to watch a video, I do so. I most of the times even forget about my to do list (except of course calling my wife lol).

Do you know what happens at the end of the day? I go back to my list to find out that I have done everything that is in there without knowing that I did it. I sounds silly but that has been my experience. I do things that I feel I am inspired to do, and I am having fun along the way. And I have achieved so many things in this month it is not even funny.

One of the great things that are happening is the people that I am meeting now. It is crazy. Just yesterday, I had a meeting with Jennifer Beale. If you haven't heard of Jennifer Beale, maybe you do not live in Toronto. She is a powerhouse lady. I have heard of her so many times that I was so excited to finally meet her (thanks to my friend Paul). From our discussions I could tell that we are all motivated by similar reasons and that is to achieve our dreams and goals in a manner that benefits everyone, the city, country and world. I was really inspired by Jennifer's goal for 2012 especially because changing and impacting Toronto is something that we both aim to do. So the opportunity to team up with her just adds to the excitement.

Do you really know the funny part? Do you really want to know? Ok, I will tell you. She is putting together an event on December 28 and 29, and the theme is “How to Achieve your Goals in 2012”. I don't believe in coincidences. I mean, what are the odds!!! The really amazing part is the workshop retails for $495+ and it’s only $70 per person . . .

Guess what! There are some spots left for the event. Click here if you would like to attend (and I highly recommend you do)

Achieving more by doing less? I have tried it, and it seems to be working for me

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. The best is yet to come (especially if you attend Jennifer Beale's event lol).

Moral of the story? Do you want to achieve more in 2012, Just decide to do nothing lol

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Monday, December 12, 2011

My Journey to My Friend's Wedding

I must confess. It is really hard to write this blog while watching “The Big Bang Theory” at the same time. This show is hilarious. Add to that my texting back and forth with my friend Tamsir who is learning my native language and wants to impress me with the few words that he now knows...

Talk about a missed opportunity. For weeks I have been waiting for this special day for my friends Nicolas Peks and “Summertime” (that's how I call Nicolas now wife). I don't want to mention her other nickname that I gave to her...

Where was I? Oh yes. Missed opportunity.

I went to their wedding this Saturday, got there 45 minutes before the ceremony (I told you there was NO way I could miss this one). It was just a civil wedding (a small ceremony). The big wedding ceremony is going to happen next year.

Anyways, after the ceremony, I headed to the Italian restaurant where the reception was going to take place. As it was mentioned in the invitation, the restaurant was not going to take debit or credit card. I had to go out to the bank machine to get some cash (there was no way I was going to miss the nice food I saw on the menu).

Here I am, out in one of the coldest nights of the week, going to the bank machine, just to find out that I did not bring my wallet! (what a shame!). Good thing that it was not away from home, I could run, get it and come back to eat the good food on the menu. So I did. As my phone battery was down, I thought I could take a few minutes to charge it(while watching some sport news on TV) before I head back to the restaurant. Guess what! I fell asleep on the couch while watching TV and when I woke up, was too late to go anywhere. Can you believe that? I missed the wedding reception of my friends!!!!! (I am not even mentioning the nice Italian food....). By the way, I can't stop laughing at Sheldon Cooper's punch lines. What a nerd!

Can I really focus? Now it is the CNN Heroes Show with Anderson Cooper. I will get back to you when the show is over. I have to watch it as I will soon be one of the future recipients of that award (why are you laughing?)

Here I am back. Did you miss me? Don't lie. I know you did.

I was talking about my friend Nicolas. I know Saturday was one of his best days ever, but the world has not seen him yet. He is one of the upcoming Superstars. I am telling you, this dude can sing and entertain. When he is in front of a microphone, or behind his DJ desk, this guy can do wonders. He can sing “Let's get it on” better than Marvin Gaye, he can do an entire show with no instrument at all. If you have not listened to his latest Mix Tape “Akantu Kumutse”, I won't say shame on you, but you are missing a Masterpiece.

I have known Nicolas for years now. I can tell you that as talented as he is, with so much potential at hand, there is no way he could have done what he has done without his wife. I had never seen this guy with so much focus. That is what a wife can do in one's life (Diego, I am not pressuring you to get married lol).

Last year I had the privilege of coaching a little bit Nicolas to get his album done. At our first attempt, for some reasons, we did not succeed to make it happen. But when “Summertime” moved to Toronto, Nicolas came back to me with determination to succeed. The three of us had a half an hour conversation over a cup of coffee, I did my magic, we came up with an action plan, and less than a month later, his album was done ( a round of applause for me Seriously though. I will never forget what “Summertime” told Nicolas at that Starbucks. “Honey, I want you to make it. I will never be a distraction for you. Go out and do it. If you need anything, I will be there to help you” she said. What a partner!

Congratulations my man! You got what you deserve. Now she is all yours. Enjoy my friend. One quick favour Nicolas. Can you and “Summertime” organize another wedding reception? This time I won't miss it, I swear.

By the way, here is Nicolas Facebook page click here

Talking about my coaching, I just got an awesome plug from my friend Motivatorman. Click here to read his blog about me

Moral of the story? Do you want to make it in life? Just hire me as your coach and you will get married with an awesome partner

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Monday, December 5, 2011

My Journey to a Saturday Event

Just few weeks ago at one of our Goal Achievers meeting, we were talking about doing an event before Christmas at which each one of us would get a chance to speak. While debating if we should do it or not, our own Jim stood straight and looked in our eyes and said : I am going to make it happen.

I have known Jim for a while, but that was the first time I saw him with such confidence. Right then I knew he would do it. He in fact did, and in a big way. He managed to find a few partners to help him promote it, he even secured a venue five minutes away from where I live with great food on the menu (how could I resist this?), and the event just happened two days ago.

We had amazing guest speakers and the audience did respond greatly to our presentations

I remember few months ago when I met Phil Taylor the founder of Goal Achievers International. I told him before I joined the group that my goal was to become a professional speaker and coach. At that time I knew what I wanted but it was not enough. I had to find my audience, and (especially) my topics. After few months, and with the help of fellow Goal Achievers members, I knew I would devote the rest of my life helping people achieve their goals. Since then it's been a fun ride (including me ending up being the President of Goal Achievers Canada).

I have found that the best way to help others achieve their goals is to achieve mine.

When I was in Burundi, I was invited by one of the TV stations down there to talk about my journey. Since then they have aired the show three times (I think I did good, what do you think?). Ever since people saw the show, I have received tons of e-mails congratulating me and, sometimes asking for my help. All I did was talk about my journey and a few goals that I had achieved

Achieving one's goal is one of the beautiful things in life. But the journey to get there is what I found the most interesting.

Sometimes on the journey to our goals it looks like nothing is happening. Believe me, it's one of the toughest moments when you don't see how you are going to make it. But trust me, it's happening even though we don't see it. It's like a farmer planting grains of corn. When the seed is in the ground, for a number of weeks nothing appears on the surface but the roots are taking forms below the surface. The farmer knows this is happening, so he doesn't worry if the crops are growing or not. He just knows when the time is right he is going to harvest what he planted.

Dreams are the same. They are like seeds planted in our heart. I heard someone say that in the vision there is provision. All we need is keep believing without seeing and the dream will come to pass like the seed in the ground that will become one day a crop to harvest.

So, my friend, don't give up when you don't see your dream happening. It's happening below the surface. Keep believing. It will come to pass.

Moral of the story? Do you want to invite me to speak at your event? Make sure you bring nice food at your event and I will help you achieve your goals

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Monday, November 28, 2011

My Journey with an Upcoming Star

This is the second week that I am speaking about stars (trust me, I am not speaking about me lol). I heard someone say that stars are recognized in the ring but are made in the gym (I made that up).

If there is one thing I learned from coaching Basketball, is the ability to spot potential in people before anybody else. I remember saying to one of my players that she would be one of, if not THE best point guards in the league for years, and she laughed at me. Looking back, I truly understand why she laughed. She was just learning how to do a lay up and I was talking about being the best of the best. Guess what! As I predicted, she ended up being the best point guard for years (am I a psychic or what!). Or maybe she had a great (and yet modest) coach.

I can't even remember why I am talking about Basketball. Oh yes. Potential...Let me get to it.

It took me two years to write about this guy. Every time I wanted to write a blog about him, he always said no (for two years!!!!). With respect to his low profile, I persisted and he finally agreed to my request.

His name is Diego Ndikumasabo but his friends call him DJ. In fact, he has been a DJ for over 14 years (and a very successful one indeed).

He came to Canada at a young age, and his main priority was his studies (good choice). I first saw his leadership skills back in 2003 when he was running the Burundian association of Toronto with his best friend Christian B. There were times between 2005 and 2009 where I saw Diego attending University full time, working at Citibank Canada and on week-ends, he would would work as a DJ (What a hard working young man!!!). Did you know that he has been organizing Caribana Events for nine years in row? Tirelessly ambitious, his goal was always to open a place “to serve his community” as he always says.

Life has a funny way of making dreams come true. Sometimes dreams happen in a disguised way that it's hard to see them. While my friends (Diego and Nicolas) were working at a place called Nile in downtown Toronto, its owners decided to shut it down without notice. No more work for my friends; or was that really the case?

Instead of finding another place for work or blaming the owners, Diego got this crazy idea of buying the closing business. Why crazy? You may ask. Simply because he was still a student, two months away from graduation day and he did not have enough money to do it. But as they say, where there is a will there is a way. I don't know how he did it, but he found a way to set up a corporation, secure the business, put a team together and Ngoma Lounge was born.

Buying the business was not the hard part (even though it meant putting other projects on hold). Instead, it was keeping it open which proved to be one of Diego's biggest challenges . Soon after buying the business, he thought it would be a piece of cake to run it. Guess what! It took 8 long months for the government to issue a license for Ngoma Lounge. Getting the liquor license and all those other stuff you need to open a bar took so long that my friend wanted to give up thousands of times. Did I mention that he was paying the rent for a place that did not make him a penny? Try that one.

On November 30, 2009, Ngoma finally received permission to open. We were all there to witness the grand opening on December 25th, 2009. His dream was coming true (so he thought). But in order to run Ngoma, he had to quit his daily corporate job at Citibank (hey peeps, do not try this at home. Lol)

Do you know why my friend did not want me to write about this story for the last two years? Because it has been two years of constant struggle to keep Ngoma open. I have the opportunity of being one of Diego's closest friends and I knew from the beginning that he was going to make it even though I knew it was not going to be an easy task. He spent (and still does) many sleepless nights to keep the place open so that he “could serve his community”. Trust me when I say that he DOES serve his community. Now Ngoma is the reference for the African community in Toronto, thanks to the winning team of: Diego, Nicolas, Kijanya, Umwali, Jehann, Nounou, Faustin and his wife.

It has been a constant battle for Diego, mainly because it was his first business venture and also because he started with very little capital. But he has a heart of champions. He is a champion and one of the upcoming Superstar entrepreneurs. Against all odds he kept his dream alive and the best is yet to come. I just know it. Happy 2nd Anniversary Ngoma.

Hey, Diego, two years of my free Sprite at Ngoma just made you a Superstar. You are featured on my blog. By the way, what's the next move? Let me guess, taking over the STOCK MARKET? lol

Moral of the story? Do you want to make a difference in your community? Just ask those customers who have been visiting Ngoma lounge every weekend for the past two years.

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Monday, November 21, 2011

My Journey with A Rising Star

His name is Jean-Pierre Nimbona and he is known by the name of Kidum. By far he is the greatest Burundian superstar singer of all times (that's my opinion). He has been to a place no other Burundian artist has ever been. He was elected the best male artist of the year in East Africa in 2011 and he recently finished his first Canadian Tour which included performances in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal (twice), Calgary and Edmonton.

He happens to be my wife's family close friend (I can now get inside information about his career lol). He is about to fly to Switzerland for one concert, then to Sweden for another one; after that he will return to Zürich for another concert. He will end his European Tour with a concert in Belgium before heading back to Kenya (where he lives) for only five days. After, he will head to Rwanda for a concert, plus play five concerts in Burundi before flying to South Africa. After the African Tour, he will go to the US to perform 30 concerts! Did you hear that? 30 concerts in the US. I am tired from just writing the number of concerts he will be performing at over the next few months. It's crazy.

I have seen him perform in Burundi a couple of times; he was once my guest at the radio station when I was still in Burundi, but at that time we were not really close friends. Now that my wife has introduced me to him, I have had the opportunity to be with him one on one a couple of times while he was here in Toronto. What a blast! The guy can produce hit after hit. At his concerts, all he has to do is start a song, then the public takes it from there and finishes it. He is such a talented artist.

I was with him yesterday at Ngoma Lounge here in Toronto where he came to say good bye to his fans and offer free drinks (I was there just for that one lol). He got to perform with my boys Kijanya, Nicolas and Tamsir Seck. It was a joy man. We had so much fun.

I had another chance to speak with Kidum once more. He told me his story. He fled from Burundi during war to live in Kenya where he started his career as a musician. The first years were so hard that he wanted to give up numerous times. He started regretting why he had left his home country, but he couldn't return as the war was still on. He started playing in bars and getting a little bit of money here and there.

Then came the song “Yaramenje”. That song took the whole region like a storm, and the rest is history. Looking back at his tough times, he doesn't regret anything at all. Now he can really enjoy his success as he knows that it came by working hard and never giving up. Do you know what is his goal now? In his own words: “I want to leave a legacy. I want to go to places where no other artist has ever been, so as to be an inspiration to other African Artists”. I guess he is on the right track.

I am glad I was there to hear that. Most of the time, we see people at the top of their careers and we have no idea about what they went through to get there. I believe talent alone is not enough. It is about persistence, believing without seeing, passion, determination and above all, doing what we love to do. The rest is in God's hands.

Moral of the story? Do you want to spend time with a superstar? Just marry someone who knows people at high places, maybe he/she will happen to know me.

Always a pleasure


The Journeyman

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Journey to a Late Blog

Talk about commitment! If I did not know you were anxiously waiting for this blog, I would have posted it on Tuesday. I am writing it at almost 11PM on Monday. Why so late you ask? Well it's because I just got in and I am so very exhausted!

What a week! I think it was my busiest week since returning from Africa. But it was for a good reason. I was busy helping organize a two day seminar which runs today (Monday) and tomorrow. Now, usually I am used to being the one speaking, however, this time I worked from behind the scenes to make sure that the seminar is a success. Today was only day one and we have already started off with a home run; people are pumped and excited about achieving their goals.

Being full time in business is quite a thing. Knowing that it is all up to you can be both challenging and exciting. What a better way to deal with the unknown! You know there is no pay cheque waiting for you unless you go out and perform. And as you all know, things don't alway happen the way you thought they would; but that's ok because it's all part of the journey (aren't I the Journeyman ? Lol)

Just the other day, I was trying to figure out what would be my next step (sometimes it's not that obvious), so I did what I normally would do when in these situations. Once I don't know the answer, and it doesn't seem to come as fast as I want, I just let it go. I know that it will come at its own time. And sometimes the answer comes in a funny and unpredictable way.

I went to visit my brother yesterday. It was an opportunity for me to collect some stuff that I left there before my trip to Africa. Among the stuff was a book I forgot I had. As I read it on my way back home, I came across the answer! It came from the book. The name of the book is “The Fred Factor” by Mark Sanborn

Here is what I read:

“The trick is to replace money with imagination, to substitute creativity for capital”

That little sentence hit me like a brick. And I should have known better because I always tell the people that I coach that money is not the main thing. When you do what you are supposed to do, money will come. But how many times do we think about a project and decide not to start it because we do not know from where the money will come? How about using our imagination and creativity instead?

Do you know the funny part? Well, that's exactly what was covered in the first part of the two day seminar: How you can get your marketing cost paid by others. How about that!

Let me use that advice and see what will come from it. Of course I will share that with you as the news comes out.

Moral of the story? Do you want to be creative? Go and visit your brother and you will get a brand new idea

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Monday, November 7, 2011

My Journey to a Wonderful Year

I know, I know...The year is not over yet. But I am telling you, what I have experienced this year is simply out of this world. I don't even know where to start. Was it easy? Not at all. But I know I am living a life that I have chosen. The choice is mine and nobody else's.

Something weird happened today. As you all know, when I returned from Africa, I lost all my phone contacts (I know you remember my story of 4 phones in 5 days). Even now, there are many friends of mine whose numbers i no longer have; so if I haven't called you yet, hopefully you have a chance to read this blog. Today I felt that I wanted to call a lady who I was coaching before I left. I asked Paul (by now I think you know who Paul is, right?) for her phone number so that we could get back in touch. I sent her a text message mentioning that the Superstar was back in Toronto. Thirty seconds later she called me. Guess what! She had been calling my old phone number (by the way, my new phone number is still for sale, but for a limited time only lol). She wanted to talk to me today as well. I guess we were meant to talk today; what do you think?

Would you like to know why she wanted to talk to me? Well, she wanted to tell me that the system which I taught her works. Now her business is booming! How cool is that. Let me tell you that she made my day!

At the beginning of this year, I wrote down what I wanted to accomplish. I wanted to be in full time business by the month of June, then go to Africa for 4 months, get married in August, come back from Burundi and work from home with my wife. There are other goals that I wrote down, but these were the main ones. Guess what? June 14 was my last day at work; I spent 4 months in Burundi (where I met heroes of mine), got married on August 6, got 4 contracts while in Burundi, got back to Toronto in October (and got offered a new contract even before I landed at Pearson Airport). Now I am working from home and my wife is coming here in just a few weeks. Did I know at the beginning of the year how all these things would happen? Can you guess? Did I have the money to do it? I will let you figure that one out lol.

To top it all off, two days ago, I received a phone call from a business partner of mine who just returned from Europe, asking me to join him in a new venture he just started with his multimillionaire mentor. I am still in shock. I can't believe this is happening to me! And...I will be mostly working from home!!! We are putting together an event this month which will revolutionize (and I am not exaggerating here) how people do business. I can't believe I am part of this. And the year is not over yet (that's crazy, isn't it?). There is one other big piece of news that I am holding off on telling you for now.....(suspense!!!!)

A few years ago I went through some serious challenges that I thought would never end. It was so difficult and it took a huge commitment on my part to learn what I needed to learn in order to get what I needed to get out of it. I did not know that the work I did would pay off one day, but I paid my price (still do in some ways). I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. Those were humbling moments, and I got really close to God (the only hope left for me at the time, and still is). I am thankful I went through those moments because I now know from where everything comes. It helps me keep things in perspective so as to not let my ego ruin everything.

I am not where I want to be, but today I felt that I deserve to celebrate what has been done so far. Do you think I am writing this blog for you? Come on man! I am writing this for ME, so that when my head is spinning around with new challenges, I can go back to it and read it again. It will be my reminder that I have to be thankful for what I have. You can do it too. Ok, ok. I am writing it for you as well (I know you were starting to get mad at me!). I am so excited man!

Moral of the story? Do you want to accomplish great things this year? Just get married and you will work from home

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Monday, October 31, 2011

My Journey to a Radio Interview

Just finished an Interview on Goal Achievers International Radio Show. I am used to be on the other side of the microphone, now I was the one answering to the questions. I guess that's what happens once one becomes a Superstar lol.

What an exciting week! After my meeting with Yvonne Chaka Chaka, it was a pure joy to go to two amazing events. One with our beloved East African Superstar Kidum who had his concert here in Toronto (I got a chance to meet him one on one for hours too), and a very amazing Broadway show with FELA last Tuesday (I am part of a team that is promoting this show). I was sharing this with my wife who told me that I had become a “Mayibobo” (street kid) as I am always out.

It has been nearly three weeks since I came back from Burundi. Even though it's great to be back here, I was feeling empty in the inside for quite some time (missing my wife maybe). I had lost my drive and sometimes it was a little bit scary given the sense of urgency of the moment (that's another topic for another time...). Something was missing and I did not know what.

Fortunately, being with friends such as Jim kept me going. It's great to have friends like Jim. He is so generous (he gave me two DVD's that got me excited) and he is out there meeting people. He asked me to go with him a couple of times and I did it with pleasure. I met great people, still, something was missing. I did what I love to do, like the two business owners that I am now coaching, but I did not feel the drive I had in Burundi when I was working on Lake Tanganyika project.

That was until I met my business partner Paul on Saturday. Man I needed that meeting. We were putting strategies in place for our company and we were so excited about that. All of sudden, I became alive. I got so excited that now I cannot even sleep. Do you know what was missing the last few weeks (not including my wife)? I had no goal to shoot for. I had no objective, I was living my life as it came. And my life was lacking energy .I was sleeping for 10 hours, including naps in the afternoon (can you believe that?)

Of course I did what I needed to do for the contracts that I have, but other than that, I was just watching TV. And that is not was I am used to.
Not anymore. I am now excited about my next goal (of course I won't tell you what it is, but stay tune for the next blog posts). Boy I am excited.

As I learned from Napoleon Hill's book “Think and Grow Rich”, I have burned all bridges behind.. Have you heard the story about burning bridges behind you? Not yet? Come on, please don't tell me that you have never heard that story.
OK, knowing that you will all pay me, I am going to tell you the story of the burned bridges. Of course I am going to paraphrase.

There was a general who brought his army to fight against another country whose army was the double of his soldiers. When his ships got to the shore, he asked his soldiers to burn them. They burned their own ships!!! Can you believe that? Now there was no turning back. Either they win or they die. Guess what? They won.

I have used this principle over and over again. Before I do anything about my goals, I always burn the bridges behind me. There is no Plan B involved. And I can tell you that it's scary. It takes a lot of faith, but it is the only way to get that burning desire that Napoleon Hill talks about in his book. The goal has to be an ABSOLUTE MUST, otherwise we will give up. I don't even know how I am going to accomplish it but I really don't care. All I know is why I want to have it, the rest is in God's hands (that is how I do business with Him and he is a very reliable business partner lol).

I did it two years ago when I wanted to move downtown (I longtime dream of mine). I gave the two month notice to my landlord without knowing where I would be going, without even having enough money to pay the (expensive) downtown rent. There was no turning back. Did I succeed? I had no other choice. I figured it out.
That's my challenge to you today. Find something you want to shoot for, burn your bridges behind you and go for it with all your heart. You will make it if you don't give up.

Moral of the story? Do you want to accomplish your goal? Burn all your bridges and you will sleep for 10 hours

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Monday, October 24, 2011

My Journey to a second meeting with the Princess of Africa

She is a friend of Nelson Mandela and Bono, she has met the Queen of England, Michael Jackson and many other celebrities and world leaders, she has been at the White house, she has received many awards, she is a superstar and humanitarian, and now she is a friend of mine. How cool is that! I am talking about Yvonne Chacka Chaka also known as the Princess of Africa.

I met her for the first time in Burundi last July and we kept in touch ever since. At that time she told me she would be in Toronto in October. Guess what! She was here for four days. She came here to receive the Development Award from Planet Africa, for her Humanitarian work as UNICEF Ambassador and Humanitarian.

I called her as soon as she got here and we agreed to meet at her hotel (beautiful hotel by the way). I went there and met her and her humanitarian assistant. What a delight! I got the opportunity to hear her new song (not released yet) that she sung with Senegalese Superstar Youssou N'Dour. Wow! A masterpiece. They are releasing the song this week in Kenya.

As she was getting ready for the award ceremony in the evening, we agreed to meet the next day for lunch, and she would introduce me to the guys at Planet Africa. Of course I was there the next day. They came to pick us up in a big SUV (I thought I was the President or something), and off we left. We went to a place I had never been before. Really nice place. We met great people and all the time Yvonne was saying “this is my friend Patrick”. In my thought I was like “I am going to put that one on my resumé”.

We had great time (when I mention great time, you already know that food is involved), and even danced a little bit (Chaka Chaka music of course). I got to meet the guys at Planet Africa. I was impressed by what they have accomplished so far.

Then, around 6PM, Yvonne's humanitarian assistant came, and we started talking. This guy is something. He has humanitarian work in his blood. He works in over 15 African countries, all over Asia, and he is on the Board of so many humanitarian organizations it is not even funny. I asked him where was his office and he just went:”my computer is my office”. He told us the kind of work they do, and I was so amazed by this guy. I kept asking him questions, (I just want to know how the industry works). Do you know what got me the most? The guy is not even paid to do that. I was like What!!?? He just said to me: “I just do it because it is the right thing to do”. I was speechless afterwards.

I learned my lesson. Here am with Yvonne, a world class superstar with his world class humanitarian assistant (I know I am a world class bloger,, amazed with who they are. Do you know what is common between these two people? They just do what they love, and they do it because it is the right thing to do. If I want to be like them, I just have to do what they do. Do what I love to do and do it because it is the right thing to do. How cool is that? You can do it too.

Moral of the story? Do you want to meet a world class supertsar? Do what you love to do and you will

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Monday, October 17, 2011

My Journey to a meeting with Denise

It's been a week now since I came back from Burundi. I am getting used to my new world (if I could call it that way). Do you know what excites me the most now? It's when I hit a button on my computer and the Internet opens up right away. I was used to wait for a few hours before the page opens up lol.

I had so much fun in Burundi that now it is hard for me to not think about it all the time, especially when I remember that we did something that has never been done before. It was a pure joy.

I promised to tell you a story about my new friend Denise. I know you have been waiting for that one for a long time. Here it is.

We were busy going out there looking for sponsors, and as I was talking to one of our partners, he suggested that I talk to one business owner who could help. We called him up twice, but he was busy all the time. He suggested I speak to Denise his assistant. So I did. An appointment was booked the next day at 9 AM.

I was there ten minutes before my meeting. I waited for her for about half an hour but she was not there. They told me that she was stuck in traffic (you have no idea how Burundian traffic can be hectic at certain hours). As I had another appointment at 10 O'clock, I had to leave without seeing Denise. However, I left a one page note of the project we were working on as well as my business card.

The next day I called her up so that we could fix another appointment. She was so nice on the phone and we agreed to meet the next day at 9 AM. But before I hung up the phone she just went: “Are you the one who left a note and a business card?” I said yes. Then she said: “I just want to let you know that you are a messenger from God”. I was like what?!!! She just said: “I will explain all of this to you when we meet.

As a messenger from God, I made sure not to be late lol. I also made sure not to have any other appointment that morning.

I spent three hours with Denise and I was blown away. She told me her life story and I couldn't believe what I was hearing. This lady has been a preacher for years and she lives her life by faith. She does not accept to be paid wherever she works. “I just pray and God gives me what I ask for”. She said.

She told me about how she used to live in a tiny room that she did not like. She then prayed asking God to give her a nice and big place, with a nice garden near the lake. Guess what! She now lives in a nice 8 bedroom villa, with a nice garden near the lake (I saw the place later on). Do you know what else? She doesn't even pay the rent and the food is provided as well. How about that!!! Somebody gave that to her as a gift.

She told me dozens of stories and I was blown away by her faith. It was incredible. I was stunned by her stories. After hours of incredible conversation, she then told me why she told me I was a messenger from God (I kind of knew that I was special, but I wanted to hear her version of the story lol).

Denise told me that It had been more than two years that she was praying about Lake Tanganyika. She asked God if He could send people who would save the lake because it was dying (did I tell you that it was exactly the project I was working on?). So, when she saw my note and business card that I left the day before, she knew it was an answer to her two year long prayer. How about that?! She was just waiting to meet the person that God sent for that matter. It happened that the person
She then said to me.”Do not worry about anything. Your project is a noble one, and God will provide everything you need. Because every time that I pray, God always answers to my prayers. So, go in peace and do what you got to do”.

What else could I say after that? I was speechless. When I met my team in the afternoon, I told them what happened to me and they were all stunned.

So, believe me when I say to you that I am special. It am just telling the truth lol

Seriously, what can you say after that? Now Denise is a friend of mine and we are working on a fabulous project. She came up with the idea and I was like “count me in”. It is something that will take a lot of faith, but Denise has some to spare, don't you think?

Moral of the story? Do you want to be sent by God? Just help me save Lake Tanganyika amd I will introduce you to Denise

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My Journey to a two year anniversary

First of all. Have you noticed that I did not post my blog on Monday as usual? I do not have any excuse. I know that you were stuck on your computers waiting for the delivery of your beloved blog. As they say, better late than never.

The last four days have been crazy. I took my flight back to Toronto on Thursday (yes I am back), we flew to Nairobi-Kenya, then Addis Ababa-Ethiopia, from there, we flew to Rome-Italy, then to Washington DC, finally we landed in Toronto on Friday. To say that I was exhausted could be an understatement. While waiting for my flight at the Washington DC airport, I lost the plug of my Lap top. I thought it was in my bag but it wasn't. When I got home, I used my computer to charge my phone (that I did not use for four months), then the battery of my computer went down.

The next day, I decided to go to the phone company to reactivate my phone to find out that they gave my number to somebody else (lucky dude. He got a number of a superstar lol). OK. I kept my calm as usual and asked for a new one (which I won't tell you unless you pay for it lol). I kept my old phone with a new number. When I arrived home, my old phone decided to shut down for good. I lost all my contacts. All of them!!!. On Sunday, I went back to the phone company to ask them if they could fix my phone. They referred me to another office. I went there, but they couldn't do anything. They decided to give me a new one.

I got home excited, I called up a few friends whose numbers I could remember. In the evening, the new phone decided to do his things as well. I could hear the person on the other side of the line (if we can call it a line lol), but they couldn't hear me, unless I used my speaker phone (try to speak to your wife with the speaker phone on. Can you do that when people are around? I don't think so). So. I could not use my computer, and I could not use my phone. To top it all off, Monday was off (yes, it was the Canadian Thanksgiving!). I could not fix either my phone or my computer. Did I tell you that I was sleeping crazy hours as well? I was going to bed at 6 PM Toronto time (which is midnight in Burundi) and, by 1 AM I was done (which was 7 AM in Burundi). From then on,it was TV time. What else could I do? I couldn't even call my wife as my phone was unusable (is that an English word ?).

The only thing that got me excited was that now I can watch my friends Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart on TV (oh yes, I forgot about Tim Hortons' Iced Capucino as well).

What a relief when I went out to fix my computer and got a new plug today! Then the phone company gave me a new phone (I used 3 phones in 4 days. Can you believe that?)
That is the best way to celebrate the two year anniversary of something amazing. Do you know what it is? I will let you know. On October 16 (which is coming up quickly), I will celebrate two years blog! Aren't you excited? You should go out and buy a bottle of champaign. Aren't you glad that I did not stop writing? Just tell the truth to yourself. You know that you are glad.

I want to thank all my blog fans. We made it together. In two years, over 10 thousand hits on the blog, I should be proud of my work (and I am).
I am back in Town, ready for a new adventure after 4 months in Africa. What a ride it has been!

I know I promised to tell you a story about my friend Denise. That will be for next week. Her story will rock your world.

Moral of the story? Do you want to use three phones in four days? Take a long trip and you will celebrate a two year anniversary of something.

Always a pleasure
The Journeyman

Monday, October 3, 2011

My Journey to a week-end in Kigali

Just came back from a quick week-end in Kigali to visit my in-laws before I head back to Toronto. To say that I am tired is an understatement. I left Burundi at 7 AM on Saturday, and here I am, on Sunday evening writing this blog in my home in Burundi. A round trip to Kigali in less than twenty four hours is not an easy thing to do, especially when you had little sleep (I will blame my friend and best man Jeff lol)

The trip was like an escape for me. The last few weeks have been so crazy that I needed some space to think about different topics (could I really?). On my way to Rwanda, I had a note pad and a pen, just in case an idea could come into my mind (I know, I am just like that. My mind cannot stop thinking).I did not want to miss a G-mail (God Mail as my friend Barry likes to say).

As I was thinking about what the last four months of my life have been, I couldn't help but smile. Seriously! Every day when I wake up, I don't really know how things will unfold. Every minute is so exciting. I like to live in the unknown and let go and let God. It's quite an experience.

Do you want to know the details of the project I have been working on? Do I really have to insist or do you want it so bad. It's up to you. To tell the truth (not that I was lying before), I will tell you whether you like it or not.

I was hired to develop communication and fund raising strategies for an Environment Foundation, whose president is former Ambassador Albert Mbonerane. Many of my country fellows know this man because of his work to protect the environment. I knew him but had never met him before. I believe that my meeting with him was by God's design. I needed such a man in my life (by the way, he has agreed that I could write his biography. It is such a great honour for me). The Foundation wants to save Lake Tanganyika which is now getting polluted like crazy.

Anyway. What I did first was create a team that I would be working with. I called up my friends Machado (a great radio journalist), Rickie-Nelly, an independent journalist (who used to play in my team) and my great friend Richard (there is no way I could work without his help).

For three straight days, we put together a strategy and action plan that we would present to the Foundation. It was quite simple. First, have the media as partners of the campaign. It worked like magic. They all agreed to work with us for free. For three straight weeks, we did a media tour (if you did not hear us or see us on TV, I don't know where you were lol). Even now, the spots are still running. The Media has been unbelievably supportive.

Meanwhile, my team grew. We added JP for our documentary, Daniel-Cédric for our promotional tools and Annick for mass mobilization. It is now a dream team.
Do you know what happened next? Do you really want to know? Ok. I will let you know. I got a brilliant idea (from a brilliant man, it is not really surprising lol) of having Intercontact Services as our partner. For those who do not know, this company has been around for over 29 years and they are specialized in public relations (among other things). They agreed to work with us and book appointments for us with business owners (I am talking about CEOs of big corporations). In less than four weeks, we visited over 60 companies, asking for sponsors and support. The responses were simply phenomenal. I can't just believe how things are falling into place.

Next phase was to meet people with influence. We met organizations such us Rotary Club, pastors and priests, Union representatives and many others. All of them agreed to support the Foundation. Last Friday, we started the last phase of the local campaign which is to talk to the masses. We organized an open house and information session for all the population of the city and invited them to voluntarily contribute to the cause. In a few hours we gathered over 600,000 Burundi Francs. And that is only the beginning.

There have been a few challenges here and there, but over all, I feel so proud just to be part of this. Staring from next week, my job will be to ask the International community to join the movement that we started locally. Is that cool or what! Oh, I forgot something. A few weeks ago, we invited 13 CEOs of big companies for a dinner during which I conducted a mastermind session with them. Ideas that came from the session were out of this world. And I did it with flu symptoms. I felt that I was like Michael Jordan lol.

Man, you have no idea how I feel now. The great accomplishment in all of this is to have my wife supporting what I do. This was supposed to be our honeymoon. Instead, we are saving Lake Tanganyika.

During this campaign, there have been some defining moments. One of them was my meeting with a lady named Denise. I will tell you the story in my next blog post. Stay tuned, otherwise you will miss a great opportunity to read about a great Faith story.

Moral of the story. Do you want to work on a great project? Just get married and miss your honeymoon.

Always a pleasure
The Journeyman

Monday, September 26, 2011

My Journey to a week-end off

After a long and busy week, I decided to take the week-end off. I am taking the credit but it's my wife's idea. I thought of a place we could go, and then I remembered visiting a resort not far from the city. Pinnacle 19 is the name of the place. His owner is a Canadian citizen who built the place over fourteen years ago.

The place is a beauty. It's on the Lake, the owner has planted thousands of trees, the electricity is generated by a solar system that he put in place (there is no power shortage) and the rooms are not that expensive. Did I mention that there is a sauna, and if you want a massage, it's a done deal

We got there at noon on Saturday and decided to go on the beach right away. After a few drinks, it started raining hard. Good timing to go to the sauna for some time followed by an hour long massage. Do you get the picture? I think I will think twice before coming back to Toronto (the paparazzi can wait lol)

The rest of the schedule? You won't get the details. It's classified lol
The next morning, we went down to the beach again. The water was so calm. It was so resting. Then, something amazing happened. A bird was flying over the lake, and then suddenly it decided to dive deep in the water to catch a fish. It was an amazing view. How in the world was it able to see the fish down in the water while flying over the Lake? Is it the same way I manage to smell the food miles away? Lol

Do you know what I thought about when I saw the bird diving for food. Try to guess. Do you get it? I can't make you wait longer. I will tell you. I thought of this:

Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. Matthew 6:31-32

The funny part is that my wife got the same thought as well. Why do we really worry when we know that everything is provided (like the bird finding food in the lake). All we have to do is ask and believe that what we are asking will come to us at the perfect time if we are willing to wait.

So, let just relax and enjoy life, knowing that everything will be fine. We won't lack anything.

Moral of the story? Do you want to be inspired? Just go for a massage and you will see birds flying.

Always a pleasure
The Journeyman

Monday, September 19, 2011

My Journey to a meeting with Gandhi

You must be thinking that I lost my mind when I say that I met Gandhi. Don't worry. I am doing fine. I met him only in a story that I heard. Do you want to hear it? I know you do. So I will tell the story

Long time ago, there was a lady in India whose son was eating too much sugar. She tried so many times in vain to ask him to stop eating sugar. After a while, she thought that Gandhi could help. She took her son to Gandhi and begged him to tell him to stop eating sugar. He carefully listen to the lady, and then went: “Please come back in two weeks, I will be able to help you”

Two weeks later, the lady came back to see Gandhi. The Mahatma looked in the young boy's eyes and told him: “Please stop eating too much sugar”. That was it. The lady could not believe it. “Do you mean I had to wait two weeks for you to ask my son to stop eating sugar” she said. “Why couldn't tell him in the first place?” Then, Gandhi simply said: “You see madam. Two weeks ago, I was still eating sugar. I could not ask your son to stop eating sugar while I was doing the same. I had to stop eating sugar myself so that I can ask your son with authority and integrity to stop eating it”

How incredible was that!

You may ask yourselves why I shared this story with you. It was just to find what I could write about. What do you think? I am not always inspired to write something. Just kidding! My inspiration is still there (more than ever). So relax, I will tell you why.

Few months ago, I received a call from a lady that I was coaching. She was so excited on the other side of the line. She emotionally said to me that, thanks to my coaching, her company would be making half a million dollars by the end of this year. Are you kidding me!!! I was so excited for her, but I was also mad at me. Do you know why? How in the world can I coach somebody to make half a million dollars while I don't have that kind of money myself? That would be like Gandhi asking the young guy to stop eating sugar while he (Gandhi) was still eating it.

That was few months ago. I then decided to change the way I do things. My decision was, first, test my own coaching, see if it can work with me before I can coach anybody else. I had to put myself on the line, go out there and create the life I want. If I succeed....No. I have to rephrase that. WHEN I succeed (because there is no other choice), I will then go out and teach others to create the life they want. Does it make sense? I know it does

I then decided, after 7 years working for a wonderful place, to send my resignation letter. I was done. No turning back. Now I had no other choice that create my future as I go, doing the things I love to do. On top of that, I had my wedding coming up. Do you think it was scary? Yes it was. But there was no turning back. I had to take my own coaching, live by it, use it and succeed before I could teach anybody else (like Gandhi with the sugar).

Guess what! It worked. And still does. I was able to find contracts in Burundi, using my own system, after nine years of absence in the country. Now I am coaching people, but most of all, I am working on a wonderful project that became a labor of love. It is so great to live the life you chose, a life you know that you have created. And the beautiful thing is that anybody can do it. It is not something that only superstars like myself can do lol. You can do it too. It takes a leap of faith, courage and determination, a little bit of luck (even though I don't believe in luck) and a lot of love from your wife (that is my case lol). Challenges will be there (I am still facing them), but you will be able to overcome them if you don't give up

So, my friend, create your life and go out there and live it. You can do it

Moral of the story? Do you want to live the life you want? Just get married, and you will work on a wonderful project

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Monday, September 12, 2011

My Journey to a meeting with Maggy

A friend of mine told me once that if you want to eat an elephant, the only way you can eat it all is one bit at time (of course if you are an elephant eater). That is how I see the project I am working on. Each and every day, my team is working tirelessly to make the project a success.

Do you remember last week when I told you about a place called “The Tanganyika Blue Bay Resort”? I hope you did not forget about it. This time I went to see the opposite. A place they call “ku Mase” near Lake Tanganyika.This place has been polluted it is not even funny. The once upon a time blue water is now black. I won't describe it so much, maybe the documentary we are shooting will show it better than me. It's unbelievable.

It has been a week of mixed emotions. I always do my best not to listen to the news (and I am a journalist. Go figure). It is a decision that I made over ten years ago, just to protect myself against any negative energy (have you heard how news are so negative?). I carefully choose what I listen to or watch. However, sometimes it is not that easy. News (especially negative news) travel so fast that you can help but hear it.

That was the case this week. I won't tell you the news I heard just because I don't want to spread it. But, as someone who loves his country, I could not resist being sad, upset and angry (that is why I do not listen to the news, they always upset me....).

I was still upset, until I met Maggy. This lady is just a gift from God. Please do a Google search and look for “Marguerite Barankitse”. Boy, this lady is something. She created “Maison Shalom” many years ago to help orphans, and what she has done over the years is simply amazing (please click here:

Marguerite, called Maggy is one of the characters in our documentary. I had met her before in 2002 and she told me what she was doing and I was speechless. Nine years later, I am still speechless. All the negative news I had heard before simply disappeared when I said hello to Maggy.

This is how it went

Patrick: How are you Maggy? (with a hug)
Maggy: I am doing great Patrick. I have chosen to be a light in the middle of the darkness. You can do it too
Patrick: Speechless...

It was as simple as that. The rest of the time I was just listening to her. We promised to see each other in October when she will be in Canada. I was with greatness (and I guess she was too lol)

You know what? If we all chose to be the light in the middle of the darkness, this world would be a better place to live. That is my opinion (sorry, Maggy's opinion lol).

Moral of the story? Do you want to meet Maggy?. Just shine in the middle of the darkness and you will I will then present you to Maggy.

Always a pleasure
The Journeyman

Monday, September 5, 2011

My Journey to Tanganyika Blue Bay Resort

For those of you who are NBA Basketball fans (and those of you who are not, what are you waiting for? Lol), you might remember Isiah Thomas words when the Pistons won their first championship (many of you were not born yet lol). He said “Heaven might be like this”. That's how I felt this Sunday when I arrived at Tanganyika Blue Bay Resort. This place is just heaven on earth(click here:

I had heard of this place, but it was my first visit there. I went there because I'd heard that the paparazi won't follow me there. Just kidding. It was a surprise to my wife that I secretly planed few days ago with my friend Adrian. My wife couldn't believe it. All the way from Bujumbura to Rumonge (where the resort is located), all she could say was singing Steven Sogo's song “Il est beau mon pays” (My country is beautiful). The funny thing is that she was singing about Burundi and she is from Rwanda. Go figure lol

At her place, I would do the same. Boy this country is beautiful. The last time I went to Rumonge was in 1992. Can you believe that?

What a week! This week alone, four of my dreams came true. I conducted my first workshop in Burundi (man, it was fun), I met former President Buyoya (I really respect this man and I wanted to meet him for a very long time), I went to Kidumu's concert (this guy is just a huge superstar in the making) and I was in the news all week long. That's just only the beginning (I am just modest as you can see...). To top it all off, my visit to the Blue Bay Resort. Toronto can wait just a little bit.

Do you know the cool thing? I met the boss of the Resort and, guess what? He gave us a complementary room my wife and I for next week-end (please do not call me next week-end, my phone will be off lol).

Even though this week was really cool (and very busy), my friend Adrian is the one who made it complete, for many reasons. First of all, he is the one who got the idea of going down to the resort. Second of all, while having a drink on the beach, he shared with me his dream and he rocked my world. This guy has some serious dreams man. I just want to be part of it.

On our way back to the city, we met a group of young fellows who were with us at the resort. It seemed that they had some car problems. My friend Adrian decided to stop and give a hand. Their car could not move. We were so many miles away from the city. Adrian decided to cut the seating belt of their car and use it to pull their car with ours. We drove for hours, pulling the other car behind us until we got to their home (and it was getting dark). The young fellows, and myself could not believe how generous my friend Adrian is. He always put others first, and what he did for those kids was just unbelievable. Guess what, that is how Burundians are. We had our share of problems in the past, but we are generous people in spite of all. Something the world may learn from us

Moral of the story? Do you want a complementary room at a resort? Just be in the news and you will be in a concert (I don't even know what I just said, but who cares lol)

Always a pleasure
The Journeyman

Monday, August 29, 2011

My Journey to a Campaign

Guess what! I am staying one more month in Burundi (I know you know that already, I just wanted to remind you).

I also know that you are dying to know the reasons why I am staying. The news is for sale. I am going to give you my bank account for you to deposit the money if you want to know the information

But before anything, a plug for my friends Freddy and Caitlin for their awesome wedding ceremony last Saturday. I heard their MC was like a Rock Star (I am wondering who he might be...)

Coming back to me staying one more month (I wish it could be more than that), I will be working on a major fund raising campaign for a foundation named “Fondation Roi Mwezi Gisabo” (King Mwezi Gisabo Foundation) whose president is Ambassador Albert Mbonerane (he is the Martin Luther King of the environment here). What a blessing! Our goal? Saving Lake Tanganyika.

For a long time considered as one of the best national touristic attractions, the Lake Tanganyika is not what it used to be. Not long ago, its water was clear, people could swim in it, or learn to swim (that's my case), a surprising fauna developed there. Today, the lake is dying, more and more polluted and exploited. Somebody has to do something. I am glad I am part of this.

When I was given the contract to run the campaign, the first thing I did was to put together a team of people who I thought could help me (if I did not call you, be patient. I will do it soon). We have been working for a week now and, boy are we having fun. We believe in the project and we are not scared about the goal we set (which is really high)

I am now writing this blog near the pool at Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika, near the lake. Boy, this place is gorgeous. This hotel used to be one of the best we had in Burundi. The war destroyed it in the nineties and somebody took over the ownership of the hotel and started everything from scratch. Now the hotel is like a paradise. I think we can do the same for the lake

Maybe you have ideas of how we could save our Lake (I am talking to my fellow Burundians, or anybody who has the environment at heart). You are welcome to give a hand (I promise you to be your friend if you do). I will keep you posted on how things are rolling down here

Now it's time to eat. I better go. Between you and the food, my choice is clear
Moral of the story? Do you want to save Lake Tanganyika? Just send me your ideas and I will be your friend forever (first come first served)

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Monday, August 22, 2011

My Journey to one more month in Burundi

Guess what! I am staying one more month in Burundi (sorry Toronto paparazi)
Have you heard the phrase “be careful what you wish for because you may get it ”? It just happened to me.

As you have all read in my last blog (and I know you have), I was talking about making a difference in Burundi. I guess somebody was listening (or reading). For one month, I will be working on a project that I cannot mention for now (the papers are not signed yet lol). But stay tune to your local TV station you are going to hear about it. I can't wait to start.

It has been a wonderful experience down here at all levels (getting married being the best one). God has granted me (and I am saying this with all humility) the capacity to help people get or accomplish a dream. And once it happens, I cannot tell you the joy I feel to see somebody's dream come true. And for some reasons, those people seem to find me

Just the other day, a good friend of mine came to see me asking for guidance. She knew that she had a dream to help people, but she did not know where to start or who to help. After about half an hour conversation, all was clear and she was ready to start. She took action right away. I saw her two days ago, and she told me that she has found her dream. Guess what! Somebody just promised her 500,000 Burundi Francs so that she can start working on her dream. Is that cool or what?

I heard someone say that in the vision there is provision. Most of the time we don't start doing anything because we don't see where the money is going to come from. I have never started anything knowing where the means would come from. Money always finds me working towards my goal. Starting anything almost cost nothing. It could be planning, it could be talking to people about your dream, it could be asking for advice, but action is required to accomplish anything

So, please don't wait. If you have a dream, start where you are and move towards your goal. The provision will find you busy working. I read in a very good book that when we ask it is always given. So, why not ask for more, and while waiting for it to come, keep being busy and we will see you at the top (that's the Journeyman's wisdom)
Moral of the story? Do you want your dream come true? Keep reading my blogs and somebody will give you 500,000 Burundi Francs.

Always a pleasure
The Journeyman

Monday, August 15, 2011

My Journey to My Birthday

As you are reading this blog, it's a national holiday in Burundi. Nobody went to work today. Do you know why? Because it is my birthday (and I am saying this modestly)

This date also marks the anniversary of my third month in Burundi. I have enjoyed every moment of it (most often leading to going to bed at 3 AM). I have met longtime friends, I have made new ones, but most of all, it is the first time I am with all my brothers and my mom since 2002. What a joy for my mom to have his two sons getting married just one week apart! It is a month she will remember for a long time.
While working on my wedding, I found time to meet business owners, government officials, superstars (at least one: Yvonne Chaka Chaka) and other service providers.

Out of the blue, one prominent figure here in Burundi called me a few weeks ago and asked me if I could help his organization achieve one of its goals: financial autonomy. I was both honoured and pleased to give a hand.

This last Friday, I found myself speaking to his staff members and partners about a system I have been teaching for years now. I had been used to this presentation, but this time it was like magic. I could see the light in their eyes. All of sudden, nothing was impossible for them anymore. After my presentation, they couldn't let me go. They started talking to me about their personal dreams, what they have achieved in the past, and so on. It was a blast

Suddenly, what I thought was a simple system turned out to be a solution for my country. Can you imagine if everybody was working on achieving their goals and dreams? There would be no time for fighting (that is my opinion). Man, I couldn't sleep that night. All that I was thinking about was to find out how my system could help as many people as possible. Before you knew, I called out my friends Machado, Nana and Adrien (and what a joy to see my wife joining in the conversation!) for a brainstorming session. Ideas started to flow like crazy. We are ready to make a difference in Burundi.

What I did not know at that time was that, behind my back, my wife was organizing a surprise birthday party. Boy she did surprise me. She had invited over ten of my good friends, two of them drove me away from home while the others were coming. Long story short, at 2 AM we were still talking, drinking (soft drinks for me lol) and singing. We are still laughing at my friend Kijanya's jokes. He is a crazy dude.
Moral of the story? Do you want a surprise birthday party? Just call out your friends for a brainstorming session and you will make a difference while having fun at the same time.

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Monday, August 8, 2011

My Journey to the finish line

What a week! I don't even know where to start (should I stop here then?)
Were you watching TV this last Saturday? I hope you did otherwise you missed my wedding. There is still hope though. Next year, August 6 will be a national holiday for our one year wedding anniversary, and there will be tons of reports and documentaries about it. Then you will get a chance to see what you missed.

Seriously. I don't know how I would have made it without my friends and family. I am still amazed how people spent sleepless nights just to make the event a success (I am still wondering how I am going to thank them). Once again, my wedding reminded me that the best investment we can make is to invest in people.

The event took several months in the making. There have been some ups and downs, but we made it. The whole story is a book by itself. Things went exactly as planned (in terms of dates), but the path to get there was a learning process for me. I cannot tell you that everything was in place to make the event happen. It took a lot of faith, sacrifice and commitment, but I do not regret every single moment of it.

Twenty four hours before the wedding, I was still running all over the place, more than once, I had to expect miracles to happen. Early in the afternoon, I came to a place where I had no options at all. I had to find a solution quickly or there would be no wedding. You know what I did? Can you guess? Ok, I will give you the answer. I did....nothing. Instead, I went to the beach to relax with my Best Man. I knew the solution would come to me at its own time. Looking at me, you would have thought that there was nothing to get done, even though the time was ticking.

Do you know how the solution came? Not the way I was expecting (That is always the case). I got a call from my mom asking me about a small detail about the event, I promised her to make some calls and I would get back to her shortly. The first phone call I made was to a family member. Everything went fine, but at the end of our conversation he just went: “there is a voice that tells me that you are worried about something. What is it?” At first, I wanted to deny it, but, I thought that it wouldn't help.

I decided to tell him the story, and guess what, he gave me the solution I was looking for (and there was no way I could do it by myself).
I have learned that when we fight against what is happening to us, the situation tends to persist. But if we accept things as they are and go with the flow without stressing, the solution always comes naturally at its own time. I know that it is easy said than done, but trust me, it works. It doesn't matter what the problem is, there is always a solution.

Moral of the story? Do you want to get married? Just go to the beach to relax and the solution will come to you.

Always a pleasure
The Journeyman

Monday, August 1, 2011

My Journey to a meeting with the Princess of Africa

Can you believe that I am writing this blog on Sunday? Most of the times, my blogs are ready by Thursday, and then I post them on Monday (knowing that you are all sitting with great anticipation at your computers waiting for them)

It's been a busy and eventful week. Did you read my last blog? I hope you did, otherwise I won't continue writing this one. The event that I was talking about did in fact happen. She was here! And it was an honour and pleasure to meet her, talk with her, have lunch with her, joke with her, meet government officials with her, be her interpreter and the MC at the event in which she was the guest of honour. She is called the Princess of Africa (and she really is). Her name is Yvonne Chaka Chaka
Yes I was with her. I was with THE star of African music for an entire day and evening. I was with greatness. Check out her official website:

Chaka Chaka was invited by an organization of which I am part; and she was here in Burundi mainly because of her work with the United Nations in the fight against malaria. She is a true humanitarian and she has Africa in her heart. She was not supposed to sing at our gala, but what she did not know was that my boys Nicolas and Kijanya were planning to make her sing at all cost. Boy, it was magical to see my men sing with her!! They planned it so well that she could not resist. And when she hit the microphone, the crowd was at her feet. It was like a dream to see the Ngoma boys share the stage with Chaka Chaka, singing “Stand by me”, a song that she performed in the past with Bono of U2.

The gala was a huge success. Nobody wanted to go home. But it was mainly a huge relief for the organizers who put together the event (with so little help) and made it happen. I was with them, I saw what they went through to make it happen. I offered a little bit of help but the merit goes to them and they deserve it. Nana, Adrien and Machado, you are my heroes and the country should be proud of you (Nadege and Pamela, don't worry I did not forget you. You did a great job too).

I have been organizing events for quite some time and I know what it takes to make them happen. It takes serious commitment, dedication, faith and a lot of lack of sleep (lol). People who attend events just see the finished product but do not realize the amount of work that goes on behind the scene. It is so easy to see what went wrong at an event as a spectator and criticize, but the real challenge is to make it happen and very few people are willing to go the distance. Isn't that the same thing with success? We see successful people, admire them (or hate them), but we do not know what they went through to get there and the price they paid to be at the top.

What I have also seen is that, when you finally hit the goal, you don't even remember the pain you went through to get there (like a mother giving birth to a child). You want to do it again. That moment was this Friday when I saw Chaka Chaka on the stage singing with my Toronto friends, here in Burundi. Man, it was so great. I am sure Kijanya and Nicolas won't forget it too (for a long time)

Moral of the story? Do you want to meet a superstar? Just be one and you will meet the Princess of Africa.

Always a pleasure
The Journeyman

Monday, July 25, 2011

My Journey to a great event

It's been more than a month that I am here in Burundi (away from North American paparazzi lol). So far, I have not had time yet to see all my friends , but I am having a great time. I have been to the airport twice and it was nice to see some fellow Torontonians coming down here.

My time has been mainly devoted to my upcoming wedding (we are only two weeks away, stay tune to a TV channel near you), but I have been involved in some other stuff as well. I am part of an organization called Heart of Africa Alliance based here in Burundi, and for the last two years, they have been doing some cool things. Heart of Africa Alliance is an organization that was founded by journalists and former journalists who are still working in the communication field, and its main purpose is to promote excellence by giving awards to people who have been working more than others in different fields. Last year was about rewarding those who have been involved in the children rights, and this year it will be about the environment.

Last year's event was so great but I did not get a chance to be there (I only sent a video). But this year, not only will I be there, but I will also get the opportunity to see my friends Kijanya and Nicolas from Toronto perform at the event (after so many years away from Burundi). We have a few other high profile guests (other than me of course), and the big announcement is a few hours away.

As the event is a few days away, we have been running all over the place talking to different businesses and organizations asking them for sponsors. I was amazed by people's generosity. Everybody wants to be part of it (who wouldn't? The fact that I am part of it is enough to bring sponsors, and I am saying this with my legendary modesty lol). Just kidding.

At some occasions when we meet business owners, I get a chance to tell them what I do, and I can see that in a near future I will be working with some of them. It is great to see young entrepreneurs taking big steps and making things happen. How pleasant it was to see one of my former students running a great organization helping others to achieve their dreams! I was like, either he was a brilliant student, or his teacher was brilliant . After a few thoughts, I am saying that he was a brilliant student. He made me so proud.

There are so many great things happening here, but it is sad to say that we do not have enough opportunities to hear about them. I purposefully do not listen to the news (that so often are saying that the sky is falling down on us), and have decided to focus on the good things that I see. And you know what? There are plenty of them. This is another proof to the saying that goes like “energy flows where attention goes”. If our focus is on the good things, guess what? We will see more good things and more good things will come to us. This is the Journeyman wisdom and it is free of charge.

Moral of the story? Do you want to see more good things coming to you, just keep reading my blogs and you will be invited to a great event

Always a pleasure
The Journeyman

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Journey to the Mountains

What an adventure I had last Sunday! In my quest to be back in shape (I really need it lol), I accepted an invitation for a hike. It's a club that has been doing it every Sunday for thirty two years now. I grew up seeing them every Sunday walking the streets of Bujumbura but I had never been part of any of their activities.The club name is "Les Amis de la Montagne" (Friends of the Mountain)

I thought it would be a piece of cake. Come on, I have been a Basketball champion (at least as a coach lol), I have climbed the CN Tour four times,so walking should be easy. What an illusion!

What I did not know was that, whenever I saw them walking, it was just a forty minutes warm up. After the walk, they go for a hike in the mountains, and that, my friends is something. I learned my lesson. For about half an hour, we were just walking, and I was chatting with longtime friends of the family who are part of the club, and they were explaining to me how things work in the club. I was very much impressed.

They told me that, after a while, there would be separate groups who will take different routes according to the degree of difficulty of the hike. I thought to myself:I will certainly be in the elite group.Remember, I have been a Basketball know the story. Then we got to the hills; the leaders showed us the way for the different routes. A and B (the tough ones) would go this way, and the C would go that way. I was definitely an A.

Off we went, A and B together. After about ten minutes of walking, I was sweating like crazy, almost lost my breath. Then something happened. We stopped. I was like, it was high time we stopped. The leader then said: Group A you go this way, and group B you go that way. This time, there was no way I would go with A. No way

Group B took off. Man, it was crazy. By the time we got to the top of a mountain, there was another one to climb. And I was like, what in the world did I get myself into? I wanted to call my wife, my mom, God...., anyone who could help. Needless to say that I was the last one in the group. And all the time I was thankful that I did not go with group A. I would have been dead by this time.

At first, the group members wanted to wait for me, but I told them to keep going because I didn't want them to loose their momentum. I was hopeless. I was stopping every two minutes. I started asking for directions from the people who live there. I was asking them if they saw any men and women with white T-Shirts (that is the club uniforms). They gladly showed me the way, but after a while, there was no way I could get to them. I was done.

Then, a young boy offered to help and show me my way back by taking a shortcut to the main street. I thought it was a shortcut. We walked for half an hour before getting to the street. I was so exhausted man. By the time I got to the main street, I met a club member who took the shortcut as well. He had a meeting to go to, that is why he did not go all the way. I asked him where were all the others and he told me that they were still climbing. I was like, are you serious???!!! These people are machines

I will be honest and tell you that, for years, I thought this club was for old people who could not practice any other sport. How wrong was I! I have never been in any basketball drill that was this hard (maybe it's my age as well). Compared to this hike, climbing the CN Tour is a piece of cake. And these people have been doing it for over thirty years!!!!! That is impressive

How often do we judge people at the first sight without trying to get to know them? So often, we are quick to judge and have an opinion on everything without even trying to understand that person (at least that is my case). After last Sunday, I had a whole other view of the club. It was respect. I had also a great respect for the people who live in those mountains and who, day after day, come down to the city to make a little bit of money and return home, sometimes with nothing for which to show. They are at the heart of our economy (the food we eat comes from there). I learned my lesson

Moral of the story? Do you want to learn your life lesson? Just put on a white T-Shirt and go for a hike in the mountains and you will take a shortcut

Always a pleasure
The Journeyman

Monday, July 11, 2011

My Journey to a cool week

After a few days in Rwanda, I returned to Burundi with no other plans to travel. I have to prepare for the main event in August (remember to watch CNN that day). However, that alone cannot take all my time. I still have time to relax, visit friends, do some Goal Achievers Work, play some Basketball and run in the morning up the hills surrounding the city. I have also had the privilege to meet some government officials and top business owners so that I could have an idea of what's going on in the business world down here. I visited my former high school, my former place of work, and Le Maquis, my favourite restaurant. What a blast! Their chicken is still the best after so many years (or was I just hungry?)

Just two days ago, I decided to stay home all day, no computer, no work, no TV. It was awesome! All I did was read my book, listen to some audios and rest. I cannot remember a day where that was all I did.

My friend Jeff came over from Rwanda last week-end and spent three days with us. I grew up with Jeff in Ngagara, one of the nicest places here in the capital city. We decided to go back there and visit. It was an awesome experience. I could remember all the houses, friends who use to live there, some of them are still there. It was like returning to my roots. All the people I met brought back great memories from my childhood.

As I was reading my book, suddenly an idea came to me. I called up my wife who was watching her favourite movie (I think she should be an actress. She watches so many movies). She thought it was something serious I wanted to ask her. I then asked: “Can you tell me ten things for which you are thankful? (I thought I would be the top one lol)”. She looked at me and said: “these books that you're reading are driving you crazy. Why are you asking me this?” But she saw that it was a serious question. And my charms were enough to make her respond to the question (at least that is what I tell myself).

We started counting our blessings. At first, I didn't know I could find ten things for which I was thankful. But as we kept counting, we couldn't stop. It's funny how we never stop and think about these things; and there are plenty of them. Once we start to focus on the good things, we begin to realize how we are just blessed to be alive and surrounded by our loved ones. I heard someone say that energy flows where attention goes. Why not focus all our attention and energy on the good things that are happening in our lives all the time? That would be a cool thing, don't you think? You know what? When we do so, our so called problems seem to disappear all of a sudden. Let's just make it a habit to count our blessings on a daily basis, and our lives will never be the same. That is the Journeyman prediction's.

Moral of the story? Do you want to have a problem free life? Just count your blessings and you will read cool books.

Always a pleasure
The Journeyman

Monday, July 4, 2011

My Journey back from Rwanda

It's Monday morning, I know you will read this blog a week after I had written it, but I couldn't wait to write this one, as I know you couldn't wait to read it. This reminds me of a story of a guy who was writing a letter so slowly that it started to bother his friend who was with him. When asked why he was writing that slowly, he simply said: it's because my friend, who will be reading this letter, is a slow reader. Go figure!

I was in Kigali for both to see my in-laws and for the traditional engagement party before the William and Kate like wedding day on August 6. You are all invited, but if you cannot make it, just watch it live on CNN.

The party was simply amazing. I was in a traditional outfit that made me look like Eddy Murphy in Coming to America. I was the Prince of Zamunda. It was a learning process for me as Rwandan tradition is a little bit different from ours in terms of the engagement party process. They even had to find somebody from Rwanda who would represent our family to deliver the speech (we did not want to mess things up, otherwise I would go home without my bride). What a good surprise when I met our representative. It turned out that he is the father of a longtime friend of mine and classmate! It is really a small world.

I arrived in Kigali on Thursday, before my family and friends who were coming the next day from Burundi. I had to meet Jeff my Best Man, and go with him to visit my in-laws where we watched a DVD of a previous engagement party (not mine of course lol), so that I could have an idea of what would happen in mine. After watching it, I had a broad picture of the process.

Now that being said, the day of the party, I couldn't remember everything. It took somebody like Jeff, who is familiar with the complete process, to guide me every step of the way. Even my bride was whispering some stuff in my ear (which I didn't mind lol) just to let me know what was coming up next. In the end, it all worked out fine and the party and after party was great. And just in case you were wondering about the after party.....well yes, I entertained the guest with some of my moves to a great selection of music.

I am trying to figure out why I am telling you all this.

Oh, it just came to me! You are all lucky that I did not lose my inspiration. Maybe it's the nice smell coming from the kitchen. It looks like I will be having a great lunch (there is no way I could cook this good)

Back to my story. For me, the whole thing looked like achieving any goal. We need to see the broad picture of what we want to achieve (me watching the DVD before my party), but most importantly, we need to have mentors who know the process and who can guide us in achieving our goal (Jeff, my Best Man was my mentor). We may stumble in the process, but if we trust our mentors and keep the big picture in mind, all will work out fine at the end.

My challenge to you is, if you have any goal in mind, or if you are working on something that you have no idea as to how you will achieve it, how about finding a good mentor who has the experience of already being there and who knows what to do? That would make the process easier for you, and maybe cut in half the time it takes for you to achieve your goal.

Moral of the story? Do you want to find a good mentor? Just have your traditional engagement party and you will look like the Prince of Zamunda.

Always a pleasure
The Journeyman

Monday, June 27, 2011

My Journey back to Kigali

It has been now more than a week that I am in Burundi. I am getting used to everything. I am getting used to eat (very) nice food that I did not cook myself (lol), I am getting used to being mistaken by childhood friends who do not recognize me at first (extra pounds I guess), I am getting used to speaking my broken and almost forgotten Swahili (yes, I am multilingual), I am getting used to meeting my friends and laughing so loud, leaving our neighbours wondering what's going on, and I am getting used to having my afternoon nap (what a delight!).

I am also getting used to changing my relationship with time (half an hour meaning two hours lol), and also having my to do list broken by half as everything is slow. Maybe things are not slow here. I was used to the fast North American pace, but sometimes it's good to get things done quickly than wait longer. That's my opinion.

I am now heading to Kigali to meet my family-in-law. I can't wait. What a great family! Please don't think that I am being biased. These folks know how to enjoy life. The last time I was with them, I laughed so much that I could not sleep in the evening.

I am dreaming of a place that could take the positive aspects of both African and North American cultures and merge them into one. What a perfect world it would be! That would be living the American dream with a sense of community (the African way). It would be like driving a huge school bus with a Ferrari engine. Yes, we will certainly get there faster, but will have a great time along the way as a group.

Down here, it is like a big family. Everybody knows everybody. You go to visit your friend, you find him having his lunch and needless to say you are automatically invited (and you know that is my favourite part of our culture). People don't have to call you before they visit. They just show up and you share what you have.

Today, I witnessed something amazing. Two young guys were trying to rob a lady in her car. Too bad for them. Somebody saw them before they were able to escape. Did he call the cops? Not at all. Instead, the entire community came down to chase after the two guys. Simply put: If you try to rob one person be prepared to deal with the community.

Am I missing some North American stuff? I think having faster line ups would help a little lol, and 9 O'clock meaning 9 sharp would help a brother lol. Other than that, I am really having the time of my life, especially when I think that this was a goal of mine at the beginning of this year. It's like living in a dream that I have created myself. Sometimes we tend to forget that we have the power to design the life that we want and go out there and live it. All we have to do is think outside of the box and decide what we really want. The rest is not even up to us. Of course, that's just my opinion.

Moral of the story? Do you want to live a dream life? Just create a school bus with a Ferrari engine and you will eat food that you did not cook yourself.

Always a pleasure
The Journeyman

Monday, June 20, 2011

My Journey to Burundi

You knew this one was coming. Some of you were stuck on the computer waiting for this one to come out (at least that is what I say to myself). I made sure I wrote it on Saturday so that I could post it on Monday (the Internet here is that slow). Now I call my home Internet “my school of patience”. But I am loving it!

I landed on Thursday at 1.30 PM local time, after a trip that took me from Toronto to Washington DC; from there I flew to Ethiopia, then Kenya, and finally to Burundi. It was a long flight and I had to be at Pearson Airport at 3 AM on Wednesday to catch my first flight. When I finally went to bed on Thursday, I had spent more than 48 hours without sleep ( I think I am Superman, what do you think?).

Some days are more symbolic than others. June 15 was one of them for me. One of the things we do at Goal Achievers (yes, that is a plug for my business), is we ask people to set goals and attach a date to them. June 15 was my date that I had set in January of this year. My goal was to fly to Burundi and spend three months there. Did I know how I would do it? The “How” is rarely in my thoughts. It always shows up when needed.

How things unfolded is really like a movie. Somewhere in the middle of April, Phil Taylor, the founder of Goal Achievers International asked me to take over the Canadian division of his company. You know what was the result. I said yes, but it took some, I would say, serious investment in terms of cash. Next thing you knew, it was time for me to send some money back home (yes, weddings cost a little). Three days after, my friend and mentor that I call JG agreed to be my business partner (after me begging him lol). That too took some more monetary investment (don't ever think I am Bill Gates lol)

I also found out that JG's wife is a flight concierge. He said "She can take care of your flight to Burundi” and I in return said "Sure! Bring it on". Did I think about my bank account at that moment? Well, just a little (if you know what I mean). Kerri is super amazing! In her concierge business she aims to take care of you every step of the way and that is truly what she did for me. She found me a deal that I could not let go. She is just a genius. However, I had 24 hours to pay for the flight otherwise I would have lost it. I said to her: No worries, it will be paid on time. Did I know how? Well the "How" is rarely, ...I guess you know it by now.

Long story short, the ticket was paid...5 minutes before the deadline, and guess what? Are you ready? Do you want me to wait and tell you the story in my next blog? I guess this would be a great time to go for a commercial break....if my blog was a TV show. But it is not, so I will tell you the story for free. This is what happened: The ticket was given to me as a gift. Yes, you got it right. I did not pay for it. Somebody did. The gift was given to me, check this out: 5 minutes before the deadline. How about that? Did I tell you that that the “How” is rarely..., now you know it by heart

Those of you who are planning to fly somewhere, please check out Kerri's company at: She is the real deal and she is way more than just a travel agent. Trust me when i say she will take care of you every step of the way.

This was just one story among many that I can tell you. June 15 was really a symbolic day for me. Stay tune for many stories to come.

Moral of the story? Do you want to achieve any goal you have? Just set the date and you will get stuff for free

Always a pleasure
The Journeyman

P.S. Get my $295 - 8 Lesson Goal Achieving Audio Program for FREE
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