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Monday, March 26, 2012

My Journey to a Meeting with a Warrior

I first met her few years back when she was new to Canada. At that time she was looking for a place to rent and my job at that time involved helping newcomers to Toronto to find accommodation. I do not remember if she got the place thanks to my help, but what I do remember is that we have been friends ever since. We have so many things in common. The books we read, the movies we watched, the music we listened to, the food we liked (not in terms of quantity lol) even Basketball and Tennis.

Years went by and we kept in touch. She would share with me her life story, sometimes asking for my advice, and I would do the same.

About two and half years ago, she started saying that she was not feeling good. Countless times she went to different doctors but they could not find what was wrong with her. What she knew was that she was in pain. It started with her legs, then it got so bad that she could not move from her house. And then one day, they finally found it. Guess what? She had cancer.... I will never forget the day she told me the news. I was devastated. Surprisingly, she was not. She just said to me: “I am sharing the news with only close friends, but I want to let you know that I will be ok. I know I won't die”. I was shocked by her attitude and I admired her for that.

So, the treatment started. It was nothing she had ever seen or experienced before. It was so painful and they told her the treatment would last at least two years. I went to visit her a couple of times at the hospital. She was hanging in there. She even went home after a few weeks. She thought it was over, but the worst was yet to come. She went back to the hospital and this time, it was really, really hard. She was in a coma for a number of days; she lost all of her faculties that even doctors were fearing the worse.

I left for Africa for four months and I did not hear from her, or from any of her other friends. I was praying that, by the time I returned to Toronto, I would find her doing ok. I also heard from one of her friends that she even lost her memory. She did not remember anything, even the people who came to visit her at the hospital. It was really very sad.

A few weeks after I came back to Toronto, I received a message on Facebook from a name that I did not recognize saying “I thought we were friends. Did you forget about me?” I did not pay much attention to the message. But days later, I came back to the message and I finally realized the message was from my friend. She had changed her name on Facebook. That's why I did not recognize her the first time. Oh my God. I couldn't believe it! She was finally doing fine. She even told me about books that she wanted to read. My friend was back to life.

Two weeks ago, my wife and I went to visit her. We thought it would be for a couple of hours. Guess what! We got home after midnight. She shared with us her story, how she had to fight alone while her close friends abandoned her and how before her sickness she was so mad at God. Things have changed and today she is constantly praying and giving thanks to God for the work he has done in her life. She is not 100% yet. But she is looking forward to the future. She is about to finish her treatment, and she cannot wait to get out there and help those who are going through what she went through.

Her name is Gentille Umutoni Byusa, and she is a true warrior.

With lots of love, this is for you Gentille.

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Monday, March 19, 2012

My Journey to a Great Week-End

It's now early Monday morning. I am getting ready for my final presentation of a series of workshops I have been doing the last month or so. I feel fresh as ever. Do you know why? Because I did almost nothing over the week-end.

Almost nothing is an overstatement. But I did something that I have not done for a long time: Relax.
It's been very intense the last few months (for many reasons), and, as my business partner went to England for a whole week, I said to myself that I could also take some time off. Why not?

On Saturday we went for a movie. Have you seen Denzel's “Safe House”? Very intense one. My wife got mad at me saying that we should have not watched the movie because Denzel's character died at the end (sorry for those who are planning to watch it. I just ruined the party). I laughed so much because I had nothing to do with it.

After the movie, we went for a bite in the nearest Japanese restaurant. For some reason, my wife could not eat any of the food. She did not like it at all. What do you think I did? I had to ease her pain by eating her dish as well (I am a good husband who is open to any opportunities in terms of food).

I woke up early afternoon on Sunday. After a couple of phone calls back home, we went to visit a very good friend of mine that I haven't seen for a long time. As we were heading home, I asked my wife:”what do you think I should write in my blog tomorrow?” She just told me to talk about our week-end. So, that's what I am doing. If you are reading this blog, you should thank her, she is the one who came up with the idea.

Now that I just finished what she asked me to do, let me tell you what my presentation today is all about. I will be talking about Determination. That is a very easy topic for me. My whole life has been about that. As I told you earlier, it is the last of three presentations that I have been asked to do. The first was about knowing we want out of life, the second was about networking, and today I will finish by talking about determination.

I think the sequence of those presentations makes sense. Once we know what we want, we need to identify the people who will help us getting there. But nothing will help unless we have the desire and determination to get there at any cost. Do you know why? Because there will be obstacles. You will be tested. Unless you have the drive and determination to win, you will give up.

So, my friend, if you are working on something, don't give up when it gets tough. It's only a test to see if you really mean business. You are learning what it takes to go to the next level. I have found out that the victory is sweeter when we get it after overcoming adversity. Otherwise we would have taken it for granted and missed the opportunity to learn the lesson we needed for us to get there.

I think I just finished my presentation. Should I stay home then?

Moral of the story? Do you want to have determination in life? Just relax over the week-end and you will get there.

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Monday, March 12, 2012

My Journey to an Intense Week

It has been quite sometime that I haven't had such an intense week (at many levels). Have you been in moments when nothing seems to work? You try your best, you pray, you read inspirational books, you do all you can do but in vain. After a while, I started to doubt myself and couldn't understand what was going on.

That was until Thursday morning when I got a text from my friend JG asking me if we could meet for lunch. You know me. When someone talks about food, he immediately gets my attention. JG has been a mentor of mine for almost a year now, but it has been a while since we saw each other. He has been traveling all over the world helping people with his coaching business.

Before I continue, please remind me to share with you some breaking news (and it won't be on CNN...). Hope you will remind me before I end this blog. I don't want you to miss this one.

Anyways, we met for lunch (nice steak by the way) and it was time to catch up. I told him what has been going on in my business and my life, the challenges I have been facing and all the fun stuff. He then started asking me questions. Boy, he did not hold back. He gave it to me man. I was like “are you kidding me?” He told me exactly what I needed to hear. He kicked me in.... (well you know where). Before he was done, he just said: “I told you all of this because I knew you could handle it. Make sure you surround yourself with friends who can kick you when necessary. Friends who won't hold back when they see that you are heading in the wrong direction”.

I looked into his eyes, and with almost tears in my eyes, I told him this: “This will NEVER happen again. I will never again drop the ball like this. You have my word”. He then left. Did I tell you that the lunch was on him? I think I should meet him again soon. This time only for the food.

Funny enough, when I made the decision, things started to happen. The next day, we started a new Mastermind/Coaching/group in North York, things that were not moving started to move, people that I haven't heard from for weeks called me back to tell me they were ready to work with me. Wow!

That was nothing compared to what I learned in a 2 day seminar that I attended this week-end. I have been in so many seminars and training workshops, but this one tops them all. It was about finding your passion and getting paid to do it. Is that cool or what? It was one of the best moments in my life. The seminar was so intense, but so informative. Get ready. Something is about to take off.

I am glad you did not forget to remind me about the breaking news. Are you ready? Can you handle it? Or do you want me to wait until next week to share it with you? Maybe you should take me to lunch before I tell you..

Ok, ok. I won't keep you waiting. Have you heard about a guy named Brian Tracy? If you haven't, please stop reading and google this guy. I am going to wait until you are done. Go ahead and search him on the net.

Are you done? Well, let me tell you that on April 24, yes, next month, I will be sharing the stage with him here in Toronto. Is that cool or what? Please hold before asking me for an autograph. I need to get my pen ready. It is a dream come true man. I will let you know the details as soon as I can.

Getting back to my conversation with JG, I can't tell you how blessed I am to have him in my life. If you have a dream or goal you want to achieve, please do find a mentor to guide you on your journey. It is so important, especially if it is someone who has achieved what you want to achieve (otherwise, how can he help you?).

Moral of the story? Do you want me to be your mentor? Just invite me for lunch and I will be able to help you.

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Monday, March 5, 2012

My Journey to a Windy Week-end

If you are here in Toronto, you know what I am talking about. Was it a storm or what? I thought our house was going to be blown away this week-end (but nothing compared to what happened down South in the US).

With such wind blowing all over the place, no way I would go out. Good thing I did not have any appointment or meeting booked (a rare thing). What do you think I did? I watched as many TV shows as I could (in between my wife's favourite Nigerian movies). Thanks to Rogers' “On Demand”, I was able, not only to catch up with “The Mentalist”, “The Big Bang Theory” and many others, but I also discovered new shows I did not know about, like “The Finder” (a good one as a matter of fact). Do you think I will get some advertising fees for promoting these shows? I hope so.

One of the shows I liked the most this week-end was CBC's “Dragon's Den”. My friend Jim always talks about this show that I was curious to find out what it is about. I was not disappointed at all. The show is about a few investors who are judging business ideas from different people who come to pitch them for a potential partnership. It is a great concept and people sometimes come up with crazy ideas.

Towards the end of the show, a guy came up with a couple of good looking ladies wearing bikinis (I almost changed the channel. Just kidding). Do you know why they were waring bikinis? They wanted to show their abs. This guy wanted to show to the investors a product that he had created. According to him, once someone drinks his product, he/she will get abs in a very short time (hence the presence of the bikini ladies). I was like “I need this product” (my search for a six pack abs has taken me a lifetime and I am now losing hope).

The investors started to ask him questions in regards to his product and all the great stuff about return on investment. I was hoping he gets the money for the product to be on the market as soon as possible (that's how desperate I am). He ended up getting nothing. Do you know why? One of the investors asked him a simple but yet profound question to which he could not respond. The question was: “Can you show me your abs?” The guy couldn't do it simply because he hadn't any. Can you believe that? This guy was convincing investors to invest in a product that he hasn't successfully used himself (maybe getting abs was not his cup of tea).

It was so funny, but it was common sense at the same time. It got me thinking though. Do you know what I was asking myself? Guess!

I started thinking about my product. I teach people to achieve their goals (and with great results most of the time). But, am I achieving mine? That's the question. This year, I haven't achieved mine yet, but I am on my way. The good news is that it's all about the journey, not the destination. It's not always easy but I will hang in there. I heard someone say “don't wish it could be easy, wish you could be stronger”

Moral of the story? Do you want to have great abs, find someone to show you how. It won't be me.

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman