Why you should be inspired by yourself!
Everyone has a pedigree worth being proud of. But not everyone is proud of their upbringing. Either it was too dark. Too poor. Too rich. Too bloody. Too easy and whatever else they can come up with to try to be like everybody else.
Someone asked me yesterday, why would an American public want to listen to you? Why would the world want to buy your new book “Start With-In –How to Innovate yourself and Inspire others”?
I told him, that’s the same question I asked myself when I landed in Kenya two years ago with less than $100, no strong networks and a vision to become an active influencer of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem of the region. I asked myself, why would Kenyans listen to me? Why would they value my input? Why would they be inspired to follow me?
My past. What I’ve been through and what I have overcome has brought me to this day and time of my life where I can add value to a nation and its people.
I am the first born of a family of leaders and pioneers in my home country. My father, an exceptional surgeon, started the first private clinic in the history of Guinea. My mother was awarded and recognized as the first and most impactful woman in Agribusiness. My grandfather was a 2 time Governor of two major regions in Guinea during the first regime. That makes me a born leader. Something I am proud to wear, and proud to bear the responsibilities that come with it.
Then I was sent to the US at the age of 8 to study and have a better education than what Guinea could offer. My parents thought that it would be the best decision for me. I spent 4 years under pressure, stress and abused almost every day by my mom’s elder sister. She was physically violent, emotionally manipulative, and verbally destructive. She broke me down and I developed a double personality during the 4 years I was there. I would be a calm and polite little boy at home and a rebel and outgoing trouble maker in school. During the difficult moments, I would always ask myself why someone would be so mean to me. Or why would people be so negative to others? And those questions influenced my path of learning how to become strong and great inside in order to defend the weak, help them improve and also inspire the negative people to see the greatness and good in themselves.
I learned English, which made it easier to communicate with people across the globe. It was a difficult experience, however the return is still invaluable. That background alone may not be enough to get people to give me the crown of Innovation Ecosystem builder of the Year, but it gets there attention that this guy comes from far and has the genes and the mindset to do great things.
After dropping out of 3 universities in 3 cities, 3 countries and 2 continents. Then failing in a dozen and more business and personal ventures. Creating the first agritourism retreat of Guinea. Actively contributing in catalyzing a culture and ecosystem of social entrepreneurship in the country. Then being awarded as one of the most promising young african leaders by the President Barack Obama himself. I start to gain some credit for what I can accomplish, despite the challenges.
That’s a part of my past, and there’s a lot more that I’ve been able to accomplish that confirms, why I should be listened to. And why I should get your attention.
The same goes for you. Whatever your past, there’s something unique that makes it worth listening to. But no one will listen to you if you’re not inspired by your own past achievements, challenges and family.
The guy I was speaking to, responded then that our pasts are so different. He came from a background of violence, drugs, crime and blood. He had to fight everyday to survive in an environment where everyone thinks of surviving and making it through the day. He was from Australia and I’m from Guinea and here were are both in Kenya improving and inspiring people across the globe through our past experiences.
Believe in yourself and see the beauty that exists in your life. Everyone has a story to tell and people will be as inspired and moved by your story as you are. So look back to even before you were born, and find the events and circumstances that your parents lived or overcame for you to be here today pursuing that which you are pursuing.
If there is something more powerful than destiny. This must be the human being who bears his destiny unshaken.