“When man…is pushed, tormented, defeated, he has a chance to learn something; he has been put on his wits, on his manhood, he has gained facts, learns from his ignorance, is cured of the insanity of conceit; has got moderation and real skill.” – Emerson
The photo shown below, was taken at a time (September 2013 – 6 months after I relocated to Cotonou) when I had just emerged from one of the most challenging periods of adversity in my life as an entrepreneur.
I had been sorely tested…but thankfully, I got through it and achieved success, because I had been READY for the challenges that were thrown at me.
[TIP: I strongly recommend you read my December 2012 article titled “You Will be Sorely Tested” linked below. It offers elaborate insights into what I did to survive that trying period – including the powerful quotes from great achievers that kept me going when I have nothing left.)
You Will Be Sorely Tested [Over 8,900 views] click to read in new window.
When you go through hard times – especially one in which you lack access to money, shelter, food and friends/family that can provide help or support (as can happen to anyone when you find yourself in a foreign country, where you know NO ONE…like I did), it can be difficult to stay optimistic.
Your faith in yourself and in what you are doing (or trying to do) will be tested and you will be pushed to your wits end.
Ultimately, your ability to persevere, with courage, will be determined by the convictions you have.
This is often a time of true reckoning for many people that helps them gain clarity about whether or not they are in the right business or line of work.
For me, being able to emerge for that terrible phase of my life, with my vision for the future still firmly intact, was a major achievement.
I always knew I was on the right track.
Those experiences simply helped me confirm that my convictions were valid – and they even helped others, who had previously doubted me, become BELIEVERS along with me.
And some, today are my most fervent advocates, who will go out of their way to give me support anytime I request it. Sometimes even before I ask them, they identify what I need and provide it.
But I strongly believe the story behind my being able to come out on top, from that potentially traumatizing experience is one that really needs to be told, because it can benefit a lot of people who may have to face similar adversity in their own pursuit of success, at some point.
Celebrating or remembering one’s breakthrough point it good, but I have learned to always offer to share experience based insights about WHAT I DID and HOW I DID IT, so that my audience can take something tangible away from interacting with me.
The TUNDRA jeep I was sitting in belonged to a Cotonou Nigerian diplomat (now retired) who had hired me to develop a custom version of my Excel-VB driven Poultry Farm Manager for his farm in a South Western state back in Nigeria.
The driver had been instructed to take me down to Nigeria, to visit the farm for a few days and bring me back to Cotonou.
We had stopped on our journey from Cotonou to Lagos, to make a purchase, and I’d decided to have the photo of myself taken there (by him) as a kind of date/time marker.
It was actually my first visit back to Nigeria, six months after I first left the country to live in, and work from Cotonou.
I had yet to see my family and was excited that we would stop briefly in Lagos, to drop off two full bags of shoes, clothes and edible goodies I’d purchased for them.
My fortunes had changed massively – from what had been my reality earlier in the year. But it had NOT been by accident.
How this opportunity (and others like it) came my way, just months after I’d had to intermittently sleep on the streets of Cotonou, as I repeatedly run out of funds in the initial weeks of my arrival in Benin Republic, is a story I’ve told ONLY few people.
I plan to correct that situation with a special PDF report in the near future. Among other things, I will provide insights into how I kept an upbeat mental state, such that I as able to keep writing on my blog DAILY, even on an empty stomach for sometimes 4 consecutive days.
I made friends during that time, with total strangers, who have NO IDEA what I was going through. Today, most of them still DO NOT know I was ever is such dire straits.
I kept my own counsel. I knew what my goal was – and even hunger or lack of money or a place to lay my head could NOT make me lose THAT focus.
Blind, absolute and unquestioning faith, and a refusal to recognize failure, was all I had – and it eventually led me (as Napoleon Hill promised in “Think and Grow Rich”) to client-getting/money making success. A few examples are highlighted in the article, linked below:
PII 100: What Are You Willing to Do to Succeed? [Hint: I Slept on the Streets of Benin Republic’s Cotonou & Porto Novo!]