Dare to dream

Have you ever had a dream that wouldn’t go away? Usually, the idea starts very small and grows in your imagination, fed by your desire, ambition, innocence or belief – a feeling that anything is possible if you try hard, keep pushing and never give up. As the years go by, life takes over, reality sets in and you settle for routine, responsibilities and a dream deferred. 

Yet, somewhere in the back of your mind is the nagging thought that there should be more to your life than this. What about the adventure, the travel, the invention or that business you were going to build someday? Somehow, someday was never today but sometime in an undetermined future. It happens to all of us but it can be changed at any time. Thankfully, every day is an opportunity to reinvent yourself and start anew.

Many years ago, I had this idea that I would write a book – a story, an epic adventure. It began when I was 8 or 9 years old, when my best friend and desk mate at school, Michael Hue, and I wrote and illustrated our first comic book, inspired by Marvel characters, like Iron Man, Thor and the Avengers, that are now Hollywood heroes. In high school, I continued to write stories in English class and, eventually, one was recommended for publication in the annual school magazine. In 6th form, I became the features editor and photographer for the magazine, and realised that I had found my calling. I had so much fun that year, writing, fundraising and taking photos, that my schoolwork barely survived. 

Then, reality set in. Exams, emigration, a degree, a job, a life – or so I thought. After 10 years of working on someone else’s dream, I started to work on my own aspirations. After a few years, along with partners, I had built an event management company and, later, an advertising agency where I was free to write copy for ads, brochures and corporate magazines. Exploring different niches, including travel PR and destination marketing, I continued to write and keep my passion alive. Finally, I started this blog, From Kingston to Calabar, to document my experiences and observations as an outsider in a fascinating and contradictory environment. 

Readers of the blog started asking for a book, so I began to write one. Then, I stopped and a crisis of confidence kept the project stalled. Many thousands of readers and 77 countries later, I was encouraged to restart the process – but, first things first. I decided that my debut would be a business publication – something to guide and encourage entrepreneurs to lasting success in a field that is littered with failure and struggle. Based on a series of seminars and workshops I have delivered over the last ten years in the UK and Nigeria, the book outlines a 3-step system for generating significant profits through what I term ‘superior customer service’. 

Just over a week ago, I uploaded the final version of the book to Amazon.com and breathed a huge sigh of relief – I had made my submission with 2 days to spare, nearly 90 days since it went on sale by pre-order. As the feeling sank in, I noticed that the nagging doubts that were decades old were slowly dissipating. The dream had come true. 

Which dream or project have you delayed indefinitely or abandoned altogether because of your job, parenthood, lean resources or a less-than-disciplined lifestyle? Have you been listening to the naysayers who desperately need your company to make them feel better about their own disappointments? While you’ve been reading this, something that you’ve pushed to the depths of your sub-conscious mind is floating to the surface. Retrieve it and take another look. 

Could you start smaller and cheaper? With changes in technology, could your idea work online instead? When I first dreamed of a book, it would have taken thousands of dollars to print, distribute and market; not to mention the rejections from publishers that I would have to endure. By the time I got around to it, Amazon.com was the biggest book retailer in the world and they published my book for free.

There are still continents to conquer, adventures to pursue and a dream house to build. There are millions of lives yet to be touched by the gifts God has blessed me with. I’ll get to them one by one – I still have time. But, for now, I will celebrate this small achievement and let it remind me that all things are possible, if I believe. 

Start believing. Start dreaming again. This time, make a plan and take action – a phone call, an email, anything – and just keep going. You’ll never forgive yourself if you don’t. 

“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.” ~ T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), 1888-1935

‘The More3 Formula: More clients x More sales x More money’ is out now on Amazon.com for just $4.99. If you don’t have a business or business idea but would like to see a friend or relative succeed, you can buy a copy for them as a gift. Click here to purchase: http://www.amazon.com/The-More3-Formula-Supercharge-Superior-ebook/dp/B0196WUKMA 

The book is available currently as a Kindle download for any device – perfect for readers outside of the US, Canada and Europe where Amazon deliveries are not the norm. The Kindle app is free on iPad, Android and other platforms. Paperback version to follow later in March 2016. 

46 thoughts on “Dare to dream

  1. Just yesterday, I noticed your display picture on my contact list has changed, then I thought to say hello and let you know that i miss your articles and hoping that you’d send us one soon.
    Viola! My wish came true., this is super inspiring.
    Thank you Michael.

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    1. Hi Emelda, it’s always great to hear from you. So many readers have been asking for a new post but I was determined to finish the book first. Life is a little challenging at the moment but I’ll write about it as soon as I get to the other end. I’m glad you were inspired, as I wanted to return with a bang. Lol.

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  2. My dear son, I’m proud of you, caan done! All that business about a dream deferred resonates with me. In retrospect I realize I was paralyzed by fear, lack of confidence etc. In later years I got a second chance, as it were, and I did enjoy the partial realization of my dream. So, continue going forward. You will be an inspiration to many, young and old alike. We all must remember that old cliche “While there’s life, there’s Hope” but we have to initiate action.

    Incidentally as part of the Marketing Dept at the bank where I was employed I helped coin the following one-liner: “SSPG – Superior Service by Professionals Guaranteed”, a slogan used to good effect.

    Don’t stay away so long next time…I missed your writings.

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    1. Your response has just reminded me of the best part of writing this blog – the feedback I receive from loved ones and strangers alike. Your honesty is refreshing, to admit what so many of us cannot – that we fail out of fear. I stayed away to finish the book and meet the deadline, but I will be posting regularly from now on. Hope to be back home and see you soon. xxx

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  3. Thanks Michael for this wonderful gift of a book and creative writing.

    Reading through this post felt like you were talking to me directly.

    As a writer and blogger, I can fully relate with every sentence herein.

    Thanks once again and please permit me share on CalabarBlog.Com

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  4. Congratulations, Mike.

    My head is swelling. As usual, you know who comes to mind. This is beautiful. Very well presented. You left me wanting to know more. I am so very proud of you.

    Yes some of us need a kick in the pants to get up and do instead of letting dreams die on the table.
    I keep thinking to myself, why hasn’t he written. I keep checking, checking , but it’s worth the wait.
    Well all the best as you move forward with this dream.
    I am counting the people who need this book. Will be buying more than one copy for gifts.
    Don’t stop now. Keep going!
    Thanks for using this gift with which God has blessed you.

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    1. Thanks Maggie, this means so much to me. I know exactly who comes to mind and I’ve dedicated the book to her. I wouldn’t permit myself to blog until I had completed the book but now I’m back. Thanks for your support with the book. Much love and blessings to the whole family. xxx

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  5. I must say that I felt quite touched while reading this because it felt as if you were writing about me but in the end, it inspired me awhole lot. Thanks a lot Michael. Your articles are always captivating.

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  6. Congratulations Michael, you have done it at last, I always knew you had it in you. It has been one of my greatest pleasure to watch you grow and achieve your dreams. Well done!

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    1. Ah, Charles, you more than anyone know where we are coming from. I’ve had this endless struggle to live up to the image I have of myself, achieving great things in this world. I know I can do more, so I’ll just keep going. Thanks for always being there. Blessings.

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  7. Wow Mike, powerful accomplishment, this fits right in to our Organo business. You introduction of the book speaks volume and i am looking forward to have a read myself in the near future. You motivate me to continue push towards my dreams. I will be sharing with the global T.E.A.M to get a copy. Blessings to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks Michael and bravo on your new book as well. This came at a time I looking for what to do with my boring Sunday admist fuel scarcity in Nigeria. I had to sit tight at home and occupy myself with your good write. I have shared it as well and friends around are excited. Thanks and may God continue to direct you.

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    1. Hi Charles, thanks for your consistent feedback – it helps to keep me going. Thanks also for sharing the piece with friends – please encourage them to click on ‘Follow’ to get future posts automatically. Blessings.

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  9. Bravo Michael on this well thought out piece. I have been well occupied by your ”good-write” on a boring Sunday. Thanks for helping to solve our societal problems.

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  10. Going through this article (finally to the end) is like listening to what the Hebrews will call A Messiah. Thank Michael for th opportunity.

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    1. Essien, thanks very much for your kind remarks. This message is on time for anyone looking for the encouragement to pursue their dreams. Stay focused on your objectives and don’t let anyone else’s opinion of you matter. I’m sure you know what I mean.

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  11. For the past few days I’ve been reading your posts and it’s incredible how much they resonate with me, especially on a day like today I really needed to see this. Your writing is quite simplistic yet so profound. Eleanor Roosevelt once said “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”. From the moment I heard that it sparked a fire deep inside of me so much so I created a vision plan along with a vision board outlining the things that I want to accomplish in all areas of my life. Life throws so many obstacles and circumstances at me, and honestly i can be so daunting but I refuse to give up because I feel as if there’s just more to life. More things to accomplish, more things to feel, to dream, to appreciate, to be grateful for, to embrace. So even though sometimes some dreams do get deferred, the desire to make it become a reality is always there.

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    1. Hi David, thanks for going through the blog and catching up on all the posts. Just keep moving towards what you want, even if it’s just small steps – just keep moving! Once you believe, with absolute certainty that you will achieve, your goal will move towards you. Just keep saying ‘yes’ to all the opportunities that arise along the journey. Blessings.

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  12. Awesome! Just came across your blog via a post you wrote on CalabarCityChurch website. I ever knew you to be a writer/blogger, up until I heard about your book.

    Great work and inspiring article.

    Bless Sir.

    Like

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