A Fun Way To Make A Living
"You must be willing to do the things today others won't do, in order to have the things tomorrow others won't have."
I had planned to spend that Saturday morning quietly at home with my family. Then the phone rang. It was Richie Dayo Johnson, the president of my club, Croydon Toastmasters. "Dayo, Les Brown is in town, he is speaking in Brixton in 45 minutes. Do you want to attend? I'll pick you in 5 minutes". I accepted because that was an opportunity that I couldn't afford to slip away. Next to Brown, the best black speaker I have ever come across is Richie, a PR & media strategist and an accomplished Master of Ceremony.
To attend a Brown seminar in the US you will need a minimum of £1,000 and here was an opportunity to attend one for free.
Having read two of his books, Live Your Dreams and It's Not Over Until You Win, Brown's story never ceased to fascinate me.
He is a self-made man. His life has been the quintessential tale of triumph over adversity. Brown and his twin brother were abandoned in a poverty-stricken Miami neighbourhood by their parents when he was just six weeks old. Adopted by Mamie Brown, a kitchen worker and maid, he was placed in special education because of his hyperactivity. From his youth, Brown was told that he would not amount to anything. Teachers labelled him a "slow learner," leaving him with a determination to prove them wrong. Brown knew he didn't lack talent and intelligence, the problem was the inability of those around him to recognise and draw out those qualities.
Brown had no formal education beyond high school, but with persistence and determination he has initiated a process of unending self-education which has distinguished him as an authority on harnessing human potential. His passion for learning and his hunger for greatness in himself and others have paid off. He rose from a hip-talking morning DJ to broadcast manager; from community activist to community leader; from political commentator to three-term legislator; and from a banquet and nightclub emcee to premier keynote speaker.
Whether Brown is speaking to a group of high school students or corporate executives, his effect on the audience is the same. "People cannot come and hear me and walk away the same. They cannot go back to the same old safe, unmotivated, don't care person anymore," he claims. His high-energy message is rooted largely in personal experience and tells people how to shed mediocrity and live up to their potential.
These are the things Brown shared with us that Saturday morning. Each of us can achieve far beyond our horizons in avenues of life we have never explored; each of us has some basic goodness, which is the foundation for the greatness we can ultimately achieve; each of us must take responsibility for our actions, our well being and the attainment of our maximum potential; self-awareness, self-approval and self commitment are necessary for self-fulfilment; building and maintaining relationships is critical to social development both in the family and the community; mutual respect is the fundamental element of human relations; we heighten our lives when we help others heighten theirs; planning, measuring and executing are critical tools in the manifestation of our beliefs and each of us must model integrity in the making and keeping of our commitments.
Brown invites us all to be prepared to take risks, to find our special paths to greatness. "I think that what you should do is be willing to experiment with your life. Try a variety of things until you find out what fits you. Even when I found speaking, I got a lot of compliments and feedback from people that said I had a good voice, and "I like hearing you talk". Still, I have been a photographer, I've been a state legislator, I've done public relations work, I was a political strategist, I've been a talk show host, I've been a production manager at a radio station, I managed the radio station, I was an individual that put together sales teams that went door to door selling products, I used to be a master's of ceremonies of entertainment, I used to book shows, I've done a variety of things just to find out what else I could do".
I feel in life, that you have to feel your way through it. I have always searched for that special something that makes me feel like I have the "Midas Touch" and it resonates with me. When I have that feeling, I know I can do it seven days a week and never be bothered by it. I'm talking about a career that you love so much you would do it for nothing - but you do it so well that people will pay you to do it.
So, I love to do a lot of things. I found that I was a "Jack of all trades and master of none" and then finally one day I sat down and said, "What is it that I've gotten the most compliments for? What is it that I can do seven days a week that can create the most value for people as well as for me? That's when I came up with speaking and I said that's where I'm going to drop my bucket. That's where I'm going to put all of my focus and energy." That is Les Brown, world-renowned speaker, successful entrepreneur and best selling author for you. So what trade are you going to be a jack of?
Dayo Olomu is a UK-based Motivational Speaker, Writer, Business/Life Coach, Trainer, Media Entrepreneur and Competent Toastmaster. His core belief is that we are all endowed with seeds of greatness, and his mission is to help individuals and organisations achieve their full potentials. He is the author of best selling "4 Indispensable Strategies for Success" and the President of Croydon Communicators Toastmasters. Get his FREE monthly Rise to the Top ezine by sending a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at: www.dayoolomu.com
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