AKA the story of Frank’s Gym.
About 15 years ago, Frank opened the first lifestyle gym in our little town in Nigeria. It was a new concept back then and even though it was a state of the art establishment, he was struggling to get it off the ground.
One day I sat down brainstormed over a dozen opportuniies and ideas for how he could market and grow the club – really smart simple ideas – this was way before social media or any internet stuff.
I presented it to him and he said wow… Eme. Lets do this. Come over tomorrow. I am going to give you my “posh” car so you can drive out to see a few of the people and organisations you mentioned in your plan.
So bright and early the next day I wore my glad rags, heels, makeup and got my to-do list. It was time for action. (You can probably tell this isn’t going to end well)
I had not been on the road for up to 10 minute when I got pulled over by he police. I cannot even remember what they said my offence was but all I know is I spent the rest of the day at the police station before Frank finally came and got his car out of impound and we went home. Defeated. Never went back. Never put that grand plan into action…
This was obviously an attack of the devil. Yes i said it. If you don’t like the heavy stuff, lets call it the resistance like Steven Pressfield. Call it an obstacle… whatever you call it I know you may have experienced it. When things go wrong at the very worst time…
Anyway that was over 15 years ago but I believe God brought it to my mind a couple of days ago. It was like he was pointing out to me that the target of that resistance was NOT Frank’s gym. the target was my gift.
It was a forehead slapping moment for me. The delay and distraction and detour was aimed at me and not Frank.
I am reminded of this incident years later because these days I find myself exercising this same gift; the ability to see the big picture and identify opportunities, create ideas of practical ways to get your business into the limelight. I wish I still had that list of the ideas and strategies I wrote for Frank back then – they were truly brilliant if I do say so myself.
Now before you think I am being boastful, hear me out.
I can honestly say hand on heart that this gift is from God. that is why I won’t be fake-ly humble or bashful like “aw-shucks lil’ol me”. A the same time I have no reason to be proud. Because its a gift. It was given. I didn’t generate it or create it. It was deposited or downloaded into me. I know this because I know Who gave it to me.
The gift is not mine to own. it was given for me to develop, use, share and do life with – and that includes making money but any true God-given gift always does more for you and others than just make you money.
that gift in each of us is very similar to what we marketers call our USP. Its that special way you do that thing you do – even if there are a hundred others also doing it. It is Your secret sauce… In my case the best way I can describe it is the way God helps me see a complete picture for everyone I work with – not just connecting dots but building a matrix of interconnecting ideas.
When I was obsessively learning about blogging and online marketing and social media and photography and graphics and money and mindset and personal development I never knew what it would amount to. I briefly thought perhaps I could make the internet millions and follow the gurus but by he grace of God I have finally staRted connecting my own dots. All these things have come together to become my main thing – strategy and storytelling.
And I know I am just scratching the surface. But this time I WILL STAY FOCUED AND KEEP SCRATCHING.
So Last night, when my dear son poured juice on my mac keyboard and a 4TH keyboard was laid to rest I decided not to stress too much – well there was a bit of huffing and puffing but other than that I kept my cool. I had just been having incredible momentum on finally setting up my personal blog. But this time I am aware of the resistance. this time I see it for what it is – an attempt to sidetrack me.
I was just getting ready to put up my first blog post and then it happened. Not a coincidence. Unlike with Frank’s gym, I see it for what it was – an attack on the game changing insights that I had leaRnt and was now ready to implement and share.
I had these huge ahas and was about to move forward and boom, here come this setback. frustrating. But I must not break stride.
So Im here writing on pieces of cardboard because its 2am and I cant go downstairs to get my journal until I sort out my keyboard. (and typing on two keyboards – each one with some letters missing)
Recognise that you have a gift: I am not talking about a skill. I know web design and graphics and photography and I am a decent writer but I realise that those are not the gift – they are tools. These tools only help me use my gift to produce results for clients. My duty to God is to develop my skills so I can put my gift to work. I want you to get this distinction.
I am a steward. a caretaker. I did mean to go all spiritual on you but I believe that one day I will be asked – what did you do with what I gave you?
As a steward, I use his gift without pride because I know it is not of myself but rather a privilege and a responsibility to have something that I can use to do life and business
It is easy to overlook the god given gift that is already in you. It is also easy to confuse being “gifted” with having an ability or a skill. Skills are great but the gift is where things get really interesting. That is probably why they say money make you more of who you are. That is also why they say – if they take everything away from you, you can get it back again. The gift is yours. The skills and tools are an add-on to enhance the operation of your God-given gift. One of the dangers of trying to be like everyone else – even the “worthy” people is that you could miss the opportunity to discover you own gift.
That is why education is valuable. But in getting all the education alway remember that is not your gift. While education can give you skill, I believe it is using YOUR OWN unique gift that puts you a head above others. Being faithful to your gift. recognising it. using it. Acknowledging the source. Not being afraid or ashamed or shy about it. It might be the way you know how to bring the best out of people. It may be the way you can gather people around an idea. your gift may be the way you can form strong relationships with anyone. It might be the boldness you have or the persistence you have. You might have a gift of bringing joy or order to a situation. You may be gifted as an encourager. You may be like my husband and just be gifted to be “solid” and reliable. Your gift may be your sense of “style”.
I remember feeling sorry for frank… I completely missed it. So I ask you, what could you be missing. In the gathering of tools and knowledge do you know what you are really offering? What is your gift? your USP? -We hear it all he time but we dont seem to hear it. Even if everyone i doing your thing, no one can do it the way you do it. IF you do it by being your true self instead of trying to copy someone else.
Your gift and your talent is NOT completely yours. Its not yours to keep. It is for you to develop and use and share and give and do life and business with.
The promise is that your gift is what makes room for you. In other words it is what makes you stand out. its what points you out.
So my question to you is simple. What is your gift. You know it. I promise you. You just don’t know it because its so simple or vague or intangible. When you discover your gift it increases your confidence as well as your humility (go figure).