My challenge as an entrepreneur (61) – Fola Daniel Adelesi

I got thinking about the morality of getting paid sharing the knowledge I had acquired in the last few years and it became a serious issue for me because I also taught about not violating my conscience. Deep down inside of me there is a part that does not want to charge people who invite me to speak but another part of me keeps questioning how I was ever going to make a living or make the desired impact in life.
I told you about how I sold my mobile phone to make a speaking engagement and there are others where I borrowed money to make the speaking engagements. I was thinking about having a clear conscience. A conscience that wants to give back to the society but another thing, on a second thought that comes really hard on me is that I cannot give what I do not have. The one who gives back to the society is the one who has taken from the society but here is a young man whose feet is barely established in public speaking and is talking about giving back to the society.
There was one fact to face. I could talk for hours without getting tired and without sounding boring. I could talk and pretend I was tired in a way to make you ask for more of the talk but if was going to do free talks as a result of my passion I still needed to have enough in my pocket to spare to other people that I wanted to help. I grew up hearing stories about preachers and some other public speakers being very greedy and demanding outrageous amount of money when called upon to speak. I didn’t like that and I never wanted to be in that category of people that would place money ahead of using their gifts as a form of service to humanity.
As much as I wanted to help I realized I couldn’t because I didn’t have the money that will take the gifts to the places where they are needed. I was constantly broke and sometimes did not even have the motivation to gear myself up so talking about motivating other people was funny to me. I remember being asked to talk in an all night meeting of campus pastors and my subject was money. Here was I standing in front of the people speaking so intelligently about money and motivating others to act in the right direction but that night I had walked down to the venue of the meeting because I had no cash in my pocket. The morning after the meeting I still had to walk back home because the ovation I got after the speaking time did not translate into cash.
I couldn’t pretend for so long that I needed cash but was also doing what I was passionate about so something had to be done and it had to be done quickly if I was not going to be grounded. Over and over again the temptation of taking a job with another company tormented me. While thinking about the companies I could work with as a way to escape from the financial mess I kept remembering that I was a bunch of talent who would just walk into an organisation that has nothing to offer but a pay cheque while I was wasting away. I could not stand the thought of wasting away in another person’s business so I took the bold step to start by saying if you want me to speak in your meeting you will have to take care of my transport by paying a certain amount into my account. That way I stayed out of debt because I did not have to borrow the money I did not own because I want to help others.

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