Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017: A Bittersweet Year!



Bukola Oriola. Picture taken by Honorable Ronny Marty
At last, we have finally reached the last day of 2017 here in Minnesota and counting down to the last hours. Congratulations to those who have reached 2018. We are coming right behind you.

2017 was indeed a bittersweet year for me. I cannot count to every detail, however, I will share what I feel comfortable sharing to hopefully inspire you in the upcoming year.

This year recorded one of my greatest accomplishments - a Bachelor's degree! I remembered how someone had told me in 2012 when I had enrolled at the Community College how many people, including herself, started but never completed their Bachelor's degrees in the U.S. I had a reason for enrolling in college for a Bachelor's degree, so I focused on my reason. That 'reason' and 'focus' earned me my Bachelor's degree.

You will have people that will try to stop you. Sometimes, they have good intentions, but learn to put your attention and actions on your 'reason' and 'focus' to accomplish your dreams.

In the same year, I launched my first and succeeded in hosting a live conference where I flew in speakers and paid them for their time. Mind you, the amount I paid was not much because they were kind enough to work with me and my budget to make the conferences a reality.

Meanwhile, I had tried to host a live event twice without success before the first conference which held in February. In fact, I paid for conference room and bought marketing materials, all to no avail. I had only one registered attendee that agreed to use her payment as a one-on-one coaching session.

Yet, I did not give up. Rather, I learned some more, tried other options like expanding the conference
offerings, and finally, I was able to host the first and second live events called Empowerment & Hope Summit that had registered attendees within and outside of Minnesota. I recorded attendees from Florida, Illinois, Georgia, Canada, United Kingdom, and Nigeria.
In fact, by the second live event, I had an attendee travelled all the way from the United Kingdom to attend in person.

I was able to take care of some of the overhead cost with the help of sponsorships. So, look for who or where you can get the enabling support to help you bring your dream to life. In addition, take time to learn to sift out relevant information that will propel you in your quest. Learning to take out valuable information from all the noise available online, in books, and other sources is very important. There are many incomplete, as well as outrightly wrong information being dished out daily. Lack of information is not the problem, but lack of the accurate information. So, you must learn to gather the correct information. This process might take several attempts, including having to access the right information repeatedly to fully understand, in order to execute it.

2017 is also a remarkable year in that it ends the first term of the first ever U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking of which I am a member. It has been a two year growing period. It afforded me the opportunity to practice some of the knowledge that I have acquired both in college and outside of the classroom. It has further assured me that anyone can turn their tragic experiences into values that can be of tremendous help to any nation or community. It also showed resilience and ability to work together in a group despite known or unknown differences for a common good and the good of all.

As I write, we have just completed the second annual report and will be having a report launch in Washington D.C. in a few days - January 5, 2018, the day that marks the inauguration of the Council at the White House in 2016. You can watch the live broadcast of the launch on the Council's Facebook page here.

This year has been particularly challenging for me in many ways. One of my main challenge was my inability to reach my financial goal, while my expenses increased. However, I refused to stop believing. I prayed. I fasted. I read books. I asked for help from trusted friends and families, and did whatever I could legally to work towards my financial goal.

As if that was not enough, I was involved in a car accident on a Sunday morning on my way to church in the summer. Coupled with that was another accident where a truck threw a stone at my windshield while driving at 60 miles an hour on highway 94 that resulted in the replacement of my windshield.

I sit here today writing with a heart of gratitude. I am grateful to be alive. I can plan for the year ahead. I am also grateful for all the people God has used to bless me - my clients, mentors, coaches, colleagues, friends, families, The Enitan Story board members, and especially my son.

I am going into the new year with a lot of certainty. Some of the things that I have been hoping to accomplish are coming into place. I am not willing to share some now until later. So, come back, you might read them as they unfold or I share them.

Thank you for reading, and I look forward to seeing you in the new year - 2018: My New Dawn!

Stay blessed and remain fabulicious until next time.

Bukola