I don’t aim to take over the world

What is wrong with me?

The World Domination Summit just happened recently. I don’t know exactly what it is because it happens on a continent I never stepped on, but I know that many people who inspire me online go there.

It’s a great title, because: who doesn’t want to dominate the world?

In the beginning of the year I was doing a thirty minutes workout every morning and a yoga teacher was introduced on the video who had big goals: take over the world.

It takes courage to say that. And it is encouraging itself already.

If your goal is to take over the world, then what are little everyday problems to you? If you want to dominate the planet, isn’t that the noblest goal you can have?

Because obviously you want not only to make money, not only to help people, which will happen along the way almost by accident. Instead, you are aiming for the biggest goal, to make this world a better place with your talents and skills for the betterment of all.

I admired statements like that and wanted to do the same for a short while. Until I realised, that actually, I didn’t.

I think I’m good with average.

I am comfortable with working invisibly and helping only one or two people instead of the whole world.

So what is wrong with me?

In a leadership course the coach told us that we are all leaders. Everybody wants to hear that, right? That they can do it, that they are empowered, that they have all it takes.

I raised my hand and asked a bit shyly: Uhm, what if I don’t want to be a leader? And she said something very interesting: That is not your choice.

If you master your skills, if you know what you stand for and if you find truth in what you pursue, you will reach a point where there is no other way but continuing. That is when people see that you make sense and they will follow you by default.

The great examples of leaders never asked to lead. Martin Luther, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Jeanne d’Arc, Jesus, Martin Luther King – none of them ever sat down and made a plan for leading. They just did what they were good at and what they thought had to be done.

In that way they happened to lead.

There is no originality in this world anymore. What makes us unique is to find ourselves and do what we think is right. If we do it right, we might as well end up leading, even if it’s only two people.

  • Even if you actually don’t aim at taking over the world, like me.
  • Even if you just want to meet interesting people, do interesting stuff and then write about it, like me.
  • Even if you actually doubt people who want to dominate the world, like me.

There is nothing wrong with you. (And me!) Just do your thing.

But don’t be surprised when some people want to become your followers.

How will you lead by default? Or how are you planning to take over the world? Let me know in the comments!

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What to do when people start asking for your help

and how to get there in the first place

Lately several people have asked me for help with their websites, blogging and social media. Now, I didn’t study any of these and I have none but my personal, non-commercial experience with them. I also don’t own a business or spread business cards saying that I do websites and social media. Yet, people want my help, my advice, my service.

That happens because of two things:

One: I systematically expose myself.

Not a very fun thing to do as a recently come-out introvert. It drains my energy and time for a very tiny outcome. Yet it is the people I met and whom I am following up with who are approaching and in some cases even paying me.

Two: I know what I stand for.

Another insight I gained very recently. Not that I have figured it all out, you know, the whole “My Life Purpose”, “My Calling” stuff. But I am confident enough, in fact, I can’t do otherwise but to introduce myself as a writer and freelancer.

In that way, the people I meet get me because I am talking sense straight from my heart. That makes connection much easier than for example with a person who doesn’t stand behind the business they are talking about.

Getting to that point where people start asking you for help is hard and uncomfortable, but doable and rewarding work.

Because now I get to hear things like: Oh, you blog, could you show me how to do it? Or: I need a new website, do you have any ideas? Or even: That last blog post of yours was really inspiring. (I’m not making these up, by the way. Those are things people recently said to me and it feels amazingly good!)

And I am left with only one option: Show up.

That is why I revived the blog. That is why I sleep the latest and wake up the earliest I can. That is why I force myself to produce more helpful content for my readers, why I struggle with HTML, why I almost always faint when the rains cause yet another blackout that leaves me unable to work on my laptop for several hours. That is why I, an old-fashioned soul and mobile phone dyslexic, I got a smartphone to do email and social media and reading in the Nairobi traffic jam.

If you have ever been asked for help by someone or gotten even a tiny piece of praise, then you know how good it feels, how it causes goose-bumps and makes your face flush red, how you want to hug the person who just said it, how you want to frame that sentence, however small it was, and hang it on your personal wall of fame.

To get there, do this: expose yourself.

When you got there and people are reacting, don’t stop.

Do this: Show up.

Keep the good work going.

What was the best thing somebody told you about your work? And how did you invest that statement into more work? Let me know in the comments.

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I found my purpose – now what?

or: Why my purpose does not determine my life

There are many ways to find your calling, your purpose, the reason why you are on this earth. It’s a big piece of work, it basically means to think only about yourself, and it’s a never ending process.

I started this process with Ann Rea’s strategy last December, and it is only now that things start making a bit more sense and forming into something tangible.

Now I am standing on this earth with a couple of sentences that state which purpose I have, which calling, which reason to be here.

I know, you want to hear it, right? It goes like this: My purpose is to share my story of uniqueness and inspire others with it.

And now what?

I got carry my purpose around with me, written in a tiny booklet. Does that mean it is forever fixated in stone and dare me if I stop inspiring others… will I drop dead?

I realised that my purpose is not something that determines me, but something that I determined.

  • It’s like a street sign, it gives direction.
  • It is like an alarm, it reminds me what I stand for.
  • It is like a piece of chocolate, it makes me feel good.
  • It is like a mirror, it shows me what I am capable of.

And I have a practical example:

In my current quest to keep on exposing myself and build a network, I initiated Entrepreneur Cafe Nairobi. We meet twice a month and learn from and advice each other. One of the last meetings was hosted by a real estate and franchising company who invited us to learn about their unique business model.

The same day my sister, who visited me for the last six months was flying back home. It was a very hard decision, whether to take responsibility and be present at the meeting or take my sister to the airport.

But there was my purpose, a little written sentence in a small booklet in my pocket. How inspiring and unique will I be able to behave at a franchising company versus at the airport with my sister? There and then the decision was made: My sister comes first.

That is what I am using the knowledge about my purpose for. To help me make decisions that I now know I will benefit from more.

Did you find your purpose yet? If yes, what do you do about it now? If no, how do you make decisions? Let me know in the comments below.

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