As I walk up to the podium in the midst of a roaring standing ovation of millions of audience, after being introduced as the next speaker at the Excellence in Leadership Conference (ELC) 2026, a feeling of nostalgia took me over. I had once been in this crowd being almost a Nobody. I had also consistently attended the conference annually as I improved on being a better person. Now I have found my way to the pedestal of persons worthy to be one of the conference’ speakers. How did I get here?
While I was seated, waiting to be announced, I had journeyed back to where I started from and especially the juncture where a critical ignition was made in my life. I had always being an ambitious wishful-thinker because as much as I was ambitious, I can also be very complacent. At some point, I got tired of living so-so, I got hold of my life and enrolled to be a Professional Photographer and Entrepreneur in eloPhotos Academy/Studios and came through to the world of No impossibility. Though I had attended ELC before, it was not priority for me this particular year as I was still an intern and did not have a control of my time. But Boss ensured we all attended the conference though we did not register earlier as required. We got in the conference and I am grateful till date that I did not miss it.
The conference was an icing on the cake for me as it got me revisiting and analyzing all I have learnt (from boss and a mentor/life coach I saw weeks back) as well as every goal I had penned down. Every speaker that came up in that year’s edition emphasized almost the same principles of being an influence; Passion, Diligence, Tenacity, Love, Personal Development… I noticed they dwelt more energetically when they spoke about "the Price to Pay." It was obvious they were all die-hards at their dreams and they had to let go of some precious things, went through great inconveniences to attain the admired heights we all saw. "There is a Price you must pay to get to the Top, the greater the goal/dream, the greater the price to pay," they all hammered amidst all other principles they highlighted. I got scared, I pondered, my dream was apparently heavy, but after much thought, I resolved my dream is worth dying for, I will pay whatever price. Words from the conference kept me on my toes through the years and the hurdles I faced. After all, it was worth it at the end.
I jerked back from my deep thought, in a fulfilling smile, as the convener of the conference, Pastor Sam Adeyemi, called out for the introductory commentary they would bring me up to the podium. I spoke to the audience deep from my heart as if I was reaching out to another "Me" in the crowd, it was really an emotional moment. Rounding up, I reiterated that I am still work-in-progress and there are still lots of payments to be made.
Guess I got you all through a journey of my living imagination. Don’t mind me, I am not serious, as some people expressed when I started this journey months ago. I do not intend to be serious till my great dreams play out. After all, many great men of influence in our world today were "not Serious" when they started out. So it is ok not to be serious, I will unseriously learn the skill and character, keep the abnormal schedule, skip the meals, skip the sleep, endure the stress, even when I injured my ankle in my quest for knowledge and leg is painfully swollen, I will unseriously endure the pain. When I have to stay awake all night to fix an inexcusable report and mum thinks this is weird and unhealthy, I will unseriously pull through and work my dream out. Watch out for this lady Photopreneur.