I can’t believe I read Steve Harris debut book in no time. Yes, am an unrepentant book buff, but this book captured me right from its catchy title to its unusual cover picture, fused with the inspiring tagline: ‘It’s not what you don’t have that limits you, it’s what you have but don’t know how to use.’ My first encounter with Steve Harris was on the platform of SPEAKER’S CORNER- a personal development forum for motivational speakers, public speakers, and anyone desirous of sharpening his communication skills. In his usual storytelling fashion and near American accent, I was blown off by the story he shared on that day. Therefore, I wasn’t surprised when he decided to go beyond telling stories from the platform to a book form. The brilliantly crafted foreword by Tonye P.Cole, says: “This book is an advice for everyone, anecdotes for parents with children in crisis, for siblings managing success and failures of each other, for entrepreneurs who look beyond the surface and take risks on people no one else would touch, for the downtrodden who can still find hope, for the backslider who overcomes his shame and runs back to God.” The book offers the reader a peep into how he rose from adversity and converted his clays into diamonds. The beginning of the book x-rays his growing up years, family background, and childhood heroes, he narrates with the storytelling ability of a master story teller his experience abroad and meeting his grandfather in the chapter titled living abroad. The writer, while taking the readers through the milky waters of life as an undergraduate in the university, chronicles his experiences as a ‘Jambito’ (Green horn) in the citadel of higher learning, exploring freedom, and the bitter tales of having challenges with his grades, and eventually dropping out from college as a result of not having passion for his course of study, Mathematics. In his words, “I couldn’t believe my eyes, as I ran my finger across the board; I was shocked first to see the ‘Fs’ I had gathered, but secondly, the ominous sentence that concluded my result – ‘candidate is advised to withdraw.’” The chapter titled ‘College dropout 2’, captures the emotional trauma and the pain of having to rewrite JAMB and gaining admission for the second time, but dropping out again as a result of : ‘Little boredom and absolute hopelessness that my life was going nowhere.’ The writer, however, saw a glimmer of hope as his life gained incredible momentum when he decided to take responsibility. He met Fela Durotoye and then began the journey of greatness. He started out at VIP Consulting, Fela Durotoye’s consulting outfit as an office assistant, and in no time became the head of the consulting group of visible impact.

Just by deciding to go back to his creator, his destiny encounter with Fela Durotoye, and maximising opportunities and taking a chance on himself, Harris is today a corporate sell out-managing consultant at EDGECUTION (his consulting outfit), radio show host-upgrade, sought after motivational speaker, who has moved from earning N15, 000 a month to being able to earn well over a million naira to speak for a day. He has picked up from where he left off on his formal education pursuits. He is currently engaged in Masters Degree in management consulting from the University of Wales and also a UK certified life coach. The book is not an encouragement for the reader to drop out from school, or from life, but rather a motivational capsule for rejuvenating your dead dreams, failures, and encourages you to turn your lemons into lemonades, your setback into a set up for a comeback. According to him, “there is a sellout in every drop out.’ Steve Harris has succeeded in capturing his struggles in a better way than fiction, straight from the earth, entertaining manner. The book is laced with introductory quotations in every chapter and every chapter ends with a closing quotation aptly called “sell out secrets.” It is not what happens to you that matters, but how you respond to it. Trust me; it won’t be an easy ride to the top. You too can rise to become a reference point in spite of the adverse condition, life’s perils; you might be facing right now. The world is waiting for your manifestation. If Steve Harris can do it, you can do it too. I will read your success story. Kehinde Ajose is a talent development coach, blog at kehinde ajose.blogspot.com.

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This article was first published on 20th September 2011 and updated on July 1st, 2012 at 6:56 am

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