If You Build It, Will They Come?

“You have to suspend the need to see the whole picture and just start, start, start!”

– Mfon Ekpo, certified John Maxwell Team Coach, Speaker & Teacher

One of the most iconic phrases of our time is the quote from the 1989 film Field of Dreams: “If you build it, they will come.” A touching story of believing in your dream despite the odds, this statement has become a battle cry for everyone from educators to entrepreneurs and all the folks in between. But is it true? This week we interviewed founding partner of the John Maxwell Team Mfon Ekpo, to find out more about her journey and what she’s discovered about building dreams and attracting opportunities.

What Are You Building?
If you want people to come to your building you first have to identify what exactly it is you want to build! When Mfon realized that her passion could be more than a hobby she was excited, and intimidated. “For the longest time, I had treated my dream and passion as a part-time hobby simply because I didn’t know how to create value from it.” Mfon was suffering from a classic case of passion confusion. That is, when someone knows they love something, but they don’t see how to create a living from it. This confusion leads to only partial efforts to develop skills and commit to excellence. Partial efforts will yield partial results. In other words, you’ll set yourself up for eventual failure by providing a weak foundation to build your desired dream.

How Are You Going To Build It?
So, say you do figure out WHAT you want to build, and you’re committed to doing it right. Will people really just start flooding your doors – or inbox – to get there? Chances are they won’t, and that’s why finding the right resources are critical. For Mfon that resource was the John Maxwell Team. “I had attended programs that promised to teach me how to build my skill, but without a business-building focus, I had spent years just up-skilling. I joined the John Maxwell Team because it was the first program out of many that promised to deliver on both honing my skills and teaching me how to grow my speaking, coaching and training business at the same time. It was the one stop shop I had been looking for and five years on, I am delighted to say The John Maxwell Team over delivered on that initial promise.” The John Maxwell Team is delighted to have thousands of members just like Mfon who have learned to build themselves so that the crowds, clients and customers will come.

Where Are You Going To Start?
Now you know specifically what you’re building, and you know how by investing in the right resources you’ll need to be successful. People will come flocking now right? WRONG! It’s not enough to develop your craft and be connected to the right resources. You’ve got to actually DO stuff to make it happen. No matter what industry you’re in – whatever you’re building to stick with our metaphor – all of the knowledge and tools in the world won’t make a difference if you don’t eventually dive in and start taking action. Nothing teaches like real life experience, and for Mfon this was a difference maker. “You have to suspend the need to see the whole picture and just start, start, start! The game changer for me was realizing I didn’t have to be perfect to be ready. I had fallen into the trap of wanting everything to be perfect but the problem with perfection is that it hides the root problem of fear and keeps you from starting altogether. Everything changed when I decided to stop waiting for ‘perfect’ and jump. Things only become clearer on this journey when you move.” Wise words from a wise woman.

Build It Right, And They Will Come
Turns out, the axiom is true, but with contingencies. This isn’t Hollywood and your crowd isn’t deceased baseball players. Even with a great foundation and all of the right tools, it will always be a journey, not a destination. The key is to keep your head in the game and once you build it, fill it with experience, dedication and consistency. Those are the real building blocks that will eventually bring the crowds. Mfon advises, “Don’t be so focused on the goal. You miss the process and the growth taking place in you.” So keep on building your skills and your business, and help others grow by leaving your comments on your best building tips below!

About Mfon:
Mfon Ekpo is the CEO of The Discovery Centre, a training organization that specializes in developing effective strategies, systems and structures for organizational and individual development in the public and private sectors with the sole aim of expanding their influence, impact and income. An avid scholar and a development strategist, Mfon holds multiple degrees in Public and International Law, Business Law and Social Sciences, Journalism, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and has a Masters degree in Maritime Law from the University of Southampton, England.

A certified trainer and coach, Mfon has served on the President’s Advisory Council of the John Maxwell Team and has conducted nationwide values-based transformational leadership initiatives with him on the invitation of governments in countries like Guatemala and Paraguay.

Her passion for writing has generated national and international recognition and won her multiple awards for papers written and presented. She is also a multiple recipient of the ‘Golden Quill’ by the National Academy of Bestselling Authors in Hollywood for her bestselling books “Pushing to the Front” and “The Only Business Book You Will Ever Need,” which she co-authored with world renowned experts such as Brian Tracy, Robert Allen and Leigh Steinberg. She is also the recipient of the award “Best in Professional Ethics” from the Nigerian Law School.

Mfon is a personal coach to top business CEO’s, industry and thought leaders and has worked and trained for the British High Commission, the Supreme Court of Nigeria, National Judicial Institute, and the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria amongst others. She has also served as the Executive Director of The Future Project, owners of the Future Awards, Africa’s largest youth-focused awards. Mfon is a Mandela Washington Fellow in the pioneer set of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative, has served as the Chairperson of the Advocacy committee on the Regional Advisory Board for the Fellowship and was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for the State of Arkansas in the United States of America in 2014 by the Governor of the State. She now helps women translate their ideas into viable and sustainable business through her globally acclaimed intensive seminar, “The Blueprint Of How.”

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