Thomas Jefferson one of the US President that donated over 5000 books to the library of Congress once said to his friend after his book collection had depleted, “I can’t live without books”.
He not only had expertise in various desciplines, he also spoke several languages fluently.
The importance of books cannot be overemphasized. Recently I watched as a Nigerian, Bayode Treasures-Olawunmi made the Guinness World Record for the longest hours of reading out loud. He read for 122 hours.
In today’s episode of #TheInspiredDream, we have an amazing individual who recently became a published author. Let’s meet her.
Akpana Ahukannah is the author of the book: ‘Scared Successful Woman’. Why did she write the book? Hear her:
“Honestly, I wrote this book because I wanted to write. I’ve always dreamed about writing, one of my life goals from way back was to be an Author. Infact, I’ve written small stories and discarded them in the past. I think it’s more of a question of why this title? In that case, because I wanted to tell the truth about my fear, my bad habit of lying, my less than perfect goody 2 shoes self, but most of all my struggle to be real. I could have written fiction, but I decided my first book should be the truth about myself.”
She had her audience in mind when writing the book. Her audience is a young upwardly mobile individual, who is beginning to realise that there is more to life than looking, feeling and acting good. She says, “my target audience is an individual who is beginning to question him/herself about why exactly nothing seems to give lasting Joy. My reader is a seeker, searching for hope, truth and inspiration. My reader wants to grow emotionally and spiritually.”
Akpana has a goal for the readers of her book. For everyone that reads her book she hopes to see courage and authenticity but more importantly she hopes to see purpose being discovered and fulfilled.
For Akpana just like everyone else who has achieved one dream or the other, she experienced surprise, joy, fear and pride. Surprise; because she was able to accomplish it. Joy; because she was able to see the project through. She also experienced fear because she literally exposed herself through the book but most importantly for her, she earned the pride of becoming an author and the courage to overcome her fears.
For most people that work 9-5 and have a dream to fulfill, there’s a big challenge – how to balance time! How did she cope?
She says, “This was a challenge because I work full time in a demanding job, I’m married with 2 kids, I blog, I volunteer, I read etc. Sometimes there’s barely enough time for sleep and I love my sleep. I was able to overcome the time challenge by actually giving myself more time. It took nearly a full year, short of some days to finish this book. So I guess I paced myself. There were times when I would write 4-5 chapters in one day. And there were times I did not write a single word for months, though it was always on my mind. Eventually the biggest push was the deadline I had given myself to launch by my birthday. The closer it got to my birthday, the more determined I was to finish. So I sat tight and finished. Sometimes this meant writing all night till about 5am in the morning while hubby and the girls were asleep. But it paid off.” She exclaimed!
What was her motivating force? “The motivating force was to find answers to all the questions that plagued me about fear, choice and not belonging. But also, to publish my first book by my 34th birthday.” She added.
The book, ‘Scared Successful Woman’ has as it’s core message: ‘the journey of being real’ It’s a journey of self-recognition, self-denial and self-acceptance.
I believe that you are only limited by the size of your vision. Many people are, but not Akpana. She sees her book going to the Perennial Seller List (i.e a book that stays relevant through all trends, times and culture) she sees it becoming a gift from mother to daughter, mentor to mentee and Husband to wife. She sees Organisations giving it to young employees during personal-development programmes. She sees churches sharing it with young about to be married couples. She also sees a series being made out of the many chapters of this book and finally she sees it in the hands of Oprah Winfrey! She also sees herself writing more books and getting to the Zenith of her HR career.
The book is something that everyone should get. Although the women might readily relate with it, the lessons in it are universal.
Does she have any advice for others? You bet! She says, “First, know yourself well enough to figure out which causes are for you, worth failing & fighting for. Also, discipline to do the right/good thing. Most of our fear comes from worrying about consequences for our wrong actions or inactions. And finally, trust in God that all things would work for your good even when things do not go the way you expect.”
It’s been a pleasure once again to bring you #TheInspiredDream
Were you inspired? Do leave your comment below and share on your social media pages.
I remain yours truly,
Your Personal Brand Strategist