I made sweet peace with that outcome if it were to happen, thankful that it would give me an opportunity to save the money I would have shelled out to do another edition. It would also afford me the chance to rest. The last event had taken alot out of me emotionally, I came away from what my friends hailed as a successful event feeling spent and discouraged, so I needed space; space to hug myself and heal.
One week to the would be date, I sat in church listening to a message by Pastor Sarah, she talked about striking over and over until you win. I flagellated myself each time she hinged on the dangers of starting something then stopping. But I hadn't stopped, had I? I hadn't stopped trying at least.
I had come up with a plan B and settled for taping a May special. It would feature someone important to social media in Nigeria. I set the ball in motion and at the last minute the guest cancelled. I called everyone involved and called the whole thing off. Again.
So I spent what would have been iblog evening in a dank, dingy studio editing the video from the last event. At least I could catch up on iblog related work I hadn't been able to keep up with. By that day's end, I had two 15 minute long videos edited from almost two hours of tape and during the week I got some much needed iblog PR done on social media.
By this time, I was not only in terms with the situation but I was also happy with the way it all panned out.
Fast forward to a few days ago, I was at an event where someone asked me why iblog hadn't held last month. It wasn't criticism or scolding, it wasnt just a question either. It was advice. "You should have simply shifted the date by a week than not have it". It was comparism. "I wish I could call off my event too but I can't afford to, even with the challenge of a possible drop in attendance, I still payed for the hall and had the event". More conversation followed and someone dropped the word "consistency". Consistency was important to steady growth. And keep your name out there. Your customers have short attention spans, the minute they don't hear from you, they move on to the next thing.
They were right!
But they weren't seeing the whole picture.
Did not holding iblog mean failure? Not at all. I didn't think I had failed. Taking the long term view, that incident will turn out to be a mere bump in the road not the end of the road. The final outcome not the process will determine the success or failure of iblog.
Did it mean I wasn't consitent? I would disagree. From trying to salvage the situation, to knowing when to retreat, to working on iblog behind the scenes is all a part of keeping at it.
Did it mean I was stopping and starting? Not in my view. I didn't think I had started and stopped. I have already started, there is no stopping, there is no restarting. I am just continuing what I have started.
They meant well!
But it was my decision.
I earned the right to decide whether to cancel or to shift the date by a week, along side all the decisions to pay the bills, cope with the disappointments and do all the work behind the scenes.
Later after the incident i reflected on how people are quick to remind you of what you have not done. Why didn't they congratulate me for what I had done?
Only days before I had participated in President Goodluck Jonathan's mid term report and had experienced a peak moment in my career- interviewing the Coordinating Minister of the Nigerian economy, Ngozi Okonji Iweala (who I had last watched on CNN being interviewed by Amanpor) and interviewing one time American presidential aspirant, Rev Jesse Jackson. That came about because I consistently kept at showing up, pushing a foot through closed doors, and looking out for opportunity.
Which was greater? Hosting iblog in May or hosting the president's red carpet in May?
They had a point! But I have the facts, so it is my job to keep perspective!
Iblog continues. See you at this month's edition.
Date: June 30th 2013
Venue: Juice place 2. 25b Libreville street. Near old DSTV office. Wuse 2. Abuja
Theme: Social Media's social responsibility
Guest:Nuhu Kwajafa , GIPLC
Guest profile: Nuhu is helping Okikijesu, the only baby in the world to have been born without most of her skull, raise money to complete surgery at John Hopkins hospital, USA. Her surgery will be the last by Reknown Dr Ben Carson. Social media is interested, be there!)
Seth Gordin's view