I’ve been on eight flights and six layovers in three days. I’m too damn tired to do the math. My back hurts, my body is sore and I forgot what sleep feels like. But you wouldn’t know any of that if I didn’t tell you. My website just says “BEREOLAESQUE” Book Signing in LA!
I travel with Louis Vuitton luggage, fly first class and sip my red wine whilst reading a novel on my iPad and listening to jazz by Kenneth Whalum on my sponsored Beats by Dre headphones. My job is to make this look easy. I want you to be inspired enough to have the audacity to live out your own dreams. But I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t let you know the real deal. You don’t know what I’ve suffered through. You don’t know how much time I spend away from my loved ones. You don’t know how some of my close friends have started acting funny on me. You don’t know what having to deal with so many “nos” before proving yourself worthy of “yesses” can do to your spirit. Success is difficult.
Yes, the success from speeches allows me plus one to vacate on beaches where no one can reach us. But do you know what it took for me to get there? Sales from my books do so well, but you missed the storms and hail before the boat took sail. My journey wasn’t joyous. Success isn’t always glamorous. In the beginning you might have to be the agent, manager, PR person, marketing director and author. Sometimes you’ll sleep in unforgiving positions in freezing cold airports. And you won’t always have an assistant to get things in order ten minutes before a major book signing. Delayed flights might cause you to forfeit hotel check-in and you’ll have to go straight to a speaking engagement, take a quick shower in the restroom sink while simultaneously ironing an outfit with the steam from the hot water. I’ve had to do every one of the above, but I won’t complain.
My wife thinks I’m the coolest man in the world. My parents are so proud of me. The world is a better place because of my work. God isn’t finished with me. This success thing isn’t easy, but it’s beautiful. Work hard for something and you’ll appreciate it that much more. If you want it, be prepared for a marathon–what’s worth having won’t be easy to acquire.
Respect the grind. That means doing it yourself when no one else gets it done. Success is sacrifice. Be willing to work a lot making a little so you can work a little making a lot. Be willing to stick to it once you start it. While the rest of the world is busy celebrating and sleeping, put that time in. Dedicate those hours to that dream. And when you see nothing come of it, keep going. And when it gets impossible, keep going–that’s how you know you’re almost there. Pour yourself onto your passion until it overflows. Work without looking up and when you finally do, you’ll see your success.
You see, what I’ve learned is that the work doesn’t stop once the success comes. You must maintain it. It’s not easy, but it’s possible. My body is drained, but my spirit is filled. Last weekend, I spoke to over a thousand students at inner city high schools in Los Angeles, CA about being contemporary gentlemen and gentlewomen. Shout out to Compton High and Dorsey High. Shout out to Alliance Judy Ivie Burton Technology Academy High School. Shout out to the fearless folks who aren’t afraid of success. Suffer for something greater than you.
“On a mission tryin’ to shift the culture.” –Drake, Tuscan Leather
– Enitan Bereola, II
Bereola is the award-winning & bestselling author of BEREOLAESQUE: The Contemporary Gentleman & Etiquette book for the Urban Sophisticate. He’s also the go-to columnist, public speaker, style & etiquette impresario and ghostwriter. He’s set to release his next book entitled, “GENTLEWOMAN.” Visit: Bereolaesque.com, Twitter & Facebook for more info.