Who Is Bolaji O? (Like the Hotel in Vegas.)
Okay, for real. Who Is Bolaji O?
Christian. Husband. Dad.
- Board games,
- And the adventure of possibility.
(I’m terrified of roller coasters. Go figure.)
I can’t wait on the world to change. So I’m doing my part to change it.
I guess you could say my escape from the Rat Race started at age 10.
When I realized I could sell my cartoon drawings to classmates -
and buy more snacks during lunch break. (Thank you Spider Man.)
In case you’re wondering, yes, I still read comic books. I’m a kid-at-heart.
My first cubicle.
Ready to change the world. I was taking no prisoners! I got a good job, making “good money”.
You should have seen my first cubicle. It was magnificent (to me, anyway).
I had my own name plate on the wall.
I had my own phone, my own desktop computer, and a picture of my girlfriend (now wife) on the desk.
And the swivel chair? TO DIE FOR.
I felt like a lion in the jungle.
This cubicle would be my bat cave.
My command central.
My headquarters for world domination!!
(insert evil laugh here.)
As a young guy, eager and ambitious, that kept me satisfied.
For a little while.
But I quickly got restless.
The cubicle walls started to close in…
While I had the skill, know-how and abilities to do my job very well…I simply wasn’t fulfilled by it!
I wasn’t into the titles…
I wasn’t into the office politics…
I wasn’t into the being on call (tech support),
and working at odd hours of the night to troubleshoot sick server computers…
I wasn’t into the idea of working long hours, just to earn the right to work longer hours…
I wasn’t into working just for a paycheck.
I was getting sick and tired of the rat race.
I felt there had to be more.
I KNEW there had to be more.
The makings of a rat race escape.
This whole time, I’d been playing around with the Internet quite a bit (mid-to-late nineties).
I was an avid web designer.
I had even earned some money in college, designing web sites for SGA candidates, and business students.
While attending a gathering of old college friends one weekend, someone exclaimed that it would be great to have a way to keep in touch with everyone – now that we were spread out all over the country.
My brain started working…
And after I got back home, my fingers started talking… (on the keyboard)
A few months later, my girlfriend and I launched one of the first niche social networks.
I still remember – this was December, 1998.
(And yes, we partied like PRINCE on that new year’s!)
The first few months were thrilling!
People LOVED the web site.
The buzz was off the meter!
Everyone was registering, and telling their friends!
I started to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
“Maybe I DON’T have to live in a cubicle after all!”
Over the next few years, this became our baby.
We invested sweat and tears into this web site.
We invested nights and weekends into this web site.
We printed business cards…
We got company shirts…
We hung up our virtual NOW OPEN FOR BUSINESS sign.
And while those first months were heady and exciting, we weren’t exactly rolling in it.
A rat race jailbreak deferred.
At this point, it had been years into the web site.
We loved what we did.
We met all kinds of interesting and motivated college alumni (which was the niche we had focused on).
We had a positive impact on many people’s lives.
We brought many other people together.
But we just weren’t financially viable.
We learned so much in the years we ran that web site.
All the hard way.
My technical know-how may actually have been a hindrance to me –
as I focused so much on the nuts-and-bolts of the web site, a
nd less on the nuts-and-bolts of building a financially viable business.
So here we were. Years later.
Still trapped in the cubicle.
Through this journey, I’ve been through a few lay-offs.
The first one in particular was very hard on me, as I’ve always been one to excel academically.
It took quite a while, each time, for me to get back to my normal cheerful and positive self.
I started to doubt my abilities.
And question my purpose.
I still believed there had to be something better than the rat race.
But having tried, and “failed”, I was at my wits end.
I didn’t know what to try next.
So I got another cubicle job.
A good job, that paid “good money”.
I put my head down, poured myself into my rat race work, and hoped that the next 20+ years of this would not sap away the little “world-changing” fire that I used to have in such abundance, a decade earlier.
Find a way. Or make one.
In 2011 I decided to commit to making it, once and for all. And to put myself in a position to help others out as well.
After many ups and downs, I had my breakthrough…. consistently surpassing anything I’d ever earned in corporate America
Houston… we have LIFTOFF.
In March 2012, I was chosen to present at the Warrior Event – a gathering of 200+ of top Marketers from all over the world.
Here’s what a few people had to say after I presented.
Dave Iago testimonial:
Justin Popovic testimonial:
Wah Bhatti testimonial:
Bog Voges testimonial:
Jerry Williamson testimonial:
Bonus: My First Mind Movie (Recorded on September 12, 2009):