When I graduated from university, I had nothing. No capital, no working experience, zero. None. Nil. What I had were only two: a dream, and a stubborn will. I dream to continue sharing the knowledge that I had to the corners of Indonesia, or even other countries, because I believe that equal distribution of communication education had to be done.
There was only one thing in my head as a wish to realize that: I should run a sustainable funding mechanism. And so I decided to gather my friends, and share my dream to them: what if we build a company that trains, gains money, and then we can use the money to be more productive in sharing communication skills to the people in provinces?
My friends were awesome people. They are champions of previous communication branches: storytelling, debate, newscasting, model diplomacies, you name them. And they highly supported me to run my plan.
Only there’s one little (or not so little) problem: we have no capital. Which means: no place, no facilities that can support all these.
At that moment, we felt that only an angel could save us.
As we all were sitting in silence, faced upon the reality that we need a capital, a dear friend of mine whose name is Christian Leonardo, proposed an idea all of a sudden: “I currently do an internship at a company whose boss is kind and I think would support you. His name is Regi Wahyu, I think you should talk to him.”
At that moment, I was highly doubtful. How exactly a nobody like me, with only a dream at my deck, can obtain a help? I have zero entrepreneur experience. I have only achievements at my belt – this is a real, professional business. I am young. No exclusive relevant skills whatsoever.
But Christian pushed me. Just talk, he said. Give it a shot.
Long I thought. I had nothing. If I talk… perhaps it’ll come across just as a nonsense. An empty talk. But I indeed understand and know nothing. How exactly I will convey anything at all? Business plan? I have no idea what and how to write on it. What I had was just teaching experience and the modules that I had. Teaching experience. That’s it. To me, for the corporate world, they seem nothing.
For one week long, I did not have the courage at all. I was not sure. At last… eventually, with the capital of perseverance and determination, I then so said yes and Chris made an appointment to meet Mr. Regi.
Funny story: I actually bring my CV. As if am applying for work. And when we met, Mr. Regi stormed in laughter. “Why do you bring a CV? You want to apply for jobs here?” Smiling foolishly, I eventually said: “Um. I wanna show you who I am.”
“Yeah? Let me see,” then he took my CV. Soon after he called his business partner, Mr. Imron. “Imron, come. This kid is hilarious. It’s like he’s applying for a job here. Let’s see what he got.”
“Oh, your GPA is 3.79? I beat you still. Mine is 3.8,” I spontaneously laughed and dodged,”It’s only 0.01 difference… We’re equally smart.” “Huh, an arrogant little one, aren’t you.” And the whole room laughed.
“What was your purpose, coming here?”
There was a silence and a deep breath due to my doubts, but then I pushed myself to talk. I took out a piece of paper that contained a note that I have prepared and rehearsed.
Stuttering, I explained, “ Um. Actually, I have a dream. I often teach to several areas in the last 4 years. I was touched with the conditions there and felt called. I want to share more, but of course I need resources. So, I want to make a company, aiming to do trainings, then I have money, hence I can use the money to pay training cost and fees to regions. Or children. So more and more can learn communication, because I think it’s a serious issue…”
And so as I had met a crying child (a college student, a boy, by the way) who was continuously repressed by his parents and could not communicate his attempts in making their parents proud, and continuously deemed as useless kid (true story – more on that later), I shared my experience and motivation to do this.
“Hm, not bad. Let me test you,” then he took a diagram that is filled of Brand Relationship Network, a product of his company, and asked me to tell what is in there with the storytelling technique, because he just heard about corporate storytelling and wanted me to showcase my storytelling skills.
Long story short, he was impressed. “You have a great dream. You have the skills. What do you need from me?”
“I’m not sure,” I said honestly, and again the whole room laughed.
“So you came here, you did not even know what you wanted from me?” I shook my head, and he laughed again. “I don’t understand if you’re actually a smart kid or an idiot.” It was my turn then to laugh, smile sluggishly, and could only responded, “Well, I guess I only have a dream.”
And all of a sudden, Mr Regi’s face turned serious. “A dream is not an only, you idiot. A dream is everything. And you are a great kid because you have the courage to come here even though you don’t know what to ask for. You’re an interesting kid.”
And after that short series of conversation, everything felt like a dream.
I was given an office for free for the first year to establish OTP institute, my company legal fees were paid for, and we were given our first professional project for his company, and was asked to compose a corporate module. In composing the module, I was guided. And my path were opened for the upcoming project networks. Not only helped, Mr Regi Wahyu became my first business mentor.
“You have not had a module. Make me one, and I’ll examine. I’ll shape you until you’re up to the standard,” And he always responded to my questions, no matter how stupid they were. Sometimes, he would call me an idiot, but he always responded and guided me, and my mentality was continuously ironed.
Everything began because I shared my dream to my friends, and the people around me.
Little did I know, that what I believed is coming true ahead of me. From sharing, and only sharing… I was given such a magnificent blessing flowing over me because of that faith. And it began from a point where I talked.
Perhaps, if I had chosen to stay silent, there would not have been today. Where all OTP institute journey began.
And if you read this, Mr. Regi Wahyu, THANK YOU.
You are my first angel and you will always will be.
This is Bryan Gunawan’s little piece of thought. He has coached more than thousands of individuals of all age sectors ranging from 6 year-olds to 70 year-olds in communication & leadership in the last 8 years, and is in the process of writing the book “Can We #PlsTalk?”, unveiling stories of his cause for communication prowess to solve life challenges. Find him at twitter @bryangunawan