Welcome to the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview with Ousmane Ndoye
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Introducing Ousmane Ndoye
Ousmane Ndoye is today’s guest joining us on the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview.
He is a man with a truly amazing and fascinating tale, of hardship and persecution.
All surrounded by a burning desire to create the best life he could hope for.
Raised in a small fishing village in Senegal, West Africa, as a child he endured abuse and profound humiliation.
He also endured the breakup of his parents at the tender age of two
This is of course is not what any child hopes for.
The Hardships Of Early Life For Ousmane Ndoye
He found it particularly hard to accept, as he looked around at his friends who all seemed to have the family life that he would have wanted.
Then later at age five he was taken to live in a compound of more than 100 people, living in extreme close proximity to each other.
It was here where he quickly learned to defend himself, and to develop the inner power that he needed to flourish in this unstable environment.
Many people fought for survival on a daily basis, he grew strength.
It was a hard, brutal start to his life, but one that he wouldn’t allow to determine his future.
Ousmane Ndoye knew that he wanted a life in America.
When The Dots Started Joining Up For Ousmane Ndoye
So at the age of 21, with just a few belongs and a gallon of water, he left Senegal, and amazingly managed to walk across the Sahara desert by foot.
Travelling between Algeria and Libya in six arduous days.
He had his dream and he wouldn’t give up on it.
Well he did it, and even now many years after setting foot on the continent he is pushing himself to greater and greater achievements.
He is the author of “No Excuses, how to pursue a better life and lift others for a better world”, and his “Mile High Momentum” training platform.
He is about as far away from his beginning as it possible.
But what was it about the American dream that filled him with such hope from his life in Africa?
And when he started that walk across the desert did he truly believe that he would be where he is today?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots, the one and only Mr Ousmane Ndoye
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Ousmane such as:
Why he makes sure that everyday when he stares in the mirror he asks the same question “What is possible for me today”
How as a five year old lost confused and battered by life, he would not stop asking the critical questions that could lead him to a better place in his life.
Why his Great Grandmother was the light in his life that kept his own internal flame burning brighter.
The power moment that Ousamane Ndoye asked for 1% chance. He knew that he would get the other 99% percent for himself by pure work and effort.
It didn’t matter if he had to swim the Atlantic, or walk the Sahara he would do it to achieve his dream…the life that he deserves!
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Audio Transcription Of Ousname Ndoye Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK, David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:26]
Yes, hello there. Good morning, everybody, and welcome to Episode 197. of Join Up Dots, it’s gonna be a good one. It’s always a good one. And today’s guy is going to deliver big time because he is he is a man with a fascinating tale of hardship, persecution, and a burning desire to create the best life he could hope for raised in a small fishing village in Senegal, West Africa. As a child he endured abuse, profound humiliation and the breakup of his parents at the tender age of two. Now, this is of course, is not what any child hope spore. And he found it particularly hard to accept as he looked around at his friends, who all seem to have the family life that he would have wanted. But in later age five, he was taken to live in a compound of more than 100 people living in extreme close proximity to each other. It was here, where he quickly learned to defend himself and to develop the inner power. But he needed to flourish in this unstable environment where so many people fought for survival on a daily basis. It was a hard brutal start to his life or one that he wouldn’t allow to determine his future. He knew that he wanted a life in America. And so at the age of 21, with just a few belongings and a gallon of water, he left Senegal and amazingly managed to walk across the Sahara Desert by foot between Algeria and Libya in six arduous days, he had his dream and he wouldn’t give up on it. Well, he did it. And even now, many years after setting foot on the continent, he’s pushing himself to greater and greater achievements. He’s the author of no excuses how to pursue a better life and lift others for a better world. And he’s more high momentum training platform. He is about as far away from his beginnings as he is possible. But what was it about the American dream that filled him with such hope from his life in Africa? And when he started at walk across the desert? Did he truly believe that he would be where he is today? Well, let’s find out as we bring on to the show to start Join Up Dots, the one and only Mr. Ousmane Ndoye. How are you?
Ousmane Ndoye [2:25]
I am wonderful, David. I’m very honoured to be with you. today. It’s it’s a noon time in Denver, Colorado. And I’m very glad that I’m speaking to you, sir.
David Ralph [2:40]
Well, we are glad to have you on the show. Because you have got a fascinating storey and I think you are the first person that I’ve ever spoken to, that has actually walked across the Sahara Desert, which we’re going to come to obviously, because that part of your storey, but now I suppose the question is now is, did you find it amazing where you are now compared to where your life started?
Ousmane Ndoye [3:03]
Or most definitely, I was talking to some friends this morning. And they were telling me, man, anytime we see you, you are, you have this smile, you have this spirit, you have this positive attitude. And I was just telling them, it’s just, I found my purpose in this world. I found my calling. And I’ve rid of my excuses. I became sober from excuses for a long time. And I don’t want to go back to that addiction. So my life, actually, I live in Denver, Colorado, in a very beautiful state with my beautiful wife of 12 years. And I am pursuing a better life and trying to live to others for a better world.
David Ralph [3:52]
You’re not just pursuing you’re really going for it, aren’t you for anyone that starts in a fishing village in West Africa to where you You are now. And I know it’s been hardship. I know. It’s been insurance, perseverance and all that kind of stuff. But you have really gone for it. It’s more than pursuing isn’t it?
Ousmane Ndoye [4:10]
Yes, it’s a more than pursuing it’s a it’s a kind of internal.
I have within myself. Every day I I check myself every day I look at myself in the mirror. And looking myself in those mirror, I always ask what’s possible. I don’t focus on impossible because I lived with that in possibility mindset for the first 20 years of my life. And when I left that village, I left in possibility behind me.
David Ralph [4:49]
So So this morning, when when he was looking in the mirror this morning, what was possible for today, did you remember what you thought?
Ousmane Ndoye [4:58]
Yes, I definitely did. Well,
the first thing was, I turn around and I look at myself in the mirror and I look at my beautiful wife and I say to myself, I can do better, I can become a better husband, a better friend, a better writer, a better teacher, a better trainer, a better philanthropist. And that’s just what I did. I go out there not just focusing on Huisman, but what can I do to contribute? What can I do to live to somebody’s life while I’m trying to live to mine? So it’s a given and receiving? That’s how I operate.
David Ralph [5:40]
So So do you feel more American than African now? Or is the African core always going to be in you?
Ousmane Ndoye [5:47]
Oh, I love that question. Sometimes when I speak, people would tease me and said, Man, you have this accident, you mix your African accent and American accent and wherever else you went in your life. And I said, You know what, I have the no excuses accent and people laugh, I am just me, I am a, I am a citizen of the world. I appreciate my life in America, and what America has done for me. And I also appreciate where I’m from, because you must always know where you’re from in order to know where you going. So I am kind of Rolling Stone. And I’ve learned for a long time that wherever you go, if you want to be part of that culture, part of that custom part of the reality, you must learn how to adapt, how to adjust how to appreciate and tolerate the difference, and just move on. So that’s the same in America. A I try to live my American Dream authentically, and I still be back myself. I express my inner being I express my thoughts I have that independence and freedom to just be. So I say to myself, I am a human being expressing my humanity to whatever I do in my to my writing, through my job to my speaking to my training, and you cannot change who you are. But you can change your attitude.
David Ralph [7:28]
And did you think it’s as simple as that? Do you think it is simply mindset, somebody deciding to change their situation?
Ousmane Ndoye [7:37]
Yeah, it’s a mindset. It’s a mindset. There is a lot of content about developing, growing and progressing. But I think you You must be willing to learn from your mistakes, from your failures from your circumstances. And even and not saying this is it? When things are tough or terrible, or bad? There is always better day. The big question is, are you willing to look for those better days?
David Ralph [8:12]
So it’s but so many people don’t do that? Do they? They they, they like to wallow in it. They like to be the victim. I’ve worked in companies for many, many years, as I’m sure that you have. And you are surrounded by misery guts, basically, as we say, in the United Kingdom, people who are just bad to moan and groan. So how do we get your positive attitude out to the masses to the listeners focused in on this conversation? So they can think yes, there’s a better way of doing it. I’m not going to moan today, I’m gonna go Osmonds way?
Ousmane Ndoye [8:46]
Yes. I don’t know if it was my way. But I could. I’ve created this, this this this this work. I’ve written some, some some thoughts about and one of my friend who’s a PhD here in Denver, he was laughing at me he says your your philosophy about standing with no excuses. Why you? You You think that’s really what’s holding people I said, Dr. You must understand that all of us, we will bond from a man and a woman, all of us no matter what we leave good circumstances, but circumstances. But the syndrome of the 21st century, I believe. It’s not, it’s not because we lack of resource or opportunities and possibilities. It’s just people get caught up by the syndrome of excuse reason, that’s how I call it the excuse reason syndrome. And once you get caught up with that syndrome, they they tend to follow you everywhere you go. And you must sustain every day, you know, to fight. And that’s what’s holding people down. Because people have this laziness. They have this procrastination, they have this, or I’ll wait till tomorrow, and you pile up those waiting for tomorrow, then it became very heavy, then you get caught up by that syndrome of excuse reason. That’s why you see a lot of people today, they are struggling, they are thriving, they are just surviving. Because rather than waking up and looking for solutions and possibilities, they worry about the weather, they worry about what the President will say they will they worry about problems that they don’t even know how they will solve it. So rather than focusing on positive energy, they put too much pressure on themselves by focusing on negative pressure. And listening to the naysayers to the dream killers, watching bad TV shows. And that’s that’s why people don’t see them on face. When they look at the mirror. What they see is what the other people are saying about terrible Evans trip, terrible circumstances. And I’ve learned to realise that you know what, man, I am going to listen to the voice inside me. It takes learning process, it takes journey. It takes some sacrifice and discipline. And that discipline is what’s missing. David.
David Ralph [11:24]
So if we took you right back to Senegal, to the fishing village, when you grew up, you said quite openly at the beginning, that your life was very different from the first 20 years and in many ways you as a survivor of a situation that you found yourself in. And now you’re somebody who’s making his situation would that be fair?
Ousmane Ndoye [11:47]
Yes, yes, I am. I am. I am very, very thankful where I am at this woman of my life. And I’m not satisfied, not content, I am not settling for less because I wasn’t born to settle for less. And when we look back, my life in Senegal and where I am today in America, it’s a totally different it’s a different Osman. And I can pretty much talk to you a little if you want about my life in Senegal, in the late 60s when I was born.
David Ralph [12:25]
So So what was it like? What was it like was it was it hard? I imagine it was hard. But I come from sort of a Western civilization. So in Africa, just getting through a day. It’s tough, I imagine.
Ousmane Ndoye [12:38]
Yes, it was hard. And you know, I was born six, seven years after the independence of Senegal. So it was a new, independent country, shifting from being colonised for about 150 years, and now asking the end dependent, that’s when I was born. And my parents, well, very young back then you got married and trying to live their dreams over there. But for some reason, they couldn’t make it together. And they they separated while I was one years old. And before I turned two years old. They split, and my mom was already pregnant with my younger sister. So that’s how this would help me because at one years old, what do you know, about life, I needed a man to raise me I needed role models, I needed somebody to guide me. So I always said, I was born with adversities. Because one years old, your dad walk away from your mom and the two children. No young woman trying to raise to one boy and a girl in those back in those days where I don’t even remember if there was electricity in that village. But I remember that. In the first house, where I spent the first five years with my great grandmother who’s my really role model, there was no running water, they will, there was no electricity, those type of things. That’s That’s how tough it was in. And I grew up like that, till I turned five years old. Then my mom and my dad took the decision, I went to my dad to be raised by a man. And my sister stayed in my with my mom and a new hospital. So that’s that’s where my life started getting tough, because for the next 15 like to 20 it was full of humiliation. But biding point thing is I was beaten I was not treated well. You know, and this was
David Ralph [14:53]
but was this by your father was it was the abuse by your father? Or was it the the people around you
Ousmane Ndoye [14:59]
know, the people around me, my dad used to beat me as well. And my stepmother was taking it as as joy or something like that. So I be I’ve lost my self esteem, and my self confidence. And for the next 15 years, it was just dark, I was living a very dark life. I felt all my classes my friends acquitting me by name, I was just a very scary guy, I was I had a lot of fear, I was going to bed with fear, waking up with fear, didn’t know what to do. Didn’t see the light didn’t see my feature. And but I’ve never stopped asking myself. What can I do? what’s possible? Why me? And, and and I think that, that gave me the wisdom that gave me the strength and the courage. When I turned 20, I say to myself, look, all your friends are going to college, they have nice girlfriends, they have their parents together. And you are here. Your schooling is not that solid, you don’t have the skills, you don’t have anything. So why are you in this world? What’s really the meaning of you been here? So those type of questions, I’ve never shy away from asking those critical questions to myself. Because when you living with situations where you don’t see your way out where you don’t see the light, or you don’t have any Lyft that can pull you out, you must look at that mirror and say to yourself, what’s possible.
David Ralph [16:43]
But how did you do that, though? How did you ask those questions when you as you were saying you was in a very dark place? And yes, the reason I’m phrasing that question in that way is, so many people who listen to this show are in a good place. They got a job, they go to work, they’re in a relationship, but they want more. And when I speak to them, and I speak to them a lot on a one to one basis. It’s the fear of losing what they’ve got. But you you have that that inner fire, that inner belief you had something but no matter how the situation, sort of could have taken it from you. It didn’t end it stayed in there. Do you think that is an amazing feat when you look back at that small child, but you were, but you still had that passion and belief. And you were able to ask those critical questions when so many people wouldn’t?
Ousmane Ndoye [17:36]
Yes, most definitely. I can tell you, in that big village, there was one person which was my great grandmother on my mom’s side, she was already very old. She was I think when I was born, she was already 90 years old. So while I was growing up, when I turned five, she was 100 years old. And I used to run when they beat me when they make me do something unethical that they didn’t you know, I am just cuz you know, I get cursed. I get called by name, I would run to her. And she was very old. She couldn’t walk, she couldn’t see Well, she couldn’t do anything. But she has something special that I couldn’t see from my mom and her husband, or from my dad and his wife. She has this smile. She has this warm, hug, hook or love. But she tired of that with a message. And I think her message, I borrow my great grandmother’s spirit in order for me to stand. Anytime I run. And I came to her. She started telling me in between age five, seven, when I came in complex, cry and whine and blame the world blame my parents blame everybody blame the neighbourhood. She would listen. But as soon as I’m done, she look. She looks at me and says, Son, I want you to man up. So what do you mean? She says, you gotta keep it real? Now, I am like, what is that word? Keep it real. 567 years old? And I would ask her, come on what is keeping real?
She says, You are a very intelligent boy. I say No, I am not everybody saying I’m stupid and dumb. Everybody every day, they said, I am a lost child that I will never amount to thing. She says oh no, they are lying. You are very smart. You are very intelligent. And you will become a good man. When you grow up. I say how am I going to? How am I going to do that grandma. She says, just keep it real. You keep it real with God. Keep it real with yourself. Keep it real. With society. Keep it real with everything. Just be honest, be ethical, be gentle, be nice to people. So she was feeding me she was putting those seeds on me. But I didn’t know what she was doing. Because anytime I left my great grandmother and I come back to the compound, that’s the policy of what she was telling me. They would be beating me again, they would so I was between those two worlds like a ping pong ball. But for some reason. I trusted what my great grandmother was saying, I trusted what she was trying to put inside my soul inside my heart in my mind, then probably when I turned 1012, I would come to her and I said, grandmother, you’ve been telling me to keep it real. I try my best. But I’m getting spanked every day and I’m failing. Every class I’m doing exists. And she says stop blaming the world for your setbacks and failures this month. I see What do you mean? She says you see I am 100 years old. Now more than that. I cannot see Well, I am here sitting. They do everything for me. But son, I wake up every morning looking for solution. I say What’s that? She says we all have problems. We all have difficulties. We all have setbacks, but recognise your failure recognise your mistakes, recognise your problem, touch them, kiss them, hug them, but put them down and focus on solution. Then I run now with those words, looking for solution. This would take the next three, four years of my life to like, turn 17 I couldn’t find my solution. And then I would come back and say you’ve been telling me to keep it real. You’ve been telling me to focus on so little I am here every day. The only thing I do is play soccer all day long. Go and swim and go and fishing with my friends. Some of them are doing very well at to school. I fail every class. Yeah, daddy. She says son. Just keep looking. Keep looking. Okay. Then when I turned 18 1920 that’s when one day I was so tired of life. I was about to give up. I remember thinking about killing myself. I was tempted to do so. But again, sometimes you have an angel somewhere. This is this old, very old lady more than 110 years now going to 115 staying guiding me. I didn’t know that she was just putting some seats. And one day I came to her. I said I don’t know what to do anymore, grandma. I don’t know. She says Oh, are you do? You have a mind? You have a soul? You have heart and you are a gifted kid? I said what do you want me to do? She says now you asking the right question? Are you willing to do what it takes? When she says that? The sparkle? My thinking? I say what side willing, she says are you willing to go after what you want? Are you going
to be hungry?
Without having food but standing? Are you willing to work 24 hours a day? Are you willing? Are you willing? Then as soon as I grasped that word, I flipped around. I remember. And I said from today on
I’m going to take back my life.
Unknown Speaker [23:52]
Ousmane Ndoye [23:54]
if I have to cross borders in countries, till I get to America, my dreamland. No matter what we dream no matter what we want out of life, no matter what we want to see out there. We must keep it real. Inside we must be willing to look for the solution and the right solution. But we must be willing to take action.
David Ralph [24:21]
I’m gonna play some words here oarsmen because I really want to get into your journey across this a harbour which must have been just dreadful. But that moment, that moment when you knew that it was up to you, it was that moment when you had to decide on the future that you wanted and go after it. That really is fundamental to everything, isn’t it? And that that’s what so many people miss, they kind of feel that the answer is just going to fall from the skies. But it’s not is it you’ve got to go out and you’ve got to look for it. And it may not be the first cup of tea you open, it may not be the first door. But if you open enough doors and carpets and looking at hearts, it’s highly likely that you will find it. But then you’ve got to go after it, don’t you?
Ousmane Ndoye [25:06]
Oh yes, you you have to go after, after them. And when I have decided to leave synagogue, sincerely. I was 21 years old, don’t have the skills, don’t have the solid education don’t have the knowledge don’t. I really didn’t know. But I had a desire. Burning deep down my soul, I had a vision. And I said I will take back my life. That’s just the I will take back my life one way or another.
Unknown Speaker [25:48]
And when I had that
Ousmane Ndoye [25:51]
I just went inside my room I remember I grasp a backpack. I put two pairs of shirt, two pairs of jeans, and one book called regime at burner in French the way of happiness by Dr. Victor Porsche. And I’ve never looked back to this moment I’m speaking to you. And I can tell you pretty much today I have my life with me.
David Ralph [26:14]
Astonishing. Let’s play some words that really emphasises what we’re talking about finding the thing that you love, and taking a risk on it. This is Jim Carrey,
Jim Carrey [26:23]
my father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [26:50]
Is that is that the message that we really should get out to the world?
Ousmane Ndoye [26:54]
Oh, yes, most definitely. Because all of us we have some type of dream one way or another. My dream when I left synagogue at 21, my dream was to go to America, because I’ve never heard much about America back then in that village. I remember I watched a movie in the early 80s called dynasty. And it was very, it was very appealing to me. And I think in 1981 of I was watching TV. And they were showing a screen with some high rise building. I remember telling asking one of my uncle, what is this? He says this is America. I say what is America? I remember to these days, he’s answer he says You see, that’s why we say you stupid. America is a country. It’s not an object. It’s a country. I said, Okay, I want to go to America. It says used to be how you are going to go to America. I know America have a lot of freedom. They have a lot of opportunity. And it’s beautiful. in that village, I didn’t know what beautiful means. I didn’t know what freedom means. I didn’t know what opportunity means. Those are the three words I grasp. I was 14 or 15 years old. I kept those three words America, freedom, opportunity. And Venus. I say okay, this was 1981. Then in 1986, I went with one of my friend, we were playing soccer. And one day he says let’s go to my brother and ask for some money. Then we went there and he was listening to some types of music. I’d never heard about this music. So I came I say what is is what what music is he is he says, Oh, this is American music. Huh? He is shows America again. And he said they have rock’n’roll. They have blues, they have jazz. Then every day I would do it on purpose just to stop by to listen to this music because Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and staying with the police, they became my hero. Oh, and I will be listening to doo doo doo dah. I didn’t know what he was saying. But I was just trail doo doo doo. Dad, Dad, I’m like, Oh my God, Who are these people? They’re happy and joyful. I gotta go to America.
David Ralph [29:37]
And so you set off on foot across the Sahara Desert, which is yes, you know, people die is quite obviously is one of the hardest places to cross. And the fact that you did it on your own, with just a gallon of water. And just a few belongings that that must have been? Well, I’m supposing it was, was that one of the most frightening things? Or did you just have total belief, but it was the right thing to do.
Ousmane Ndoye [30:06]
When I left the synagogue, and my journey started with in Mali, I was in Bamako slipping industry didn’t have, I would stay like two, three days without even having the opportunity to have a shower. I had nothing. But I had my willingness, I had my faith, I had my desire my dreams. Then I went to ivory course. I stayed there for six months settings, you know, to stuff in the street, or whatever I could sell as long as it was legal and ethical. That’s what I did till I found some pocket money. And talking to people, hey, I want to go to America. They like well, how are you going to America? I don’t know. I’m just looking for America. And one guy that one day, I heard him saying, hey, you can go to Italy by crossing Libya. And maybe from there, you can get to America. Hey, I’m now 22 years old. And I said, Okay, let me find that way how to get to Libya, they say you have to cross Molly and all of those places, Algeria. I travelled by car from Ivory Coast to Molly. And then we went to Algeria. It’s from Algeria. They said, you cannot go from Algeria, to Libya, by car. There is the Sahara Desert. There’s a lot of people that are losing their life and this and that. But this, this goes back to my willingness Are you willing, and I said, if I have to swim the Atlantic, if I have to cross the Sahara Desert, if I have to jump borders, and mountains, and whatever it will take, I am willing to do so. My willingness really was what took me to believe that I will cross the Sahara Desert by food with my one gallon of water. And I will get to Libya. And if I have to do something more, I will do so.
David Ralph [32:23]
Did you ever have times when you was on that journey that you fall, I’ve made a mistake here. This is too hard. It’s too hot, it’s too cold at night. I’m not going to see the end of this journey.
Ousmane Ndoye [32:38]
There was a moment where, you know, I had fear, like everybody, we all have fear. But I needed to fight my fear, or Converse my fear within my faith. Because I was seeing dead bodies, I was seeing people who couldn’t work anymore. Myself I was dehydrated, was losing my strength. And I remember like it was yesterday, we were about 80 people in 19 8089 Yes. And six, the six of us to to to we’re about to die. And I remember me and three other men, we’ve decided to stay with them either will die together, or we’ll get there by team that’s that’s the Sahara Desert have taught me to became a team player to to became a person of perseverance, determination. Never ever give up. I’ve learned those skills while I was crossing Algeria, in Libya in six days, by food because I knew in my heart that a lot of people were there, lay down dead, it could be me. But for some reason, I’ve never believed that I would be staying in that desert. Because in my mind, my desire to see America was so deep that if I have to crawl if I have whatever it would take. So that that was a moment when I’ve crossed the Sahara Desert, and I get to Libya, which is another storey. That’s when I knew that one way or another, I will take back my life, no matter how long, wherever it will take, that’s that moment have shifted. Because you have to go to those type of maybe Evans or those type of sacrifice. And, and you’ll, you’ll appreciate life, crossing the Sahara Desert have taught me to appreciate my life, to appreciate people to appreciate whatever came my way.
David Ralph [34:50]
And that’s where you get your smile on a daily basis.
Ousmane Ndoye [34:54]
Yes, yes. Yes, yes, I woke up every day. And my wife says, honey, even in pain, you smile. In sadness, you smile. When you get a call, they say you’ve lost a relative, you smile, I say, Honey, I’ve learned to kill my emotions. Because it will happen. But things will happen. good things will happen. I have to manage my emotion not to let those moments to change who I am. Yes, I can celebrate my success. I can be thankful when things get bad and get back on track. But I don’t let none of those to stop me pursuing my better life and looking for ways to lift other people because I realised that you know what, I am here for a short period of time. It can be now I am almost close to 50 years old. And it’s been a beautiful journey. And if I have to be in this world for another 3040 I dedicate my life to serve myself and others, through my books to my speaking to my philanthropic, nonprofit organisation. through what I’m just doing with you, because we need one another regardless of where we from who you are, how you look what you believe. And that’s what I believe that’s what I preach. That’s what I speak about. That’s what I write about. Because I have been there and done that I was in moments where I had one pen, one should I have been in days where I didn’t eat, I went to bed without food, I woke up doing all kinds of jobs and and, and, and and just looking for a way out. And my courage, my faith, my strength, my willingness, keeping it real focusing on my solutions, and the help of other people. That’s really what gets me to I am so I’m always trying to give back.
David Ralph [37:03]
So so you land in America, obviously, you know, I’d love to know about the Libya bit but we’re gonna have to skip on from there. Maybe get you back for another episode. But you land in America. Did you have any plans and what you were going to do when you hit America when you actually got there? Was it just like, right, okay, I’ve achieved this now. Oh, my God, I don’t even know what I was planning to do. When I got here. It was just the thought of getting to America.
Ousmane Ndoye [37:30]
From the day I left a synagogue to the day I arrived to New York, it took 10 years of my life crossing borders and countries and continents. But over the journey. During those 10 years, I was educating myself about life about reality about everything I remember. Like I said, I didn’t have that solid education before I left to Senegal, but I think those 10 years, I’ve learned so much. And when I came when I get to America, I was to the 31 years old. Yes, I just came to America was a dream. I just had a dream that I wanted to be part of America. I wanted to contribute. I wanted to make my life feeling one way or another. And I get to America was $200. In New York, I remember meeting some people. And I was just asking them, how long have you been here? What are you doing? They were like, Oh, you can have a job here get $60 hours, you can do this do that. And I said, No, that’s not what America is about. Just working, have the person and just be content. You must be part of America. In fact, because I didn’t know much about what I was going to meet here. I’ve decided to go to Hollywood, because I thought that America was Hollywood, you know? And I do. I thought that America was Hollywood. And I just wanted to play my movie about Disneyland
David Ralph [39:12]
Disney is one of the two.
Ousmane Ndoye [39:16]
Exactly. Then in reality, one of my childhood friends was living in Denver. He’s the one who told me Hey, come to Denver. It’s a nice place. And I remember the dynasty movie I’ve watched in the early 80s. It was played in Denver. So when I get when I came to Denver, I felt in love with Denver. But still I needed a job. I needed a place and stuff. I remember studying my first job at a grocery store $6 hours. But one thing I’ve never neglected. When I came to America, my first thought was now that I made it. I must get myself educated. Yes, I have life education. I’ve travelled all over the world. Now I have to go to college and get my intellectual education together. That way I can confront America.
David Ralph [40:12]
So So did you really feel like you were taking on the country that it was up to you to? You’ve done so much, and you were probably exhausted after the 10 years of travel and hardship to get there. But once you actually landed there, you actually felt that you were confronting America?
Ousmane Ndoye [40:32]
Yes, it was a new chapter. It was a new episode. It was a new journey. And I was not. Now at 31 I became more more laid back a little more reflect more patient. But I was still very passionate about getting things done. And I was looking at the store nighttime, just content, my English was very slow, but there and I was speaking English, but it was very slow because I educated myself all along to music and books and stuff. And six months after I lived in the US, somebody pitched me about driving taxi. I’ve never driven a car in the US. I have never driven a car in Denver. I knew how to drive. And I say no, I cannot do that. And he says yeah, it’s it’s very easy. You look at the mountain, it’s West. That’s how I start driving taxi. And three months after I start driving taxi, I checked myself to a community college, they said, you are going to start from ESL English. as a second language, I say no problem. So I started from scratch taking one class at a time. And today I’m a I’m in a pro programme. I never had college education. But today I am in a programme where I am about to finish my bachelor at the same time and connect to my programme. That’s where my American journey studied. conquest. I start educating myself. I drive taxi, nighttime 1012 hours a day, get home, take shower, lay for two hours. I’m at school since it’s been 15 years I had never stopped going to school. You know the thing that
David Ralph [42:23]
I find amazing by that, that whole storey is you start off in cynical. You have always you know, upheaval is arduous childhood, you vain cross the Sahara Desert, you men spend 10 years travelling, trying to get to America. And then when somebody says to you learn to drive a car, you say I can’t do that. That seems that seems amazing to me. I would have thought by that time, you would have thought that you’d be able to do anything that anyone through you through it, you
Ousmane Ndoye [42:53]
know, I I knew how to drive. I knew how to drive a car, but
I just didn’t know how the streets and the end the the lights of the blocks. Sorry, worked. That was my issues. So I came to Aurora. But I knew where I live. But how to get from Mississippi to Colfax. I didn’t know how because I’ve never driven a car in this country. That was my ish choose. And if I want to drive a taxi, I have to know the city. That was my concern. But I was willing to learn. In fact, when this guy insisted, I told him, can you show me? Because I’m always open to learn. I am not a know it all. I am always open to learn. So when he insisted I said, Can I ride with you? On my day off, and that will show me how the streets work how the city, we went one run one time. And I’m really the way he was speaking of people, the way he was welcoming them. And his service was not that really superstar service. And I say to myself, I can do this? Oh, yes, I can. The following day. Or the following week, I went to the taxi company. I remember that like it was yesterday. I’ve told this lady, I want to became a taxi driver. She says how long you have been living here? I said, six months? She says have you ever driven a car in the city? I say no. She says Do you know very well the city? I say no. But I can learn mom. So she says I’m sorry. I cannot. I cannot hire you because to drive a taxi in Denver. You have to live here. More than a year you have to learn. You have to know the city and this. I told her I look at her straight. I said Mom.
I’m just asking for it chance. I’m not asking for a handout.
I sacrifice my whole life to be here in this country. I’m just asking for America to give me 1% chance I will earn the 99 one way or another. And there was another lady. She looks at her and she says he seems like a good man. Give him a chance. They hired me I went for three days of class. I didn’t know what they were saying they took Western East blogs this blog that but I didn’t know much. But I had my desire. I remember after that training, they gave me a taxi. I couldn’t come from the company to my house and there was no back then there was no cell phone or those things. I remember calling my cabbie friend and told him Hey, you have to come to take me to my house and is that the same vocabulary man You stupid I told you Western is I say look, come in just take me. When I got to my house. I start questioning myself do I want to do this? But while I was asking those questions to myself, what are your excuses was man what’s holding you why now you made all these sacrifices to get to the US. Why are you scared? That I flipped around. There was the picture of my great grandmother The only thing I carry with me to this day. Like she was telling me Huisman, I am in heaven. I’m in heaven watching son. You made it. You made it. You made it. Don’t stop. You made it this far. You will become the super five star cab driver of America. I went out there start speaking of people getting lost, but my attitude the way I was treating my customers the way I was, they were teasing my accent back then say look, I just want to be part of America. If I don’t know I can can you help me? I don’t know very well district I was still willing to be going the extra mile for people and people were willing to go the extra mile for me, believe it or not. David 10 years later, I was nominated the best professional cab driver in the world.
David Ralph [47:19]
I believe it totally I believe there’s nothing you can’t do. Osman. I’m sitting here. You know, I’ll be honest, I’ve had tears in my eyes a couple of times on in this conversation, the bit with your grandmother, when she was just keeping that light alive. But that storey when you just looked at them in the eye and say give me 1% chance that that is so powerful, isn’t it? And for all the listeners out there, they can get that 1% they just have to go for it and that and they don’t so many people don’t. And that’s the that’s the crying shame, isn’t it?
Ousmane Ndoye [47:56]
Yes, exactly. And
people will look me I remember when people say oh cab driver or I speak to some of my friends cab drivers and I didn’t see the the museum I didn’t see the the wisdom or the courage because they they’ve lost their self esteem maybe or self confidence because they thought that they will cab drivers. I remember telling them you are not cab driver. You are human beings and decent human beings expressing yourself to a taxi. That’s all. And I will prove to you that you can take a taxi from one fair one trick, one customer to build your American dream. From my taxi. I’ve written three books inside my taxi. And not just that I was doing my college school homework into my taxi today. That taxi have helped me to pave my way to college. I have a I’ve created a philanthropist, nonprofit organisation called fleet of love, where we are impacting people in my adopted city of death. We feed almost three to 200 homeless every month. And people say how are you doing this? I said America give me 1% chance. And I’m working through my 99% I want to give back.
Everything started exist on iterating started from us. Yes.
David Ralph [49:32]
Yeah, absolutely astonishing what you are, what you’ve managed to do, and obviously what you want to do, and I just get that feeling with you. But the more you achieve the bigger you want to get you want a classic case of dream big and Ben dream bigger again on you.
Ousmane Ndoye [49:48]
Exactly this morning. One of my I had this lady, I was just talking to her and she says why what what what what is your motives? Why are you so determinant for things you do for the community for things you do? encouraging people to go to school encouraging people to develop themselves encouraging people to do this. To do that. I told her the reason why I’ve written the book stand with no excuses. And share my little storey there is my purpose. My purpose is to pursue a better life, and Lyft causes for a better world. And my only. My only concern is to die with my dreams in my grave. That’s that’s that if there is something I worry, I do not want to die. With my dreams still in my heart, I want when my fellow man cross my grave. And they look at my name was window, the fishermen, they’ll say this is a man who tried his best. That’s the only thing I can do try my best every day, with no excuses. You are doing
David Ralph [51:00]
much more than just doing your best you you really are. I want to play some words now. And it’s the theme of the show. And it’s the classic speech that Steve Jobs made back in 2005. And if anyone would have a resonance to this, I think you are going to be this man. So this is Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [51:19]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [51:54]
Now those words could have been written about you can they
Ousmane Ndoye [51:59]
when I went to you to your website in, and I realised that you became a big fan a big partner of jobs because those people they don’t even look for fans, they are looking for partners, people who can keep the torch going. Before we spoke, I am I’m writing my fourth book. And in the in the in the in the book. This is before before even I knew who was David Ralph, I open it my book with a quote from Steve Jobs. Because Steve Jobs is a role model. He’s an example. He’s somebody, I look up to like many, many other people that you know what? It’s possible. He’s a role model. He’s an icon. He’s someone I admire so much. And I I’m always trying to keep up with those type of people. When you look at like Steve Jobs, or Nelson Mandela, my great grandmother, those are people I listened to I look up to. And that’s the best I can describe them there. They The one who kept this world going, even though we have a lot of lacking in our leadership, leadership institutions today in our workplaces, and schools and inner cities. But when you turn around somewhere, somehow, even including your listeners, some of them, they can keep the torch going, they can ignite excellence, prestige, and good reputation. That’s how powerful
people like Steve Jobs are to me.
David Ralph [53:54]
So when you look back on his words, is there a big.in Your life is there at the moment when you go? Yes. That is when I became who I who I am today.
Ousmane Ndoye [54:07]
Definitely. I think during all my journeys, I was trying to put the dots together. And everywhere I went, I grasped one dot. That’s how I can describe my dad’s I went to many countries, many cities, many continents, and everywhere I went, I learned something. And I was creating my own personality, my own brand, my own. My own journey, my own movie. In today, I can pretty much says the dots are coming together and how I always wanted to put my books out there and share my storey and many, many other things. I always wanted to have college education, Asian I wanted to get married. I have a beautiful wife that you couldn’t imagine. I wanted to have a circle of allies and friends that the relationships is through honesty, ethics and comprehension. Yes, you will have sometimes some naysayers and dream killers. But that’s, that’s that kind of stop us have my philanthropists I always wanted to do something for my community. And I wanted to give back, I’m writing I told people every book I write every dollar or every $2 in my book will go back to society. I want to build the libraries, I want to build the schools, these are, these are the dots doing something that some the somehow maybe there is some kids, they are going to do the same things from from a broken family from homelessness, hunger, or they don’t have access to clean water, they don’t have access to peace and joy and those type of things. If you want to connect the dots like Steve Jobs, that’s what Steve is talking about. Because today, because of Steve and people like him, I can click the Skype and talk to you, I can click the Skype and see my mom in that village. You have to do so in meaningful that tomorrow when you die, you die peacefully. Amazing.
David Ralph [56:31]
Absolutely amazing. I’m going to play the theme tune of the show. It’s the bit that we called a sermon on the miles, man. And I’m going to send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to your younger self, what age would you choose? And what advice would you give? Well, I’m dying to hear what you’re going to say. So I’m going to play the tune. And when it fades out, you’re up. This is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [57:00]
Here we go
Unknown Speaker [57:03]
with the best beer on the show.
Ousmane Ndoye [57:18]
As I said before, that excuses. It’s just like syndromes. And once you get caught up by those syndromes, they always follow you everywhere you go, you go to bed, they follow you, you go to work, they follow you, you go to industry, they’re always telling you, you cannot amount anything, you cannot contribute, you cannot make a difference. And I’ve internalise those type of syndromes during the first 20 years of my life. But I had a chance to have my great grandmother telling me keep it real focus on solution. Be willing to do what it takes. Yeah, it’s easy to say that. But to take action is really what matters the most. And sometimes, you can fail while you’re taking actions, but also believe that you can succeed at the same time. Because as long as you listen to the voice inside yourself, yes, listen to other people. Listen to your naysayers, listen to your dream killers. But the one you must listen to the most is you your heart. And when you whenever you listen to your heart, you can answer the many questions that you are asking your self in a daily basis. And simply by saying to yourself, what are my excuses? And you become honest and real within yourself? Or you say why am I stuck? Why am I not moving? forward? What is truly holding me? Because you must ask yourself this question first. And then you say, What can I do? about them? That’s what I call being sober. From excuses. Because excuses. They are like alcohol to an alcoholic, you think you can have a little and be fine. So it’s a lifetime fight, to to kill your excuses and stand up and go after what you want. Go after your dreams and aspirations. This is no miracle you don’t need a PhD to do this. You do not need a bachelor. You just need fifth hope, strength, determination, hack education and surround yourself with the right people.
That’s how you can get it done.
David Ralph [59:53]
How can our audience connect with you,
Ousmane Ndoye [59:55]
you know, they can go to my website, my hi momentum Institute Mile High momentum that calm or they can check number there there is a number on my website, in my email so they can they can really keep in touch with me by going to my website Mile High momentum calm and I’m building a block what I call the VIP. The no excuses movement, I am right now building a block. And that’s that’s the no excuses movement. And they can connect with that block. In every way. I will be sharing with them simple tools, simple strategies and techniques that can open up the door. But remember this you know, every day each and every one of us have a set of key, we have the house key, we have the mailbox key, we have
Unknown Speaker [1:01:00]
the workplace keys.
Ousmane Ndoye [1:01:03]
But most of the keys we are carrying, they don’t pay money they don’t reward us we pay money the house we pay the mortgage or the rent the car repair the car not. But people don’t go out with their life key which which is amazing to me. You want to read off your excuses. You want to go after your dreams. The same way you carry your set of keys you must set you must carry your life keys, your your key to success. It’s called click, you must have compassion. You must listen to the right voice into the right message. You must imagine yourself 10 years from now, five years from now, one year from now Where do I want to be? What do I want to contribute? What difference do I want to make. And then you connect with you connect the dots. Once you connect the dots, the people the means the strategies by simply using your know how you must have your life key. It’s called click then that way you can click one journey. One success, one achievement at a time.
David Ralph [1:02:23]
Bozeman, thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining those dots and please come back again when you have more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining those dots and connecting our past it’s the best way to build our futures. You’ve been inspirational. Thank you so much.
Ousmane Ndoye [1:02:39]
Thank you. Thank you for having me and you have a wonderful night.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become so he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up Dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.