I am the President/CEO of IEM Approach a premier company in inspiring, equipping and motivating people to find their God-given purpose, pursue and possess it. I am an Independent Certified Coach, Teacher, and Speaker with The John Maxwell Team and on a mission to Inspire, Equip and Motivate people to tell their stories. My own story highlighting my drive, determination, persistence, tenacity and courage in the face of diverse adversities is told in my 2014 book, “Coming to America: A Journey of Faith.” It is a testament to the power of God, his involvement in our lives and intervention when we call out to him. I strongly believe that our stories are unique and are a powerful tool that can be used to inspire, comfort encourages others to be hopeful.
Every situation in life has two possible outcomes, and we all are presented with a golden opportunity to choose the positive outcome. Therefore, I launched IEM PRESS after the company that published my first book went under and I lost thousands of dollars. IEM PRESS was founded to help other people not to suffer the same fate when they decide to tell their story and share it with the rest of the world. I am excited about people, their stories, where they have been, where they are and where they are going. That is why IEM PRESS is focused on giving people the tools they need to tell their stories in an impactful way.
I was born and raised in a Caldera on the Cameroon Volcanic Line in Cameroon West Africa. I am a holder of Bachelors in Geology and Sociology from the University of Buea, a Masters in Earth Sciences from the University of Yaounde and a Doctorate in Geosciences from The University of Texas at Dallas. In addition to being a geoscientist with extensive experience in the oil and gas industry, I am also the Co-founder/President of Equipping of the Saints International Ministries. I am married to Elizabeth Tangumonkem, and God has blessed us with five children; Afaamboma, Nstongmboma, Elotmboma Abuetmboma and Atseamboma.
I am on a mission to Inspire, Equip and Motivate people to find their God-given purpose and pursue it. I have been through many challenges both in Africa and the United States and understand the importance of bringing a message of hope that is applicable in all spheres of life. It is coined “The Faith CYCLE.” See, Believe, Speak and ACT, and you will be unstoppable.
How you got out of your comfort zone to achieve success
Getting out of your comfort zone appears to be a challenge to many, but all who succeed in life have figured out how to get out of their comfort zones. I am going to share with you four words that have helped and continue giving me the impetus to get out of my comfort zone time and time again. I have gone out of my comfort zone so many times and know I still must go out of it many more times if I want to keep growing and excelling.
The four words are see, believe, speak, and ACT. These four verbs are so powerful that, they have literally had a profound impact on the history of the world. Every major figure in his used them at one point or the other. Take Martin Luther King Jr. For example, he saw that segregation was a problem in the United States of America, then he believed that he could do something about it. His believed prompted him to speak about it, and the result is the now famous, “I have a Dream” speech. Martin Luther Jr. did not only give speeches; he ACTED, by organizing matches all over the country led to the passing of Civil Right Laws in the United States of America.
I was born in Bamumbu in Cameroon West Africa and started elementary school in a dusty classroom with bare benches and no fancy audiovisual aids. During these early years, I went to school barefooted. Wearing shoes to school was a luxury that most the students could not afford. I eventually had a B.S. in geology and was doing a Masters in Earth Sciences when I had an “Aha! Moment! That set me to embark on one of the most audacious journeys of my life. I have written and published a book titled “Coming to America: A Journey of Faith.” This book narrates the details of how I got out of my comfort zone of a graduate student in Cameroon and boarded a plane to the United States of America to pursue an advanced degree in geosciences with no money or scholarships to pay for it. To make matters worse, I had to leave behind my wife and less than the one-year-old son and traveled more than eight thousand miles to a foreign country with no relatives or friends; without any guarantees for success.
What in the world will prompt anybody to do something like this? How in the world do you do it?
* You start with seeing what you want to do or where you want to go.
There must be a clear picture of where you are going and what you want to achieve. There must be something very compelling that you want to do or achieve. In order words, you need to have a vision. You need to know where you want to go. If not, you will go around in circles. Let the challenges that are surrounding you be your inspiration to come up with a solution. In my case, I felt the strong need to travel to the United States of America for a better education in geosciences. The desire was so strong and the vision so clear that I went home after the conference and told my wife that we were going to pray our way to the United States literally. I said this because at that time we needed thousands of dollars to embark on the project, but where not having one hundred dollars in the bank.
* The next step is to believe that you have what it takes to accomplish what you are seeing.
If you do not believe that you what it takes to win, to succeed in whatever you want to do, you will not leave your comfort zone. In my case, I believed that I could get admission into a graduate school in the Unites States of America. What keeps most people grounded in their tracks is that they think others are better than them, that others can do it, but they cannot. This is not true. If you see the problem and have a strong desire to offer a solution, then you can! You already have the solutions to whatever needs that trouble you the most. Do you believe you do? If you believe that you have the solution and con make a difference, the next logical step is to start talking about it.
* You must start speaking boldly, decisively and with conviction.
Remember the words of King Solomon, “The power of life and death lies in your tongue.” He adds that you shall enjoy good things by the fruits of your mouth”. Going to graduate school in America is a good thing. That is why I started telling my family, friends and all who cared to listen. Somewhere kind, some skeptical and some laughed at me. They reminded me that it was impossible and that I was not having the money and the academic prowess to get into a good U.S. graduate program. One friend said, “You need a Moses to part the Red Sea for you”. In my case, I needed the Atlantic Ocean to be parted for me, since I had no money to register for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and pay for all the other costs that were associated with the admission process and traveling. I refused to listen to the distracting voices and kept saying I was going to the U.S. to study.
The final step is ACTION.
You can see all that you want to believe until it is coming out through your ears, speak as much as you can, if there is not action, you will remain grounded in your comfort zone. To get out of your comfort zone, you must do the moving out. It is imperative that you start taking baby steps towards the direction you want to go. Remember that the most difficult step is usually the first step. That is why I took action and applied to the geoscience program at the University of Texas at Dallas, wrote the necessary exams and got the admission. After the admission, I borrowed money, bought an air ticket, grabbed a single suitcase and boarded the plane and headed to the United States without any guarantees for success. I showed up with nothing, but my resolve to succeed and succeeded I did. Now that you have heard a little about my story, it is time for you to get out of your comfort zone. If you can see, believe, speak and ACT you will be unstoppable.
By Eric Tangumonkem, Ph.D