People love doing what everyone else is doing. They do not want to be left out.
This is the reason why whenever possible, the best way to market your products and services is by showing your prospective customers that your products are in high demand; all the really cool people can’t get enough of it and if you want to be cool, buy yours right away.
As we enter into the holiday season, it becomes much more obvious as people start looking for the most popular places where people are hanging out, the most popular gift item people are buying, the most popular fashion trends.
Do people do things because they find them relevant and useful or because everyone else is doing it? It will surprise you that more often than not, people do things because everyone else is doing it. Human Beings are imitators by design.
What we need now is for a smart business person (That’s YOU, by the way) to look hard at how she can take advantage of this fact and cash in this upcoming holiday season.
Watching The World
Every business you will ever think up will have an end goal of serving PEOPLE. Your client base will be made up of people, people with different interests and expectation.
Your top goal as a business man is to keep all your clients satisfied with your services. This is what guarantees that you have a business; a business without clients cannot stand.
The resources needed to delight our clients on the other hand are limited. In the real world, you cannot really eat your cake and still have it. No matter how hard you try, you will have bad clients, those who seem only interested in frustrating you, sabotaging you, or even cheating you.
What I observed is that businesses tend to focus a lot of resources on this class of people, trying hard to please them and make things better – but it hardly works. The alternative to this, allocating more resources to our best customers, people who love what we do and will appreciate it more is probably a better approach.
Imagine the impact on your business if you took the best business relationships you have and made them better. Today is a good day to reflect upon your key clients and think about how you could improve your relationship with them, this is a much better use of your time resources than analysing clients that are simply bad cases.
Everyday, you get 24 hours. What do you do with it?
It is a very good habit to learn to keep track of your time and account for it. It is an habit that could change your life forever!
In 2011, I started replying to a daily email that semi-nagged me: WHAT DID YOU DO TODAY? I would then reflect on the day and write down the tangible tasks I performed during the day. This is a practice I still do up till this day. Replying those emails went a long way in helping me shift my mindset towards higher productivity, when it came to making the list at the end of the day, I could not list the 20 items on my to-do list. I could only list the things I had done.
You must not just allow the days to keep rolling away, you should try and account for the days. You might need to ask yourself questions such as:
Take charge of your day, plan it properly and engage in activities that are actually productive. We only get 24 hours in a day, can you make it count?
I want to point out that Lionel Messi is 27 years old and he is a world class footballer. The difference between Messi and his jobless 27 year old Nigerian fan who pays to watch Messi play football is in the way they used their time. They have both spent 27 years on the planet, but obviously, one of them has used his time more productively than the other.
You have 24 hours to use up everyday, can you make it count?
Watching The World
Meet the Chinese Bamboo
The Chinese Bamboo plant starts from a tiny seed. You plant the seed in the soil, and you water the seed. Nothing happens.
Undeterred, the second year you still water and fertilize and protect the seed….. Nothing happens.
The third year you water and fertilize and protect the seed….. Nothing happens.
The fourth year you water and fertilize and protect the seed….. Nothing happens.
The fifth year you water and fertilize and protect the seed.…. Finally, during the fifth year, it is this fifth year that the Chinese Bamboo plant begins to grow. In fact, it grows 90 feet tall (that is as tall as a 9 storey building) in just 6 weeks!
My question is, did it grow 90 feet in six weeks or in five years?
Just like the Chinese tree, be willing to go for years underground, building a strong root base that will be able to support the upward growth you desire.
The way up is down.
Grow! It will be painfully slow initially, but over time…. it gets better and better. What you must never do is to chicken out and give up because you cannot see anything growing out of all the efforts.
Grow! Keep growing!!
Watching The World
Grow, do not jump.
The need to shout these words on every rooftop and ram it into the mind of everybody cannot be over emphasized.
Due to our big ambitions and the hot red blood flowing inside our veins, we want things to happen fast, we want to scale our small business up overnight, these leads to various mistakes like bringing on investors too early, raising too much money or attracting too much debt.
Believe it or not, you can actually grow your business too fast. The moment your business starts growing faster than you have the capacity to handle, you are screwed. You will begin to collapse.
Truth be told, there are things you can do now and there are things you simply cannot do. You cannot do them because you do not have the strength and maturity to properly execute them. If you attempt to execute things you do not have the muscle for, you get strained, hurt and you may not recover well enough to try again.
Do not be in a hurry to hit it big and run. Start your projects as small as possible and work your way up from there, at a point, you will experience a leap, and at that point things grow very fast. That point comes naturally, if you try to force it beforehand, it wont work.
Today, I can write #TMP everyday. We did not start from here, the first article I had the boldness to post online was in 2007. From 2007 – 2013, I published less than 50 articles online, scattered across my Facebook Notes, and several blogs that have gone offline now. Things are very different nowadays, this post you are reading is the 132nd edition of #TMP. Disaster is when someone stumbles upon this project today and decides to clone my methods, probability of failing is much higher. I did not start by writing everyday, I started by writing 5 really crappy articles in a whole year!
Watching The World
Not every business needs to be designed to be a multinational conglomerate like Google, Dangote Group and the likes. Some businesses can be designed to be a local business, serving the needs of a specific town or (small) city.
A lot of businesses like these are out there, you interact with them everyday. They sell you food, they produce pure water sachet, offer the kids after school classes, drive you around town and sell you groceries. A small business operation is so trivial that anybody can run it.
Running a small business operation is something more people should look into because it is a great way to create an extra stream of income. And having multiple streams of income is usually a good idea.
So, no matter how awesome your main job is, whether you are self-employed or gainfully employed; look at how you could create a local business. No matter how busy your schedule seems, you can squeeze in a local business. You are NOT running it by yourself, all you have to do is to employ people to do the work. Your role is to set it up and steer the business in the direction you want it to go.
Go on and create your local business, your neighbourhood is waiting to patronise you.
Everyone seems to be classifying the world into 2 classes of people. I want to classify the world into 2 groups: those who do things placing God into consideration and those who do not.
Our schools, teachers and ‘professional’ books have all taught us to learn and work without any consideration for God and I do think this is an obvious flaw. The onus is on us then to constantly remind ourselves that we are not in this class of men.
We need to try and consciously place God at the very centre of everything we do. Rev Areogun likes asking his church members this rhetorical question: “Are you a Banker coming to church or are you a Christian that works at the bank?”. I hope you grasp the deeper meaning of this question and recognise the difference between both types of people there.
So, when people cheat in your office, you ought to hold your ground. When business partners you respect start doing shady deals, you remember that you are not one of them. When people deliver low quality work at really high prices, effectively ripping off their clients, you remember that you are not in their bandwagon.
When people start living foolishly; getting high with excess drinking, smoking weed and all that, you have to be reminded that you are not in their league. As a young man, I listen to a lot of conversations between other young man and they mostly center around women, not women as in love and building a future together, but women as in sexual interactions. Many of them are as obsessed with finding their next sexual release as I am with creating powerful technological solutions with my mind.
So while I am channelling most of my energy towards creating relevant things, their energy is wasted because they keep living as fools. They grow old and fail to make a mark with their life because they are simply unproductive.
The world is in dire need of honest and God-inspired people who will operate in various sectors of the economy. They are the people who can really do a good job. But first, they need to be reminded not to blend in, but keep standing out.
You will make much more money from your business if you are willing to look beyond making money from the venture.
You should always approach your business from the viewpoint of how much value are you currently adding to your customers and constantly seeking how you can increase the value delivered. A business that is only obsessively concerned on how to make more money is certainly a poor business.
If Google was fixated on making more money, they would have simply kept slapping more adverts everywhere possible and their (now patented) clutter-free home page would have also been converted into an advert spot. But because Google is laser focussed on delivering more value, their quest has led them into email, video, maps, language translation and more.
Their strategy is totally different from other companies who simply look at how to keep milking their company’s cash cow until a misfire happens and its game over.
If you too can move into this mindset of providing more value, you will make more money. So, while the temptation to focus on your purse is real, breathe easy because if you can find a way to provide more value to your well defined set of customers, you will make more money. They will pay you for it.
Watching The World
It all starts with a little more candour. Candour is defined as the quality of been open and honest.
Any serious Entrepreneur needs to adopt candour as a core value. These days, we cannot trust the media, friends and family to give us really honest advice about our work. People get this idea that they do not want to criticise people’s work and potentially dampen the visioner’s spirit, but without brutally honest truthful feedback the work done might be mediocre and hence it will still fail in the long run.
Honest feedback is what leads to better products, better relationships and a much better future. A company culture where employees and team members cannot speak up truthfully to their boss is suicidal. It leads to death.
If you will make serious headway in whatever you are doing, you must always be willing to listen to brutally honest feedback that will hurt you and then (importantly) fire you up to do better work. Resist the temptation to think your ideas are the best.
Be honest with your ineffective staff, if he is under performing, let him know! Do not keep ‘managing’ him and then suddenly fire him out of the blues – that is the real hurtful action. Don’t let your team come together and always exchange hi-fives and pat each other on the back when only 10% of the team is doing the serious work.
In case, you do not find anyone honest enough around you to give you this kind of feedback, I’ve learnt since around 2010; the early days of Gistcaster that if people will not criticise me, I decided I would better criticise myself. I became my own #1 critic.
A little candour goes a really long way.
Watching The World