My teacher had a hard time convincing me that all living things move and therefore the tree been a living thing could also move. He had a tough time trying to convince me that trees can move.
I’m still not convinced a tree can move. You cannot set a tree on fire and it will run away or seek help. A tree is mainly stationary for most of its life. The tree is powerless and helpless over the circumstances around it, it fails to ‘respond’ to stimuli fast enough to ensure its survival.
This mini crash course in elementary science is needed because I seem to observe that just like the tree, many people also refuse to respond to life’s stimuli.
You are not a TREE, you can change whatever situation you find yourself in.
We need to develop a mindset of trying to change circumstances to suit ourselves. What ugly situation is prevailing in your business or private life that is negatively influencing your productivity? You might be thinking it will pass away, just the same way the tree hopes that the (insane) man who set it on fire will come back to douse the flames. We call it wishful thinking!
Wake up, take charge, decide to solve the challenges and build an environment that will support you to do your best work. You are not a tree that has little influence over its environment beyond growing more roots, you are not a tree that has to live at the mercy of men.
You can change your circumstances to suit yourself. The real question therefore is: would you?
(I have a Post you probably should re-read at this point: Would you like to change your reality?)
Watching The World
The queue was long, the sun was blazing hot. New people coming around didn’t join the queue at the back, they were walking to the top 10 spaces to lobby for absorption into the queue. The less bold ones searched for their friends and got a slot there.
I joined the queue at the back, even though I had ‘friends’ all over the place who would not mind absorbing me. “I believe in a new Nigeria where things will be orderly, and where people will start acting in a more matured way” I told myself.
I was insisting to do things the right way, even though it was pointless – I obviously wasn’t making any impact by stubbornly sticking to the back of the queue and when I got to the top 10 places in the queue some 15 minutes later, people still lobbied me and cut the queue in front of me.
But you see, it was not pointless. It only seemed to be pointless. By sticking to do what is right and not cutting corners, I am ensuring that the right values I’ve spent a long time cultivating does not get eroded.
Every action we take adds up into making us who we are. People who jump queues are training themselves to cut corners and they get into trouble for it in the long run. They are training their mind not to commit into doing the right thing and as such, they are the ones who would lie, cheat or bribe their way out of any circumstance. They are the ones who gets scared by hard work, and if hard work scares you, you cannot become very successful.
People who give up on finding the pen they needed so badly after asking from the closest vendor will also give up on obtaining a visa or submitting an important form because of a little that showed up on the way.
Its all related. It all flows out of the same heart.
So, I keep doing things the right way, the ideal way regardless of whether it appears to be working or not because I love myself and do not want to permit any ‘backsliding’.
We have to keep doing things the right way, it helps us become better people and stay that way in the long run.
Watching The World
Any project is as strong or weak as its central team. The Visioner stepping out to create something new must ensure that she builds a powerful team, a real team of people who will be actually useful to the long term goals of the project.
When stepping out to start a new project, we must resist the temptation to add people to the team simply for the fun of it. You must be clear, very clear about what exactly each member of your team is bringing to the table, and before you can even do these, you must also be clear about exactly what you are trying to achieve and the kind of team members you will need to get it done.
Remember, you do not need a bandwagon!
A bandwagon team filled with people you do not really need will breakdown in the long run. When you simply add people to your team without deeply weighing the impact such a peron will have on your project, you will open up yourself to people who might drag things and weigh down the project.
When building a team, you have to be careful because good people do not necessarily make good team members automatically. A good person might not be a good fit for your project afterall! I get swamped with partnership requests and team role requests every now and then, and while some work very well, a lot of other projects do not work well.
I fail to make a mark or any meaniful addition to the project, not because I’m a bad team player or I’m not smart enough but because I’m not a good fit for that project.
As they say in football: you can buy the best players in the world, but you cannot buy a team.
Build your team slowly, you do not need a 30 man team initially to get things going. Add people to your team that you are convinced will make a good fit and will add real value to your project.
Watching The World
Business decisions should not made based on assumptions and beer parlour statistics. It is totally suicidal for you to take decisions based on your perceptions and not based on real data.
You need to remember that we do not things as they are, rather we see things based on how we are. We always see ourselves mirrored back to us whenever we peep into the world. A proud owner of a Toyota Camry will look at the road and see ONLY Toyota Camry vehicles all over the place! A BlackBerry user will only see BlackBerry users all over the place even though the hard data says the BlackBerry is dead.
Your task therefore as a Business man is to find the data and let the data guide your decisions. Do not assume everyone is rich enough to send their kids to your new 5 star school, do a survey first and get a breakdown of the income level of parents in the neighbourhood.
Except you are building a lifestyle business, you should not build a business around your own personality; it will only attract people just like you and if there are few people just like you, you lose out. Not everyone has 3 mobile devices, a car, a house and $1 million cash in the bank; your purchasing powers and priorities are completely different.
If you are one of my few readers I’ve managed to convince to cash in on the fast approaching holiday season, then I hope you take these things to heart. Do not make your selections based on things you like. Make them based on what the people like.
Nobody runs a real business for herself, it is always about what the market wants. It is always about finding the data and taking decisions based on what the data says.
Some trust in their skills
Some trust in their rich and influential connections
But some of us have learnt to ONLY trust in the name of the LORD.
Over time, their skills and connections will fail them. But we will keep standing tall and we keep triumphing just because our trust is in the name of the LORD.
I met a ‘business’ man last year whose business model was strongly tied to the state of Nigerian politics. He was so confident of building a successful company because he is the son of a very close aide to the Nigerian President. The obvious question was: what happens to this man if the President loses out in his re-election bid?
Many people that appear to be thriving in business suddenly sink when their ‘way maker’ dies or suddenly loses his position.
Perhaps you should stop depending on your uncle, aunt, elder brother and rich cousin. Try depending on God, rumour has it that He is the most influential being and He has connections everywhere! I have certainly enjoyed using His connections over and over again, I go to places where I know NOBODY at all yet I simply seem to connect with someone there and get favourably responses to my petition. I can never be stranded or helpless, I can bank on the LORD to deliver all the time!
Now, do not get me wrong… God can use your family members and influential connections to help you.
What I’m really saying is that NEVER for one moment replace that person with God. God should remain your focus while He chooses who should get your task done for you.
I choose to always bank on God. What about you?
We all get the same 24 hours everyday, time respects nobody. Whether you are a President or a miserly street beggar, you all get the same 24 hours.
The difference between people lies in how the time was used. Some people have committed to squeezing out as much value as possible from their day while others just keep wasting their time on things that are unproductive or do not really concern them.
There are people who have spent the same amount of time as you have spent on the earth, but have done LESS with their life. There are also people who are your age mates, yet they have done MUCH MORE with their own life. Resist the urge to evaluate your life with the lazy ones.
You can either play away the time or get better. A little reading, a little meditation, a little practise every single day and you find yourself patting yourself on the back… You are getting better.
(By the way, you can play away the rest of the year and join others to shop away or you can also cash in!)
Watching The World
Out of Office notice
I’m currently out of office till 27 November. Your replies and comments might not be read till then, But I can promise that ALL emails will be read and eventually replied.
The truth of the matter is that unless you embrace modern digital tech tools, you cannot get to the very top of your career.
There is a big difference between BUILDING tech and USING tech. I’m not asking you to BUILD tech tools, I’m asking you to USE the ones that are available to improve your productivity, creativity and make more money from your endeavours. The goal of all forms of technology from the match box to the latest iPhone has always been about reducing human effort and increasing overall productivity.
I do not understand why people just decide to think using digital tech must be difficult and so they start seeking experts who usually do not even know as much as they do. I’ve seen so many adverts for really ridiculous services like ‘open a Facebook account and upload photos’, ‘We help you send bulk SMS’, ‘How to send BC to your Whatsapp contacts’. I’m waiting for the person to help me ‘switch on my phone’. But seriously, people cannot be that dumb, or are they really?? Well, even if they are… I’m sure that YOU reading this Post aren’t that dumb. YOU are smart enough to get this inside your inbox and actually read it, that’s good enough!
Use digital tools, use email, SMS, social media, websites, ecommerce and anything you can find in the digital space to improve yourself, meet new people and generate more business leads.
You need to overcome the mindset that learning how to use the tools are hard. They are not! Designing a website is much easier than you think it is. An open mind and confidence that you are not a part of the dumb lot; that you can actually learn all you need to learn to get ahead.
Great people like Satya Nadella at Microsoft, Larry Page at Google, and Ademola Morebise at Omnific Works all work around the clock, 365 days a year, working hard to simplify these tools and make them work better and make them more relevant. They BUILD the tools, we merely have to LEARN how to USE those tools correctly.
Make a little research, which digital tools out there can reduce your effort and help you achieve your life objectives and business goals faster?
Everybody loves your work, as long as you keep offering it for FREE. The true test of how useful your services are is when your customers show a willingness to pay for it.
I did (and still do) quite a lot of work for free, and what I notice is that even though I pour in the same amount of passion into any project I execute, the client perception is usually different. For the free work, they feel I am doing them a favour and as such they do not critically condemn the work and if you do not condemn the work, there is no way really remarkable work can come out.
Clients that pay on the other hand feel entitled to the best. They nag and nag and nag until it enters the ‘annoyance zone’, all in a quest to get the very best. There is no greater way for people to really show you they love your work than when they pay for it.
Let’s be clear: doing work for free is a great way to publicise yourself. There is no much commitment required on the part of the customer, all they have to do is probably consent to the work. But you cannot stay at the free tier for long, it neither pays the bill nor give you the respect you really deserve.
Everybody loves your work until you ask them to pay for it!
Watching The World
(I’m still out of office until November 27)
The holidays are fast approaching. The holiday season is not really about Jesus Christ’s birthday, far from it. The whole holiday was invented for business purposes.
The red Santa Claus, which obviously is a big feature of this season doesn’t even have any biblical roots! Let me go a step further… The red Santa Claus was invented by Coca-Cola, before Coca-Cola introduced a red Santa Claus for their own marketing purposes, Santa Claus used to be GREEN! Don’t take my word for it… Go and google it out for yourself!!
Coca-Cola created Santa Claus (also known in Nigeria as Father Christmas) inorder to cash in the holiday season. What can you create?
What can you create that will add some color to this festive period and more importantly: ADD SOME MONEY into your own wallet.
How are you cashing in this forthcoming holiday period??
My tip: the central themes are FUN, TRAVEL/SIGHTSEEING or things about FOOD and DRINKS.
Watching The World
A big secret to becoming more productive is by learning how to focus your thoughts. If you can rid your mind of the 10,000 other things fighting for your attention, you will make serious progress in the task at hand.
If you have a really long to do list like mine, you need to discipline yourself and try to completely focus on item X for Y minutes. Once you decide you want to work on project A for 1 hour, you immediately clear your mind of every other thing. Do not allow your mind to just run circles around, your mind’s power is greater if you focus it on 1 task right now.
It goes without saying then, that the unproductive thoughts be simply deleted altogether. Some thoughts are simply silly, maybe even ridiculous and as such we need to discard such thoughts because for every second we keep such thoughts in our head, we are wasting the valuable computing resources of our mind.
Clear your mind!
When you operate with a clear mind, you get more done in less time.
Watching The World