The busy modern life rarely gives us a chance to reflect on our life and where it is headed. We end up locked in a never ending circle of responding to whatever is sent our own way without taking any initiative of our own; without making any tangible move towards our own goals.
So, let us create some space.
You can set out of your house at 5AM or thereabout and take a stroll through your neighbourhood. You do not take your mobile phone along, no music or entertainment or anything (I recommend you take your ID card along and maybe a flashlight). Just get on the move, a walk during which you can ponder and think deeply on various issues especially fundamental ones such as “what is the one thing I want to do with my life that will make a difference in the life of others?”
The answers might not come on the first day.
The answers might not come during the first week.
But, if you remain consistent, you will soon get into a flow.
That early morning walk without all the distractions your mind is subjected to during the day will surely do you a lot of good, regardless of who you are.
No, you cannot do it inside your house. Sooner or later, you get distracted!
Watching The World
It still bugs me that in these times, when digital platforms like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Whatsapp can help us reach billions of people everyday, irrespective of our own physical location, so many people still want to do business the “good old way”.
A smart entrepreneur (that’s you, by the way) realises that if you are starting anything now, you have to figure out the digital strategy first and then build every other thing around it. The current model many people use is to build out everything the old way and then slap digital on top. It barely sticks.
It is not about creating a website for your business. It is about reworking your business in such a way that it is fueled and growing by maximising the internet.
The key question is: how can I build a more profitable business by leveraging all the cool tech products and services out there? You start from here and then build up.
Watching The World
We make a big mistake when it comes to idea generation and innovation. We obsessively work out all the details, looking for proof that it will work, and when someone points out that it might just not work out, we do not like that and might just bail out.
Here is the thing, as most veterans in the innovation space know; ideas do not have to work as designed. In fact, the idea may not work at all and it does not have to! What we realise is that an idea is like a living organism, it evolves, like a virus, it does not really ever die! it keeps morphing into something else provided you do not give up on it.
The more you try to flesh it out, the more the idea mutates, the more exposure the idea gets to the outside world, the more it mutates until it assumes a form that hits with the target market (We call this stage product/market fit).
Even if only 10% of the idea works, it might be all you need.
I think business done in a hurry is mostly bad business.
As the buyer, you ought to reserve the rights to look around. Consider counter offers, do your due diligence and then make a decision.
As the seller (which is the class I want most of my readers to be), I believe you should not be in too much of a hurry to sell your products/services. A lady chatted me up on Google Hangouts on Saturday and within maybe 15 minutes, she was pitching me her wares already! I found it funny and so I engaged her in humorous fashion. I actually said: “Well, as you can imagine, I am well stocked on so so and I didn’t wake up this morning knowing that i would meet so so today =D ” “So, I do not have a budget for that”.
End of story.
What a missed opportunity!
I am sure that I would have been more valuable to her and her company over time, not overnight if she had engaged professionally to find out more information about me and what I do before making the first sales pitch. I guess she was just trying to fill her sales quota.
In business (as it is in life), patience is a much needed value.
Watching the World
In the near future, “going to work” might mean powering up your laptop in the next room. The early morning mad rush to bath, eat and wear something gorgeous goes away. Not to mention the time sucked up by traffic. Although you would still need to wake up early anyway.
A lot of people nowadays simply commune far only to power up a laptop and work on it till 5PM or so. The modern working space of more and more people only contains one essential item: a computer system. As for all those managers, with all these improvements to communication been made, we do not need as many managers as we used to. A CEO that knows what she is doing can easily co-ordinate her company efficiently without any need for extra managerial layers.
We all need to figure out how ICT has changed our career and move with the tides. No, you do not have to become an ICT guru,but unless you embrace ICT and go figure out how you can take maximum advantage of it, you cannot become the very best in whatever it is you do.
Last week, Jamsa was able to help out with mobile phone recommendations and supplying the location of the closest service centre to another user.
Baby steps, certainly.
The beautiful thing about baby steps is that they give hope and joy to the baby who is just trying to figure things out in a grownup world. It is very similar in the business world too, baby steps – the little wins you meet on the way enlighten you unlike any other. You get to find out if people actually need what you are offering or not, you get to test your business model whether it is sustainable or not, you get to fine tune the whole system until everything is pitch perfect.
Last week’s baby steps has got me all fueled up and excited to hit the road this week.
In addition to getting some nudging, perhaps taking some baby steps can also motivate us to do more.
Watching The World
I saw yet another “learn a skill, be your own boss” advert. The advert went on to list various skills from baking of cakes to hairdressing to tailoring. As I absorbed the information supplied by the advert, something dawned on me: I fear that we will soon have more hair dressers than heads to fix. More shoemakers than legs to fit them into and the whole neighbourhood might just switch to trade-by-barter: fix my hair and I fix your shoes.
I am convinced that we have the potentials to do much more than we are currently doing, but we are like giants that have been placed on grasshopper diet. The junk information we have been exposed to have reduced us from first class to junk class.
Is there a better way?
Yes, definitely! We need to inspire people and nurture them to reach within and build things that are serious. We need to explain to people that learning a skill does not automatically make you an Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship and skill acquisition are 2 different things entirely. But most importantly, I am an advocate of hi-tech, hi-growth entrepreneurship, the kind that creates industries that creates the ecosystem to create and sustain hundreds of thousands of jobs. Learning how to bake cakes or barb people’s hair cannot create these kind of results.
It is not about been your own boss, it is about doing something that really counts with your life.
The Pareto principle states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. It is a common rule of thumb in business; e.g., “80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients.”.
This law has been found to be true over and over again, in various scenarios and it got me thinking: if 80% of my sales will come from just 20% of my clients, why not fire 80% of my clients and focus on a few?
If 80% of my team’s productivity is driven by the top 20%, why not just let the ineffective 80% team members go? As Steve Jobs was said to have said (we can never be sure about these quotables), “I would rather have a hole in my team than an A-hole!”
I think every single day, we should be doing a pareto, shrinking the places, things and people we invest our (limited) time and energy. Who knows whether if we do, we might be able to create time for people and things that actually matter?
Watching The World
If you are in business and hope to actually become rich by running your business, then you have to develop yourself to be able to build out and co-ordinate a big business. If you are fumbling with just 10 clients, how can you cope when you have 10, 000 clients to satisfy?
You have to realise that the difference between a small business and a big business is in the amount of clients you have set up yourself to attract and handle. Yes, I know that you can build a company around a few clients and still make a lot of money; for example, 10 clients paying N10m a month would yield N100m in revenue for you every month. However, we know chances of building such a business are quite slim and I do not write about business fiction here at #TMP, I write about practical ideas.
There is a relationship between your personal capacity and business growth. Many stubborn founders who hold on tight to their job title and role of “Owner, XYZ and Sons Ltd” actually stifle the growth of their company as they are clueless about how to grow the business, lack the capacity to even handle a bigger business and still refuse to hire people who can scale up the company.
You can retain your job title of Owner, Founder, Overlord, or any title you please and still hire a CEO that can actually get things done. Not everyone can grow with a company, as the going gets tough, many people will gas out and go away.
If you are serious about building a big business with revenues in millions or billions, then be ready to invest in serious personal development and to work with people who can help you scale it that far.
Watching The World