Monthly Archive September 2015

ByAdemola Morebise

One (quick) way to deal with procrastination

Procrastination is a serious challenge we get to deal with every single, that need to overcome inertia and get the ball rolling. Why do today what I can do tomorrow? Afterall, is there really a clear distinction between today and tomorrow? *turns over on the bed*

Here is a quick way I deal with my own procrastination tendencies, I tell myself:

“Hey, I am not ready to work on this right now, let me just take a look at it”

Then by taking a look, I make a quick adjustment here and there and before you know it… I am deeply engrossed in the work! I picked up this tip somewhere on the internet a few years ago, I cannot seem to remember where but it works for me and I am sharing it with you so that perhaps it could help you too.

How do you currently deal with procrastination?

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Watching The World

 

ByAdemola Morebise

More within, less without

If you are very fixated on the “without”; what is out there, you are likely to produce more of the same. This is where ideas such as building Nigerian versions of major global startups stem from. If you are more fixated on the “within” than the “without”, you are more likely to come up with unique ideas. If you take your unique idea into the real world and let it interact with people, you end up crafting something useful out of it.

In this age of googling every idea that crosses our mind first before even developing it in any meaningful way, how do we hope to retain the initial ideas that started from “within”?

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Watching The World

 

ByAdemola Morebise

Business re-thinking

One of the many things that has happened to the business world in these mobile times is re-invention of businesses. Many companies playing in the old and defined industries have found themselves having to come up for air, they have found a need to try to move quickly outside what can be considered to be their stronghold.

I have observed Nigerian banks like GTBank, Diamond bank and First bank move into retailing, media, entertainment and more. We have seen telcos like Airtel, MTN and others launching various orisirisi apps furiously just in a bid to find the next big thing like Safaricom did with mPesa in Kenya. Airtel even went a step further by arranging a competition to find great app ideas and then went on to acquire the apps (and the creator’s team) and then relaunch under their own brand. (Don’t you just love this strategy??)

I have known for a long time that all the old rules of business are now dead.

New blood like you and I just setting out on this journey must learn how to hold our own. We have to re-think our business and adapt it in a way that we render all these incumbents irrelevant. Times have changed and so must we all.

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Watching The World

 

ByAdemola Morebise

The fear that stops us

The #1 enemy remains fear. I am yet to find a stronger adversary than fear and trust me, I am searching for something that freezes us and renders us incapacitated as much as fear does.

Yet, most of the time, the fear is not as serious as we think it is.

After I allowed fear to knock me out for years, I finally started this blog in 2014 but not before I picked up a book and wrote nearly a dozen posts inside first, just as backup incase I wake up and my brain is dry, I would have something to write. I am yet to publish those posts because that day is yet to come. Fear told me I would gas out in 2 weeks. I have been running for over 52 weeks now and no signs of slowing down.

Fear is what kills us, not the competition.

Fear is what freezes us, not our bank account balance.

Fear is what cages us, not our lack of resources.

The big question is: will you strangle your fears to death today and get to work?

 

ByAdemola Morebise

Remembering Gistcaster

Sometimes in life, if you are really blessed and God smiles upon you, certain events have the power to divide your whole life into 2 parts; before event X and after event X.

September 6, 2009 was one of such days for me.

6 years ago today, as Nigeria played a 2-all draw with Tunisia, I was uploading Gistcaster Alpha (Alpha refers to a software project at initial testing stage, it could still be unstable and full of errors and so the Alpha tag warns of all that). At that time, I had no clue about just how much my life was about to change. The Gistcaster project changed my life forever, it made me mature fast, forcing me to leave childish things behind.

Starting a project as a young person – perhaps even as a teenager – is one of the fastest ways to mature. Suddenly, you are dealing with “grownup” stuff and since business is business, whether you are 13 or 21 or 35, there are barely any difference in the laws to give you a smoother ride.

It is true that Gistcaster failed; over and over! But I think Gistcaster’s true success story is me, Gistcaster created me, gave me a reason to stay alive, toughen up, skill up and get out of my shell. Gistcaster made me rise to the game.

Reading books could not have done that for me, attending seminars could not have done that for me and sitting around some mentor all day could not have done that for me. Only the hands-on thrill of building something did that for me. By the time Gistcaster went under and I wanted to move on, I simply hit a “gusher” of ideas. All the years spent hacking out Gistcaster had developed serious capacity inside me, I had zoomed through my late teen years and early 20s at the speed of light, slowing down to enter life’s normal lane became impossible.

This is why September 6 is a very important date to me. It feels like a second birthday to me, the day I started something serious with my life (even though it did not look like that at that time).

It is only in retrospect and deep reflective thinking that we realise how much projects we embark upon change us, provided we pour in our hearts into it and follow wherever it leads.

ByAdemola Morebise

Toughening Up

Everyone needs to get tougher at a point or the other. Its just like the jungle out there; once you are perceived to be weak, you will get hit upon until you breakdown and collapse.

We are not talking about going over to the dark side and becoming wicked. We are talking about growing a tough skin that can withstand life’s challenges, we are talking about developing a spine that will ensure you keep standing when everything seems to be blown off.

We develop a tough skin layer by layer. It is not conferred on people, you earn it by the way you choose to react or respond to life’s challenges as they spring up.

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Watching The World

 

ByAdemola Morebise

Steal my idea

Every now and then, we meet people are terrified, mortified and petrified that someone might steal their idea and so, they are extra skeptical to discuss the ideas with people who could help them with developing the idea into something serious and workable.

Anyone stealing your idea is actually the least of your worries.

The truth of the matter is that if you truly own an idea, nobody can steal it from you. An idea depends a lot on the individual’s knowledge base and experiences; 2 people with the same exact idea can build 2 very different projects out of it.

The things you should worry about should include (but definitely not limited to):

  • Idea viability verification; proof that the idea is useful to people in the real world (hard to do if scared idea will get stolen)
  • Definition of a MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
  • Development of the MVP
  • Marketing the product to the real end users (not the tourists and spectators you find on startup community forums)
  • Growing the business not too fast to break the whole thing and not too slow for competitors or incumbents to knock you out.

Amidst all these tasks, I wonder where the luxury of worrying about people stealing your ideas come from. If an idea is yours, nobody can execute it like you.

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Watching The World

 

ByAdemola Morebise

Entrepreneurs and Job Creation

After listening to the audio recording of my brief talk about “the emergence of CEOs“, a #TMP Reader asked:

“So, are you saying one has to be an employer of labour before you can be considered to be an entrepreneur?”

Not really.

There are different models of Entrepreneurship, so many different approaches to the game. But the one approach to the game that I think can secure our future is the one that involves actually creating a cutting edge company that can hold its own anywhere in the world and create job openings.

If whatever it is you do is worth doing, it is very likely that you would need more hands to assist you in getting it done as you try to take on more and more customers. The real challenge here is that we have been mentally conditioned to only think about financial independence and security for ourselves only, and as such we only look at creating companies that are big enough to feed “me and my family” only. A lot of Nigerian Entrepreneurs are just one-man shows, they have no employees and I really think they should be re-classified as what they really are: freelancers or the more ego soothing Contract-preneur.

However, if we take a look at the bigger picture, we realise that :

  • Everybody cannot be an Entrepreneur, there will be far too many shitty companies out there.
  • One of the greatest way to leave a stamp on the face of the earth is by building a company that truly pioneers a great idea (innovation or invention or both).

(Let’s keep the comments coming in, and if you are yet to listen to the audio recording, you can grab it here: “the emergence of CEOs” its free.)

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Watching The World

 

ByAdemola Morebise

Business is boring. Stick with it.

When many people (including myself) think about business, we picture this fun, funky ride full of adventures, complete with villians, secret agents, double agents and of course, we cast ourselves as the superheros. (haha!) But as we all soon find out, things do not run like that.

Running a day-to-day business is boring. It is not like a James Bond movie where you race cars, bed women (super) easily and shoot on sight!

Running a day-to-day business is boring.

Eventful activities do not happen everyday. If you are the ideas man generating ideas at the speed at of light, you find out that idea generation doesn’t build a business; it merely facilitates it. Even if you decide to become a consultant and sell ideas to your clients, you soon find out that 75% of your time is spent on boring tasks like actually acquiring the clients that can pay and you spend the another 10% of your time keeping an eye on the business itself (assuming you have staff members), leaving just 15% of the time left for the exciting stuff you actually love doing.

It might interest you to know that it is rarely different in the real world spy organizations. Everyday is not an adrenaline fueled high speed chase across the world. Everyday business is boring, a ritual that is essential to keep things rolling.

However, the major task is that you must not give up and chase a new fantasy of adventure. You need to ignore the 36 new “exciting” business ideas that look like they will be more fun to do than this current one, because they wont. Once any idea you have becomes a business, it will go into the same boring mold as everything else. The grass is always greener on the other side.

Stick with it. Keep running day-to-day, keep showing up, keep working hard whether you feel like or not. It is those that stick with their business ideas that eventually win. Do not quit and say it is not working. Stick with your boring business and win with it.

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Watching The World

 

ByAdemola Morebise

What is your product?

What do you really sell? What exactly do you do?

Many retailers like kidding themselves that their product are the items they have for sale, like Coca-Cola beverages for example, but they are wrong. The Coca-Cola in your store is NOT your product, your product is the service you render. That is why you have to invest in cooling the drinks and getting a few seats.

Your product is the experience and atmosphere you create in your store.

Get clear on your product, what exactly it is that you do and you would have started taking concrete steps towards business optimisation.

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Watching The World