I have observed a growing set of people who say they are committed to excellence. Trying to achieve the best possible result everytime. However, I also observed that even though they say they want excellence, the final result is not so impressive.
It then dawned on me that they might have excellence in their Spirit, but they lack the knowledge and patience to get it done.
They lack the knowledge to do it excellently.
They lack the patience to either learn how to do it excellently themselves or find really capable hands.
It does not matter how grand the ideas God planted inside your spirit are, if you lack the intellectual framework needed to work it out in the physical universe, its still useless. You end up building a lizard, even though the picture inside your spirit is an alligator!
When we receive ideas from on high, sometimes it requires us having to learn and learn and listen and listen before we can then really be ready to build. Noah could only finish building his ark after 100 years.
What took him so long??
We however have to consider that if Noah didn’t allow the excellence inside his spirit to find complete expression, he would have built a boat, not an ark, and that would have meant he would also drown out even though he had enough insights, ideas and concepts to survive. I believe it took him so long because he probably did not have a large work team (who would believe him enough to work with him?) and also because he had to do it well, ensuring the physical ark was as excellent as the one he saw in his spirit.
Getting the idea is hard work if you are truly an original thinker. But you cannot stop there, you have to build the intellectual framework that can build it out excellently. Don’t let excellence just be on your lips only, get on the road, learn! Let the vision in your spirit match what you are building physically all the time.
After the joy of seeing Jamsa take some baby steps, I got fueled up and motivated to scale it up, go bigger. It didn’t work out. We started by building out a bigger system that could scale properly – allowing us to automate some parts of the system and also allow us to add more people as needed. Eventually, we pushed the system too hard and it collapsed.
No one has got any answer from Jamsa in weeks!
I had to think a moment and reflect on what has gone wrong and how to fix it. I did not like the answer: scale down and grow properly. After the baby steps, we ought to have taken a 10x leap, not the 100x leap I was devising. It hit hard, but I eventually had to agree to retract my steps.
Moral of the story: after taking baby steps in your projects, perhaps you should resist the urge to go running 100m dash just yet.
You should forget about out-spending them or competing on price. You should set out to out-smart them, out-think them.
So, when all your competitors are running around and raising money, running all over the place and seemingly taking over the market. Can you really keep calm and come up with a killer strategy? The challenge is just that it is way easier to cry out that you need more money to run your business (people would understand) than it is to cry out that you need a killer strategy.
Watching The World
I follow a lot of tech startups and companies around the world and humor myself with all the money they are raising from investors at really crazy valuations. These past 24 hours, after reading the Mashable article titled: High-flying tech startups like Snapchat and Uber are getting humbled and another report on Bloomberg about Xiaomi’s $45 Billion Valuation Seen “Unfeasible” as Growth Cools, I see clearly that no matter who or what we are, hype cannot really deliver the real deal.
The future belongs to people who are ready to work hard and deliver real value. Not to people who cook up billion dollar valuations for their startups so as to make some noise about about joining the billion dollar club. We should never forget what we are in business to do, and whose interest it is we are really trying to serve.
The more we hype, the more difficult it is to deliver what truly matters in the long run.
I think we should be more obsessed with looking at ways to add value to people than collecting their money. Money is important of course, but not more important than adding value with your work.
If you are too obsessed with milking money from your prospects, you barely are able to establish a good relationship that can yield much more for you over time. The way I see it, we need to first demonstrate that we are out to add value to our clients; showing that we really want them to use our products and services to succeed and then we can make all the money we want to.
When at crossroads, seek to add value first.
Watching The World
We tend to blame ourselves. Kick ourselves, bring out the hammer and start hitting down on ourselves when we fail to hit our set targets. It does not have to be like that.
There are people out there, too scared to even set a target or take a leap towards doing anything serious in the first place. So many people playing it safe, keeping it bland and keeping it boring. We are not a part of those people.
We keep setting targets and if we fail to hit them, we simply pick ourselves back up and try again. We will not stop setting targets, we will not stop trying to do things that will make a difference. As that saying goes:
“Aim for the moon and even if you fail, you still end up in space”
Now that you are in space, don’t be too hard on yourself. Re-aim for the moon and keep aiming until you get there, don’t return to ground or even the skies and do not pitch in space, continue your journey.
Watching The World
Many people want to run their life with the hope and pray model. Living day-to-day just praying and hoping for a better tomorrow.
There is no actual, serious steps been taken towards doing anything serious. Many graduates are hoping and praying they find jobs, yet during their many years in school they never invested the time to boost their CVs with professional certifications, they never invested the time to graduate with a sound degree or a strong kit of relevant skill-set. They would rather hope and pray.
The Hope and Pray method of attracting clients is not so cool. If you need clients, go outside and talk to them. If there are no open doors of opportunities for you, go and build a door, prayerful look at how you can create opportunities for yourself.
There is a place for hoping and praying. There is a place for serious practical work and personal development.
I recently read an article about how Amazon now more or less owns the internet e-commerce space (or at least in Europe and North America). The article points out that the quest to own online retail took Amazon a long time to achieve and that the visionary founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos is indeed a patient man.
This got me thinking about a lot of industries in Nigeria in particular, and Africa in general that didn’t have any clear market leader and what it would take to emerge. I’m still convinced that neither Konga nor Jumia owns Nigeria’s ecommerce space yet, the door is still open.
Blogs that will leave LindaIkeji in the dust are yet to emerge. We don’t have a lot of top-notch bloggers in Nigeria that churn out 5-star content often. I’ve tried to look for real business blogs that addresses the Nigerian market, the results are not impressive.
NCC keeps announcing millions and millions of new internet users every month but yet, I know they mostly just online to consume not produce content. So, we have the advantage of planning and moving swiftly to capture industries in the new online economy.
Then finally, can anyone or anything knock out Amazon? Yes, it can be done. Microsoft has been there before, yet today, we all know Microsoft is fighting for its life (and territories).
A great way to find quality ideas and improve overall creativity is by simply trying to pump out as much work as you can.
If you make an habit of increasing the quantity of work you ship out or decide to always make something and also commit to continuously learning, you would soon start to see the overall quality of your ideas and production increase.
Quality can be improved by focussing on increasing quantity.