I believe that as a business leader, whenever people sign up to work for you, you owe them a great deal. You have to do right by them, all the time.
The most precious thing we have is time, and if after weighing their options, they decided to hand over their time (and life) to your service, it is only fair that you reciprocate by making sure they have everything they need to be happy and remain productive.
Anybody that signs up to work for you 8AM – 4PM has sacrificed to you that most important part of their day. That time period is the most profitable of the day and is supposed to be tied to the biggest returns.
I therefore hold that it is irresponsibility for you to owe your staff.
Hard times might come knocking, if it does, let it be clear to everyone that the chips are down and that we will get through it together.
You do not ask your staff to hang on while you continue to live large and cruise around the world.
When scarcity hits a household, the parents feed the children first, the wife next and the man eats whatever is left. It is the man that sacrifices for the family…. The man doesn’t say “I need to eat so that I can have strength to go and look for more money”.
I therefore wonder if there be any proof that in those states where salaries have been owed for several months, that the top government officials there, especially the governor of the state has also not been paid. Do not ask people to be patient with you when you continue to live large while your staff are starving.
A business leader needs to do better.
A business leader should realise that she literally controls the lives of her staff and all the lives that depend on them. Smart business leaders never joke with the welfare of their staff.
Congratulations to Cristiano Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane and the Real Madrid squad that won the UEFA Champions League for the 11th time on Saturday.
You might not realise it, but behind all those well kitted footballers, cute balls, massive action and a live cheering crowd is a big business.
The reason outstanding footballers are paid so much is all because of the business side of football.
People pay to watch the games live at the stadium and through live broadcast. BT Sport paid $1.3 billon for the rights to broadcast Champions League games for the 2015-16 season as well as three years after that. EA Sports and Konami are forever paying huge inorder to use player names and likeness in their football games.
The clubs sell jerseys, caps, towels, shoes, anything and everything.
So, the players and their associates may love the game, but make no mistake, behind our passion and hobby of playing football is a big business that is strong enough to support the passion.
Don’t only get carried away by passion. There is a business side to EVERY THING you are passionate about, find it out and build out a business in that area.
There is NOTHING sweeter than building a business around things you are passionate about.
I am passionate about books, should I start a bookstore? Totally!
Watching The World
It was Albert Einstein that said that
“Insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly, yet expecting different results”
This means that if you want things to change, you do need to do something different.
If you produced 50 measures in 2015 and now wish to produce 50, 000 measures in 2016, you certainly need to do things much differently than you did before.
To get better results, it starts with fresh revelational knowledge and insights.
You would need to know something you did not know or realise in 2015 that would now push you into higher heights.
Do not wake up every morning and cry that the economy is bad, people are perishing and read up all the bad news in the media – waste of time. Rather, seek out and concentrate on how you can move from 50 measures to 50, 000 measures.
What will it take?
What do you need to learn?
Who do you need to turn to?
What do you need to stop doing?
What do you need to start doing?
The current economic downturn in Nigeria is neither special nor unique. It is not the first ever economic downturn in history and it will not be the last! What you might not realise is that whether the economy is going up or crashing down, people are still making money and living well.
You can get better results in your life, business and ministry, at any point in time. You just need to realise it is actually possible and then begin to search within for that knowledge/insight that will make it possible.
I have my eye on the African mobile trends 2016 from Jumia as seen on this TechCabal article.
It once again reiterates that people are coming online and staying online (without the big blue social company’s help – I should add). People coming online creates a great opportunity for correct thinking people to cash in.
I expect Mobile Commerce to grow exponentially over the next few years. Anything you currently buy without using the internet will soon be available online, it is now left for you to wait for someone to start selling it online so that you can patronise them or you can start the operation.
Yes, you can start the operation. You do not need to raise millions of dollars from investors just to start a simple online commerce operation, start small and grow big over time. If you start this year, think of how big you will become by 2020.
The internet is a BIG LOAF of bread, every man can make his own cut from it and there will still be a large chunk left.
Here is a simple game I play, I mention a sector and if no online operation comes top-of-mind, that means there is no “market leader” yet and as such…. anything can happen.
For general shopping, Konga and Jumia are top-of-the-mind and so, we should probably skip that. For gossip blogging, there is this Linda lady that claims that spot too, so, let’s also skip. Social networking is saturated with Facebook, Whatsapp, 2go and the rest, skipped as well.
What we do have is a large uncharted territory, domain specific operations will thrive. Things like online bookstores, food delivery, mobile learning platforms, and other niche marketplaces. You can easily build something there. It is a BIG LOAF.
This is our chance to do something, we must not fail to take advantage of this opportunity.
Watching The World
… and you do not have to win every argument.
If you keep winning arguments with your customers, very soon you will have no customers to argue with.
You know your business better than anyone else, no doubt about that. However, your customers might not be following and that is no fault of theirs.
You just need to find common ground. Yes, finding common ground means both of you will have to shift grounds before you can meet at some middle.
Arguing and having series of back-and-forth with your clients is definitely not a good sign, but do not think you are the one that is in “the right” all the time.
Watching The World
Sometimes we need a push, something that will force us to go out and be phenomenal.
A friend of mine is always fond of asking me “Ademola, what is pushing you? Wetin you dey find?”
I did not become this driven and resolute in my pursuits to move mountains overnight, indeed, a lot of things (mostly unpleasant) happened to me and my response to it all probably made the difference.
I know adversity can bring out the worst in a man, but then, it can also bring out the best version of you.
We all need external factors to push us to work, I believe that is what the law of inertia describes; we will all remain in our state of rest or comfort until something snaps us out of it. We need a boss, a woman, a mentor, a father figure that can honestly analyse us and say “Ademola, you can do better than moving molehills, stones and pebbles, you can become awesome!”.
It takes a push to move up the ladder and take on more important jobs, more tasking jobs that also pay better.
By default, we are just humans that like conserving our energy. Sometimes, only an external push can do the job.
Watching The World
The first personal project I published on the internet was in November 2007, it was (supposed to be) an online aggregator of cool Nigerian content and a virtual hangout space. That was the idea, but the execution sucked!
I once sent someone the link over Yahoo Messenger! and the guy’s response was epic: “LOL, too much free time?”.
He then went on to tell me how much the site was a disaster and things I could do with my time instead.
However, out of the mess, cool things happened….
One day, my bigger sister opened up my site at work and bragged about it to her co-workers and it so happened that their IT partner was around that day and that’s how I got introduced to Engr. Gbenga of Multiline Computers. Till today, he’s a valuable business partner, my boring entertainment site made that happen!
I didn’t shut down riranwo.com, I ran it with passion until it went down in 2011. RiRanWo! got me featured by Loy Okezie’s excellent startupsnigeria.com blog and that review launched me into the public eye of the Nigerian tech ecosystem.
Many programmers 100x better than me are in obscurity, but my wack website which I consistently improved over time shot me into the limelight.
In 2014, Y! Naija shortlisted me as 1 of the 100 most innovative people working in Nigeria’s tech ecosystem. That day when I analysed the list… I realised most of us where people Loy Okezie had featured on his site.
Start that your project, start crappy, let people tell you how lame it is… You can never tell how far it can go if you start and never give up.
These days, onecrier.com is where I do the cool stuffs I wanted to use riranwo.com to do.
There is always a million things to do everyday, picking the ones you need to do personally and the ones you really ought to delegate is the difference between great Entrepreneurs, good Entrepreneurs and the mediocre ones.
I have always tried to master the art of delegation, realising that it is the key to true productivity. When I delegate, I free up mental and physical room to do something else, while the delegated task is going on simultaneously. it is tricky because it takes away some control from you and when you like things to be done in a certain way, it can certainly lead to some issues.
However, many business leaders have over time maintained that one of the most important job of the entrepreneur is to FIRE HERSELF over and over, repeatedly.
Anything you do day-to-day must be constantly reviewed and you must continue to fire yourself by handing over that role to someone else, while you yourself take on a new task.
So, I ask myself everyday: What is the task we need to do today that is worth my personal time and cannot be delegated? Why should I do it?
The answers I give always surprises me too.
Evil thrives when good people do nothing.
Time spent cursing the darkness is best used lighting up a candle.
So, maybe it is time to become a little bit more responsible for things that are happening around you – your home, your work place.
I believe it is our personal responsibility to be a light, a beacon of hope wherever we may find ourselves.
Maybe we should stop looking the other way.
Maybe we should stop been passive and start taking on more active roles in our communities.
Maybe we need to realise that we have the power to permit or reject anything that comes up around us.
We are not insignificant
One of the biggest tripping points for me over the years has been getting sidetracked.
I set out on a project and all is going good, but then I get sidetracked. Some emergency comes up or a new side trip comes up, something sha comes up and I have to dig in.
It is so easy to get sidetracked in our endeavours.
So many side projects and gigs and distress calls out there, waving for attention.
One important thing I need to learn is how not to get sidetracked. The art of maintaining complete focus and continuously staying super focused, not sidetracked by fads and trends in the short run.
I am doing this by evaluating and re-evaluating myself every now and then, my 2016 agenda kept top-of-the-mind and so its much easier to ensure every single day contributes a little to it. No matter how little.
Eyes on the goals everyday. Leaving little room for sidetracking…