A lot of upwardly mobile professionals invest unnecessary energy in hot pursuit of the big names in their industry. An endeavor that I am not convinced to be worth it.
Someone recently related to me his all his efforts to get the attention of a certain person whom he felt he needed to connect with, and all his unacknowledged emails and SMS and Whatsapp messages and all that. It is not cool for the person not to respond – ofcourse – but honestly, I analysed the complete situation and was not sure exactly what he wanted the person to offer him.
The next time you are racing helter-skelter to make a meeting happen, ask yourself if it is truly worth it, most time… 99.9% of the time, it is not worth it.
Do not be in a hurry to meet famous people or people you feel that are more successful than you. Stay in your lane, get busy and produce results, then see if men will not seek you out from the four corners of the earth.
Who are the 3 most important person you need to meet? WHY do you need to meet them?
Conserve your energy, get busy. Stay in your lane and grow in influence.
In these days of social media, it super easy to go online to shame companies for not delivering products and services as promised or for messing things up.
Things like that always leads to bad publicity that most companies would rather do without.
So, when a company we rely on to do the right thing messes us up, what should we do? We should speak up ofcourse, but this should only be done after efforts to resolve in private have not been satisfactorily handled.
The culture of running off to sound off angrily on social media is immaturity, it should be frowned upon. We all have our dirty linens tucked somewhere, away from the public view, we are all wearing one mask or the other in public.
This also applies even more for entrepreneurial minded people, as an Entrepreneur, chances are that you have also come short at one time or the other and had to rely on the kindness of the other person to scale through. There are growing pains at every business venture, and behind the scenes at most companies are chaotic.
Before you rush out to score points for thrashing another man’s business. Exhaust every other option.
To succeed in your business requires investing the time required for it to work. It is wrong to do half-hearted work and give up, declaring that it is not working.
The word for someone starting his business is this: “things will work when you work it out”.
Paul Graham likes saying that Entrepreneurship is about compressing a normal 40 year work career into a few years, so that you can spend the rest of your life in a way only few people can.
So, the day you decided to start your own company is the day you also signed up for insane working hours.
The thinking that the boss works less is faulty. In places where they are making good progress and growing the business’ s footprints, the bosses are always up and running.
Your ecommerce site will work if you invest all the hours it needs to function everyday. Your side fabrics sale business will enter a new level when you take it seriously enough.
Get serious, put in the hours!
There is an interesting twist to true productivity that I have observed, and that is the place of taking a break.
We always imagine maximum productivity to involve working and working and working, tirelessly, without taking a break. Working in a way only a god can.
Yet, we must also know that taking a break from the work and resting your body, soul and spirit is also important.
You cannot plan to optimise your schedule for maximum productivity without including rests and breaks.
Next time you need to take a nap, do not feel guilty about it or feel like you wasting time. It is required for maximum productivity.
The more you know, the stronger you can become. Your present level is the cumulative result of all the information you came into contact with and the ones you were able to internalise.
Your current business activities can become 50x more profitable, all you need is just to acquire correct, relevant knowledge.
These days, there are tech services and products you can use to boost your productivity into “insane” levels, but you probably don’t know about them. You probably are not using them.
Take the initiative, give your life a serious boost by embracing these tools and knowledge.
You will never know what the outcome will be until you cast the die.
You can speculate all day.
You can permutate all day.
You can pray all day.
You can start plotting graphs and charts, predicting likely outcomes based on previous history and all do all those complicated mathematics nobody really understands…
or you could just roll the dice!
Everything, I mean every possible outcome is true and false at the same time, until you roll the dice!
People say talent is equally distributed across the world, but opportunities are not. This is one reason why the brightest of minds waste away in obscure places while average minds bask in the limelight – even though they really do not have much to offer.
There is a genius somewhere that does not have the access to the necessary infrastructure they need to thrive and become better. Perhaps it could be a worthy cause to see how we could do something about it.
This is the 21st century, distance and location should no longer stop people from getting equal opportunities as everyone else.
I have enjoyed working in the hinterlands, away from the hustle and bustle of major cities like Lagos and Abuja, the serene environment in these places gets my creative juices flowing. After I moved out of Lagos in 2007 to study Physics Electronics at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, I doubted if I would ever move back fully.
My usual routine is to hop into Lagos and other commercial centers (and seal business deals), then hop out to work on the job before coming back to deliver it.
Technology will only get better in making distance irrelevant. These days, you can work anywhere and earn your wages and add value to people anywhere in the world. I believed in these chain of thoughts so much that in 2013, I came up with the Akure StartUP Drive project.
I came up with the project because I wanted to prove that with the right blend of training, seminars, mentorship and various events, a city like Akure could harness the young minds enrolled at the University there and build tech driven startups that could shake the world. I was able to leverage the little exposure working on my startup idea, Gistcaster had given me so that the Akure StartUP Drive project could put up an extra flag on Nigeria’s tech map.
I worked on the project for a while but I hit some snags along the road and also I had finished schooling in Akure and had to return to Lagos before going on my compulsory year of national service.
These days, those thoughts are nagging me again, hitting me at the back of my head. I have therefore decided to go forward again with that idea.
We need to provide opportunities to youths in other cities asides Lagos and Abuja. Nigeria has the capacity to have more than a dozen major tech hubs spread across.
I believe that youths in any town can be trained and connected to the global economy with digital jobs that are “oil-economy proof”. Effectively leading into development of a Nigerian BPO firm as well as multiple startups by entrepreneurial spirited youngsters that go through the training.
After some research, I have selected the small city of Ikere-Ekiti, in between Akure and Ado-Ekiti in South Western Nigeria as the location to execute this vision.
I wish I could take all the credit for this brilliant idea, but I cannot; Indian companies have been doing this for decades. Many big companies in the USA outsource parts of their operations to India.
On the home front, we have initiatives like Pinigeria’s Digital Jobs and companies like Andela all working along this lines. The major difference between my approach and theirs will be the focus of our training and the fact that I am strictly limiting myself to Ikere-Ekiti and neighbouring cities like Akure.
I intend to start by simultaneously growing out both sides of the platform. I will have to build a client relation/sales and marketing office in Lagos, a front office where clients can meet and interact with us (and also a nice address to post on our website).
People love dealing with businesses they can easily find in the neighbourhood and that is understandable. It is human nature, my project cannot change that.
The second front is the backend, I am currently growing a list of skilled people living in Ikere-Ekiti and environs so that they can start tackling clients projects as they come in. We will then reach out and start empowering more young people with the skills and resources they need to also take on digital jobs.
This is an adventure I am truly interested in kicking off and the question: “Can we really connect the youths in Ikere-Ekiti to the global economy?” is ringing in my mind. The answer seems to be a resounding YES, but time will tell.
I know this adventure will have a lot of lows and highs, training people takes a lot of effort with few results to show for it. I know this first-hand because I have devoted a great chunk of my time into training people these past few years, but with patience, it yields fruit; it always does. I am ready to be patient.
We can spread global opportunities to every young person regardless of where they are. Many great people are working on this already and I am happy to also tackle it from my end.
Many people aim for inbox zero. That state in which your email inbox has no unread email.
Here’s the thing: What exactly does inbox zero do for you? Does it merely make you feel productive and on top of things or are you truly been productive?
E-mails (and social media) have a way of sucking time, and they make you reactive. When you finish reading through your 13 emails, 26 Whatsapp messages and skimping through the other 11 Whatsapp group broadcasts for anything interesting, you feel great! Your day’s job is done.
Or is it?
The truth is just that your work is probably not reading and sending emails or messages over social media, your real work is to create value for your business.
At the end of each day, you want to have created new sales, sealed new deals, make new business leads, checked on production and filed relevant reports.
Your zero inbox probably does not contribute much to these business goals.
When you are blessed to have had a winning streak, you soon fall into the trap of thinking you can never go wrong.
It is certainly unproductive to be constantly second guessing yourself at every turn. Yet, it is incredibly helpful to entertain some scepticism about even your brightest ideas.
You must not become so proud that you start thinking you are always correct and to decide to never change your mind.
The fact is that most people who are always right are also known to change their mind frequently.
It is ok to change your mind on any matter. You could be wrong about this.
It is not enough to win. It is also important to win clean and under fair conditions, that is what truly demonstrates that anybody can do it. That is the kind of legacy we need to leave behind.
Someday, you will finish all the money you won and the fame might dwindle as a generation arises that never knew first-hand what you did, but the legacy you left behind will out-live you and continue to inspire others to also try to live up to your impeccable standards.
I am personally looking forward to a time when the society will have a better set of role models to look up to. We deserve better role models than people high on drugs and weed.
This is why I am so fascinated by Usain Bolt, the fastest man the world has seen for now.
Usain Bolt (who turns 30 today) has insisted this is last outing at the Olympics. In his words: “I’ve proven to the world I’m the greatest, I can’t prove anything else.”.
This is a man that has truly won it all, there is nothing left to challenge him out there. Usain Bolt has swept the 100-m, 200-m, and 4 X 100-m relays in each of the past three Olympics. He owns world records in all three–having run 9.58 seconds in the 100-m at the 2009 worlds in Berlin, a 19.19 in the 200 at the same competition, and 36.84 with his Jamaican teammates at the 2012 London Olympics.
Yet, the most important thing is not all the things he won, but the fact that he won it without any major scandal or cheating incident. This is the legacy he leaves behind and this lofty height is now what upcoming speedsters need to beat on equally fair and clean grounds.
“I’ve just proven to the world that you can do it clean,” says Usain Bolt. “I’ve made the sport exciting, I’ve made people want to see the sport, and I’ve made people want to watch the sport. I’ve just put the sport on a different level.”
Happy 30th Birthday Usain Bolt!
Thank you for laying such a legacy.
If Usain Bolt is using some kind of drugs we do not know about yet – then I actually pray that drug is never discovered. He is worth keeping his Halo! But I do pray to God that he is legit.