Your brand, your reputation

Your success in the market place in the long term is not dependent upon what you say you are. It is always about what people say you are.

You can talk all you want and go on a spending spree to push out handbills, billboards, and online ads, yet…. if the word on the street does not align with what you are saying, you are heading no where.

The word on the street is your reputation, and your reputation is your real brand.

Your brand is not your logo or taglines, your brand is the experience your clients have when they interact with you.

We therefore have to review our branding: what promises are we making to the people? Can we strip it down into something we can manage effectively?

That adage that says a good name is better than silver and gold ought to be printed boldly and hung in our places of business.

 


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Working on the business

A lot of people that introduce themselves as Entrepreneurs are at best, just kidding themselves.

Learning the plumbing craft from an older artisan and then launching out yours does not make you an Entrepreneur. You are merely a self-employed plumber.

This also goes for other professions like Computer Programmers, Doctors and Architects; working for themselves does not automatically make them an Entrepreneur.

An Entrepreneur does a lot of work on the business, finding great people that can handle defined roles in the enterprise and help scale up to something big. Freelancers and Contractpreneurs do a lot of work in the business.

The thing about been a freelancer is that sooner or later, you realise that you have got just 24 hours in the day. Working in the business to personally do the work of delivering the services rendered does not scale well.

A real Entrepreneur is daily building out the business systems. A system that will take the individual work of every member of staff and amplify it by 300%. Together, each member achieves more than they could on their own.

The Entrepreneur is always asking herself: am I supposed to be doing this task or am I supposed to delegate it? At the end of the day, a smart Entrepreneur is asking herself: how have I worked on my enterprise today? 

I made a major shift in my own operations the day I stopped been a full stack web developer in my own company, I now have a team I can spread the work to.

I still have a long way to go anyway, but I am learning. I am building business systems that will make the operations a real thing.

 


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Rushing for the deadline

Projects and deadlines are Siamese twins, you can never separate one from the other.

Deadlines seem to press us and force us to get to work, stretching us into our superhuman zones where anything suddenly becomes possible. However, once in a while, rushing for the deadline gets us into trouble.

It certainly gets me into trouble every now and then.

My day job is to build things – websites, mobile apps and these things require a lot of thought, much more thought than people give us credit for. A solution that is not well thought out creates more problems in the long term.

Sometimes, I am so much in a hurry that I start skipping on a few things, here and there…. until the whole thing comes crashing just on the eve of the deadline. This is bad. I lose my cool…

Then, I feel sorry for myself, I frown and go find a way to fix it…. and then we get on the phone to start explaining the challenge to the client who is ready to see some mindblowing product.

What I have tried to do in recent times is to avoid entering into panic mode. I try to stay cool, calm and composed, as if I have all the time in the world to get the job done.

I am learning that most times, the problem with rushing to beat a deadline is the rush in itself! If we are able to somehow just carry on as normal, work hard as we ought to, then we should be able to always beat a deadline.

Any deadline at all.

Ofcourse, because I never learn…. the cycle somehow still repeats itself again! He he he!


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Morning Power

It seems to be a time tested fact that the mornings are the best part of the day for getting work done.

By morning, we seldom mean 8AM – 12 noon or thereabout, more like…. you know…. a great while before dawn. Think like from 2AM or so.

There is a morning freshness, there is a morning strength that you can learn to tap into and use to solve your biggest challenges. When you wake up at 5AM, and get to your cubicle at work by 8AM after sitting through traffic for 2 hours, settling back into a work rhythm might not be so smooth again.

Creatives usually have weird working hours, flipping the day (working at night, sleeping during daytime) is a very common M.O.

So, I recently decided to try to tap into the strength of the morning by moving a 4 hour work shift into that space. I am currently trying to do 3AM – 7AM everyday.

It is not as easy as it seems…. but it looks doable.


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Are you limited to a 4% reality?

All the stars, planets and galaxies that can be seen today make up just 4% of the universe. The other 96% is made of stuff scientists can’t see, detect or even comprehend.

Yes, seriously…. science can only account for 4% of the physical universe and none of the spiritual landscape.

Come on! Don’t tell me its not stupid to disregard 96% of the physical universe and the entire spiritual landscape just because it doesn’t make sense.

Like The Ancient One one said in that movie; “Not everything will make sense. Not everything has to make sense!”

Why don’t you tap into extra power and abilities? Why don’t you awaken your spirit!

***

I am a Christian and my spirit has been awakened. It is only natural or me to counsel you to seek awakening through Christian methods, it works! Get born again and baptised in the Holy Ghost and settle in a bible believing church around you.

 


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The Nigerian technologist…

The typical Nigerian technologist is a local champion. He goes to market to trade with the 2.1% knowledge he has and brags as though he at a higher level than he really is.

We cannot make any meaningful progress if we settle for the label “Nigerian Developer/Designer/Technologist”. I must not be a Nigerian Techie! I need to work hard and become a Techie living in Nigeria…

Our tech community (and pretty much most other communities) is well seated in the pits of mediocrity, cheering each other on… unto more mediocrity!

Our competition is no longer the web developer next door, the competition is now global. You can outsource digital jobs to any part of the globe, you are no longer as indispensable as you think.

Everyone has to be on their toes, constantly aspiring to be world-class standards compliant.

We need to ask ourselves the tough question: “What can the Nigerian Tech community offer the world?”

__________

Watching The World

 


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The week we nearly disappointed a client

This week I nearly gave up on a client project, I was close to calling them and canceling the job, however this was no ordinary client. This particular client is a big fan of our work and always ready to put in a word for us, vouch for us and stand up for us anywhere.

Let’s just say it was not going to be easy to turn them down.

I weighed the pros and cons: it takes forever to build trust and a few seconds to shatter everything. It made no sense to disappoint this client at this point, we would just be setting our own house on fire.

Once we made the decision that we would not give up and committed to get the job done instead, it was amazing how things stated working out sharply. I guess all the obstacles we saw before where not as real as we thought it was.

We got the job done and the relationship is still intact.

You see, business is all about relationships my people. If we called and canceled the job, we would have done a lot more damage than good to our business.

 


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A little dose of shrewd

I once asked myself if it was compulsory to be shrewd inorder to be in business.

The answer after much thought and consultation was a resounding YES!

Now, of course, we are meant to operate with high levels of goodness, integrity and excellence, but we can never expect everyone we meet to repay the gesture.

If people find out you are Mr. Nice Guy, they will swoop in to see how they can exploit you.

To run your business in the real world, you must learn to protect yourself from people out to cut you up and then eat you! People will fight you physically and spiritually, trying to throw you under. (They are real, I assure you!)

Want to stay in business? Grow some thick skin and add some shrewdness into the mix.

Perhaps you should be asking yourself: am I too nice to be in business??


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On Whatsapp extending deadlines and (finally) adding video calling

Whatsapp is on a roll, They have finally added video calling to their wildly successful messaging app. An app that has over 1 billion users.

This is interesting as it effectively turns Whatsapp into an all-in-one communication app. You can now use Whatsapp to exclusively communicate with anybody, anywhere. You can send text or pictures or audio or documents to others, you can have a live phone call or video call through Whatsapp.

The bigger news is that Whatsapp is no longer dumping Nokia and BlackBerry phones by end of 2016 as previously announced. They are extending the deadline by a further 6 months, why did they do this?

Reading in between the lines, I deduced that Whatsapp for all its privacy talk knows exactly which devices are used to access their service and they must have observed that people are not ditching their old Nokia and BlackBerry phones fast enough and if they cut access on December 31, 2016, too many people might be cut off. (I am yet to ditch mine too! I need to buy a new phone ASAP)

This teaches us to study our customers, all classes of our customers and craft policies that can accommodate all of them as much as possible.

It is easier to build a video calling app than to attract 1 billion users. This is why Whatsapp cannot afford to just throw away their users all in the name of moving forward with the hottest and latest mobile devices in town.

I am impressed that Whatsapp was able to introduce all these features, yet the app itself still looks simple and approachable. Not every company can pull it off. Some had to introduce a companion app for video, like Google’s recently released app: Allo and Duo (Duo is for video chatting).

Whatsapp is on a roll and they are going on to takeover if they continue to execute at this rate.

Whatsapp is not the first app to offer video calling, we have been Skyping since forever, yet there is something about Whatsapp. There is something about these Whatsapp guys…

 


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You are not insignificant

You are more influential than you think. You are making more impact than you are even aware of. This is why you must not stop doing the things you do just because you feel its not worthwhile.

A young man once started posting updates from his school on a Facebook page he created and he kept posting it there with little feedback. Then one day he stopped posting because his phone was stolen, what happened next shocked him.

People who barely spoke to him, approached him to inquire why there were no fresh updates. His Facebook inbox was suddenly full of messages. That was when he realised that his little hobby was actually useful.

Everybody has a circle of influence which they shape consciously or unconsciously.

Why not choose to consciously shape your influence?

__________

Watching The World

 


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