It is not only about the things we did or the things we did brilliantly and got right.
It is also about the things that did not happen. If you think deeply about this, you realise that regardless of how awesome you are, there is usually an external factor required for complete success.
For example, it was not just Facebook’s brilliance that made it takeover the world, MySpace, Friendster and the rest of the gang also failed to do something. IBM had the powers and resources to squish out Microsoft, but they did not.
There is an enabling environment also needed for great work. You cannot do your best work when there is disease, famine or war. On the home front, if all is not well, it has a way of trickling down and disrupting every other aspect of your work.
The road to success goes beyond just checking off a few boxes. A lot of pieces have to come together in a nice way, when it does and you get there, just be grateful.
What external, outside-my-control factors are helping me make some progress?
Perhaps that is the wrong question?
The correct question might be along the lines of how do we generate more economic value for the people we serve?
Making an obsession over making more money rarely ever ends well. It just might push us into the greed arena, once greed steps in… we have opened the door for other members of its unpleasant kin.
You want to make money? Try thinking hard about the true worth of the value you currently generate and how you could be much more useful.
What is the true worth of the amount of economic value I currently create for my clients, how can I improve upon this?
Increase your value and automatically increase your earnings.
It takes a lot of work to become a professional or an expert at anything. Sadly, to remain an expert takes even more work.
Now that you are an expert, there is always a chance you are slipping behind new developments and best practices in the global industry, especially now that you have that high paying job and the new kinds of people and distraction the whole thing attracts to you.
One morning, you wake up and you realise you have lost it. You are no longer the expert you used to be, you are now a dinosaur, fully equipped with yesterday’s ideas that are now irrelevant as the industry has moved on.
Are you up-to-speed with trends and developments in your industry or do you still rely on your knowledge from 10 years ago?
Take all of 20 mins to quickly find thought leaders, journals, blogs, newsletters partaining to your industry and then ensure you are always in the loop and learning more.
Watching The World
Most people default to monkey see, monkey do. They do not give expression to their own ideas, instead always defaulting to whatever they see out there.
The problem with this approach is that while it reduces your risk, it also limits your potentials because you are forever waiting for others to take a step before you can figure out your own next move.
The first set of people who work on an idea are most times the ones that grab everything, leaving the low hanging fruits and breadcrumbs for the monkey see, monkey do gang.
Do I always look at other places to find ideas to embrace or am I bold enough to ship my own ideas?
Start small, step-by-step, develop the boldness you need inorder to move forward with your own original ideas.
You might have heard that we will be seeing Nokia 6, an Android device exclusively for sale in China and BlackBerry “Mecury” this year. Nokia and BlackBerry where industry leaders before they got knocked off their perch by the new cool guys.
Behind the curtain, you need to know that it is not exactly these companies making a comeback as such. What we have here is a case of the original companies licensing their famous names to little known phone makers. You have HMD Global building the Nokia phones and TCL building the BlackBerry phones.
This move helps the new-comers to penetrate the market much faster than if they had released their mobile phones directly (Anyone up for HMD 6 or TCL Mercury? I didn’t think so). This way, the die-hard customers will finally be able to get their hands on devices they love once again, hopefully done the right way this time.
In every industry these things happen, a newcomer borrows the credibility and trust of an earlier player to penetrate faster into the market. It is all about collaborating.
With so many brands in the crowded phone market, coming to market with a name as distinct as Nokia or BlackBerry gives you an instant edge over the others.
We do not always have to start from scratch, whose work or brand can we leverage upon in order to penetrate the market faster?
You will need to come up with a win-win scenario. You must not be seen as a vulture that will only scalp off value without generating any.
Watching The World
We have to always consider our work from the viewpoint of it been always about the people. This type of thinking really helps to become more selfless. Dial down on our own agenda and be able to really connect to the intended audience.
When you think more about the people you wish to serve, you will naturally come up with better ways to serve them.
When I started writing these daily posts, it was all about creating a personal blog, a permanent home for my thoughts. A vehicle to push out my posts. #TMP website currently introduces me and asks the visitor to subscribe to my “awesome” writings, that is so silly…
I simply wanted to write as I liked and I never really cared much about the audience or whether anyone is reading. (But I do appreciate it any time I get feedback via email)
However, with every passing day, I am made more and more aware of how important it is to make the posts about the people and less about me.
If I will be really successful, then I have to painstakingly craft each edition of #TMP and ensure it contains actionable content for the readers. It has to be about the readers and not about the writer. #TMP has to provide ideas for the readers and not more readers for the writer’s ideas.
Ministry is not about propounding your theories and tidbits about life, it is first and foremost about people and how their problems and challenges can be effectively eradicated.
How have I been overly self-centred, self-serving or totally selfish in my thinking and actions?
Look for ways by which you can open up your work and make it more about the audience you want to serve. Try to develop more empathy for the people and watch your wealth accumulate.
Life as a freelancer sucks. Whatever you do, don’t be a freelancer. Freelancing is cool, but sooner or later, you realise that you are shooting yourself in the foot.
The first thing many of us observe first is that that you have got just 24 hours in a day. Which means that you are either looking for new clients or busy working on the orders you have got already. There is nobody out there helping out with new proposals or accounting or dealing with any other thing. in a real business, there are lots of issues to be attended to everyday.
As a freelancer, you cannot charge high fees as a standard company would. I always pity freelance web designers, they are poorly paid and frequently bullied.
You will spend over 85% of your time working in the business and no time working on the business systems.
Businesses are made up of processes and systems. An Entrepreneur’s work is to continuously improve the processes at the company, making things become much more efficient.
Moving from freelancing to running a real business takes a helluva time, the sooner you go started, the better.
Whatsoever you do next, stop freelancing. Start or join a forward thinking company.
Am I freelancing or actively building a business? Am I a contract-preneur or I have something real on-going?
Start learning about how to build a business and re-arrange your business operations accordingly.
Watching The World
A Japanese insurance company recently replaced 34 members of staff with a software; “IBM Watson Explorer”. By switching to the software, they are saving over $1.1 million every year.
Over the years, people have assumed the robots will only replace manual labour, but we can see now that even knowledge workers are not immune to the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) software. In the near future as much as 30% of jobs has been projected to be lost to AI, and humans will have to go find something else to hold on to.
My headache is that so many young people in Nigeria are reading and working hard towards a career that AI machines will render obsolete shortly.
I strongly believe that industries such as healthcare, financial and education will be heavily affected by these changes, imagine a future in which human doctors are obsolete? It is no longer impossible. Banking apps will become so sophisticated that humans are no longer needed at banks.
Right now, more than 80% of banking staffs are merely doing data entry in the banking halls. The AI can takeover those jobs in an heartbeat.
A lot of jobs will disappear and new ones will appear. There will always be something to do.
I predict that full time jobs will disappear and the era of project professionals will arise. All manual labour will be handled by machines.
Start factoring in the rise of AI machines into your future plans, it will change everything.
How will AI systems change my career path? How can I take advantage of that system to boost my work?
Which part of my industry is AI-proof, which tasks cannot be easily replicated by machines in the near future?
Watching The World
The next 10 years of work will be very different from the previous 50 years of work.
I suspect we have got to the end of normal full time jobs. We will no longer talk about jobs, we will talk about projects and the kind of people that need to be pulled together into a team inorder to make it happen.
It is beginning to look like there are not enough full time jobs to go around, and as technology improves, businesses are getting so much done with much fewer resources. Jobs will continue to disappear.
The future of work seems to only favour the professional.
Interesting in bracing up yourself for the future of work? Become an expert in a professional field.
How can technology change my industry and which full-timejobs will disappear? How is outsourcing affecting my industry?
Move up the ladder: How can I become an all encompassing professional that can execute projects and work well with others?
Watching The World