Embrace your uniqueness

There is something unique about everybody.

There is something only you can do, ideas that can only pop up inside your own head and no other. Things only you can build.

Unlike soul-less machines and softwares, two people can never be the same. Not even identical twins can be.

Everybody is a distinct product of their life experiences, the way we react to today is a result of what we passed through yesterday. A human being is always learning forever and (hopefully) becoming better because of this.

The onus therefore is on you to find what makes you unique and embrace it.

What can YOU show/teach the world that no one else can?

Think about this things

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Watching The World

 


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You do not matter

In 2006, CNN Writers made a list of 10 business people who did not matter, Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook made the list.

Mark Zuckerberg who recently donated $25 million to the fight against Ebola and acquired a new property for $100 million made the list.

Fast forward to 2014, Forbes cited Zuckerberg’s net worth as $34 billion in September. He is now richer than the Google co-founders (Larry Page and Sergey Brin)… And by the way, didnt Mark end up been named Man of the Year a few years ago?

So, you see? You do not matter. You do not matter at all!

Nobody knows you, nobody needs you until you prove otherwise by clearly demonstrating the why you are needed. Everyone has to pass through a phase of life in which you have to speak on behalf of your vision.

You have to convince people you are for real, that you are actually here for the long haul. You have to work really hard, putting in the hours every night and day, trying to get things off ground.

If you somehow survive that first stage and emerge on the other side, suddenly you become everyone’s darling. You begin to matter! The very same posts you made on Facebook and got no likes or comments will now suddenly start getting 23, 000 likes and 18, 000 comments. Infact, by then you are probably so busy that your posts are no longer as detailed and useful as they used to, but no matter… Seemingly overnight, your words and every action are now important.

Millions of people are waiting to hear you speak.

That is why the next time someone tells you do not matter, or you have to introduce yourself, or “lobby” to be heard or speak at conferences, do whatever you need to do, so that you can do what really needs to get done.

Which is to prove them wrong.

You do not matter and you will never matter until you prove them otherwise.

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Watching The World

 


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A few thoughts on pricing

Deciding on exactly how much to charge for your services is a serious task.

Charging too high may take your business out of reach of those you really want to serve, and charging too low means you will barely break even. Failure to break even means you will have to put those grand expansion plans on hold or if you are really dogged; you have to go real slowly.

The very nature of the modern world demands that we cannot really set high prices. This is 2014 and not 1814; these people have choices, loads of choices. The alternatives may not be as good as your business offerings, true, but your audience might not even care enough to stick around you long enough to find out exactly what makes you special if you charge high prices.

So, What can we do? How best to approach pricing?

There is really no final answer or even a set of best practices when it comes to pricing. It is a journey every new business owner has to go through. If well done, pricing could also be an innovation that can lure new customers to you.

Some game changing pricing that has changed the face of business recently includes things like pay per second for phone calls. Paying only for how much you enjoyed a comedy show (pay per laugh), Amazon has also started a new service to allow you read as many books as you can after paying a low fee monthly.

A careful analysis of these seemingly different cases tells us that in each case, these new pricings gave the customers more power, it allows them have the feeling that they are getting more value for their money and this is always a good thing.

On the other end of the spectrum, it is not really wise to build a business whose only UNIQUE FEATURE is that you charge low prices. The reason is not far fetched either; no matter how low you charge, someone else will always come along who will be willing to charge lower than you ever could.

When that happens, what do you do? Go lower? This is what we call race to the bottom, how low can prices in a market segment get as it all gets crowed.

And then, there are some funny scenarios, certain market sectors where charging HIGH is a sign of quality and your customers believe paying high fees is somehow a guarantee that you will do a good job.

I think the first key to all these is choices, you have to sit down and make some choices.

The first obvious choice is to ask yourself whether you would love to make $1 million from 100 customers or $1 million from 1,000 customers. This is what determines whether you are going into the high end of the market or the often crowded lower end of the market.

You also need to make a decision about the role pricing will play in your business, will it be part of your unique service proposition or not?

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Thanks!

Watching The World

 


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Coconut Indomie

As I walked into the kitchen to pick up a bottle of water, I heard her call out to me: “I am making coconut Indomie”

I was stunned, “What?? Have you done that before?”

“No, but I want to try it out” she replied confidently.

I had to instantly revoke a promise I made to myself in 2012 that I would never eat Indomie again and request for a sample of the experiment. I mean, this is no ordinary Indomie afterall; this is coconut Indomie!

I usually consider myself to be the most innovative mind anywhere I am, but this time I had to pass her the crown. There was no way I could have thought of that.

Yes, I know its just Indomie and anyone could have thought of it, my major interest and reason I am talking about Indomie this morning is not because I am hungry, but because I want us to take a step back and analyse the THINKING and THOUGHTS behind cooking the coconut Indomie.

A willingness to try something else

One of the most backward quotes I have ever heard is roughly translatable into English as:

“Let us do things the way they ought to be done so that they will turn out the way they are supposed to turn out”

People who live by this mantra never live at all! All their lives, they live by the assumptions and conclusions of what other people that lived before them propounded. They die without allowing any of their own thoughts to ever surface.

If we do not try something different, we will not see anything different.

It was Albert Einstein that said it is insanity to do the same thing over and over again, yet expecting different results.

World changers  have to be willing to do something different, not holding on religiously to yesterday’s ideas and practices. A willingness to face today and think of how best to approach the situation, rather than consulting manuals that have been written since the 1900s.

The purpose of reading books is not for you to go about quoting it everywhere. The reason we read books is to enhance our mind with their own views and understanding. Armed with their own knowledge, we can now take it all a step further. Advancing mankind’s body of knowledge ought to be the goal of everybody.

The more knowledge we mine from the universe, the better the life we can enjoy.

Mr Morebise, it is just Indomie!

Yes! Today it is just Indomie, but every great innovator started somewhere. They started their life of innovation from a small corner and gradually as confidence increases they can then think up and execute big ideas.

Starting from coconut Indomie is good enough, the crime is if it stays as coconut Indomie and no new experiment in another 3 years.

A Willingness to be wrong

If you are not prepared to be wrong or for things to turn out badly, you can NEVER come up with anything original. Even though nowadays, people seem to like every crazy idea I think up, I know it was not always like this.

I used to have wack ideas, really wack ideas. But the boldness to speak up regardless of what others thought about my idea was a key.

I once tried to make “sweetened rice” by boiling rice in honey, it turned out to be a disaster. But I tried it out, it left the confines of my mind. That is innovation! It was not a success story, but that does not make it less of an innovation than my SMS newsletter experiments that fetched me an award nomination.

She was willing to try the coconut Indomie even though she had not seen anyone try it before and even though she was not really sure how it would turn out.

Find it, Package it, and sell it!

And so, the coconut Indomie turned out to be very interesting. If you would like to get a copy of the recipe, she can make it available for just $100 (That is about N17, 000).

Some readers are wondering, why would I buy a recipe for $100? Well, that is how the world runs.

KFC’s whole business operation is running because of a secret recipe Colonel Sanders invented many years ago. Coca-cola has not been really pirated much because of the well guarded secret recipe they use to make the drink.

My question is this: in all this years, why has no employee of these companies brainstorm and invent a new recipe?? Did the original recipe creators come with 2 heads?

Anybody that finds a valuable idea, food or software should package it and not hesitate to sell it. Selling your ideas is what completes the chain. It is completely useless to do the hard work of thinking up new ideas if you do not have a way to sell it.

In fact, selling your idea to others is more important than finding the idea in the first place.

Innovation is not hard!

I always say innovation is not hard, it simply means trying to improve what you did yesterday, a willingness to experiment. This coconut Indomie serves as a very simple illustration.

So, incase she is reading this, I want to publicly say thanks for the coconut Indomie, it was “very interesting” and please do not stop allowing expressions for even the most crazy ideas that pops up into your mind.

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Watching The World

 


Interested in building innovative business ideas?

Since 2014, #TMP has been empowering people to learn, collaborate & build out innovative business ideas. #TMP is an online innovation hub.
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Solve HARD problems

Solve hard problems, do not run away from them.

Solving a hard problem increases your problem solving capacity, allowing you to tackle new problems faster and better.

The more you solve problems, the better you become. Problem solving is a skill, and with all skills whether it be cooking, programming,  teaching or washing, you get better with practise.

This is why it is a great thing to always seek new challenges,  without new challenges,  your tasks become mundane. No surprises, no learning.

Step out of your box

Try a new challenge, look for a new problem to attempt, its all for greater good.


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Meditate

The art of meditation is an important exercise everyone needs to get involved in.  Meditation means thinking deeply, focusing the mind for a period of time.

If all you do is just read the bible and move along, you can never really understand the contents. Proper understanding starts from reading and re-reading the contents, carefully meditating upon it until it clicks.

“Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” – Joshua 1:8 (NLT)

“Oh, how I love your instructions! I think about them all day long.” – Psalms 119: 97 (NLT)

You have to stop reading the bible because you have to, you need to read the bible with a sincere motive of “I want to experience God for myself”.

The reason you seem to not have enough of God on the inside of yourself is because you do not have enough understanding of the scriptures and these deep understanding will only come when you meditate upon what the scriptures is really saying and how you might apply it into your life.

It is the application of these principles into your life that brings good success. That is what the bible says in Joshua 1:8; it says YOU will make your own way prosperous. That is a personal responsibility for you to do.

The more you meditate upon the scriptures, the more of it that will be inside your consciousness.

 


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Create (more) value

The path to making money and making more money is by creating value, real value for your customers.

As a Physicist who tries to always express everything mathematically, I will say that the amount of money you can make from your business is directly proportional to the amount of value you provide.

Therefore, the business man that wants to make money at all, takes a step back from what everybody else is doing and looks at the whole chain, hunting for a good spot where she can add more value. By adding more value, she will stand out from the crowd and she can actually charge more for her services.

As a practical example: most school owners that want to make more money organise after school hours lessons wherein the kid is taught (or rather, re-taught) things they have already been taught earlier in the day. Using this principle of looking for a good spot, a smart person can decide that rather than create yet another after school lesson I will create a after school experience for the kids to teach them non-school stuff that they will find extra useful.

Imagine an after school lesson that teaches kids leadership, entrepreneurship, real computer skills (things like Corel Draw, Photoshop, web designing and some other programming), musical instruments etc. The value can be explained to parents and you can charge serious money for things like these rather than offering what everyone else is offering.

The key question to all of these is the simple question: How can I add more value to my customers?

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Watching The World

 


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The grasshopper mind

There are giants and then there are grasshoppers.

What makes a man a giant or a grasshopper is simply his state of mind. What can you see inside of yourself?

Thinking BIG is the only way you can actually grow your small one man business into something meaniful. You have to believe from the depth of your heart that you can really execute the big vision in your mind, even though you are starting small.

When I sat down to draft my own vision 2020, I could not help but laugh at myself. The goals I set were simply impossible. You have to banish fear and set real goals!

You need to build up a strong mind and convince yourself that whether you have $1 or $1 billion, you can get the resources you need to do anything you need to do. You have to discard the grasshopper mindset and start seeing yourself as a GIANT that you truly are.

Let me expose a well guarded secret; all these billionaires you see around are not really richer than you! I recently read somewhere that for many years Dangote Group was neck deep in debt and they owed many banks. Yet for all those years you were praying to become as rich as Dangote.

The difference between you and Dangote is that Dangote has the mind of a giant and he can boldly walk to any bank in Nigeria to demand he needs money to build new factories, but you would not.

In case your mind read that wrongly, let me say it again: You CAN approach banks and ask for money or think of really crazy ways to make money that can kick start your vision, but you WONT. Grasshopper mind at work!

Let me demystify everything: Dangote is not richer than you, he merely has more assets than you. That Dangote is called a billionaire today does not necessarily means he has billions in his bank account, it means that if we sell off the Dangote Group, we will get billions of dollars. But once upon a time, his assets were worth nothing. What transformed him into the billionaire he is today is that giant mindset I have been talking about.

Giant thinking is what will propel your small business into a world scale business. How big can you think? How far can you see?

Food for thought, certainly.

(P.S. You might want to read this Post over and over again until you finally understand it. I am sure I will read this Post at least 7 times even though I wrote it.)

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Watching The World

 


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Asking the right questions

Asking the right questions is much more important than even knowing the answers. No matter how wise you may be, if you are asked the wrong question, then your wisdom does not count.

It will not count at all.

That is why it is super helpful to spend more time in search of the right questions, questioning your questions until you get the right question.

It is asking the right questions that unlocks the right answers and the breakthrough ideas.

One of the greatest skills you can ever develop is the skill of asking questions. In your meetings with customers, mentors, and senior colleagues, it is your ability to ask the right questions that will help you learn anything of value from them.

As an Entrepreneur, you must go out there and talk to people! You have limited time and resources, why would you want to use it to create a business service or product nobody needs? Most times, It is in your conversation with your target customers that you discover what they really need and you can set out to provide it.

The lack of asking questions is one reason why all the foreign aids and NGOs working all around Africa seem not to be working. How can you help people you do not understand? Rather than visit your target communities and spend quality time talking to the people on ground, find their pain points and look for ways of really empowering them, NGOs tend to sit inside air conditioned conference rooms, talk all day and issue contracts to go share “relief” items.

Always ask the right questions, it is much more important than knowing the answers.

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Watching The World

 


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Nothing but the very best

A great way to become really good at whatever you are doing is to decide to always produce nothing than the very best you are capable of doing.

Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all you have got. You have to pour in your soul into it, that way you are really getting better because any time you run out of your depth, it shows that it is time to come up with something else. Time to go learn something new.

Except you plan to be enslaved to money, doing projects simply because of the pay is a pretty bad idea.

There are tons of money you can make from projects about things you are really passionate about, why would you then pick a job you will not be passionate about?

I am yet to find a profession that has not (and cannot) yield at least a millionaire if you keep digging into it.

So, you can make up your mind today… The very best you can do OR nothing!

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Watching The World


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