Checkpoint 2018: National Assignment

I cannot believe it has just been 1 year since I last wrote this. It feels like a decade has passed, I might have cheated time in a way… I cannot believe it has just been a year.

November 8, 2017 really feels like 1000 years ago.

Ok, let’s see.

So, many years ago I was born on the 8th day of November, hence; November 8 changed forever: it became the day I celebrate my birthday. And it also became a marker for me.

Every year, on November 8, I reflect on my life, my mission and the bigger, collective vision and ask myself honest questions around how it is going and where I am headed from here.

This is my checkpoint. I write one every year (since 2014)

The year had been largely a good one. A key learning for me was that you can start anything you want and get more things done as long as you are ready to start small. Start really small.

So, we have to start small and maybe that will be the key to moving those mountains I have been pushing for a few years now.

If you are working really hard on a really challenging mission like revolutionising the entertainment industry, inspiring and training a new generation of business people and technologists, working on providing education to the under served, working on bringing Nigerian businesses online or really big ones like trying to extend human life (extending it well beyond 120 years). It will probably be slow and steady.

My plan is simple…

People are setup to fail and live out mediocre lives by default. I have been called by God to change that. We cannot change it all overnight, one day, one person at a time and maybe we can get a chance.

How is it all going?

The greatest and best thing that happened last year was getting married.

Marriage changes you in a lot of ways, and if you marry for the right reasons (purposefully), marriage can amplify the things you do so much that you begin to wonder why you did not take the leap earlier.

My wife is a blessing.

I continued working on the projects: Wealthy Network, Business community, CloudPitcher and Gistcaster, but they have changed dramatically.

Let me explain.

Last year, around September, a friend reached out that he had a revelation about me, he saw me and that with me was a national assignment. Disclaimer: if God has not sent you to me, don’t even try it. I rarely entertain such messages, but this was a genuine message from a genuine friend and it fit into the puzzle I was figuring out at that time.

Boom. It made sense to me. While I have always worked hard and tried to help people as much as I can, the revelation helped us to set some scope and context of the assignment.

National Assignment.

The reality began to dawn on me over the course of the year, I needed to make adjustments. I needed to become more serious and deliberate.

Today, as I embark upon the next chapter of my life, I have done my best to enlarge my mindset and capacity. Anything is possible.

You do not send a boy on a national assignment, and so, for several months, this thing I heard on Game on Thrones many years ago started ringing in my head:

“…but I think you have the strength in you to do the things that must be done. Kill the boy, Jon Snow. Winter is almost upon us. Kill the boy and let the man be born.” – Maester Aemon to Jon (Game of Thrones, S05 E05)

Unless I muster my strength and look at the mountains in the face and begin to work, I will FAIL… and the sad part is that this failure will not be because I could not achieve ALL I wanted, rather; it would be because I refused to man up.

So, this new year… I am “man-ing” up.

You do not entrust a national assignment to a boy. Only a man can execute this things.

The transition for me is that I have to reach out to more people and prioritize people over projects for now. I have written extensively on this blog about people, projects and profits.

I need more people in my life – millions of people.

Together, we can embark on projects… then we can share the profit. Everybody wins.

That is why I could no longer work on Gistcaster, I had to let go finally and forget about it. Gistcaster is finally dead; I do not have the will to develop personal projects for now. It is community building for me right now.

CloudPitcher pays the bills through IT and business consultancy projects we execute, but the real attention has to be on building the community and running the National Assignment.

The community will get renamed again, Wealthy Network will not work for what we want, so we are going to rename it very soon.

This year birthed a lot of good things for us: Mighty BoostCamp, Super Achievement Seminar, FBB Workshop, Marketing and Sales Workshop, and the breakout hit: Your Daily Starter did not even exist last year when I wrote my checkpoint, yet they will now serve as the backbone of our outreach.

Sometimes, things will not work the way you want them to; but you have to keep playing along. Most times, it still turns out fine.

Looking ahead

I want to finish 2018 with a community that is 100, 000 members strong, so that by the time I am writing the next checkpoint (2019), we should be at 1 Million people strong.

Time is going, we need to generate better results now.

There will be a lot of outreach in my new year that begins today. We are planning to take a business, leadership and innovation programme across higher institutions in Nigeria. Create a teenager focused online-offline platform and do things like Business Builders Hangout and Build Hackathons across Nigerians cities.

We are also going to really make noise around IIS Global (that is what I re-branded my digital skills and tech startup training platform into)

That is how we can reach out to more people.

We will do all that and still continue to build our small portfolio of businesses. I am not in the speaking business and we usually fund our outreaches directly with our own money… so, I have to keep working hard to fund the assignment. Yes, we are open and happy to receive any form of sponsorship, assistance and investments.

Its a national assignment, but you have to start small, you have to start in a very simple manner. In fact, you cannot design and create a complex system that works. You MUST start simple and allow complexities to develop over time.

So, 2018 was amazing and now, we have more experience to do a better job going forward.

I am extremely grateful to God for my year, HE took me much further than I thought possible within 12 months. Life clarity increased and now, I can express our statement of purpose this way:

A call to shape Society, influence national economies and BUILD formidable institutions that will take Africa to the next level.

I just remain cool, calm and pressing forward with greater determination.

My super power might be that I mean things I say and never never give up!

I am Ade – kankun – mola – nrewaju, son of Olanrewaju Morebise

Happy Birthday to me! The Inveterate Schemer!


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Who do you need to do a free job for?

In Q4 2015, someone contacted me via Facebook to help create a logo for her new fashion outfit. I sent her our branding questionnaire document.

I got to work, and ended up designing the logo personally, she was happy with the design, paid the fee in full and we should have parted ways, except that… She was smart, hard-working and had a “kindred” spirit. What more could you want in a client?

Beyond that…

In 2015, I knew everything about creating e-commerce stores, but I was yet to land a client. I was not able to land clients because I had no real e-commerce store online that was running.

So, after I sent out the proposal, I was not able to seal the deal because the talks ended after they asked for sample e-commerce projects we had done. I was not happy and needed to fix it, but what could I do?

So, I was dying to launch a real e-commerce for a client. And here was a client I genuinely admired and respected… why not sow a seed into another person’s business?

So, without telling the client, I got to work, I designed an e-commerce for her business. I downloaded her goods from her Facebook group and used them to set up the website.

It took me about 3 – 4 weeks of serious work as if she paid me one big money to do so. I completed the job and sent her a link to preview it on my staging/testing server.

She was shocked and quickly picked up the phone to call me. What was she looking at? A website for her??

I calmed her down and told her the website was hers, she just needed to pay for the hosting and domain name (I was too broke to handle it at that time). She did and we launched it.

She was happy. I was blessed.

That project went on to open much more doors for me.

Today, we now have plenty e-commerce projects and sites that we have developed after her project. Ofcourse, all paid for, not free jobs.

She even gave me this amazing testimonial that I love so much that I always find an excuse to paste everywhere:

“I will like to say Ademola Morebise is a ‘pusher’, he knows just exactly the right words to say that can ignite your spirit and propel your brain to work. His enthusiasm is out of this world #LOL# like seriously, I really envy that. He’s not just a motivator but a doer, he makes sure the desired result is achieved”

So, my question for you is this:

WHO DO YOU NEED TO DO A FREE JOB FOR?

You need to realise that the key to your greatness is connected to service. You ought to serve before you can expect greatness… You will become great when you are busy trying to help others become great.

Since 2012, I have been working hard to make my mentor great. The more I try to make him bigger and better, the more I am also increasing.

When I see young guys who hate service, who think they can “hustle” their way into greatness, I laugh in KJV. Service is part of life. When you are starting out, people will use you, you will do plenty free jobs, but it will all work out into your greatness.

My first job was with a web design firm, I was 17 years old, paid peanuts and overworked, under-appreciated, my peanuts wasn’t paid at times… but I realised then that the job gave a chance to work on a computer and free access to the Internet. That was how I was able to develop critical technical skills in programming. It always works out.

WHO DO YOU NEED TO MAKE GREAT?

WHO DO YOU NEED TO DO FREE JOBS FOR?

The ball is in your court.


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Are you also anticipating Avengers: Infinity Wars?

Are you anticipating the next movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Surely, you are.

Avengers: Infinity Wars is shaping up to be a global phenomenon, if you thought Black Panther was peak Marvel, well, think again. The trailer for Infinity Wars is already breaking records… if the final product is even half-decent, I expect it to smash whatever Black Panther did at the cinemas.

Now, enough story. To the meat of the matter: What has this got to do with building businesses, innovating and marketing?

For one, this is a clear case of upselling.

We all started by watching and admiring Iron Man in 2008, then slowly they introduced others, about 22 of them (and counting)… now they bring them together in a single package, how do we refuse?

What can you upsell to your customers? You do realise that it is much easier to sell more stuff to an existing customer than it is to win a new customer, right?

Have you tried to upsell digital marketing to the people you developed web sites for?

Have you tried to upsell a complimenting service to the people that already purchased a service from you?

Why are you dulling??

There is also a lesson here on the power of story telling. Selling the same movie to the same audience over and over again… but that will be another post for another day.


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440million Nigerians are coming

By 2050, there will be 440 million Nigerians in the World. That is what we should talk about today.

440 million people who will need jobs, schools, clothes, houses, everything!

You can now easily see that if you start any business today, no matter how small you start and grow as slowly as 10% per week, you would have become a big deal.

Now, we all know that if 10 people start a business today, research has taught us that only about 1 of them will remain in business after 2 years. It is just the harsh reality.

Building a business is hard. Very hard.

..but if, if you can keep your head above the water, when the others sink, you remain standing, then you win.

So, it is not about your brilliance alone. Do you have the tenacity to run your run your business and ensure you are still in business after 3 years?

Therefore, my advise to you is this: Pick a sector of the economy, any sector and start your project, make sure it something you enjoy doing, because you will work for free for a long period of time.

Ignore business opportunities, they make you money in the short term, but cannot take care of you in the long run. Ignore them. Build a real business. Bonus points if your business is built on innovation.

I imagine many of you starting schools (we will need them!), looking into the food industry or fashion. As the population increases, demand for basic services will also increase.

440 Million Nigerians are emerging, now is a good time to correctly position yourself for what is coming.


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The commitment that changes everything

The life you want is a commitment away. Never forget that. 

I have seen people download and even buy tons of courses, books, audio programs, yet they remain the same way they have been year after year… because they refuse to do the most important thing: committing to DO. 

In 2018, our businesses, projects and initiatives can fire up the world only on the condition that we DO. 

There is this young man currently engaged to marry, and yet every now and then, he makes it clear to anyone who cares to listen that he might not marry the lady. He keeps on blabbering about his fears and how scared he is. 

I just continue to laugh in KJV. (The old KJV, not the new one 😂😂😂) 

A marriage NEVER works until a commitment to make it work is made by both parties. This is 2018, I thought that by now, we would all realise that the perfect man/woman doesn’t exist. You just make an informed decision and with patience work on each other. 

Anyways, unless that man commits to the relationship. No show. 

Unless you commit to doing certain things everyday, you won’t be able to open the next chapter of your life. 

What commitment do you need to make today that will change your future? 


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Vision, strategy and tactics

More than ever before, you need to align with a collective vision. People driven by vision, by a purpose higher than themselves always perform better in the long run.

Note that vision is not personal. Ambition is personal, ambition is selfish and greedy.

So, what is the vision you have committed your life to?

I am committed to leading men to innovate, create wealth, share the wealth and lead an excellent life.

Now, you do not stop at vision.

Vision is nothing unless implementation is also well executed.

The world moves fast, vision is important, but tactics must be reviewed every 90 days.

I review the vision, my business and my life every 90 days.

Works well for me.

Perhaps you could give it a try?

__________

Watching The World

 


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Are you building a business? Are you sure? Here are 3 questions to consider

Not too many people know the difference between self employed and building a business.

If you work on Fiverr… you are a freelancer, not an Entrepreneur.

If you sell Ankara fabric from door to door or sew clothes in your shop. You are not an Entrepreneur… you are a freelancer.

Don’t let me get started on all those “Contract-preneurs”. A contract-preneur runs after big contracts and quickly hacks together an adhoc staff to execute projects. No loyal, long standing staff.

In each of the scenerio described above, you have merely created a job for yourself.

Which is good…

…however, unless you move up the ladder and build real business systems, business structures around what you do… you will work till you die.

Only big businesses outlive their founders. That is why Mama Shukura canteen closed up after she passed, while KFC keeps posting profits every year and expanding into New countries.

3 ways to know if you are building a business or not.

1. If you went on a 2 week holiday, would your business continue to run and grow? Will you meet a business when you return?

2. Are you accountable to your business? Allowing your business financials to exist completely outside yours?

3. Do you have concrete expansion goals completely mapped out with the needed strategy, training, plans, mentors, and corresponding actions?

Now, it is ok if the answers are not so positive right now, but please commit to thinking about these questions and making the needed adjustments.

My generation needs to birth big businesses. Business Empires from Nigeria can take on the world.

We have the capacity to do so. It is the knowledge that has been missing.

Amongst other things, I believe my calling is to help Entrepreneurs and Professionals build systems that rapidly scales their business into multi-million Naira Empires.

..and that is why I love the mission of this community. We must build big businesses and become Industry leaders.

Building a real business requires 2 major things: capacity and systems.

You must develop the capacity to handle big things and be able to design systems to get it done.

We must be ready to learn, strategize and build globally relevant companies. It is not good enough to be average.

The age of mediocrity is over.


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90% of all new businesses fail within the first five years. You can remain standing.

Statistics show that 90% of all new businesses fail within the first five years. A lot of reason have been proffered as to why this is the case, however I find myself disagreeing with those reasons.

People want to blame external factors for their failures every time. People rarely stumble and choose not to blame the path for been so treacherous.

People would rather blame government, the market, a powerful competitor or even their staff members when the business collapses.

That is not the way of the wise.

If your business will remain standing in 5 years time, I have determined that you need 2 vital traits: MISSION and LEADERSHIP.

Did you find that weird? Please let me explain.

Most people, easily the 90% that will fail, they start their business out of necessity to make money (and this is totally cool), but you cannot survive in business for the long run if your only motivation is to make money.

If you prioritize making money over having a solid mission, you will make poor decisions that will eventually bury the company.

The reason Facebook went from University hostel project to global phenomenon is because they built it around a mission and they stuck to the mission. Do not join the bandwagon of people who think Facebook survived because they got investors money and they are not based in Nigeria… how many companies who got investors money survived 5 years? Not so much.

So, start your business anyhow, and for whatever reason. However, if you want long term success, develop a mission.

I am confident I will still be here in 5 years time because my mission to help Entrepreneurs and Professionals like you build systems to rapidly scale their business – impact, influence, income – into MultiMillion Naira Empires cannot be done in 5 years time.

I have actually been around for over 10 years and going stronger.

I hope you understand that. You can re-read or drop me a message to explain further.

The next trait of a business that survives is exceptional leadership.

To grow your business and remain in business, you must become a leader. If you cannot lead yourself, you cannot lead your staff and your business will suffer.

It is easier to blame your staff and fire them rather than admit to your own incompetence and so, you want to look inward and ensure you are all good before you blame your staff for incompetence.

Leading people is never easy. It is such a challenging trait to develop and it is extremely rewarding.

If you can develop MISSION and LEADERSHIP around your business, even the big blue sky cannot limit you.


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Can you do better than Bisola the Tailor?

There is Bisola the Tailor who works 8am – 6pm everyday and can never go on holidays while barely making enough money to keep her head above the water… On the other hand, you have Bukola who runs a fashion company with 5 fashion designers and up to 20 tailors working with her. It seems like her only work is to count the money that is flowing in.

You see where I am going with this?

There is a cap, there is a limit to which you can grow your business. The good news is that the limit is dependent upon your own capacity and your decision to build a business system.

It is all a decision.

You must decide to build a business system around your skill or talent that will facilitate the kind of business you want.

I am tired of contract-preneurs and freelancers (and fundraisers too, BTW) posing as legit business builders.

The defining trait of a business are the processes and structures that are in place to facilitate a smooth running of operations every single day. If you do not have systems in place, you are an artisan… a freelancer. And just like Bisola, you will work round the clock without huge returns.

If you are serious about growing your business into millions, you have to start taking these things to heart.

Prepare your multi-million Naira business plan, start setting up defined processes to handle separate areas of the business and then you can genuinely scale up the business into the sky!

N.B.

The Business Builders Hangout will hold in Lagos on January 27 and Akure on January 31. We will be glad if you could join us in any of the cities. Ask me for full details.


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Business plans are dumb. Here is why you should write it anyway

When I started my first couple of businesses, I was definitely not as business savvy as I am today. I actually started out as a Tekkie, building out website platforms to offer services I thought people would find useful.

I was so naive that I even did all that without any serious business model. Oh! Those naive days!

As a Tekkie, the one thing I despised so much was the conventional idea that I needed to prepare a business plan for my work. It looked like a silly thing to do, foolishness of the highest order. I wanted to invent cool web services and get investors hand me millions of US Dollars, just like I read everyday on TechCrunch.

I thought Business plans are foolish, dumb and not useful because as you may or may not know… most business plans never work out in real life.

In fact, very few business plans and business models survive intact after you go to the market.

So, from my point of view, I felt business plan was a waste of time, the 2 weeks I would invest into making a decent business plan is better spent programming or marketing for customers…

Just like you, I was carried away and genuinely thought that my passion and optimism are enough to build a successful company. I just wanted to get to work and start building up something worthwhile.

I was wrong.

When a mentor FORCED me to write up a business plan, that was the first time I had to ask myself a lot of tough questions I had been avoiding and also got me asking the right questions about the business aspect of my work for the first time.

Writing the business plan was transformative for me.

The business plan I produced was not implemented blow-by-blow, of course. Like I said… business plans are next to useless in the real marketplace. However, writing a business plan forces you to think through your business and further develop your business structure.

I am challenging you to write a business plan for your company today. If you have written one before, revise it and update it accordingly.

I also recommend that you do it yourself, do not hire a third party to do it for you, your business is your baby and you need to begin to obsess over your business and take charge of it. If you cannot write it yourself, you can work closely with someone to get it done for you. When I am tasked with preparing business plans for a client, I always make it a point of duty to ensure that I really involve them in the process.

The finished work; the final business plan should contain the intellectual output of the business owner/visionary.

Writing a business plan does 3 key things for you.

It brings clarity. A business plan defines what a business is and where it is headed, this along makes it super easy to take key decisions about the business in the future.

Business plans makes it easier to attract financing. No investor in her right senses will give you 1 kobo without asking for your business plan. The plan might not work, but it shows them that you are disciplined enough to have one and that you have spent quality time to think about what you are doing.

Business plans also helps to communicate more effectively and develop action plans.

The pros of having a plan outweighs the cons.

The business plan is important.


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