Many of us have on very many occasions been opportune to transform our lives and experiences. So many people have come our way, so many occasions have arisen; so many situations have developed with great potentials for our promotion, transformation and great success but we never were able to convert all these opportunities simply because we were not ready.
People come into your life everyday with all it takes to help you, support you, finance you, recommend you and invest in you. They come, they see you, they interact with you, they have all you need but they never release it to you because they can see you are not ready.
Through many people in this life, love had come your way, friendship had come your way, marriage had come your way, care had come your way, attention had come your way, help had come your way, favour had come your way, connection had come your way and extremely juicy business and career possibilities, but you missed it and these people left because you were not ready.
Occasions have arisen in your family, in your community, in your locality, in your nation, within your industry, within your organisation and team for you to be noticed, elevated, promoted, recognised, celebrated and appreciated, but you were not ready and you missed everything.
Situations have developed that perfectly favoured you, your dreams, gifts, potentials, your journey and destination in life but you missed everything because you were not ready.
The reason many of us are frustrated and perplexed in life today is because we could be lost in life. We are just alive we are not truly living. We are not deliberate in our actions and we are not in charge of our life situations. We are constantly being tossed by situations, challenges and the desperation for basic and social needs. Our needs not our purpose have become the bases for actions and reactions. Hence we wake up daily, living a life of reaction to the need to feed, clothe, live in a comfortable home, educate our children, have enough money and be socially accepted.
The ‘whys' of our daily choices are basically in reaction to all that is happening around us. We are not happening to anything, we are just reacting to everything. A person who takes up employment so as to meet the needs in life and pay bills and be socially relevant can hardly achieve anything Phenomenal. For most, the ability to survive is their goal in life. This in my opinion shouldn't be a goal as you will still die eventually, we all shall one day, so why make survival a goal?
A life of purpose is such that is meant to make a mark; a life that builds, a life that develops, a life that creates, a life with meaning and relevance in this world and to humanity at large. A life with transgenerational impact.
Dear friend, what is your life about, where is your destination, what is your goal in life? What exactly makes you different from every regular person? Hmm
Do you have a catch up mentality – wanting to catch up with everyone else around or you have your own defined journey and purpose and destination that is unique to you and your reason for being in this world?
Fear is a feeling and an experience that is fully rooted in the future. Without the future, fear cannot exist. Every form of fear is based on an expectation or anticipation of something negative. Every fear is of the future. You're afraid of a painful possibility, a negative development or a repeat of a bad experience.
Every form of fear is based on what you think may happen or could happen, not what has already happened. There is no fear of the past, no, the past is the root and source of regrets, regret belongs and is rooted in your past; fear comes and is rooted in your future.
Our reaction to fear however, as mankind is choices and decision. To address what you fear in the future, you make a choice and decision in the present, to mitigate, nullify or neutralise a possible negative or unpleasant future occurrence or situation.
I believe everyone is afraid of poverty. We hate to be broke, we hate the lack, embarrassment, disdain, disrespect and oppression that comes with poverty. No one appreciates a situation where money is the only answer and sadly, money is not available.
Consequently, money has become the control key for human effort in productivity and labour. If there's no monetary reward tied to employment, many people will not work.
A few weeks ago I asked members of my live mentoring class if some were fasting and quite a number indicated by raising up their hands. I asked them why and I got all sorts of feedback. Some said it's in order to have a good year, a trouble free year, to wade off any pending evil waiting in the future and to have a prosperous and great year in general.
But after further questions, it came to the fore that many were actually fasting at the start of the year simply because it was an injunction from their religious denomination. Their spiritual leader had directed they should and they of course decided to, based on the instruction. Which is a good thing. Obedience and respect for those in authority, including spiritual authority. Nothing wrong with it.
But may I say to you this morning that anything you do without a personal purpose would hardly bring you a personal reward?
I'm not saying you shouldn't join others in carrying out a reasonable injunction or advice but if you lack the presence of mind to connect to the purpose of whatever you've been asked to do, you can hardly personally reap from it.
According to the dictionary, Happiness is that feeling that comes over you when you know life is good and you can't help but smile. It's the opposite of sadness. Happiness is a sense of well-being, joy, or contentment. When people are successful, or safe, or rewarded, or loved, they feel happiness.
There are some very powerful key words in this definition. The words literality suggests the why, when and how of happiness.
First, it says happiness is a feeling, secondly it is based on a knowing that life is good, thirdly, it is a sense; meaning it's about what you see, what you hear, what you feel – about your senses – a sense of wellbeing, joy and contentment.
What I like about this definition is that it did not say happiness is the absence of pain, disappointment, setbacks, failure or deprivation. It is based on the knowing that whatever happens in this world, life is good. It's about how you see and interpret life. It's based on your own interpretation of circumstances and situations.
It's about what you chose to see, what you choose to hear, your interpretation and judgement and of course contentment.
Many times as a brand strategist I have many people approach me seeking for my opinion about their product or services. Many, who have new products or service they'd like to introduce bring it to me first; wanting to know what I think before they push into the market.
In fact some establishments I consult for also share ideas of product reinvention or brand extension with me, wanting to know what I feel or think about it and most of the time, I find a fault with their opinion and understanding of quality.
Ladies and gentlemen, quality in English language is not the same as quality in business language. In English language, quality is how good or bad something is. It's that simple. In business, it's somewhat more than that.
You see, every time we talk about quality, it is always a function of comparison or relativity. Quality as an abstract noun would always address maters of standards. Quality is the standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of excellence of something.
The degree in quality of something is as measured against a standard. You cannot measure the quality of the sun or the moon because it's just one of its kind attached to our planet as it were.
Buzz words come and go especially amongst professionals and within corporate settings. When you get drawn into the corporate life and system, there is a way you'll begin to talk and some words you'll begin to use that are common and peculiar to your profession and nature of trade. Many times as professionals we use these words as part of our everyday speak. We consequently, however, get very familiar with these words to the end that they lose their power to impact, inspire or invoke required and equivalent response and reaction.
One of such words is innovation. Every day I hear people talk about innovation, business leaders qualify their business culture with the word innovative, many consultants use the word innovation but looking around and observing the business terrane what I see many businesses and people do is react to the market dynamics.
Many businesses especially in Africa, hardly innovate, most just react to the market and this reaction is mostly driven by profitability not creativity.
Many companies repackage or rebrand themselves and their products and they call it innovation.
Some basically alter their operating procedures and processes and at the end of the project, they still deliver the same quality of product and service to the market and they call it innovation.
Ladies and gentlemen, innovation is not repackaging, innovation is not rebranding; innovation is not just reviewing your processes and procedures. It's not about new colours, new structures, new logos, new pay off lines and exciting commercials and imposing bill boards.
I believe control is the ability and power to determine processes, directions and outcomes. Being in control means you're in charge, you make choices and rule in certain affairs.
When you're in control, all outcomes are determined by you, you're not in contention with anyone as regards what you desire concerning any matter. Being in control puts you in a position of rest, confidence and power, you are happier and secure.
When you're in control you plan better, think better and can actually make your will and desires come to pass.
Control comes through empowerment. When you have the power, you take control; a powerless person cannot take charge, only the strong and superior takes charge.
A man struggling to provide for his home today may lose control over his wife and children, a man yet to be married to a lady lacks the power to control what she does, but immediately after they're married, he can put his foot down and her resistance is interpreted as rebellion.
Control comes with empowerment, if you lack power, you can't control. When people carry out your bidding and obey your instructions, it's all about your having apprehended the power and right to control.
For many of us, almost 90% of our problems today are money related. If you have enough money today my friend, most of your challenges would be resolved. In fact a survey we conducted late last year confirmed more than 80% of Lagosians would resign from their current employment, if they suddenly become very rich.
Many of us, wake up every morning and diligently rush to work not really because we enjoy what we do or are passionate about what we do, we daily go to work and invest several hours working because we want to secure our monthly income; salaries and allowances.
Many of us today work very hard purely for monetary reward. We are not really passionate about achieving anything great, outstanding or phenomenal, we just want to do enough to impress our bosses, employers and retain our employment. We don't go the extra mile, attempt to improve what we do or where we work, we just want to get the money.
Over and over again many make career decisions and employment moves based on an opportunity to make more money. Many keep changing jobs based on that desire to increase how much they earn. Dramatically, some employers today knowing this fact, hence, have become deceitful; making remuneration promises they cannot keep, and salary packages they cannot sustain, consequently after a few months, they begin to owe salaries or cut salaries.
Let me say this, as an entrepreneur, as a business or team leader, your enthusiasm, your opinion, statements and body language go a long way in influencing the thoughts, actions, disposition and response of your team members to work, productivity and general performance.
When as a leader, your dialogue and meetings celebrate all that is adverse and not working right now, you diminish the morale of the team and contract the possibility of great performance by your team.
A good leader shouldn't recount, recite and rehearse economic problems, economic setbacks, adverse policies and general limitations to their business. The worth of a good leader is best put to the test in seasons such as this. What makes anyone a good leader is beyond academic qualifications, titles, hard work and even experience. Your worth as a leader is in having correct answers and solutions superior to those of your subordinates and in fact your competitors at this time.
Entrepreneurship and business is a tough game, it's not about self-esteem, gains and profits alone; it's a contest and battle for market territories and shares. It's a battle for the mind, the patronage, the pocket and loyalty of the customer. It's about being superior to competitors at your game. It's about superior thinking, superior methods, superior speed and impressive delivery in the market place. It's about being better and always being a step ahead of your competitors.
Customers would always be there for every kind of product, if customers cease to exist for a product, the product would naturally cease to exist. Customers keep products alive and well.
Today, i'll want to keep sharing on the appropriate business thinking that would help you; not just you, but the nation in whole as we go through this season of both economic and social reforms.
If ways and processes are changing you'd better be changing to remain relevant and successful as you continue to journey through your business and career adventure. I want to share this morning on the character of your business and your most valuable asset – the customer. This episode is titled, managing your customer.
From my experience and observation as a business and career couch, a fundamental challenge to the growth and profitability of most businesses is the motive and priorities of most business owners and managers.
Most business owners go into business in pursuit of cash and they make their personal interest the priority at all times. These twin disposition is however, responsible for the death of most businesses and of course the bane on entrepreneurship development particularly in Africa. We mostly go into business to become rich not to create wealth.
As much as it is essential to make profit and be financially comfortable as one in business, it should never be a top priority for anyone who clearly understands the matrix of business management and healthy continuous growth.
Many businesses today and indeed employees are concerned and anxious about what the immediate future holds regarding the Nigerian business environment – the state of the economy, business opportunities, growth possibilities and steady revenue. Things aren't looking very bright right now business wise and many businesses are considering the option of rightsizing as a way to remain alive and healthy as a business.
This morning, I'd like to share a professional view point and option that I think many of us tend to disregard which as a matter of fact is the most vital consideration in remaining healthy and profitable in such a season as this. To all business owners and commercial experts out there, I'll like to throw some light on the most vital growth element of your business this year; the customer. This episode I've titled, do you still know them?
It's no longer news that quite a number of changes have occurred in the last few months within our nation that have impacted the way we run things, the way we think things and how we manage things especially as business owners and business managers. New policies, new processes, new requirements and behaviours put in place by the government continue to prompt adjustments and adaptation and fresh thinking in the way we should be running our businesses now to remain profitable.
There are some words and terms that I really value and appreciate on the account of their importance in capturing critical subjects of life. Comprehending in totality the meaning of these words as a matter of fact, can reposition your view, perspective and understanding of what the matter represents and projects. One of such words for me is season.
The word season, is used to describe not just time but experience as well. Naturally for many of us when we hear season, what comes to mind is a time or a period, which is not incorrect. But season is much more than time, it captures both time and experience in multiple ways and exciting dimensions I’ll like to expatiate on and interlink this morning, so as for you to have a comprehensive and ample understanding of this powerful word, season.
If you do not fully grasp this concept of season, it may be tough for you not to miss out on the best of what is referenced by the word season.
Firstly, a season describes each of the various divisions of the year, dry season and wet season in some parts of the world, spring, summer, autumn, and winter, in some other parts and they are marked by particular weather patterns and daylight hours, resulting from the earth's changing position with regard to the sun.
Many times and from many teachers, self-control has been taught and related from the perspective of an individual having self-restrain. This simply means the ability to stop yourself from indulging when lured, tempted and seduced unto destructive behaviours and tendencies.
It's about not responding to the lust of the flesh and carnal cravings with negative consequences. It's about being disciplined – doing what is right instead of what you like at all times. In summary, self-control has been preached from the perspective of stopping yourself from doing wrong.
This morning however, I'd like to explain in a more extended fashion the real meaning of self-control. I'll want to explain it properly within absolute context and as it relates to good growth, performance, wellbeing and success in life.
Self-control is not just the power to stop yourself from doing wrong or yielding to temptation.
Self-control is actually about you being in control of yourself. It's you being in charge of your whole being.
Control is about being in charge, having the power to determine what happens and to a large extent determine outcomes.
The person in control is the person in charge, the person in charge is the one who dictates, the one who dictates is the one who rules. Self-control is basically self-rule.
As humans we can be difficult at times. Due to the complex nature of our forms and the dynamics of our social and physical interactions, we are not consistent in reasoning, logic and principles. We most times do things based on feelings than objectivity. We are seldom logical. We are by nature self-centred and our personal interests most of the time get in the way of our sincerity.
That's why we fight and quarrel with one another. The desire or desperation to serve and protect our personal interest often make us unfair to others. We always want to have our way, we want to eat our cake and have it. We are most times selfish, greedy, lustful and covetous by nature.
These negative human traits are hence, responsible for disagreements, fights, betrayal, disloyalty, oppression, suppression, abuse and tension.
We are by nature self-serving and huge lovers of ourselves more than any other.
However, these weaknesses notwithstanding, we still love to socialise and love to associate with one another. We hate loneliness and isolation. We want to be with people and be amongst people all the time. There is a gratification that comes with being amongst friends and relatives, there is a satisfaction that comes with being a part of a family.
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