Monday, November 1, 2010

Greener Pastures Do Not Get Any Greener Than This!



I am a Nigerian and I laugh my lungs out when people are charging out of Nigeria, abroad in search of greener pastures. What? I tell you, any wise man would agree also that; greener pastures do not get any greener than this. And this is not another patriotic I love Nigeria pieces, even though I love Nigeria (who wouldn’t?) but the Nigerian economy and consumer market is one of the most supportive on planet earth. Nigerians have a golden buying behaviour which is the delight of anyone offering a good product. You know why? Nigerians do not necessarily buy to meet needs, they buy to keep in with vougue/trend. Trend is one of the greatest determinant of consumption. Nigerians buy for prestige and recognition and there is nothing wrong with that: it is our culture; it is our nature and we are proud of it. Some people buy only one shoe, one car, one house et al, Nigerians just keep buying as long as there is money to be spent! Priceless.



The average Nigerian is not tailored for austerity, it is foreign to him because austerity is only imposed by condition and is not supported by our innate nature. A Nigerian student would have four phones, a Nigerian business man would have twelve houses in the same city (and he is not into real estate). A Nigerian politician would have a fleet of over twenty five cars…my my, what a market! In foreign countries there is a lot of talk about credits and down payments but in Nigeria, that concept is relatively new; so when you see a Nigerian with houses, cars, clothes, phones et al, it is more likely that he bought it! No loans, credits and borrowing; cash down! When the rest of the world open stores, they advertise: “Credit facility available, come in and let’s talk.” The defiant Nigerian puts this: “No credit today, come tomorrow” and when you come tomorrow the same sign is still there!



For the manufacturer, seller, marketer and custodian of buyable goods, when you enter the Nigerian market I tell you, you have come home. If you doubt me, ask MTN, Nokia, Toyota, Samsung, Cocacola, Pepsi and so many more, that I would need a million paged book to mention.



Nigeria? It does not get any greener than this!



“Now let me bring your mind to how you can take advantage of this for yourself because you would never be taught this in school and sadly even the foreign motivational literature would not tell you this either, so apparently it is exclusive information so pay attention as I continue in part 2 of this article”


Waiting in Tomorrow

Napoleon Hill has put it most precisely for us all: Think and Grow Rich! As simple as that sounds, it is the greatest truth about the acquisition of wealth till date. Through the years this thought has been refined in volumes of books, journals and motivational speeches and I would hope to do the same, though from a different angle which I am sure would be very illuminating for you. First, come with me on a journey through history.

As it has been, so it is and ever shall be; though the last time you heard these words may have been at the close of a catholic mass after the benediction and followed with a thunderous -Amen- it is so true about success and wealth acquisition also. This truth makes it possible and even expedient for people to understand history and trends in a bid to predict the future. So, away with crystal balls, good luck charms and destiny altering portions, look at the world you live in, think and grow rich…very rich.

The most successful people in the world today are those who have perfected the art of what I call; waiting in tomorrow. How do they do this? The majority of people in the world and probably you (until you read this article) are waiting for the future while the top two percent in the ranks and file of success are waiting in it. Let me explain what I mean briefly: In primitive times, when the early man was fascinated to rub rocks together and get a spark from which they could develop a fire to either cook, light up their environment, warm themselves or even dance around for fun, some men were discovering Iron. Soon the rest got the hang of it and started putting together iron for different purposes. Iron was heavy and hazardous, so while some were enduring the accompanying stress of this new discovery and some others were cursing the heavens for such a burden of a resource, some were discovering Steel. Steel seemed to solve the problem of the world in its day but since that is not possible, it did not. But steel was good, very good. So the history recorded greats like Andrew Carnegie who made ‘magic’ with steel. Then came the multitude; steel, steel steel but not for long as some were off to use implements of steel and iron to dig the grand for yet another discovery of their tomorrow: Oil! John D. Rockafella. Does that name ring a bell, the richest man in the world in recorded history! He was waiting in tomorrow with oil when the rest of the world soon came for this bounty merchandise (Note, he did not discover oil, he packaged it for enterprise. And that is a very big point right there). Then came the oil booms that made several resource blessed countries, like my home country (Nigeria) rich but by then some were already off to tomorrow! What was in tomorrow? Information technology. In the last ten years, Williams (Bill) Gates has been the world’s richest man more often than not. When people were fighting for oil blocks (nothing wrong with that), and some others were bunkering oil, this way and that, he and some others were waiting in the future. Now everybody needs I.T solutions, interestingly even the oil bunkers!

The world is fast paced, around the world, mostly in developed countries I.T has gained its deserved recognition and I tell you it is an amazing field of endless possibilities. However in developing countries this industry is still picking up momentum and I tell you, if you have the faintest passion for I.T get in and get in now.

Also let me bring your mind to this interesting word called; Patience. Some feel patience is waiting today for a brighter tomorrow and there is nothing really wrong with that only that there is something better; let me suggest this to you, how about waiting in tomorrow for the rest the world to get there and ask you for directions when they come? Sounds to me like a better place to wait!

Observe, explore, notice, measure, anticipate, judge. Times change and trends take up large amounts of money from the pockets of many, my question to you is this who is going to offer the next trend? And who is going to be merely buying and gloating in the fa├žade of being trendy? Friends and readers, think and grow rich! Find something that would sell in tomorrow by discovering creative ways to improve what is available today or simply introducing something totally new and extremely useful. And if you live in a developing country, all the better! (???Check out my article titled; Greener pastures do not get any greener than these).

I wish you all the best in your life endeavours. Talk to you soon. Or you can talk to me, leave a comment below and we would have started a potentially super instrumental conversation.

Brian Oji.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Greatness Sprouts Again!

The seed of greatness is in all of God’s children! The seed. A seed contains the full life capabilities of a fully matured tree in it; it is full of potential and when located in the right environment it must germinate! A seed does not produce the fruits of its physical environment whether soil, water or sunlight, it produces its intrinsic value, its innate framework, its inner substances. So it does not matter what you are faced with today, just keep in mind the quality of life that is within that seed that is growing in you. From platform to platform, unique opportunity to unique opportunity, challenge to challenge the seed is growing. Contrary winds would drive its roots deeper, supporting winds would stretch its branches farther… so for you no matter the time or season you are winning - the seed of greatness is in you and that seed would produce only after its own kind. Do not use careless words and alliances to dig up your sprouting seed rather with faith, perseverance, diligence and the consiousness of favour, live out a life of greatness on all sides. As the tree extends its roots and branches, the same quality of life is extended. Think about it, you can extend that greatness to all fronts of your life, what is in you is a seed of greatness so as you expand it in your family life, business, finances and other responsibilities, the same greatness runs through all that have to do with you! You can be great on all fronts - the seed of greatness is in you: the quality that makes all things you get involved with great is at work in you today. God, in Christ has put the seed of greatness in everyone of his kids. So next time you are about to take a leap forward in business and life, expect victories because that seed of greatness is about to extend yet another branch! Halleluyah! Thank Him for this great blessing.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

Heaven in your Heart


I just want you to know today that what you carry in your mind: that vision, that dream, the idea, the possibilities…are all too valuable. More valuable than one man’s idea or one man’s success story. That idea would bring solution to many, joy to many and opportunities to many more. What you carry in your heart is more than a vision, it is another man’s salvation. For you, you may have another great idea but for another, you carry his Heaven in your heart. Today, companies, large corporations, small businesses and sole proprietorships employ people in their thousands, hundreds, tens and less; these ones provide, not only salaries and compensation but also benefits of various quality.



When you think about the child who is excited to have his fees paid at school, or the mother excited about a new house; the man who can have his needs met, the woman who can live her style, when you think of comfort, healthcare, achievements, respect and recognition which is created for many by that great job or partnership, which you can provide some day, that turned their fortunes around, you would realize that you carry someone’s heaven in you. Project yourself into the future and see many others whom in your heart lives their source of wealth and prestige, see these ones who you carry their heaven in you.



Now you know you cannot give up on that dream or let that challenge overwhelm you because you carry heaven in you. Your idea would make you rich, but not you alone, so many others who your leadership style, your partnership offerings and market positioning is rightly suited for their wiring. You are the breakthrough many would pray for, you are the answer many would seek, the solution many would look to; the custodian of life changing collaborations and fortune multiplying partnerships, so hold your picture, you carry heaven in you.



Yes you may think a lot for other people and care enough not to leave them empty but know also that you carry your own heaven in you: the good life, your dream house, your perfect family, the prestige you both desire and deserve…all connected to that single idea, that vision that consumes you today or once consumed you yesterday. Now pick your hopes up, strengthen your vision, challenge yourself with the possibilities of the future and resolve to win; not just to give your best shot but to do what you must, to achieve what you see: that heaven that is alive in your heart.


Friday, October 22, 2010

STRENGTH TO YOUR SOUL


I love sitting and listening to wise words; I believe great men and women are made by words. On 7th December 2008, I sat to listen to my favourite speaker in all the world: Pastor Chris Oyakhilome (www.twitter.com/pastorchrislive). As always, his words were full of light and power; power to lift, strengthen and excite. Today I want to share some of his words from that meeting with you and I am sure that strength would come to your soul.



“You could be whatever you chose to be by the ability of the gospel of Jesus Christ. God’s perfect will is for you to decide. The Bible is a programmer. Know that the extent of your vision is the boundary of your blessing, accomplishment, victories and ultimately, your life. Do not let human judgment destroy your life and you despise no one because it does not matter what people say, anyone the Holy Spirit is pleased to dwell in is clean! And can be anything he wants to be.”



“When you study the Word of God, you are cleansed. To be cleansed before God is to have his word purify your soul. That word from God that melts guilt, fear, weakness and passed failures, replacing them with righteousness, faith and strength. The more of the spirit of God at work in you, the less the things of this world can affect you.”



Are you inspired? I am. Now I am thinking of releasing a journal titled; inspiration that would be loaded with words like these; words so precious; words that make ordinary men great!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Eastern PRIDE



Rulers and kings, not of nations and cities but of the jungle where civilization has been turned on its head and morality is foreign and perfectly unnatural. Aba, the local manufacturers’ paradise has been turned into a ghost town ruled by the barrel of guns; reduced to a land of fear, grief, immorality and sorrow. That is what happens when rulers fit only for the jungle begin ruling cities; even the greatest of cities would crumble in the embrace of sudden night. I have heard stories of despicable acts; sons forced to lie with their mothers at gun point, children having their intestines line the streets from radical, uncontrolled shooting by which these beasts in human skin assert dominance over their colonised territory.



You cruel pride of a demonic breed of blood thirsty lion-men with no hearts, I call you this day to reckon; the blood on your hands, the iniquity you have nurtured and your faulty excuses of unemployment would find you out and destroy you accordingly. Though my heart bleeds for your unborn descendants on whom you have placed an irrevocable curse, I also pray that their lives would right your wrongs and give this jungle its brighter days again. We have seen guns, we have seen kidnappings, we have seen violence, not that they are justifiable but they had a reason. In the Niger-delta, they fought for their rights and the dilapidation that embraces the source of the nation’s wealth, in the North many have fought in ignorant defense of religion; with more light and knowledge this should soon be history (because Northerners are very wonderful people), but this evil Pride, you operate in the commercial nerve centre of Abia state, the biggest indigenous manufacturers market in Nigeria, the centre of buying and selling for economic advantage and you chose to abandon both your shops and your schools to bushes where you romance wickedness and invite death and darkness to your own lands. I am amazed at your folly and I still ask you this question; to what end?

Monday, October 18, 2010

WHEN THE JOB SEARCH GOES SOUR


After school and national service


You have remained idle and unengaged


Your funds are fast depleting


As your pockets are full of tickets


From cybercafe to cybercafe


Nairalaland, naijahotjobs, career plus


Have made bank thanks to your misery


Yet without the end in sight


You gather like minds to voice old complains


For your old problem that requires new thinking.



When would this day pass?


And though you are wrinkling under the pressures


I pray you not to throw away your self assurance


Even though the job search has gone sour



Yes, Hope comes from time to time


Interview here and test there,


You imagine that this is it.


Maybe you flunk or you are exceptional


Yet the phone call never seems to come


You are looking for help;


Friends, old bosses, hiring agencies,


You seem to always be ready


But they are, for some reason, still getting set.


When you are encouraged by words


You feel the fire of possibility


So you apply more vigorously


Only to feel and see no progress


After zest and activities have run you overtime


You are lamenting and troubled


Just because the job search has gone sour



Will this nightmare ever end?


Yes it will, but I assure you;


Not in your times.


It may not be your most reassuring line


But it is the best truth I can deliver


In a nation with such a population


How do you nurse an expectation


that our little guises of industrialization


Will salvage our labour situation?


Maybe like I did, you may need to wake up.


There would never be enough jobs


Until there are enough businesses


There would never be few job seekers


Until there are many entrepreneurs.


So expect the job search to stay sour





Connect the dots if you may


And see that my words are true.


The question I then pose to you


Is: do you have the energy for this ordeal?


Which is clear to all above you


But you are still blindsided by a few miracles


Few others like you have experienced.


You may doubt your entrepreneurship abilities


Even as you are understanding my direction


But sometimes we develop abilities


Instead of expressing inherent ones.


I do not give you any suggestion today


But I lay the cards before your face;


Keep up the rat race and celebrate eventualities


Or invent a solution provider and enjoy possibilities…


Its up to you and you alone.


You may be full of dreams and handicapped for capital


But your idea is your capital


And negotiation and inventiveness are your best allies


To draw resources to you and change you life


Because, believe it or not


Most of the organizations you show up at


With your strapped resume and flawless suit (or otherwise)


Only started when the job search went sour.



Foot note: “If nobody gives you a job, make one!” - Pastor Chris Oyakhilome (PhD)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

FIGHTING SICKNESS

If you are in any battle today, I want you to know that you can win. Whether it is a deadly sickness or a wayward child, you can win! My closest friend lost his mother to stroke, by the time they started to respond to her condition, the infirmity had already eaten deep into her system, at that time she did not need medical care, she needed a miracle. Do not get to that point ever! Tackle any sickness as it comes and do not bow out. Another friend of mine had a similar experience with her father but he pulled through because they took him to the doctors early and gave him a lot of love and support. She said sometime the doctors’ reports were good, at other times it was a complete disaster but they stayed positive and kept their dad positive. They did not mess with his medications and they tried as much as possible to give him a normal life while he was sick. He was not always in bed because that would have given him bed sores and that is so terrible especially for diabetic people. They played with him and gave him much to want to live for, not for once did they show any frustration because of the sacrifices they had to make to give him all the care they did. Yes it was a big drain but they kept the end in sight and today the man is free, agile and very well.

That is how to tackle sickness…tackle it with heart and might, you can win; you would win.

GO WITH YOUR GUTS!

A lot of people deliberate for so long before taking a decision and while that can be a good thing, it is not always appropriate for all situations. You may not know enough about a decision but you should always know enough about what you feel about it. I will share you a story on this. Years ago, when my dad retired from his job at CAT, he went into private practice. Before this, he had used his retirement benefits to help build up my mom’s school - Glory Heights Schools and then the school was not turning over as expected. Also, another investment of his went sour. He bought a generator that he was to be using for rental services but the contractor that was expected to maintain the generator got greedy and bought inferior parts to use in making the generator ready for use, after only two days of use, the generator’s engine packed up and that was it, millions of naira worth of investment was down the drain. We were all hoping for some kind of intervention to really drive his private business. Then in our marketing efforts, sending our introduction letters to several facility managers, we were getting fed up but we did not give up. And good thing we did not because an opportunity came from it; my dad got a call to come carry out a contract worth millions of naira, the pay was good but the terms were dicy. The completion of the job was not enough, it had to be approved and if the approval did not pull through then not a dime was paid. Well, that would not have been a problem except for one thing, my dad had to personally finance the contract and was at a big risk of losing all the money if something went wrong. However, the diciest of all was that if there was a shortage of funds at any point in the contract, it was over, another contractor would be called in and that would be it. Sadly, we did not have the kind of money to finance such a contract and we reached a consensus as a company to forfeit the contract and continue the way we were. But my dad had a different idea, he knew it would be hard work to get the money needed but it was possible. In his wisdom, he was able to cut costs on various aspects of the contract, he took the chance and signed the contract; accepting whatever consequences may follow. It was not really a financially safe decision, it was a risk and the cards were not really in his favour but he followed his gut and today his company, Gosch Technologies is one of the biggest names in generators servicing and maintenance in Lagos, Nigeria, that contract was a door to may others. As a matter of fact we are still reaping the benefits of that daring decision today. Sometimes you just have to go with your guts…period.

NEVER GET BOGGED DOWN…NEVER

Yes, because there is absolutely no need; it weakens you and narrows any options of victory that you may have. I see a lot of people who have to handle a tremendous amount of responsibilities and they just carry on, with a great attitude and you would never know what they have to deal with on a daily basis unless you are told. I have also seen folks on the other side of the divide that get easily bogged down and literary choke under pressure and they are not having any fun in their lives, at least not any more. But I know there are always pressures in the world, in fact nature itself has a lot of pressure inherent in it; look we have air pressure, water currents (pressure), seeds forming their roots with pressure through the soil…there is pressure everywhere and just as there are pressures, there are winners and there is no acceptable reason why you should not be a winner. I knew a lady one time, actually, she was a colleague of mine when I worked as a broadcaster, her name is Faridah Muktar. Faridah always did her work freely and made a lot of friends while doing it, one of whom was me. Coming close to her, I discovered that her parents were separated and years before, her mother sent her out of her house where they were staying together in another city. She went to live with her dad in the city where we met. Weeks into our relationship, she told me that her dad and her step mom had sent her out of the house again! With no where to go, she went to stay with her grandmother. Her grand mother gave her hell on earth but she was never bogged down. Imagine being rejected by your parents and having to stay with your grandmother who treats you like thrash. That was horrible. She was a very lovely girl surrounded with very angry people so they really did not like her around also her mother sent her out under the guise that she was becoming irresponsible when actually the mother was having financial constraints and her father was influenced by his new wife. You would think Faridah would wallow in self pity…no way! She had her game attitude and went on to be one of the most successful broadcasters in that city. Faridah Muktar is a regular lady with no special powers and she never got bogged down by life’s pressures, why should you?

PERSISTENCE…MY GOODNESS, WE NEED THAT SOMETIMES

It appears that in the rank and file of success, persistence always paid off. Did you ever read about Steve Jobs and how he got booted off a company he founded only for him to work harder, start two new companies - NeXT and PIXAR, in the face of great uncertainty and public disgrace? He kept on doing what he knew best and today, back at Apple, he is undoubtedly one of the greatest inventors of our day. Or did you hear the story of Bill Zanker, founder of The Learning Annex who has so many experiences of the power of persistence, in fact one time, after Bill received a ‘No’ on his request to have Murray Klein of Zabar, a New York food store, speak at The Learning Annex, he (Bill) kept sending him flowers everyday until Murray was tired of the gifts and just had to hear bill out? Bill was creative; he was a possibility thinker and that is true persistence - a solution of doggedness, creativity and tireless activity. Bill said he has used that method several times to convert nos to yeses and you can do the same too.

The power of an idea

Let me bring your mind to something: when you understand the power of an idea; a simple thought, then you know how easy it is to give in and give up. Persistence needs power, drive and excitement to flourish and be fruitful. A simple, ‘let me postpone this’, ‘let me move this’, ‘I really cannot accomplish this’ can veer you off your way and keep you at the same level in life for a long time. Now let me share more on persistence with you from my own personal life.

Stay in the zone

I know persistence pays…every time. In June 2009 I had to move to a strange part of the country to fulfill a national decree that every graduate should do a compulsory one year service to the country. With this development graduates were randomly scattered across the country where they were expected to live for a period of one year and at the same time assimilate the culture of the people there, all part of National integration. Good idea? Yes. However many graduates remain presumptuous, unknown to them it is an experience of a lifetime one that can boost your ego, spirit and resume or chew you up and spit you out. It was for me an opportunity to tap into the power of persistence once again. Let me tell you the story.

When the postings were read, I was sent to Kaduna state. I had never been there nor did I have any relations there. Practically, I was on my own. In Kaduna, you are either posted to the villages or to the city. The village was not the better option of the two by far. And sadly, I was posted there. One night in Pambegua village was enough to stir me to challenge the circumstances that stare me in the face and I was going to change that posting; a task I was prepared to take head on. Pambegua was horrible, no light, lots of bushes, few cars, sporadic phone network…just terrible. Some of my mates that were posted there were going to resign to their fate but I said not me! People were surely going to change their postings and I must be one of them. I resolved that even if it was one posting that was changed It was going to be mine. The next days saw me receive more nos than I had ever received in my entire life, and unlike some super success stories, the nos did not make me any stronger rather they made me weaker and upset. No after no and my hope was dying out but I always did something; I never for once lost faith or used my mouth to state the obvious which was that this case was getting hopeless. Rather I encouraged myself with bible stories and words that strengthen. So you can say; the nos made me weak but my mouth made me stronger. The nos came from other people who I had to meet but my mouth is here with me always so I was never really soul-battered.

Strategy and/or chance

Persistence can pay off through a fantastic strategy ( like that of Bill Zanker) or a chance happening especially after you have exhausted all possibilities. My advice is always this; hang in there. Keep your head up and expect great things. Some people may call that living in a fantasy world but they forget that all the inventions they use in their daily life was one man’s fantasy one day. Why should you leave your own fantasy for another generation to invent? No, by all means fantasize and pull your fantasy into their reality. As for me in Kaduna, no strategy could help me anymore so I just hung in there and kept on going to the secretariat where I knew I could have the posting changed. Mind you all this while, time was passing and serious trouble was looming if time passed beyond a certain date. But right there is another lesson on persistence. In keeping afloat, sticking with the game and hanging in there, you have to keep yourself in the zone of possibility; in the environment that is enabling; share proximity with your aspiration, do not go home and expect. Stay in the zone and expect.

A chance meeting

One girl I did not know and did not know me, was so instrumental. She had a very good rapport with the officials at the secretariat and even that was not about to pay off until we made a very bold move. Bold moves are big moves; make them and you would surely be glad you did. We walked up to the director of the secretariat, a very busy man. That evening he had several high level officials waiting to see him, but we found our way in and spoke with him for less than a minute and his immediate response to our bold move was…no! This was the biggest man to help out in this thing, even if we contacted the president of the country, the approval still had to be done through him! So we had to try again, the same day, he said no but the third time, he signed the papers and I was reposted to the city. Persistence pays!

Remember all we discussed here:

1. Make up your mind to experience the power of persistence in your life and you will

2. People may turn you down but do not turn yourself down with the wrong words; if you must talk, talk yourself up.

3. Whether it is a chance occurrence or a great strategy that pays off, persistence only works for those that remain within reach, assessable; within the zone

4. Take bold steps, they fell really great and they could pay off big time

5. Try, try, try again. One is not sufficient a number to make true impact, once is not sufficient to judge an effort fruitless.

So I am sure you would agree with me when I say: Persistence, my goodness…we need that sometimes.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

THE CRAFT OF THE WORDSMITH

He meticulously and skillfully conjures expressions to the delight of his listeners. They applaud as their minds open up to various layers of meaning arrange within his few but well crafted words. Sometimes after seconds of consideration, they break into laughter or nod calmly as they assimilate the thought that has been so well clad in brightly coloured words.

In his design, he delivers effortlessly, the fruits of a tight network of perspectives which deliver illuminating narrations of pure excellence. He looks unruffled: has obviously given much thought to his performance but without sounding rehearsed, he delivers originality, believability and candor.

He stands tall; whether there be a podium or just a position for his feet, he smiles, winks, pruds or even sighs to input emotion into his flawless speeches. He is an orator, a motivator who is full of humour as he is full of intent. He is the artful communicator; a quick thinker, a careful observer and with witty answers, well chosen symbols and real life examples, he keeps audiences, the World over awe bound as they admire the Craft of the Wordsmith.

09/10