Browsing Category: Career

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Sometimes pursuing your goals can be exhausting. I had spent hours planning a photoshoot for my new product, only to be let down by the colors of my labels, the lighting, and the sunlight. I was disappointed and got very emotional. I also spent over 18 hours looking for a Web developer to design a new web application for my start-up business, and it has been overwhelming combing through hundreds of messages, jumping on one Skype call and another.
Building a dream can be time-consuming the journey of getting to the point where you can show off what you’ve been building, can feel like hell. Most times we forget that the journey is part of the dream. It is all-encompassing, its the full package.

Dreams are sometimes like that, they are never as expected. We plan things out perfectly in our heads but reality gives us a check and we must adjust accordingly. There are several ways to combat the funk that comes up when things don’t work out as planned.

#1: Let it flow. Sometimes what we focus so much on perfecting isn’t always necessary. In the case of my photoshoot, I focused on the positives, adjusted a few things and went along with the process.

#2: Don’t get funky: it’s easy to get upset, discouraged, and downright funky because you didn’t have your way. You have to keep one thing in mind (nothing good comes easy). Always remember that when next you hit a block on your way to greatness. In my case, I focused only on the positive and put a spin on the photoshoot.

#3: Step back: One way to not flat line and kill your dream, is to step back and re-access; ideas can come at us with grandeur and our budget, skills, and resource can’t make it out the way we see it in our heads. It’s okay to step back and find another angle to accomplish your goals without losing your mind.

The truth is your dreams have a life of their own. They may not always take the intended course but be rest assured that they will come true.

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Career

How to tap into your persuasive ability

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According to John Baldoni If you need to make an argument about an issue about which you feel very strongly, don’t use rhetoric. Tell a story. 

He gave an example, and here is it:

Representative Keith Ellison spoke to the press before hearings convened by Representative Peter King to investigate the radicalization of American Muslims in the United States. After making his case about why Muslims were being unjustly singled out by the hearings, Ellison closed his statement with a story about Mohammed Salman Hamdani, a paramedic who perished on 9/11 while trying to rescue those trapped in the Twin Towers. Ellison described how some sought to tarnish Hamdani’s sacrifice by calling attention to his Islamic faith. The story, and Ellison’s emotional delivery, helped make his message powerful.

This example shows how you can make a point without putting people on the defensive. It’s usually hard to look away from your goal for a bit but that’t what you need to do. Don’t be in a hurry to convince people, work on your story.

Why Persuasion is Necessary Skill

There is no career path or position you find yourself that does not require you to persuade others. The amount of belief people place in a path, determines how well it would succeed. If you are in business or at work, you need to be persuasive with your colleagues. At home, there are a lot of decisions that require the cooperation of every member. The more time you spend working on your persuasive ability, the less you spend resolving conflict.

A personal lesson

I remember during my service year, I had a plan to raise money for an orphanage visit. I talked to my boss and others to raise money for the visit, her reply has ever stuck with me. She said “you are the one who had an intention to reach out to orphans for your birthday, just go with the little you are able to raise and if others are interested, they should do the same but don’t expect such from people.” I am just paraphrasing her statements.

You must be willing to accept that most people don’t know your back story and they would need more convincing than you do. Learn to tell stories. Here are simple tips to keep in mind when building your delivery:

  1. Never be in a hurry to tell it all.
  2. Understand your audience.
  3. Determine the core message and present it as early as possible.
  4. Don’t bore people with details they do not need.
  5. Give the story life, use imagery and descriptions.
  6. Personalize your story.
  7. Make the listener feel they are part of the story.

The list continues, but you can work with this seven points listed above. Persuasion is the oil of every process. When it runs dry, the system starts to grind uncomfortably.

 

You can learn more about persuasion and personal growth with the Designed life Academy. Click here for more information. 

 

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Yesterday I went off to church feeling really good about my haircut and the spring air. There was this spring to my steps, I had also just recovered from a little discomfort in my thigh. For some reason I was happy and my steps had a bounce to them. I even got the contact of that girl I had always been eying in church. I ended my procrastination and got the girl. Don’t tell me you only go to church for the hymns!

I first thought it was the haircut but later realized it was not. Earlier in the weekend I found my on-line course “Business Metrics for Data-Driven Companies” had commenced and I had just a day to submit my first quiz. The last thing I did before sleeping on Saturday night was to open up the course page and go to bed. I woke up and started out on the course immediately till I completed my quiz. That achievement of a goal set my day on a very productive path and I felt good or even better about my haircut and my cheap T-Shirt.

One of the biggest dents to your knight armor is procrastination; consequently feeling unproductive. The less productive you think your day has been, the worse the mental picture you have about yourself. A lot of us spend a large part of our time doing things that we know deep down are not the most economically productive things we could be doing. We keep shoving those big tasks away why?

A few reasons I can think of:

 1.  It’s Ugly:

Think of the Lagos rat, the elephant beetle or the frog. These are simply mental illustrations of some of the worst tasks you could have in your day. Brian Tracy used the frog analogy in his book “Eat that frog.” I also came across a lot of references to the “elephant beetle” by Kirsty O’Callaghan. There was even this post I saw written by Tifanny, she had a dream about the elephant beetle. This scary dream had practically led her to solving her procrastination habit. I had to think of something Nigerians can relate to, so I thought of the Lagos Rat. One of the biggest triggers of procrastination is that life in itself is rarely roses and candy.

Most of the things that would bring you the success you need are the ugly tasks you have for the day, week, month or year. Using the Pareto rule, I dare say 20 percent of what you should do in a day are ugly tasks and these ugly tasks constitute eighty percent of the success you will have.

 2. Distractions:

There are always so many things calling for your attention and you will achieve very little if you keep trying to do everything. I saw a Forbes article refer to this as “Multitasking.” The quote by Liesa Taylor advises you to stop trying to multi-task. This part of the article did not sit well with me. I also think not every influential person has the right perspective to problem solving, you have to be careful while reading those anti-procrastination quotes compiled by Forbes. Multitasking is a rare skill that a lot of people would pay good money to learn and I consider myself one of the few people who has mastered this skill or habit. This tells a lot in the way I respond to writing requests and also social activities. I have been able to monitor several social accounts at the same time and still satisfy my clients.

The problem is not multi tasking, the problem is an inability to focus on one single task per moment in time. You must be able to have a clear focus on one task per moment of your time if you are going to beat procrastination. Understand that time cost is a factor of measuring how successful you will be at your daily task. If you are an employee that costs so much to your company, you should be thinking of how best to employ some of these ideas to your time management practice. It could save your job.

 3. Clarity:

when you lack clarity on what is most important to you, there is a lot of chance that you would procrastinate. As I have explained earlier, most of us do a lot of things that are not relevant to our goals and objectives. Maybe we have not even clarified or set any goals. This could be the reason you are procrastinating. Maybe you do not know how that “Lagos rat” fits into your overall goal as an individual. You do not see this as an opportunity to be more productive and achieve success.

 4. Perfection:

a lot of us push things away because we always think that things have to be perfect before we take action. Brian Tracy says in his book -it’s far better to take action on an averagely laid out plan than take none on a perfect plan- We have been taught to avoid average results, so we wait for the perfect moment, and we do nothing. There is never going to be a perfect time, place, person or team. Just do something, anything. I have continued to review some of the things I achieved through writing. This assessment makes me fear that I may not be doing a perfect job. I have written books that sometimes make me feel I could have done better. Meanwhile, you should still get my books, they have helped my friends. I have hardly gotten the perfect team to work with, I keep letting some people off while bringing others on. Working with writing teams have shown me that life is all about hypothesis.

In the business metric course I am taking on Coursera, one of the things we were taught about optimizing profitability is A/B testing. You are expected to offer different options of your most likely profitable prices, then see which one sells more. Life is full of uncertainties and without much data, it could be frightening to start anything at all. The first way to know what’s perfect is to try out all the best options you have on any given task. Then see which one gives you the best results.

 5. Fear:

If you have allowed any of the points from 1-4 to affect you, then the chances are that you are afraid of doing anything significant. The fear of failure sets in when you are a Perfectionist, Lack clarity, Focus on distractions and can’t embrace the fact that life is full of ugly “Lagos rats” on your way to success.
How can you Beat Procrastination?

First I will recommend you check through some of the posts I have referenced because they have tackled this extensively. Also I have downloaded a copy of Brian Tracy’s “Eat that frog.” His thoughts are succinct, the chapters are straight to the point. The ideas in Tracy’s book should get you pumped up and active. You should download it too.

Here is my strategy for beating procrastination:

 1.  Work with a list:

This is something I do a lot. I have a diary for almost every year, and I feel it up with ideas and notes to myself. It helps me clarify my most important tasks and also shows me some life goals I set. Perspective is what you get from a list. How best can I do the best task I need to do for my best possible outcome?

 2. Take action:

Every minutes spent doing nothing is time wasted. Find out one simple task you can accomplish within the time and circumstances you find yourself. There are tasks I complete on a bus ride, like posting stories on my social network or tweeting. While I have to get to an office or my room to work on my research.

 3. Share your stories:

The quiz I almost missed was part of one post I made a night or two before. The thought just struck me, I had celebrated getting a financial aid for that course but not started classes. It’s a good thing I shared that news with my friends. In a way put my goal of running the course out there. In fact one of the best practices encouraged for e-learning is that students should share their journey with their social networks as it ensures they would more likely finish the course. So celebrate your tasks and achievements by sharing some of your stories with your friends. This also ensures that they hold you accountable.

What’s Your Strategy?

Okay, I am sure my list of strategies are probably not exhaustive or the best. I think you may have some important bit of experience to share with people. Quickly try this task in the comment section; tell me what you think you have been procrastinating about. How you plan to beat the habit this week? Maybe you don’t procrastinate, you can also tell me why you think you don’t procrastinate. I would really love to hear from you.

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Goals are a great tool for motivation. But if you don’t use them correctly, they can also be a source of frustration. They are only empowering if they are used properly. So how do you make a goal into something that is a benefit for you?

Strategies are important, especially to help you create the type of success you desire and deserve.

Here are five techniques to help you realize good results.

1. Balance: In your life, you will have personal development, personal finance, and other goals. Don’t neglect any of them. It is ok to want things, but don’t forget to balance those pursuits with your own growth as a person. All of these are important so be clear about all of them and make them real for you.

2. Plan Actions: Goals are not items for your to-do list. It is what you are striving for. Plan specific actions that lead you towards your desired results. Use them to provide your compass for those actions. When you plan actions for the day you can easily tell if they’re going to be effective if you have clear goals to compare them against.

3. Share: If you were an archer, would you keep it a secret that you want to hit the bull’s eye? Too many keep their target a secret. Share them with people who will support and encourage you.

4. Write it: Make your goals real by recording them. Put copies of this on index cards and keep copies in the car and in the bathroom and review them regularly. Make them the center of your focus. Don’t just set them and then ignore them. Your goals are like a compass to tell you which way to go. The exciting part is that you get to chose the alignment of your compass.

5. Don’t Give Up: Don’t be afraid to try something, fail and try something else. Take effective and massive action to meet your goals and understand that any true goals will take many steps to achieve. Sometimes you will make a misstep, but that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s only those who abandon their direction who don’t achieve them.

GET STARTED!

Photo by Zachary Nelson on Unsplash
Photo by Zachary Nelson on Unsplash

 

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Career, Entreprenuership

Collaborate or Die

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Collaboration is essentially the lifeline of any entrepreneur. In essence, we can only rise by lifting others, by collaborating, by sharing, etc. Amazing brands are not a result of solo efforts, they thrive by joining forces to create brands that are beyond our imagination. It’s about letting go of the fear of losing control of our dreams and letting others teach us and help us grow.

Earlier on in my career, I decided that I couldn’t do it alone, even if I could. I have always believed in the power of collaboration. When I started Eleviv, I had wanted to go at it alone. I met with clients, designed their branding (alone), formulated strategies by myself. I realized pretty quickly that I was doomed to fail if I had continued being the QUEEN OF THE BALL. Although I wasn’t able to hire new talents, I collaborated with companies and individuals to help with areas in my business I wasn’t fit to master.

 

“Collaboration isn’t about giving up our individuality; it’s about realizing our greater potential.” ― Joseph Rain
Trying to be competent in all areas of your business puts you on a fast track to total BURN OUT. The most important thing is giving away some control so you can focus on what matters most.  Ideas are usually limited to one’s abilities when you go at it alone. But collaborating opens the doors of your business to innovation and exponential growth. You cannot afford to go on this entrepreneurial journey alone. It’s cold, and not too friendly to slackers. You need an amazing team, learn to outsource, give yourself time to focus on your core strengths.If for instance you’ve been commissioned to build a small house, and you gathered all of the materials to build this house, you have all of the master plan to build an amazing house however, your dreams were shattered because it took 3 years to complete. But If you were building the same home, and you have 10 people on your team. One can prepare the site, a second pour the foundation,  another the rough framing, the fourth person works on the plumbing, electrical and HVAC, the fifth installs the insulation, etc. You get the picture! Before long the home is ready to go and within a matter of months, it’s complete. There is strength in numbers, let that be your focus in the upcoming weeks.

 

Vivian Okojie

www.vivianokojie.com

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It is not ambition that kills you. Ambition only acts as a catalyst. It drives you and fills you up with positive energy which you can harness into achieving something great. Stasis, on the other hand, can drive you nuts. Staying dormant will never propel you toward greatness. It will, however, enslave you and create room for resentment towards yourself and others. It kills you slowly.

Surround yourself with people who challenge you to be a better version of yourself. Be with people who bring positive energy to the table.

Protect your ambition, Protect your space.

You cannot allow negative people into your space. They will only end up stealing from you without remorse. They will steal your happiness. They will steal your joy. They will make everything you worked so hard for seeming worthless until you become one of them; not going forward, not going backward- caught in the middle. They will not stop until you are on their level and that is when you begin to die slowly, your creative energy and enthusiasm for life wanes until you become just a shadow. The painful part is you know you are spiraling downwards yet you are helpless because the type of people you allowed in who ought to have been the people helping you regenerate are doing the opposite of that. They are degenerative and that is your disadvantage.

You cannot make progress if you do not put a stop to it. Be done with all that. Enough of all that.What your mind can conceive, you can achieve. Draw from your well of strength and break free. Even when they are clawing at you, fight them off. You cannot be in the dark and expect to see the light without lighting a torch and once you break free, never look back. Re-establish yourself and amplify your energy by connecting with those who not only remind you of who you are but also help and challenge you to put your energy to good use and see your dreams and aspiration through.

 

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