How My Zambian Mentee Made this Year Count

I don’t like to think of myself as a mentor perse because I am only living a life of purpose but the reality is that I just happen to be one, that is exactly how God Almighty designed it. I say this because I have gone from being a guy who started blogging out of frustration to being one who reaches millions every day both locally and internationally through TV, Print, Radio & Online.

Be that as it may, one lesson I believe God has been teaching lately is to stop underestimating my capacity and reach – this is because I find myself asking him certain questions every now and then because some things don’t just add up to me.

A number people that I have met on this journey admire me like one genius, some say to me how did it all happen, you must be very smart to be able to manage multiple platforms at the same timen – comments like these simply make me laugh, seriously because they have no clue whatsoever.

See all that has happened is simply what I refer to as time and chance (Ecclesiastes 9:11), no more, no less. It is basically the grace of God in the life of a nobody, whom He has chosen to make somebody. Let me not start with the doubts, struggles, fears, pressures, expectations, too much exposure etc. all of which combine to make me want to escape to neverland (wherever that is) every now and then 🙂

All I can say, is “Only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches.”

This post is not exactly about me, it is simply to encourage you not to despair irrespective of how the year started or ended. Yes, many of your goals may not have come to fruition and yes you may have experienced some difficulties which makes you sad irrespective. Well, I encourage you not to lose hope and faith.

I hope Kingston’s story cheers you up?

Now to the main reason why I am writing this post, first is to thank God for a challenging yet fantastic year and next to share the story of one of my long distance mentees who hasn’t met in person but has implemented many of the principles I have shared on this blog and other platforms.

Earlier in the year, he sent me the below mail:

Kingston AliHello CFA,

 
We are connected on on social media accounts. I am a Zambian who has been greatly inspired by your works especially in the area of ICT Presentations because that where we share much of the same interest. I want to learn more from you as I want to join your field as a Technology Columnist in one of our local news papers. I have seen there is a gap here in Zambia and would like to seize this opportunity share, inform, educate, advise, comments on technological issues in zambia thorough the media.
 

I will be glad to hear more from you, be mentored and realize the value of being relevant to this lie.

 

I won’t bore you with the details of the back and forth communication we have had but below is a screenshot of his recent post;

ICT Matters with Mwila Kingston Ali
ICT Matters with Mwila Kingston Ali
I by no means take any glory whatsoever for his success – all glory must return to the creator of the universe. The reason I am sharing his story is simply because this guy has not met me in person, all he has done is follow my work online and see the impact he is already making in his home country, Zambia.

In Febuary, he was hoping to own a column, he went to work and by December it has all become a reality, without a degree in journalism or prior writing experience as such. ICT Matters with Mwila Kingston Ali is the result of believing, thrusting God and going for it against all odds. Very similar to some of my experiences which you can read here.

A big congrats to you, Mwila Kingston for your strides and achievements this year. I wish you the very best in the years to come. One thing is certain, I’d sure have you visit Nigeria someday to share your remarkable story. Keep pressing on buddy & here’s wishing you God’s continuous grace and blessings.

My final words is to wish everyone out there a truly happy new year full of God’s blessings and favour, in Jesus mighty name, Amen!
Don’t forget to put God first in all you do and make Jesus Christ the master of your life in the coming year.

Win $30,000 in NESCAFE’s Get Started Project

Late last year, NESCAFE gathered 10 bloggers in Accra, Ghana for the Get Started Conference which was the start of the planning process towards ensuring that the 2015 #GetStartedAfrica project turns out to be the best ever.

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So the big question is do you have a dream that can make the difference in Africa? It’s time to stop dreaming and make a move to share your ideas with NESCAFÉ and you just might be the lucky winner of $30,000.

This competition is open to folks between ages of 18 – 30 living in Central and West Africa.

Truth, is that I wish I had more of this sort of opportunities when I was much younger 🙂 anyways I don’t qualify to enter for this but am happy that I get a chance to participate as an influencer.

5 Golden Rules to Get Started

These are the rules of the game as enacted by NESCAFE so do your best to abide by it or you get disqualified.

1. Your dream must not be of material benefit to oneself.
2. Your dream should focus on one of these categories: Technology,
Arts and Culture, Community Development, Environment or Health.
3. Your dream must have an action plan.
4. Your dream must start something big for you and people around you.
5. Make us fall in love with your dream and we’ll help you to get it started.

All you need to do to be part of this project is to drop your dreams and ideas here.

Wishing you all the best!

Organise your life and business with Mind Maps

We live in a highly distracting world, so it is your responsibility to look out for tools and strategies that will help you stay sane and productive otherwise you might suffer from information overload and indecision.

Let me introduce one tool that has helped me tremendously despite the fact that I do not use it as often as I ought to but each time I use it, I get the results I expect. A mind map is simply a brain tool that helps you in any sort of brainstorming activities – here is the link to the post I wrote on mind mapping a while ago.

I suggest you watch this video by Tony Buzan, a man known as the Father of Mind Maps

So let me share with you a tiny part of the CFA mind map, that connects the dots of all my activities both online and offline:

CFA mind maps....

You would not believe how huge and elaborate this map is, I could write a 100 page book on it. As you may have noticed, I did cut out some stuff because it is not yet time for them to be revealed but what I want you to get is the concept and not the content of my goals. I have clearly shared my brand into 2 main parts and that forms the choice of activities I get involved with going forward. As shown above my ultimate goal or end point is to be a positive influencer and partnerships is at the core of CFA.

The beauty about this is that I have a 10 year plan of my life on a single piece of paper. What sort of goal setting would you still recommend that I do? I hope you get the point on what can be achieved through the effective use of mind maps?

So CFA, what mind mapping tool should I use?

There are a number of mind mapping tools out there, most of them are paid but there are a few free ones that I have found to be useful. But, if you can afford it, then go for a premium version that is the online way we can keep the innovation on the Internet growing. Below are some you can try:

Go give mind mapping a trial and do come back to share the experience. It looks complex but trust me its a fun exercise!

How to become more productive blogger in 3 steps

How to Become a More Productive Blogger in 3 Steps

Productivity is the ultimate goal of every job in the world, not only in the task of blogging. You can spend hours and hours wasting time not because of your lack of talent but due to the numerous distractions in your life. Here we will be discussing the 3 steps that will help you manage your time and transform you into a more productive blogger.

Step 1: Introduction to productivity

  • First part of introduction to productivity involves having a clear idea is to why you’re doing all of this?; the blogging or any other work. Your reasons can be monetary or it can be pastime hobby, that depends entirely on you but once you have a clear idea on the why part;  you just need to keep on reminding yourself that whenever you face distractions or feel like sidetracking.
  • Next part involves figuring out the time of day in which you are capable of focusing on the task for instance blogging completely. This time period should not be overlapping the time for TV or your meal times because concentration takes time to develop and these distractions will dislodge you; forcing you to start from scratch.
  • The last part in this process is forgetting the unimportant stuff while working. It’s quite common to have the urge to scroll the web in search of ideas, reply to emails during writing but mostly all of these activities instead of helping the work set us back many hours. Start with the idea that comes to your mind, work on it. Once you’re done with it only then search on ways to improve it, this way you will only be making better your prototype plan instead of being stuck and confused in the middle.

How to become more productive blogger in 3 steps

Step 2: Organizing your life Once you have started the journey on the road to productivity than this will require; that you organize your life to keep on moving forward on the road. Start by organizing your workspace. Whether it’s your office or a desk in your room, remove all the unnecessary stuff in the workspace that isn’t required and throw it away. Cleaning the desk will help clear your mind and make it feel fresh. Second part in this step is coming up with a to- do list. Write all the things you need to do for a certain time period e.g. this week. Once you have written down everything then arrange the tasks in the order of your priorities. Those stuff with earlier deadline need to be put on a higher mark. This organization will help you manage your time, you won’t forget any of the tasks and you will have the tasks done according to deadlines. Once finished you can start crossing stuff from the to- do lists. This is an important step for increasing your productivity as for a blogger deadlines are very important. The last part of organization is figuring out the most important task of the day and then giving your complete attention to it. Decide what requires your attention first, start focusing on it. Keep your mind on to the work and finish it. People tend to get bored so they start two or three tasks at one time and the end result is that at the end of the day not one of them is near completion. Step 3: Maximize the productivity You can maximize your productivity by using a number of tools available just for this purpose. One of the most important tools for bloggers is Freedom for PC and Selfcontrol for Mac users. This tool restricts your access to the sites you add for a time period set by you. This is helpful for keeping us away from the distractions like Facebook etc. Some other tools available are any.do for to –do lists, time doctor for time tracking etc. There is another technique that can help in maximizing the productivity called Pomodoro technique; which aims at regular short breaks while working. Results show the technique is quite effective in increasing productivity. You can set it for like 5 mins break after 30 mins of work. Lastly some of the more popular ways are the easy ways of increasing your productivity involve the use of templates and outsourcers. Templates are a sure way of saving a lot of time normally wasted on creating stuff from scratch. You can also try outsourcing the work you feel better handled by experts of the field instead of trying your hand at them and failing. These three steps are sure to increase you productivity if applied in the spirit. Always remember if you feel tired take a break, Remember to take care of your body because a tiresome mind can never be productive. Did this help you in increasing your productivity? Let us know by leaving a comment. Creative Commons: Rob

My 2013 Goals – Personal and Professional.

Do you love to set goals?

Goal setting is good for you and I am a little old school, therefore I am of the school of thought that says; you should clearly write your goals rather have it in your head. I totally agree!

Ever come across this?

….Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. – Hab. 2:2

Now my intention here is to help someone get into the habit of setting goals. Tell you the truth goal setting is not fun especially when you are just getting started but as soon as you get used to it, you will always flow…..

Last year, I published my 7 Commitments for 2012 and asked readers here to please hold me accountable – a few (notably Joe Oye) made it a point of duty to always ask about the progress and this put me on my toe.

Key Personal Goals for 2013.

1. Devote more time for God Almighty – the Creator of All.

Tell you the truth my view of life changed totally after the shocker of December 2011 (which you can read here), that taught me that life is too short and transient for most of the things we bother about.

Just like 2012, my top priority this year is to get to know God the more and ultimately prepare for the 2nd coming of our Lord and saviour, Jesus Christ. Do you feel me? God is more than enough friend!

2. More time for my Family

Would you expect anything less from a father of 3? 🙂 Seriously speaking now, I would be devoting a minimum of 1 hr a day for family when I am in town. The nature of my job makes me present but absent because it requires my full concentration. It will a brief period of switching off all gadgets and just focusing on them. So help me God!

3. Volunteer more time to NGOs

In my capacity as a public speaker and trainer, I volunteer my time freely to a number organisations such as:

  • FATE Foundation.
  • Sam Ohuabunwa Foundation for Economic Empowerment (SOFEE).
  • Prof. Pat Utomi’s Center for Values and Leadership (CVL).

Notwithstanding my busy schedule, I intend to remain committed to these organizations. In future, I might write a book on how “Volunteering is guaranteed way to success” especially if you are genuinely passionate about it.

It has worked for me. So my advice to you is to volunteer your time (or give your resources) to someone or an organisation in need.

4. Improve on my Time Management skills.

If you think your life is not where it should be, then you need to consider certain actions or activities such as your goals and how you manage your time?

  • Do you spend all day facebooking or tweeting and expect to be financial free?
  • Would you rather sleep when you should be reading?
  • Is your confession “God will provide all my needs” while you are busy eating your seed?
  • How long do you spend watching movies?

All these and many related factors will have a fatal outcome, if you keep at it and look closely they all have a link with poor time management.

I am also guilty of poor time management, so I have set a goal to simply move around on a daily basis with a planner (or us evernote on my device), so that I can note and monitor my daily activities with an intention to make the best out of each day.

I would love to say more but I am unable to because the other goals are much more private.

Key Professional Goals for 2013

1. Publish a book related to Digital media, Internet marketing and Social Media in the 1st 90 days of 2013. Watch out for this!

2. Start writing another book Mobile Marketing and have it ready for publishing in the next 365 days.

3. Start off a membership site focused on my niche for my subscribers and audience in the next 90 days.

4. Seek more partnerships in new industries. Last year, I talked a lot about why small business owners are better off partnering with others. Feel free to read one of the posts here.

5. Keep up with my current pace of personal development by attending seminars and short courses.

Add a Little Bit of Fun to Goal Setting…..

I came up with what I call – 365 days 100 Goals summit 🙂 A combination of personal and professional goals broken down to make the whole process fun for me. Here they are:

  1. 100 souls for the Lord (directly or indirectly through physical & e-evangelism).
  2. 100 blog posts/articles here.
  3. 100 guest posts/articles outside i.e. EzineArticles where I am already a Platinum Author.
  4. 100 speaking engagements (Paid and Free).
  5. 100 Videos to be created (shot 1 already)
  6. 100 Books to read (both ebooks and physical)
  7. 100 hours of physical exercise (behind in this area)
  8. 100 powerpoint presentations to be shared on slideshare
  9. 100 days to become Google Adwords Qualified.

This is just to make it fun for me, so you should add fun to your goal setting process. Remember, it is not Jamb or Waec (local examinations here in Nigeria), it is yours and has to be fun. I intend to print this and carry this along with me as well as put it in places where I would see them constantly because when I accomplish them then you can be sure that my life would have changed for the better.

Let me state that depending on where you are now; it is extremely to set goals in key areas of your life such as Finance, Spirituality, Values, Cause/Passion, Emotion etc. and they should be smart.

Although mine is grouped into 2; it still has elements of some of the key areas mentioned above.

Finally, don’t keep all your goals to yourself. Tell someone who can hold you accountable and have him or her review it as often as possible.

Go out there and set accomplish great goals, stretch yourself, be the best you can be and have fun.

As always thank you for your love and support. I’d love to know what your goals and plans for 2013, maybe we can start by holding ourselves accountable 🙂

goals

Quarterly Review of my 7 Goals for 2012.

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Imagining the Future

Late 2011, I lost my one and only kid sister, Ada Miracle Ifeoma Agbata to the cold hands of death. It is a heart shattering experience that has humbled me tremendously and led me to asking myself periodically, what is the true essence of life? Why is it that we are here today and gone tomorrow? Who’s next I ask?

I hate to think of it but the reality is that someday it’ll be my turn, and what impact would I have made in life?

When it was time for me to decide how to best face this year considering the fact 2011 ended on a rather sad note for me. This led me to publicly set 7 Goals in a post titled 7 Commitments I have made this Year.

I came up with these Goals due to some or all of the following reasons:

  • I was pained. Yes, I was mourning and sorrowful as at the time I set the Goals, so I honestly can’t deny the fact emotions were pretty high back then.
  • I was motivated. I tried to analyse my late sister’s life, though short, yet purposeful. Doctors don’t usually show emotions but the Doctor who dressed her said she died a virgin at 27, she became emotional and philosophical about life. My motivation is to do all I possibly can to live a good and commendable life (and after life – make heaven).
  • I wasn’t sure of what I wanted. Call it lack of self confidence but the truth is that sometimes you need people to take you to the next level, especially when you are hurting. So my strategy was simply to get stuff done through the help of my friends and partners on this blog. Just by making it public, I keep pressing on so I don’t let you (and moi) down.

I challenge you to set any goal now and inform a number of people, the kinds that would naturally hold you accountable or even publicly embarrass if you failed to live up to expectation and watch the results!

Before we talk about the 7 goals, one big lesson I have learnt in life is simply this;

You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.

– Zig Ziglar

So there commitments and Goals are centred around helping more people become Conditioned for accomplishments (I also have my personal development and financial goals).

Recently, Joe Oye, one of my coolest allies, who found me via Google and since then we have been closely associated asked me, how my goal of writing 300 articles this year alone was faring? We never discussed privately but out of the blues he asks. I quickly replied that it was going on well……

To subject myself to further public scrutiny, here is a quick review of how far I have gone with ’em goals;

1. Get closer to God Almighty.

On this I would not say I have done exceptionally well, due man’s selfish ways whenever it comes to the things of God. This is not to say I have not made some improvements but not as God himself would expect.

I’ll keep working onto perfection with God helping me.

2. Make more Positive Impact.

This is a rather vague goal – I probably should have just said “do more good” which is more straight forward. I would not score myself 70% here because they are many instances, I may not have kept to this commitment, but one way I could say I may have done well, is using the Internet effectively.

Read my clickatell.com experience and judge for yourself if it is a good impact or now. In the addition to this, every now and then, I publish enlightening and interesting articles and the commendation I get is always humbling.

3. Create more Time for my Family.

Have I done well here?

Naa, I don’t think so….. I probably would score a below 40%. The thing about being online fully is that it is time demanding. Yes I agree, the onus is on me to find a balance somehow. I’ll work hard to improve on this?

Are you also giving your family the time and attention they deserve?

4. Publish 300+ fresh Articles online.

I don’t have an exact figure right now but I should have published somewhere around 100 high quality articles already and I am not about to stop. People often ask, why I keep publishing content and giving out so much free stuff?

I try to make them understand that by the very nature of Internet, you need to be seen as an expert in your chosen field and one major way of achieving this is the quality of content attached to your name or brand. Guess what has happened over the years, people have increasingly come to trust me that they don’t mind paying my one-on-one consultancy fees.

I would most likely publish up to 500 articles online by the end of the year.

Is there any quality content attached to your name or brand online?

5. Become Nigeria’s No. 1 SEO Services Expert.

The goal should been stated this way, “become Nigeria’s No. 1 White-hat SEO Services Expert.”

Yes, Google’s recent algorithm update saw them de-listeing over 1 million websites. This simply proves there is good (white-hat) and bad (black-hat) SEO and as far as am concerned good is always good. I do only white hat SEO.

We are on track to meeting this goal. We are currently putting finishing touches to “One Stop Shop for your Internet Solutions” and we hope to use this as a spring board to achieving this goal by serving individuals and businesses.

6. Create more Exposure for my Partners.

Yes, my passion is to create maximum exposure for everyone who contributes in one way or the other to the success of this blog.

Some of the ways, I get this done is by doing high quality SEO, month in, month out as well as effective social media marketing which is really a win, win situation.

7. Train more on Blogging, SEO, Social Media etc.

Quite frankly, I’ll score very low here because I have not sat down to decide exactly how I want to attain this goal. Is it to hold online webinars or physical meetings? I believe that by the end of the 2nd quarter some strategies should have come up.

Kindly score me right away by leaving a comment below. Do you think I have done well or not? I give you permission to scold me, scorn me, embarrass me, if I fail to reach the above stated goals or simply gives me a thumbs up if none of the above!

By the way, how are you doing with your 2012 Goals?