Success - cfagbata

The Definition of Success Has Changed in 2021 – for the Better

In 2020, everything changed due to the COVID19 outbreak, and how people reacted to it. With the shifts that happened within companies and with unemployment hitting more lives than we thought, people adapted, therefore goals and priorities have changed greatly, taking the definition of “success” along with them.

Everyday life became about survival rather than chasing the highs of professions and hobbies. Individuals and businesses alike had to reevaluate their goals and priorities, and at the end of the day, the number one priority became surviving this pandemic situation.

But on the upside of this horrible domino effect, is that people are starting to reinvent themselves and unearth their true passions.

In this very confusing time, businesses are finding opportunities to expand and rebrand, and individuals are finding opportunities to venture to new areas. Because of this, people became more passionate, ambitious, and more outgoing. We’re desperate to get our “old life” back, but at the same time, we’ve already given up on it and want something different, something more.

What does this mean for businesses and small corporations, and how can they use this? Firstly, company owners, founders, and CEOs need to calculate the changes that are happening to their employees.

What is working from home doing to them? What can they do to help them stay motivated? Are there new projects or positions that opened because of the pandemic? And if so, are there qualified people already in the company who can take over? A lot of companies found a way to expand during the pandemic.

Either finding new customers abroad, or more clients, maybe breaking into a new country, or becoming a remote company, rather than a company people can visit. This can mean online consultations and international shipping alike, and introducing it to a company usually takes a lot of time, but now people are bound to make this change, as it’s the only way to stay afloat nowadays.

Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash

A lot of young adults’ ambitions came forth, them becoming a huge asset for companies everywhere. Their knowledge of trends, and the online world can be a handy weapon in any company’s arsenal, and their work ethic has never been better.

Lastly, people are realizing what matters to them. They’d much rather support small, individual businesses than giant conglomerates, and these small businesses need to grab this opportunity before it passes because using this might make or break these small corporations or businesses.

We can all use a break from reality right about now and get back on track, but of course, we can’t. What we can do is grab this opportunity by the throat and grow as people and as businesses.

As an individual, your number one goal should be professional growth and financial freedom. For some, this means starting a business they’ve been scared to start, or starting training that makes them a bigger asset.

Some companies slow down, take a few steps back, and others find a way to expand and grow in these times, noticing the opportunities this pandemic has brought with it. And truly, the ability to notice these opportunities even in the worst of times is what makes a businessman a great one.

About the author

Russell Ridgeway is an American writer based in Budapest, Hungary. He writes in business, tech, and fashion as well as creative fiction. You can reach him by email (russell@lensawork.com), or on LinkedIn and other social media platforms.

ICT Matters with Mwila Kingston Ali

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.
Trusting-God

If One Door Closes, Another Opens – Trust in God

Quite frankly, I have so many examples to prove that this is indeed a statement of fact, some I remember, others I have forgot, but I thought it is important to write a quick post on the one that just happened most recently.

It started with Tech Trends TV show getting nominated for the Nigerian Broadcasters Merit Award as best TV show (viewers’ choice). I got the team together and we campaigned for votes online and we lost out at the end. While we were not troubled, we were also not excited because of how much effort we put into each edition of the show and being nominated alone, meant a lot to us and assured us that we are on the right track.

Well, like they say, what will be, will be – do you agree?

Less than 3 weeks after that, I received a mail from the Nigeria Internet Registration Association, (NiRA), saying that I have been selected as a .ng ambassador which is in recognition of my enduring commitment to the .ng brand – wow, was my response.

But that was not all! NiRA had planned a .ng gala and web awards night as part of the celebrations for her 10th year anniversary and techsmart.ng was selected for .ng media award alongside Guardian, Leadership, Techpoint, Daily Trust, etc. We got our team together again and we campaigned hard nonetheless, in spite of our size in relations to the likes of Guardian that was eventually announced as the winner of that category – a deserving award for such an enduring brand.

We thought it was all over but, we did not know that God had already ordained what you will call his will. Suddenly, during the Presidential award section of the event, we heard the winner of the NiRA Presidential Award for Youth Development announced as Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr. “CFA” – it was like a joke and, of course, the thunderous applause made me realise the reality of it.

The announcer kept on reading “….this award recognises and encourages the development of youths in Nigeria. It is a Presidential award given to the Youth that have a combination of the best .ng website, best online local content and best use of ICT”.

By the time I got to the podium, she was done reading and I said to myself, “at least, somebody has been watching.”

What more can I say? Glory be to God.

MORAL: If one door in any area of life closes, please, do not be discouraged but keep pressing on as God has plans to give a fantastic end.

Koro Sidibe

Koro Sidibe: My Nescafe Get Started Mentee wins $30,000

The journey started last year when Nescafe invited a couple of African bloggers for a brainstorming session that held in Accra, Ghana – you can read more about that meeting here.

KOROTOUMOU SIDIBE
Nescafe Get Started Africa 2 Winner

This was simply the start of the Get Started challenge 2!

Shortly after this unique meeting, entries for the challenge opened and about 2,000 ideas were submitted, all of them in the areas of technology, health, social enterprise and environment. Entries were received via the Nescafé Get Started Africa website.

At the end of the voting process, 4 finalists were selected representing 4 different Africa countries and one of the finalist is Korotoumou Sidibe, from Mali, who had a pretty interesting idea which is to build a food processing plant and help reduce food wastages in her home country. The Getstarted team assigned her to me to be coached and prepared for the final presentation to the judges.

The Mentoring Process

Koro Sidibe Win
A Coach or Mentor is Important!!!

Koro & I got to work soon after the introduction and thank God for modern technology, we didn’t have to wait until we met physically – we started by exchanging a couple of emails and then used Whatsapp as well. This we did for a few days before we finally met physically in Ghana for the final preparations.

My Strategy

Koro, already had a good idea but I understand (and always say) that people who make it in life are not necessarily the smartest but those who can convince others to believe in what they had to sell, so that was simply the basis of my sessions with Koro.

Here are some of the tips I gave her:

  1. Change your Affirmation: Koro had a lot of doubts about her ability to present convincingly (considering the fact that she is French-speaking and I wanted her to present in English), so I had to change her negative affirmations to statements like “I am the winner” “I can do it” “I am super smart” etc. I remember her trying to resist but I was firm and happily she accepted and continued in that flow.
  2. Speak with confidence: I told her one of the simplest ways to achieve this is to slightly raise the  pitch of your voice (don’t shout)! She did exactly that and during her presentation everyone was starring at her in amazement and I smiled 🙂
  3. Tell your Story: I had to ask her to bring in some of her background in a story format and I went further to guide her how to deliver those aspects.
  4. Stir up Emotions: Yes! I had to tell her to add some emotions in her conclusions. Men, keep thinking it is their world and for this, I laugh out loud – any smart woman out their can actually pull through easily if properly coached. It’s not about seduction, it’s about influence!
  5. Believe in yourself – you can do it: these were my last words to her before her presentation and she sure did it. At the end of her presentation, I was almost certain she would win the $30,000 and I even said it to the hearing of everyone 🙂

Meet the Influencers
Acknowledgements

  • All praises goes to God Almighty for the grace and wisdom to be an influencer.
  • The team at NESCAFE & Now Available Africa deserve to be mentioned for putting together a fantastic challenge. Kudos guys!
  • I can’t forget all the awesome bloggers that ensured this challenge got the mentions and mileage it deserved. They made it interesting all the way.
  • Congrats to Koro for having such a fantastic idea and being teachable – made my work easier!
  • Finally, a big thanks to Lanre Olusola, one of Africa’s most influential coaches who taught me some coaching skills at the OLCA – I bagged a life coaching certification from his Academy and its been very helpful.

Final thoughts: I’d sure serve as an executive, exclusive coach to a few selected sharp minds in the future but for now I am learning as much as I can!

4 Lessons from Cristiano Ronaldo’s Stunt Video

One phrase I often hear from those in showbiz is that “no publicity is bad publicity” so I would very say that the popular stunt video by Cristiano Ronaldo is indeed very good for his personal brand and that of the customized monster headphones which is the real reason for the video.

The video was nice done and quite entertaining but it ministered to me different which is why you are reading this post.


Here are the 4 Lessons from Cristiano Ronaldo from my perspective:

Lesson 1: Believe in yourself

Although we did not get to see the faces of everyone who came across him exhibiting his talent in the open nor did we get to hear what they were saying but you bet some people may have called him names while others would have possibly asked him to go “get a life!”

All through the video, I saw a guy who believed in himself, trusted in his God ordained talent and kept doing what he loves.

Lesson 2: Be Bold

He was so sure of himself that he kept going out of his way to ask people to play with him, when one refuses he simply moved on to the next person because he was bold enough to show the world that truly he’s got talent and although no one was listening or showing that they were listening he was not deterred.

He kept at it!

Lessons from Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo in disguise.

Lesson 3: Deal with the Fear of Rejection

If you allow a few negative remarks or couple of rejections hold you back then you won’t go far in life. A lot of people said no to the guy but he kept at it. Did you see the girl in the video that said an outright loud “No” when he said give me your number – that could have been a sales pitch rejected or a prospective customer declining at the last-minute to write the cheque.

Lesson 4: A Door will Eventually Open

This is very true in most of life’s situations, if you keep at something long enough someone, somewhere would eventually say “let’s play ball.” This is exactly how I regard the two people that gave him a chance and played with him particularly the kid who eventually got the gift of the autographed ball.

These Lessons from Cristiano Ronaldo’s stunt video are very instructive for me and I hope you find them useful?

One big takeaway is what happens after you become successful all manner of people will then want to become your friend as you saw in the video – when the hidden star become none, the whole environment changed. If you allow only people who tell you only what you want to hear because you have become successful then you are in a big trouble.

A man who flatters his neighbor, spreads a net for his feet. Proverbs 29:5 (NKJV)

Enjoy and share 🙂

how big is your excuse

How Big is your Excuse?

This is a Guest Post by Igbokwe Ifeanyichukwu. Enjoy! 🙂

how big is your excuseUntil 1875, a thousand and one swimmers had cast their wide-reaching gazes on the seemingly endless stretch of the English Channel and wished that they would be the first to swim across it. Everybody else used boats to travel across this massive water body. There was record to be set and but everybody seemed to look only at the often challenging tides and other creatures that lurked dangerously beneath the water body until Mathew Webb approached it with the kind of boldness with which a lion approaches a prey – with carefulness, boldness and determination and became the first man to swim across the English channel without any external support even in the scary face of so much difficulties.

It wasn’t until he swam across it that everybody began to realize that they could have done it, had they tried. Today even twenty years olds take swimming across this channel as a regular exercise.

Here are some questions to help you move ahead:

  • Do you hate your status quo?
  • Do you hate the condition life has presented before you?
  • But you are still busy dishing out excuses?
  • Do you only see all the problems and not the springboard to your success?
  • Again, How Big is your Excuse?

Hamilton Naki was offered a job to be a gardener in the University of Cape Town.  He had come from the humblest of backgrounds with little or no education to Cape Town. This was apartheid South Africa where the educated black people had not even got a voice not to mention a black male with no education at all. But nothing was going to stop this determined young man with a most amazing self-image and esteem. Soon this illiterate gardener had acquired enough mastery of the happenings around his surroundings that he could assist with the meanest of roles in the laboratory, from cleaning the cages where the animals are kept to anaesthetizing them. He kept observing and learning until he could help and operate on the animals dissecting them with most expertly dexterity of a brilliant surgeon.

Soon he rose to become the principal surgical assistant in the very laboratory where he had previously been employed as a gardener without any certificate, brilliantly undertaking research work that greatly enlarged the frontiers of medical knowledge in the aspect heart surgery and transplant and liver implantation until he could pass his knowledge on to younger doctors. This uneducated man who was employed as a casual gardener in a society that had no place for black people eventually worked so hard that he earned himself an Honorary Master’s degree from the University of Cape Town, a feat that previously near impossible and a great reputation.

Scarcely would any man read these lines that does not have better and greater opportunities and privilege than Hamilton Naki. The question is:

  • What have we done with them.
  • What have we done about them?

I have come across some people for want of a better phrase I refer to as excuse professionals. O! I may not be able to go to the gym, today is no so good a day. We just can’t bear any comparison with that brand, they are far too ahead. The reason why I am not performing well at my job is ’cause of my boss. I can never get good grades, my teacher is the cause. I can never be that rich no matter how much I tried. I am broke simply because of my husband… Spend just five minutes with some people and you’d be sure to get a hundred excuses why they can’t do this or that.

But then some of the people making these excuses may just be sincerely ignorant. Truth is no matter how good or interesting your excuse may be, it won’t pay the bills, no matter how sincere or ignorant you may be, people pay for results, and until you produce the desired results, you may as well decide not to wake up that day.

Oh!, you could have an ocean of excuses why you would never be successful, why you may never be rich, why you may not be able to bear any comparison with the man or woman you are competing with but the truth as someone rightly put it is that if we fail to dream, then we would spend our entire lifetime helping other people to build their dreams.

Get up take responsibility, go to work and challenge your status. See if things would not change.

Time is gone and is no more existent when the African child will sit idle bemoaning his fate, blaming it on the inability of his government to provide good quality education when he has the world to compete with in a jet age. Past and gone is the time when a graduate from Pakistan would heap a load of regret on his Alma Mata for competition with an American or British over a job in Dubai and losing it, just because he didn’t do enough to clinch it. Until anyone strives consistently for mastery and pays the price, nothing may change.

If you don’t like where you are, then move you are not a stone. You have the right to be angry. But make sure you are angry enough to challenge your situation. Then stand up and do something constructive. Continue doing it until something changes. Pay the price for the change and see if things will not change.

About the Author

Igbokwe Ifeanyichukwu is an action coach, a motivational speaker, a writer and a consultant. He is the brain behind Extraordinary Lives of Ordinary People which will début on this blog shortly.

add value

4 Reasons Why You Should Always Add Value

Do you always add value you first or what is in it for you comes to mind first all the time? What is your value proposition in life and business? Are you like the majority that would gladly journey through life aimlessly.

We all can add Positive Values to the World!

Values are extremely important. Each time there is a negative event what you hear is that; our value system has been destroyed. This is because value is a word that is intricately tied to purpose, commitment, faith, success and other good attributes.

If for example, you hope to become successful then you must imbibe certain values that successful people have. If you want to become more like God Almighty which by the way is possible according to Psalm 82:6

Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

It simply means you have to imbibe certain values like unconditional love, kindness, long-suffering, mercy, etc.

Therefore, I ask you today;

  • What are your values in life?
  • Are you living to make all the money and then what?
  • Do you make it a commitment to add value everyday of your life?

Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with setting great goals and making all the money you can but in my opinion if you think value in the money-making process then you being fair to both God and humanity.

Here are a few reasons why you should always add value:

1. That is what God expects

You will agree with me that God expects you and I to add value at all times. That is the reason he said to us;

I have said, And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth – Genesis 1:28a

You should aim to replenish the earth on a daily basis. Learn to add flavour to the lives of people around you every single day.

2. Value simply means Money

By now, you probably know that money is nothing but paper. What makes it have value is the belief that it is backed by gold or the authority of the state – which in this case is just a perceived value. Greece is a perfect example of the reality that money is nothing but paper.

That said, when someone buys a product or service from you, they do that because you have promised to give them some sort of value or satisfaction when they part with their money. They are not doing that because you are indispensable or the most beautiful or owner of the best product. They are likely giving you the money because of the perceived value you would add to their lives or businesses by virtue of your value proposition.

I wrote “GIVING is the New Philosophy of Business” simply because I believe businesses should understand that the Internet will push you into giving value first because your competition is within reach.

3. It gives you an opportunity to Grow

Yes! The more you add value in a particular area the more experienced and better exposed you will become in that field. Growth does not just happen, it takes a process.

You are who you are today because of the series of value that you have received overtime from your parents, relatives, teachers etc. If you deal with your customers or employees from a stand point of value addition then you are more likely to grow faster in terms of experience and monetary gains.

4. It simply wins you more loyal friends

A friend called me up to ask me the size of my shoes, he said he simply wants to sow into my life and ministry. In his words; you have been of great help, your words of wisdom have helped me so much and this is my own little way of saying thank you;

It is $300+ Calvin Klein shoes but that is besides the point, it could have been a car or even a house. I am humbled knowing that people are being blessed through my rants.

People call me up and ask me to handle projects I did not bid for, not because I am the smartest digital marketing consultant or SEO expert out there but because of the perceived value they have of me. Read 4 Simple Ways to Build your Personal Brand Online

In a future post, I would share my thoughts on some of the very simple ways I add value to people around me and how it is helping me become better at helping people become Conditioned for Accomplishments.

I would love to hear your ideas on why adding value is or is not important, it does not matter what your opinion is, just share and let us learn from you. Simply leave your comments or questions below.