Confidence Building, A Fundamental business feat.


Believe alone may not be enough to drive you to your destination. There are many post all over the internet on that topic and in fact I recently crafted one for you. But, what if we needed something beyond believe, something that doesn't just enables you to start up something but equips you with the needed bravado to do it extraordinarily.
That big word is confidence. Take a public speaker for example. He does his research and believes in what he’s about to deliver. Believe takes him to the stage but confidence backs him to speak.


What You Need to Know About Confidence.

Psychologytoday.com defines confidence as a belief in one's ability to succeed. A research paper on How to build confidence by Yasmine Shahin in 2015 defined confidence as a state of being that makes you feel that you can achieve what you want in life."

Most people are just too scripted in an inferior context that they rob themselves of the right to stand out. The net of timidity keeps them locked up in a cocoon, never to make their mark on the market.
Even though they strongly believe in what they do, they find it hard to express it openly or make a profitable venture out of their ideas. Why?

Because they think they are going to sound foolish and that what they have to say will not make sense. So they sit down and watch other business persons create their own businesses. And One funny thing is that these people will often see the mistakes others are making, and the variety of things others are doing wrong, but they can’t voice out or at least stand up to exploit the opportunities right before them.

Surely, this are the signs of self doubt, but not in your business this time. The problem is that you doubt your potential to emerge successful. You lack the right proportion of self conviction. That invaluable factor that makes you give a deaf ear to anything the folks have to say. You don’t  give an ear, because you are sure of your self and what you represent. And like Yasmine said, you feel and believe that you can achieve what you want in life.
Confidence is what you need to succeed. It is a mantle that stabilizes the feet of it’s possessor. It makes you a professional overnight. With confidence, you don’t panic.


Confidence in Business.

There is a term under business and economy called Business confidence index (BCI)
The business confidence index (BCI) is based on enterprises' assessment of production, orders and stocks, as well as its current position and expectations for the immediate future.

In order words, Business confidence index is the metrics of a business or economy that Portrays how trustworthy the venture is. It's value will either encourage or discourage investors from investing into your business. It reflects profits and loses and how good or badly a venture is operated.

Take for instance, the Business Confidence in Nigeria increased to 17.70 in the fourth quarter of 2017 from -2.60 in the third quarter of 2017.

Consequently, more investors would pump in their funds during the fourth quarter than during the third. This is because in the third quarter, BCI was low therefore investors did not trust the economy,  but the fourth quarter was not so because as investors began to see an improvement in the BCI they knew their funds were entering into a growing economy.
The point I want to make from this is that the business confidence index depicts the trust factor of a company or startup.  But people make up companies, people make up it's board of directors and infact, someone is the CEO.  Therefore a company is a legal person managed by individual persons. So anything that affects the company is as a result of decisions made by the individual person(s) that run the business.

Consequently,  if the confidence index of a business is low,  it simply means that the board of directors or managers of such companies have  very little confidence to take the right decision that could have produced a better result in the current positions and equity of the company.


Maybe we should just check individual confidence index

In business, you never want to keep quiet while things go wrong. Confidence and willpower takes care of that. The true leaders with the right individual confidence index are recognized by the way they handle difficult times.
What it takes to make strong but risky business decisions that could turn profits for your company is a reflection of your confidence factor and how much of a leader you've become.
I’ll explain.

People like to associate with success. A successful person is a confident person. They don’t want to deal with a mediocre because when losses come they bear it together.

Now, when your business is facing hard times, people are watching critically to see if you are showing the needed confidence index and persistence to take on the task. If you are, they hang around, because they want to be proud affiliates or shareholders. But when you act with even the slightest show of indecision, fragility and inactivity, they secede, sell their shares, and close their affiliate accounts. Why? because they don’t find you competent and no one wants to be on the losing team.

More importantly, your investors discover that your individual confidence index in the negative, and the wise investors know that it will sooner or later reflect on your BCI, therefore, they quit.


Confidence qualifies you to compete.

When your associates find a strong bust of self confidence is in you, you automatically become the latest CEO of the most competent board of directors. You will tend to build audiences faster and progress will be made at a rapid rate.
 You don’t need to be a professional, in order to display confidence. All that is required is a strong sense of discipline, and a strong decision to stop worrying about the competition and focus on your goal.

Confidence is that force that gives you a say. You walk into that podium undaunted by what comes your way. You know why? Because you have pride in your sense of person, you are confident that you can tackle anything that comes your way, thus,  you execute decisions with authority after you must have done your research. Take note that confident people don't take stand on decisions because they are right, but because they are not afraid of being wrong.

 Believe can get you going but confidence makes you a professional. A high Confidence index will make your competitors to sweat under their pants because, you will build customer base more rapidly.
The world needs confident people in business, people with very high confidence index. Others listen to and look up to them.

However, building confidence might just be that one spice you are missing. Harness the quickening power of this virtue and find your business or career shooting up like the storms.

Ready to take control and build confidence?

1. Focus on your passion:
When you start wanting to be everything in the world, to look more smarter and professional than you are, you will find your self with no focus and as a result no confidence in public. Focus on that very thing you know, don’t claim what you ain’t. just stick to being you and that will pay of handsomely. What this does is give you more time to research around your passion, and then get professional in that field. When you focus more, you realize more than you would have done without. You become an authority in the field and people listen when you speak.

2. Achieve little success everyday.
Past successes contributes to recent ones. When people comment and leave good review of your business and book. You feel successful and that leaves in you a certain confidence that you are now becoming an authority. So I found a way anyone can utilize that natural phenomena, turn it into a formula that can build confidence and make you the hero you were meant to be.
Set small goals everyday not something you doubt you may not keep to. Set something you can fathom. In business , try making shorter plans. Instead of taking on your financial plans all at once break it into different articles while you work on each one daily or weekly, as the case may be. When you work on that little stuff and achieve success you immediately begin to get some satisfaction, a sense of fulfillment for solving problems. This builds your confidence, and improves your competence – you ability to outshine your competitors.

3. Spend good portion of time to prepare.
Good preparation begets boldness, and boldness yields confidence. When you prepare for what you want to embark on, you get on top, you become an authority in that field and people look up to you. Preparation gets you ready for the opportunity. It makes you competent when the contract finally comes or when you finally start the business. When you are prepared, you will always have something to say, something to write, new ideas to offer, or the right decision to make. This keeps your audience, followers, associates and partners more engaged with you. They believe in you because you are competent. But when you spend the time doing irrelevancies and futilities, pursuing things that does not align with your plan, you end up being unprepared and unready. Then when the opportunity you’ve patiently waited for finally comes, the spectators find you shivering, the audience and associates discovers that you can’t make a decision, the followers and fans find out that you have nothing to offer and thus they let go of you and go for the others. Why? Because they see an incompetent fellow in you. They automatically see that you don’t even trust yourself, “how the hell do you want us to trust you” they keep asking. Start preparing today because luck is that point where preparation meets opportunity.

4. Be sincere with your followers.
Being open-minded with your business partners and followers is a very essential factor, however, most people overlook it.  When you are insincere or not clear about a particular fact, or maybe you try to maneuver, you may  not observe the many eyes and ears that are watching and listening. Then sometimes when you are feeling confident one fellow stands up and makes a reference or drop a sincere bad review. Then you find yourself sweating in front of your audience. Be strict about what you believe, state it plainly, and let all you do in and out of business reflect it. This is to say, be yourself. It saves you a lot of stress and heck in the future.

Instead of being turgid about the competition, build confidence and become competent. Because confidence is creative.

Yasmine says, building self-confidence begins with the process of self-exploration. And I think the process of self-exploration, with what you stand to gain, is worth the time and effort.

5. You don't always have to be right.

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Do you discover you lack confidence? What are your past experiences and how did you manage to sail through? Share in the comments.
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What The Latest Transparency International CPI Release Means For Nigerian Based Businesses.



Corruption perception index
Corruption perception index 


What Is Corruption Perception Index (CPI)? 

Corruption Perception index is a ranking across several countries depicting the perceived level of graft, found in the public sectors of a country. According to Wikipedia,  the CPI generally defines corruption as "the misuse of public power for private benefit." Also, as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain which eventually hurts everyone who depends on the integrity of people in a position of authority.

When government officials in a country  are extremely corrupt and launder the funds meant for the public to their private firms or personal interests, it constitutes corruption for the said country.

Corruption perception index is a record of statistics published by Transparency International which monitors about 180 countries of the world to determine  the perceived level of corruption or the corruption perception index.


How Is It Measured? 

The CPI is measured by a body called Transparency International (TI). Transparency International created the corruption perception index in 1995 and started publishing it annually from 1996. Since then,  it has published the CPI for about hundred countries, but then it soon began to reach across other African countries. Presently,  Transparency International publishes corruption perception index for over 176 countries.


How does the organization measure the corruption index of a country?

Transparency International have faced a lot of criticisms from various nations and companies on the notion that their CPI release are inaccurate. TI had always backed themselves up with the fact that the CPI score as the name implies, is a perceived rating and not a compulsory reality. The organization source their data by working with several civil society organizations, companies and government officials. They also rely greatly on public opinion.

The organization tries to get data on government spending... how funds are spent and at which sector of the nation.  They watch for any divergence of public funds to private ventures or for selfish interests. They also monitor the crime rate of countries, like terrorism, bribery,  graft and several other vices that constitutes corruption in a country.


Data Presentation.

When these information are gathered,  TI then ranks the countries on a scale of 0 to 100, these are called points. A high point indicates a corruption free nation, while low points indicates that corruption rates are very high.  In order words countries ranked on the 100 percent point indicates countries that are totally free from corruption, and countries ranked on the zero percent point indicate countries that are highly corrupt.



Nigeria Yesterday, Today, And.... 

On February 21, 2018, the anti-corruption watchdog released the latest corruption perception index for 2017. Nigeria had a big blow on the face as the country which purported to fight corruption found its place far behind the rankings. Nigeria ranked 148th out of 180 countries.

Why is it a big blow? In the 2016 CPI release, Nigeria was ranked at point 27 which saw Nigeria at the 138th position of most corrupt countries in the world. Then a new government came with the principal goal of fighting corruption, but unfortunately the CPI release for 2017 revealed otherwise. The nation hit a recent high of the 148th most corrupt countries in the world at point 28th. However, the Presidency and some foreign officials have argued that the perception was rather unrealistic as the government has fought tirelessly to recover looted funds and assets of the nation.


Animal Saga In Nigeria -- Nigeria And...

Recently in 2018, various media publishing companies have published somewhat incredible news.  Animals have been blamed on several occasions during the past three weeks for doing away with huge amount of money. We have a snake,  a chimpanzee, a dragon and more recently a fish on the list. This begs the question, what does the future hold for Nigerian businesses?  what is 'Nigeria and....?'

It should again be noted that the CPI release is only but a perception of a nation's corruption index. However, the release, whether falsified or true has a serious impact on the business structure and economy of the said nation.


What You Need To Know As A Business Or Company Owner In Nigeria. 

With each release of CPI, businesses all over the world are affected grossly, either positively or negatively depending on the stats. If you own a company or it's subsidiary in Nigeria then here is what you need to know may be happening to Nigerian based businesses this year.


Foreign Investments And International Trades May Dwindle.

It is only natural that Investors are protective of their funds,  and foreign companies crave an economy that thrives. The sole aim of a business is to maximize profit, so, if the odds are stacked against the investors,  they simply take their businesses somewhere else. A highly perceived rate of corruption in a country reduces investor's confidence. This means that foreign investors no longer consider their investments safe, consequently, they take their businesses somewhere they feel safe. As you may already know,  corruption can range from crafty board of directors to terrorist attacks on the company's resources. When the perceived corruption index of a nation is high,  investors anticipate the worst of their investments and would likely move to a safer investment platform.


Low Business Reputation.

Business ventures in the country may begin to experience lack of authority in the foreign market. Those of you in the game can testify that a business without a reputation is certainly not a business. A high Corruption perception index diminishes the reputation of businesses both in the local and foreign market. Local and foreign Investors will rather invest in highly reputed companies than get stuck with a company in which uncertainty breeds.


Shadow Economy Or Market.

The shadow economy is a state in which businesses in a particular country operate without government taxation. The business owners in this case knows that it is only natural for the government to raise taxes in a corrupt economy in order to compensate for illicit spendings. So they stay out of government taxation in order to avoid possible liquidation of its assets. The shadow economy also poses one more disadvantage, which is low remuneration of workers. This will grossly affect the standard of living in the country and bring about a backlash on the countries economy in general.


Inflation.

Studies have shown that inflation is inevitable in a corrupt economy. When corrupt practices looms a nation or it's business economy, corrupt officials can hike prices to compensate for the disturbance. The government raise taxes, and heavily taxed businesses will in turn inflate the prices of their goods and services and diminish the quality of products, which brings about a regression in the money value of the country and also high cost of living.


Inefficiency.

A high corruption perception index may result to inefficiency in running of business. Nigerian based businesses should watch out for a possible decline in the effective management of their ventures. As expected in any highly corrupt economy, more money will be pumped into looted areas to cover possible tracks while reducing lending and borrowing to companies. Therefore the ease of starting up and running a business greatly depletes. Embryonic business men may face huge challenge as starting a business may pose a lot of challenge due to lack of the needed funding.

Nigerian based businesses are therefore adviced to seek more sophisticated approach to business management in order to adapt to the impending regression that may occur in the business sector. In an economy such as this, it no longer matters how much money you have.  What matters is who you know and what you know.

This forecast also extends to other corruption striken countries like Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, and others. Companies and business ventures in this regions of the world should also watch out for the impending regression and employ better strategies to compete in the foreign and local market.

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Why Jeff Bezos Is Now Worth More Than Bill Gates.


Bill Gates and Jeff bezos
Bill and Jeff. 

Who is Bill Gates?

Bill Gates is an American business tycoon, philanthropist and the highest shareholder of Microsoft corporation. He is known for his lavish philantropism and ground breaking donations to charities. Among the world's greatest philanthropist, Bill Gates has contributed the highest quota to charity homes with over $35 billion in donations.

Apart from Microsoft which the billionaire is known for, he holds significant shares in several companies.

Bill Gates is the

1. Co-Founder and Technology Advisor of Microsoft.

2. Co-Chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

3. CEO of Cascade Investment.

4. Chairman of Branded Entertainment Network.

5. Chairman of TerraPower.

In 2017, Bill Gates was worth over $86 billion, according to Forbes list and was the richest man in the world.

Who is Jeff Bezos?

Jeffrey Preston Bezos is an American retail entrepreneur and philanthropist, popularly known as the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Amazon, the largest online retail store in the world. The american business magnate has taken the leverage of E-commerce as amazon makes trillions of sales yearly.

In 2017, Jeff Bezos was worth $72.8 billion and was ranked the third richest man in the world.


What has changed in 2018?

Bill Gates who has been the fourth richest man for four years in a row and has held that world record for 18 out of the past 23 years has suddenly been overwhelmed by amazon's trending chief executive officer, Jeffrey Preston Bezos.

It is a big surprise to everyone including Forbes, that the business tycoon could outsmart two of the world's most powerful billionaires, the gigantic Bill Gates and Warren Buffet the Berkshire CEO, then boom he is suddenly at the top.

Also, as of the 21st of February,  the trending billionaire was worth $123.6 billion while there are still expectations for further rises.


Why the sudden upsurge?

It is unequivocal that the majority of Mr. Bezos's wealth is accrued from his millions of shares in the Amazon corporation. Our billionaire holds about 78.9 million shares of the rapidly appreciating Amazon stock. Most people have wondered the reason behind the sudden upsurge but the billionaire did his homework carefully.

Yes of course, the amazon share rose by almost 57 percent in 2017 but why?

It all started in November 6, 2014, Amazon's virtual assistant, Alexa was for the first time utilize in an innovation of a Smart speaker series. The first of which was the Echo dot. Echo dot was released in November of 2014. However, the genius innovation did not start to gain popularity until October 20, 2016 when the second generation of the Echo was released. Sales caught momentum immediately and the effects were evidenced in Forbes reports on the world's richest people in 2017.

This is what Forbes had to say.

" Amazon’s Jeff Bezos had the best year of any person on the planet, adding $27.6 billion to his fortune; now worth $72.8 billion, he moved into the top three in the world for the first time, up from number five a year ago."

However,  that was just the beginning of dividends for a good homework. Other versions of the Echo was released shortly after the Echo Dot, and that even yielded the shocker every one is witnessing today. Well,  it was not magic, It was simply a homework done well.

Could Jeff Bezos become the world's first trillionaire?

Many people including myself have always taught Bill Gates will someday become the world's first trillionaire. However we all are surely witnessing a turnaround in that notion.

These are the reasons behind this analogy.

Come to think of it, since 2016, the trending billionaire has for two times now had an incredible plus to his net worth. His $45.2 billion(rank 5) net worth in 2016 rose to $72.8 billion(rank 3) in 2017.  That's an incredible addition of $27.6 billion.
And now in 2017, he suddenly makes an additional $50.8 billion  move, which is even more than his entire net worth in 2016. He is now on the $123.6 billion point (rank 1).

With his pace, I think he has better chances to become  the world's first trillionaire but that absolutely depends on the market.

However, according to the outstanding research by NPR and Edison research one in six Americans now own a smart speaker. Amazon holds 11 percent while it's competition Google Home holds 4 percent of the market share.

Also, a recent survey estimated sales of over 10 million Alexa products since 2014, and Edison Research reported that an estimate of 42 percent of smart speaker users own two or more devices.

 This means a great future for the Amazon corporation and it's CEO. Even though there are some sentimental statements, more people are coming to like the smart speaker industry, day by day, of which Mr. Bezos holds the leading market share.

Don't be surprised if his net worth doubles by 2019.

However,  Google is now a major competitor in the market and Apple is soon going to debut the Apple HomePod. This is going to be a challenge for the Amazon corporation  as it will have to embrace sophisticated approach that will meet the demands of customers, so that it continues to control the leading market share.

It has been argued that Bill gate should be far richer than Jeff Bezos if not for his extravagant philantropism. According to Bloomberg, Gates has given away almost 700 million Microsoft shares, worth 61.8 billion dollars at today’s value, as well as 2.9 billion of cash since 1996. But I think it's a good thing that the financial father of the world is teaching his teammates how important helping others is.  I also think the billionaire has dealt a tremendous impact on the world due to his selfless philantropism. Meanwhile the future can't  be 100 percent clear,  he may as well teach his teammates what makes him the billionaire of first resort.


Do you think Bill Gates will surpass Jeff Bezos come 2019? Say your mind below.

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The Clever Act of Taking a Walk – Do You Always Have to Be Busy?





Give yourself a break.


rest
Photo Credit: Stocksnap.io




The society we live in is that whose atmosphere is saturated with hustling and bustling. Busyness in business, bustling in relationships, and the ever-surviving desire to compete. These things rob us of rest, the sense of calm and most importantly, the value of life.



The businessperson is always busy; the entrepreneur is always researching new opportunities. The nursing mothers are always restless and even the domestic house cleaner in a hurry. The corporate worker yearns for some air and the writer is always bleeding on paper. Our world is always found to be in a state of constant chaos due to rumblings of busyness.



And in all these, we hardly have compassion on ourselves. We less frequently commit to rest. However, we keep straining our nerves, clinching our fists in a bid to do extra more.



It is not in physical strain that we must achieve the best. The clench of fist may lead to very little success but calculated actions and decent choices will get you there.




The Two Existing worlds


Time and over again, we are been caught in between two worlds. One, that of a tumultuous and unnerving struggle and the second, of total weakness, idleness, and slumber. It is usually either one or the other.



However, there is evidently a flaw in this model or approach to our businesses, career, and relationships.



In the first world, you produce volumes of scripts, in order words, productivity is tripled. But more often than not, you discovered that what you produced could only mercifully be classified as crumbs.



In order words, productivity becomes a total clinker.



Whereas, in the second world you produce nothing at all. Then here comes the question, “could there be a third alternative?”

What if you could create a completely new existential level; someplace where valuable creativity rather than worthless productivity will be preserved and adored.



The Third Alternative


Some personal development consultants and time management programs tend to focus on productivity. Volumes are appraised instead of value. The question is “how much” and not “how valuable.”


However, this scripting has been generalized. It is now viral as almost everybody practices it whether consciously or unconsciously. This is the reason why in relationships, job security takes preference. The holiday or family vacation can wait once it’s your boss calling. We are committed to restlessness and busyness; we are held in a paradigm of high productivity with little or no emphasis on the value of our labor. We soak ourselves in constant chaos and crisis. By our own hands, we create an atmosphere of sore cataclysm because we don’t find joy in our restless struggle nor peace in a completely deteriorated relationship.


In the midst of our unending struggle, no satisfaction is derived. Being idle makes the situation worse. Therefore, we need the third alternative. The solution rests in a pattern or strategy that upholds productivity and compliments value — value in our personal lives as well as our relationships. We demand a new ideology that senses the need for a chaotic relief. Where calmness and peace with self is maintained. That ideology rests in the clever act of taking a walk.


This principle recognizes that the struggles of life are unending and limitless. So everyone is found in a state of constant hustling or total idleness.


A Little Time Out Will Suffice

Taking some time out of the entire world’s stress will do great good. Struggling all day long consumes your sense of calm. It wears you out and gets you all stressed out. In the third alternative, taking a walk, a little time off from all the bustling energizes you to perform better.


Worthless productivity should be abhorred and value enthroned. You create value by taking some time off that tight schedule to visit a friend, spend some time with your spouse, do charity or take a walk. In productivity, taking a walk can help the brain to quickly gather highly relevant data that can enhance the value and worth of your project.


Taking a walk forbids idleness and slumber but promotes considerable struggle that is in harmony with valuable productivity rather than that which is valueless and worthless.


Quadrant II Activities Are Neglected


It is time to change the script you’ve been handed by parents and peers. That of a chaotic struggle for success to that which promotes calm competition — the third alternative of taking a walk. We tend to believe that in making that extra effort, we attain something greater. However, in doing so we trample on value and overlook impact. We allow the urgent matters eat up the whole time whereas neglecting quadrant II activities that would have made tremendous impact on the relationship we hold so dear and the extra value that would have been added to our productive capacity and competence.


Taking a walk is a clever act in the second quadrant of activities. It is important but not urgent. Perhaps this is why it is often neglected. However, if your focus is not just on productivity but also on impact; on value not on volumes, then it’s time you adopt the new ideology of the third alternative — take a walk. Find time to rest, give yourself breaks and the value and impact of what you do will be doubled. You should all so take some time out of the entire tight schedule to attend to some non-urgent quadrant II activities. You can visit charity homes, buy your spouse a gift, take the kids on an exciting trip.



It is not in physical strain that we must achieve the best. Calculated actions and decent choices will get you there.


We often neglect countless quadrant II activities. Taking some time out of business to do these things makes you a person of value. It also adds value to your relationships both with self (mentally, productively) and with other interpersonal relationships. In conclusion, don’t let the thought of business eat up your time with self and persons — take a walk.



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Have you practiced any quadrant II activity lately? Share your experiences in the comments.
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8 Must do’s That Will Help You Get Focused: No Focus, No Fortune.


focus
Photo credit: stocksnap.io


An archer without a target will shoot aimlessly and realize nothing; a businessperson without focus will do all the businesses there is and end up frustrated. Have you spent most of the time in your life pursuing several things at a go without an actual goal or target, Or have you left a business for another just because you think the income isn’t rolling as estimated?

Greed Makes You Want To Kill Two Birds With A Stone.

Sometimes, the problem is not from the business but the business owner. When you don’t focus on one task to the finish, you literally vanish your strength in the quest for several others at a go. You are caught in between the dilemma of which bird to kill. Both birds will look pretty and beautiful but there’s just one chance and one stone. Many would go for both birds and end up losing everything.

Although I don’t expect you to completely agree, this is what most people do in business. Bruising the head of two birds with one stone sounds figuratively and connotatively possible. However, have you ever considered what it looks like to kill two birds in reality with one stone? 90 percent impossible.

So why do people keep repeating this mistake? They take an ideology that is meant for figurative speeches and apply it to their lives and businesses. Achieving two tasks at a go is only possible and applicable to very few activities like the daily chores at home or office. Not your career and business.

Focus brings out the best in you and quickly directs you to your fortune. Avoid the temptation of catching all the birds at once and you will flourish.

  They Tried To Kill All the Birds

John C. Maxwell shares a wonderful hunting adventure in his book, “Talent is never enough” republished as “Beyond Talent.” He recounts on an adventure he and a friend had in Buenos Aires of Argentina. The Buenos region of Argentina is known for the uncountable number of doves that parades over the air almost constantly. So, they went dove hunting.

While they stood and watched, thousands of birds will fly past them in so much that the cloud was almost black with them. He and his friend shot freely with the thought, “well, since the air is filled with these black creatures, it won’t matter where we shoot, we’ll certainly kill one.” Tragically, they spent almost two hours shooting and sweating, and you know how many birds they caught? None.

When a man abhors his sense of focus, he loses his fortune.

If you really want to be successful in business, there is one important thing to do. Take a record of all your ongoing business projects, analyze them critically on the basis of your scale of preference. Note that this should not be in determined by which business produces the highest income but on that which defines your true passion.

Take that one business apart from the rest. Begin to focus, deposit your strength and resources into the business, and take it by the horn. You will be amazed when you discover that your potential for success has become a reality.

Life without a priority is baseless. You should have something that sets your impulses on fire — a motivation. A business that you know very well and also love doing. Take it as your priority as far as the world of business is concerned. Let it be the function that determines what remaining resources there is to put into another.

Unless this function is confirmed, other probabilities and uncertainties can wait. Prioritize and focus on your passion.

Diversification should come only when the establishment of that prioritized business function is proven true.

A tree can only sit comfortably on a solid root. When the root is not established, the outer growth suffers uncertainty. Being the jack-of-all-trades and master of none doesn’t seem like what the  pros do. I have discovered that they focus on establishing the root business, they give it all they’ve got, sometimes they feel like they should give up, but they keep going. However, when the root is solidified, they diversify and boom it becomes a seemingly serendipitous materialization of wealth.

He Was Making The Same Mistake

Mike was very bothered about his financial predicament, so he decided to consult me. This guy was not poor he had the money but couldn’t manage it. In order words, he was experiencing the financial yo-yo effect — one day he made a huge profit and the next, he loses everything.

He Pours Out His Grief

“I have been in business for a very long time, but I can’t tell how I suddenly lose the money. I make money every day but somehow I don’t actually find that money in my purse.”

Immediately, I understood his grief. I knew what it felt like to lose everything and to start all over so, I stopped him from spilling all of it because I hated how it was making him feel.
“You are not the first person with this sort of problem, and I am personally a living experience of your story.”
Mike becoming impatient snapped back.
 “Why does it have to be that way,”
 “Because you made it that way.”
He was just trying to let that one in when I continued.
“The problem is not your business, but you.”
Mike was a friend and I knew him to own several businesses. Perhaps, they were just becoming too much for him to manage.
 
 “What is your focus?” I asked.
“To make huge money and build a great animal farm in my old age.” He responded hurriedly.
While that made me want to eke out a laugh, I tried so much to keep myself in check.
I noticed that Mike’s lack of focus was really costing him much. He went on to explain the businesses he did which I will not disclose for a reason best known to me. However, there was actually no focus. It was too much for him, so he found himself running around all day only to make money from one and lose it to the other. Then I advised Mike as follows:

Write a Plan That Focuses On One Business

In order words, make one business the function of all.
I have noticed that many people write a plan that contains more than one business venture. There is no focus in such a plan.

In an episode of the recently concluded series: How to start your business with little or no money, I covered a topic how to write an action plan that gets you started. A Plan can just be the pathway to success, but an action plan built on focus is a narrow path illuminated with a spotlight pointing straight at the goal and target. With this type of plan, you never lose focus. Your potential is at maximum because there is a clear view of your destination.

How Do You Teach Your Child To Crawl?

You probably do know the answer to that but let’s be a little emphatic here. You don’t sit a child and tell him to start crawling. This is what many are doing in business, and as a result, this is costing them great fortune and their potential to succeed. If you neglect focus, you get confused. When the destination is clear and there is a visible and well-written action plan that focuses on one business, you automatically get motivated to pursue and attain success.

Now here’s what we do, we sit him down, get a pizza, and place it a little farther from his reach. Immediately, his instincts becomes triggered; he automatically gets motivated to grab the pizza and so, he starts to crawl towards it.

What’s your goal? Do you actually have a target? What is your focus?
Maybe you are missing a pattern that the rich follow. It’s not about how many businesses you build; it’s about the one you build that thrives. Start building focus today by doing the following.
  • Analyze your portfolio: Make a list of all venture and investments you’ve placed. Analyze these platforms based on their yielding capacities and scale of importance.
  • Define your passion: After a careful analysis, choose the one that aligns with your passion. Something that drives you to action. It is that business you will willingly do for free if that's what it takes to keep going.
  • Synchronize your passion with the business and career 
  • Pursue that one that matters and do it with all you’ve got: Start working on that segmented and specialized business platform. Do all it takes, do more research and keep the hustling to the full. 
  • Define what your success will look likeTo grab the pizza: In order to know when you've succeeded, you should first know what success means for your business. Does it mean constantly increasing customer base, increased product sales and revenue? Does it mean good business reviews or how many branches the company has got?
  • Don’t get distracted: Don’t get lost in the sea. Focus on your destination — the pizza. 
  • Make sure you have an action plan 
  • When you’ve attained your definition of success, you can choose the next plan that synchronizes with your passion, and iterate the process.

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What else accounts for business success? Share in the comments.

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Discover How Meditation Can Multiply Your Productivity.



meditation
Photo Credit: Stocksnap.io


Encarta dictionaries define meditation as the emptying of the mind of thoughts, or the concentration of the mind on one thing, in order to aid mental or spiritual development, contemplation, and relaxation.

Meditation dates back to over 2000 years ago. Several religions and deities have practiced it. It has been used a long time ago as a tool for contemplation and relaxation. People meditate for several reasons ranging from a tool for relaxation to a gateway of answers and solutions. In old and present times, people seek forms of knowledge from the metaphysical dimension through apport and séance. These were all intense forms of meditation, which proves that its use was validated long ago.

Great books like the Bible and Koran all make clear the importance of a silent meditation or contemplation with God. And meditation is an integral part of Religions like Hinduism, Christianity, Chinese philosophy, and Buddhism.

For example, In Hindu practices, a yogi (a person who practices yoga) enters into a state of intense commitment to the search for knowledge through meditation in the cross-legged “lotus position.” He goes beyond the limitation of flesh and connects with an infinite source of knowledge. This is done through intense concentration and focus on a particular subject.

Far back, it was a means of seeking information and a communication link with a deity. However, meditation has transcended ages and as such, better and contemporary needs for it has been discovered.



Contemporary Needs for Meditation

Meditation has long existed and the many who practice it have had various reasons for their involvement. However, the subject of meditation continues to prevail even in these contemporary times and its relevance continues to expand.

Well, since am not a fan of superstition, I believe there are normal things cool guys can achieve with this important tool. Here are a number of things meditation can do for you.


#1 Stress Relief

Even though you may not realize, in most cases you spend most of your day worrying about what to eat, the children’s school fees, their clothing and many other things. These activities are urgent and demand your immediate attention. Your boss calls from work; your spouse demands your attention; you want to protect the relationship, but job security seems to have more priority. As early as 4am you are up and running. The kids should get to school on time; you can’t even be late for work because it has its penalty.

Most of our time is spent on one urgent activity or the other, and by the end of the day, we are completely stressed out. Sleep time comes, but they are spent on calculations and projections for the next day.

Perhaps if you gave yourself some time to think and meditate, you will discover that you can have the peace of mind you so deeply desire. Meditation integrates a process of clearing the mind of every thought and worries and centering all neuro nerves on the one thing that gladdens the human mind. It is a great tool for relief and in fact, I have personally discovered that no matter how stressed out a person may be, the one solution that has always prevailed is to find a quiet place to meditate. It is in these precious moments that you discover a deep sense of rest and relaxation.

Among the many things you can do with meditation, stress relief is very important and advantageous to humanity as a whole. However, we rarely find time to engage in the exercise of deep contemplation which leaves us filled with the anxiousness of the next thing to do and the next problem that will pop up.


#2 Problem solving

Have you discovered that it is when you pause a moment to have a careful contemplation that you realize exactly where you kept the car key you’ve spent hours looking for?
Scientists have stated that giving yourself intermittent breaks in a project will help improve your productivity. This is because when you’re into the hustling and bustling, the brain does the same and as such, it has to access several fragmented directories in order to get the exact information you need to be successful at a task. Taking a break relieves the brain of pressure and helps him concentrate on the most important data, therefore increasing your likelihood of a success.

Mathematicians, programmers, and core inventors have been seen to solve the most challenging questions after a contemplative sleep or rest. These persons go to bed with a problem in mind, and then they sleep over it. In order words, they meditate on these problems while they sleep. And the sequel is a problem solved.

I call it the meditative sleep. They utilize this incredible tool to assess knowledge that otherwise would have been impossible or very time-consuming to assess. Isn’t it amazing how this works?

Meditation is a good problem-solving instrument even though we hardly recognize this fact. With this ancient and yet contemporary instrument of significant change, we can solve the most challenging of problems. So yeah, meditation is the big word.


#3 Self-awareness and contemplation.

Self-awareness is a state of consciousness with self in relation to other people. It is how deeply you understand your own self and how these understandings of your core values affect the other person. How the habits you act out influences who you are and the surrounding people.

Many times over, we live the entire day in values that contradicts our fundamental principles. And as such, we cause conflict with self, purpose, and persons. Do you know how many people you offend in a day? Of course, you don’t.

The only way to be fully self-aware of the people you hurt and how our actions affect your environment is by finding time to meditate contemplatively and living a principle-centered life.

In contemplative meditation, you are able to see what you wouldn’t see otherwise. You discover how your actions affect the other person. That level of self-awareness alone is enough to create a highly positive interpersonal relationship with the people around you.

You can begin to see how important meditation can be regardless of your status and the level from which you operate. And as you begin to expand each point, you will find out the unlimited ways it can apply to your businesses, relationships, and family.

In the business organizations, bosses will begin to realize the tremendous impact on productivity meditation is going to have if upheld. Some managers will call it brainstorming but regardless; meditation is a very great problem-solving tool especially in the business setting.

In organizations, departments with pressing problems should be given the time to meditate. Individuals that hold key roles in the running of a department should also be allotted time for their personal contemplation. You will be surprised at the tremendous flow of ideas and solutions to problems. In these sessions, participants will even tend to establish a bonding effect with their roles and duties, which makes the managers less pruned to embark on a “do this and that” type of leadership.

Meditation also applies to relationships. If spouses could find time to meditate, then they will find a sense of relaxation and stress relief even in the midst of their boisterous schedule and commitments to work, family, and kids.
How about in social gatherings. We could be more conscious of the other people’s feelings, more self-aware and thus improve our social relationship with others.


How to Meditate Effectively.

Some personal development advisers and bloggers opine that one should meditate within the early hours of the morning. However, I don’t seem to accept that formula because it does not work for me. I'm sure there are a number of folks out there that might have the same view as I do. I still do my meditation during my own time and it works for me.

Here’s my little piece of advice, if the morning hours is not a good time for you, then find another time that works for you and stick to it. It doesn’t have to be sometime in the morning, afternoon or night, it just has to be a time you feel good about. And this is so because a prerequisite for an effective meditation is that you must be at peace with yourself, you should be able to concentrate and concentration is only realizable when you're committed.

Secondly, meditation requires one to clear the mind of all thoughts and every form of disturbances. That is more of the reason why it is recommended that meditation is done in a very quiet environment. One should be able to put behind every thought and forms of disturbances. It is also at this stage of meditation that you are able to find relaxation; a sense of calm and an apparent separation from the world’s disturbances.

Meditation is not a means to an end. It is both the means and the end. — Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895 – 1986)

The third stage is the point of focus and the reason for meditation. Do you wish to discover the solution to a problem or to become more aware of yourself and your relationship with the people around i.e. how your actions affect your social relationships? Whatever the point of focus is, you have to concentrate all attention and brainpower on it. It is then that you begin to realize a stream flow of ideas and a bunch of revelations you will otherwise not have discovered.

Meditation is a natural way of seeking knowledge or better still, it is a way of unlocking the right brain's visual and intuitive skills together with the left brain's logical and analytical skills. It doesn’t have to be superstitious. Anyone anywhere can always use this tool for increased productivity.

These are the three stage of mediation. So how about taking out time to figure out the many problems you could solve with effective meditation. I bet you will be marveled at the result.

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How often do you meditate and how has it worked for you? Share in the comments below.



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Episode 2: Discover How the Word “START” Can Change Your Life (The Overlooked Secret of the Rich)


start now
photo credit: stocksnap.io

Welcome to the second episode of this series: how to start your business today with little or no money.

The essence of this episode, is to bring to light, the problem people face in business and career pursuit and how the magic word “START” can be the game-changer.

Majority of the people I meet and ask about their goals will always have great stories to tell. They never a lack a word to express their ideas. But why are the same people not making any wave?

Great ideas capable of transforming our world, lie in the recesses of the hearts of men but an inhibition represses its realization. People often get into the temptation of blaming themselves to be supposedly dumb. You will hear something like,
  •   I am a dumb ass
  •   Why can’t I get my head straight?
  •  I suck at this
  •  Everyone’s doing it except me

You keep blaming your innocent self, whereas the problem “like a ghost,” lies unrecognized and untapped.

What’s the problem?
The problem is not your idea. You are not in lack of ideas, in fact, I can bet that if you started this series from the beginning, that a couple of great ideas would have in some way run into your mind.

The Frequently Answered Question (FAQ)
In your next gathering with friends, ask them about their short and long term goals. You will be literally marveled at how the ideas flow. Majority, don’t even regard these ideas as goals, but notice that they will always have something to say, a story to tell, and an idea to share.

This ability to generate ideas and know exactly what we want, comes naturally to us. You probably would recall how when you were a kid and you’ll be asked a couple of times, “what do you want to be in future?” probably your reply was a doctor (I actually did this one), engineer, pilot and some of those high ranking white collar professions.

The point is, you always know what you want even if you may not know how to get there.

Just a few days before writing this post, I personally experimented this.

I met a customer at my work place and during our get-to-know chat, I asked the FAQ – “what goals do you wish to achieve in the long run of your life?” with a certain aura and vigor, he explained how he admired the rich so much and how he has been planning to build a mega business.

This customer detailed his explanation in so much that I was marveled. His definiteness of purpose was astonishing and the motivation that zoomed from the sound of his voice was profound and astounding. 

He was so interested that he’d go the extra mile to explain even what I didn’t request. He went on to explain his idea of a business and the financial projections while I silently listened as the dazzling unction for action proceeded from him.

Guess what else he told me? He had written a plan for his business already.

He explained the whole idea in such an action oriented way that left me wondering at his motivation. Now very curious, I asked, “So, what’s the big picture?”
“I hope to build the biggest business ever known,” he said with every boldness and conviction.

“That’s great, so what are you doing now?”
“I'm actually still planning and making research I hope to fully launch by next year.”

And when I heard that, I knew that there’s no getting near the path to success. This is a very serious problem that not just my customer faced but a large lake of people are facing. How I wish he understood how to harness the START MINDSET.

"The problem is not with your idea, it’s with your mindset."


Do you know that of all existing living things, humans have the best thinking faculty and IQ, and the manner in which the human brain can generate fantastic ideas remains a wonder. You are fully equipped and sophisticated with the resources you need to succeed. Utilize them.

So why do you remain where you are despite all the fantastic ideas running up and down your head? Why can’t you take action even when you’ve figured out exactly what you want to do and how to go about it?



The Overlooked Word That Changes the Game.
The ability to start anything from nothing is one of the greatest talents our world’s most influential people have figured out. Do you and can you harness this talent? Of course you do and you can.

The problem is that we’ve been taught rudimentarily to understand the word “START” from its literal point of view. We fail to acknowledge what tremendous change that single word can bring when we completely decipher its true meaning not just from the literal view but from a metaphysical and philosophical approach.

The word “START” came from the German word Styrtan which means to caper or leap. It is a command to your soul. It’s an automatic trigger for action. It sets you off even when you are not ready. It convinces you when you are criticized. It is a supernatural and extraordinary drive for action. The rule of the word, is:


"Keep going, don’t look back. Soon you will see the light at the end of the tunnel."


We are looking at ‘starting,’ from a very critical and philosophical aspect. It is a force that sets you off at the slightest vista of an idea.

The world’s most successful people has in some way discovered the secret unlock code for incorporating the metaphysical abilities of that word to their lives. They didn’t succeed because they had wonderful ideas (of course you have even better ones), they succeeded because there was that unseen yet evident drive for action that will move them to act whether or not they were ready, whether they succeeded or not. That mindset leads the way and you follow.

It’s very sad that we overlook such a great agent of change.
Maybe you were not aware but do your research and you will discover that.
  •   Mark Zuckerberg had the idea to start Facebook but wasn’t sure about what it would turn out to be (of course no one ever is). A force pushed him to action - THE START MINDSET. Not the idea.
  • Henry Ford claimed no other invention as his own except the phonograph. He stated that other inventions and patents filed in his name, was simply a remodeling of other people’s ideas. What did these people lack that Henry Ford had? THE START MINDSET, not an idea.

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How to Incorporate the ‘START MINDSET’ That Can Change Your Entire Business and Career.
How can you turn the word “START” to a meta-physical trigger in your life that will reward you with undaunted and extraordinary drive for action in your business or career?
  •  Clear your mind
  •  Narrow your focus
  •   Get determined
  •   Associate with dream builders not breakers
  •   Start in the smallest way you can and the muse will catch up with you.
  •  Build confidence in your plan
  •  Find time to meditate (very powerful tool to auto configure your mentality)
  •  Consider partnering with the right people.
  •  Seek a mentor: one is too small a number to achieve success (the #1 rule of teamwork) – John. C. Maxwell.

These steps, will help you incorporate the START MINDSET (The often overlooked principle of the rich) as an action trigger that will activate your career or business. I hope you learn.

And I recommend that you constantly seek for ways to kick of any plan of yours. That’s the only way anyone attains success. It is said, “a journey of a 1000 miles begins with a step.” Let me rephrase that.

"A plan without a start is child’s play."

Continue on this expedition until we’ve fully uncovered the secrets behind making wealth. Continue this series here.

Click here to subscribe so you don’t miss any one of the episodes.

Is there another way to look at the word “start”? In what other ways have you successfully built a START MINDSET? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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About the author

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Leo Smile is a Nigerian Writer, blogger, and Online Entrepreneur. He has hosted many online courses in financial education and career advice. Leo is also currently working on revolutionalizing the business world especially in the area of startups. He is popularly known for his online course, How to start a business with little or no capital.

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