Dont be all about the money

money.jpgA lot of businesses are not successful and profitable in Nigeria because those who run them are going about their business the wrong way. Statistic says that only 1 in about 3 startup businesses in the country lives longer than 5 years. This shows that there is something wrong with the way our entrepreneurs exercise their entrepreneurship.

I have found that most business owners in Nigeria are all about the money. They are only in business just to make money from people and enrich their pockets. They really don’t have long term commitments to the business or the people they serve. They just want their business to cater to their various needs and luxuries now.

I am of the strong opinion that meeting needs ought to be the priority of any  business venture; solving problems and not making money. I don’t like the idea of starting business just because you have to make ends meet or simply because you cant find a job. That’s the reason many people start businesses in Nigeria. These are good reasons to launch into the waters of entrepreneurship but they should not be your only and or leading reason.

I don’t like the idea of starting business just because you have to make ends meet or simply because you cant find a job. These are good reasons to launch into the waters of entrepreneurship but they should not be your only and or leading reason.

This is not to say that making healthy profits in business is wrong because right next to meeting needs is making profit. But never before it. You can make profits without meeting needs; it won’t just be sustained. And yes, you can meet needs without making profit too; but that is hardly the case except you are running a charity.

The point however here is that your chances of making sales, increasing returns, and making healthy profits are enormous when you are focused on meeting needs rather than on making money.

We don’t have strong brands in Nigeria. A strong brand is one that resonates both functionally and emotionally with its customers. No brand will promise to just make money off its customers although many act just like that. They don’t promise that because it is common sense to know that people are not looking for people to give their money to; they are seeking people who will solve their problems and they will pay sufficiently for such help.

It is said about God, that we shouldn’t go after his gifts but rather after him, the giver of the gifts. Likewise, businesses shouldn’t go after the money of their customers but rather the customers themselves. When you have me, you have all that I have (my money inclusive). Even in cases where repeat business isn’t possible, the moment you win me over, you can be sure I’d replicate myself to patronize you through friends, associates and family.

Businesses shouldn’t go after the money of their customers but rather the customers themselves.

Businesses ought to be in the business of sweeping their customers off their feet, taking their breathe away, blowing them into unprecedented ecstasy. You should be trying to win people and not make money. Because money is temporal, always moving places, but people are always there. Because money is owned by people and not people by money; it is wise to be after them than after their money.

You cant make real money in life if you are all about money. You have to be about several other things. You have to be about service, about giving, about management, deferring gratification, making sacrifices and investments, making wise decisions, etc. Money alone doesn’t make rich, these other things do.

Afolabi Soaga

 

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A Christmas day Speech

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Our Christmas barbecue in church was tagged ‘Jesus’ birthday’. And like some other birthday parties we attend, folks were given the chance to talk about the celebrant. How they met him and how their relationship has been thus far. I didn’t get passed the mic and so I’ve decided to recount my own story here.

*coughs*

As much as I’d have loved to, I can’t remember the exact day, hour and second I met him. Like I can’t remember the exact day, hour or second I met my other friends. Maybe it’s because it wasn’t a ceremonious meeting, or maybe it’s because our love happened softly. They say it’s wise to choose good friends; in my case, the best friend there can ever be chose me and I’m glad I agreed.

in my case, the best friend there can ever be chose me and I’m glad I agreed

I’ve always been a ‘Christian’ for the most part of my life that I can remember. I did everything the average Christian does. I attended church services as often as I could, I argued about religion at every slight opportunity, gave my own share of N5 when it was offering time, slept through sermons only to be tapped out of it rudely by ushers, etc. it’s a good thing to have been raised up a Christian. But I find that all my parents did was introduce me to a religion and that helped me find faith and Jesus. You don’t find Christ until you believe him and his gospel. And that didn’t necessarily happen at an instance for me really, it was a gradual deepening process that I went through over time. That’s partly why I don’t have a date I can name. All I can say Is that I have come to believe on him and I always re-affirm this faith as often as I have needed to.

And that didn’t necessarily happen at an instance for me really, it was a gradual deepening process that I went through over time

Now to how our relationship has been thus far…

The first thing that strikes me about the lord is his love for me. Ours has so far been a truly true love story. Countless times I have failed and disappointed him; countless time he has forgiven. Why and how he does it, I can’t exhaustively explain, I don’t even try to reason it out, I just enjoy and bask in it. Jesus’ love has never been conditional. He’s loved me at my best and at my worst. When the feeling was mutual and when it wasn’t. Whether I felt like it or not. His love has been that constant ‘X’ in my life’s mathematical equation.

His love has been that constant X in my life’s mathematical equation.

His loving me has taught me what love really means and has led me to love him much too. It has also taught me to love others; to be tolerant of their faults, to always look for the best in them, and to always offer to help bring out their best at all times.

His faithfulness is epic. Just when you think he’d leave you, there he remains with you. Through thick and thin, he’s never ashamed of you even when you are ashamed of yourself. His loyalty is legendary. He has been faithful to me and the things that are important to me.

Then there is his grace. I like to call it my shine. Prior to our relationship, I was pretty much average. There was no boldness, no confidence, no uniqueness; or maybe they were all there, but I never found them. Christ has helped me see my best self and attain it. Of course this is a process; I keep getting better and better, brighter and brighter, smarter and smarter, wiser and wiser, richer and richer, finer and finer, every day and in every way. God’s grace has made and is continuing to make all the difference in my life.

And lastly, he gives me hope. That hope is why I’m always joyful, positive and full of life and energy. I truly understand what it means to have life and have it abundantly. I am truly alive. Not that I don’t have bad days, but through it all I shine. Nothing ever keeps me down. I’m aware that he’s always got my back. I know that in the end, it will all be alright; and that if it isn’t, then it is not the end. No matter how today seems my future here on earth and hereafter is never bleak. His hope brings this boundless excitement into my life. And this means a lot to me. It allows me fly without wings, be free just as the wind; it allows me to be me and to enjoy the process of living life.

His hope brings this boundless excitement into my life. And this means a lot to me. It allows me fly without wings, be free just as the wind; it allows me to be me and to enjoy the process of living life.

There are countless other things to write, but I’ll save ink and paper for another day. This has not been an attempt to get you to believe in Jesus and start your own relationship with him (if you don’t already do so); it has only been an attempt to share my overwhelming experience with my savior. I’ve only written as much as words and talent can permit me, there is so much more to our relationship than I can find words to express. If this moves you to want to have this same experience too, then I’d be glad it did, and I’d be happy to help out.

Compliments of the Season.

Have a prosperous new year!

 

 

 

2014

Hi there, it’s a pleasure to have you again this New Year. The year promises great things ahead and it is my prayer that you and I partake of the greatness the year has to offer. My article today is long overdue. It was intended to be a New Year post but for some reasons it was delayed. None the less, here is it today.

Originally though, the contents of today’s piece were not intended to be a blog post but rather a tweet post of a couple of lessons I learnt in 2013 that I intend to apply in 2014 (i tweet @inspireda4). But the more I thought about the year, the more stuff I came up with.

I present them here in form of nuggets. These are the thoughts I have begun to run my year with. Take your time to read through, think well on them, and adopt that which is relevant to you. i usually pick a random thought like one of these nuggets and then build an article round it, but here i present several thoughts in simple and understanding terms and i hope you find them worth while.So we begin:

Don’t seek to change; seek to be better

Live by your convictions

Be true to yourself

Up your game or be history.

It isn’t mere repetition that creates perfection. If you keep doing things wrongly; all you will be is ‘perfectly wrong’

Certain things are best done with people, others are best done alone. Staying ahead requires knowing which one best suits your present circumstance.

My failures of yesterday is part of my success today. Because by getting it wrong then, i discovered successfully another way how certain things should not be done

Nobody is really better than me; i only have people who have put more efforts and done more than i have; thus accomplishing more. And in truth, what they have done, i also can and even better

Greatness isn’t achieved when you impress people but rather when you impact them.

Opportunities are like ‘classy chicks’. When they are available for grabs, they will offer you signals, but they won’t come to you. It is left to you to woo them over and grab them while they last. And  remember, they won’t linger for ever

Whether i win or lose is not a matter of how good my opponent is but rather how good i am and how good i can become before the match

The opportunity of a life time must be taken in the life time of the opportunity………Paul Adefarasin

Be Selfless: the opposite of love isn’t Hate, but selfishness.

Pointing fingers is one of the easiest things to do, it is also one of the lamest I know. Quit the blame game.

Generosity is the way forward. We give up to go up.

Take care of what is yours or it will be taken from your care

Avoid debts, too much of it can kill you

Don’t trust yourself too much. Remember you are still human and you are’nt above mistakes

Not all that glitters is gold. Don’t seek to have everything. That is greed.

Breed love. You can’t go wrong loving people.

Live your life

Unleash every potential

Make impact

Achieve Greatness

 

I am doing my best to allow all these principles guide my decisions and inform my actions. They are not novel to  me and so its easier for me to do that. However, I’d recommend that you pick one or two that is most relevant to you and commit it to memory. As a  man thinks, so does he act. It is one thing to make plans and decide on some action point, but to execute is  more important. So pick one and execute and I believe it will make this year more beautiful for you.

Love

Me.Image

needful before entering the new year

Just the other day I was in church, pastor Samparay (a friend) was preaching a wonderful sermon during which he said something about forgiveness. And like it regularly happens, my mind flew over so many things trying to make other meanings from that word apart from what he was saying and like suddenly, something wonderful just dawned on me like it has never done before. I realized for the first time that the words forgive and forget which usually go hand in hand actually have more similarities and close tie to one another just like giving and getting does than we often notice. I saw this perspective that to For-give and for-get is actually to-give and to-get. I’ll try and build a small opinion around this in the next paragraphs.
It is not enough to forgive; we should also try to forget because forgiving without forgetting is like sowing a seed and then neglecting the harvest. When we forgive, it is like we are doing our offender a favor, it’s like we are giving them a gift, which is a good thing. But then for the benefits of ourselves we ought to also forget because when we forget, it’s like we are getting a favor back in return; like we are giving ourselves a Gift as well.
Now this sounds silly and probably different from what we’ve always heard about this subject, I know too. But come to think of it, could this not be the principle the only wise God is also operating when he said:
Isa 43:25 I, even I, am He Who blots out and cancels your transgressions, for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins. (AMP) emphasis mine

When God forgives he forgets. He doesn’t bring up again old issues. And he said here that he does it for his own sake. Of course, it’s not because he has a dull memory that he forgets, rather he chooses to. It is a conscious effort from his own side to choose not to remember them because when we choose to not forget but rather keep record of the wrongs done to us, we are doing ourselves more harm than good.
Forgiving without forgetting is like paying the cashier at the mall for the stuffs you buy and then refusing to pick the goods when you are done. Forgiveness is like killing the house rat disturbing your home, while forgetting is you deciding to dispose its corpse when you are done. If you don’t, it just might stink you to death. So God allows the annoying rats of our sins to die by forgiving them, then he picks up the corpse and throws it into the ocean where it can never be remembered again because keeping it will only stink his house which we are. So even God believes that to For-give and for-get is actually to-give and to-get (so don’t expect him to query you about some stuffs at judgment day- he has long forgotten about them).
Like earlier said, you don’t and can’t possibly format your memory like you can a memory card, forgetting is a conscious effort you do by consciously deciding not to bring up old issues whenever the opportunity arises. So it is not that you can wipe them off your memory, but rather you can choose to pay no attention to them and dis-attach yourself from any offense previously taken. I understand that at times, unconsciously, these things do come back by themselves. The only cure I have so far found to dealing with unconscious thoughts and habits is to consciously do the reverse and subdue them.
BRINGING IT HOME.
Let’s bring this entire story to an end. Apostle Paul said ‘Of course, my friends, I really do not think that I have already won it; the one thing I do, however, is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead.’ A new year is ahead of us and we are all reaching for it. That is new challenges, new opportunities and new victories. 2013 must have had its ups and downs, highs and lows. There might have been people who hurt us, and situations that disappointed us. However, as we move into a new season we need to let go completely of the old wine of 2013. We need to forgive and also forget. We need to bury those dead rats of the season gone by forever! Forgive the people who hurt you and forgive yourself also. You are not only doing them a favour, you are doing yourself a greater favour. Reach for the better things and don’t let the things behind pull you to the back. Though the bible says it’s better to give than to get, it never said that getting is a bad thing; so perhaps its more important to forgive than to forget, it is however important also to forget. Ghandhi said “forgiveness is an attribute of the strong”, I add that forgetting afterwards is a principle of the wise and the God-kind.
Have a splendid new year.

Soaga afolabi o
Inspireda4.wordpress.com

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