AOC Generation

I don’t really know how it works these days, but I remember well that while I was in secondary school, we had a habit of always asking our teachers whenever exams were approaching for what we called an AOC.

AOC is acronym for Area of Concentration. The idea is that, if we were taught 8 topics during that term or semester, and the exam will only cover say  4 topics, the AOC tells us where to focus our reading efforts on such that rather than read the entire 8 topics, we can focus effort and attention on the 4 guaranteed exam topics.  Good way to save energy, focus energy and increase efficiency!

While AOC proved to be a good idea in some cases; in some other cases, it wasn’t. There were times when certain ‘wicked’ teachers decided to mislead us by giving us wrong AOCs. So he says read topics 1 to 4, and then he ends up setting topics 5 to 8 in the exam. I’m sure you know that the result of that is usually not pretty. Someone reading this must have had such nasty experiences too. So early enough, I’ve learnt not to be an AOC dependent student; when I have an examination, I leave no stone unturned, master all I should; and in retrospect, I think it is a good idea that has worked well for me.

Being an AOC person is too risky as a student in school and even more importantly, as a student outside school. Many people want to know that ONE thing that they can do to become successful, that ONE thing they can do to make a first class in school, that ONE thing they can do to make more money, that ONE thing they can do to land that dream job, that one thing that will make their marriage heaven; just that ONE thing!

Newsflash- there is hardly a one-thing-to-do! Instead there are usually SEVERAL things to do. Success in life and any endeavor is rarely an easy-one way-formula. If it were, everybody would be successful. Further still, what works at a particular level might not at another level. To crown it all, life as a teacher doesn’t give AOCs… it doesn’t even have an examination timetable. You have to ALWAYS be prepared and not only that, you also have to be FULLY prepared.

You have to ALWAYS be prepared and not only that, you also have to be FULLY prepared.

In conclusion, examinations in life and other specific circumstances are not just given so that you can pass them. There are there so that you can become something by reason of them. There are there to certify that you have learnt enough if not all of what they are about. AOCs are good, but they only make you half baked. Sooner or later, questions will pop from areas outside your AOC. The question then is- will you be able to tackle them?

Afolabi Soaga

Forging your Business Ahead (a tale on opportunities)

One thing that aspiring speakers look forward to is an opportunity to speak at events. The bigger the crowd, the bigger the excitement; the higher the caliber of people you have in the audience, the better the opportunity.

I recently turned down one such opportunity. It was at an event that had one of Nigeria’s foremost and most notable speaker and consultant in attendance. Okay, maybe I didn’t turn down the opportunity per se, but I didn’t push for the chance even though it was somewhat presented to me.

The decision could have been motivated by either of 2 things- fear or wisdom.

The prosperity of fools will destroy them (Proverbs 1:32). I wasn’t prepped to make a presentation that day. If I had decided to just wing it, I feared that I’d flop it and make a mess of myself. I believe that It is somewhat wise to turn down opportunities you are not prepared for.

I believe that It is somewhat wise to turn down opportunities you are not prepared for.

A take home from that however is to always be ready. Wiser is the man who is ready for his opportunity when it comes. Like the 5 wise virgins in the bible, don’t wait for opportunity before you get ready, instead be proactive; be always ready!

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Maybe I was ready; I was simply also afraid. Fear is a dangerous enemy. I have found it to be more dangerous than whatever caused it in the first place. Fear is a fierce thief that steals your willpower and prevents you from achieving things that aren’t beyond you. Often it starts little, but the more you tolerate it, the stronger it gets and the weaker your will becomes.

Fear is a fierce thief that steals your willpower and prevents you from achieving things that aren’t beyond you

A take home is that one should be ruthless when dealing with fear. Because fear never goes easy on you, don’t go easy on it. You’ve got to kill it before it kills you. How? Take courage. Courage they say isn’t the absence of fear, but taking action despite of it.

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Image Credit: Google

Bringing it home, how can you relate this to your brand or business?

Never be in a haste to get publicity. Always note that a good service will bring 3 more customers while a bad one will chase 3000. Make sure you have all angles covered at all times; you can’t afford to be scrappy. Soon your chance to showcase your brand big time will come; will the chance make you or ruin you? Preparation + opportunity (publicity) = success

failure is often a stepping stone on your way to success

Also, believe in your brand and the experience you have to offer. It is only then that others are permitted to believe in it too. Don’t be afraid to fail; failure is often a stepping stone on your way to success. Believe in yourself enough to share your gifts with the world. Many rewards await you.

Be great

Afolabi Soaga