Yo, It's My Birthday!

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Happy birthday to me!

Let me try to look for a recent photo of me to share. One with my new specs/glasses. Hmm. I can't find one to share. Will share later. 

[To insert nice photo here someday]

This year has been a great one for me -- made more money than I have ever made before, finally broke free from the employee mindset (will elaborate in another paragraph) and started seriously building solutions that will sell themselves without my active involvement (mass-market products). I know it is not advisable to be very proud of one's achievements because of the common saying that pride is the beginning of downfall. So I try everyday to forget where I am coming from and how far I have come in order to avoid feeling successful and begin to invite my downfall. But if I am being objective and saying things as they really are -- three years ago I never would have believed that I would be where I am today. Not that I have an absolute much now but compared to what and who I was in 2014, now is like I hit a jackpot. And for that I am very grateful to God and all of you who have in little and big ways contributed to my progress in life.

And as a way of paying forward that gratitude, at least for those who are not happy with their current life/job and want a radical change, today I will be sharing the lessons I learned since I took the bold bet of changing my life course and followed the entrepreneurship path.

1. Employee Mindset vs Entrepreneur Mindset
My biggest obstacle was my employee mindset. The very things and skills and habits that made me a great asset to my bosses and the companies I worked for, surprisingly, were hindering my business from growing. 

You know how you used to feel when you see a junior colleague get a new job that is higher than yours in both status and pay, and then you try to pin it to some professional certification or MSc/PhD that he has and you don't? And how you always try to match or outdo your peers in your physical presentation/appearance, in being-in-charge attitude and work skills? 

The unfortunate result is that you take too many things personal. You can't afford to say no to a request from your bosses' bosses' boss. You can't afford to see other people get promotion or better new jobs without thinking they're leaving you behind. You can't think of paying someone else to do your job, the company mustn't find out or you might be sacked. You are always trying to improve your hard-skills and learning new ones.

So what's wrong with all that? Nothing, if you have a career to grow. But a lot is wrong with all that if you are building your own company. First, is that the competition mindset that helped you best other job prospects and guaranteed you promotion in your paid employment is going to ruin you in entrepreneurship. Also, if you swap pleasing your bosses with pleasing your clients no matter what, life in business is going to be brutally hard for you. Lastly, it is better to spend more time on strategy and product formulation than on the treadmill of hard-skills development. And I learned all these the hard and painful way.

In entrepreneurship, having a strategy and prudently implementing it is the key to long lasting growth. Forget about what other people are doing. In fact, forget about gaining more qualifications and certificates. Ignore what your friends in paid jobs are doing and saying, even if they earn more than your company makes as revenue. Stop trying to bend to every potential client's needs/requests. Be very structured in your services and products. Remove yourself from the operational (day-to-day) aspects of the business. Have products that sell themselves without too much custom work from you. Pay people to do what you already do extremely well (and this can be very hard in the beginning). Let all the aspects of you that don't matter to the bottomline not be a priority -- forget about your looks, your phonetics and every other thing that would have mattered in pursuit of the CEO/MD role in another man's company but don't contribute to your sales in your own company that can't fire you. 

2. Prioritize Learning What You Need Now For Your Next Business Growth Phase
Today, in church, Pastor Poju Oyemade was preaching on the right strategies for starting, running and growing your business. That rather than first getting a well furnished expensive office before getting clients, you should first learn the trading part (sell to clients first) and build the business on that learning. And many other things that are very correct and valuable. But guess what? I didn't really enjoy it. Why? Now my brain is configured to seek just what I need now for the next phase in my business. 

You won't see me attending conferences, business events and taking business courses just because they are advertised as helpful to entrepreneurs or I could find something of value there. I am not looking for something that can help me by using the scatter approach -- going everywhere and learning everything. I know what the pain points in my business are and I focus more on learning that will help me overcome those issues. I practice what is called energy management rather than time management. Time management is focused on doing more with your 24 hours a day; energy management focuses on doing the right things only. 

You won't find me learning some new hardskills if I don't know how to monetize it and have well laid out plans of fitting it into my company's big strategy. I won't even attend conferences just because some bigshots worth knowing are there. I am not looking for a job or one big contract. I know my customers and where to get them, big man your pocket. I would rather go where my conventional customers are than where some celebrated people are.

3. Long Term
I focus more on direction than speed. I don't ask myself how much I have done (anymore) but where am I heading. That is why I have stopped writing blog posts daily. I am de-emphasising activities in my life. I am a naturally hardworking person, I can't sit still without doing something. Even when I am sick, I work. I don't know how to take a vacation, the thought of not doing any serious work is not one I find appealing at all (made worse by the fact that I will be paying for the vacation). 

Now I focus more on weeding. Weeding out unnecessary activities in my life. I pick a long term goal and head in its direction. I don't bother too much about my speed of progress, I only make sure I don't do anything that isn't in the direction of my big long term goal.

That is the main reason I have not fully started the R and Python training courses. The when is not a big issue, the doing it right and properly is the priority.


And those are my birthday gifts to you all. I think they are the most valuable things I can offer. If they are useful to you, do let me know.

Cheers. And wish me long life and prosperity. 😀

3 comments:

  1. HBD Micheal. This is one of your best posts on being self sufficient. They are entrepreneurship tips not commonly taught. More grease as you age with grace.

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  2. HBD Boss.......The Lord will continue to increase you and favor your among People. Very good insight and straight talk(great birthday cake more valuable than the menu menu)

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  3. You don't just know how helpful your post have been , its sad though you won't be posting daily with all been said , cheers I wish long life I really really do ...

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