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Friday, July 29, 2016

What's up with humanity?

The world couldn't get any more crazier than it is right now. With all the drama in US politics, crazy terrorist attacks every now and then, one can only worry how humanity seems to be very absent in humans these days. Like we literally do not give a hoot about people's feelings and when you do, it probably just a political move to score cheap points or win favours.

I've been following the #SaveMayowa trend, about a lady that Nigerians came together to fund-raise over $100,000 for Stage 4 Ovarian cancer treatment. Amidst all the drama that ensued, one particular thread of tweets caught my attention and it almost brought tears to my eyes. Read the thread below:

*UPDATE to the above TWEET thread*

This is definitely worth looking into as there are more Davids out there neglected by society and the government. There's so much we could do by just spreading the love.

I personally believe the mess created out of the previous issue should not deter people with good intentions from giving. Although, it is also evident that it may not have been a scam.

So I wanted to put up a post one time about how annoying it can be in these days of social media. I think a message I listened to by Joyce Meyer rightly described it well. In some not too distant past, we wrote letters to our loved ones [not copied templates from the web or manage to write HBD LLNP on someone's birthday], paid physical visits to friends and played outside while nature was a spectator.
Somehow, those processes required lots of connection, real socializing and emotional bonding. I mean even love letters were a thing at some point. But these days, we have it easy with technology which in its bid to connect us together actually does the opposite. We have become lazy and self-absorbed these days.

I'm pretty sure we were much happier when there were no phones because we channeled our thoughts into words and penned them down. And when possible we visited our loved ones and were much present in the moments we shared with them. No notifications buzzing, or what have you.

Another funny trend is the habit of 'checking up'. Now it seems people 'check up' these days just to measure up and update their personal memory archives of where you are at that point in time. That's pretty much it. You can read the lack of genuineness in the 'check up' the moment they drop the call only for you to discover 90% of the time was spent mining data from you like some interrogatory interview.

It's time we stop comparing. Social Media is all a facade. No one ever posts their down moments for you to see, neither does everyone have it all together. So be thankful for where you are and keep trusting God to take you to where you desire. Here's something I wrote in a Facebook post one time on the issue:

How Market?
On the business side of things, we closed two key partnerships this week and I'm mega excited to see where this leads.

Wish you all an awesome weekend ahead and feel free to drop your feedback or comments on the issues above.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

I wrote a Poem after a long while

I slept pretty early yesterday and woke up to many missed calls. But I needed that sleep and I'm glad I got it. Only challenge now is that I'm awake at this awkward hour. I have been thinking of a reasonable strategy to reach more audience with my project which I'm involved in full time [This baby here >> www.elearn.ng].

I get a lot of "wow, nice concept", "we need this". If for every "wow", I got a Naira, I will be rolling with Uncle Aliko right now.

*inner voice screams* "Stop lying Michael!"

Whatever. *shrugs*

So, the other awesome part of this well deserved rest is that I was actually woken up by the muse. When this happens, I know something cool is popping. Right there in my half-awake mode, at 1:30am, the first few lines came into my subconscious...It was beautiful. I shrugged it off. Then more lines...No way...I woke up and penned typed it up in my phone's notepad.

Earlier in the day, I had read something beautiful around the same theme from the awesome Somto. We did an awesome collabo sometime ago on a poem about Nigeria. It was really cool. In case you want to check it out, it's still available, although it could use some editing.

This time last year I was in Venice, Italy and I happened to stay there for a couple of months. July is usually a month where one of the amazing festivals called 'Redentore' happens.  So they practically build a bridge every year that links one part of Venice to another island called Giudecca. Then close to midnight, there is a display of fireworks and people camp out till late, out in the open, eating, drinking and soaking in the beautiful night view of Venetian waters. Sigh. I hope to go next year as I was told by my friends that this year's was even more awesome. Anyways, fingers crossed.

So, when you read this poem you will understand where the inspiration came from...here you go.


Friday, July 15, 2016

Let me Rant today

So today I went in for a meeting to seek for sponsorship on a project I'm planning and the outcome wasn't too good but that's not even my major issue. I am very concerned right now about the future of Nigeria. Okay hang on, that's normal anyways. To be more specific, I am very very concerned about the state of the educational system in this country. Now I'm not even going to begin with the issues at all. They are numerous. I remember doing a podcast assignment where we were talking about access to technology and quality of usage impacts the digital divide.

We were meant to take different country perspectives and I obviously was talking from the Nigerian perspective and it made me more aware of how far we have to go. While others debated around quality of technology usage, my major issue of debate was even around technology access as quality of usage would have been a case of putting the cart before the horse. Penetration of technology is still relatively low. Relatively.

So this project I'm planning on a good day is as a result of government's neglect to the overall educational system but there seems to be a myopic view to it all even when you try to help. It's like a man who house is on fire that prioritizes finishing the late night news to putting out the fire. Sooner or later, someone's going to be suya.

I remember going for a meeting around Marina and on my way, I passed by a lady buying some items by the road side and two small girls were around her pleading for some money/hand out. And she goes "Go and work". I was almost forced to stop and ask her what she meant. 5 year old girls at 10am in the morning should go and work. Work where? I understand that as humans we tend to be very comfy as long as we are okay and our immediate environment is okay...and that's fine anyways. However, there are some who don't have it easy as you and someone has got to do the job of salvaging the situation, take initiative and put their money where their mouth is.

I personally love people who walk the talk. If you must talk, then by all means walk and work that talk. Too many analysts who do nada. They are good at breaking down and analyzing issues but solutions? Na.

Government has not done much to salvage the situation and if Africa is said to have a youth population of about 60% and we aren't bothered about how these youths will be educated/enlightened, then we are chilling on a ticking time bomb. It's only a matter of time...

There is so much and I choose to make an impact in my own way using technology to enhance learning outcomes.
What is the role you will play on your end in developing Nigeria/Africa?

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Business Lessons from Lagos Traffic

So I struggled with sleep so much that I slept in my sleep. Haha. More like 'Inception' happened. It was my body who had the upper hand this time. Greatness one day at a time is anchored on the foundation of consistency. It's how habits are formed. Taking that shot once a day which turns to twice a day, every hour and you're hooked.

Today was spent at a video shoot with a client amidst responding to tons of emails, putting out fires and trying to balance an already tipping social life. So I have resolved to strike that balance because it is what puts spice in everything.

So today on my way home, I was thinking about how much we have to learn from our environment. Let's not even get started with nature on it's own which is not my focus. I mean everyday life. The moments spent in Lagos traffic commuting home are usually one of my most reflective moments. Before it used to be doing laundry at late hours which has not happened in a long while.

I personally feel there's a lot we can learn on corporate business from the so-called informal economy in Nigeria. In it's crudest form of application, I feel hawkers in Lagos traffic can teach one a lot on business. I'll take a few of the things we can learn from them:

Lagos Traffic [Image Credit]

Product Availability: There is virtually nothing you cannot buy in Lagos traffic. Trust me I mean literally nothing, from live chickens to landed properties to food items to...anything. Now one mistake you can make as well is to make eye contact with a typical Lagos traffic hawker sales personnel. Asides having a huge range of offerings, you always find them when you need them, traffic spots. Hardly will you see traffic without a hawker sales personnel. There's hardly shortage except you see the KAI officials [responsible for regulating such activities] on their trail.

Sales and Marketing: The client prospecting to sales closure game is strong as anything. All you need is make eye contact and they are kind enough to shove that fresh Gala sausage roll in your face and advertise all the wares on display just in case you may change your mind [which you most likely will]. They make you hungry even when you never planned to be. Another key skill is cross-selling and key partnerships. Once you buy that gala, the same Gala guy may ask you to try to take another brand of sausage roll in case your plan was to grow sausage rolls on your head while the Lacasera soda drink seller is right on queue with a chilled drink to 'wash down' the snacks. Epic Closure game. Did I mention that they sell in motion and run after your vehicle while calculating your balance and packaging your purchased items. No downtime man. Hardcore sales.

Tenacity: I am tempted to believe Usain Chukwuemeka Bolt was once a hawker in Lagos traffic. Now let me give you a typical scenario. You are in a fast moving traffic and out of your wickedness sudden realization, you remember you have to purchase some snacks and your flick your hair to the side and you whisper a melodious "Psst...Gimme one Gala". Now hold on for a second, you only made an open call for RFPs, in this case Gala. No one needs to tell you the 100m senior boys race just started as you will see about 5 grown men chasing after your moving vehicle with boxes of sausage roll on their hands, money on the other, slippers flipping into the air as they race to be the first to reach you. Now once the lucky one reaches you, the follow through game is strong. They are always smart to leave their wares on your fast moving vehicle while they count your balance and hand you your goods. All this while, the only thing they are focused oon is closing that sale.
Street Hawkers Peddling their goods [Image Credit]
Only after that sale is closed do they remember their rubber slippers as they now make their way back to locate the poor footwear. Sometimes, we neglect the core of our business [whatever that is] to focus on mundane things while forgetting that at the end of the day, not selling = no business.

There's surely a whole lot more to learn and this list is not exhaustive at all. I must rest now as tomorrow is another day. Media interview at noon and of course focusing on the core for the rest of the day.

Wow...time's far spent.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Get up 8 times!

I have spent the last 18 hours in front of this PC non-stop and ideally I should be tired and exhausted but I am definitely not giving up just yet.

So I tried fixing an email activation problem on a platform we just launched and it finally got to work some minutes ago. Almost 1am but it feels so beautiful to see hard work finally pay off. I will definitely get up happier knowing that things will get better.

I am learning to understand failure better. For whatever it takes, I can stare it in the face and stand my ground. NO more safer routes and familiar terrain. That's boring. Greatness like I said in my previous post is achieved one day at a time and part of greatness demands a shift from the norm, the usual, the common, the majority and a transition to the uncommon, the unfamiliar terrain.

That is where ability is truly stretched and flaws are probably more evident. However, our seemingly visible flaws are only a revelation of blind spots which helps us take action to correct them. Like the Bible says, the righteous man shall fall seven [7] times and will rise again [Proverbs 24:16]

Fall down seven and stand up eight. Success is good if it doesn't get to your head and failure isn't so bad if it doesn't get to your heart. So don't be afraid of failure. Get UP NOW!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Greatness One Day at a Time

Hello Everyone!

As awkward as this seems, it feels great to pen down a few words that have been on my mind this past week but first allow me to welcome you to this amazing second half of 2016.

There are many things to be thankful for and as I saw it put somewhere, the world needs a BIG TIGHT COSY GROUP HUG right now.

Image Credit
Everything seems to be upside down and chaos seems to be the order of the day. This is where individual responsibility comes in as we individually in our little areas of influence choose to be the light. The tiniest ray of light is potent enough to dispel any force of darkness.

Let us be the light in our schools, work places, street corners, living rooms, churches, mosques, etc. Just a little light for a start and watch how influential the light spreads. Let's repay hate with love, anger with kind words, rebellion with reasoning, and what have you.

As Mother Theresa said, an eye for an eye make the whole world go blind.
Image Credit

On my end, I have decided to take my quest for greatness one day at a time. One idea at a time. One decision at a time. Consistency is the key thing and however little I will take baby steps to achieve my goals and I urge you to do same.

I wish you all a great week ahead! Speaking of greatness, now let me dust some thick cobwebs here. Haha!