Category Archives: Personal branding

Does Motivational Books and Stories Really Work? – Pt. 1

What has made profound books like Think and Grow Rich, The Law of Success and How to Raise Your Own Salary all by Napoleon Hill; The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason; How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie; As a Man Thinketh by James Allen and The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale remain classics after decades?

(In fact, I can bet it’s hard to see anybody who’s so successful that don’t know any of these books. It’s hard! And I hope you’ll be convinced to get them after reading this post.)

There are testimonies of what these books have done in the lives of men, women, boys, girls, Africans, Americans, Asians, Europeans… and almost all people group that have had access to these materials.

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Yet, I see folks who say, ” Motivational books are scam! It doesn’t work.” And I’m like, “Are you on this planet?”

While I understand what they mean, I still have a personal library because of a personal experience of the power of some motivational books.

I entered the office of my boss this morning at about 09:55am and guess what? He had this book in front of him: The China Strategy and trust me, I googled it instantly. Because I know the power of these materials. (That’s one secret of having a mentor.)

So, why does it feel as though these books don’t work? How can we read these books and profit from it?

What if we read these books with a mindset that ask these questions:

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1). WHAT PRINCIPLES ARE THE AUTHORS TEACHING?

There’s a difference between principles and methods.

If an author says he was able to raise $1M through personal savings and loan in six months after starting his business why will you in Ghana want to do the same thing and if it fails, you start complaining to everyone you know that these guys are lying? Why?!

My friend, calm down! I can see at least two principles from the example above: perseverance and planning.

He got his result in six months not six hours. And he mentioned at least two plans he used: personal savings and loan not empty paper with no plans at all.

So, take the principles and apply them. In your case, you can even create seven plans. Just stay there and apply it first.

You’ll see result. Sometimes even faster than the author or later.

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2). WHERE WAS THE BOOK WRITTEN?

I was speaking at a training on Employability Skills for 21st Century when I mentioned the importance of motivational books. And someone said they don’t work. I had to interrupt and was like, “It does work but the location matters.”

See, there are different kinds of tax laws, business laws and all those laws enacted by nations that control what they do. Thus, as you read such books, bear in mind the location of the author.

When I read Branding 101 and Marketing 101 by Trump University, it was so inspiring I felt like taking over the business space of Nigeria 😁.

On the contrary, when I engaged Small Money, Big Business by Akin Alabi, founder of NairaBET.com, I understood it fast. It was homely.

He dropped the cookies on the lower shelf for me like John Maxwell would say. And in my branding journey (for African Teens, African Employees and African Educators) his book has helped me the most.

Akin Alabi wrote as a Nigerian and African. Trump University gives a global view – which is also important.

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3). WHERE AM I?

Kenya? Ivory Coast? Egypt? These places are different from each other let alone European countries from where most motivational books come from.

In a large part of Europe and the US, there are lots of places where free WiFi is available and neighborhood mentorship programs for entrepreneurs.

But in Africa, we’re still on the throttle level for that. And I know we’re getting better.

So, how can a teenager who is not working, start a blog and keep it updated? How can our start-up founders get steady mentorship when most of the successful entrepreneurs are so busy to scale their mentorship programs?

Knowing where you are will help you understand your challenges as opposed to where the author is. Yet, it shouldn’t stop you.

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4). HOW CAN I APPLY THESE PRINCIPLES HERE?

After reading the books from Trump University, I asked myself this question: How can I brand myself for teens, for teachers & for employees in Nigeria and Africa using the principles I read?

My decisions for teens?

Make branded shirts which I’d wear from time to time, learn to visit secondary schools often and talk with them, share branded gift items like wrist bands

It’s not going to be all about the YouTube thing that most books advise because most African teens have phones but not enough data. Although, I still have online plans.

For you, ask yourself same question. You’ll get answers.

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5). WHAT DO I BELIEVE ABOUT THESE PRINCIPLES?

The book, As a Man Thinketh says it so well. If after reading this and you still don’t believe these books work, they won’t. Why? The Law of Belief.

Apart from natural laws like gravity which works whether you believe or not, there are some things you can’t experience until you believe it. If by chance you see it in your life, just in a short while it’ll disappear except your mind adapts to it.

If you believe, they’ll work. If you don’t, forget it.

The other questions will come as part two of this post.

If this has been helpful, remember to share it.

FRIDAY BOOK REVIEW WITH CHUKS | THE ONE THING BY GARY KELLER.

Book review of The ONE Thing by Gary Keller.
Book Review

In 12 points, 12 quotes and 12 questions, you’ll learn a whole lot from the book.

12 POINTS

  1. Extraordinary success is sequential not simultaneous. There’s a challenge: life doesn’t line up everything for us accordingly. And that’s why successful people line up what their life is about around their priorities.
  2. The maxim that everything matters equally is a big lie and a thief to being effective in life.
  3. Multitasking is also a stain. It’s not as effective as we think. Do one thing at a time.
  4. Focus on selective discipline instead of self discipline. Give one habit time before going in for another.
  5. Your will power can be weak. So, learning to use it yo your advantage can make a whole difference.
  6. Living a balanced life is a myth too. The idea is this, at each points of our lives, we must decide what is important and give it full attention.
  7. Stop the small thinking. Open your mind and think big. Act big and get the big results over time.
  8. The questions you ask in life determines the direction you move.
  9. “Our purpose sets our priority and our priority determines the productivity our actions produce.”
  10. Learn to live by priority. Everything does not deserve equal attention. Learn to live for productivity.
  11. Learn to follow the path of mastery and live a purposeful life that makes you stick to what you see until you achieve it. Also learn to be accountable for your life.
  12. Success is an inside job, not an external show.

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12 QUOTES

Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now – Alan Lakein

Be like a postage stamp – stick to one thing until you get there – Josh Billings

It is those who concentrate on but one thing at a time who advance in this world – Og Mandino

There can only be one most important thing. Many things may be important, but only one can be most important – Ross Garner

No one succeeds alone. No one – Authors

The ONE Thing becomes difficult because we’ve unfortunately bought into too many others – Authors

It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about? – Henry David Thoreau

The majority of what you want will come from the minority of what you do – Authors

It’s not that we have too little time to do all the things we need to do, it’s that we feel the need to do too many things in the time we have – Authors

You can become successful with less discipline than you think, for one simple reason: success is about doing the right thing, not about doing everything right… When you do the right thing, it can liberate you from having to monitor everything – Authors

… it would be accurate to say that we fail our way to success. Don’t let small thinking cut your life down to size. Think big, aim high, act bold. And see just how big you can blow up your life – Authors

Anyone who dreams of an uncommon life eventually discovers there is no choice but to seek an uncommon approach to living it – Authors

Questions from the book The ONE Thing by Gary Keller
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12 QUESTIONS

  • “What’s the one thing you can do this week such that by doing it everything else would be easier or unnecessary?”
  • Are the things you’re doing today a priority for you or a priority for others?
  • What’s your one thing? (Use this to develop a vision for your life, career and everything).
  • What’s your “the one thing” now? (Use this to follow through with your daily priorities.)
  • What are you currently giving time to that’s not relevant to your “one thing”?
  • Who are the persons that increase you when you spend time with them?
  • Are you spending more time with them?
  • What do you want to master?
  • What are you doing everyday to be a master at it?
  • When you fail in the line of your personal vision, do you blame it on others or you accept responsibility and keep moving?
  • Do you think it’s possible to have a balanced life? Or what does having a balanced life mean to you?
  • Between your personal development and the economy, which do you think affects your success the most?

Get on these questions and see where you need make any adjustments. Next week Friday, we’ll have another book that’ll help you focus and build your personal brand.

You can buy The ONE Thing by Gary Keller now.

I Hate my Job. I Love the Pay. What Should I do?

I hate my job what do I do?
Tired Worker

First, I want you to know that this answer is inside of you. You just need someone to trigger it with questions. Nothing less or more! And sure, that’s what I’ll help you do. Ready?!

1. Why did you take the job?

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A post titled Why are we so bad at choosing the right job by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, has it that according to research money and poor self awareness were some of the reasons we make bad job choices. So, for you, why did you take the job? And you’re the only one that knows if it’s a right reason or not.

2. Have you achieved what brought you there?

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This is linked with the first question. Someone might take a job for the money while another for the flexibility. If you can answer number one, then you can answer this too. If you have achieved it, great. If you have not, why?

3. What are the advantages of staying there?

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Be honest about this. Checkout this list on advantages of having a job and see if you’re getting any of these. Maybe you’re not yet ready to leave yet. What have you been enjoying in this job?

4. Why do you want to go?

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Hmmm… This is tough. Don’t just tell me I don’t feel fulfilled. Search deeply and know why. If it’s your behavior, you’re in for a big surprise. It’ll show up again.

When you become vision driven about your life, you don’t leave a job necessarily because of pay or a bad boss or some other reasons. You leave because you know deep inside you that it’s time… even when you’re offered promotion.

5. Where do you want to go to?

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I laugh. If you leave this job today, where is your next destination? I know you’re highly motivated and believe in yourself, but down the street, you need to know that it’s not as soft as the surface of the books you’ve read in your closet. So, where is your dream job? Where is your target?

6. What are you doing to prepare for that new place?

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Listen, Benjamin Franklin has a word for you: “By failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail.” Most times we keep looking at the future but forget that she comes daily.

As a student of Architecture, I know that if you design nicer buildings than Frank Lloyd Wright, and the laborers look at the blueprint for the next 200 years without working, all you’ll have is your grandson and family looking at the death certificates of the entire crew and nothing else.

Have you discovered that even folks without a supposedly defined future end up creating a great one because they acted in certain manners over time.

The future you see and the future you will see will be differentiated by one major thing: what you do with the time you see.

7. What if you leave?

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This answers the question, what is my plan B? Randy Pausch quipped:

Another way to be prepared is to think negatively. Yes, I’m a great optimist. but, when trying to make a decision, I often think of the worst case scenario. I call it ‘the eaten by wolves factor.’ If I do something, what’s the most terrible thing that could happen? Would I be eaten by wolves?…

Now let me say this, after reading this, some persons will leave. And please do, so long as you know who bears the risk. You know the time clock. It’s in you. When it rings, leave. Staying one more day can be disastrous.

8. What if you stay?

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If you’re here, stay. You can’t be in 8 and 9. Just a little advice: you can stay and give yourself a time frame like 6 months or one year while you keep considering your options and listening to your heart.

9. What have you helped the organization achieve?

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We don’t like this part. But remember that what goes around comes around. If you’ve enjoyed the pay make sure you’ve given quality value back. The question will now be: Can my boss recommend me?

Having a job is good. So many are looking for what you have. But you’re not them. You’re you. Thus, take your time. Reminisce over it. And then act.

What is the First and Most Important Tool for Personal Branding?

The importance of self perception in building a personal brand.
Self perception and personal branding

You might be poor, your shoes might be broken, but your mind is a palace.

Frank McCourt

What’s personal branding? What do I do to begin my personal brand? At what point do I know I have a personal brand? These and many more are questions asked about personal branding.

I love the movie, Hannah Montana (I think season 1) because it paints a perfect picture of where personal branding begins. Thanks to Hannah Montana (Miley Cyrus) who displayed what happens not just to teens but to adults.

Hannah Montana (Miley Cyrus) had such a life that was centered on her celebrity personality. For a while, she enjoyed it with the glory and attention attached to it until her dad changed altered it by faulting her plan to go for a show.

Why? Grand ma was having her birthday. Yet, Hannah Montana thought Grandma’s birthday celebration was less important to her than her show. But for her dad, he wouldn’t take that. Never!

Finally, she got tricked to fly a private plane and instead of landing at her supposed airport for her show, she found herself in her country home. What?! The teen superstar was so furious.

She finally spent about two weeks there but in what I’d called self perception crisis – fighting between being Hannah Montana (her stage personality) and Miley Cyrus (the real girl). Her self perception was colored because of the attention she got from the public.

So the question for her and her dad was: Who is Hannah Montana? Who is Miley Cyrus? Can she live without the external attention of the public or does she need it to be who she is?

And this is where personal branding starts. The words of King Solomon expresses it this way:

As a man thinketh in his heart so is he…

When some folks hear personal branding they think of colors, business name, products, logo, Instagram page, Facebook page… While all of these are important, the first and most important thing is: What do you think about you? What’s your Self perception? 

Virginia Bautista, a LinkedIn trainer, speaker and consultant says it this way:

Our journey to creating a strong personal brand requires a shift in our mindset. Unless we take that shift, we can’t truly build an authentic and powerful brand.

Your self perception, not your phone, is the first and most important tool for personal branding. Laura Montgomery, a contributor on the Economist wrote a most and titled it Personal brand is more than your digital presence. So, it starts from you, your thoughts of you. Whatsoever you think of you is your true personal brand.

If you think you’re not unique, then you can’t express a unique brand. Take note: I didn’t say create a unique brand. Why? You’re a brand already. There’s a thought pattern you already have about yourself. If you like it, build it. If you don’t, change it.

On a final note, what do you believe about you? What are your thoughts about you? Do you think you can become a global figure in your field? Do you think you are too small to be the brand you see for yourself?

What you think about you will control who and what you become. Your self perception – this is the first and most important tool for personal branding.