In about 20 years’ time… jobs that are outside of making music or art are going to be computer programs. Everybody else is going to be pretty much obsolete.
Life is changing so fast that I can assure you that if you check your Google Play store now, you’ll see an app or apps that need update. You want to try?
In fact, if you updated a week ago, you’ll still have an app staring at you for update?
Change is ravaging everything around us. Whether you want it or not… In fact, if you don’t change, you’re left behind.
We’ve just spent six days plus in the start of a new decade. And see, if you have a job in Nigeria, there are about 500,000 graduates looking to take your job each year if you drop it.
I’ve been involved in recruiting engagements and I want to say this:
Your CV is not relevant if you’re not getting better.
And if you keep being the same, your employer (if he or she is visionary – civil servants are off it) will see you cheap if you don’t have these skills in 2020:
Good Digital Skills
My boss was just introduced to twitter recently. He knows about it but not fully engaged with it… have had android for more than five years now. Suddenly, it’s proving to be important.
From personal tweeting to organizational tweets, it’s now necessary to understand the twitter environment. We had to even hire someone to oversee that aspect.
Please note that this is beyond twitter. It’s about digital literacy. Can you blog? Can you create content? Can you drive traffic? Do you know how to program? If your boss have not talked about this with you, get ready. You’ll hear it soon!
As an employee, it’s not been easy for me to keep up with the pace. Yet, I’ve made sure that something new comes up every season.
For example, the structure of our content for training just changed. Since I do training with teens, I had to adjust it completely. I added smileys 😀😄 to it. And the students are enjoying it… Also started training secondary students who run businesses and NGOs. And it’s been fun.
No author’s life is as clean as the books they write.
Asking this question, “What did the author not say?” will help you think for yourself. Remember, you can’t say everything if you were the author.
7). HOW LONG DID THE AUTHOR TAKE TO SEE RESULTS?
My generation is the instant generation – Instant Noodles, Instant Milk, Live stream and many other quick fix. Yet, life is not like that.
While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest… shall not seize.
Genesis 8:22 (AMP)
There’s a space between planting and reaping. If you’ve read Think and Grow Rich, you’ll see the story of Edwin C. Barnes who wanted to be an associate of Thomas Edison.
And he did. But it took time. Chapter 8 of the same book is titled Persistence.
This is another side most authors don’t mention. The success is so sweet and hot they feel like spilling it out for us. And sure I’m grateful they do.
On this, I’ll recommend you follow the author for a while and you’ll learn the journey of their success like I’ve been doing with John Maxwell.
8). AM I READY TO APPLY THESE PRINCIPLES?
I think this is where the real work is. Napolean Hill did not write a book and title it: I WILL THINK FOR YOU WHILE YOU GROW RICH… No!
Who is thinking? You. Who is growing? You. Who is suppose to persevere? You.
It is the principles you practise that work. I don’t care how long THINK AND GROW RICH has been in your shelf, until you begin to think it and apply it, you’ll not grow rich.
The best, today’s authors can do for you is coach you online or offline. Get your sleeve up and go to work. The result is in the doing.
9). WHERE IS MY MOTIVATION COMING FROM?
There are basically two main kinds of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. Most folks who complain about motivational books actually take these books as drugs.
So they think the motivation should be from the books. They pursue extrinsic motivation instead of intrinsic motivation. Guy, it does not work. African Queen 👸, it doesn’t. That’s why you throw it away after one week.
It’s OK to start with external or use it once in a while. I do. So does Mohamed Salah. Yet, my motivation for teens career niche coaching is inside not outside.
(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.
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:
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.
giphy.com 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 😁.
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.
giphy.com 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.
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.
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.
Financial stability is much more about doing the best with what you have and not about achieving a certain level of income.
She looked at me and was like, “I don’t get. I said I need more and you’re….” So I continued.
I told her that when I got my first job, I was earning about ₦15,000 or so. In my mind I thought if I had an increase I’d stop borrowing money before the month runs out. (And this is the mindset of many folks.) After few months, I had another job paying me ₦30,000.
Guess what happened?
Exactly what my economics teacher told me in class – Parkinson’s law of increase income = increase expenses.
Same thing happened when it rose to ₦45,000. As I progressed, I learnt the bitter lesson.
At this point, Bimbo was like, she never knew this was happening to others. That is – increase salary brings about increase in expenses. So, she asked me a more critical question, “Where do I start from?”
2. Create a budget for your salary. As I explained, she sat down and took a sip of Coke drink at the restaurant where we were having lunch together as paddies on a Saturday morning. “So what next”, she asked. I answered, “Do you have a budget for your salary currently?”
Most employees don’t think having a budget for their salary is important. Yet, there’s this “DEVIL” that comes on the 27th of April and every other month, when that credit alert beeps on your Samsung phone. Suddenly, your mind is just on Jumia, Konga, SPAR, Game and Kilimanjaro.
Bimbo looked at me and was like, “Is it possible to budget 90k?” I just laughed. (90k is like someone’s 6 months salary.)
At that point I knew that she would need to decide to do it and not just someone advising her to. And the same with you, if you don’t have a budget.
(Budgets are not meant to control you but to bring about a consciousness of how and why you spend your money.)
3. Save to invest not to spend. I learnt this from Robert Kiyosaki. In fact, he proposes that savers are losers. Although I agree to this from one perspective and disagree from another perspective. Yet, I told my friend to try it. (She turned her phone and showed me the new shoes she was about ordering from Jumia… the money? From her last savings!)
The normal culture we have is that of saving to buy a new car or borrowing to get a new bag. Why? It feels easier. Maybe, you might need to listen to Kiyosaki himself.
4. Start a side business. “What if you sell female bags to your colleagues in the bank?”, I asked her, “What about female suits or female corporate shirts?” Her eyes glowed immediately!
5. Monetize your skill. At this time, I had to remind her that she plaited my fiancee’s hair and made her up the other day and it was nice.
“So, what if you plait hair of two ladies only or do make up for four ladies only every weekend?”, I proposed to her again.
If you have a skill that you’re not using effectively, that could be a source of income for you now. What about freelance writing and all the other freelancing? Check these sites for freelancing options.
6. Ask for a pay rise if you think you deserve it. “What?”, Bimbo yelled and laughed at the same time. At this point, we had spent close to thirty minutes talking. “Yes”, I answered.
However, you need to be cautious here. Each organization has a rule for pay rise. If there is, check it and see if you’re qualified. If there is none, check yourself by yourself. You know what you’ve been doing. If you’re not, then, give yourself a target of three months, do some extra work and demand for it.
(I’ll advise you also talk with a senior colleague, who has you at heart, to direct you.)
7. Keep developing yourself. There’s a special energy the average Nigerian employee has but the focus is usually work and get paid and spend, and little place for personal development.
I’m sorry, but how many people set aside money for personal training or buy a book or do a course online?
Jim Rohn, before he died, talked about the importance of personal development more than anyone I know. See his quote:
Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job. If you work hard on your job, you can make a living, but if you work hard on yourself, you’ll make a fortune.