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Talent is Not Enough

You can be talented and still struggle financially and in other areas of life. Talent is not enough to take you from where you are to where you what to be. You need much more than talent.

Talent is in raw form – your innate abilities, gifts you were born with. It is like raw materials. You can have petroleum but fail to refine it and process other derivatives and still remain poor because you have to import the finished product.

You can produce cocoa but fail to process it into chocolate, which puts you in a position of weakness, selling for peanuts.

To add value to your talent, you have to develop skills in the area of your talent. You need focus and commitment to pay the price in being the best that you can be, and contributing in a level that will command high income.

The best in every field make the most money. When you stay at the average level, you get average results.

Being a talented goal keeper does not make you world class. At best you will become a local champion. Talent is not enough to separate you from mediocre. You have to pay the price to gain the skills that will take you to the next level. You need to keep growing and getting better and better.

While holding onto your day job, you need to spend your spare time in developing your talent and becoming more skilful so that you can launch successfully. After discovering your talents, you have to focus on developing your talent through practice and personal development.

You have to add value to what has been given to you.

The world is full of talented people heading nowhere. Many show a flash of brilliance and fizzle out like a candle in the wind. You need to take your gift and run with it. The richest countries in the world today did not acquire their wealth through selling their raw materials.

It is through adding value to what they have. Do not wait until you have a lot of money before you start doing what it is you really want to do. Start with what you have now. As you start moving, you will figure out how to go further.

Overcome Procrastination: the power of small wins

One of the key reasons we do not act on important activities on our to-do list is procrastination. If we do not overcome procrastination, we will keep shying away from important tasks that will deliver the results we truly need to achieve our key goals.

Procrastination derives most of its power from our fear of the unknown. If you stop to think, you often tend to procrastinate on activities you have not done before – something you know is important in moving forward towards your goal, but is not part of your normal routine.

The hesitation in attempting something new derives from our fear that we may not succeed or do a good job of it. Often times, since we don’t know how to go about it, we tend to avoid the task. Many times, I dread a task but when I finally face it squarely and gather the data I need to accomplish the task, I realize that it was not so difficult after all.

We keep hearing negative voices in our head painting all sorts of dooms day scenarios. The more we think about it, the more we become paralyzed and postpone the ‘evil’ day by doing something we are used to – go for a walk, watch TV, browse the internet, attend to an easier task etc.

Also it may been something we have done before, like cleaning the house, write an article or book etc. but when we look at the whole task (which may have accumulated due to procrastination), it seems overwhelming.

We quickly look for a way out by offering ourselves excuses why we should postpone it even further.

The best way to ‘eat an elephant’ is chew bite size pieces. The journey of a thousand miles, according to a Chinese proverb, starts with a step, not with a mile. What are the important tasks that scare you the most? What tasks have you been avoiding, rolling them over from one to-do list to the next?

It is time to look it in the eye and go for a small win. Look for a small portion you can tackle, even a tiny bit and just do it immediately. That is one of the secrets to overcome procrastination – take bits you can manage, no matter how small or tiny, and complete it. Then take another bit…

If it is a book you want to write, you can start with ideas about the title. If you get stuck in that, you can start with what the book is about. Just do something, no matter how small. Do not be afraid of making mistakes. After you have done it, allow yourself to celebrate, and then have another go.

The power of small wins lie in momentum, that force that keeps things moving after the initial force is removed. If you have ever pushed a car or something on rollers on level ground, as it starts rolling and gathering speed, you will notice that if you remove your hands, it keeps moving.

That is momentum in action. If you keep taking bits you can handle and finish it, you have won! It feels good. You want that feeling again. So you take another small bit and finish it again. Before long, the series of small steps leads to obvious progress and the thing that scared you does not look scary anymore.

You have overcome procrastination and worked on that task that you used to dread, and are having fun doing it.

Alcoholics Anonymous use this concept well. You are not asked to stay sober for the rest of your life. Just stay sober for one day, and then the next, and then the next. Soon days turn into weeks, weeks into months and months into years, all through taking it one day at a time.

The same principle can be applied to any task. Just commit to sticking through for 30 minutes, and then another 30 minutes until you are ready to call it a day. Then repeat the process tomorrow.

There is nothing you want to do that nobody has done before. Even if you are inventing something, the process is the same. Decide what you want to achieve or your key goals. Itemize important tasks you need to accomplish to move you forward towards that goal.

If you have an existing to-do list, chances are, you already have some or all of those tasks listed, but you have been avoiding them, going for low hanging fruits that have negligible impact overall. Face your most important tasks and look for what you can do in 30 minutes as stated above.

Take it step by step and enjoy the ride.

Don’t wait until everything lines up and the mood strikes you. If saving a Million naira is overwhelming, try saving hundred naira a day. If starting a business seems a daunting task, start by producing a sample and ask people for feedback. Whatever mountain you have to climb, so long as you have identified the mountain, do not allow procrastination to steal the wind from your sails.

Overcome procrastination by picking a task you can easily accomplish and just do it. If you keep moving steadily towards your desired destination, you will surely get there. It is only a matter of time.

Locate your niche, the money will come

The common mistake we often make is making money the primary consideration or motive for what we do. We all need money, no doubt and sometimes the need is urgent. However, nobody will give you money simply because you need it. We all have needs and people are not Santa Claus.

The realization that people have needs to be met or problems to be solved puts you in a good position to make money by meeting those needs. Locate your niche and meet those needs and the money will come.

People often wonder what business to go into or what they can do to make money. Often the expectation is to locate the quickest way to make money with the least effort. Online stammers prey on this mentality by promising systems to make money online within days. You often see claims like ‘achieve financial freedom in a month’ or how I made one million dollars in three months!’. If you are greedy, you want to know what the secret short cut is.

Don’t we all love short cuts?

The truth is that there is no area of human endeavor which meets needs that you don’t make money if you provide excellent service to a large number of people. There is money to be made anywhere you turn. There are millions of niches available or yet to be created and you can locate your niche or create your niche. Money is an idea and you see opportunities with the mind, That is the reason some see and some don’t.

‘What business should I go into’ or what can I do to make money’ is a wrong question. The right question would be – ‘what are my gifts and talent?’ What am I good at?’ What do I love doing? What am I passionate about? What need can I meet? What value can I add?

How can I build a system to serve the maximum number of people?

According to Zig Ziglar, you can get what you want to you give enough people what they want. If you go in with a mindset of ‘what is in it for me?’, you will lack. If you go in with a mindset of ‘what can I do to make this better or meet that need’, you will soon have money flowing towards you.

‘What is in it for me?’ comes from a lack mentality that ultimately produces lack. What can I do to solve this problem or meet this need comes from an abundance mentality that ultimately produces abundance. Locate your niche and start giving and soon, the money will come. Put money first on you will be in an endless quest for financial freedom.

What Gives You Energy?

A lot of folks have a challenge in the area of discovering their passion. It seems they have buried their passion so deep, they are not sure what it is anymore. Some friends ask me to tell them what it is they are good at, based on my observation of them over the years.

Friends and family can assist in this regard, but the onus is on you to discover what it is. If you rely too heavily on external feedback, you may suffer from a case of mistaken identity. Many parents have the weakness of trying to make thier children in their own image. It should come from the inside.

Energy is the fuel of life. The moment your energy level goes down, your performance level drops. Your brain starts to become sluggish. Law of diminishing returns begins to set it. You start going round and round in circles over a simple issue. Your batteries are low. You need to recharge.

However, there are activities that recharge your battery. You enjoy doing it so much that you can’t seem to stop. You feel energized when you do it. You keep going and going. Psychologists calls this state – flow. You are in a state of flow.

You keep going effortlessly in the zone of peak performance. Have you ever noticed a time you felt so tired, and then a long lost friend steps into the room and the tiredness vanished. Have you attended a series of presentations, one puts you to sleep and the next presentation drives the sleep away. It all boils down to your state and how engaged you are with the subject.

If you are doing what you don’t really like, but have to do it, you feel drained. The is a place most employees are familiar with. They dread Mondays and shout hurray! on Fridays. Any work free day is a most welcome get out of jail free card.

They may be above average, but they are putting in a lot of effort because their passion lies elsewhere. They don’t have much enthusiasm, and they become prone to pessimism.

What energizes you. What gives you the adrenaline rush, making you feel unstoppable and alive. What do you have fun doing? What would you be doing to make you so excited you jump out of bed in the morning and reluctantly go to bed because it is getting very late.

Locate it today, its inside of you and live a fulfilled live.

Financial Illiteracy

Financial literacy is the ability to understand how money works. It is the ability to use knowledge and skills to manage your financial resources effectively to achieve your financial goals, whatever they may be. It refers to the set of skills and knowledge that allows you to make informed and effective financial decisions.

Consequently, financial illiteracy is the opposite, of having no clue how money works or how to handle it to achieve your financial goals. Sadly, this is the state most people are.

Financial illiteracy is the opposite of financial literacy and is the root of financial struggles. Without financial education, you cannot make informed financial decisions. In the past couple of decades, government and employers have shifted responsibility of financial decisions and management to individuals, ranging from retirement plans, health insurance etc.

More than ever before, the individual is on his own. Very few employers take on the burden of paying pensions to retirees. It is now contributory, and if you do not keep a keen eye on your pension fund managers, you may find yourself stranded in old age. It the US, social security is broke, and folks that still put hopes on it are in for a rude shock.

There are tons of financial products in the market and consumers need to make informed choices. This ranges from mortgages, credit cards, car loans, other types of loans, insurance, investments etc.

If you don’t know what you are doing, you can dig yourself into a hole. Consumers need to be financially literate to be able to make informed choices. When consumers lack this knowledge, they are prone to being taken advantage of by unscrupulous brokers and dealers trying to meet their targets.

They fact that a friend or relative is asking you to buy a product does not mean that the product is good for you.

You cannot afford to based your financial education solely on what your banker or broker tells you. They are also looking out for themselves in terms of commissions or meeting their target. What you get as knowledge is often a sales pitch.

If you decide to continue to wallow in financial illiteracy, you get to pay a very heavy price.

Benefits of Entrepreneurship

Job Security: Generations ago, going into business for yourself was considered risky and the safest route was to get a good job in a large firm. Now, working for a traditional corporation has become the risky option. Working for yourself has become the new job security. “If I’m working for someone else, I’m trading time for money, but I’m not building any equity,” “As an entrepreneur, I’m the master of my own destiny.

Freedom: People love the benefits of working for themselves and enjoy the freedom they gain from designing their own prosperity. You get to choose when you work, how you work and with whom you work. Best of all, you don’t have to make the agonizing choice between time for family and time for business.

Make More Money. There is far greater opportunity to make money by building your own business than by working for someone else’s. “When you’re in business for yourself, you write your own history, you write your own success story, you write your own legacy and most important, you write your own paycheck. Being in business for yourself gives you the opportunity to work your heart out for something you love.”

A Life of Greater Impact: Through our research most people said they would be more passionate about their work if they owned their own business. The No. 1 reason they gave for wanting to work for themselves: “to be more passionate about my work life.”

A Second Career: People want to own their own futures and redefine their lives. They want work that reflects their values and identity; they want to make a difference.” A landmark study found that 50 percent in their 50s and 60s want to do work “that matters.”

Flexibility: It doesn't matter if you're in a big city or small town. Entrepreneurship is an equal-opportunity employer. E-mail, cheap teleconferencing and a new generation of Web tools make it possible to run a fully competitive business from a home desktop. As a home-based businessperson, you can expand your business to anywhere in the world

Work Precedes Success

My reader, can I ask you a question? If yes, then read on.

Is pain good or bad? Well, whichever way you answer, I want to say that both could be right. There are two types of pain:

"Pain of discipline"
"Pain of regret"

In order for you to succeed, you must choose the pain of discipline. Whichever way you go there must be pain.

If you choose to be educated definitely there must be times it is not pleasant to go to school. Let us consider the fees, the weather, the transportation, etc. However, if you can endure and scale through you can be sure of promotion. On the other hand, if you choose not to be educated you can be sure that when your mates are climbing the ladder of success and you are left behind - the experience will be painful.

Discipline, as we know, is a method of training your mind or body or of controlling your behavior. If you cannot do these then your life could be in danger. For example, if anybody chooses not to discipline himself or herself at the sight of the opposite sex and thereby commits fornication or adultery, and disease(s) arise therefrom, then there will be regrets.

Discipline yourself to start small if you cannot afford to start in ‘a big way’. There is nothing wrong in starting small. God could have created the whole earth once and for all in a day, but He did it gradually. Let us emulate our Creator, and do same. The Bible says, do not despise the day of small beginnings for your latter end shall greatly increase.

I found out that it is only in the English dictionary that Success comes before Work. Surely, and without doubt, you must work before you attain success. Even if you inherit wealth, it does not culminate into success. Be disciplined!

How to Build a Great Sales Team

Assess sales candidates and help them soar with this step-by-step approach.

Business owners often complain, “There aren’t any good salespeople out there.” They mistakenly blame the individual they hired. But if you want to hire a sales superstar, you have to be a hiring superstar.

The first problem most small-business owners have in hiring salespeople is that they start with faulty assumptions. Owners often believe that if a wannabe salesperson has listed sales experience on his or her résumé, then the job candidate knows how to sell. That leads to a second major misconception: The business owners don’t think the salesperson needs a strong manager, additional training and ample support—because, after all, he or she knows how to sell.

Hiring people based on experience isn’t a shortcut to hiring well, because experience isn’t the trump factor for what makes a good salesperson. And hiring salespeople without giving them a strong sales manager (who just might be you!), sales training and development is a recipe for failure.


Hire for attributes.

  1. Experience is important. More important is a set of attributes.
  2. You want a person with the discipline to make the necessary calls, a positive attitude and the ability to generate trust. You want someone who is competitive, determined and proactive. The person you hire needs to have excellent communication skills, especially listening skills. The salesperson you want needs to have passion and energy.

    During a job interview, you want to elicit information to determine that these attributes exist. For instance: “Describe your daily routine for me.” Or “What do you do when you don’t really feel like making your calls?” The answers to these questions will give you insight into whether your potential salesperson has the self-discipline to succeed in sales, because prospecting—making those calls—is critical.

    An individual with the right attributes has a far greater chance of success than someone who has experience but lacks the necessary attributes and attitude. You can coach, train and teach sales skills more easily than you can develop vital attributes (the latter is doable, but will require more training time and energy than for sales skills alone).

  3. Verify the right references.
  4. To check a salesperson’s references, you don’t really want to talk to his or her previous employer—you want to talk to past customers. Let’s look at the likely scenarios.

    You aren’t hiring for you and your company. You are hiring for your clients and your prospects. You may love the person sitting in front of you, but it’s even more important that your customers love her.

  5. Provide leadership, training and support.
  6. You’ll have to put the following three prerequisites in place to develop a sales superstar.

    • No salesperson succeeds or reaches full potential without strong leadership, which includes articulating a vision, setting goals and assigning responsibilities. Too many salespeople are hired and left to their own devices, only to be fired for failing. But the failure isn’t theirs alone. If you hire a salesperson, you owe him or her the leadership and management necessary for sales success.

    • Provide all salespeople with the training and development they need to succeed. Today’s selling is more difficult and more complex than at any time in history. Buyers have more complicated challenges: They need greater outcomes, and they are under more pressure than ever; they need a salesperson with the skills and abilities to help them with their business challenges. You need to provide training in communication, listening, emotional intelligence, time management and building consensus.

    • Salespeople need coaching. Coaching differs from leading and managing—and it’s difficult. Coaching consists of grooming people to perform to the best of their abilities, which includes helping them develop the mindsets and capabilities to make sensible decisions without your input… to think through problems and challenges in order to develop smart solutions on their own. Coaching helps you create independent salespeople who can act and produce results without direction. It’s one of the keys to growing superstars.

    If you want a sales force of sales superstars, hire for the right set of attributes and then provide the leadership, training and coaching to produce those superstars.

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