How to amass wealth and still talk like a five-year-old

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On the day US president-elect Donald Trump spoke to newsmen for the first time since his win of the presidential election, what was meant to be a press conference ended up being a press confrontation as Trump refused to take a question from CNN. The news network had reported that US intelligence officials had briefed Trump about unverified claims about his relationship with Russia, a report he described as false. To express his displeasure, he refused to take a question from CNN reporter Jim Acosta. He yelled “You are fake news” instead. Many see the tycoon’s actions as childish but that won’t be a first.

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A colleague at the office who hardly follows politics watched Trump act like a child and wondered how he became rich. “How does somebody who acts like that amass such wealth?” he asked me.

My colleague said he had always wanted to be a businessman; working for wages is not his thing. But he has had to work for people all his life because he does not know how to achieve his business dreams.

“You are just too scared,” I told him. “That’s why you’ve not been able to actualize your business dreams.” HJ knows what he wants and he seems to have a strong conviction that his business will be successful but he has been too scared to start.

“You know what, bro, reacting to issues like a 5-year-old does not stop you from being rich; being scared to start does.”

Nigerians are entrepreneurial in nature and we would all have already had small businesses capable of dragging the country out of recession in 2017, if not because we’ve been too scared to start. Sometimes, we wait for a huge capital that will enable us start big. This never works: even if you get the huge capital you desire, it does not guarantee the success of your business. The development phase the business is supposed to pass through is avoided with huge capital and this comes back to haunt, and in some cases end the business. In a blog by Joel Gascoigne, he noted that one of the habits of successful people is that they start small. “Make it smaller: you’re more likely to succeed,” he wrote.

So, I told my colleague, forget Trump’s childishness; think about his business acumen. Trump may not be an all-round smart guy, but he has proven that he is a shrewd businessman. He understands the basic principles of business and he has used them to his advantage. “Those are the things you need to learn, my friend,” I told HJ.

I sounded like a guy that knows a lot about starting businesses. I shared my little experience with HJ and told him why the businesses I started failed. He listened with rapt attention and the words that came out of his mouth when I finished speaking showed I had influenced him. But then I asked myself; “what have you learnt from your business failures?” The answer hurt me badly. I had been more of a talker than a doer. I had been low on self-motivation. Poor me!

But it all ends today.

 

Bye 2016; Hello 2017

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I haven’t blogged in a while but that ended in 2016. In 2017, I will publish at least one blog every week. I left a lot of projects uncompleted in 2016 but none will be left half-done in 2017. I am not making new year resolutions, but I see the New Year as an opportunity to start all over, step on the gas, go for broke and achieve all set goals. Despite the incompleteness that characterized 2016 for me, I managed to see some key journeys to their final destinations. One such is putting a ring on the fourth finger of the girl I dated for years.

I took other big leaps.

I left a job I truly love for the ‘greater good’. I still do the work pro bono and would have loved to return when I was invited recently, but there is so much at stake and I do not yet have the guts that makes one take big risks. I know this is one of the several other things that needs to change about me in 2017; I need to take more risks.

I have a sport blog that I was unserious about in 2016. This year, I will publish at least a post per day.

I am also going to read more books this year. I used to read a lot of books until I got so distracted by life and my reading reduced to just a few books and a lot of articles every year. In 2017, I am going to read a lot of both.

2017 will be a year of giving. I will give everything I do not need to those who need them. From clothes to shoes and bags; even money … everything. You can join me on this.

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2017 is going to be an interesting journey. I can’t wait!

Opportunities present themselves during recessions

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Nigeria is in a recession. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) is expected to confirm this in less than two weeks when it releases the country’s second quarter (Q2) GDP results. The economy had contracted by 0.36 in the first quarter and it could not have done better in the second quarter.

“Recession is like a fish out of water and the best way to manage it is to take the fish to the water/pond or create a new pond,” says Kamran Azim Head of Operational Risk at Wema Bank Plc. “Locally, the economists and policy makers are on the mode “wait and watch or sitting ducks” which will not help the situation. Any wrong decision today can have a negative outcome for decades to come,” he adds.

Tension is high in the country as inflation continues to rise to record levels. Businesses are shutting down and unemployment soars as organisations reduce staff strength as part of cost-cutting measures. As gloomy as the situation seems, not all businesses will die as a result of recession, some will come out stronger. The difference between the ones that die (or go comatose) and the ones that come out stronger is, knowing what to do during a recession.

Many businesses are in a high state of confusion at the moment. Average running cost keeps rising but revenues continue to drop. Many workers bear the brunt of the situation and are being owed salaries for months. The brave business owners sack some of their workers to keep costs low. For entrepreneurs, the current situation is even worse. While they struggle to move through the arduous stages of setting up a business, recession makes growth almost impossible. During times like this, many startups die before they get any investment. In fact, investors are more careful about where they put their money during recession; only few are willing to take big risks.

Times are hard for businesses: big companies, growth companies and also startups. But there are important messages from Wema Bank that should help everyone through this time of recession.

Opportunities present themselves during recessions

Don’t look too far. Don’t chase too many big deals. What you are looking for may be right at your doorstep. If look well enough, you would see that there are opportunities you can exploit. If you did not know, some small businesses are recession-proof and they survive recession after recession. For example, bakery operators will always enjoy demand for their products, even when prices rise. The Lagos State Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria has increased the price of bread by 20 percent, but many families in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital will still eat bread as breakfast tomorrow. However, you should think beyond bread; there are several opportunities outside the bakery.

 Cash is king

Are you a new entrepreneur or a seasoned business owner, please remember that you need cash more than ever before. There is no doubt that uncertainty of the economy is high; it is therefore, wise to keep enough cash on hand to cover at least 30 days of monthly expenses. Of course, you know that cash on hand means funds that are immediately available to a business, as opposed to assets that must be sold to generate cash. Usually such funds are kept in Wema Bank where you can access them any time from the various available channels.

The amount of cash on hand determines what financial hardships can be absorbed without going into debt or arranging other financing. You sure do not want to accumulate debt during this period.

Rejoice! Your competitors will fail

That seemed rather harsh, but it is the truth; a lot of your competitors will close shop one after the other over the coming months. Pity them and move on; grab the opportunity to attract new customers. This is an excellent time for you to expand and take advantage of a larger market share. Don’t sleep on it. Do it now!

However, be careful not to be caught up in the euphoria of your new-found status as a ‘market leader’. Every business owner (especially small businesses) should continue to run his or her business with caution and absolute prudence. There will be more tough times ahead.

Don’t stop shouting

The good news is that recessions do not last forever. Once the current recession ends (some analysts predict December 2016), every survivor has a good chance of emerging stronger. Usually, survivors of recession become the market leaders during the recovery, but these are the ones who never stopped shouting. Whatever you do, don’t cut advertising. Studies by McGraw-Hill Research show that, companies that continue to advertise come out ahead after a recession. Keep telling people what you do and how well you are managing your business to remain profitable despite recession.

For startups, this is the time to be strong. Negative data keep flying around in droves but you cannot be discouraged now. What you need to do is to act! Ask for advice from people who have led businesses through a recession. You will find their experiences very valuable.

 

 

 

Four Things

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Four things I saw, four things I love

A godly mother who leads the way to God

Oh, how lucky a child is to be mothered by you

God’s precepts taught from infancy

Holiness a legacy to leave

 

Four things I saw, four things I love

A kind heart so big it accommodates all

Oh, what blessing to be associated with you

Always ready to help all in need

Revealing true humility by showing the gentleness of Christ

 

Four things I saw, four things I love

A hard working mother who never goes idle

Oh, what lesson to learn about life

How hard work propels to greatness

Coming from a great woman whose life is a lesson

 

Four things I saw, four things I love

A woman I can call a mother

Oh, what grace to have her

Someone that holds same values as the one who gave birth to me

On your birthday I scream “I’m blessed to have known you!”

Happy birthday Ma!

Bored of your 9 to 5 job? NASA is hiring astronauts and you could apply

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Mandatory Credit: Photo by Design Pics Inc/REX Shutterstock (5333976a).. Manned Maneuvering Unit Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America.. VARIOUS.. .. The opportunity of a lifetime (Picture: Design Pics Inc/REX Shutterstock)

If you’re bored of your nine-to-five job, dust off your CV because this incredible career opportunity has just opened up.

NASA is hiring astronauts for future space missions and it’s an opportunity that cannot be missed.

So long as you’ve got a bachelor’s degree, you’re well on the way to being considered by the space organisation.

Your chances are even better if you’ve got an advanced degree in engineering, biological science, physical science, or mathematics.

The only catch is that you need to have had 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command experience in a jet aircraft or three years’ experience in a ‘progressively responsible’ related job.

CREDIT: NASA/REX Shutterstock.. Mandatory Credit: Photo by NASA/REX Shutterstock (5328394a).. Expedition 45 Commander Scott Kelly took this photograph during a spacewalk.. Astronaut Scott Kelly spacewalk selfie - 28 Oct 2015.. Astronaut Scott Kelly took this photograph during a spacewalk on Oct. 28, 2015. The Expedition 45 Commander commented "Space Walk Selfie back on the grid! Great first spacewalk yesterday. Now on to the next one next week." This was the first spacewalk for both Kelly and Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren; the two will venture outside the International Space Station for the second time on 6 November. The two spacewalks were scheduled around milestones in space. Today, Oct. 29, Kelly becomes the U.S. astronaut who has lived in space the longest during a single U.S. spaceflight, and on Monday, Nov. 2, the crew celebrates the 15th year of a continuous human presence in space aboard the station. During the 7-hour and 16-minute spacewalk the astronauts began work to rig power and data system cables for the future installation of a docking port to the station that will be used for the arrival of the Boeing Starliner CST-100 and SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft... (Picture: NASA/REX Shutterstock)

[metro-link url=”http://metro.co.uk/2015/11/05/amazing-but-slightly-terrifying-photos-show-what-a-nasa-rocket-exploding-looks-like-5482572/” title=”Amazing (but slightly terrifying) photos show what a NASA rocket exploding looks like”]

And it also helps if you’re average height because living in a spacecraft isn’t the most spacious of residences.

NASA say that you need to pass their physical exam…

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This Business School is offering tuition-free MBA program

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A business degree has long been the most direct route to corporate success, but good business skills also can provide people with the means to give back to their communities.

And now Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business wants to help people who desire to do good through its new Forward Focus MBA program.

The school will offer up to 120 full scholarships for master’s of business administration degrees next year, an effort to maintain its competitive edge among top business school applicants while increasing the appeal of an MBA to people who want to give back to their communities through nonprofit work or innovative startups struggling to launch.

By covering tuition and fees, the Forward Focus scholarship will put an MBA in reach for potential entrepreneurs and non-profit leaders who might otherwise have skipped the degree because of the cost.

“Being at ASU and seeing how we have been so successful with our excellence and access mission with undergraduates really inspired us to think differently about an MBA,” said Amy Hillman, dean of the W.P. Carey School of Business, which already provides more than $1 million in scholarships for undergraduate degrees.

“If someone has a great start-up idea, and they know they would be more successful in their venture if they had the skills and networking that an MBA would give them, they might be concerned about spending the money because it takes away from the capital needed for the start-up venture,” Hillman said.

Tuition and fees for the full-time MBA program are $54,000 for Arizona residents, $87,000 for non-residents and $90,000 for international students.

Likewise, MBA expertise such as supply-chain management could be a huge benefit for a leader of a non-profit relief agency who must coordinate transportation and logistics.

“We’re very hopeful that we’ll get more high-quality applicants as a result of this program, and the kinds of people who might think they can’t pursue a top MBA program,” Hillman said.

The W.P. Carey’s School of Business full-time MBA program is ranked among the top 30 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

The MBA class that began this semester includes 86 students, 70 percent of whom are male. The average age of the group is 28, and about a quarter are international students.

The Forward Focus MBA scholarships will begin in fall 2016 and cover the full-time, on-campus program — not the online or part-time programs.

Forward Focus isn’t the only change the W.P. Carey School will be making to its MBA program. The school has spent a year revamping the MBA curriculum, increasing the credits from 48 to 60 with the addition of four courses that will provide more real-world training.

The new courses are Decision-Making With Data Analytics; Executive Connections, which provides mentoring from retired senior executives; Intellection Fusion Learning Lab, pairing MBA students with master’s students in other disciplines; and Future Forward Leadership, which builds real-time skills in improvisation and decision-making.

“We know the skills of the future have to do with flexibility, agility, being able to scenario-plan, think through the changes that might happen and consider how they might go about adjusting their organization or strategy for those changes,” Hillman said.

Feedback on the course improvements was provided by faculty, alumni, corporate recruiters and the school’s team of in-house business executives.

One of the executives who helped to refine the program was Bob O’Malley, now retired after working several decades in the technology industry, including 19 years with IBM in Asia and the United States. O’Malley is on the W.P. Carey’s “executive connections” team, where he mentors several MBA students.

He also is an ASU alum, having received an MBA in 1973.

“Back then the program was primarily function and content driven. The professor had the content or the textbook had the content,” O’Malley said. “There was a little bit of experiential learning through case studies and a little bit of teamwork, not a lot.”

The updated program makes the experience more strategically focused.

“For example, the class on global economics. Rather than strictly economics, it’s changed to ‘global business environments,’ which brings in different cultures associated with global business operations, which is more than just economics,” O’Malley said.

The funding for the Forward Focus MBA program comes primarily from the original endowment from William Polk Carey, the real-estate investor whose foundation donated $50 million to the business school in 2003.

“His investment in us can allow us to invest in these students,” Hillman said.

The recipients will be encouraged to pay it forward to future do-gooders.

“What we’re hoping to engender in the students is that this is like an ‘angel investor’ who has invested in them as opposed to an enterprise, and as they go out to be successful in whatever walks of life, they will make this opportunity available to those students who come behind them.”

Hillman said that ASU is committed to the Forward Focus MBA beyond next year.

“I think this really is the path forward,” she said.

By Mary Beth Faller, Marybeth.Faller@asu.edu
ASU News

Africa’s entertainment and media industry have since moved on from tradition

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“The line between traditional media and digital media is blurred – consumers want more flexibility and freedom in how they consume content.” – PwC

Albums in physical forms don’t really sell anymore. Digital disruption in the music industry over the last decade has changed things.

According to a new report by professional services firm, PwC, African entertainment and media industry has entered a new landscape – one where the media is no longer divided into distinct traditional and digital spheres.

The report titled Entertainment and media outlook: 2015 – 2019 (South Africa – Nigeria-Kenya) presents the Outlook forecasts that South Africa’s entertainment and media industry is expected to grow from R112.7 billion in 2014 to R176.3 billion in 2019, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.4%. Digital spend is expected to fuel the overall growth.

“Consumers are choosing offerings that combine an outstanding and personalised user experience with an intuitive interface and easy access. This includes shared physical experiences like cinema and live concerts, which appear re-energised by digital and social media,” says Vicki Myburgh, entertainment and media leader for PwC Southern Africa.

One of South Africa’s most popular music groups Mi Casa is on a tour and will release a new album on iTunes this month. The group is contributing to the growth of the South African entertainment industry as content providers and making more money as the industry grows. My interview with the group will be published soon on thenerveafrica.com.

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