Tolu Fiz Akanee is a thinker, writer and speaker; the author of A-Z Life lessons

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


The past 31 days of my life
The past 31 days of colour
The past 31 days that amounts to the month of August
The past 31 days that amounts to the best month of my life
This month I learnt that
Everyday can be ur birthday if God picks on u for favour
Humble beginnings r there to make u appreciate success better when it comes
I learnt to keep quiet and listen
I learnt to accept success as only a birthright
I learnt to appreciate life more
I learnt from my mistakes
And I learnt to remain a life-long learner.
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

Monday, August 30, 2010


Do u ever wonder why some people shine so well in school and at the end of the day they seem to have been forgotten.  This piece u are reading will expose u to my opinion on this issue.

I keep saying it that if Covenant University graduates will stick together and not seek to shine alone, we'll go way higher than this. 

If u will seek to create a product for Covenant University graduates then u have created a product for every other Nigerian graduate. 
Any product within the circle of Covenant University graduates will find its way to unimaginable locations without stress. NACK is one of the strongest brands that has ever grown out of Covenant University; can u see where NACK is today? NACK is all over the UK now

If LESLYZ can buy LaCasera at #85 wholesale price and sell it at #130 in Daniel Hall and we wld be rushing, often times queing to buy it then there's must be something he can do to raise a multibillion dollar global organisation if he will not get distracted by a supposedly 'juicy' #3million/annum job opening with GLO.

Why do people end up as local champions?
I see it as a case of unfaithfulness. Spiritual faithfulness might be a major factor but that is not what I'm focusing on at this point in time. 
By unfaithfulness I mean 'not staying true to key fundamental factors that yielded success' and one of this major factors is relationship. 
Growing brands thrive on relationships
Business start-ups thrive on relationship

Tade sells shoes - Alpha collection:
First u buy those shoes because Tade is ur roommate, coursemate, co-service unit member, friend to best friend, or one funny link like that. 
Tade releases Omega collection
U ask urself "how was my last buy?" 
"I bought it 3months back, I wear it everyday and it still looks fresh"
"it's a good product, let me buy for a friend"
In other words, ur first sale is all about the producer-consumer relationship and subsequent sales thrive on consumer satisfaction derived from the first sale. 

Now over time, some entrepreneurs get carried away with expanding producer-consumer relationships i.e. They want to want to have more first-timers enjoying their product and in a bid to achieve that they lose interest in the original first-timers. 

In more practical terms now
Tade produces these shoes for CU peeps and after he leaves CU he's definitely craving to reach out to all other shoe lovers in Lagos. 
The best way to do this is to ensure that the CU graduates keep getting these shoes, this way people that have the impression that CU peeps always dress smart will want to wear the kind of shoes they wear, so these grads link those guys up to Tade. 
But Tade will not do that, he's now to busy for his CU customers, who beyond loving his shoes, do have love for him as an individual, his personality and business savvy. They've told him "it's not done that way out there" "the business climate is different" "grow up men, think big, forget those small boys" 
Tade will rather go to these bankers as a 'nobody' and because they don't know that the smart looking guy on the 2nd floor has been wearing Tade's collection for 2yrs running, they don't see no need to let go off their trusted Guccis and Armanis.     

**shaking my head** Success is cheap!!!! Too cheap!

Hence my proposition "if Covenant University graduates will stick together and not seek to shine alone, we'll go way higher than this." 

I'm already thinking of a Covenant University brand day as I'm writing this. Let's come together in a brand fair and showcase what we have.
I mentioned BB batteries last week and I just hope and pray someone has caught that fire already and is already doing something about it!

I don't believe the diary plans will take us anywhere, it's time to come open with ideas and find people with similar interests to build it with. 

I'm bored right now, A-Z hasn't given me the satisfaction I want as an achiever and it will never do; instead of giving me that satisfaction it has been an eye-opener to the looooong journey ahead. God will never be impressed with a 26chapter, 94 page book...it is how the content of those pages affect mankind that HE is after; so book sales don't count up there. So I can't rejoice yet

Mind u, if there was no Jaye Aderounmu, Funso Fasanya, or Modupe Macaulay....there would have been no A-Z Life lessons, so can u now imagine how terrible I will fail if tomorrow comes and I decide to launch into something fresh without counsel from these guys? I dare not do that! They are God's gift to me. HE will question me if I try such.

When myself, Funeh, Chima, Tanga and Jaye emerged as the 'TRUMP family' we know what powerful things we saw ahead what passion sparked us to quit being ordinary, so will I now let go of such company of friends that spur me to think BIG? It will be a destiny-crashing move!

How will I want to organise a mega event now and I will relate with Aniekan, Harry or Adebayo?

There's something HE has placed in me that the entire world needs to hear.
How will I get such platforms in China if u my friend don't become the richest investor in the Chinese economy. This is why I pray for my friends on a daily basis; it's too crowded at the bottom, lets step up!
As ure climbing up push the person on top of u higher, drag up those that are below. 


Do me a favour, let's argue out this opinion of mine if u perceive it as invalid. 
Pls leave a comment.
U never can tell, synergy might become a course in the next TTG  

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Build your brand

Before u enjoy the secrets I'm about to share I want u to go over to www.google.comand search for the words "Tolulope Akanni"
I want u to do same on www.facebook.com

U will discover there are 2 'Tolulope Akanni's on Facebook and 2 'Akanni Tolulope' none of which includes me

For the 1st 3 pages of ur google search, u will realise that all the 'Tolulope Akanni's point to me!
It didn't happen by chance. It was a calculated arrival birth forth by simple, plain strategies. With little or nothing, u too can be all over and everywhere. 

In this age where employers google names of prospective employees it is essential that u build a very strong online presence. From time to time google ur name on Facebook, it will help u realise how the world sees you. 

Start a blog
U don't need the oratory prowess of Aniekan not the inquisitive mind of Damilare, not the bare mind of Chino nor the poetical tint of Harry to blog. Just say something, u can't tell me ure a thinker if u don't own a blog! 

There's a clear difference btw those who read and those who do not 
It's nt by carrying books of 600pages all around, it's not by having a degree in literature all those things are not enough. Read and read relevant current materials; current materials keeps u on ur feet. Read biographies..nothing inspires better than biographies. "The secrets of men lie in their stories" 

Be ever ready for that golden 30secs
 Very few times in ur sojourn in life u will get a golden 30secs to sell urself to that one person uve always wanted to meet. Get prepared for that moment, have a rehearsed package for that moment. It might just be that 20secs u spend in the lift from the ground floor to the 6th floor with Bishop Oyedepo or Richard Branson or Fela Durotoye or Oprah Winfrey. What is it that u will say to them that will lead to exchange of business cards?

Know how to write letters/emails
 If u can't compose a letter/mail u r finished! Bye bye, stop reading and come over to my house for personal coaching...lol
But it is a terrible thing to not know how to compose powerful emails! In my short sojourn I've been privileged to communicate with great men in this country via emails. After I'm done typing, I kabash over those mails and it's not possible for them not to reply.

Never stand alone. Promote mother brands
 The worst mistake I can make is to introduce myself as Tolulope Akanni and just leave it at that. There's no platform I speak that I don't introduce myself as a Covenant University graduate, and the reason is logical while the effect is magical. 
 Why should u stand alone?
  There are 7,000 covenant university students and about 7,000 graduates as well. Bishop David Oyedepo has millions of followers all around the country and is even a force to reckon with outside the shores of this country. So why should I stand alone when I can present myself as Oyedepo's son? But because some people want to shine alone they end up not shining at all. 

Let your friends meet your friends
 This is one of the cheapest things I've done. Link friends with similar interests up with each other, create platforms for ur friends to meet ur friends; if it yields they will be forever grateful to u
I go "A meet B, he's also into xyz" and what do I get in return?
"I met him thru Tolu" "I met her thru Tolu"
And on the long run people go "that Tolu boy is connected"

Meet parents
 Don't be limited to the experience ur own parents share with u, meet other parents it will help u a lot.

Conferences seminars

There's no way u can cope without them, go all out to hear ur mentors speak at conferences and seminars, network with new folks.The right seminars set u in that sober, reflective/thirsty mood for success....they spark up that insatiable thirst for 'what next?'

Ppl love statistics

(figures, dates, time)Especially in a society like ours in which people don't attach much relevance to making discoveries, when u come across to people as someone who is filled with facts, they go WOW!This is what motivational speakers use as openers "Do u knw that 3million ppl do bla bla every bla bla bla" and because it's absolutely new to us. We are dazed and amazed!

In this world, packaging is everything,
Build ur brand!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Random thoughts

Raaaaaandom thoughts......

Is it possible to arrive
Can anyone ever arrive?
Why do people go about with their big heads like they've arrived?
Can u see why I hate success?
Success is self consuming
Everyone should quest for greatness cos u become great by virtue of what u do for others

I had a good time at the Silverbird Bookjam, I hate being on high tables....it denies me of side talks, side pings and slouching. Though as much as I look forward to that, I've never been on one with any old friend. I always have to make new friends on high tables.

So I had loads of questions to answer today, most of which I didn't get a full grasp off....all I knew was that I kept on talking. I was just saying things and it seemed they were satisfied....me I dunno oh

But for reals, there are very few interviewers I've enjoyed. Myne gave me a great start, Funmi did same, Anna helped me a lot, Bro Femi, Ada's interview was pretty cool, the STV babe was equally on point, then I had intelligent questions to answer at my book launch.

Overall, I'm sorry to say but from experiences I've come to realize that Nigerians don't know how to construct questions! Especially when they are not one-liners
I've always noticed this at seminars and conferences, they never just put it right. If u don't believe me I have CDs of seminars that had Q&A sessions and if u sit to analyse u'll just realize that there's something wrong with the construction of these questions.

If u came for the John C. Maxwell bookjam outing u should remember how the Atrium Consults guy had to rephrase almost every question they asked him (except for mine *wink* n a few others) and this was the same thing

Only God will help me oh cos I dunno if it's me or them

Also at the bookjam they made me remind myself why I don't want to be just an author, they talked about how great authors first have to publish outside Naija before they gain recognition and all of those historical/statistical things.....there's more to my life than writig books jare.

In conclusion, I feel for everyone one of us, there must be that one thing u can do right now that will give ur world a glimpse into the days of greatness ahead of u.
Facebook note was it for me at some point, soon enough it was blogging, later on it was A-Z. But today I feel it's a combination of the 3.
Find that one thing and exploit it to the maximum

Friday, August 27, 2010

Today on STV

At exactly 8:02am today Friday, 27th August, 2010 I was aired on Silverbird TV as I sat in the studio with the presenter in a 15mins interview that bordered on my inspiration for writing A-Z Life lessons, the lessons in the book, and the reading culture of Nigerians. 

In the moments that followed phone calls started rolling in. Family and friends calling to exchange congratulatory gestures, at some point I had 22 unread IMs on my BBM (I've never seen 10 b4!)
Everyone was pleased, proud of me, happy for me, yet others were shocked by my 'packaging' and delivery. Everyone had one good thing or the other to say. Not only were my friends watching, they were watching with their parents!

In the moments that followed my head grew heavy, not that pride heaviness now, my head was just heavy. It didn't feel as light as it used to be. I was processing a million thoughts at once while exploring contrasting emotional states. In that heaviness the tears rolled freely.

I was excited yet bitter
I was happy yet sober
I felt like dancing yet I was in tears
And yes, the tears are flowing freely as I'm typing out these thoughts

It was evidently the best moment of my life
After the calls from my pastor n family friends, Yinka was d first friend to call me n he kept on screaming "this is d dream"
"this is d dream"

True to it, this is the dream
I saw it coming but I never anticipated I wouldn't be able to handle it, each time I sat down to reflect was....*cnt find words 4 it*
As I leaned towards Foluso he reminded me that "HIS grace is sufficient for you"
As I rolled over to Gbubemi's he said "you have nations to handle so get used to it"
I have never felt like this before
I can't find the perfect words to describe this feeling
I think Bukola said "surreal" yeah

I keep juggling between two emotional states firstly because I'm happy, I'm excited and indeed grateful to God. But again, like a said on radio yesterday "I'm starting too early so it's a difficult task maintaining relevance"
This responsibility is MEGA

But I know with GOD, I will pull through

On days like this memories of those cold lonely nites I spent weeping and crying out to God for a first class degree, memories of moments when I thought the heavens had forsaken me, memories of moments when I doubted HIS love for me.....and now I feel like a fool because indeed "HIS ways are not our ways"

As long as we keep at that one thing God has placed in our hands, as long as we remain positive in our disposition toward life, we will see light at the end of the tunnel. 
I would have remained ordinary if I had graduated from the university with my dream first class honours, I wouldn't have explored other talents, I would have been contended with my first class 'big head'
I probably wouldn't be up late every night placing words that I can use to better the lives of others together. It wouldn't have been about my world, it would have been all about me but see what God is doing today. 

Beyond reasonable doubts, God has great plans for each one of us, it's only a matter of time before we realize what HE's been up to all along.  

Just believe

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Before I hit the screens...

U know when u know it somewher deep down that u'l be fine
But u stil hv to enjoy the anxiety that comes before the golden moment

Too many possible scenarios running thru my head
Too many lyrics
Too many lines

Mixed with anxiety is excitement
Another dream about to come true
This excitement comes with gratitude
Gratitude to God Almighty
For taking me this far
This early

I appreciate his name
Glory to His most high name

Pray for me
Nigeria will be watching

The best days

I unfortunately wasn't privileged to enjoy the excitement of graduating from the university on my convocation day. All through the early hours of that day I had one question on my mind "was A-Z Life lessons printed to quality?"

The printer had delivered the day before and my parents were to come with it that day, very early before the convocation ceremony. But they couldn't make it before the procession, so I didn't see even get to see the book before it started selling!
Yes, they handed it over to my sales rep immediately!
When I finally held it in my hands and I saw quality, I saw class I said to myself that this book will sell in any part of the world!
Soon that excitement faded as thought of selling 200copies in one weekend saturated my mind!
God did it and 200copies were cleared in 2days!

July 9 was then the best day of my life! The book launch was a mega-success, I was too happy! As tired as I was I couldn't sleep that nite. I was filled with excitement.

July13 soon became the best day of my life. Seating on the high table with John C. Maxwell, getting a handshake, getting his endorsements. Dream moment!

July30 came and it was yet again another best day of my life, the book presentation at Abuja was very successful, the reception from the audience was awesome. It was the best weekend of my life cause the following day was my first time on radio and all of that.

The memories of the Abuja reigned tops for a very long time then Today, August 26 came and God did it again!
TV and Radio in one day!
Radio interview was live while the TV was recorded and will be aired tomorrow but mehn, it's been the best day of my life!

GOD just keeps me in awe every hour and this post is dedicated to God for proving it over and over again in my life that dreams come true!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Are u thinking big?

One of the greatest asset I have in this life are the kind of friends I'm blessed with. I said it at my book launch that a day will come and I will wake up only to realise that most of the top guns in this country in various sectors are my childhood friends.

Covenant University left me with eternally relevant friends and day after day I keep thanking God for that...it's only a matter of time till we all take our rightful place at the top.

I hooked up with the C.E.O of House of Nushy today and that is why I'm saying these things, I guess. CU guys,babes are not smiling at all...day after day they keep raising the stakes

I learnt something yesterday from my eldest brother, and that lesson is as simple as "thinking big is not limited to the big dreams, it finds more relevance in our everyday decisions"

I've been having issues with the production of my book and its been troubling me for quite some time now, I realised that the binding of the book was terrible, quite a number of persons have had that complaint and it has been troubling me seriously....atimes I feel like I'm cheating people when they buy a book that is worth keeping for a lifetime and they don't get to keep it for more than a month and as we were in church on Sunday a big brother I respect so much came around me and my bro and he shared his thoughts with us on that matter and while he was speaking the solution jumped on me and I went eureka!

So yesterday I went to try out my imagined solution at some place where I print stuffs once in a while and the solution worked on the 2 copies I tried it on...so I went ahead to negotiate on what it will take to do the same stitching for 300copies of the book and the price was a bit on the high side considering how easy it was to do the stitching...but I was caught up in the aura of "I found a perfect solution"

On getting to my brother's office I told him about it and the moment I mentioned the figure, he asked me for what device they used in doing the stitching and he told me to go and buy that device!
U won't believe the device cost half of what those guys wanted me to pay for stitching 300copies!
Now, by buying that device I can stitch 1,000 copies at no extra cost!

This instance is just one of those many instances in which thinking big would have saved us a whole lot of stress.

Still on the book issue, I have resolved to recall every copy that has fallen pages and I would replace it with the stitched copy at no extra cost!
Just come around to Silverbird galleria on Saturday, 28th Auugust, 2010 and I will be glad to replace every damaged copy!

This decision will affect profit margin but will I now choose money over customer satisfaction?
I'm really excited about this solution because I feel pain in my heart when people have to use 'but's to describe my book...as in "Tolu, that's a great book BUT the binding is really weak"
Ayanma!! It's not fresh @ all

I appreciate God for the inspiration!

I will be on TV in two days from now and men, I'm really really anticipating that moment......don't stop praying for me guys

I appreciate all my audience and most especially all the new bloggers in town...I will find another day to recognise u guys properly

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lessons from the Sea

I was out on Saturday on a boat cruise with friends and it was one of my best outings in a long time. 

I love picnics, I love populated parties and at the same time I have a thing for hangouts with 10, 12 friends; There's just this sense of warmth that comes when u actually realize that ure in a friend's inner circle. 
So we were celebrating a friend and we went on a cruise to some remote beach house where we chilled for hours. 

Too many things happened and I learnt too many lessons

I found myself hanging out with this pretty much energetic babe and I learnt one lesson the hard way
Water and make up are never friends. Don't ever try to bring them together!
This babe zapped energy out of me simply bcos I was kiddin with her and I splashed water on her face as we were chilling by the pool side....kó funny

God has a great sense of humour and the way He orders some things in this life is simply amazing!! Just a couple of days back I blogged about "Opportunity check: YES/NO"(click) where I talked about how I was going to give out 20mins of my book launch time but I cancelled out on it because I didn't feel right about it and it ended up being my best 20mins. 

Now God took this blog post further!
On Saturday I came across a certain man at the boat cruise, he's actually a body guard to one of my friends that was present at that outing. He's in the force (I ddnt ask which one exactly), a married man and father to two daughters.

The first thing he said to me after introducing himself was "you touched my life"
That opener gave me goosebumps as I stood waiting for him to gimme more details...that talk was deep and raw, it felt like the lyrics of 9ice's first album - those kinda lyrics that come out of pain.

What's the story?
He told me he was very hungry on the day of my launch and he had to go into the kitchen to cook, and just as the food got ready, my friend told him she had to rush out for my book launch. He said he was very angry but he had no choice, so he came along for the launch and he got a seat inside.

He said he was touched by the words that came out of my mouth during the question and answer session, he went on and on on how I was speaking to him....he needed those words at that hour. 
He told me by the time he got back home he had lost appetite for food; he was practically begging me not to get carried away with the affluent audience that I might be surrounded with and I should provide a platform for the kids in the slums to hear me talk; he said the future he's seeing ahead for me is just too mega in his words he said "I no know if u fit see am oh, but me I don see am.. u go soon become one biggggg man, u go get money, get everything"

In summary, he said too many things and he was beginning to sound like an angel. I had to check again if he was real!

This is my best so far, I've never had someone that has been that blessed by the words of my mouth giving me such a feeback.
So these days I keep begging God not to bring me across people I can't bless...my BBM is strictly inspiration, I strive daily to add to people and that is why I keep reading so I can unconsciously be a blessing.

I've said it before, that's the beauty of life: exuding success without making any conscious effort; my mentor would say "we are not faking it"

It's a value driven world, if u dont carry value u don't stand a chance.

Monday, August 23, 2010

U don't have to be the best to be the best

The best aren't always the best
JayZ isn't the best rapper
Yet he's the king of rap
Fela Durotoye isn't the best speaker
Yet he's king in the league of speakers
Enyeama isn't the best Nigerian goalkeeper
Yet he's the best in the national team

U don't have to be the best to be the best

Where are the 'best's?
Who are the 'best's

There are many heroes
Whose praise will be left unsung
There are tons of bestsellers
Who will never make it to the publisher's
Many champions
Who will never be found in battles

There are many stars
Who will never shine

It is not in being the best
It is not in doing ur best
It is in understanding the times and seasons

"I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race [is] not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all."
---Ecc 9:11 [KJV]

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Eagles in their 50s

....a teaching on Pain, discovery and synergy

50days ago I was dressed in my academic gown because it was my graduation
50days later I wear the gown no more because I'm a graduate

"Your certificate does not guarantee u a life"
"It is not by what u made out of school, it's all about what u make out of life"
"20 friends can never play together for 20years, in 20years they will be in 20 different places"
"U are the future of this generation, if this generation should miss it, it is over for this nation"
"Spirituality is the key to long lasting prosperity"
"It doesn't have to be White to be right"
.......were d words that moulded us through the years. 

Can I start by asking u how far?
50 days since graduation, how far?


Myself and Michael decided to put up something special to commemorate our 50days after grad.
Check out an exclusive interview on the 'Mike's frequecny' blog here


In the last 50days I've seen life in its ever changing form, I've experienced pain, I've touched gain, I've been angered, I've celebrated, I've cried, I've had celebrations, I've even be celebrated.....and the summary of this is that I've been enjoying life!
God has done too many things to prove himself over and over again. 

Most times I write with the belief that my audience already know that Christ is foundational to every one of our endeavours. So I'll share just 3 things that will add value to u this hour. 

The best thing that can happen to u in life is for u to experience pain. Pain is inevitable in life. Forget what any magician must have told u, the only times u don't see/feel pain are the times u don't look in their direction. 

If it is not within, then it is without; the only difference is that when it is on the outside, it translates into compassion within. 

Pain will u make u think
Pain will condition u to find a way out
I feel pain each time I come across another ignorant fellow and I go "Lord, how will this person see the light"
I feel pain when I see persons who have the potential to the global giants choosing the easy way out.
I feel pain when I need to go out and I have to do Danfo again
I feel pain everyday
But I'm not complaining, nothing motivates better than pain.   

I wish there was a scale for measuring passion; I would have presented my test results to u guys. The pain I feel makes me crave for success on a daily basis as though I've been a failure all lifelong....every fibre of my being is consistently craving for success day and night. 
Let ur pain take u places, appreciate pain.

Pain inspires u to create a solution, and no effective solution is birth forth without an intensive quest to discover the relevant information. In other words... the right information - if discovered - will take u to heights!

And what do u need to discover?
There's a need to discover the right standards
Funeh made me realise something mega:
They say "it doesn't have to be white to be right"
But I hope u realise that this statement implies that 'white is always right'???
It implies that 'white is the standard'
Have u been updating urself with global standards at all? Hate it or love it, those guys are pulling off fantastic stuffs on a daily basis; Don’t limit urself to the definition of success in ur immediate environment seek to discover the generally acceptable definition of success while u see to it that u attain greatness.

It's time for us to inspire ourselves.
Let’s do great things together, let’s build initiatives together, let's build NGOs together and let’s raise fortune 400 companies together. I would be zero today if not because of the friends God brought my way in CU...zero and I mean zero!

Strategic partnership is needed at every point in time if we must cram up in 1year what took the generation before us 10years to achieve. 
Mind u, strategic partnership involves knowing who to partner with, how long to partner with them. 

But first, work on urself; if people don't perceive u as valuable they won't approach u for anything of value.

In closing I say "if u can think, what u have is enough to make ur dreams come true"

Tolu Fiz Akanee
| Thought | Written | Spoken |  

Friday, August 20, 2010

Of what?

Of what shall I blog about today with the crazy deadline I have ahead of me, I picked up on a job a client brought my way and it's been very demanding!
My YES/NO instinct favoured the former so I just had to do it! Its been fun so far anyways, pretty much of an adventure than an experience. I'm having to do a random crash course on this and what can I say....?

It is well

Incase uve nt seen this, pls read this piece. I knew I was gonna be busy tonite so I dropped it since yday
Titled 'I guess I'm anti-success'

I'm tired of success,
I don't want it anymore
And I'm seriously serious
Success should leave me alone

Click on this link and u'l understand my reasons
Meanwhile, I got a sweeeeeet phone call this evening, the good news is that urs truly will be live on Silverbird TV this coming wednesday/thursday
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Opportunity check: YES or NO

Permit me to quickly blow your mind for the next couple of minutes u will spend in reading this piece....
I'm too happy with the life I'm living right now because I know I touch lives daily!
Day by day I'm getting closer to the actualisation of my dreams and I thank the Lord God Almighty for helping me thus far.

I was on a Virgin Nigeria flight on a Sunday evening, leaving Abuja for Lagos on the last flight for the day and I guess very few persons travel at that hour because the plane was almost empty. In their usual fashion, they had to upgrade some persons from economy to business class just so the aircraft can maintain balance...so the flight attendant approached a particular couple and the following conversation ensued.
"Excuse me, are u both travelling together?"
"We would like to upgrade ur ticket to business class, so if you don't mind can u come down with me"
"NO, we are okay here"

Did someone just say NO to a flight upgrade?????? This is no terrorist move right?
It really hit me and I've been meaning to teach a lesson from that incident but no inspiration has ever come from that area up until now.

That day I didn't know what to conclude on...it was either 'contentment' or 'pride'
It had to be one of those two things, the latter looking more like it.

But right now, I'm not seeing it as pride anymore because I did not in anyway lose respect for that guy, infact they earned my respect big time.

There are two words that guide our existence, YES and NO
Who u are today, they say, is a product of the choices u made yesterday; life is all about choices; and ur choice is either a YES or a NO....so that validates my postulation.

I keep saying that there's nothing CU graduates will come across in life that Papa has not prepared us for, there's no situation in life that  u cant link to something Papa has said or that we might have learnt from him, this is what qualifies him to be my most revered mentor.

"Be very careful, it is not every opportunity that comes your way that is meant for you"
-Dr David Oyedepo '10

Lemme back this up further with a self-example.
A couple of weeks back as I was preparing for my book launch and one of the persons on the event management crew introduced me to a socialite, a fashion person, popular blogger and a successful lady; she had a concept she had always wanted to pull off and she was going to need 30mins of my event time to do her own thing!

Sincerely I never felt right about it from the on-set, but I trust my team members anyday anytime....d offer started out as juicy, a socialite will definitely come around with classy guests, celebrities..they will drop good cash to launch my book and even if they dont. they are celebs, their presence is enough reward.

So I opened talks with her after I had discussed a strategy with another team member, I gave her a good deal only to discover that all she was gonna offer in return was her Socialite ratings and a book review....no cash? no fixed reward!
But again, she sounded convincing...I was a young boy looking for recognition....I hope I'm not missing out of this rare opportunity...bla bla...
and while I was in the middle of this, it just occurred to me that 20mins of my event time is actually not that cheap, the time wasnt even there in the first place. I just picked my fone, typed the SMS and I cut off the deal

But u know, when u cut off and u actually don't cut off
I was filled with fear, at some point I would feel bad about the decision, at other times I was just okay with it, at some point again I would feel like a bad guy that just dropped a capital NO.
Post-decisional emotional roller coaster ride!

It is actually no beans saying NO yet we need to say NO on a daily basis

The lesson of this experience is this
"Be very careful, it is not every opportunity that comes your way that is meant for you"
-Dr David Oyedepo '10
That virgin flight experience leaves me to conclude that people actually respect u more when u say NO the right way to whatever it is u dont feel right about
Giving off that 20mins would have been the worst decision of my life, and I would have known that if not because I said NO,

Why am I sayin this?
We planned a 2hour program for the launch. 
We kicked off at 6:20 and by 7:55 I was called up to give the vote of thanks!
Meanwhile, all along I had it at the back of my mind that the event was ending 8:30, so instead of giving the vote of thanks at 7:55 thereby ending the event for 8:00pm...I decided to hold my guests to ransom, I didnt let them go
I spent 20mins entertaining questions from the audience, and if u were around for my book launch, u would agree with me that the 20mins Q&A session was the most important, interesting and entertaining moment of the book launch, because that was the only time I was able to sell myself to the audience as a confident public speaker; for everyone who was seeing me for the first time and even those who knew me before, that was the moment I stole their heart convincing them beyond doubt that I'm not just a word smith on paper but I roll pretty good on the mic as well.

I wouldn't have known what I had missed if I had given out my precious 20mins!

You never can tell what you are missing by not saying NO to that thing you call 'opportunity'
Check it!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Legacy: Allow him, allow them, allow us

At some point in my life, I came to understand what it meant to have mentors, role models and all...and today I'm an offspring of many mentors!

One of the things I learnt from my most reverred mentor, Dr David Oyedepo is the need to pay your dues, he would usually say "there is no free lunch in life" I spent five solid years learning under him, having the opportunity to listen to him periodically, feeding on his materials and of all the mentors I have, he's the one I understand the most...I've studied him tooooo much.

Often times when he speaks about his background in ministry and founding a university, he will share with us on the intensive studies he did...how we went all out studying giants in ministry, studying the operational flow of minstries that have produced results worldwide; he would share about how he went all out studying leading universities and their curricula before coining the unique model with which Covenant University is being run.

I've learnt this from other mentors as well.

However, I always wanted to know what he was going through as a secondary school student, I always wanted to know how his university life was...did he have girl friends, did he have ministry on his mind then, what was his day to day life like...was he an introvert/extrovert...I just wanted to know!

This same quest applies to all my other mentors..I only know Leke Alder started business with eighteen naira fifty kobo, I didnt get to hear his thoughts as a kid, was he yearning for success the way I am right now, what did his friends think of him? was he loved by his parents?

We hardly ever get to read about these things, none of my favourite authors have auto biographies that can answer this question, and this were some of the things I sought out to correct when I decided to title my book 'A-Z Life lessons', this one was vacuum I was anxious to fill when I decided to join my friends in running a '100days to grad' blog.

Why am I bringing this up tonight?
Too bad if I sound too stale, but Harry was just telling me about Justin Bieber yesterday.
I just read him up on Wikipedia and I'm amazed at what God has brought out of his life, now I'm hearing people are kicking against the recent move to do a biography movie on this guy and I'm saying WHY?

Why can't the world see it from the perspective of the effect it will have on generations to come?
I've had quite a number of adults querying my decision to 'bottle' life in a book and I'm always quick to remind them that life is subjective, I only wrote a book to appreciate a period in time of my life. 
What if God says 'time up'? What report will I give in heaven? That I was too young to make impact?
Imagine who Justin Bieber will be in 20years from now, if he keeps moving at this pace...I can imagine reading through the contents of his journal that is if he keeps one anyways...or probably hearing  a recording of a heart to heart moment with that guy; the kind of things that will be going through his mind will be amazing!

There will be many young stars tomorrow who will want to know how the young stars of yester years handled fame, how they handled pressure, negative media and all such things that come with stardom....Allow him movie
Allow him his story
Allow us our expressions

If only critics can see the big picture, they will keep quiet and let young ones do their thing, it is time for young successful folks to start writing autobiographies, people just have to accept the fact that the times have changed.

Atimes when I imagine who I will be in the next couple of years, I'm moved to tears when I imagine how relevant the contents of this blog will be to youths worldwide who will someday find a role model in me.

That is, this blog is not just touching lives today, it will yet touch many more lives in coming years and God willing even after I pass away.

Success is not enough
Greatness is the mark
Allow him
Allow them
Allow us

Are u having unrest?
"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 [NLT]

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Packaging: Just be somebody

This one is an overflow of the discussion I had with Funeh yesterday, and some of these things I shared with Harry today.
I was in Abuja for 5days for a book tour and even though that was my first time in the FCT, Abuja felt like home, beyond the warm reception at the media outing and beyond the 'author' status, everyone I came across were very well receptive.

I try to compare what I experienced in Abuja with what obtains in my everyday Lagos life and well, no doubts there's a very big difference; let me just skip the details of this juxtapose.

One striking thing about the Abuja enviroment in the warmth and the only thing close to that is the village life; it is only in the village that you see people showing so much love and interest and I used to leave it as lack of exposure: the 'city people' mentality.

But how come Abuja being a city still enjoys this?

I've realised the one thing responsible for that

The best way to get people to respect you is by being a somebody. People don't respect nobodies. Being a somebody gives u access to a great deal of respect.

How does it work in Abuja?
Everyone thinks 
"Oh, I think that boy is a senator's son"
"That girl's father is an ambassador"
"Is that not the Senator"
"Is that not the CBN guy"
So u discover that in a way, everyone is beclouded with that 'u never can tell' mentality and this in return affects how u relate with people, u treat them with respect just because u don't want to step on toes.

How does it kill Lagos?
Lagos is a no-man's life
"Who born u?"
"Who u be? Who be ur father?"
Except they see u coming down from those tinted SUVs, u don't earn the respect; and atimes even ur affluence is no security, they look at u straight in the eyes and call u a thief.
They ask "is it your money?"
And so because we go about feeling there are no special heads, that all men are equal and that everybody is a nobody, there's no room for respect to find expression!

How does it work in the village?
Same old, same old
"The city people are here"
"They have come from obodo with plenty money"
"He owns a fleet of cars in the city"
"He works in one of those sky scrapers in the city"
So the respect and warm reception is automatic even if he borrowed his friend's car plus fuel money to pay them a visit in the village, he still gets that respect.

So why am I telling you?
I'm telling u this so u can wake up to the realisation of the fact that the 'somebody' mentality is a winner any day, any time!
It is ever a killer move. If I should go into the details of the things I've done in the name of packaging, the post will be unnecessarily long and u'll laff to much to get the point.
But taking advantage of this principle will help ur life big time, it will grant u access to unimaginable realms, and it will push u to want achievement

In conclusion, let me leave u with a practical example
In Abuja,
I go "This is my first time in this city, I have no business coming to Abuja...my book was doing soooo well in Lagos, flooding the internet, TV, the media world talking about it and the Abuja Literary Society couldn't help inviting me down to Abuja"
And what do I get in return
"Are u serious? Do u have the book here with u? How much does it cost?"

I just sold myself and I sold my book....Why? Because they know I am somebody

In Lagos,
I go "Sorry I couldn't come over the weekend..I was out of town, I was in Abuja and I had a fantastic time out there, I mean God was faithful opening doors here and there...I was hosted by Silverbird, I was on radio, I even met....bla bla bla"
And I return
"Wow, that's big! Do u have the book here with u? How much does it cost?"
If I want to go futher in proving a point, I could tell the person I dont have the book with me
"But check it up in Terra Kulture, Silverbird galleria or at the Palms...."

These are killer moves anyday, anytime....the things I just revealed are exclusive background stuffs oh....I dunno why I got this generous today, U just keep reading, God is pushing me to share more background gist in the coming days.

I just shared a life lesson on Packaging!
Tell me what u think...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Dreams: Are u bothered at all?

Today was a most unusual day, it was one of those dream days come true.
I was up from Sunday night to the the early hours of this morning doing some research work, intensive studies and analysis of organisational structures, profiling companies, individuals, drivers of youth initiatives and all; In essence I was updating myself with relevant information on what successful people all around the world are up to.

I had tooooooooo much to learn.
I cant seem to explain where it came from, but in the last couple of weeks I've emerged with an insatiable thirst for knowledge and this is why I'm enjoying my life so much right now.

I'm beginning to thank God that I didn't get distracted by the opportunities to get a white collar job for these period in time before NYSC.

Friends, I've been thinking all day!! The poem in the previous post - fading stars - give a summary of the burden on my heart. Maintaining relevance is no joke, it is no joke at all and I'm glad that God has been opening my eyes to things and u know just as His word has said
"the path of the righteous is like a shining light that shines brighter and brighter until the perfect day"

I had this long interesting conversation with Funeh and we explored quite a lot of issues and
1. First thing we concluded on was that there's nothing we are going through right now that Papa didnt tell us about before hand; the ones he didnt say verbally, we learnt from him.
Check the records!

2. When I was asking questions on why we didn't start most of the successful things we are pulling off today way back before graduation he said something that very true, very relevant and very inspiring

Which is very true, and u know what... it is now that we are doing those things that we once dreamt of doing that we are now getting to realise that we could have started these things right at the moment when we conceived those ideas; There was nothing stopping us!

And this goes out to every dreamer out there.
When God gave out that dream He entrusted it in the hands of many others
Don't think u have all the time in the world
So u'll step out on the streets and see someone living ur dream
Dont wait for that silly thing they call "perfect time"
The time is now
Start now!

Fading stars...

I don't wanna be that one show performer

This year
They are the best
The next
They are no where to be found

Don't wanna get carried away by d cheap publicity
No distractions from the early bloom
Unmoved by the cheers and jeers
Deaf to their applause

I don't wanna go up
Only to come down again
Wanna be up
And stay true to the top

Wanna remain evergreen growin in purpose

Don't wanna be that guy that WAS
Was a star
Was fulll of potentials
Don't wanna be another fallen star

I wanna be leave a legacy
I wanna live a legacy
I wanna be a legacy
I wanna die a legacy

With my footprints
Stamped in the sands of time
With my name n fame
Reaching the sky line

I wanna be that guy
That inspires
Who inspired
And is ever an inspiration

I wanna be that guy
That the kids of my time look up to
Who the made looked up to
And is ever a model

I wanna lead people to that land
The land they always crave for
My very own birthplace
The inner chambers of success and fulfilment

I'm ready to pay the price
So I wake up each morning
Wondering how best to pay my dues
I wake to sow my best

I don't know how much time I've got
But He's asked me to do a lot
I can't afford to disappoint
I must hit the mark

I wanna go up to see my Dad someday
The one who lives in the heavens
While I say to this earth of vanity
With a smile and a deep sense of fulfilment
Veni vidi vici
I came
I saw
I conquered

Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

Sunday, August 15, 2010

On global relevance

I cant talk much tonight because there's really a lot to talk about.
I've been reading all evening long and doing some research because I have a hanging branding job to work on and its top on my TO-DOs for this week, so I just have to get rid of it.

I've been reading all sorts of stuffs
Mainly because I realised it is important to set standards, and by standards I mean standard standards. International standards are the best, global standards is what's up but unfortunately, growing up in this part of the world tends to put you at a disadvantage; Though ur Nigerian education/working experience might not have eqipped u well enuf, the internet provides the platform for one to check his/her global ratings.
I say it often times, that there's almost no successful Nigerian entrepreneur(check all those that speak to us at conferences and seminars) that doesn't have an educational background outside Nigeria...it's very rare to see any, they must have at least studied for one year outside Nigeria and I wonder what the enviroment outside Nigeria does to the business DNA.........these are some of the mysteries I want to unravel

This, I believe would be my fcous for the next couple of weeks...
I want to dig into biographies, backgrounds, company profiles, organisational structures with the ultimate aim of discovering what it takes to develop and sustain global relevance.

(I read one of the best articles I've ever seen on organisational structure here)

By virtue of a piece of information that my good friend, Funeh provided me with, I look forward to meeting with some industry professionals in the coming weeks as well.
These people are mostly approachable, they are not gods, most of them love young passion/mind/energy and that's the major advantage I have in drawing their attention, so I'm gonna make good use of it.

I pray that God will give me the drive to be consistent toward this cause as I wish u all a great week ahead!

"if you are not thinking, then you already stinking"

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Owambe thoughts....

Double owambe for me dis wknd, wedding and engagement and I had quite a lot to learn
1. I met this uncle - tho nt a direct uncle buh we blood sha - and I already loved him b4 I knew he was my uncle. From d moment he walked into d engagement hall I loved him for his stature (my dream tall n broad stature), his smile, and he knew at least one person on every table!
That's how I like to appear at events! Knowing everyone on d floor is d reward for calculated extrovertedness
Wha tripped me most about him was d fact that he's a medical doctor! Doctors r mostly introverts.
That brings me to d 1st lesson
2. Networking is fun. It has always been fun and it will never stop being fun
I've come to realise that fame is not a function of the no of events u attend, its all about the kind of events u attend.
When u appear everywhere, u become a nuisance. U can't afford to honour every invite, be choosy and chose right, that's d only time ur presence can truly be a privilege.

3. The golden rule I learnt from Trump is "ALWAYS SEAT WHER U CAN SEE N CAN BE SEEN"
Very important

4. As a young person, family frnds n relations will always want to size u up. I don't know to what end they do it, but they'll always want to size u up.
I was excited when that my uncle sat next to me and he startd throwin questions. I can't exactly express in words some of d communication principles I grasped from him.
When he saw my phone, he went "oh, blackberry! I heard they r banning it in UAE, what's wrong?"
I was more than excited cause I spent d next 5mins analysing the problem, all thanks to my Forbes app that daily loads me wit relevant information.
2 other random questions came in like that and I was on point again.

5. The chairman said sumtn interestin
They say. A family that prays together stays together
Many limit dat act of "prayer" to the act of just talking to God. But no, prayer connotes a moment of sincerity, when u lare it bare before God, when ure naked before him
It is this sincerity/nakedness/openness btw family members that makes a family that 'prays' together to stay together
This one is off owambe
More often than not u will find urself in d middle of a bad decision. Ur emotion has been committed to it, it could be ur finance, u might have roped in family and friends, ur organisation might even be involved....but it is a bad decision
Bad decisions neva yield good no matter hw hard u try to around it
Ur ego has been committed to it
What will people say if u turn back?
Always remember that a bad decision is a bad decision, don't ever get too proud or too committed to admit it was a bad decision.
It is never too late to be right

Some random tins yo!
Wha dd u learn ds wknd?
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN