How Great is Your Idea?

When I was much younger, I heard someone say all human beings are entitled to 5 minutes madness daily. I don’t know how true that is, but I think its absurd and scary. It means someone who lives for 70 years has spent about 127,750 minutes in madness; approximately 90 days as a mad man.
Contrary to that, I believe every one is entitled to a life time of greatness.

Greatness is a choice, you too can be great.

Ever wondered how people develop multi-billion dollar ideas? You read someone’s story and wish you had the idea instead, in some cases its a very simple idea and you feel you could have done better if you were in the person’s shoes.

The secret to being great is execution.

Execution starts with a paper and biro or any writing material, even your notepad, thanks to technology. Every now and then, ideas popup in our heads, great ideas that we neglect.
How do you know an idea isn’t great if you never executed it?

To execute that idea that came jokingly which probably has the potential of greatness, the first step is to write it down.
No matter how good your brain is, you are bound to forget some things every now and then, and if not the entire idea, some key elements.
When you write it down, you can always go back to it, re-read, develop, make it better and plan towards it.

After you must have written it down, take your time to think carefully about it, then go back and re-edit the idea.

The next step is to write down an execution/operations plan.
Your plan could be to start the execution now, next 5 years, lesser or more, but most importantly, write down a plan with a time frame and a deadline. Often times, go back to the idea and just re-read for the sake of it, new ideas will definitely come out of it.

Whatever your execution plan is, be disciplined and work according to it.
This is where you need to combine hard wok, consistency and strategy to keep you pushing.

Greatness is relevant;

No matter how great your idea is, you need to clearly define the goal and the vision of your idea. No one else can see your vision clearer than you, no one else can execute your idea better than you.

The next step will be to seek opinions from those around you, could be parents, friends, mentors etc. Since its still an idea, you can’t patent or copyright just an idea, so be careful how you present it and who you present it to. Choose those you’ll work with strategically and tell God about it. You might also consider expressing your idea in Power Point to look more vivid, but most importantly, start the idea, no one will take you serious if you have not started something. A business plan and financial projections are also necessary, don’t skip that part.

Procrastination will kill the idea even before maturity.

Criticism is good; only if you use it to get better. So far you’re sure of your goal and vision, don’t let anyone discourage your greatness, they can’t see what you’re seeing. If you’re doing it for the right reasons, with the right attitude and the right people, You can and you will be great.

By Ehlwittee

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#SpotOn With Tomi Ogunlesi

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My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.- Maya Angelou

In this edition of #SpotOn, an ad man sailing through the oceans of marketing and brand management, Tomi Ogunlesi delivers profound insights on tips and nuggets that has kept him thriving and pushing forward in his present path.

Tomi Ogunlesi who is the Corporate Brand Manager of arguably the leading electronic transaction switching and payment system in Nigeria, brings to bare the saying that success really is a combination of preparation and opportunity, having started acting on his passion, and igniting his creativity even when it didn’t look like the road to be taken.

He is a brilliant strategic thinker who has been able to express his creative prowess on brands like Intel, First Bank, Virgin Nigeria, Reckitt Benckiser and many others.

Enjoy the chat but more importantly apply these truths to your life.

 

Who is Tomi Ogunlesi in 140 characters?

I guess the descriptor on my twitter profile would be expedient, given the expected brevity of the response to this poser.

Ardent Student of Culture+Brands. Post Modern Marketing Strategist. Classical + Contemporary Pianist & Guitarist. Art Collector. Very Good Bad Guy! J

 

…..Are we out of characters yet?

 

How did growing up affect your choice of career?

I am not too sure about this, but what I can say in hindsight is that I think certain experiences along the line conspired to put me on the track that I’m currently on. Both of my parents were in the medical field, and I grew up on a campus-like environment in a house that was pretty much a library of sorts. My siblings and I used to compete to be first to read the dailies once they came in. Would say I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to be surrounded by a diverse repertoire of titles and subject matter ranging from such extremes as The British Journal of Psychiatry (understandably so, my father being a career psychiatrist), a good chunk of Sigmund Freud, C.S Lewis’ books to Enid Blytons (Famous five, Secret Seven, etc).

Also remembrance-worthy is that I believe my older brother, now a pretty acclaimed writer/journalist/blogger and social media ‘overlord’ sort of influenced me to start writing stuff from early on….I still have weather-beaten scraps of drafts of wannabe ‘Enid Blyton’ type stories I wrote back in the day, and Ah yes! I also used to draw all manner of stuff…..At the point of making a ‘career choice’, I remember being quite confused, being that I seemed to be interested in so many things but a common denominator was that whatever it was had to involve writing and being imaginative or ‘creative’. I was also discerning enough to know that the mathematically-inclined fields weren’t my strongest point. At different times, I was under illusions that I would be a medical specialist, a renowned economist or a NASA scientist, eventually sometime in the course of undergraduate life, I realized the world of advertising (even in the limited perception I had of it back then) probably held the allure for me….the rest, as is said, is history, lest I bore you with the detail!

 

What facilitated your interest in the creative industry?

I may have touched on some of these in answering the last question, and whilst I was persuaded that I could be ‘creative’ and I knew would probably fare better and be most engaged doing something eclectic, sometime in my 3rd year of undergraduate studies (studying environmental chemistry & toxicology in a University of Agriculture!), I began taking more than a passing interest in adverts.

By year 4 when I was going for what was known as the ‘SIWES attachment’ (It’s probably still called that), I had started actively building my own scrapbook of adverts, complete with headlines, body copy and art direction. I’d basically taken up the pastime of recreating adverts that caught my fancy, trying to string headlines that rhymed well enough and all of that kind of stuff. By the time I was back from the 6 month internship, I had become convinced that all of the NMR spectroscopy, hazardous substances management, analytical chemistry etc. wasn’t going to be my thing!

Lest I forget, from reading a lot of newspapers, I started noticing certain guys who were always in media briefing pictures and event photo-splashes, characterized by their mostly sharp sartorial looks, and the very interesting names of the firms they represented. Not like I really understood much of what they did at the time, but what was interesting to me was that there were a few of them I’d started to encounter in the papers recurrently, and the striking thing was that they seemed to have their fingers in many different pies, always being seen with different clients. I suppose that also struck a chord, and shaped my resolve to break into that business to really experience what those guys had. Funnily, as trivial or primordial as those motivations now seem, those where some of the things that really gingered my interest…It’s worthy of mention that the scrap-book of imitation adverts I started building as a 3rd year undergraduate was instrumental to my getting my 1st advertising job in Lagos about 4 years after, 2 months before I completed the NYSC. Of course, I quickly got to appreciate the more profound sides to advertising/communications once I was privileged to get into the mainstream .and there’s been no looking back since then.

I realized the world of advertising (even in the limited perception I had of it back then) probably held the allure for me

Motivation over the years…

Interestingly, for me, the dynamics of the world of marketing, brand management, advertising and the creative arts generally offers motivation in itself (even before any of the typical motivating factors such as financial compensation, awards and the like). The opportunity and leverage one has to infuse your thoughts and perspectives into the construct of brands, and to thereby shape experiences, culture, expectations etc. is fundamentally a motivation. The marketing/creative sphere is so lateral, iterative and engaging, as compared with some other more strait-jacketed fields of endeavor which are more linear in orientation (and less interesting, in my personal assessment).

I’m also spurred by the fact that there are so many possibilities in terms of growth and professional development prospects, and the realization that with interest, passion and continuous learning and exposure, one can take full responsibility for their self-development and career progress!

The reality is that once an individual finds their true spot, motivation becomes intrinsic, as frequently said, it’s just like getting paid as a bonus for doing what you ordinarily enjoy.

Your top three most inspiring books would be? 

Wow, I’ve got quite a bit of these, I’ll probably name more than 3

  1. Robert Kiyosaki’s books – ‘Cashflow Quadrant’ & ‘Dad, Poor Dad’…read these 2 books a long time ago, and the perspectives on financial literacy have been very liberating to say the least.
  2. Spencer Johnson’s ‘Who moved my cheese?’
  3. Malcolm Gladwell – ‘Tipping Point’
  4. And of course, from a professional POV, I cannot forget David Ogilvy’s masterpieces “Confessions of an Advertising Man” and “Ogilvy on Advertising”– despite the vagaries of time, the simple truths and insights espoused therein, about not only communication, but indeed human behaviour remain intriguingly relevant, moreso when you consider that these thoughts were penned at a time when marketing/communication was so straightforward, as compared to contemporary times.

The reality is that once an individual finds their true spot, motivation becomes intrinsic, as frequently said, it’s just like getting paid as a bonus for doing what you ordinarily enjoy.

What are the skill sets you think a lad interested in strategy and brand management should possess?

I would extend this beyond skill-sets to also mention attitude and a mind-set.

As regards the requisite skill-set to excel in strategy and brand management, I’d say the following

  1. Ability to strike a good balance between one’s left and right brains (logic and creativity…I like to call it a fair mix of ‘logic’ and ‘magic’)
  2. Necessarily, good communication capabilities – in writing, speaking, presenting (and listening of course!)
  3. A vast knowledge base – which can really only be acquired/broadened by learning, reading and getting exposure…it’s what’s also referred to as depth, and this is what separates a lot of high-flying folks from the rest, particularly within the context of our industry

 

On attitude, and mindset  (which is equally as important as skill-set, if not more…all the skills without the right attitude and mindset won’t get anyone so far, regardless of what field of endeavor they’re in!);

  • Real interest…or call it passion about what you do (or want to do)
  • Self-motivation…also stems from how much passion you’ve got
  • Open mindedness and a capacity to learn fast and to be comfortable with transition
  • A relentless quest for self-development and exposure
  • A resolute, somewhat persistent character (without the nuisance factor!)
  • Capacity to manage your expectations and also to quickly ginger up yourself and re-bound after disappointments….in reality, it’s a tough industry/circle to break into, and even tougher to break into the big leagues…there are bound to be plenty of disappointments…so brace yourself!
  • Also many young people manage to break into the industry only to realize that there’s so much hype…in reality, it may turn out not to be as glamourous as it looks from the sidelines….in many instances, pay at the early phases may actually seem like peanuts (when juxtaposed against the expectations and deliverables), and you’ll often have to roll up your sleeves to do dirty work. It’s called paying your dues 🙂 but remember, in the quest to build capacity, what you earn is secondary, initially, to the sheer extent of what you’ll learn! I never fail to emphasize this to upcoming folks…Take it from me… the fat paychecks and perks will become “your portion”, in good time, if you stick to the program!

 

In the quest to build capacity, what you earn is secondary, initially, to the sheer extent of what you’ll learn!

 

Candid advice to Nigerian youths.

Actively avoid the path of least resistance. To attain ‘excellence’, you’ll necessarily have to push yourself beyond personal boundaries and comfort zones so that you can achieve your aspirations, which have to be audacious but realistic, in the first place.

Another thing is that, I have noticed that it is very common for young people these days to feel that those who are in authority or those who are successful owe them something. I think it’s a problem that is generally endemic in these parts, and in fact does not characterize young people alone. Most people want an ‘easy’ way out. I think a change of thinking is critically required, especially among young people. Young people need to realize that they alone have ultimate power over their future and what happens or doesn’t happen to you. Take hold of your ‘destiny’ and maximize the opportunities, which are out there, though they may appear hidden.

The world owes you nothing, so manage your expectations and do away with the ‘entitlement’ mentality!

 

Kindly share your thoughts and feed backs in the comment box.

2016 UN-DESA Grant on Energy for Sustainable Development

Powering the Future We Want offers a grant in the amount of one million US dollars to fund future capacity development activities in energy for sustainable development.

 The Grant is awarded to an individual, institution or partnership based on past and current achievements.

Applications must be submitted online in English by 15 August 2016 (extended deadline)

Apply here

World Bank Scholarship for Nigerian Female Entrepreneurs

INTRODUCTION

The World Bank is awarding Scholarship to Female Entrepreneurs in Nigeria to learn at the Enterprise Development Centre.

The Enterprise Development Centre, Pan- Atlantic University in collaboration with The World Bank will

Provide practical Business Education through a blended learning approach (online and in- class training)

Help strengthen Female Entrepreneurs network

Offer Mentoring

Create linkages between financial institutions and Female Entrepreneurs.

Selection criteria will be as follows:

A. Company must be owned / managed by a woman

B. Should be a functional business (at least 6 months in operation)

C. The Enterprise must have high growth potential

D. High local content will be an advantage

Deadline is July 31, 2016

Apply here

Jumia’s Branded House: A Not so Brilliant Move?

Jumia made a bold leap into the Nigerian market in 2012 with the sole aim of redefining retail shopping in the country. This action engendered mixed feelings among many, as futurists applauded the unprecedented move into an untested space with skeptics holding a different opinion.

The skeptics did have a point knowing that since the inception of mankind, change hasn’t always been a good friend. Drilling down to a country like Nigeria that is deeply rooted in beliefs, religion and culture, change is not something you get with both hands. You either effect it by hook or crook.

Words on the street then bordered around trust (security and safety) and the low level of adaptation. To tackle this Jumia developed a clearly defined policy that guaranteed 100% secure transaction and even a pay on delivery options to consumers. This among other strategies eventually proved positive.

A white paper released last month revealed a tremendous increase in brand favourability and equity with the Jumia platform ranking as the 7th most visited website in Nigeria.

Innovative programs and customer loyalty campaigns also helped the brand battle misconceptions and perceptions of consumers towards e-commerce. A ready example is Jumia’s localized version of Black Friday which literarily ‘broke’ the internet. 2015 edition saw a site visit of 2.3 million Nigerians in 24 hours with products being sold out in less than 2 mins. This doesn’t absolve them of backlashes received from displeased customers who felt conned and deceived.

TRANSITION FROM HOUSE OF BRANDS TO BRANDED HOUSE

Kotler and Keller puts the house of brands strategy as the use of individual or separate family names while branded house strategy is the use of a centralized or umbrella company brand name in relating with the customers. Big companies like Microsoft employs the former strategy with products like Xbox, Skype and Bing operating in a decentralized format while Google applies the latter.

Jumia, Jovago, Kaymu, Lamudi and others are offshoots of the Africa Internet Group with Jumia being the most successful of these start-ups. Jumia thrives on heavy investment and brand credibility. This recent change essentially implies that other start-ups would leverage and directly benefit from these attributes.

The new structure: With Kaymu becoming Jumia Market; Jovago now Jumia Travels; Hellofood is now Jumia Food; Vendito now Jumia Deals; Lamudi now trades as Jumia House; while Carmudi is now known as Jumia Car. The effect of these brand adjustments mean that consumers can now access all these services using a single Jumia account, also prominent is the fusion of all their individual websites into Jumia’s website.

BRILLIANT OR NOT SO BRILLIANT MOVE?

Jumia, in its four years of redefining retail experience in Nigeria has been able to acquire a good number of loyalist and customers. Dealing in a once estranged digital space with Konga, doling out innovative campaigns and affiliate programs that position the brand as credible and trustworthy. With this in place Jumia decides to play the saviour who acquires the burden and excesses of other relatively unknown platforms which is good knowing that they can leverage on the credibility and recognition of the main brand.

On the flip side, Jumia is well known in the industry as an online shopping store and not a restaurant aggregator or a car purchasing platform. This I believe won’t easily sit well with the consumer. Winning in any industry requires focus, commitment to a known position and channeling of energy and resources into that chosen field, a deviation from that often incurs ripple effect, quite similar to my prediction on Star Lager Beer.

This begins to look like a Jack of all trade, Master of…, well that may be too quick to conclude. I am personally still trying to wrap my head around the difference between Jumia Market and Jumia (Shopping), knowing that the fundamental idea behind a market is for customers to locate products or services of interest and make payments for such. Reconciling Kaymu (Jumia Market) with his new name still comes out puzzling knowing that its direct competition is OLX but then again Konga is presently positioned as a market place whose competition is Jumia. I believe to an extent Jumia online shopping should have assumed the name Jumia Market while other sub-brands fall under it.

Mark Essien, Founder/CEO, Hotels.ng (Nigeria), sharing similar sentiments on his direct competition Jumia Travels says “This strategy of trying to leverage Jumia’s popularity to sell the other brands will work only partially. When people see Jumia, they associate it with buying something; it is difficult to reconcile it with the idea of also booking a hotel through the same Jumia. It is like walking into a supermarket to book a flight. It just does not flow naturally.”

All Eyes on Jumia: This move expands its scope of competition. The new positioning sets Jumia against competitors in Industries like Real Estate, Travel and Automobile.  Deploying its resources on winning share of attention across these fields might be spreading out too tin with very little effect. Jumia looks strong on investments but fighting different battles at a time might not be too favourable with the possible outcome being the death of some of these sub-brands.

The notion behind a brand subsuming associated ventures is to simplify customers’ interactions with the brand, improve perception and ultimately increase brand equity. Time will tell if these new structure will pose as a threat to the growth of the brand or as a spring board to leap forward.

What do you think?

African Literature Writing Contest | 300 Words for a Chance to Win $100

Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture, will turn 6 in a few weeks—August 1. To celebrate this milestone, we’ve launched a writing contest to give you a chance to say just what you love about African literature.

Here is how it works:

Imagine African literature as a romantic partner—boyfriend, girlfriend, sidechick, main squeeze, wife, husband, whatever. It is your 6th year anniversary, but you’ve been going through a rough patch for while now. Things haven’t been as rosy as it once was. You’re determined to put things right by re-affirming your love—with just 300 words! Feel free to explore all genres and scenarios.

The contest is open to everyone: old, youthful, aspiring writer, seasoned writer, African, non-African, etc. If you read and love African literature, take this chance to say why.

It’s super-easy to participate.

Follow Brittle Paper on Twitter

@brittlepaper (include a screen capture to let us know you followed us)

Submit to brittlecontest@gmail.com. Include your name, address, a phone number, a short bio, and a photograph of yourself.

Send as an attached word document or simply past in the body of the email.

Word Count Rule: 3oo-35o (please do not exceed 350).

That’s it!

Entries will be open from July 4 to July 15 . The top five will be announced on July 18th. Readers will then have a chance to vote for their favorite.

The winner will be announced on July 31.

Good luck!

Tips on How to Remain Poor

So i came across this on Whatsapp and it really made a lot of sense. Read and Apply.

1. Never wake up early. Keep stretching and turning in bed until you get too hungry to continue dozing. If there are no bed bugs, why hurry to get up? 
2. Never plan how to spend your money. Whenever you get money, start spending it right away and when it’s finished, you try to count and recall how you spent it. 
3. Don’t think of saving until you have real big money. How can you save when you earn so little? Those telling you to save are not sympathetic to your burning needs. 
4. Don’t engage in activities usually reserved for the “uneducated”.How can you, a graduate, engage in petty trade, network marketing or home-based production? That’s for people who never went to school! 
5. Don’t think of starting a business until an angel comes from heaven and gives you capital. How do they expect you to invest before you get millions? Even though more than half the businesses in your town were started with little capital, you as a smart person can only start with millions. 
6. Complain about everything except your own attitude and laziness. Blame the system, the government and the banks that refused to lend you money. They are all bad and do not want you to get rich. 

7. Spend more than you earn. To achieve this, buy consumer products on credit and keep borrowing from friends and employers. 

8. Compete in dressing. Make sure you’re wearing the latest clothes. Intimidate everyone with your trendy fashions everytime. Whenever your neighbour buys a new phone, you get one that is more expensive. 
9. Get yourself a nice second hand car that costs more than three times your yearly salary. 
10. Give your children everything they ask for since you’re such a loving parent. They should not struggle for anything because you do not want them to suffer that way, they will grow up lazy and hence poor enough to ensure they can’t help you at old age