13 October, 2012

Discovering your purpose!

What am I meant to do on earth? Why am I here? What can I do, that would make me be remembered in years to come? What is my purpose?
    Answers to questions like these are sometimes very difficult to find. Nobody else knows what your purpose is, purposes are "self-discovered", since everybody knows their individual capabilities and preferences more than any friend or family member does. Get a piece of paper, ask yourself the following questions, write the answers down on the piece of paper, be honest! When you are done, some of your answers will keep occurring in your mind like they are talking to you, your purpose or purposes on earth are in that paper and as you look through your answers again, when you see them, you just know:

1. What makes you smile? (Activities, people, events, hobbies, projects, etc.)

2. What are your favourite things to do in the past? What about now?

3. What activities make you lose track of time?

4. What makes you feel great about yourself?

5. Who inspires you most? (Anyone you know or do not know. Family, friends, authors, artists, leaders, etc.) Which qualities inspire you, in each person?

6. What are you naturally good at? (Skills, abilities, gifts etc.)

7. What do people typically ask you for help in?

8. If you had to teach something, what would you teach?

9. What would you regret not fully doing, being or having in your life?

10. You are now 90 years old, sitting on a rocking chair outside your porch; you can feel the spring breeze gently brushing against your face. You are blissful and happy, and are pleased with the wonderful life you’ve been blessed with. Looking back at your life and all that you’ve achieved and acquired, all the relationships you’ve developed; what matters to you most? List them out.

11. What are your deepest values?

12. What were some challenges, difficulties and hardships you’ve overcome or are in the process of overcoming? How did you do it?

13. What causes do you strongly believe in? Connect with?

14. If you could get a message across to a large group of people. Who would those people be? What would your message be?

15. Given your talents, passions and values. How could you use these resources to serve, to help, to contribute? ( to people, beings, causes, organisation, environment, planet, etc.)

Discovering your purpose on earth!

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Questions from Tina Su

04 October, 2012

Five top tips to starting a successful business

I just saw this article on my LinkedIn page, I think you all should read it too.

Richard Branson

Richard Branson

    As LinkedIn is a business that started in a living room, much like Virgin began in a basement, I thought my first blog on the site should be about how to simply start a successful business. Here are five top tips I’ve picked up over the years.

1. Listen more than you talk

We have two ears and one mouth, using them in proportion is not a bad idea! To be a good leader you have to be a great listener. Brilliant ideas can spring from the most unlikely places, so you should always keep your ears open for some shrewd advice. This can mean following online comments as closely as board meeting notes, or asking the frontline staff for their opinions as often as the CEOs. Get out there, listen to people, draw people out and learn from them.

2. Keep it simple

You have to do something radically different to stand out in business. But nobody ever said different has to be complex. There are thousands of simple business solutions to problems out there, just waiting to be solved by the next big thing in business. Maintain a focus upon innovation, but don’t try to reinvent the wheel. A simple change for the better is far more effective than five complicated changes for the worse.

3. Take pride in your work

Last week I enjoyed my favourite night of the year, the Virgin Stars of the Year Awards, where we celebrated some of those people who have gone the extra mile for us around the Virgin world. With so many different companies, nationalities and personalities represented under one roof, it was interesting to see what qualities they all have in common. One was pride in their work, and in the company they represent. Remember your staff are your biggest brand advocates, and focusing on helping them take pride will shine through in how they treat your customers.

4. Have fun, success will follow

If you aren’t having fun, you are doing it wrong. If you feel like getting up in the morning to work on your business is a chore, then it's time to try something else. If you are having a good time, there is a far greater chance a positive, innovative atmosphere will be nurtured and your business will fluorish. A smile and a joke can go a long way, so be quick to see the lighter side of life.

5. Rip it up and start again

If you are an entrepreneur and your first venture isn’t a success, welcome to the club! Every successful businessperson has experienced a few failures along the way – the important thing is how you learn from them. Don’t allow yourself to get disheartened by a setback or two, instead dust yourself off and work out what went wrong. Then you can find the positives, analyse where you can improve, rip it up and start again.

24 September, 2012

Why are you on earth?

PURPOSE, big word. I'm one of those people who think everybody on earth has a purpose, you should think the same way too. Purpose is the biggest source of motivation and encouragement, that is important for a successful business and a successful life.

What is your mission?
I think every single human being is meant to enjoy life, and add to life. Look at it this way. You're living in a country where you're entitled to some specific rights, and everybody is treated equally, some people fought so you would have those rights and privileges today. We now have smart phones, laptops, this software, that device, that app and so on, these things are the result of years and years that so many people have spent working hard at school, doing different research and consultations and investing a lot of money. They have made life easier for us today. They have all added to the world, they fulfilled their purpose. You are meant to enjoy what these people have added, and give something back to the world. That thing you are giving back, is the reason you're on earth, your PURPOSE.

This blog is meant to help you with your business life, and you might be wondering: "How does this purpose stuff relate to business?", I assure you that once you know your purpose for living, you would have the best business ideas, motivation and success stories.

Your work, is to discover your work; and then with all your
heart, give yourself to it.
- Buddha

To put away aimlessness and weakness, and to begin to think with purpose, is to enter the ranks of those strong ones who only recognise failure as one of the pathways to attainment; who make all conditions serve them, and who think strongly, attempt fearlessly, and accomplish masterfully.  
- James Allen

Do you know your purpose? Will you be remembered for anything? Will you make any positive impact on earth before you leave? Have you started working on achieving your purpose? Start NOW! Better late than never.

05 September, 2012

Why should I start my own business ?

Succesful Entrepreneurs
Some popular entrepreneurs

The obvious answer to that question would be to make money and be happy, but there's more to it than that, it would help us quit the "rat-race". The normal "life-routine" or "rat-race" that most of us live as described by Robert Kiyosaki in his book "Rich dad, Poor dad" is this:

"If you look at the life of the average-educated, hard-working person, there is a similar path. The child is born and goes to school. The proud parents are excited because the child excels, gets fair to good grades, and is accepted into a college. The child graduates, maybe goes on to graduate school and then does exactly as programmed: looks for a safe, secure job or career. The child finds that job, maybe as a doctor or a lawyer, or joins the Army or works for the government. Generally, the child begins to make money, credit cards start to arrive in mass, and the shopping begins, if it already hasn't."Having money to burn, the child goes to places where other young people just like them hang out, and they meet people, they date, and sometimes they get married. Life is wonderful now, because today, both men and women work. Two incomes are bliss. They feel successful, their future is bright, and they decide to buy a house, a car, a television, take vacations and have children. The happy bundle arrives. The demand for cash is enormous. The happy couple decides that their careers are vitally important and begin to work harder, seeking promotions and raises. The raises come, and so does another child and the need for a bigger house. They work harder, become better employees, even more dedicated. They go back to school to get more specialised skills so they can earn more money. Maybe they take a second job. Their incomes go up, but so does the tax bracket they're in and the real estate taxes on their new large home, and their Social Security taxes, and all the other taxes. They get their large paycheck and wonder where all the money went. They buy some mutual funds and buy groceries with their credit card. The children reach 5 or 6 years of age, and the need to save for college increases as well as the need to save for their retirement. ."That happy couple, born 35 years ago, is now trapped in the Rat Race for the rest of their working days. They work for the owners of their company, for the government paying taxes, and for the bank paying off a mortgage and credit cards. Then, they advise their own children to `study hard, get good grades, and find a safe job or career.' They learn nothing about money, except from those who profit from their naivete, and work hard all their lives. The process repeats into another hard-working generation. This is the `Rat Race'."

I'm quite sure that most of you are somewhere along the "rat-race", studying so hard so you can end up working for this company or that company. When students talk to me about their plans for the future, they always say things like:
 "I want to get my degree in Computer science and then get an MBA and work at somewhere like Apple or Microsoft." 
"I heard they pay well at Shell, I'd love to work there someday."
Working for a company is not a bad plan for the future but, in most cases its not the best plan either. I think people should focus more on starting their own businesses. To most people it seems like a HUGE deal to start a business, but in reality its not. When you hear "start a business", you see yourself starting a company like; Sony, Coca-cola, IKEA or Apple and you think its so impossible. Its not impossible to own a company as big as those companies, they all started small and have grown to become what they are today. IKEA for example, was founded by Ingvar Kamprad when he was just 17 years old, he started by selling matches to his neighbours on a bicycle and then he started selling fishes, pens and pencils also, with steady expansion and proper business strategy his company now makes an average of 3 Billion US Dollars annually. Another successful entrepreneur is Raymond Lei, he started his online clothe-customisation business: ooShirts, while he was in High school. Its a web-based company where customers can design clothes online, the company then transforms these designs into actual clothes and ships them to the customers at a fixed price. In the year 2010 his company generated a total revenue of 2.2 Million US Dollars, at that time he was a student at the University of California-Berkeley, but unlike most of his mates, he had left the "rat-race". Under normal circumstances, people like this would not have to worry about the pensions or if their bosses would allow them to go on a holiday next summer.

Raymond Lei
Raymond Lei

Many other people like Frederick W. Smith, Steve Jobs and so on, decided to start their own businesses and have succeeded. You can start your own business too! You're not too old or too young to start one. Life becomes very interesting and comfortable when you are in control of your business, nearly all the difficulties faced by people in the "rat-race", are strange to you. In a few years time, I'd like to see you on Wikipedia as the founder of this company and that company, but first, there are a lot things you have to learn. I'll be uploading more posts on this blog, to help you know what to do and what to avoid when you're running your own business. 

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02 September, 2012


       Many students today are completely dependent on their parents for their school fees, accommodation, food, clothes and so on, to me this is not a good way to live. If I could teach young people all over the world ONE thing, it would be the importance, advantages and methods of becoming partly or even completely independent by gaining part or full-time employment or starting their own businesses.
       Think about it, you're running your own business, regardless of the size, making a reasonable income even while you're in school, you now have the funds to buy the things you want, free your parents on some spending and make a lot of valuable connections with people from different industries and locations. I guarantee that when you are making your own money from your business or job, life will be much more interesting and exciting.
       On a regular basis, I would post business ideas, advice and news that would help you start and successfully run your own business or find a good job while you're still in school. I would also explain where and how to invest your money "wisely", to even multiply what you already have. This would be fun, and even more fun when the money starts coming in. You can join me in achieving this goal by following this blog, sharing the posts on your social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, email etc.) and recommending it to every young person you care about. This is my introductory post, I'm Ayo Oyewole, that's a picture of me below :) , sharing and commenting on my future posts are very much appreciated. I hope that along the way, we would learn a lot from each other.