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Ife Agboola

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Choose your loudest voice, are you guided by your fears or your dreams?

What determines the size of your dreams? Or the goals that you choose to pursue?

Early in January, I organised a Mastermind meetup and invited friends to spend some time talking about the previous year and also share their plans for the coming year. One of the major things we did was spending time reviewing how the previous year went, both the good and the bad sides of it before hurrying off into a new year.

One major area there was a major consensus was being prevented by fear from achieving some of our goals or even daring to dream about certain things. Many times, the fear of failure keeps us away from even attempting and then we convince ourselves to get off that project.

While evaluating the previous year at the MasterMind, I realised that I had not organised any conference throughout the past year because of the fear of failing. How did I get this fear into my heart?

During the year I attended a number of conferences on my university campus that weren’t really well attended and somehow I absorbed that image into my mind and the fear of putting a lot into organising a conference and meeting an empty room on the event date and disappointing the speakers just overwhelmed my mind and that fear stopped me.

The interesting thing was that somehow I found ‘legitimate’ excuses not to organise any conference. I concluded was completely satisfied volunteering and assisting others any way I could. This was a good thing but the truth is I was settling because I was afraid.

The big grip that fear has on us is ‘fearing what we fear’. This way fear stops us from taking action. This month, what would guide you? Your fear? Or your faith?

Fearing failures stems a lot from our culture as well, the way that we perceive failure and success. Failure is not a one time event neither is success, they are both processes. Failure isn’t even a 100th time event, the story of the invention of the light bulb has proven this. Failure is part of the experiences that lead up to success. Sometimes we win and other times we learn. When we learn, we win!

This doesn’t mean that we cannot prevent some of our failures by reading, preparing and researching as well as getting counsel and mentoring. We can and we should.

Don’t allow fear determine the size and the extent of your dream or what you would attempt. Ask yourself:

What am I afraid of?

Why am I afraid of it?

What happens if I fail at this?

I found this earlier this week on twitter and it really inspired me! Failing isn’t the ultimate or the end of the road, life is a continuous journey. Get back on the road!

Even if good people fall seven times, they will get back up! Proverbs 24:16

Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, for the LORD is holding his hand. Psalm 37:24

January is the time that most people talk about setting goals but don’t actually get around to setting the goals. Make sure you don’t just take about setting goals but you get around to putting into writing.

The other sad part is the only writing some might do with their goals is on Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp. You don’t need to tell people that you are setting goals, just set your goals, the accomplishment of your goals would do most of the talking for you if need be.

One thing I have done before that didn’t help was setting vague goals. Don’t just set a goal like I want to make money in 2019. How much money do you want to make and how do you intend to make the money?

The other thing which I have talked about in many of my previous posts is don’t set too many goals. Set a few goals that you narrow and focus your energy on per time. If need be, you can expand your list to include other things but don’t try to accomplish a hundred things at once.

The last part is the most interesting part for me and actually represents a phase that I am currently learning through, this is that there is time to sow and there is a time to reap. This personally means that it’s not necessarily looking out for ‘2019’ as the year that I blow but it might be the year to sow some seeds and get my roots deeply rooted into the soil.

There is too much emphasis in the times that we live in being seen and known, in receiving awards, in massing a large following fan base. I would say don’t do it for the limelight or be overly concerned about being the spotlight.

There was a program that I was really hoping I would get into; I wasn’t able to. I saw someone make a post about getting into the program and I felt sad I wasn’t selected. Here’s what I remembered, don’t compare your preface to another person’s chapter two. I am working in the same industry space but I actually newer to it and I have only spent a few months in the industry while she has worked relentlessly at it for more than three years.  At that point, I realized it was way better not to fall into the trap of comparison but also face my work.

Cheers to amazing 2019.

Most people actually end up not achieving the goals they set for the year, even me. I traced this to some of the goal setting mistakes that I have found myself and noticed a lot of other people making as well. 

SET YOUR GOALS:
A lot of years I actually talked about setting my goals and I actually didn’t get around to setting any goals at all. By January, there would be a lot of talking about goal setting. Somehow I just kept procrastinating and never got around to doing it. Although this is the festive season and there would be a lot of jollification but try as much as you can to get time alone to yourself.

SETTING YOUR GOAL HASTILY:

This is one of the major mistakes that I have made. Not actually taking out a lot of time to think about the goals and just writing something down. The goals that you truly desire to achieve cant be set in a hurry. Take your time to think about what achieving the goal means to you. The most important thing to start with is your ‘WHY‘. Your ‘why’ is what is going to sustain you when challenges show their face and it would also help you clarify your motives and save you from wasting your time and resources and things that don’t really matter. 

SETTING TOO MANY GOALS:

Inherently, this is isn’t a problem, but sometimes it is better to choose a few things to focus on achieving first, you might experience scattered energy and actually get nothing done. Choose a few things that you want to focus on first. If you have a lot of goals that you have to achieve, you might also find it helpful to divide it into smaller blocks to achieve per time ( maybe per month or per quarter).

ITS NOT ONLY THE BIG GOALS, THE SMALL ONES TOO

Many times, we find it easier to focus on the big stuff like travelling to the moon! The smaller wins actually give room to the bigger wins. The smaller wins helps you to build momentum, get steady and build your confidence towards the bigger wins. The law of the compound effect is really that the smaller things eventually add up to make a great end effect.

WRITE YOUR GOALS WHERE YOU CAN FIND THEM AND SEE THEM

This is one mistake I made year-in and year-out. I wrote my goals in a book I can’t find until the year ends. Write your goals in a journal that you can keep near you all year round or better still write them in an online journal or maybe google document that you can always have with you all the time and refer to it as often as possible like everyday Or better still make a vision board (a vision board is basically putting your goals into picture) and put it up on your wall so that you can still it boldly.

DON’T SET ANY GOAL

Personally, you might be at a place where you don’t know what your goals are or what you really want to achieve in the coming year. There is no pressure, open up yourself to growth and to learn and it is not compulsory that you actually set your goals in January when most people are setting theirs. Three months into the year most people actually forget their goals for the year, so it’s not a race of how early you do it.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO ANNOUNCE YOUR GOALS TO EVERYONE

There are two sides to this, talking about your gals can help you to be accountable to achieving your goals, but it is also advisable that you keep your goals to yourself and within your close circle and instead spend time on working on them instead rather than announcing to everyone. An announcement is always better after you have achieved the goals ( and even then its not important to announce it).

DON’T TRY TO DO ALL ALONE

I tried to achieve a lot of things on my own and i can say i got some level of success with it but that is not the best that I could have done. We weren’t made in live in isolation, there is so much that we can do as a team/community. Get a community of like-minded people that you can grow with and be encouraged by to achieve their goals. Remember that its not only a one sided thing but that you would be willing to genuinely help others achieve your goals as well.

I hope you find this helpful, kindly share with someone who this can be helpful too.

2017 was a year that a lot of amazing things happened for me but to be honest, they happened accidentally. ( Well, not accidentally God did it). There was no plan there were no written goals, things just happened (or so it appeared).


2017 was a year I started paying attention to growth, although that wasn’t intentional. I remember around March there was a conference I heard about going on campus and I decided to attend.

On arriving at the venue, the place was quite scanty but I remember listening to each of the speakers intently and it really sparked something in my heart. Listening to their stories inspired me to want more for myself, I rennet taking down notes furiously and even after then going back to refer to those notes.
Conferences are an important part of personal growth to me. They expose you to information and perspectives that you weren’t aware of earlier.  Although some might discard conferences as just motivational stuff, I think it’s not that insignificant.


Motivational stuff is good and we all need to be motivated. What matters the most is what you do after the conference with the motivation that you have received. A lot of people we desire to be inspired but inspiration isn’t enough, now that you are inspired, go take action.


Apart from that, conferences help you build images in your mind. Our lives follow pictures in our minds. It helps you build a picture and a desire for success in your mind.


Next year, consider attending a few more conferences and attend with a pre-set goal to learn. You might also want to search for conferences that are industry or specific to your area of interest.


One threshold, I crossed this year was getting around to actually paying for conferences, I was so accustomed to getting the free stuff. It’s a worthwhile investment in you, plan out some part of your income to invest in attending conferences and training. 


Conferences are also a good avenue to build your network with like-minded people whose company would help you move forward.


The most important about a conference isn’t the conference itself but what you do afterwards with what you have learnt. So I’d advise take down notes on your phone or a notebook and record if that works better for you.

One of the things I am looking to do more of is applying for more international conference opportunities and one of the things I discovered is that some of them are fully funded. To check listings for international conferences check out http://WWW.OPPORTUNITYDESK.ORG

I really hope that you enjoy attending and learn a lot for conferences next year.

2019 is knocking already and its almost unbelievable. 2018 has been a big learning year for me. The year has come with a lot of wins but a lot of losses as well.  This year, I worked at my very first actual job, which was awesome, I got to learn a lot and it stretched me but I also messed it up a bit.

 I spent a great deal of the year feeling bad about it, but here’s what I learnt from the experience_ don’t spend to much time obsessing about what didn’t work, rather learn from your failures, remember that mistakes are somewhat a part of our journey and what makes the experience worthwhile is the lesson you learnt going forward.

Sometimes we have such a huge tendency to focus on that went wrong rather than focus on what was good. We also need to keep in mind that what we focus on magnifies and sort of becomes our realities. I was more focused on the losses than the wins and in effect it only crippled me from moving forward and damaged my self-perception.

Focusing what is good doesn’t mean ignoring and covering up what is bad but rather sometimes what we need to do is to peel off the layers of pain, shame and regret and dig into that mistake to take out the lesson.

Still reflecting on the year, I realized that I didn’t meet some of my goals, particularly that of becoming a certified coach with a reputable institution. Well, rather than give up on it, I am rewriting it as part of my goals for 2019. There may be aspirations that you really desired to reach but weren’t able to this year, don’t just strike it out, rewrite and this time around out an action plan around how you intend to achieve this and find out why it didn’t work the first time around.

Putting pen on paper to write down a goal isn’t enough, one of the most important thing to achieving this goal is the ‘How’. How do I intend to achieve this goal . It should look something of this sort:

GOAL:

Increase my current income by 50% before the end of 2019

How do I intend to achieve this:

Start a small business

What kind of small business?

Mini Importation

What do I need to start mini importation?

Who I need to talk to? Where do I need to go?

How much capital do I need to start?

How much do I intend to raise this capital

When we decide to look at this, we realize that goal setting cannot be done haphazardly, I believe this is one of the reasons why we don’t meet our goals because we didn’t take out time to properly set those goals.

As the year ends, you might catch the chatter of people talking about the opportunities that thy had in the year and how much progress they were able to make. Don’t allow yourself to feel intimidated or pressured. Remember that time and seasons they come to all men and because someone else is in that reason of their lives doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to be in yours. You might preferably want to find out how they did, rather than what they did and find valuable lessons from their process that you can include to your own journey.

Over the next few days, I’d be sharing some thoughts that can assist towards setting your goals for the coming year.

I hope you found this helpful. Kindly like, share and comment!

Isn’t it amazing that the year is almost over? I am finding a bit hard to  believe that we are already at December.

How was the year for you? Mine was a mixture of all. The good, the bad and yeah the ugly.

Although, the year wasn’t perfect important thing is learning and evaluating. This is something that we all take out time to do. Particularly how what we my wins this year and very importantly what are my growth areas?

One of the areas that I realized that I needed growth was with managing my relationships and networking. I am currently working to improve this. You can identify the areas you need to grow too and make an action plan on creating change.

One thing that is really important this year-end period apart from the festivities is finding time alone for yourself. Most times people start preparing for the year, writing their goals and all on January 1. I suggest that the process starts before then and you squeeze timeout without yourself not only to haphazardly set your goals but to reach down to what you desire, to understand why you want to achieve that as well.

You may have met many of your goals for the year, I suggest that you celebrate your wins! There may be a tendency to mull over your losses and magnify them more than your wins but don’t, at least try not to. Find out how you can work around them.

Also, there might be a bit of pressure from seeing others talk and write about how they achieved ‘all’ their goals. Don’t get under pressure, at he least, be inspired and try to learn their process/method and ways that you can apply it to your own journey as well.

Have an amazing holiday period.

Who is a changemaker?

To me, a changemaker is someone who works in their community to effect change by solving problems in their community using different means including entrepreneurship, technology, innovation, infrascturture advocacy, politics etc.

What does it take to be changemaker?

Absolutely nothing! A desire to see change happen would do.

Don’t wait till you are passionate or inspired. Passion sometimes is a scam, and it increases at some times and decreases at other times. Don’t be overly dependent on passion, start and the passion would come.

Inspiration: a lot of times people try to wait until they are inspired to act. No, inspiration is not what matters the most. It is what you do after you have been inspired that matters more.

Looking for inspiration? Go online. A simple google search of Changemakers should serve a good dose of inspiration.

What do you need to start?

Not much. I think your voice would do. We all have a voice. Start by using it and thank God for social media, it is an opportunity to amplify our voices to the entire world.

I think a mobile phone would be enough.

Sometimes we think that what we need is Funding. It’s not so much about it, it’s about your readiness and your willingness to act.

You can work with a lean or zero budget to start with. But first show up.

Why?

Always start by why.
Seeing people receive global recognition, awards and funds can be really motivating but shouldn’t be the reason.

Do your work. And just really love and care about the people that are working for and with.

The awards and recognition would come later on.

There are already people doing what I want to do?

Well. 

Just start anyway. There are 80 million people living in poverty in Nigeria, I am sure not every one of them has been reached. It means then that there is plenty of work for you to still do.

Plenty people need helping.

Do I have to start a non-profits or a social enterprise to make impact?

No.

You can make so much impact using the work that you currently do and the skills that you have.

For example, Paystack has transformed the way we do business in Nigeria/Africa through their online payment platform. They are not a non- profit company.

Volunteer to help and assist at existing organizations in your communities and areas of interest.

You can donate to organizations. You don’t the need to have a million dollars or a hundred thousand naira. Your two hundred naira would go a long way!

The big question is:

WHY NOT YOU?  WHY NOT NOW?

Ever gotten up from bed? Remembered that you are in Nigeria and just rolled over, closed your eyes and wished when you opened it you would be in a different country?

I haven’t met a single person who doesn’t agree that there is a problem with Nigeria. I hope you have met that person.

It is not okay to only complain about our problems but we also need to do something about them. I get so tired and overwhelmed with the complaining, I understand the reason why people complain. It’s a common tune at the Salon, during classes, in the bus, church and even conversations with friends.

‘No matter how  bad this country is, you would still make it in Jesus Name!’ This is a prayer I have screamed Amen to it and a prayer that is heard often in our places of worship.

I just don’t want to make it no matter how bad Nigeria is, I want Nigeria to make it too. I want the 80 million people living in poverty in Nigeria to make it too.

Whenever I talk about changing Nigeria most people laugh, how would I change Nigeria? It is too much, too bad and too big to change.

One person can’t change Nigeria, but really can’t one person?

Nigeria isn’t a geographical location, Nigeria is its people. You are nigeria, I am Nigeria. If I positively influence one person I am changing Nigeria because it is about its people. 

What really is change? Sometimes we view change only in terms of its compound effect, forgetting that the compound effect is small efforts put together over a continuous period of time.

Change comes in so many different forms. Like Simi Adeagbo, Nigeria’s first skeleton athlete put it:

Change makers ask two questions
‘Why not me?’ And

                                                                                   ‘Why not now?’

The secret of leadership is PEOPLE.

Everything that you would ever learn about leadership has to do with people. Even as much as it is about people, sometimes we are so quick to forget that. We make it about positions, titles and names. Other times, although with good intentions we make it about the task or objective to be accomplished that we forget that people are the most pivotal aspect of that plan.

Leadership is about people. A lot of times we might not feel like we are leaders because we haven’t been assigned a role or maybe the role we were assigned seemed so minute and the people on our team aren’t more than two and they don’t even look like it.

There are several things involved, we would have to realise that many times the people that come to us do not appear to be very made from the beginning. We have to come to realise that leaders are people builders.

The biggest investments that we would ever make in our lives wouldn’t be stocks, shares, bonds or oil companies or billion dollar companies, the biggest investments would be in people.

Our biggest investment would lie in our ability to build people up, to help others grow and become better versions of themselves.

Sometimes this might appear funny and we get to a place where we are thinking that we aren’t even made or built up ourselves, how would we build others since we need a lot of works ourselves. The truth is that we all have something to give, we all have something to contribute if only we would be able to look past our insecurities and realise no matter how achievements compare to those of others, we have achieved something and we should be willing to help others get to that place also.

The very interesting thig about this is also that we get to grow a lot also while we are on the process of growing and building up others because its makes us more conscious and drives us to learning more and it’s a place to also review the things that we know.

Sometimes it is accompanied with the fear that people would invest in would not be willing to give back and serve the organization or the objectives but rather turn and leave.

We cannot absolutely determine or be in control of the actions and the decisions of others and we must be willing to constantly take a chance on people although there is a place where we have a good estimation and can likely predict which actions people are predisposed to take.

This the catch: We would definitely reap what we sow (invest), but the guarantee isn’t that we would reap it where we sowed (gave). This for me means that the people I invest in may not necessarily be the ones that pay back the investment but it definitely would be perhaps by a different set of people.

Beyond that, there is this pure joy attached to being able to do something nice for others. We don’t have to absolutely motivated by the hopes of getting back.

Here’s another thought: having a lot of people that we lead does a lot to serve our ego and the small numbers can be discouraging and also bear a negative effect on our view of ourselves as leaders but what I also see it as is a testing and a training ground. We must all learn to address our audience of two sitting on the floor in a small dark room as though we were in a stadium packed with thousands of people. We must learn to get our best and invest in people no matter how few they are, that’s where our leadership skills are being tested and groomed.

Here’s the interesting thing because of social media every one of us is leading as few as two people or many as a million. We all have access to thousands (actually millions) of people around the world via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube that we have the ability as well as a platform to influence.

We just have to make a resolve to give more than we take from this world and to make a positive impact on the people around us.

Although, it might seem like no one is listening at first, eventually you would build that influence. Just keep doing it. Success and impact isn’t all about the numbers alone. Also, find ways and tools to amplify your voice by learning about how best the platform you are using works e.g. tools like SEO, SEM and all.

This week I have been thinking about execution. Everyone has ideas but few people get around to executing their ideas. Having a great idea is not enough, what you do with that idea is what matters. Have you ever had an idea that you didn’t move on fast enough and suddenly you saw someone else that knew absolutely nothing about you start out that thing?  This is because ideas are in the air, it is the person who makes moves that really own that idea.

Execution is one of the big things that I struggle with, I am great with coming up with ideas but terrible with actually getting around to doing. One of the things I am learning is, ‘do it already’. The only way to execute is to execute.

Make that call. Send that email. Compose that text. Make the enquiry. Little little actions make up to the compound effect. Do you have a big idea? Make small moves to start with. Are you scared? Then ‘Do it Afraid’.

If you can, surround yourself with one or two persons that can encourage and constantly remind you about what you said you desired to do as well assist with the execution part.

 

It is really helpful to write down a list of things that you would love to get done this week and also write down an action plan on how you would get them done. It advisable that you write this in a book where it is easy to find and then refer to it every morning before you set out to start your day.

Have a great day execution-full week!