New month’s resolutions

You probably might not remember the resolutions you listed at the start of the year. That is, if you make New Year’s resolutions.

Maybe you went to the gym, changed your diet or cut down on alcohol for a month and then, you felt the jitters and could not keep up. It’s okay, you are definitely not alone.

Try new month’s resolutions. Make a list of one thing or a few things you want to start or stop over the next thirty days. They are easier to manage and less harmful to one’s self esteem.

Stay away from couple’s fights

One lesson I learnt very early in life was staying out couple’s fights.

If you ever come across a feuding couple whose exchange becomes heated, stay away.

Marvin Gaye, the artist who wrote and performed the song, Sexual Healing was killed, as his music career began to blossom because he tried to intervene in a couple’s fight.

If you tried before…

If you tried before and failed, try again. Life’s hellish enough for quitters, who, having their hopes dashed often, are stilled by the harshness of not being prepared enough.

Of course, there were throes you never envisaged. And often, you felt like running away. Of course, some commitments got broken and made you ask yourself why you started in the first place.

But all of that is in the past, as of this moment, and your dream can be as real as you want it to be. You’ve got to try again, wiser, better and with freshly-gained experience. If you tried before and failed, please try again.

Plough through

Somethings you’re trying hard to achieve will feel like groping in the dark.

There’d be days and possibly, nights when you won’t feel like getting out of bed because of life’s difficulties. Maybe, you are stuck in the middle of a novel or a fundraising exercise. The middle is always the hard part. 

But you have got to push yourself to plough through because so many people are counting on you.

The danger of getting too excited

Some people fall in love too quickly. Others similarly become exceedingly excited by the prospects of newness; a business, fashion trend or a new technology. In tech, these are the early adopters, the ones who aren’t skeptical about trying new things.

The problem though, is that these people get dumped, shamed or burnt frequently, particularly when things don’t go well with their latest fancies.

There’s a reason why Alexander Pope penned the words, “Fools rush in where angels fear to thread,” and its intent was definitely to warn against rashness. But then, rashness could pay off, sometimes. And on such occasions, it’s called, luck.

Know it like the back of your hands

You have to know ten times more than you deliver, no matter what you do.

If you are in sales, read sales books and attend sales seminars until sales oozes out of you, preternaturally.

The world is filled with people who know so little but want to produce something that is spectacularly successful. Spectacular success takes a lot of learning.

Ask for your dues

Three things could happen to you as a contract content creator or artist.

1. You could get paid less than what you are worth, which happens a lot.

2. You could be lured into working for free especially by friends and family, in which case, you get friend-zoned.

3. You could draw a line in the sand and ask to be paid your due before rendering your service.

The three scenarios depend on the type of clients you are doing business with, the value of the solution you offer and how you position your offering.

Doing contract work is like speed-dating. There are many fish in the ocean and if one client wants to pinch pennies with you, there are many other clients you can put in your prospects pipeline. Ask for your dues and be willing to negotiate.

When working for friends or family, it is expected that if you work for free, they’d find ways to reciprocate the gesture. Nothing is really free which is why getting them to value your time by communicating things you might need from them in the future is a healthy way to ask your due. This is probably the reason why the Chinese say, “Wine and dine with friends and family but do business with strangers.”

The last scenario is tricky in a buyers market. If you want to get paid before action, you must have either built a relationship with your clients or you are one of the best in your area of competence or you are so darn hard to replace. Whichever it is, there’s nothing like asking for your due.This could be more money, more equity or more jobs.

The simple fact is, your clients can’t read your mind when you don’t stand up and ask. So ask.

Pay attention

The times are always changing. That’s why you have to pay attention to what’s happening around you. Moment by moment, you are either growing or receding in the world.

What you could get away with last year, is anathema today. The changing trends require you to focus differently; to see differently and then, respond.

If you don’t, you could be out of business, divorced, orphaned or even killed by the things you aren’t observing.

Pay attention!

Get stuff done

I don’t care if you think yourself a genius or someone special in the world. And I don’t care if you were born with some kind of preternatural gift or talent.

The truth is, no matter what you think you are, or what kind of gift you were born with, your relevance depends on your ability to get stuff done.

This will take hours of maniacal focus to produce work that will sometimes be useless, sometimes be good and at rare occasions, be the stuff of royalty.

I don’t care who you think you are, if you want to stand out on this planet, you have to do more than is required, whatever it is, you think you were born to do.

Build a system

People don’t get rich or successful by accident. They build systems and deploy them on a massive scale.

They find a skill, interest or need that the many people have and deploy a system around it.

It’s not enough to meet a need. You’ve got to build a system that can meet the needs of many other people. That’s how getting rich is done.