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The bulb of the floor lamp hung above my head – it’s the light I like to use when I get up early in the morning to do my things. I’m not a long-hour sleeper, so when my eyes open, I push myself to the sitting room, sit in a corner of the sofa, and start my rumination.

There are five things I have pondered on for years – I build my life around those five things – I’m projecting a future on those things, and I do advice those who care to listen about those same things.

Be Deliberately Vulnerable

Being vulnerable is often considered negative, but it all depends on how you apply it, and when you apply it. Weakness can be strength when you know the right time to be weak, and the wrong time to be – and strength can be weakness when you are determined to be too strong. If you tighten a nut, there’s a point to stop, and if you don’t, your rigidity will make it wear out, where it ends up being permanently loosed.

Recently, I was part of a group put together to work as a team in an assignment. Until recently, every education I’ve had was acquired in Nigeria, and I noticed that there’s a bit of variation in the way knowledge is interpreted. I consider myself an intelligent person, but I have never schooled in the UK until now.

When my group mates cracked topics, I deliberately kept quiet, to see their line of critical thinking. Everyone that saw me would think I was dumb, but I needed to drop my ego, to learn – that’s my purpose of paying nearly £20000, plus hotel bills to be there. I made myself vulnerable, so as to learn, and when I learnt, me too began to crack topics.

If you are weak, but pretend to be strong, you’ll become weaker, and will never be strong. Weak people who put their heads down to learn become the world’s strongest.

Go Through A Slip Road

I used this illustration to advice someone some time ago.

To join a highway as you drive, you usually go through a slip road. Why? Slip roads help you build up your speed, to meet the exact speed of vehicles on the highway, and with that, you aren’t too slow, which may result in a crash. It’s suicidal to jump onto the highway – you’ll kill yourself, and/or other people.

If you want to become a parliamentarian or a senator, the slip road is to join a political party, support those who are already there, and take your chance when the opportunity comes. If like me, you want to run your own management consulting firm, the slip road is to do an MBA, mainly, in an outstanding accredited business school – perform well, join a consulting firm even if they don’t pay you, and build your entrepreneurial skills.

Every expectation has a slip road – the slip road will help you understand where you’re going, and what is needed to succeed in it. It’s an aberration to jump onto your dreams without building your speed. You’ll crash!

Use The Stats

We are in a data driven age – if you assess yourself based on your sentimental assumptions, when you get into the real world, your bogus estimation of your worth will be embarrassed. My blog is great – it’s impactful – I like what I write, and from feedbacks, those who read it benefit a lot from it, but let me be honest with you, the statistics shows it hasn’t reached the stage of monetisation, so there’s a lot of work to be done. If you attempt to deceive me, don’t worry, I won’t deceive myself because I use the stats.

Your opinion of how great you are is a wishy-washy conclusion if you haven’t got the stats to back it up – it’s the stats that bring money, so stop being self-deluded. The number of footfalls you get into your shop determines how many people that have the intention to buy, and those who end up buying – so you must look for ways to point people to the shop. But having said that, we must also understand that numbers depend on the type of market and product or services you’re into. If you’re in a differentiation market delivering a differentiation product or service, your type of statistics will differ – your number will be subject to how many luxury brand buyers that walk into your business premises – blog, shop, office, or wherever. I just wanted to make that clear.

Differentiation markets don’t have big numbers, but they have expensive buyers – those who are ready to spend big money on high quality brands. For instance, Harry Winston and Cartier are luxury jewellery brands with no high footfalls, but have great sales.

Stop Singing

I believe in self-motivation, but I don’t believe in self-praise. Do the work, let other people do the praise. It’s those you’ve positively influenced that’ll say what you’ve done – it’s not for you to say, and if they don’t say, don’t force them to say. If I read what you’ve authored, whether a social media post or whatever, and all you talk about are your achievements and people you’ve helped, you simply put me off – I know a friend that does that, and it’s disgusting. To me, singing your own praise is a reflection of inferiority complex.

 If you assisted someone with money, or whatever was within your ability, shut your mouth – let it be between you and the person. However, if you’ve been assisted and does not know how to say thank you, you have a problem! “Thank you,” is an inspiration to the person who influences others for good. Don’t wait until I die to say how impactful I was to you – say it now.

Mean It

If attending events make a man succeed, many black people will be on top of the world.

I attend events, I speak in events. As events come to conclusions, you can’t imagine the number of phone numbers exchanged during networking, but that’s exactly where it ends. Those that want to learn how to put articles together never call. Those that want to learn how to launch their own blogs never call. Those that want to know how to put a book together never call. Those that want to learn how to brand their offerings never call. Those that need knowledge on strategy never call. After that, maybe months later, we meet again in another event, and the cycle continues. My conclusion is that we just love hypes, and after that, we lose our types, and remain dyed, without purpose. If you don’t mean it, you can’t be it. Stop talking. Stop stalking. Start walking.

I don’t want students who don’t mean it. I don’t want workers who don’t mean it. I don’t want parents who don’t meant it – you promised the best education for your children but you’re not delivering – you’re just a weakling, only tickling.

I don’t want business people who don’t mean it. I don’t want motivation speakers who don’t mean it – they tell you to do what they don’t do – they commit suicides when the going gets rough. What are they motivating?

Do it like you mean it, fella!

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Ken is a leadership Motivation, Strategy and Personal Development Writer, Blogger and Speaker. He writes for a number of magazines and blogs. He is also a mentor and published author of several books.

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