2018: The Money Question 


I want to write a few things on money/personal finance in 2018.

A new year is here. 2018 that you dreamt of is finally here.

From my experience in counseling and consulting, when people are setting goals for the year, 70% of what they write has financial implications. It is neither good nor bad. In essence, money is important. It is important to you, to the countries of the world and to your neighbour.

You actually need money to fund a thing or two, hence the need for more of it. The elephant in the room is “how much more?” That is the money question.

Before we go on, we need to know what money is and the concept behind it. Without defining a thing, you are bound to use it for what it is not meant for. That is called “abuse”. Abuse =Abnormal Use.

Money is a means of exchange. You give it to whosoever has what you require; your landlord because you need a house to live in, grocery seller because you need the groceries, charity because they are solving a problem you are passionate about.

 image: widewallpapers

image: widewallpapers

Money is one of the most powerful concepts invented. It helps us to trade what we have and then use the proceeds to obtain what we need. It is a reward of having a special set of skills and using those skills to deliver service. The more problems you solve, the more money you make. We are moving but ……slowly.

Even if you don’t know what to use money for, when you bills start stalking you, you will then have an idea. It is ok to want more money. Again, like every other thing, the “why” of wanting more will be the most important question to answer.

A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry; but money answereth all things — Solomon

Solomon, said to be the richest man who ever lived, made the quote above. He also wrote this in the books of Ecclesiastes, which he must have written primarily as a book of observations, deductions and inference. Basically, it was written to talk about life as things happened “under the sun” - obviously saying, let me observe life without the interference of God.

In essence he said, feasts are made for laughter, wine to make merry, but by human inventions, money was made to answer all things. Meaning, under the sun, without need for miracles or supernatural intervention, money is the answer for everything.

That is how powerful money is on the face of the earth. Therefore if you had it as 70% of your goals for 2018, you now know why.

Let’s take a deeper dive into money; what it is and what it is not.

Money is a Tool

Money is meant to do something just like any other tool. A spoon is for eating; it also has ornamental value, but the primary use of a spoon is to aid feeding. Same for money. It is for solving problems. Not all problems can be solved by it, but most issues can be resolved, such as rent, school fees, child upkeep, mobility etc.

 Image: tsishipping

Image: tsishipping

When you see money as a tool, then you will treat it as you treat other tools. You will have the right perspective about it. You will not make it a goal because making it a goal is like chasing the wind.

Money Helps You Live A Life Of Contribution

Money as a tool helps you get things done; it helps you live a life of contribution. That means you can use it to support the things that are dear to you. You want to stop teenage pregnancy, then you support the organization that is focusing on that. You join the fight against cancer, then you support whoever is working on its eradication. You want all the kids in your neighbourhood to be in school, then you partner with those whose passion align with yours, and so on.

Money enables you to have a say in the things that are important to you. You may not have the time and energy to chase those things, but you can support with your resources, and join your voice with theirs.

Money is Amoral

Money is not good or bad. It is apolitical. Money always takes the character of its owner. Money has no affiliation. The Bible talks about “the love of money” as being at the root of evil. That’s a story for anther day. Money is neither a master or a servant. You, the owner decides, which one you want it to be.

Money Allows Us Know You

It is very easy to know what is important to you by seeing what you use bulk of your money for. You will spend your money on the things you are passionate about. A researcher will get more books, a computer geek will buy more computers and gadgets, and so on.

You will always Have A Relationship With Money

Acquaint thyself to that. As long as you are exist, you have a relationship with money. You cannot outgrow it. So, the earlier you define the relationship, the better you will handle it. In fact, even when you are no more here that relationship persists; either in the form of bills you left unpaid that will haunt your family or a will to distribute your assets.

Someone Will Always Have More/Less Of It Than You

Factoid fact. No explanation required.

Let Money Be Money

Having less or more money does not mean anything. Don’t read too much meaning into your bank statement. Those things increase or decrease at random. One mistake can wipe you out. One big break can increase the zeros behind the digit. What you do after both events is what matters. Who you are before and after the events is what really counts. Don’t think of yourself too lowly or highly. Let money be money.

Financial peace isn’t the acquisition of stuff. It’s learning to live on less than you make, so you can give money back and have money to invest. You can’t win until you do this. —  Dave Ramsey

If you enjoyed this article, please share it.  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Gabe Omin


“Anything Will Give Up Its Secrets If You Love It Enough” 

Sine & Cosine

“Anything will give up its secrets if you love it enough”  —  George Washington Carver

Sine, Cosine and their first cousin, Tangent tormented me for a long time in secondary school. I avoided them like a plague. Let me put it in context, I avoided them like ebola. Yes, I did put in the effort to avoid them. I just could not wrap my head around the concepts that governed them. I gave it one more try and gave up.


As I progressed through the ranks and with a year left before I took the final exams in secondary school, it became crystal clear to me that I was deceiving myself and eluding the obvious. The truth was that I needed to understand this concept. It ran through almost everything in trigonometry.

I had a candid assessment and told myself the truth. You can run but you will fail the exams. This exposed me to the foolishness of the approach I had adopted. This ostrich’s-head-in-the-sand tactics was a sure ticket to doom. I wanted to read Engineering. How does an Engineer hate maths or duck from one of its core concepts? Maybe I was going to be the first. Maybe. It seems I was equating myself to the doctor that hates to deal with people, tissues and organs. Or the businessman who does not like numbers.

It was one thing to know the consequences of my action or / and inaction. It was another to do something about the status quo. The issue at hand was that I need not love Sine, Cosine and Tangent. I need to understand them. What they meant and how I can use them as powerful tools to solve mathematical problems. Understanding first, love later.

Luckily, a new mathematics teacher, Mr Ijeoma, took over the reins of mathematics for my class. He was one of those teachers who love to teach. He had the afro hairstyle, of average height, walked with military precision though without the pomp. Further more, he was a disciplined and meticulous man. No-nonsense, spoke little but took his job seriously. I only heard him made one joke throughout but he was amiable and always available to help. With these characteristics, he took on trigonometry. He taught from first principles. He broke everything down to bare threads. He showed us what the threads that wove the dress, in a manner of speaking.

By the time he was done, I wonder what ever made me feel that trigonometry was a hard concept to comprehend. He simply made me look foolish. He practically showed me that I was running away from my shadow. To prove to myself that I understood the concept, I solved all the problems in the textbook and those in past examination questions. Guess what? I solved them correctly…all of them.


What I Learnt From Sine & Cosine
1. Mathematics is a language. Every language has its mechanics. If you understand the mechanics of how a sentence is constructed, you are bound to make good sentences with the right tenses. Eg he goes with his and him. He does not go with her. You get the drift.This applies to other things in life. Things are not arbitrary. If you take the time to put in the effort to understand, there is a likelihood, that you will follow proper order and get the required results.

2. Never ever think that you can wish away something you do not understand. This is wishful thinking and it leads to mistakes, failure and incompetence. If you cannot breath properly, then there is problem. you find a way to fix it. You do not wish it away.

3. For the fact that you do not understand a thing, does not mean that others do not understand it. If you think speaking Japanese is hard for an average Nigerian, please do know that there are many that can speak it fluently. Your job is to find them and learn the ropes from them.

4. There are always people ahead of you on any journey. Seek them and learn from them. This is where mentoring comes in. Get a mentor; learn from them and make fewer mistakes. Mr Ijeoma was always around. Why didn’t I ever go to him?

5. Understanding makes the journey easy. It smoothens things and enables you to manage your expectation.

In today’s world, understanding the next man seems to be a big sine and cosine. It seems like if the next man does not speak like us, look like us, grow up where we grew up, then he is an alien and hence does not deserve the right to breathe. It seems we want to be interesting rather than be genuinely interested to know more about the next man. If you are interested and invest some time into anything, like I did to sine and cosine, the secrets of that matter will be made known to you.

Taking the time to understand anything — people, a business, a theorem, a relationship — opens new vistas of opportunities for us. It helps us to know what our next move should be and the things to avoid as we move up the rungs of life. Taking time to understand breeds empathy and respect, a change of perspective and engenders mutual co-existence.

“When it comes to understanding others, we rarely tax our imaginations.” 
― Lawrence Hill

What is your sine and cosine today?




Are We L.O.S.T

Are we Losing Out on Sacred Time

"The most important thing in life is the ability to stay afloat" -  TSC

Life never waits for anyone, and it doesn’t matter who you are!

Life keeps moving, and you have to meet up.

Every new year, we come up with New Year resolutions, or call them ‘fantasies’. Fantasies, because, half way into the year, they become distant stars; though not for the disciplined ones amongst us. 

Many of are LOST (Losing Out on Sacred Time). We watch time go by without much or any accomplishments at all

Many of us want to plan using diaries, calendars, note pads, to-do-lists, with colored pens and highlighters, but we still don’t succeed with using our time properly

Well, here are a few key points on how to master the art of time management:

 Image: dhleonardconsulting

Image: dhleonardconsulting

· Categorize your to-do list to 3 major events, and tackle them. In addition, have a little treat or reward for yourself. It could be a music treat in-between work, a bar of chocolate, or a chilled drink upon task completion. 

 Image: yourstory

Image: yourstory

· Get power nap (s) during the day, this is usually about 30 minutes. It helps your brain to relax and reboot.

 Image: dailyinbox

Image: dailyinbox

· Cultivate the habit of brain challenging activities like math problems or writing an essay during the early hours of the morning because that is when your brain is at its peak.

· Avoid Fizzy drinks. They contain sugar, and if you don’t burn it, you are like a rocket about to be launched into space.

· Listen to music that will calm you. Such as, recommend, jazz, classical, and other soft/inspirational music.

Nothing is more rewarding than looking through your list and realizing that you have completed your tasks for the day.


From The Scribbles Cabinet

Ibrahim Olatunde




Bring Your Ideas to Birth & Find Ways to Implement Them

Why stay with pigeons and expect a masterclass on ‘How to Soar with Eagles’

Ideas are easy to come by. You’re in the bathroom having a shower, taking an evening stroll, or reclined on a sofa contemplating on the mystery of life, and then a powerful idea hits you right out of the blue, smack into your head like a powerful blow.

 Image: ethos3

Image: ethos3

But the hard part is bringing your ideas to birth and finding ways to express it. Too often we suppress and eventually abort our ideas by stifling it, or waiting too long until it loses steam. Ideas were meant to be expressed not suppressed.

Most times we have a powerful idea that can totally rock our world, but then we tell ourselves why we should wait a bit longer and why we should be more careful. We fear that our ideas might get stolen or that maybe someone with access to more capital would become a competitor when we start.

So, we stall and tell ourselves stories with unhappy endings. We gradually talk ourselves out of daring. Then one casual Tuesday, you’re driving down the road or reading a news article online and then wham!

That blow again.

The idea you once had is staring you in the face.

Someone else has implemented it.

Maybe not exactly the way you would have implemented it, but there it is. Your head starts spinning and you’re talking incoherently to anyone who cares to listen on how you once had the very same idea.

Story for the gods….

Ever heard of term “agency of ideas”?

Well, our great ideas have a will and mind of their own, and if you don’t act on them, it will move on to someone else.

If Zuckerberg didn’t come up with Facebook, someone else would have!

If Jobs didn’t invent the iPod, someone else would have.

It might have taken a bit longer, and maybe not, but it would still happen.

It may never have occurred to you, that maybe your original idea has a power of its own.

Think about it: Your ideas have chosen you, and they are counting on you to trust your greatness and take up the challenge, but they will not wait forever.

 image: bsquaredideas

image: bsquaredideas

When you have an idea –

·      Write it down.

·      Send an SMS or email it back to yourself.

Prove that it was your original idea via the power of legitimacy that a digital footprint provides.

That takes care of you being afraid someone will casually steal your idea without a legal fight. You know why Mark Zuckerberg paid several million dollars to the twins?

Well, they had dozens of emails, instant messages swapped and text messages to prove that they had a similar idea. A well negotiated out of court settlement can quickly get you from an 8 to 5 job into an early retirement.

·      Before you start day-dreaming, you would do well to also invest in a patent or trademark, and before showing anyone your business plan, have them sign a simple non-disclosure agreement, have a lawyer friend do it for you or simply download one online.

Remember that a pen and paper beats a promise and a pat on the back. So always put it on paper.

·      Next thing you should do when you have an idea is to put it to the test. Analyze it; get the help of a business analyst to know if it is lucrative, and how to go about it amidst possible competition. Then, surround yourself with people of like minds. Why stay with pigeons and expect a masterclass on ‘How to Soar with Eagles.’ You’ll get nowhere. When two people take a walk together, something subconscious happens, one either slows down to the pace of the another, or quickens it. Otherwise they fall out of sync.

Some ideas never leave us. They keep nagging. Sometimes we keep ignoring it until we get old and tired. Then we start imagining what life would have been if only we dared.

If ideas are to be of lasting benefit to you, bringing them to life would require all that you have; your commitment, time, love, and nurturing to bring it to birth, and to develop it.

Are you ready to Push?

Ebuka J. Anichebe

Business Strategist

Principles of Effective Communication

What would life be life without communication? Communication is the fuel of life and relationship; it is vital to growth and efficiency.

I am yet to meet a successful person that does not know the importance of communication. Unfortunately, effective communication is not a natural born gift or talent; it is a skill that must be acquired.

Many businesses and relationships are stalled, delayed, or even destroyed because of poor communication skills.

Before I share with you four principles of effective communication, let us first define what communication is and what communication is not.

Communication is not just talking.

Communication is not shouting.

Communication is not one-way traffic.

If I speak to you in “Efik” and you don’t understand “Efik” and you reply me in “French” and I don’t understand “French”, we are only talking, we are not communicating, though the onlooker thinks we are. We are not communicating because there is no understanding.

Communication is understanding and being understood. If understanding is absent then communication has not taken place. How many times have we just spoken and yet communication did not take place, because the person we spoke to did not understand what was said. So, the focus of communication is not just making sounds but the exchange of understanding.

 Image: mind mastery

Image: mind mastery

The principles of effective communication that I am about to share with you will not only affect your business life, but impact every area of your life because communication is vital to everything you do.

  • Principle One – Think First

This might seem like a simple and obvious principle, but you will be shocked at how many of us are in too much rush to talk, that we don’t think through what we are about to say.

Slow down. Think before you speak

What do you want to say?

Beyond what you want to say, think what do I want to achieve by what I am about to say. Sometimes, when we crystallize what we want to achieve through our communication, it alters our communication. Our communication becomes clearer and more direct.

When we rush into talking before thinking it through, we often look stupid and might even find ourselves in an embarrassing situation, where we have to stop-mid-sentence, saying “what am I trying to say?” (Has it ever happened to you?)

Leaders particularly have to master this principle because they are saddled with the responsibility of motivating others, which is primarily done through communication.

  • Principle Two – Listen To Understand

Communication is a two-way street not a one-way lane. So, if you are going to be an effective communicator, you have to learn 'principle two': “listen to understand”. You must be a good listener. There is a reason you have two ears and one mouth. You should listen at least twice as much as you speak.

There is a difference between listening and hearing. You might hear something without listening; it does not take effort to hear (except for the hearing impaired); but listening, takes effort, it means you are making the effort to hear and understand. So, you can hear without listening but you cannot listen without hearing. You must listen with the intent of understanding what is being said, so that your reply can be intelligent and on point!

How many times has someone began to speak, and once you heard the first sentence, you assume you know where he was going, so you stop listening and start preparing your response? Then when he pauses briefly, you interrupt and rant off many miles, he looks at you incredulously, and says, “Did you hear anything?”

When you listen, and the point the person is making is still not clear, use clarifying questions to make sure you understand. Questions like “Did you mean...?” “Are you saying...?” “Exactly what did you mean...?” “I don’t understand, can you explain...?” 

Listen with more than your ears, use your eyes too! We will learn shortly that communication is not just in words; a person’s posture and gestures can add a lot to the words they are saying.

  • Principle Three – Communicate to be understood

Communicate to be understood and not talk to be understood, because, communication is in more than just words. What do you want to communicate? (i.e. what is your message?). What do you want to achieve through this communication? (i.e. what do you want the other party to do?). How can you best communicate so that it is clearly understood? (i.e. what is the best and clearest way?). What tone, volume and posture will communicate the message clearly? How do I communicate without putting the recipient on the defensive (unless that is what you want)? Is this the best time and place to communicate this for the desired result? (i.e. will I have the attention I required?).

If you ask yourself these questions when communicating, your communication skills will improve.

  • Principle Four – Deploy Other Means

There are other things that make communication effective; they include tone and volume of voice, eye contact, posture, and gestures.

Your tone of voice can greatly impact the message that is received. If the tone is wrong, the message may be wrong. You may say, "sorry," yet, it does not sound, nor feel like you really mean it.

Some people are just too loud. Loudness brings emphasis. If you shout everything you say, we may not know what you really want to emphasize. Ensure you use the right volume for your messages. It is not appropriate to use 'bedroom voice' in an office conference meeting, it WILL be misunderstood.

 Image: slowlistening.com

Image: slowlistening.com

Learn to use eye contact. It is said that, "the eyes are the gateway to the soul." Learn to make and hold gentle eye contact when communicating, it shows confidence and transparency. If you are always avoiding eye contact out of a wrong sense of humility it can easily be misconstrued as having something to hide, or being untruthful. However, don’t stare lest you frighten your listener.

Use gestures moderately. The swinging of the hands and other gestures are meant to emphasize the point, not take from the point. If you don’t know what to do with your hands when communicating, it is better to put them loosely behind you, than to fold them across your chest. Folding your arms across your chest can look aggressive, and like you are resisting what is being communicated.

Finally, effective communication is a skill, not an art nor a talent. Like any other skill, you must work on it for you to get better and more proficient at it.

I am hoping you will apply yourself to these four principles of effective communication and see how it will accelerate your progress.


The deal maker or breaker is communication. It is the key most facets of life, especially relationships; work/business/personal relationships - including children! A major reason for failure in most ventures is lack of communication  


– Toyin Wuraola Oke


Finding Your Career Path

What could be more satisfying than finding your career path? 

The ultimate career path fuses your work with your passion. 

"No man is born into the world, whose work is not born with him” - James Russell

It's therefore your duty and responsibility to search yourself and discover the music within you.

There are two factors which greatly determine success or failure: the choice of a spouse and the choice of a career.

A career is an ambition, an occupation, a way of making a living, and a solution to problems. Doctors solve health problems, fashion designers solve clothing problems while lawyers solve legal problems.

 Image: student caring

Image: student caring

Rabbi Zusya, a sage once remarked; "In the coming world they will not ask, "why were you not Moses? instead they would ask, why were you not Zusya?”.

Vocation doesn’t come from a voice out there calling me to become something I’m not, it comes from a voice out here calling me to become who I was born to be. Parents sometimes get it wrong when they try to define what they think their children should be. They try to live their own career dreams through the children.

Let’s get started


 “...It is a wonderful job. It is like a script or new novel. The feeling of an interesting book.There is untold satisfaction, joy and passion when you find your career niche. 

"I love my choice of career and I would live life just the same way, if given the opportunity over again”

- Kate Henshaw, one of Nigeria’s leading actresses.

A pointer to your possible career path is an activity you deeply care about. If money was not an issue, what would you rather be doing every day?

When you are passionate about what you do, you are likely to be on course with your career. Open your ears and hearts and hear the sound of your life.


This is a potent pointer to your productivity and success.

What do you do with little or no effort?”

I had the hobby of doing my own make up, and it just got really big. You can never tell where your talents and gifts will take you”

- Tara Durotoye, CEO House of Tara.

Ability...... What do you do excellently without much thinking or planning?


What do people say about you? This can also be a pointer to your career path. If you get comments like: 

”You sing excellently well"

"That was a delicious meal"

"That’s a great performance" 

"You are always fashionable and trendy”.

Pay attention to comments and testimonies about you, they may help in charting the path for your career.


Your childhood experiences can also serve as a clue to identifying your career path. Oprah Winfrey, an entrepreneur and broadcaster was abused as a child; but her past pains served as a  stepping stone for her career. Oprah's shows and initiatives are basically centered around helping people get over emotional trauma and pain.


 This is a feeling of strong emotion towards a particular activity.

"Passion gives rise to action” - Larry Izamoje, CEO of BRILA FM.

Tiger Woods comes alive when playing golf.

Asa is fulfilled performing as a musician..

Chimamanda is at her best when writing.

What were the activities you engaged in as a child that gave you enthusiasm?

As you search your past, you may find keys to the present to guide you into the future.


Your personality is your true self. Any career not accompanied by the individual's natural traits is probably not meant for them. Introverts are reserved and are often interested in the creative expression of their thoughts. While extroverts are more people and projects oriented; to them talking and relating with other people is the name of the game.

Dear reader, the world is waiting for you to tread your path

  - Ajose Kehinde






A Hunter or An Explorer?

Hunting is indeed an intriguing experience, with lots of risks, expectations, and funfair. It is like life itself, where you have to constantly be on the move, or get eaten up in the wildlife of humanity. For a successful hunting expedition, it is not enough to have hunting skills, you also need the skills of an explorer. 

The roles of hunter and explorer are both valuable because exploring yields valuable information about the landscape, while hunting uses that information to leverage a successful outcome.

Hunting is a skill that requires a plan to achieve a specific outcome. It's task-focused with 'success' defined by the accomplishment of that outcome.

 Image: guardian liberty voice

Image: guardian liberty voice

Exploring, on the other hand, is an endeavour of curiosity where the 'beginner's mind' is an asset and the journey is more important than the destination. It is possibility-focused, with "success" defined by uncovering something new.

The Focus of a Hunter
As we begin the second quarter of the year, think about your business, life, and expectations. What hunts did you participate in?

Where did you execute on a clearly defined plan?

How did you fare? Is it time to take a step back and get a broader view of the landscape?

What have you missed because you've been operating with the focus and precision of a hunter's mind?

The Vision of an Explorer
With the second quarter in view, try putting on your explorer's cap. View the remaining of the year with the curiosity and excitement of an adventurer embarking on a new terrain.

Is your business where you want it to be?

Do your daily practices for cultivating your health support your professional goals?

How about your personal goals?

How are you supporting or sabotaging your ability to achieve those goals? What untapped potential is within you?

The answers lie in an assessment of your company's health capital.

 Image: antalsa

Image: antalsa

Your Assets and Liabilities
Conservatively, a balance sheet provides a snapshot of a business's financial status. It summarizes an organization's assets, liabilities and shareholder equity. Since your health is a foundational form of capital that funds your ability to think clearly, maintain high stamina, act with confidence and engage with authenticity, extend your organization's traditional balance sheet to include "health capital."

How are you and your team faring? Chronically tired? That's a liability.

Feeling post-lunch indigestion during a client meeting? That is a liability.

Making time to get out for a lunch-time run? That's a professional and personal asset.

Once you have a good picture of your company's health, you'll have a good picture of your goals for the remaining part of the year. Remember, your health is a very important factor, that funds your potential.  Daily actions that honour your health require that you combine the vision of an explorer with the precise and aligned action of a hunter. Once you have done that, stand back, you're going to blow the lid off of what you currently believe to be possible. Happy hunting!!



"If Opportunity Does Not Knock, Build a Door" - Milton Berle

It is common saying to wait and prepare for opportunity to come knocking on your door, but this will certainly not be applicable when you’re in business and have bills to settle!

What you need is to be proactive and decisive, rather than sit around waiting for opportunity to knock on your door; get off your seat and go seeking for opportunity’s door to knock on.

There are times you must get creative and innovative- build a door!

Identify and Create need, fill the gap, and establish relevance for your business...

Many people are doing just that and getting way ahead of you! 

 Photo: fromupnorth

Photo: fromupnorth

So, if I could be more proactive about seeking opportunities, who would I approach, and how would I go about it?

How do I identify and impress potential clientele ?

You Could:
Identify potential clients, then come up with ways of making products suitable and tailored for them, without spending much time or money.
You could also consider giving them ‘free trials" of your service, and be creative on how to present these free trials2qq. 

There are many ways to build new doors or knock on opportunity’s door. You must be innovative, find ways to add value, and apply unusual methods to go about winning your way forward.
Don’t wait for opportunities, go out there and find them, you’ll be pleased to find out that opportunity is a brilliant host, and it’s everywhere.

- Ebuka Anichebe

Prioritizing for Success in a Hectic Environment  

It is important to learn the art of prioritizing.

To Prioritize is simply the ability to determine the most important tasks and arranging them in order of importance.

Creating lists is a helpful way of capturing tasks, and then, learning to arrange the tasks in order of importance (see chart below). Otherwise, you may find yourself multitasking and jumping from one task to the other, when your list is not in any particular order; which could be stressful. While the ability to multitask is a great skill, it comes with its drawbacks.

Knock things out of your list progressively; this helps you get organized and ultimately manage your time better for stress-free living.

 Image: keywordhut

Image: keywordhut

Have you Got Company or a Crowd? - Francis Bob Alonge

..what Kind of People are you Surrounded By? 

This is Chapter Nine of The Making of the Chosen Vessel, a book Written by Francis Bob Alonge

 A Great Book Indeed

 I hereby attempt to interpret this chapter by my understanding; working on it has liberated me so immensely, especially with the knowledge about handling and compartmentalizing relationships. - T.W Oke

Your crowd is your beneficiaries; they are the people to whom your life is a blessing, but your company is the people that help you to be a blessing.

Who do you turn to when it looks like all is crumbling around you? 

Your Company!

At times like that, your crowd will not be there for you because they are your Crowd!

You must be able to categorize those that surround you, so that you don't go to the wrong people for help. It only leads to frustration.

Your company will bear your burden as though it were theirs. It is a special gift from God to everyone. Your crowd is a gift as well, but for a reason and limited season.

The right company will cause good things to come your way. They inspire you and unlock your God-Given potentials, talents & gifts. They simply 'bring out the best in you.'

What is your company’s testimony about you; their words can make or mar!

The crowd can change at anytime, today, they say, you are wonderful; tomorrow they will say you are terrible.

Your company will prop you up when you are weak and help you when you are helpless. They wouldn’t give up on you, even when you have turned back, and would help you navigate another way out of bad situations.

Relationships with your company are not high maintenance. They are not people you need impress or work to please. They are people you are at ease with.

When you find yourself in relationships that make you lose yourself, and want you to be a certain way before you are accepted, resign quickly.

Your company does not compete with you; they complement and complete you.

Your company will cover your weaknesses, not amplify them; rather they project and celebrate your strengths.

Your company identifies, appreciates, and respects your assignment; they know who you are, accept who you are, and work towards helping you carry out your calling.

They do not judge you by your outward appearance, but understand the essence of your life.

People may say they love you, but if they don’t know who you are and they have no idea of your calling, they will make a mess of you.

Your company may not be a family member; your company is known by revelation, not by birth.

"There are other people whose entry into your life will cause degeneration. When the wrong people enter your life and take up the place of your company, wrong things will begin to happen" – Francis Bob Alonge


There are four kinds of people in your life; those who add, those who subtract, those who divide, and those who multiply.

Those who increase you are the people you need. They don’t mind giving you what you lack, and will always help you grow.

Those who take away from you will always need you. They want something from you most of the time, and may never be able to contribute anything tangible. Don’t despise them; do what you can for them without committing yourself. They are potential ‘time wasters.’ They will take your time, energy and resources and will leave when there is nothing left.

You need both kinds of people, but must know when to accommodate your crowd.

“Intimacy is a privilege reserved for your company. Guard your life by choosing your company circumspectly.”  

“Your company should not choose you, you should choose your company”

Those who divide are those who separate you from your company; when they step in, things head south. Whereas, when people that multiply you step in, your little appears like much.

There are three types of company, yesterday’s company, today’s company, and tomorrow’s company.

 Photo: Digital Arts by David Osagie 

Photo: Digital Arts by David Osagie 

You must know when to let go of yesterday’s company and move into today’s company. Tomorrow’s company may also change if God changes your assignment.

“It is natural to want to bring your past company into your future, but people tend to freeze you at the level of their last interaction with you.”

“If you cherish your future, you will have to move with those who share your dreams, not your memories.”

Don’t build your future around your past; you must know when to let go of yesterday’s people and move on by ‘closing the door gently.’ 

Close the door gently?  

Yes, we need to close the door gently, and not slam doors; we need to let yesterday’s people go, because you never know what tomorrow will bring.

Do not close the doors with attitude, arrogance, or un-forgiveness.  Make sure you fulfill your commitments and promises.  

Close the door with truth and integrity.

Close the door with faith in your future.

Your life is not bound by your past. Let go of the missed opportunities of the past and look towards the future with hope.

Francis Bob Alonge is the Bishop and President of The Covenant Assembly Mission. He is a father and an Architect, married to Teju Alonge. Francis is 'The Voice of One' which is reaching out to Nations with a message of hope, empowerment, and transformation.

More chapters coming soon…


Saving The Pennies - Gabriel Omin

“People suddenly know how to use money when there are none left” 
 ― Bangambiki HabyarimanaThe Great Pearl of Wisdom

Does the above quote sound and feel familiar? It happens to all of us, even the best and the brightest. A fool with money is one big endless party; until the cash bottoms out except you are El Chapo. Securing and managing the finances for your future may sound ridiculously silly in your 20’s and 30’s but as the years creep in, responsibilities and life style habits sets in. Unfortunately school fees and pampers are like vacation and weddings; they are never on discount.

 Photo: dailyexpressuk

Photo: dailyexpressuk

The world is in turmoil. Consumption from China has slowed down; commodity prices are at an all-time low. Brazil is upside down. The emerging economies are having it very hot. Let’s not talk about Europe. Old enemies are become frenemies (circa America and Cuba; na money cause am. Venezuela is broke and there is no one to turn to). All in all, money is scarce; the headwinds are finally here (sounds like a familiar line, right? I did not invent it).

All these demonstrate one point; economic uncertainty will always be certainty. With that in mind, it sure means that we have to plan for winter during summer. Summer is great time to have the time of your life BUT thou shall remember that winter cometh; someday, somehow. It will be wise for you not to let it creep on you. If it creeps on you, then your January will be very long. You get my drift.

So how do we plan for financial winter? I’ll share thoughts with you. I’m generous. I wouldn’t charge you for it. I am kind but people don’t’ know. Lol.

Follow the Money: Do you know where your money is going? A little 5k here and there depletes the account. Mosquitoes kill more people per year than Lions do. Trickling outflows depletes the purse quickly and suddenly. Ponder about it for a moment, you think more when big sums are involved but the occasional 10k here and there comes to a tidy sum. Every desert is made up of a small grain. Now you get my drift.

In order to follow the money; have a plan. Plan as much as you can, even your generosity. A plan mitigates emergencies and impulse spending. Use a simple spreadsheet (I have used one for the past 11 years). Don’t bother with sophisticated software. Create a plan. Execute it. Keep your commitments to your commitments. And voila, it becomes a habit.

“If money management isn’t something you enjoy, consider my perspective. I look at managing my money as if it were a part-time job. The time you spend monitoring your finances will pay off. You can make real money by cutting expenses and earning more interest on savings and investments. I’d challenge you to find a part-time job where you could potentially earn as much money for just an hour or two of your time.” 
Laura D. AdamsMoney Girl’s Smart Moves to Deal with Your Debt

Let The Jones Be : Let’s face it. You are not one of them. Owning a Porsche doesn’t still make the cut. Face your life and live it on your own terms. The legendary philosopher, Will Smith aka Fresh Prince of Belair once said “Too many people are buying things they can’t afford, with money that they don’t have; to impress people that they don’t like”. Don’t allow that bug to catch you. Because when it does, you will tell your colleagues, as it is commonly said in Nigerian parlance, “My money and your money, no be mate”. By then you are officially a Jones. QED.

Invest In The Economy: There is never a good time to invest but you have to. Buying assets brings passive income. Having multiple streams of income does not kill. Money is always part bread (to be eaten) and part seed (to be sown). C’mon, you know the difference. Make sure you are not eating the seed. Plant it and tend to it. It will grow. There will be tough times ahead but stick to it. Gather the wisdom to tend to your investment.

Budget & Save: Cash is king and will always be. I have been told that and I have seen it play out. Money gives you confidence. If someone says a thing is NGN 3 million, you can comfortable say, “I have NGN 600k for it”. It is an offer. Before you know, you may get that stuff. It is always good to have cash. Not just for emergencies but for opportunities that presents themselves in time of crises. Show me your budget, and I will tell you what you value. Another QED. I am feeling smart.

Invest In Yourself : Get a skill. Yes a hard core skill that you can commercialise. In today’s knowledge economy, you can pick up any skill and there are loads of You-Tube videos to guide you through. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something that will end up with a certification. Most times, it is something you are passionate about. Nobody can take this from you. It is yours and you decide what to do with it.

Be Liberal; Even To Yourself : Smell the roses. Plan to take care of yourself. You are your biggest asset. Invest in yourself. See the world. Experience life. Fulfil a childhood dream. Sleep in the Waldorf Astoria. Gather experiences. Don’t be Hetty Green. I repeat. Don’t be Hetty Green because there is already a Hetty Green.

Save the pennies. Make it habitual and when the headwinds comes, they will know that this one person cannot be swept. Hasta la vista.

Gabriel Omin, gabomin@yahoo.com


Managing Your Time - Dayo Olutayo (Pst.)

Always set a realistic time frame

Approximate the amount of time each task will take to be completed. Remember you are not a superbeing.

Leave nothing out

 Photo: Kare

Photo: Kare

Factor in easily overlooked tasks, such as transportation time, packaging, confirmation, clearing, preparation, etc.

Deal with the relevant issues

Eliminate any non-essential items. To be effective, we must displace less important tasks with more important ones. What we have to do is free up some of the time we have by eliminating non-productive activities and quickly replace them with more valuable ones.


By arranging the tasks in order of importance and urgency, it allows you to work in a step-by-step manner, starting from the most urgent issues.

Act Immediately

Set about accomplishing these tasks as soon as possible, avoiding procrastination. Deal with the issues now, and get it over with. Remember to follow up when you have to.

 Tips to Remember;

Consider what is important

You must have a clear understanding of what the important activities are. Ask yourself what is important to you.

Personal Finance - Coping During Tough Times

It’s time to adjust, when your income can not cope with your demands.

You can try to implement a cost effective strategy.

Begin a Life of Saving.

  • Do not shop on impulse or for emotional reasons. Buy only items you need. Shop with a list and stick with it.
  • Do not buy on credit. The ‘buy now, pay later’ lifestyle only means you are spending against your future.
  • Avoid the purchase of un-required and luxury items.
  • Look for bargains and negotiate your purchase where you can.
  • Cut the habits - Eating out costs a lot more than home cooking.
  • Carry less cash.
  • Save - Try to save a percentage of EVERY income, in an account that you do not have easy access to.
  • Have a weekly or monthly budget and stick to it.
  • You do not need to go window shopping and buy stuff  just because they are on sale
  • Check your recurrent expenditure, cut them, where you can.
  • Cut holidays and getaways; find alternative, less expensive ways to relax or take time off.
  • Don’t be like the ‘Jones’. Be yourself. You don’t need to impress anyone.

There are many other ways to live happily, less expensively. You have got to task yourself to block holes in your pocket.

Saving is basically about evaluating your outflow critically to see where you make unnecessary expenditure, and cutting or eliminating them.

It is also about finding less expensive alternatives, while achieving similar results.

You must plan for a windfall; otherwise you wouldn’t know how the money disappeared.


The Hazards of Multitasking

While we think the ability to multitask is a magnificent plus, it advised that we should do less of it as studies are on-going to determine how badly it affects the brain.

Digital revolution has caused the world to multitask, but it is impairing our thinking skills; this is an amazing phenomenon in youngsters.

The average human brain is wired to focus at one thing at a time; tasking it to do more, would only put pressure on its cognitive processing, thus reducing efficiency and performance.

 Photo: businessinsider.com

Photo: businessinsider.com

Although multitasking may be required at times, it should not be common practice when avoidable. Oftentimes the other task is not so important. Such tasks like talking while driving - and there are people who still want to answer the other phone, all at the same time.

However, studies by U.K psychologists have proven that women are better at multitasking than men. Men are slower, and are not as organized as women and have less capacity to switch between tasks.

To be best at the most crucial things require focus and absolute attention; learn to do one thing at a time, apportion time to it and move on to the next thing.

Smart phone and apps have made possible for too many things seeking your attention; there is the email, sms, whatsapp, bbm, we chat, facebook, instagram, snap chat, and so many other messages and alerts waiting for response. Toggling between them throughout the day is time, brain, and effort consuming!

Extreme cases of multitasking under very stressful conditions may lead the body to a breakdown, characterized by headaches and tiredness.

Get organized, streamline the smart phone apps and set aside unimportant tasks for when it is more convenient.

The Magic of Rapport

THE MAGIC OF RAPPORT in building your Business Relationships

Rapport is when people meet and ‘click’ instantly, usually on discovery of things that they have in common.

It is the ability to find the common interests that forms the connection.

Rapport is the essence of successful communication and the art of learning to connect.

Learning, bonding, understanding, and winning the heart of that individual becomes the key to the success of the relationship (the mind usually justifies what the heart wants).

It is the ultimate tool for getting things done, and achieving results in your pursuits.

They say opposites attract, but in relationships, it is hardly so.

Why would you want associate closely with someone that hits your 'red alert' button often?

There are people that bring out the best in you and those that get at your weaknesses always. Building rapport with like minds, certainly, help you succeed 

When people are like each other, they tend to like each other.

 Photo: the-international-entrepreneur.com

Photo: the-international-entrepreneur.com


For some people, building rapport is a natural practice. For others, it is a task or something that must be learnt and practiced.

Rapport is affected by words; things you say, tone of voice (volume and quality), and body language, facial expressions, posture, gesture and so on.

While words work on the person’s conscious mind, the physiology or body language works on the unconscious. A good combination of these creates an exceptional bond.

Imagine trying to sell a car to someone who thinks very fast. You must run through the features and benefits of buying/owning such a car quickly, rather than slowly taking your time to explain the features.

It is important to build the rapport quickly understanding the customer’s trait. Finding this trait is your responsibility from the first few minutes the client spends with you. Otherwise, you would loose him in his impatience and hasty nature; he may not give you the chance to take him through the transaction.

Wealth is Thought

The thought life of a person determines how he acts and reacts to situations. As it is often said, the thought is the ancestor of the deed. The lines of a famous poem read -

Everyman is the same

Everyman is not the same

Everyman is the same. Yes we are all of the same make and maker - Eyes to see, legs to walk on, and a brain to think with. Everyman is not the same – what we use our time and faculties to do are different and hence we differ. So also with our thoughts, we have the same kind of brain and mind, but what we decide to use them for differs. Then the product of what we think and do becomes obvious when they are manifested in the open.

Education is the shortest distance to wealth. I don’t mean bagging degrees, though it has its place.

 Photo: c.stocksy.com

Photo: c.stocksy.com

Education - The training of the mind to accommodate information, process them and get the desired and required results. This education can be gotten from reading books on the subject matter, listening to people you respect in the field and associating as well as rubbing minds with contemporaries. You have to train your mind to accommodate issues that will crop up in your business, figures that will be needed for your enterprise and even the success thereafter. It’s the lack of this kind of training of the mind that makes “melt” when individuals hear of a $1 million deal or become haughty when good fortunes come their way in life.

I’m talking financial intelligence here; being able to make viable financial decisions based on what you know. As Robert Kiyosaki would say, "risk is when I take a calculated attempt to invest, while risky is when I just invest for investing sake without doing the necessary background work."

It is the ability to sit down, look at events and life’s situation differently and being able to make the best of your situations. The difference would be what you decipher out of the situation and the choice of what to do afterwards. The story is told of two men who did set out to market shoes. They came to a place that the inhabitants wore no shoes. One saw it as a hopeless end, the other saw a potential market and was excited about the opportunity. This occasion was influenced by how they viewed the scenario. One’s thought was of defeat, while the other was a possibility of educating the people to see the benefit and “luxury” of having foot wears.

So in your quest for wealth and value creation in the society, your paradigm must be success-coloured. You must always think of how to go about and overcome the obstacles not defeat. Imagine if you were Donald Trump in the 90's (was neck deep into debts running into tens of billion of dollars), what would you do. Give up or strategize on a comeback. Trump confesses that he had to sit down, strategize and see the best way out of the mess he was in. Today he’s back and still worth more than $4 billion.

A man is just a product of his thoughts. If his thoughts are warped, then he’s warped because as a man thinketh, so is he. As Henry Ford puts it “If you think you can, you are right. If you think you can’t, you are also right” so choose ye this day which thoughts you want to entertain.

On a final note, I’ll give you some quotes and hope you’ll find some others that will empower your mind to reach the ultimate goals in life.

  • To the unwilling, everything is an impossibility – Nikki Giovanni
  • One man with courage makes a majority – Andrew Jackson
  • Wealth is when small efforts produce big results. Poverty is when big efforts produce small results – George David
  • Only the paranoid survive – Andrew Grove
  • If I have eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six sharpening my axe – Abraham Lincoln
  • No man is free who is not a master of himself – Epictetus
  • The road to hell is paved with good intentions – Karl Marx
  • Never let your memories be greater than your dreams – Doug Ivester
  • Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday. – John Wayne
  • Two sets of people do not change their mind. The fool; he will not and the dead, he cannot– Unknown
  • Obstacles cannot crush me. Every obstacle yields to stern resolve. He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind – Leonardo Da Vinci

I hope I have lit a passion in you to start thinking. 

Gabriel Omin

Culled from Tsh Archive



Think. Most Successes are a Result of Thinking

To be ahead of our times, we must develop extraordinary methods.

Applying thought to our lives, work and businesses is the difference between success and failure. We must always make time to think, it is a critical component of greatness.

 Photo: www.innovationmanagement.se

Photo: www.innovationmanagement.se

Thinkers are usually very successful people; processing, and analyzing problems, knowing that there are at least seven ways to solve each one, takes creative thinking, and developing ideas. When you cannot do it alone, you involve "like thinkers" to help in the process.

Being so busy and on the move may be a hindrance to the thinking process. There are times when you must halt, and take time to think. Before you know it, thinking becomes part of your day, just like eating and sleeping. 

You work hard to meet your targets but you don’t make time to connect the dots that bring about the ‘hit’ you are looking for, simply because you have not made time to think!

Thinking also helps exercise the brain, keeping it sharp and alert always. Cultivating a thinking habit makes you less prone to rash and impulsive actions and decisions.  Always THINK!!! 

Find your most productive time of the day and block it for a meeting with your inner self for thinking. Some people think better early in the morning, some very late at night, and some simply take time off during the day.

Some executives find time for retreat, even though they seldom get the time to achieve creative thinking time during a retreat. Making time to think does not have to be a special event, it could be as simple as a tea break.

Separate yourself at times to think, it is good practice.

Improve your Memory. One

There are factors that affect your memory

Bad for Memory

Drug and alcohol

Fatigue can affect your ability to take incoming information or retrieve stored information.

Stress and tension feelings of anxiety and/or depression can affect the ability to assimilate or store information and retrieve information.

Some medical conditions and drugs used for treatment can also affect your memory. 


 Photo: shawellnessclinic.com

Photo: shawellnessclinic.com

Good for Memory

Exercise and good health are associated with better brain oxygenation.

Diet surely plays an important role in memory enhancement antioxidant for example are unknown as immune – boosting properties They are also key brain boosters, because they improve the flow of oxygen through the body by fighting free radicals.

Eating foods that are rich in fiber and nutrients also help to resist and combat disease that can affect your memory.       

Some of the best foods for memory enhancement are:

Whole grains, Sweet potatoes, Blackcurrants, Blueberries, Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Tomatoes, Red cabbage, Straw berries, Olive oil, Fish, Avocado, Nuts



More tips

Pay attention to what you are learning or listening to and decide to remember it.

Storage seems to increase if we repeat out loud those things we want to recall

Teach someone else what you have learnt; you recite and understanding it more when you teach.

Make notes and remember the 7 items is the maximum your short term memory can hold

Make a list and go over it - you will get used to using lists and get better at it.