The Secret of Success

There is a drop of greatness in every man,  so went a Tv ad for a beverage.  Yeah it is true! 

Everyone has the key to success in life.  The passion you have is the key to opening the doors to your destiny. 

Most of us fail in life not because we are incapable of success,  but due to succumbing to external influences that curtail our discovery,  development and deployment of our life passion to propel us towarda realisation of our life dreams.  The utility of passion foe success is what i call #Passionpreneurship. 

Are you really a passionpreneur? 

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The Power of WHY

Airtel posts a Kes. 45B loss for the last financial year. Safaricom, its main competitor in the same market, posts a reverse figure – Kes. 48B profit. Airtel, originally known as Kencell Kenya, was the pioneer mobile telephony operator in the country. Safaricom started later on, and experienced a myriad of customer service issues due to its technological challenges with its infrastructure. Give it to the then association with the then parent company, Kenya Posts and Telecommunication Corporation, a government parastatal.

But then, how comes the originator of the mobile telephony concept was beaten to the game? It behooves us to keenly look at the business models of the two antagonists and you will discover a deeper and much engrained secret: Values.

Safaricom started off as an enabler of communication with its “Get Connected” brand proposition. It enabled even the marginalized then to connect with each other and endeared itself with the rural poor and unreached. The competitor, showed itself to be elitist – marketing itself as an urban brand and only concentrated itself to its urban target market. It was considered expensive. However, the network quality was superior.

Then came the game changer – Mpesa. As we speak, Safaricom has transformed itself from a principally mobile telephony company to a cross sectorial aggregator to currently, a digital enabler incorporating data and other services on its platforms. It’s purely a hegemony! 

Airtel tried to catch up with its Zap service but Kenyans wouldn’t accept the brand. To them, Mpesa, especially after the 2007/2008 PEV crisis, proved to be a much more reliable and homely service than Zap. Mind you Zap even waived off all fees! Airtel, since its inception, has seen changes in its leadership with nine CEOs taking charge. For Safaricom, as a show of its stability, has only had one transition in its top leadership.

That is the power of a brand. If you really want to make it in business, learn your target market. Aligning your value system to the target market’s ethos and you will be good to go! Apple is the way it is not because it is cheaper, but because its users find it easy and amiable. Safaricom too, is running on this same platform of values. It all boils down to your WHY.

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The writer is an acclaimed business author of Passionpreneurship Demystified and Business Networking: How to maximize on your contacts for Business and Professional GrowthBoth books are available on Amazon. He is also a Personal Branding and Business Coach with PBL Africa. In case you need assistance to give your business or profession a jump-start, he can be reached via the following contacts:

Email:                pblogix@gmail.com

LinkedIn:             https://www.linkedin.com/in/mike-okinda-9652b210a

Telegram:             @Mokinda

Telegram Community:      https://t.me/joinchat/EkprBT6zCKCRUmQUaDD9cQ

Brand You:Why You Need One


The world, more than ever, has come to appreciate the power of self-branding. Take for example, Ernest and Young, a leading business consultancy firm. A few years back, they scrapped off the degree as a minimum qualification for employment. They opined that there was no correlation between academic qualifications and achievements later in life. PricewaterHouse Coopers, another multinational consultancy firm, followed suit.

Well, it seems there is a mismatch between what students go to college for and what they find once outside the college, especially here in Africa. It has become a normal occurrence in the streets of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, to see young people carrying placards early in the morning on working days announcing their desire to secure jobs, listing their qualifications and their contact details. It just illustrates the dire situation facing the country and the continent at large – unemployment. The UN Human Development Index puts the country’s unemployment rate at 39.1%, the highest in the region. With over 400,000 graduates entering the job market annually, the situation is made even worse.


The alternative to employment has been said to be entrepreneurship. But then, statistics for Kenya put it that over 400,000 new enterprises fail to celebrate their second anniversary with 70% of all businesses started, failing in their first 36 months. Looks like a grim situation, isn’t it?
But we have to critically interrogate the reasons as to why this is so. Methinks it is a problem with how we present ourselves in entrepreneurial and professional occupations. Take for instance a business person who does not have a unique identity, how will he convince a potential client to take up his product? For those aspiring to be employed, as mentioned at the beginning of this write up, employers look at what value the employee would bring on board, but then, if you cannot exhibit this in a concise manner, regardless of how thick your resume is, you would not make the cut for that crucial job position!

And that’s why it was important to point out that without a unique identity and a personal brand, you are doomed to fail. But then it would be imperative that we clearly define what a personal brand is. 

Think of yourself as a product. Why would anyone consider you above all the others? What would anyone, by looking at you, listening to you, or even hearing about you, get you to be? What image does the mention of your name or the appearance of your picture conjure in the image of your audience? If the behavioural show it propagates is positive, then it is a positive personal brand. Have you ever heard of people who have made great strides in the workplace without having the stereotyped requisite papers? For a fact, the chief executive officer of East and Central Africa’s most profitable company Safaricom does not have a degree! Such like people made it thanks to projecting a positive personal brand. Your personal brand is your selling proposition. What is that you can do better than anyone else? 

That is the competitive advantage that you base on to develop a personal brand on. This is the reason why, when you do a job application, or even appear for an interview, the employer seeks to see that one good thing that stands out and that they will employ at their workplace to gain advantage from. If you cannot portray it well, you definitely as I said, miss out! It is what makes you stand out from the crowd. It is inherent and is not determined by any material acquisition like academic papers or such.


Businesses, too, thrive on the proprietor’s personal brand. Take any start up or established business and you will learn that the founder started off on the right footing – defining the values that the business would be anchored on. Unfortunately, most of us go into business with the ultimate aim of striking it rich and this is where we digress and condemn our outfits to only survive over the short term.

What is it that, in a pool of look alikes, would your product offering stand out? For the business enterprise, the potential consumer looks at what you offering would fulfil as a need in their lives. If this is packaged well, the message would be delivered and you will win over the potential consumer and hence, a sale. It is on record that most businesses fail because of lack of cash flows. If we as business people learnt how to package our personal values well into a brand, then we can reverse this grim trend being observed. For a business can only continue running with good traction in sales and this is anchored on the base of communicating its value proposition through branding.

Politicians and public figures have learnt this survival trick to garner maximum influence and traction in their endeavours. Take for example a Nairobi Gubernatorial candidate, Mike Mbuvi Sonko. Known as a maverick, an alleged drug dealer and jailbird, he chose to rebrand himself from a rough imaged politician, to a pimped up, suave and clean cut image of a technocrat months to the General Election. His opponents stuck to propagating his old image but then, by choosing to project an image of a deliverer, he won most hearts and sailed through to be the Governor elect of the City. 

It may be in the way you dress, the way you speak, the content of the material you publish either in digital or print media, your packaging of your stuff, etc., but in any way possible, take care that you package yourself appropriately to ensure you project a Brand You suitable enough to the satisfaction of your audience. At the end of the day, always remember, that the human race is very irrational – it is not convinced by logic but by emotions. If you realise how to connect to the emotions of your target audience, you will always have your way through in all your endeavours.

It is not that jobs are scarce; neither is there a scarcity of customers to consume your product offering. The problem is in the way you project your special abilities that would enable you to clinch that position or win that customer.

Happy personal branding and happy selling of Brand YOU!

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The writer is an acclaimed business author of Passionpreneurship Demystified and Business Networking: How to maximize on your contacts for Business and Professional GrowthBoth books are available on Amazon. He is also a Personal Branding and Business Coach with PBL Africa. In case you need assistance to give your business or profession a jump-start, he can be reached via the following contacts:

Email:                pblogix@gmail.com

LinkedIn:             https://www.linkedin.com/in/mike-okinda-9652b210a

Telegram:             @Mokinda

Telegram Community:      https://t.me/joinchat/EkprBT6zCKCRUmQUaDD9cQ

6 Reasons Why Your Job Promotion is Elusive

Why am i not getting promoted2

 

In my last blog post (check it here: https://mokinda.wordpress.com/2017/08/04/how-to-get-that-promotion-easily-a-personal-testimony/ ), I highlighted how one can get that much desired promotion at their place of work. Today, I would wish to look into some of the reasons as to why most of us stagnate at a job position for years without prospects of ever rising up the corporate ladder.

#1     Not showing your worth to the company

The corporate world has a way of spotting capacity and rewarding potential. As such, people that do not exhibit any form of motivation towards adding value to the company would never be rewarded. As an employee, it is upon you to show how you are worth by employing and exploiting your talent and competencies. It would be worthwhile if you exhibited to your company how much worthy you are by exhibiting your potential and how it can help fill gaps in the company.

Everyone has a passion. It therefore means everyone has the potential of being promoted. Why are you not?

 

#2     Not living the brand

All corporates have a value system they ascribe to. Values are what shape a company’s culture in its interaction with the outside world. Of particular importance is its relationship with its clientele.  If one does not ascribe to the set corporate values, their behaviour would be in-congruent to the desired values and norms within the organization. It therefore behooves all members of an organization to first ascribe to and ultimately live the values of the brand for it to bring it out alive.

Failure to activate these means that one would not exhibit the desired ethos of the organization and as such, not fit into the corporate system of that particular company.

 

#3     Non-performance

It is obvious all enterprises exist with the ultimate purpose of returning value to the shareholders. Indeed, if one is not performing to the expected standard, the firm would have no reason to continue holding onto such a person. It is a fact that them that do not get exited from companies for non-performance are never promoted.

Have you realized that you have been mark timing on a position for long? Most probably the reason is you are just an average performer! Salary raises and promotions are now more than ever based on performance. Your value in a firm is held in high esteem in accordance with your level of performance.

Why am i not getting promoted3

 

 

 

 

 

 

#4     Doing the basic minimum

Everyone in an organisation has a prescribed job description. When you restrict yourself to only performing what is within your job jurisdiction, you limit your chances of your other abilities being noticed by your seniors. I remember when I started my banking career in a local multinational, most of my colleagues would rather deliver on their set job roles and leave for home. Whenever I was asked to perform jobs outside of my roles, I would willingly execute and deliver. With time, I got to learn jobs that fell out of my assigned roles. I never knew my supervisor was noticing and in record time, when chances fell open for promotions, she rooted for my enlisting for interviews. And I got promoted after three years into middle management position. Most of those we joined the industry with are still where we were, over a decade ago!

Strive to go beyond the expected for there is immense power in giving!

 

#5     Lack of enthusiasm

You cannot get what you do not expect. Enthusiasm and interest in an area always works in a way to attract it to you. It is called the Law of Attraction. You need to have a plan for your career growth. If you can tailor your behaviour to your ambitions, it would not be so hard to show enthusiasm or interest in your growth. Your behaviour should show your desire to climb up the ladder.

A person who is enthusiastic will exhibit passion in whatever he puts his mind to do. He would execute his roles and exceed expectations with ease. A passionate employee is one who is a deliverer.

Most probably you are never considered for career growth positions because you are slow, indifferent and grossly unmotivated in behaviour. It is time to change and attract that which you desire – promotion.

Why am i not getting promoted

#6     Poor Relationships with colleagues

This is one of the biggest reasons many are never considered for promotions. In any organization, synergy is important for promotion of efficiency and effectiveness in execution of roles and delivering value to the client. However, when interpersonal relationships amongst employees are not healthy, the delivery of set objectives becomes a challenge.

Employees who fit in are those that get along with others and complement the efforts of each other towards achievement f set organizational objectives.  A person fitting to be in a higher office is one who can relate well with his juniors. It is a characteristic of any leader to fit in well with almost all types of people in an organization.

It is therefore expected, if you really want to be a leader, you have to relate cordially with your colleagues, be a team player and assist in helping others execute their roles. Most probably the reason why you are still stuck in that position is because you have not been one who gets along with others. You cannot support others from a higher position if at all you cannot do that in your present position. Start where you are by working on your social skills.

business woman - growth and success graph

Well, I think I have demystified this area of job promotions and I believe if you practiced these very simple principles I personally applied in my life, you too would get to benefit from these upward vertical movements that we so much desire.

Indeed, there is no glory in stagnating in one position at work for years. It is therefore upon us to rewire our attitudes and start working towards earning these promotions.

Happy working peeps!

 

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The writer is an acclaimed business author of Passionpreneurship Demystified and Business Networking: How to maximize on your contacts for Business and Professional Growth. Both books are available on Amazon. He is also a Personal Branding and Business Coach with PBL Africa. In case you need assistance to give your business or profession a jump-start, he can be reached via the following contacts:

Email:                pblogix@gmail.com

LinkedIn:              https://www.linkedin.com/in/mike-okinda-9652b210a

Telegram:             @Mokinda

Telegram Community: https://t.me/joinchat/EkprBT6zCKCRUmQUaDD9cQ

HOW TO GET THAT PROMOTION EASILY; A PERSONAL TESTIMONY

How does one earn a promotion faster than the others? How comes very few of us get those raises so easily at the detriment of others? Read on to discover this secret that very few know of and start working with utmost satisfaction.

How-to-Get-Promoted-What-the-Boss-Looks-For

Whenever I get the opportunity to give an introduction about myself to young and upcoming professionals, the audience stands in awe at how fast I rose up the corporate ladder of success. Yeah, I became a manager for a multinational financial institution at the tender age of 28, three years after joining the firm as a junior clerk!

The first question I am always asked is how I made it and if I really had “connections” to enable me ascend the ranks. But my answer is always in the negative. Neither did I work hard to earn the rising…but I chose to work smart.

The avalanche of queries led me to do my inaugural book, “Passionpreneurship Demystified” (available on Amazon and via https://mokinda.wordpress.com/2017/07/15/passionpreneurship-demystified/ where I elucidated clearly on this secret.

Well, it is common notion that for one to be noticed at the workplace, one must have the appropriate papers or be known to some authority that would prefer favours on them to rise.  Others take it that one has to really work hard to deliver and overachieve to literally earn a promotion.

When I got employed as a graduate clerk back in late 2007 (October 11th to be precise), I realized that I was not on boarded to the company because of my qualifications, but my capabilities. I underwent rigorous aptitude testing and interviews until I eventually made the cut to be a graduate clerk and posted to a remote area to start off my career. The irony of it all was that I was a medical degree First Class Honours holder yet the banking industry required educational skills in banking and finance related subjects.

I set out to learn my job well and develop passion around my job roles as a way of having an easy time in the organization. It was a choice I had to make, including adjusting attitude and putting myself to task about my expectations in the office.

Promted

Now where do we go wrong as employees? How comes many of us stagnate in one position for years?  The first misconception as I have mentioned is the notion that for one to employed or promoted for that matter, one has to be a thick curriculum vitae of academic qualifications. But then, place yourself in the shoes of the employer with several employees and direct reports with huge files of qualifications but minimal delivery….what will be your next reaction? Sack all of them, or is it not? Well, that is how useless it is to be so learned with nil skills and competencies. Employers do not employ for papers. They do because of the employees’ potential to deliver. It therefore means what sells are not the academic qualifications but abilities or competencies. It is your skills that sell you not the papers you hold!

The world has come to appreciate this fact: a few years ago, leading business consultancy firm, Ernest & young, removed the requirement that for one to be legible for employment, one has to have a degree. PricewaterhouseCoopers too have followed suit. This is a strong pointer of the importance of anyone keen on rising up the ladder of corporate success, to work on improving their output delivery ability.

How then do you go about boosting your ability to perform so that you get noticed? I will answer this question exhaustively in the second installment of this article. Keep tabs on his blog for the second part of this!

***** End of Part 1******

The writer is an acclaimed business author of Passionpreneurship Demystified and Business Networking: How to maximize on your contacts for Business and Professional Growth. Both books are available on Amazon. He is also a Personal Branding and Business Coach with PBL Africa. In case you need assistance to give your business or profession a jump-start, he can be reached via the following contacts:

Email:                              pblogix@gmail.com

LinkedIn:                         https://www.linkedin.com/in/mike-okinda-9652b210a

Telegram:                       @Mokinda

Telegram Community: https://t.me/joinchat/EkprBT6zCKCRUmQUaDD9cQ

 

The Art of Denial

I  come across this phrase of ‘burying the head in the sand’ a couple of times. So today, i made up my mind to dig it up and appreciate it better.

Apparently it is based on a myth that the ostrich, when faced by an attack from a more powerful predator, would rather than face its opponent, it would burry its head in the sand and wish the attacker would not notice it. But then, as big a bird it is, the body part above the ground would show itself. Is that an effective way to face the situation? You agree with me its not! Running or fighting out the aggressor would be more helpful.

But then it would be worthwhile to accept the fact that most of us are good at exhibiting this behaviour of the ostrich. Rather than have a stand in anything,one would gladly live and thrive on the grey zone where we are accepted and make others happy. In actual sense, rather we live our lives as we our hearts are at peace with, we do stuff to make the others happy and warm.

But then, at the end of the day, are we really doing what is right and acceptable? Is this what we were created for?

Psychologically, people who survive by sitting on the fence would lack a stand on any issue, however much moral authority demands that they take a stand. Three truths come from this:

(1)If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. 

(2) Those who stand for nothing fall for anything. 

(3) When you stand for nothing, you fall for everything. This adage is attributed to Alexander Hamilton, Peter Marshall, and other famous speakers of old times.

Fence sitters, also known as ‘sand head buriers’ are known to lack a stand and are unprincipled. In the practical sense of this all, it implies that when all we want is to please everyone, we fall for everything and lack the moral fabric or ethic to have a defined identity. When all you do is fall for everything, you lack a personal brand.

The world is made what it is today by people who chose to stop sitting on the fence and taking their positions and making them known , regardless of what those around them thought. Jesus was an example. He was labelled as the carpenter’s son, others as the King of the Jews. Others called Him the Law Breaker since He challenged the Jewish tradition. 

If i may ask: what do you stand for?  Will you, like the proverbial ostrich, be known for hiding your head in the sand when you are required to take a stand? The society more than ever needs world changers and  influencers who would stamp their feet down and plant seeds of optimism, principleness and purpose. Otherwise, you choose to fall for everything and stand for nothing, ideally, an ostrich! For nothing can be solved, neither would any solution be provided by ignoring the issue at hand and wishing it away. It would just make matters worse. 

The writer is an acclaimed business author of Passionpreneurship Demystified and Business Networking: How to maximize on your contacts for Business and Professional Growth. Both books are available on Amazon. He is also a Personal Branding and Business Coach with PBL Africa. In case you need assistance to give your business or profession a jump-start, he can be reached via the following contacts:

Email:                              pblogix@gmail.com

LinkedIn:                         https://www.linkedin.com/in/mike-okinda-9652b210a

Telegram:                       @Mokinda

Telegram Community: https://t.me/joinchat/EkprBT6zCKCRUmQUaDD9cQ

Alibaba’s Founder Business Success Secrets


Arguably the richest man in mainland China and Asia, Ma Yun, famously known as Jack Ma is a man with a pack of lessons especially for startups struggling to make a mark in the world of business. The company he founded, Alibaba, conducted a record breaking IPO in the USA that raised USD 20 Billion a few years ago. His life, ever since he started cultivating interest in the English language at a tender age, presents many lessons that we who are rising up in entrepreneurship can adapt and have guaranteed success.
Lesson 1: Treasure your Passion 

It is said that when a young boy, Jack Ma used to cycle for over 45 minutes to a hotel which was frequented by western tourists so that he can practice speaking English. Through the interaction, a young female tourist could not pronounce his Chinese name properly and she christened him Jack Ma. It has stuck to date.

Through his love for language, he was employed as part of a governmental team that went to Seattle in the USA for a government exchange and that marked his initial interaction with a home PC in a friends home. And it fascinated him that through the desktop box, he could get a lot of information but not for his dear country China. When he returned, he purposed to develop Chinas first internet commerce platform for local businesses. And hence, his love for language birthed his ecommerce business.

What can you do best? What are your talents? Purpose to discover and develop these by developing a passion around them. Utilize these special gifts you have to help solve a society challenge and you will be in business! History has proven that no business anchored on passion has ever failed. I call these passionpreneurs.

Lesson 2: Be objective about providing solutions

Despite him being wealthy, Jack Ma confessed during his inaugural Africa Tour in Nairobi that he had no intention to be rich. He did business to provide solutions. Africa, he said and especially Kenya, presented a perfect environment to launch enterprises due to the various challenges facing the populace. 

Let your business be run based on values. When you have a value system, you enable your clients build trust and loyalty towards your brand. Ma questioned the current business school model with the following: The business schools teach a lot of skills about how to make money and how to run a business. But I want to tell people that if you want to run a business, you have to run the value first, to serve the others, to help the others  thats the key.

Vision never follows money. The converse is true  money always follows vision. Let your vision be anchored on a foundation of values that concur with societys needs. Dominant brands learnt this secret and they build their brands on this and that is why they withstand time.
Lesson 3: Anchor your business on your dream

From his own narration of his entrepreneurship story, his dream was to enable Chinese businesses reach out to the world He wanted to open up the space for local Chinese firms to sell to the world. And there was no better way to do this by employing the power of the international World Wide Web also known as the internet. And thus, by creating passion on his passion, which was to pursue English language and employ it, he built his dream of opening up his closed country to the world and thus Alibaba was launched. 

Do you have a vision of where your business would be in a few years time?  What is your dream? Build your business on that!

Lesson 4: Be optimistic

He is known to be a failure, going by world standards. Sample this: he failed twice in his primary school exams. In his middle school exams, he failed thrice once again. When he applied for his admission into University to pursue a degree in English, his desire, he failed again, thrice! He later graduated with a degree and he unsuccessfully looked for a job as a teacher. His search for a job was equally punctuated by failure. He reckons he did a record thirty job unsuccessful applications in total. When KFC opened its franchise in China for instance, he and twenty-three others applied for jobs. The rest were accepted except his which was declined. He also applied for a job as a police officer with three of his friends. They were all taken and he was left out. The reason for his rejection was given that he was no good.

After getting frustrated in his quest for a job, he chose to entirely rely on his English skills to earn a living. And that is how he ended up in being an English translator and being absorbed by the government in its foreign missions. And that opened up doors for what we know him for today  Ecommerce.


They say tough times do not last but tough people do. Being pessimistic about a business situation does not help matters. Maintaining a positive attitude does. Successful entrepreneurs do not let setbacks get them down and they see both what’s impossible and possible, but the difference is that they focus only on the possible.

Lesson 5: Be crazy!

 He was christened Crazy Jack Ma by his fellow Chinese for his outlandish internet commerce idea when most could not believe in him. In contrast to his fellow Chinese corporates who are conservative in nature, Jack Ma loves to make fun of himself.

In the early 200s, Time magazine called him crazy for his out of the world ideas in a world that was conservative. He responded by saying the he may be crazy but not stupid. His ambitions would be seen to be too lofty but he was wise to always aim at achieving his life dream. 


His management style has been termed as unorthodox since he blends western and Chinese management philosophies to come up with a winning formula for entrepreneurship where he puts his customers first, followed by his employees and lastly, the shareholders interests last. To him, hiring a more talented employee than him is a bonus.

You need not get the approval of the world to make it in business. So long as you have a belief in an idea, and it can solve a world challenge or problem, go for it. Just be crazy about it and pursue it! 
The writer is an acclaimed business author of Passionpreneurship Demystified and Business Networking: How to maximize on your contacts for Business and Professional Growth. Both books are available on Amazon. He is also a Personal Branding and Business Coach with PBL Africa. In case you need assistance to give your business or profession a jump-start, he can be reached via the following contacts:

Email:                              pblogix@gmail.com

LinkedIn:                         https://www.linkedin.com/in/mike-okinda-9652b210a

Telegram:                       @Mokinda

Telegram Community: https://t.me/joinchat/EkprBT6zCKCRUmQUaDD9cQ