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

Businessman or An Entrepreneur – Which One Are You?


There is no better way to command the market and payout than to command the demand for your products and services. An enterprise that has a firm hold of a market niche will always live true to the moniker β€œgoing concern” – its life will be unending into the future. Businesses that we admire today like Coca Cola, Nike, etc, have mastered the art of commanding the market by doing this.

Once you target a segment of the market you intend to capture, it would be important you undertake a need analysis and see what the consumer really wants and how best to satisfy that need. A business that satisfies no demand is not in business.
Many are the times we sell products to the market raw without any processing which in a way, creates a middle link between the producers and the end consumer. What it therefore means is there is some value we forego or transfer to the middle man which they exploit and maximize. Literally speaking, a producer the raw material is working to enrich the middle man. Take chicken for example.

Chicken farmers usually go into pains of raising their stock and input a lot of money to sell off their matured birds to middle men. The middle man would acquire the birds, slaughter and sell off as processed wings, or even fillet or maybe process chicken burgers. The offal is sold to pig farmers as food also. At the end of the day, if you undertake a cost benefit analysis of being the farmer vis a vis being the middle man, the value is higher for the middle man who buys the raw material from the farmer. All the middle man does is sit back and get down to the farmer at the bottom of the chain to negotiate for prices, buy the raw materials, process and sell it off. The actual increase in value that a business creates by undertaking the production process is what is referred to as value addition.
Value addition makes the processor command the market. He commands even the prices of the entire industry. Agricultural based industries that learnt this secret went full stream into value addition and have outlasted their competitors. An example is the Delamaire Dairies and Egerton University Dairies which are big milk producers. Rather than sell milk, they chose to dwell on value addition and over the years, despite turmoil in the dairy industries, they have been doing sustainable business producing their hallmark yoghurt brands. KCC initially was purely a milk reseller and went down since they could not command the market with the entry of new players. What happened afterwards? They now produce Yoghurt, ghee and cheese amongst other milk products.
As a small scale entrepreneur you can also choose to command your market. What uniqueness can you introduce into your product offering to hold onto your consumer? If you are that estate kales seller, do you sell your vegetables as you bought them from the farmer or do you add value to it by maybe cut them into pieces to be sold as buy-and-cook portions in smaller packages for the working community? Maybe you package your vegetables and sell them a bundle of kales, onions and tomatoes, etc? Maybe brand them exquisitely? As a service provider, what extra thing are you offering beyond the usual service that any other player in your industry is offering? I love going for a weekly shave at a local kinyozi where apart from doing my hair as I like it, they do massage and even do a facial for me for the price of a normal shave. And trust me I have never gone to any other kinyozi apart from that.
The beauty about value addition is the client is ready to pay for it even if its premium priced. Once one sees they are getting a benefit beyond what others normally offer, they would be ready to pay, alongside building product loyalty for your firm and establish your brand as a market player.
Smart enterprising demands that you look at the big picture rather than just concentrating on the immediate activity, which may be tilted with changes in the external environment. Value addition is a great way to hedge it from such shocks and guarantee business sustainability. To be smart, always look at your business from the big picture.
The writer is the author of β€œPassionpreneurship Demystified”, a practical book on how to exploit passion for actualizing dreams. He is also the convenor of ‘House of Passion‘, and online coaching platform for entrepreneurs and professionals.

Be A Phenom

I love watching wrestling.

I know some may write me off as childish but i just love the game and its intrigues. Wrestling is a contest of strength, fights are done and the one with wit and style, emerges the winner. Many are the times brains conquer brawn in the game. So it wouldn’t be a surprise that WWE Wrestling is my favourite past time!

But that’s besides the point. In the show, there is one contestant who has the personality of β€˜The Phenom’. The Phenom is a dominant force. In each of the premier show of the year, Wrestlemania, he has to be featured. The indomitable spirit of the Phenom is what makes this event more popular than even the Superbowl, the world’s most watched sports event.
In life, we have been brought up and taught to have personalities.  In school and elsewhere, we are drilled to have an impact through having personalities. It is therefore no wonder that most of us live to be seen to be like the socialites, going to the extent of doing unimaginable stuff just to be outstanding.  But going through the life stories of achievers and history makers the world over, you realise its not the people with personalities that make a mark. It is them who are phenomenal.
Even in the Bible, no person was used by God because he or she had a personality. It is those who choose to be different, them that purposed to be phenomenal.
Nothing gratifies in life as living a life thats phenomenal. History has proven that them that make it in life are the ones who choose to be different. It has never helped to just conform to world standards. Choose to stand out from the crowd. Discover your life purpose. Set out a course for your life. Work towards it and achieve. Choose to make a mark in this life. I always say, the worst tragedy one can have in this life is to live and pass on without leaving a mark. What mark are you making? Do you choose to go on just living a life or are you going to make your mark?

Stand out from the crowd. It is just a matter of choice to be phenomenal!

It is Virtuous To Be Selfish…πŸ˜‰

Most of the time we focus so much energy, effort and attention to the external environment at the exclusion of ourselves. As we start a new month, it is time to re examine ourselves and review our limitations and strengths, check the external for any threats to our growth and if there are, make them to be opportunites. 

It is a given fact- all of us have a drop of greatness in us. It is upon each one of us to discover, develop it and exploit it to our benefit. That is how a Passionpreneur lives. He appreciates the value of the potential he carries and employs it to his advantage. 

He knows that orange is the new black, the currency for success in life!

Choose to #BeYou.