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Monday, August 5, 2013

Why do you exist?

HelloJ.

My chief whip took ill and was hospitalized for some days, typhoid fever. Now he’s much better and back on my case, hence I am sitting here trying to put something down.

Nobody warned me that blogging would be this much work! Oh, had I known *places hands over head*. Lol!!  Whenever I feel like quitting though, I get some encouragement from people like Femi Awobiyi (yea, had to mention, this is my space!, hehe) and so I muster the strength to continue even when I have loads of preset excuses for myself such as;

  • The boys are on holiday
  • My mum’s turning 60 and retiring and I’m the one planning the party, owanbe style
  • I am just tired, simple
  • Lagos traffic is too much to deal with already

    And the winner is……..
  • After all, nobody’s paying me to do this, so wharahell *covers face* true naa, I’m human, sometimes I feel that way. Like who sent me sef, are they giving out prices for blogging?

There, I have exposed my innermost thoughts to the entire “An entrepreneur’s journey” reading community! 

Back to where we left off, before Black Men United……

2012/2013 My assigned mentor and the experience…….

I was assigned to Mr. Weyinmi Egbe, an efiko of life! Lol. At first, reaching him was a task and I cried out to or chief mentor for help, but when we got down to business, I was bombarded. I became a reader by force, first Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and then the art of influence by Chris Widener. These are good books that I'll recommend any day.

Outliers - Malcolm Gladwell   (found this one on Konga.com)

My first assignment was a soul searching one and the main output from the exercise was clear values for me and for Trezorlandia. I found something online that helped me develop them called the “mountains and valleys” chart. It takes you through a process where you highlight the high points in your life and the low points over a period. You draw up a chart that helps you see the things that are important to you, measured against set criteria. They then suggest set values based on an assessment of your highs and lows. I would have shared the link, but can't seem to find it. if you are interested though, just do a search for "mountains and valleys" chart.

Here is a summary of the assignments I had to do, I think they are worth doing if you haven't done them before;

Assignment 1 – Come up with 7 points each on your personal values, and core values of your company.
Assignment 2 – Prepare your concise mission and vision statement that can fit into a twitter post.
Assignment 3 – Identify what you think are requirements for attaining expertise in your business and develop a written plan on how you can work towards it.
Assignment 4 – Prepare to discuss 5 things about you business that you believe are not commonly known
Assignment 5 – Organize and set up a system manual or automatic where you capture the information listed below;
  • Relationship Information – Personal information about the customers 
  • Business information – Facts you have learned about your customer and his / her business 
  • Action items – To do lists and future actions 


I’ll share the seven values I defined at the end of the first assignment below,



Personal

Company

1.
Relationships
I am committed to God first, my family and friends. I cherish relationships and believe they have a great impact on who I am today.
Respect
We will treat all our customers, suppliers, shareholders and the community in which we operate with the highest degree of dignity, equality and trust. This drives our customer service.
2.
Empowerment
I am very particular about adding value rather than being a liability to my society.
Motivation
We seek to develop a highly motivated and diverse workforce because we believe happy staff translates to happy customers.
3.
Personal Development
Continuous learning is very important to me. I loathe stagnation and constantly seek ways to re-invent myself.
Re-invention/Dynamism
We will not be static; we will continuously seek ways to improve our offerings.
4.
Work-life balance
In my pursuit for excellence, maintaining a healthy balance between work and life is a goal.
Passion
We will put our heart and mind in all that we do.
5.
Giving
Helping as many as I possibly can.
Accountability/
We will be accountable to the government of the town and country in which we operate, to our stakeholders and to our community at large.
6.
Humor
I love humor, I maintain my sanity by looking for humor in most situations
Integrity
No cutting corners, we will maintain a transparent business and we will do what we say.
7.
Sharing
 I love sharing and exchanging ideas.No hoarding!
Collaboration
 We will explore opportunities to partner on projects where synergies exist, either in the short run or long run. The keyword is "Co-competition"

I already had a Mission statement before the program but because I was made to revisit it, I realized how inadequate it was. With the help of a friend who runs a marketing consulting business called Mcafan (me and all these my friends ehn! Hehe, it wasn't pro bono though, trust me) we re-worked the mission and vision statements and came up with these;

Mission (Why we exist)

To nurture relationships through the creation of unforgettable memories, using gifts, unique experiences and exceptional service.

Vision (Our Aspiration)

To become the most professional and innovative gifts services and solutions company in Nigeria.

He also prepared a corporate profile;




Entrepreneur Tips

  • “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. And what you do serves as the proof of what you believe.” - See more at: http://conversations.marketing-partners.com/2010/09/people-buy-why-you-do-it/#sthash.YUekMeLL.dpuf
    Found this quote online recently and thought it made loads of sense. It's an excerpt from Simon Sinek's "Golden Circle theory". Follow the link to read more, very insightful and interesting read.
  • People deal with people, not just companies, so you must set very high standards for your personal conduct and cascade that to the core values you will produce for your company. I stole this from my mentor's notes to me.
  • As a leader or visionary, the values you live buy greatly influence the direction of your company. As the company expands however, it is easy to lose sight of these values. Document them, and spread them (cascade), all of your activities should be driven by these values.
  • Your mission and vision statements are not just words you throw around to sound intelligent. They must have meaning and be easily understood by even a toddler. As Albert Einstein said, If you cannot explain it simply, then you do not understand it well enough.
  • Be an Expert - Simply knowing your products and service just does not cut it. What makes your personal service invincible is being an expert and being recognized as one. #stolen from my mentor's notes again, hehe.