Question 1 : “How do you find clarity of your message?”
Gaining clarity in your message to the world is key, otherwise you will be shooting blanks. This is a common problem when we want to start out on a venture. It’s purely human to feel like you are in a fog.
To gain clarity starts with accepting that you’re in control of your destiny and you’re 100% responsible for the actions you will take. This acceptance gives you control which is needed. Then take a tour of your life. What lessons can you learn from how you’ve lived so far? How do you desire to start to live? Who do you want to help with your message? What problems have you noticed that your heart wants to correct? It may be fuzzy at first when you ask these questions, but write down as much as you can.
Initially, it could be hard to find that blue horse that you want to ride into the sunset, but with time, the fog clears.
In my case, in 2006, I found out that members of the workforce team I worked with loved to hear my takes on issues of their lives – family, career, relationships and productivity. How could I serve them? By speaking to their hearts. Looking back into my own life, my gift of writing has to serve to write articles that could help them. I did just that.
Over the years, I have narrowed my message to those who need to become adept at thought leadership and who desire to showcase their ideologies to world while earning from doing so.
I will always advise individuals to consider their internal states as they look for clarity. It’s all about you. Clarity is associated with a certain emotion, a feeling of power, joy, control, exhilaration. You can sense it in your being where you just having a knowing.
Use the power of visualization. Visualize how your immediate environment will look like when you have achieved. Visualize the type of people you are serving with your message, how they are, how they dress, and how grateful they are working with you. This really helps to get your inner being flooded with the light that ultimately guides you.
Consciously choose the human resources that can be of help on this journey. My take is for you to expunge the negative voices and embrace the souls who are consciously working on themselves to become phenomenal. See a list that I made for you here.
Finally, don’t get locked into a motionless situation because the voice of clarity hasn’t boomed. Take a step. The path to the gold may not have clear marks along, but as you step out, things begin to fall into place.
Question 2. “I am a writer, but each day I doubt if am really a writer and ask myself if God has another purpose for myself. It just feels like moving in no direction. How can I discover God’s purpose for my life?”
I’m going to address the issue of purpose here.
A lot of folks are locked into the religious thinking that God has to bear down on you in a silent whisper to show you the path you need to walk on. While I’m not playing down on the essence and import of the divine, but purpose has its root in the word, action. You hear folks ask about what they were born to do or called to do on earth. Also, they feel the time frame is for an appointed time and when that clock ticks, the path becomes clear and they start walking on it. While all the above may have meaning, but waiting for that specificity may knock off the joy that comes from serving in the capacity you find yourself in the now.
What will you say about someone who goes on to train as a medical doctor and works for 12 years, resigns his job to go into pulpit ministry for another 20 years, and then finally ends his life serving in a hospice? Which will you say was his purpose? Any clear definition on which was his real purpose here?
When you are engaged in an enterprise that is geared to serve humanity in ways that are illuminating, transforming, recreational, or profitable, you are serving your purpose per time.
I trained as a mechanical engineer and have worked as one for 9 years. Yet, I write, coach and facilitate training sessions as a thought leader on messages that have nothing to do with core engineering. Will I say I wasted my years studying? No. In those years, I served my purpose as a student, learning from others, building remarkable relationships and prepping myself with the right skills to engage with the future.
You’re a writer. You called yourself one. That definitiveness is endearing and illuminating. That’s who you are. Accept it. God is happy with you for being a writer. He may not whisper another voice to you, for it is in the excited state of your heart do you find succour in using your gift.
The feeling of despondency and being directionless is normal. It happens to every creative spirit. By engaging the blessedness of your gift in truly remarkable ways, you’re breaking out of a cocoon to serve the world in a way that is spiritual and transformational. That alone can instil fear and doubt. Despite the pains, women have sex and get pregnant consciously. So, show up and write. Keep writing. Appreciate the doubts and write anyway.
I will invite you to join us in our Facebook group. Send us a request to join for free. Click here. In the group are amazing writers who will make you feel like family and to forge your paths.
Question 3. “I’ve written 2 books, but they are not yet published because I do not have the money. So what do you think I should do next as regards this situation?”
In Nigeria, this problem is peculiar. We don’t have robust publishing companies who help writers do traditional publishing – read manuscripts, determine their publishability, pay the writer and take off the burden of getting his works published.
Sadly, for many of us in Nigeria, the financial weight of the whole process – editing, cover design, layout, printing, and marketing – lies on the writer. It’s a huge weight for many that leads to death of many useful literary pieces that would have added to the beauty of humanity.
As a writer, I advise Nigerian writers to work hard at growing their individual platforms, especially using the internet as a great leverage. The internet has given us the liberty to showcase our voices without barriers. When you grow your platform, a dedicated following of souls who read your works and spread them, you’re positioning yourself as a person of influence. That power, gained by the flourishing of your literary enterprise, can earn you wealth that you need to push further. This is one piece of advice you should also take. This blog is my platform and it’s one medium that I’m using to serve the people that need my message. That’s one way to gain influence over lives.
Having written that, I took a non-interest loan to publish my first book. When it was published, I sold 200 copies to pay back the loan in 6 months. That was a workable strategy for me. You can adopt this if you wish.
Approach your relations to see if they can invest in you, even if it means they do so with pity. As your craft grows, they will come to accept your genius.
Enter into writing competitions and gun for monetary prizes. Use opportunities that you have to pitch about your work. Perhaps, you can attract a listening ear. I attend Startup meetings from time to time and I meet likeminded individuals who take interest in my projects. Find one in your city and attend.
Engage in other activities that can earn you money to publish your work. A lot of writers in Nigeria are gainfully employed and they use their earnings to plough into their writing.
Seek angel investors abroad. However, you must be sure that you work is truly creative and phenomenal in a way that will make an investor put his funds into your project.
You can also approach a publisher and ask for an agreement to sell your books and repay them back. A few publishers can go with that option.
Finally, you can decide to make the two books into ebooks by converting them into .pdf files. To grow your fame, you can give away one for free by uploading it to Dropbox and sharing the download link with friends and family and telling them to broadcast it too. That’s how UNCHURCHED has been downloaded by 2188 people. Those people now have my name in their hearts. That’s the power of virality.
After a few months, when your fame has grown, you can decide to sell the other one. Selling it can be as simple as advertising it on social media and having people pay you through the bank and you send the book to them.
I will also advise that you join us in the writing group, Pen & Ink Masters. Send us a request here.
Question 4 : “I have a deep love for words – deep words – and I love spirit lifting songs. I also do a lot of songwriting (words and songs always play in my head) How do I use this as a means of impact?”
I love that you used the words, spirit lifting. That summarises your mission. Your desire to help other so that they can become lifted above their challenges. That is a noble mission.
A lot of singers abound whose songs are filled with words that lead souls along certain paths. That’s the power within the lyrics.
Since you write, I advise that you create a remarkable platform for yourself. Start out on social media and give away some of your works for free. You can record yourself with a camera and upload on YouTube and share the links to your friends and family and ask them to share. Use Facebook to consistently share your journeys, lessons and messages. As you share those written works and your experiences, you will gradually connect with souls who need your work. This is a gradual process and should not be rushed.
Question 5 : What are the secrets of building a great coaching and speaking career?
Coaching is a noble thing. To see individuals take steps as a result of coaching is heartwarming experience.
Coaching is simply taking your experience, knowledge and expertise and guiding another individual to achieve results. A typical example is what football coaches do. Although there may be a few differences, both path produce individuals who have results. In football, players do what their coaches impose, but in coaching, you don’t impose, you guide and allow the one being coached to take the appropriate steps and discover their own paths by themselves without you inputing your own takes on them.
To answer this question, I will take the middle point that connects coaching and speaking.
First is to define who you are. You’re the messenger that has been sent to speak.Being a coach or a speaker is an expression of you. You can’t help another soul heal if you’re not whole. What is your solution to an issue that is bugging the client that you seek to reach out to?
What is your message? Realize that we don’t just buy product just because we love them, we buy because of the experience – the product helps us to change in one way or the other. At the bottom line of every product out there is an embedded notion that it can cause some changes to occur in the user’s life. How will your message realise this change?
How do you give expression to your message? How do you deliver the message? What’s your delivery style? What’s the language that best suits your message? Your diction has to suit the people you are seeking so that they understand you well. Your style can be fun, conversational, witty, serious, or stodgy. Your personality has a role to play in this and you must know what it is. When the messenger aligns with the message and the messaging, your voice has power.
What media will you use? Where are your target audience? How best can you reach them? What are their best platforms? If you’re seeking to coach or speak to stay-at-home mums, you may not likely find them on Twitter, but on Facebook and Instagram. If you seek to coach university undergraduates on life after school, you probably need to go to their schools and do meetings with them.
Your methodology? This is a key thing that many coaches miss. As a coach, I employ the client-centered psychotherapy methodology to lead them to find results for themselves. This approach involves listening intently to your client and perceiving the answers that subtly and loudly point to the light that they seek. This tool is called the SAGE. You have to carve yours.
Finally, what’s your area of mastery? What’s your field? In what habitat do you find yourself at ease? You can’t speak to everyone on earth. Your speaking will definitely appeal to a certain group in search of what you speak on. You can’t speak on every topic under the sun, so find what it is that you’re great at speaking on and that’s your forte.
Thanks to everyone who sent in questions. I couldn’t have answered all of them, but just 5. Next J1Q will be on Christmas day. Yaay! I do hope to answer more questions in that session.
NB : How would you feel if you’re led by the hand to show you how to proceed and navigate with clarity, create momentum and push to the limit?
In 2016, I’ve set up a subscription-based group for individuals who are on a serious quest to influence their world in their own domains. EMBRYONIC has been set up to groom exceptional business and organisational thought leaders. It’s what you have to become part of.
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Keep being exceptional.
Live your best life always.