J1Q, May 2016

This is the May edition of Just 1 Question. In this month’s edition I’ve answered a few questions sent in by the teeming members of my blog family.

It’s my earnest desire that the answers help you immensely.


Question 1 :  “Is there a point where a person can balance current employment and passion? If yes, how?”

Absolutely, yes.

Ideally, I advise folks to get engaged in a job that matches their passions or calling. Sadly, many graduates leave school and get engaged in jobs that sap them or are completely misaligned with the visions they discover later in life. This is largely due to the dearth of counselling at the points they were choosing courses of study and the toughness of the employment sphere in Nigeria that leaves us with scanty options.

A medical doctor who loves to write on issues of healthy living while practicing as a surgeon in a hospital will experience lots of fulfilment doing so. A mechanical engineer who desires to build cars in the future as a passion will experience grace and quickening if she gets a job at a company like Jaguar or Rolls Royce.

However, where this is not the case, as with many people all over the world, I usually advise two things.

A. Give your energies to your current employment in the day time, especially if the job pays the bills and build your enterprise on the side. This means that you utilise your free hours at works to read and grow in that area where your passion lies. It means utilising your weekends off work to focus on growing your craft till a point where you can seamlessly transit to it and do it full time.

Examples abound of ladies who work as bankers, but go home to cook in the evenings and post pictures of their delicacies on Instagram. Examples abound of men who work as civil servants in the day, but engage individuals on trust who run their enterprises for them while they engage in its monitoring virtually. Examples abound of individuals who ask for flexible hours at work so that they can engage in their own passions in the evening or night and during the weekends.

B. If your current employment stifles your creativity and your ability to engage in activities that will build your enterprise around your passion, it is advisable to look for another job that fits the description of what will keep your heart at peace while ploughing your energy into your passion or resign to face it full time.

A banker I knew had issues keeping up with his work and passion. He gets home exhausted and couldn’t commit to doing what it took to grow his passion. Despite being coached, he just couldn’t keep up. All he did was to save money by working for a number of months and then resigned to focus on his passion full time. That’s an alternative to consider when the road seems too narrow that it stifles the journey.

Question 2 : “How do I manage a business with very little capital, for example a fashion industry if am not the tailor and do not have enough finance to ‘own’ one?”

Capital is quite an issue for many folks who are starting a business. However, bootstrapping our way through has always worked in any climate. It’s been the surefire way to business success and growth till it breaks the ceiling.

A lot of business folks have found ways to raise cash to grow their businesses – receiving grants from friends, government or startup investors at no interest, ploughing 100% of revenues or profits into the business, or getting a non-interest loan that doesn’t burden them as they grow.

Using your example of a fashion business, I can advise three things:

1. Learn how to sew and kick off from. If you put your heart to it, you can learn how to sew within 6 months to one year. It can be painstaking, but worth the effort. I had to learn quite a few skills to help my art – Corel Draw and Photography. This is just to help wade through the waters when the cash is not so available to pay for those.

2. Work out a profit-sharing deal with a tailor or the owner of a fashion shop. This is an option that can be embraced when you don’t have the flair for sewing, but want to own a fashion shop. When you get deals, you take the deal to the tailor, and you get your own cut of the deal.

3. Put a word out there that you want to hire tailors to work for you on a profit-sharing basis. That way, they see themselves as owners of the business and they can commit to working with their heart. You don’t need to rent a shop for this. Good thing is, they can come with their own machines. Make sure you document everything that this deal is about to avoid legal complications.

Question 3 : “One of my biggest goals in life is to blur the line between work and play. I have dreams, ideas, concepts etc. The one thing I need to bring all that to life just seems to elude me – money. I want to help others live and not just exist. Help them be the best they can be. I just don’t know how to go about it. I know i have what it takes though, I am different. Mentally that is. What do I do with my life?”

 It’s just so good that you have dreams and goals and that you want to help humanity. That’s so lovely. I am happy that you have this urge burning within your frame. To help humanity with what you know, money is very key, for a man without cash can’t do so much.
To start helping others become the best they can be, you’ve got to do three things – A. Position yourself for influence. B. Create content and consistently showcase. C. Sell those contents.

Since you’re in the business on the intangibles, the Internet is such a powerful tool that can help you achieve phenomenal influence. However, growing your influence and getting noticed to become an authority online takes time and commitment.

You’ve got to work on your personal branding so that it exudes seriousness in such a way that someone will want to pay you to be a help to them. Review your profile on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and any other social media channel that you’re currently on. Show to people that you’re not just peddling a title, but you’re in this for the long haul and to demonstrate your capability to help.

Get a blog or website to demonstrate your authority, not just to show authority. Don’t claim authority, demonstrate it. In that area of expertise or field that you play in, prove and demonstrate authority by creating valuable content via blog posts, videos, audios or ebooks.

To earn money from all these activities involves productivizing your content. The real grand ways to earn is via coaching, consulting for personal and organisational brands, and creating courses. These 3 can earn you a whole lot.

However, I think that you may need a coach to guide you successfully to do all these because there a few technical details to be sorted along the way.

Lastly, you can join us in the The Exceptional Leadership Academy, a budding family on Facebook where you join a movement of people that are bent on becoming voices in the society by doing what it takes to be phenomenal.


Question 4 :  “I find joy in doing the course I am studying in school but how we are being taught in the university here is cracking me up. We are not being taught well and how do we get to fit in for employment.”

I’m glad that you find joy in your course of study at the university very thrilling. It’s quite warming to note that.

However, you must understand that the template that many lecturers are operating by need an overhaul. Sadly, they continue to perpetuate the rottenness, perhaps out of laziness or a non-penchant appeal for scholarliness.

I’m happy that you discovered this. From my experience, many graduates of universities are unemployable. They are retrained on gaining employment in companies, something that many companies rile over because of the overheads.

Having realised this, this is your opportunity to do what’s right and effective. Education is largely an individual pursuit of excellence. It behoves on you now to do what it takes to become a better person for yourself.

Attend seminars while you’re in school. Sacrifice and pay to attend training sessions in the area of your study. Join professional bodies. Those professional bodies have lots of materials garnered from years of research work submitted by their members. They also have journals and other interesting educational materials that will stand you out as a legend in your industry.

Get to the library and read voraciously. Seek out lecturers in your department who have a flair for intellectual exercise and desire to be contemporarily relevant. There must be some. Connect with them and learn at their feet.


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