Boredom: The Key to Success

Boredom“Do what you’re passionate about and you’ll succeed”, is what you find in many motivational books. But that’s only an aspect of the truth.

I am a writer. I’ve engaged in this passion for long and discovered that passion can wane, even if you love what you do.

When this occurs, you’re left with the discipline of craftsmanship. In my case, this means having a writing schedule and pouring in the hours required to actually write – no frills or fun fair.

We live in exciting times when everything is supposed to be sensational. But the successful will tell you that a huge part of their daily work is boring, mundane and uninspiring. They still do it because they understand that mastery of the boring elements is the real success.

Largely, craftsmanship isn’t inspiration dependent. Hence, you show up to work and do a great job without waiting to (first) feel good or inspired. Usually, inspiration catches up after you’ve started your work.

In the success equation, passion is only a small part and monotony is the chunk. That’s why the greats rarely wait for inspiration – they just do good work.

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Law: The Glue of Business

LawAgreement – that’s business in one word. Two or more parties agree to shared promises. Honored agreement is good business while agreement dishonored is bad business.

Previously, an agreement could be settled with a firm handshake. Folks understood the meaning of the act and society was designed to support it. These days, it’s seldom that way.

Now, people’s understanding of an agreement varies – greatly. Hence, laws have been adjusted to fit the times.

The legal system is a vital tool needed to put everyone on the same page and also, to make adequate arrangements for anyone who decides to get off the page. The law unifies understanding; it is the oil of agreements.

I’m aware that some countries have weak legal systems. It’s no wonder why it’s difficult to do business in such places because agreement gets fluid and results take time – and are sometimes hard to sustain.

Ideally, the law is designed to create order. And order breeds prosperity. However, as we grapple with reality, it helps to know what obtains and properly play our part in our business dealings.

How To Positively Impact Others

57279-49334Angela Franklin changed my life.

She was my freshman English professor in college. Angela’s class was the start of the making of the writer. As I went to collect my graded paper (which had an A on it), she said these words as she handed it over, “Samuel, you’re a strong writer”. That was it. I thanked her and walked away, but something was different.

The moment she said those words, the writer in me emerged. I had never thought of myself as a writer, but at that moment, everything changed. For the first time, I saw the writer in me.

We experience these defining moments throughout life – when in an instant, we become. Our eyes are unveiled (the curtain is pulled back) and we’re ushered into a new world. These moments make us.

Learn to gift people with such moments by simply telling them the good that you see (or have) identified in them. Ms. Franklin saw a writer and told me what she saw. Simple!

No grand gesture. Just see the good in someone and let them know.

Invest in Your Mind, But There’s a Trick ~ 2

MSH_koelnposter_29tMy next level book collection helps me keep an eye on where I am and lets me know the exact steps to take forward. These books are well worn and marked to death. I read, re-read and refer to them frequently. They are a working guide. I read them specifically to apply what I’ve read and I stay on it until I see the desired results.

It’s not enough to boast of reading lots of books. Really, it does not mean much if it’s not changing the way you live and operate. How is your reading helping you in business? Is there a plan to get better at what you do by what you read?

By the way, I also read for pleasure; thought I should throw that in. It’s not all business.

What are you reading now?

Invest in Your Mind, But There’s a Trick

fine_artWhen I started out in business, I read everything that I could find on the subject. My scope expanded and the future felt exciting.

After a while, I realized that my business results did not match my reading. Obviously, I knew a lot of good stuff, but I also needed to grow my numbers. I had no plans of being full of knowledge, intellectual and poor.

I thought it through and decided to change my strategy. And to accomplish this, I asked myself two questions: where am I now? And, what’s my next level?

I had to understand my current business position, paint a good picture of what the next level looked like, and then tailored my reading accordingly.

Don’t get me wrong, read as vast as you want, but as an entrepreneur, have a specific book collection (and other materials) designed to usher you into the next level. Read books that offer a clear blueprint for the next phase of your endeavor; I call it – strategic reading.

The Sign of Humility

SignsAsking questions! That’s one of the main signs of humility. It’s not self deprivation, avoiding the good life or stifling others with a weird attitude, but wanting to know. That’s humility.

One key to enlightenment is first admitting that your knowledge is limited and seeing the need to know more. And based on this, seeking out what you need to know.

Also being open to learning from every source is important in this equation. Picky learners often miss vital lessons.

Furthermore, we learn in order to change. That’s the point. It starts from a change in perspective, at the very least – if not behavioural. Learning helps us to appropriate diverse views even if we don’t agree with them. This way, you’re better poised than the ignorant individual.

Change in behaviour also applies. Humility is fulfilled when we rethink our views and change when it’s time – if necessary. It means growth.

Humility: The Entrepreneur’s Edge

imageIt is a tricky word: humility. Normally, it comes with the fuzzy feeling of lowliness. Honestly, it’s hardly thought through and folks generally don’t know what to do with it. But, what does humility really mean?

This is my definition:

Humility is the willingness to learn, change and grow.

If you’re willing to learn from people and life, change (at least, acknowledge and respect the views of others) and grow (increase your emotional capacity to add value to others), then you’re humble.

This definition has helped me escape the stifling attitude around the subject so that I’m now able to focus on what works.

Entrepreneurship got me thinking about humility because I started out in business with a measure of ignorant pride. I thought I knew so much when in essence, I didn’t know enough. Now, I can chalk it off to youth (but I’m still young).

Humility became important to me because I realized that in order to be a successful entrepreneur, you have to be in a permanent state of enquiry; a place where you’re always asking questions. Remember, if you seek, you will find.