Beyond the 33000

Tips from The 33000

Thursday, 3 July 2008

"What" and "Who" you know.

Looking for PHONE NUMBERS, WEBSITES and ADDRESSES of companies in Nigeria? Text the COMPANY NAME to 33000.E.g. Text VIRGIN NIGERIA to 33000.

Hello people, it’s been a minute and for that I apologise. Work and hustle often distract the mind and take us away from the things that feed the mind. So here’s hoping you enjoy this one and do have a great weekend ahead.

Great ideas vs. great contacts; One of the best things that can happen to anyone is a great idea... I say happen because that’s exactly how it feels. Be it personal or professional you just feel like someone opened your mind and shoved it there. It can also mean absolutely nothing. A great idea is no different from a bad idea. The only idea that counts is the one that makes it. That gets out of your head and into real life. One of the common errors in work and life is that we think that a great idea is all we need to get through the door. ‘Oh once they hear this idea and I finish my presentation; they will love me and I’ll be rich!!’ WRONG!!! For every great idea you need a great contact and sometimes a great contact at work or where you want your idea to go into is better than the idea itself. So… Got a great idea? Fantastic. Now go get a great contact to make that idea work!

Simplicity; Like we know; every thing that is around us is based on an idea. Very often what works against us is the complication of that idea. Don’t get me wrong it’s a simple enough thing to turn on your television and watch satellite television from the other side of the world or get a fax and wonder how on earth the fax machine works because the technology behind both are far from simple. What is simple is the end product. The mobile phone giant Nokia had one simple mission in mind when they switched from a plastic manufacturing company to mobile phones…A Nokia should be incredibly easy to use. No matter what functions are contained inside, it should be easy to use. As SIMPLE AS THAT! If its good enough for NOKIA its good enough for you.

Face to face; Technology is great and saves time, money and makes life easier and easier to live. That’s the plus side. Sometimes it works against us. Ever had a business contact that you have never actually met but have spoken with extensively? Find one day, somehow, someway and meet them. We are more likely to do something for someone we know in person; even a chance meeting will put you in better stead that simply being a phone number/ email address... Because in the end that is all you are until you actually meet in person.

Saving Phone Numbers; the mobile phone in the 2oth century is essential for living (think when last you received or made a call on your landline???) One of the common dilemmas we are faced with is finding a particular number on your mobile phone. With phone contacts so easy to store as soon as you meet someone this can be a complete nightmare. TRICK? Save the name of the company or office where that person works before the person’s name. So it could be ‘GTB Kunle’. You are more likely to remember that the person works in that bank than the person’s actual name. Plus every time you type out GTB; everyone you know that works there will pop up.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK; Success is the child of audacity…. Benjamin Disreali

CHEAP TIP OF THE WEEK; this one is for the guys. Have a pair of shoes that are just a bit loose? Too embarrassed to stuff the front of those shoes with socks or worse still newspaper!!(Damn growing up in the 80’s!!). This week’s cheap tip is to wear TWO pairs of socks. Preferably the one on the inside should be the type they give you international flights. The shoes will feel like the right size immediately.


The Ant and the Elephant

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An ant and an elephant are standing at the foot of a long bridge and they both want to get across. The ant looks at the length of the bridge and realises just how long it’s going to take to get to the other side. He politely asks the elephant if he can get a ride on its back. The elephant figures the ant doesn’t weigh a lot and says ‘sure, get on’. They get across the bridge in a very short time and successfully end up on the other side. The ant gets off the elephants back and proudly declares ‘WE SURE SHOOK THAT BRIDGE EH!’ The elephant smiles at the irony of the statement but has to agree and says ‘Yes we did’. POINT? In many instances at work and at play we are often ants…We want to cross the bridge but going it alone is a long and painful journey that may break us. Every business has an elephant. Every idea has a shorter, faster and better way to get of the ground and stand on its feet. SO ??? Go find your elephant!!!!

DELIVERY BUSINESS; the delivery business is unique in the sense that it grew from being an additional service for a lot of businesses to a business on its own. My idea for a delivery service would be one that had nothing to deliver itself but delivers for other people. Example? A delivery service that attaches itself to restaurants that have no delivery schedule of their own. The Motorbike/vehicle is stationed at the restaurant, cutting down waiting time and charges a flat delivery fee regardless of what the restaurant adds on to that. The advantage here is a built in customer base and the restaurant enjoys a value added service at no additional cost to themselves. If you delivered 10 times a day at N500 per delivery…The math begins to add up!

BAKER TO THE BANKS; everyone loves cake!!! Okay maybe not everyone but most people love cake and that’s the basis of this alliance. Most banks have a particular set of customers called HNI’s (HIGH NETWORTH INDIVIDUALS). The pitch here is simple. Every one of these HNI’s has a birthday and every birthday deserves a cake. So if you can pitch the banks to allow you bake and deliver cakes to these customers all year round then your bakery has a head start. Most banks have at least 100 HNI’s and this is certainly a great place to start as you build your client base and ultimately market share.

THE 100 SALE; One of the trickiest things to do is market a new product. Matter of fact it’s hard enough to market anything which is why it makes sense to start with the people that you know. Take 100 people off your phone and look at them as your first clients. If you can pitch and sell to 100 people on your phone then you have a great start. The world of buying and selling is hard and rough so it’s always better to start with customers who have an obligation to you. THINK ABOUT IT!

This weeks post is a little more practical than most but that’s cause at the end of the day success isn’t always pretty or exciting; sometimes it’s about knuckling down and doing the math.

PLUG OF THE WEEK; do check out the opening of the new APPLE CENTRE at Ceddi plaza in Abuja this Saturday 24/05/08

QUOTE OF THE WEEK; a successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others have thrown at him…David Brinkley

Concept Business

Adegbe Ogbeh sent a message to the members of The 33000.

Subject: TIP OF THE WEEK!!!

In February 2005, three friends named Steven Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim started a small video sharing site called You tube. In October 2006 they sold the site to internet giant Google for 1.65 BILLION DOLLARS (YES I HAD TO HIGHLIGHT THAT!!) In less than two years they went from nothing to everything. Could this happen in Nigeria? Not likely. Apart from banks recently acquiring smaller banks and Visafone’s acquisition of existing smaller networks you WILL hardly hear of stories like this. The point here is these three guys took a CONCEPT BUSINESS and ran with it. They took a great idea and made it work. So can you

CONCEPT BUSINESS; More than any other time in our history, people are choosing to go it alone. Either by adding a Nigerian twist to ideas that have worked in other countries or providing a service and learning how to charge for it. The real question here is whether or not a concept business can pay your bills and keep you afloat or take you under and leave you wishing you’d taken a job!

CHOOSING; one of the most difficult choices the entrepreneur is faced with is a ‘good idea’. The idea becomes a problem because you are left with the tough decision to stay at your job and work your idea from inside or quit your job and face it head on. The honest truth is that either decision will hurt; the only question is ‘how long will it hurt?’ My advice? Keep your job and deploy your idea until the pull is so strong that you have to choose. It may sound strange but the daily bread that comes in each month will often act as a safety net to allow your CONCEPT BUSINESS grow until it can stand on its own two feet.

CUT AND PASTE; everything can work everywhere…. Or so it seems, so why don’t Americans like soccer that much? Would you able to build and manage a drive through restaurant in Nigeria? Could you launch playboy magazine in Ghana and not have problems? Understanding that when we cut and past concepts we must have a firm grasp of the intricacies of that particular environment is crucial to deploying a concept business. Take for instance my idea of a television that can help you find its remote control when it goes missing.. Just press a button and the remote starts beeping. Sounds simple right? So how come no one’s done it!!!!!

PRESSURE; Concept businesses are very likely to fail. Why? Cause if they were so obvious then everyone else would be into it. The rewards are great if you break through but the likelihood of failure is great. Should that scare you? ABSOLUTELY. But more that it should tell you that every concept business must be supported by a regular one. In our economy, new ideas take a long time and that time may often be too long for your you. So don’t give up. Instead think of a way to do both and lets see if your concept doesn’t become our reality. Don’t cave in to the pressure, Understand and face it.

DO CHECK OUT Http:// for some pretty good stock market information

QUOTE OF THE WEEK; The Concept is well formed and interesting but in order to earn better than a C, the idea must be feasible….Yale University professor on Fred Smiths Idea for FED EX delivery service.

Looking for PHONE NUMBERS, WEBSITES and ADDRESSES of companies in Nigeria? Text THE COMPANY NAME to 33000.E.g. Text VIRGIN NIGERIA to 33000.

Success is a Journey, not a Destination

About 20 odd years ago the comedian Jim Carrey wrote a cheque to himself for $20 Million Dollars. Strange? Absolutely. He was out of work and living in his car! Crazy? Definitely! His style of comedy was quirky and odd and he received very little work except for one small thing….. He knew he was funny. Convinced beyond belief of his own humour he wrote that cheques and kept it in his wallet until he cashed it. He went on to become the first comedian to receive $20 Million dollars for a film. Are there still other crazy comedians out there with cheques in their pockets? Thousands I’m sure…but the truth is …that’s good for them. We’re concerned about the one who made it.

DOUBT; while tip of the week leans towards the entrepreneur I like to believe that there are lessons here for anyone looking to succeed. There is nothing wrong with doubt. It’s absolutely human. The problem lies with letting it take root. Then you’re dead. Examine your doubt; buy it a drink if you like but NEVER EVER let it in. Success is mostly based on the illusion that you have already succeeded and that’s all you can see. We succeed first in our minds and then we make it real.

THE PATH; we have no idea what we’ll be doing this time next year. Make no mistake; all the fancy plans and great ideas can never predict the future. Steve Jobs of Apple said in an interview that he could ‘ONLY CONNECT THE DOTS LOOKING BACKWARD’. We do our ABSOLUTE BEST and we try it all because we have no idea where it will lead. Take this post for instance…Free advertising I thought but more than that it is now a forum for the quick short exchange of ideas and a ten minute read on Fridays. Where will it lead? I HAVE NO IDEA!!!!

LOOK AROUND; speaking to a member of this group once, he proudly told me how he never reads bulk text messages. ‘I just delete them’ he said. How can we hope to dominate our environment when we are bereft of information? Read EVERY stupid bulk message you get because it takes less than 60 seconds and that information can’t kill you but who knows when it’ll be important to you. Read the papers and . Check out ONE new website a week. Be aware and use it too your advantage.

STICK OUT; when I need to get things done I always go to my phone. If I need a lawyer, architect, information…whatever. The thing is I know exactly who to call. The question here is what anyone will call you for. Do you deliver? Are you good at what you do? Can they trust you to deliver if they assign the task to you? Let every one know who you are and what you do. I have a good friend who is an architect and I already know that he will build my house someday, WHY? Cause he’s good at what he does and he STICKS OUT!!!! If you have a business or product you want us to plug on 33000 then send the information to me and consider it done.

PLUG OF THE WEEK; please check out and also look up . Also look out for the FACE OF SELARA SHOW in Abuja on Wednesday the 19th of March. Promises to be HOT!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK; Never fear shadows. They simply mean there’s a light shining somewhere nearby…Ruth Renkel

Looking for PHONE NUMBERS, WEBSITES and ADDRESSES of companies in Nigeria? Text THE COMPANY NAME to 33000.E.g. Text VIRGIN NIGERIA to 33000

Dream and Believe

Looking for PHONE NUMBERS, WEBSITES and ADDRESSES of companies in Nigeria? Text the COMPANY NAME to 33000.E.g. Text VIRGIN NIGERIA to 33000

Sometime in 1916 a former engineering student called James Wilkins proposed a bridge that would span the Golden gate strait. With opposition from workers unions, the army, railroad companies and even the city of San Francisco and a proposed budget of $100 million dollars it was deemed incredibly expensive and therefore could NOT work. Mr Joseph Strauss and Charles Ellis (working for literarily no pay) eventually designed and built the bridge for $26 million dollars. Construction started in January 1933 and finished in April 1937. It was completed under budget of $1.3 Million dollars. POINT? It took 21 YEARS and the deaths of 11 men from inception to the first feet to cross the bridge that day in May when it was officially opened (120,000 people crossed that day!) .The bridge is an internationally recognised architectural structure and has impacted on commerce and living and suddenly people don’t remember a time when the bridge wasn’t there. Al because one person thought about it…

Time; One of the biggest barriers to any dream or desire is time ( think of a little child who wants ice cream and cant wait long enough for the cone to be filled and handed to him or her!!) As adults we understand that the ice cream is second’s away but as children it’s too many seconds too long. The time between concept and delivery of our ambitions and dreams never quite pan’s out the way we planned. It’s either much sooner or much later. Inevitably it’s much later. So? Avoid putting timelines on your dreams. We must put timelines and schedules for the implementation of our dreams and activities that will propel them but we cannot put them on the dream itself. There is no greater death to a dream that running out of time

Patience; The very essence of living. People borne with a natural patience have an unfair advantage over every one else (not be mixed with a lazy attitude or inactivity). Genuine patience that combines the confidence that what we are doing is correct and like the bamboo tree may not show growth immediately but its time is coming. If you lack patience then find it. Alongside giving action to your plans patience is the vital ingredient that will give those plans time to bear fruit.

Failure; A lot of our plans will fail. I have personally done everything from shoot and sell pictures during inter house sports days (circa 1990 at kings college Lagos) to opening a ‘light’ laundry service. All of which made a little profit at the time and the people with whom I still do business. POINT? These projects failed at some point but until you understand failure then you cannot understand success… It’s okay to fail. What’s not okay is to let the failure continue. Delays and setback and impediments and a lack of finance are not failures…They are simply speed bumps. They may slow you down but they SHOULD NOT STOP you from getting to the BANK! Fail as much as you like but never stop trying to succeed.

Action; Most married people stared off saying a simple HELLO to each other. As simple as that….HELLO. Twenty years later and a lifetime of children, work, successes and failures all started with a simple word. Translated to our competitive business world… Stop planning and thinking and strategising and waiting…ACT!!! Pick up your phone and get the ball rolling. This generation will out spend the one before it and our children’s fees will far outstrip whatever Corona was charging at the time! The future will only be as bright as you make it. ACT and tell yourself that I will be the very best at this thing that I am doing. The greatest fortunes in Nigeria have not yet been made. Keep that in mind and everything else will follow.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK; How you spend your time is more important that how you spend your money. Money mistakes can be corrected but time is gone forever… David Norris

What is Necessary.

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At around 2.30 pm on March 30th 1981 John Hinckley JR fired six shots at President of the United states; Ronald Reagan. One bullet hit the president and punctured his lung. He did not know at the time that he had been shot and the wound was only discovered when one of his bodyguards checked him for injuries. 30 minutes later the president arrived at George Washington Hospital, wiped the blood from his face and WALKED in unaided. He was admitted for immediate surgery. On April 11th he was discharged and went on to win a second term in office and become one of America’s most popular presidents. POINT? Great difficulties will arise unexpectedly and often push us to the edge but we have to wipe the blood off our faces and walk tall! The problems we face in life, work and play will continue to challenge us, push us and sometimes damn near kill us. We can’t change these problems but we can certainly face up to them and put on our bravest face whilst we do so

FITNESS; Professional athletes will often tell you that true fitness is not just the ability to run long distances or stay physically active for long period of times. True fitness is also about the speed of recovery (you know the feeling after you’ve been up a long flight of stairs and you are still panting 5 minutes later!!) We know that the more we exercise then the more physically fit we become. The question is how ‘LIFE FIT’ are we? How well have we trained our minds to recover from setbacks, bad news and serious difficulties that often leave us in utter despair wondering if it’s ever worth it? Success requires LIFE FITNESS. The ‘fittest’ amongst us are those who take the knocks and NEVER EVER GIVE UP.

GOOD NEWS/BAD BEWS; Sometimes we are required to be the bearers of bad news. That’s life and you deal with it. The challenge here is that the bearer of bad news often gets blamed for it. Your partners, co workers and clients will simply blame it all on you. The trick here is to always deliver bad news with good news. Always. Find something that the other party wants to hear and just as you deliver the bad news then you deliver the good. Will bad things happen to challenge our faith in what we do for a living? Absolutely. The thing is so will good things. People remember the things most recently heard and this goes a long way in managing any crisis and making sure that every one concerned can get through it. So always save the good news for last.

CONVINCE THE ENEMY; they are called pessimists and naysayer’s. Never able to see more than what is clearly obvious and always looking to knock down any idea or energy that comes out of you (you know who I’m taking about!!!). Unable to accept anyone else creativity they simply tell you that whatever it is you are talking about won’t work. It can’t work and if it would work then someone else would have done it by now! Conventional wisdom holds that we ignore these ‘negative elements’. I say we convince them. Imagine them to be investors or customers or clients and convince them of what it is you are saying (it will be very hard I can assure you). If you can convince these people then you can convince anyone. The pursuit of our dreams often requires the investment and resources of other people. Sometime it takes more than just a power point presentation and a slide show. Sometimes you have to dig deep. Convince the pessimist and you can convince anyone!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK; Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired and success achieved ….Helen Keller

Where you need to be...

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Chief MKO Abiola, Donald Trump, Lyndon Baine Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ray Charles, Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey. What do they have in common? If you answered greatness and wealth your answer would only be half correct. More importantly and less known is that they rose from poverty and achieved greatness. Why? Because they had nothing to lose and everything to gain. The tenacity and incredible ambition of those who have known the wretchedness of need and the pain of hunger carry something in them that if we could buy would cost the earth. DESIRE. Unfortunately for most of we all live in a city called comfort. For the most part we have been borne in different parts of this town and for the most part we may die there. Comfortable. Having needed only a little more and by extension worked only a little harder.

TOMMOROW; if History is anything to go by then we are assured that tomorrow will cost more than today. Guaranteed. As we grow older and the world turns we will need more and more resources to stay afloat. In one generation we have gone from One television families to plasma TV watching, Ipod listening, cable owning, frequently travelled nation. Like it or not it costs much more to live in our world today. We must stir the pots and see every opportunity before others do. Look to those who constantly succeed and learn. Be not afraid of today for it is already here, its tomorrow that is truly scary.

A PLACE CALLED COMFORT; there is no greater comfort than comfort and once you take that away from most people they freak out and panic. We are dependent on instruction until we have to give those instructions ourselves. You will often hear the phrase ‘comfort zone’. In truth it’s not such a bad place if we don’t want much. However I live in a generation that wants to retire at age forty and sail around the world for the rest of the time….Only problem is there is no clear cut plan on how we’re going to get there. The COMFORT ZONE is the worst place to sit and ponder on what can be. Look outside of yourself and expand your talent. The world is ours to have but the price is heavy and work is hard. We are what we do. So get doing.

LIKE MINDS; writing this post has exposed me to the creativity and desire that exists in this generation. It may sound very Hollywood to say that there has never been a greater time to succeed but I say so. Why? Because this is our time. I recently received a call from a group member who said he is inspired by what we write and talk about every Friday. I was inspired that he picked up the phone to call. I seek minds that want much more than we are being offered or have been given. Speaking with Olaoton (Publisher of Whats New Magazine) yesterday we worried out loud about our dreams and our work. In the end we agreed on one thing. WE CANNOT GIVE UP. I seek out those who want it because those are the only people who can share my burdens and in the end my success. Find your true peers and share your burdens for the work is hard but we must NEVER give up.
IN TRUTH; we probably all suffer some degree of laziness and hesitance because once we have access to some of life’s goodness we worry very little about what else we can get. We already have so much given to us that we must use it always to our advantage. The comfort of our past must not become a burden to our future. Wake up and smell the coffee… or should I say the INDOMIE!
Have a great weekend

QUOTE OF THE WEEK; you win some, you lose some, and some get rained out but you have to suit up for them all……..J ASKENBERG.