Author: Mo’ Ekujumi, Director at SkillHat
What is the most important thing in the world you could possibly discover? Iâ€™ll share with you in this article.
A few days ago, I turned 29, and I have never been happier. Iâ€™d define true happiness as a measure of similarity between your life expectations and your life reality. Iâ€™m living the life I pictured I would live when I was a kid. Iâ€™m growing every day, in all dimensions – spiritually, mentally, financially, physically. Iâ€™ve been able to find some success in the things I have a passion for, and thatâ€™s a great feeling.
â€œSuccess is not what you have done, compared to other people. Success is what you have done, in comparison to what you were created to doâ€. â€” Dr. Myles Monroe.
Iâ€™ve found my lifeâ€™s work and Iâ€™m excited to do it. 9 to 5 I work at Marsh Canada as AVP & IT Project Manager, building Insurance software. Weekends and evenings, I run a successful training company, with my Business Partner, where we teach immersive courses that help people get into Tech related careers. Weâ€™ve trained thousands of people who have now gone on to be tremendously successful, landing 6-figure paying tech / consulting jobs, across the globe.
I havenâ€™t figured everything out yet, and Iâ€™m not exactly where Iâ€™d like to be, but Iâ€™ve gained a good amount of life experience and learnt some important success principles. I can empathize with young professionals like myself on their individual journeys to find happiness. Iâ€™d like to highlight a number of things I learnt along my journey. These principles will guide you to happiness as you find and do your lifeâ€™s work. Iâ€™ll try to provide only game-changing, non-obvious, and non-intuitive advice.
Finding Success with Your Work (Career & Business)
Whether youâ€™re running a business or leading a Career, Iâ€™ve written out these pointers, to cater to both types of professionals.
1. Find your Passion.
Finding your Passion is the first step towards living a meaningful life. To succeed exceedingly well in something, you must have a deep passion for it. This is because you will require countless hours of work and study to master the art or skill. Hereâ€™s a tip to find your passion from Pastor Wale Akinsinku (PWA); Ask yourself â€” what unlocks my self-discipline? What are some valuable things I find myself able to do for many hours, of many days without anyone needing to push me? This is probably where your passion lies.
2. Create a Business system.
Passion is never enough, and passion without consistent action is a waste. Iâ€™ve seen many people self-employ themselves, from their passion. This is a good start, but eventually, you need to create a Business system out of your Passion. To achieve true financial freedom, you must create a system that generates income for you, in a way where you donâ€™t need to increase your work hours, to increase your income. For example, if you were employed at a job, where you got paid $25 per hour, in a 40 workweek you would make $1000. The only way to make more than $1000 at this job, in a given week, is to work more hours.
Contrast this with a business, like a training class. If you taught an 8-hour master class where you charged each student $200, with 5 students, you would make $1000 a day. If there was a spike in demand and the student size increased to 15, you would make $3000 a day. The difference between this and a job is that you spending the same 8 hours in the class, but your income is 3X more.
The trick here, however, is not just to be self-employed, but to truly build a system around your Business that increases your income without having to increase your work effort, as the Business owner.
Take for example a self-employed, independent Plumber. S/he may take on many jobs a day, but if they were to get sick, or go on vacation, and could not work, they would not make any money from plumbing. To create a Business system, in this case, would be to train a sales team who can sell clients plumbing services, and a delivery team who can work on jobs.
Donâ€™t be self-employed. Create a Business system. Being self-employed might actually be tougher than working in paid employment. Being self-employed creates more risk, for a limited up-side.
I am so convinced about this, I could write a whole book. Others have. I recommend the book â€” The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco to learn more about the value of creating a Business system that runs itself, the best systems, and how to build them. Remember, however â€” running a business is easy. Growing a business is hard.
3. Build a Personal Brand.
Identify one thing you want to be known for, become the best at it, and then showcase your expertise to the world. If you do this, whenever people in your network have opportunities in line with your personal brand, they will think of you first. A typical example, is how many people around me now address me as the â€œProject Management, Tech start-up guyâ€. As a result, I get invited to speaking engagements relating to my brand expertise. At these speaking engagements, I meet more potential customers interested in taking our training programs. Itâ€™s a self-reinforcing loop. This did not happen by accident, it was a deliberate effort on my part that I committed to.
4. Build and nurture Relationships.
Surround yourself with the right people. If youâ€™re always the smartest person in the room, youâ€™re in the wrong room. Most of the strategic opportunities I have enjoyed in my career and business were brought to me by people in my network. Learn to network genuinely, and often. In addition, you must learn to manage transitions carefully.
There are multiple transitions in life. Examples of some likely transitions include â€” moving from one job to another, moving out of your familyâ€™s home, starting a new Business partnership, ending a relationship.
You will have many moments of transition in life. How you manage the relationships with the people you are transitioning away from, and the people you are transitioning to, is extremely important. I canâ€™t stress this enough. Itâ€™s a small world. There is a popular saying â€” â€œ Be nice to everyone on your way up. Youâ€™ll meet the same people on your way downâ€.
I know it may seem really exciting to finally leave your job and your annoying boss, with a big rant and a loud noise, storming out and slamming the door behind you. That might feel good for 10 minutes, maybe even 10 hours, but the long term consequences of actions like that are not good.
5. Learn to lead and influence others.
In Leadership, which do you think is more important? A â€” Understanding your team, or B â€” Your team understanding you?
Only a few years ago, I thought B was more important. I tried to get people to understand my needs as best as I could. I tried to showcase myself as the smartest, most audible person in the room. That didnâ€™t get me too far. It actually made me a target. Some people just hated my guts.
After banging my head on the wall a few times, I ultimately learnt to move more strategically. I learnt to observe people, observe their interests, their motivation, their style. I learnt how to listen twice, and speak once. Doing this enabled me present my suggestions to people in the language they understood, and in a way that piqued my interest. It allowed me anticipate their reservations before hand, and prepare for them in time. This really helped me achieve my goals quicker.
At the beginning of this article, I asked â€” what is the most important thing in the world you could discover? The most important thing to discover, is Yourself.
Thanks for reading this far. To read Part 2, click here
If this was beneficial, please comment & share. Thanks for reading.
Originally Posted on Medium