Last week, I got chatting with a friend on Whatsapp.
Here’s a message he sent me:
“Do you know the impact of your touch on that report? They said the report is short but it’s the best. For that reason, they assigned me to Victoria Island were the elite consumers are.”
His company sent them (including other employees) to research on a brand of product in different parts of Lagos. He was assigned to cover Munshi, a lower class part of Lagos.
He visited one Sunday evening and asked for my help to write a report on his research findings.
I must confess, his first draft was horrible.
Less than 60 minutes later my friend was astonished at my final output. “Ikenna, I thought you studied Petroleum Engineering in school. How you come learn to write like this? [sic]”
I felt a mix of self-importance and embarrassment.
ONE: Though I make a living from writing, I hardly consider myself that good a writer. Writing is just what I love doing.
TWO: I hurried through the report because I was already late to a program. So the final result was anything but my best effort.
Yet the outcome of that report was a field promotion for my friend.
I began to see how good we are at looking down on what we already have. Some years back, I missed out on a potential business opportunity because I sold myself short. It was my first content writing job, and this was with a large company in Nigeria. My lack of courage to ask for a worthy price cost me the job.
On the other hand, those days of job searching, I lost a particular job because I over-quoted expected salary rate.
What an irony.
Seriously, you need to stop undervaluing what comes easily to you
In our search for a better life, we go about chasing new and far reaching things, when they is a more fulfilling path; identify what we are already good at and work hard to become better at it.
A perfect example is my relative who wasted six years seeking admission into the university. This guy was a naturally talented architect in the making. While he was still in junior secondary school, he was designing and modeling buildings.
In fact, he got his first design job with a church while still seeking admission into the university. A job he never got paid for.
Seeking admission into the university, he felt since he was already gifted with designing and modeling buildings, it’s best for him to study a different course in the university. He chose courses like Petroleum Engineering, Medicine & Surgery, Mechanical engineering etc in JAMB. But no show…
After he had spent five years in admission seeking, he finally decided to try his natural inclination - Architecture. He got admission that year.
As I write this, he runs a very successful design and construction company, with several employees in his payroll.
Do you undervalue what you already possess?
Why would you want to settle for less when you can rock the world with your God-given potential?
Build one thing… one thing only, until it has wings to fly.
In the name of diversifying in business to keep financial flow, we end up diluting our effort towards developing our area of advantage.
In the past, I’ve fallen into the trap of trying many things at a time. Then I learned one important entrepreneurial lesson – first build one thing and one thing only until it has wings to fly. And if you must start with one thing, let it be something you have passion for.
Stop trying to achieve many things at a time. It doesn’t make you more intelligent or hardworking. Rather it kills your productivity.
If you are finding it difficult to decide what to focus your effort on, think about what comes easily to you that most other people have difficulty with.
Think hard. There is something unique about you. What you choose to do with your life should allow you to express your uniqueness.