How To Overcome Difficulties Nigerian Professionals Face

 

Let’s face it, working 9-5, running a business, following your creative passion, hustling, even just breathing, almost everything you’re doing in Nigeria is more difficult here than it is anywhere else in the world. It is easy to fall into that trap of, “Oh! My village people are after me”, and literally give up, then start waiting on a phantom helper to send dollars from above, but that’s not happening anytime soon. I believe in God, however the honest truth is prayer and fasting cannot replace putting in work to achieve tangible results.

Pro tip: Stop working hard, start working smart!

Focus on doing one thing at a time and assess your results. Ensure you stay on track, so your work doesn’t slack because of things that may be going on around you. Everyone you see is trying to figure out this maze called life and hacking it out day by day, so don’t let the people stunting on social media get you down, a lot of young people are struggling to get ahead. There are a thousand and one tips I can share to help with dealing with the realities of working and balancing life, here are a few major ones.

 

Maintain a Positive Mindset

People are continuously faced with challenges, difficulties and setbacks, they are inevitable and part of life, how you handle these challenges determine your ability to succeed. You grow as a person by learning to manage stress and maintaining a positive attitude when faced with challenges. Successful people do everything possible to stay problem-free, when challenges arise, they respond with a positive attitude, learn their lesson and keep moving forward towards their vision.

You have to resolve in advance to not let your situation get you down, respond to difficulties in a positive and constructive way. Neutralise all negative thoughts, speak to yourself in a positive way, whatever is expressed is impressed, what you say to others will be impressed on your subconscious, so actively make positivity a part of your personality. Focus on your vision and goals and never forget it is impossible to grow without difficulty, challenges are preparation for the next level, so level up!

 

Build a Network of Positive Minded People

Surrounding yourself with positive minded people will help you focus more on achieving your dreams even when your situation seems tough. Keeping the company of negative minded people would corrupt your mind and without realising it, you lose your focus and drive. Build a network of people that share similar goals and visions, it is easy to focus on yourself and keep working, however you would arrive at your goal faster if you are surrounded by people that are motivating you.

Resolving issues on your own may be overwhelming, admitting that you need help is not a sign of weakness, but an indication of strength, maturity and wisdom. Start building your trusted network with the people around you, your friends, family, co-workers and connect with people outside your network that are on a similar track as you are.

Talking about things going on with you is important for several reasons. If you have issues bothering you, it would be relieving to have an outside source to give some advice or at least be a good listener.

 

Avoid Burnout

Any career path you choose – paid employment or entrepreneurship – would exert a lot of your energy, if you are truly committed to your work. Hence, you need to pace yourself to avoid breaking down, because you cannot afford to. We all know that we need to exercise more, eat better, and sleep better. The key is how to do this with the time demands on our schedule.

Safeguard yourself from a burnout by scheduling regular social activities, working out, find a hobby you can commit to, volunteer for charity causes you believe in. Having a good sense of humour helps with gloomy situations, I think this is a collective trait with Nigerians, we find the joke in every situation and honestly it helps with dealing with the difficulties we face.

 

Stay Resilient

As a young professional, you often meet people that do not take you seriously. This may be because you are at the start of your career or your business, hence they think you have it all wrong. Do not let the opinion of others deter you, challenges are not a personal affront, see it as a stepping stone to your promotion.

 

The biggest tip I have for overcoming difficulties is having self-belief. If you don’t believe in yourself, who will? There is nothing you can’t achieve if you put your mind to it.

Stay hungry, stay focused, stay resilient. The world would be worse off if people like Angela Merkel, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs had given up on their dreams. Be persistent. Keep trying and with time, you’d experience that breakthrough you’ve always wanted. We are all learning. No one gets it right every time.  A more compassionate attitude toward ourselves only helps us to stay in the game.

How To Create Effective Marketing Strategies For New Businesses

Happy New Year!!!

Welcome to 2018!!!

I’m not one to be excited about New Years, because I believe every new day is a blessing and you should not wait till a new year to start living your best life, but for some reason I am super excited about 2018!!! Anyway, back to blogging business.

I’ve been getting emails and messages from readers, which are all centred around marketing their products, so I decided to share a few basic marketing strategies, that would help grow your business by asking these five simple questions.

 

What is the current situation of your business?

This is called a situation analysis, it basically defines your company, your products and service offering, it also highlights your unique selling point, which gives you an edge over your competitors. As an entrepreneur, you need to go beyond knowing your product and have a firm understanding of who your competitors are, what they are offering and be able to prove that your product is of more value to the customer. Identify the strengths of your business by observing the way your products are better than others, or what makes your service superior. On the other hand, take note of your company’s weaknesses, what could hinder your business growth? Lack of skilled employees?

You need to analyse your product’s features and identify what makes your products distinct from your competitors. Also, identify what would motivate your potential buyer to pay for your product. What is your unique selling point? High quality standard? Ease of purchase? Affordable pricing? You can’t offer everything, discovering what your customers want would help you determine what to offer.

 

Who is your target market?

Creating a simple, one-page profile of your potential customer would help you identify your target market. You can distinguish customers by grouping them according to their demographics – gender, age, location, disposable income, their jobs, lifestyle and so on. You need to know if your customers are traditional or modern? Introverts or extroverts? Homebodies or adventure seekers? Leaders or followers? Why do they buy your products? How frequently do they use your service? Ensure you narrow down who your target audience is, as this would be your guide in determining what marketing tools or publicity campaigns would be best suited for your product.

 

What are your marketing goals?

What do you intend to achieve with your marketing strategy? For instance, are you hoping to double your sales revenue this year? Clearly define what your aim is, write down your goals, make them measurable within a timeframe, so you’ll know when you have accomplished them.

 

How do you market to your target market?

This is the heart and soul of your marketing strategy. An effective marketing plan targets customers at all phases of your sale cycle. Marketing tools such as advertising, direct marketing and online marketing, are good for targeting cold propects. Warm prospects – people who your marketing has reached previously, will respond better to email subscriptions, customer reward programs, and so on. Your best prospects are people who have seen your marketing campaign and are ready to make a sale. Usually, interpersonal contact – either face to face, by phone or email, combined with marketing lead to more sales.

Outline your marketing strategies, then include a variety of tools you’ll use to reach potential customers at any point in your sales cycle. For instance, you might combine Instagram adverts, fliers and Google adverts to reach cold prospects but use email marketing to reach warm prospects.

Identify the ideal marketing mix for your business by finding out what media your target audience use to find out information for your type of product or service. Focus on targeted marketing as opposed to broad marketing tools such as billboards, this might attract your target market, but marketing for small business should be more targeted.

 

What is your budget?

Having a marketing budget is essential so you don’t go overboard, it is ideal to dedicate a percentage of your sales to your marketing budget. If you are starting a new business and funds are not so abundant, there are different marketing tactics available to reach your audience, that would fit even the smallest budget. That does not imply, you should aim to spend nothing on marketing, your budget should increase as your business grows. Always remember, marketing is vital to the success of your business, the trick is to never stop marketing.

There you have it, the tricks of the trade. I tried to keep it as simple as I could without any of those marketing buzzwords, however, if you need help with your marketing strategy, you can email me at: tolani@tolanithomas.com.

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