Jumatatu, 21 Desemba 2015

"Just A Stick"


Many years (in fact many millennia) ago a shephard was called by his Master and given a difficult assignment: to go and confront a foreign King with a critical message - to free the slaves he had so they could go their way for that Master. Puzzled, the shephard-cum-servant wondered how he could confront the foreign king without any "special tools" and any "strategic plan" and "specific presentation skills", etc. And thus this servant had to confront the sender with a clever question: "What if they don't believe me?" He queried.

And then the powerful sender asked him "What do you have in your hand?"
And the guy was like, "Ammm.. A stick... Jus a stick. Yeah"
And the sender says, "Toss it down"
The guy did and boy! Stick turns into a snake! What? He had to run away for fear.. "What's going on here?", I believe he was so wondering when the sender told him to "Keep Calm and take the snake by its tail". Are you kidding me? But he did. Story short, Moses (yes the Moses of the Bible) went and confronted King Pharaoh with "just a stick" and his brother and the slaves were freed.. Not because of the stick though.

I have come to learn that most people would like to do something grand with their lives..but they want to be grand first before they can do it. Kind of they want "to be Picasso first before they can be Picasso". And most of them for "good" reason – they they're wondering how on earth they can get it done with "just a stick" in their hand. I was one of them. Until I learnt how detrimental to success that can be.

You might have a big dream or vision yourself and you are probably wondering how "well prepared you need to be" first. And that is a good thing. Look, Abraham Lincoln said he would spend the first four hours sharpening the axe if he was to chop down a tree in six! Smart man. Preparation is extremely important. It makes the execution smooth and even faster.

Nevertheless it is critical that you don't despise meagre beginnings in the guise of preparing yourself. It seems to be a Godly principle to bless abundantly those who accept small beginnings. Those who don't belittle starting where they are with what they have. This is not a Bible class here, but there's a verse in the Bible that reminds us mortals not to despise humble beginnings.

There are people who either out of ignorance or a wish to have that grand entrance have waited to be ready all their lives. You shouldn't. Get started where you are with what you have. Even if it's just a stick.

See I grew up thinking to be big you have to start big. Starting small was never an option for me. Whatever I wanted to do I wanted it started  big, huge if you will.

One day I met a local entrepreneur at a seminar. He was talking about all these topics: confidence, adding value, etc, etc. After the seminar I approached him and asked him what I was to do to be a motivational speaker. Guy looks me in the eye and asks "So how long have you been doing the talk?"
"Excuse me?", I asked, quickly adding: "Amm.. I haven't started out yet.." Wasn't that why I eas asking him what should I do to get started in the first place? I wondered.
You know what he told me? "It's not what you don't have but what you do have. You must start speaking. Speak to your friends, your neighbours. School children, folks at church, your neighbours, etc etc! You are not "going to be" a speaker.. You either are or you aren't! You must start speaking and then get to perfect the hussle as you go along.."

What a paradigm shift that was for me?

So I picked my stick by the tail and went home and started practicing alone. Recording myself on my mobile phone. Listening later and laughing really hard at my own "talk".. How it sounded. But I got confident and I started sending the audios to a few friends. Some would laugh. Some would give me their feedback. I didnt tell them why I was sending them the audios anyway. But as I grew more cinfident I started visiting nearby Secondary Schools and asked for a chance to speak to students. No school turned me down, to my surprise. I had nothing except bus fare and a book I would carry, any book, and a notebook, plus the message I had in my mind. That was my " just a stick". Then surprisingly some students started asking me if I could document my messages and sell those to them. I worked it out somehow. And they started buying the document, unprofessional as it looked. And that was when it occurred to me that if I had waited to be Robin Sharma or Tony Robbins first, I would have waited forever. I hadn't started the talks as a serious venture but just to try but I learnt enormous lessons. I am on my way to resuming the talks in the coming days and I believe I will have even greater contributions to make and a bonus of a little experience too.

So what about you? Do you have a dream? Are you waiting until you can get hold of the $5 million dollar loan before you embark on your Real Estate dream? Are you waiting until you have everything before you start that football team of your own? Are you waiting until you are a CPA or Ph.D before you start your own enterprise? Has God called you to ministry and you are trying to get all prepared first - whatever that means. Think again...

How did Bill Gates start?
What about Mandela?
Richard Brandon?
Lionel Messi?
How did Shania Twain start?
Do you know how Silvester Stallone started? You'd be surprised?
What about Agatha Christie or that creative mind behind Harry Potter?
Most successful people that you admire today started out with "just a stick in their hand". God blesses those who have faith! The daring ones.

Start where you are my friend. Pick your stick and start that business.
Unless of course you too like Dangote have a rich grandpa who can give you "additional seed money" of 500,000 naira or you too like Trump has a rich dad who can give you "a small loan of a million dollars"!. Otherwise just start small and grow big as you go.

If you wait to have everything you need you might wait till forever comes. What you have with you, a dream, the confidence and, the passion and your faith in God, are more than enough to fuel you to get started. Don't let the gas run out for nothing. Get started now.

[Well this is one of the things I have addressed thoroughly in my upcoming book... Stay tuned..)

Thanks for reading and God bless you.

I welcome your thoughts in the comment section below.

Alhamisi, 17 Desemba 2015

Is The Window Of Opportunity Still Open? Then Use It Fast!



Well, at least until after some time.

'How much time', you may ask. Well after exactly 8 minutes according to scientists for according to science it takes 8 minutes for the light from the sun to reach our beloved planet. So we'll still see the sun for 8 minutes. Interesting, no?

For 8 good minutes we can all be walking, swimming, farming, driving, chatting, or just "chilling" out somewhere and then whoop!!! Night time all of a sudden. Complete darkness.

Well, can you imagine that? Drivers crushing in trees and houses, people falling into pits, school children screening, airplanes losing sight of runways,  everybody panicking and all that? Just imagine. Don't worry it's not gonna happen. God is in control....

Just make believe!

How important the sun will suddenly become all important as both TVs and social media terrorists and clerics alike will unite to discuss what has befallen us mortals!

But now no one talks about such a thing. Because it seems not a possibility on our plate. And rightly so. Why would it vanish? It's been there since..well, since time immemorial! Why would it want us all fall into 'kingdom come' all of a sudden?

In many ways that's how most people look at many things. We don't really appreciate things until they're gone. Maybe you too are one of them. You don't appreciate your job, spouse, business, children, team, leaders, etc, just because you think its their duty to do what they are supposed to do or to even please you. You don't appreciate "your sun" because you think it's its duty to shine on you whether it likes or not. And you want it to shine on you the way you want it to: not too hot not too bright..but just "perfectly".

There are opportunities you have now and they seem to have always been there. Maybe an opportunity to serve others well at your job..opportunity to visit your parents...opportunity to take your spouse or children to vacation..opportunity to visit the orphanage and homeless people... opportunity to serve God by singing,  preaching, writing, etc.. opportunity to start a business...opportunity to buy assets... opportunity to start investment schemes such as buying shares etc... opportunity to go for your dreams...well they all seem to have always been there... They all seem to still be there now — just like the sun!
But are you sure the 'sun of your opportunities' will still be there tomorrow? Are you sure it will still be there next year? Are you even sure if its still out there at all???

Finding that out after "8 minutes" can be so tragic and chaotic for your life. You might not be able to handle the shock. And even if you could you certainly won't be able to replace the sun. Don't think all unsuccessful people were lazy, some just "found themselves in total darkness"

If yo have read WHO MOVED MY CHEESE? by Dr. Spencer Johnson you know what I'm talking about?
Don't be Hem who was shocked to find no cheese and hollered "who moved my cheese" cheese which wasn't HIS in the first place! And then yelled "it's not fair" as if life was meant to be fair at all. Yet that's how most people react when they go to the office one morning only to be told "You employment has been terminated" which to me is  harsher than "YOU ARE FIRED". That's how people react when the opportunity to invest in something is all of a sudden barred by law for reasons best known to the government. That's what happens when you discover your talent in the  evening hours of your life. With most people it becomes so chaotic and then they may become so agitative and dramatize everything to everyone's 'discomfort'. Look, even the opportunity to "serve" God is better taken in your youthful years, according to the Bible. "Remember your creator in the days of your youth..." proclaims Ecclesiastes 12:1! Before the sun has vanished, you bet right.

Be wise enough to look out for your sun, your opportunity, or your CHEESE. Don't be caught unawares. Most people don't recover from the shock. Ask for God's guidance and strength to take on every opportunity that you have always thought of taking.

Before the sun vanishes!

For when it does you may really not know. And when you know it may be too late.

Take your opportunities seriously!
My next article will be on "starting where you are, with what you have"

Thanks for visiting my blog.
I hope this was helpful.

Let me know your thoughts.

Andrea G. Muhozya
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
East Africa.

Jumanne, 15 Desemba 2015

Who Are Your Associates..?


Can you clearly see yourself living your dreams?

Can you see yourself getting there by the company you keep, the friends you have?

There are 4 categories of associates you may have:

Your confidants are those you can share inner things even secrets.. They love you UNCONDITIONALLY. They love you for the long haul. They are people who will come bail you out of jail. They don't care about your money, status, weight looks or future. These are usually few, maybe one or two.

Your constituents are people who are with you because what you are for is what they are for. What you want is also what they want. They see you for the complimenting effect you have on them.

Your comrades are not for you and even not for what you are for. But they are AGAINST WHAT YOU ARE AGAINST.. These are people who JUST SHARE a common enemy with you...once the enemy is eliminated everyone goes on with their life. They were never for you or what you were for. This can be so deceiving especially in politics.

Your compatriots are people who can die for you but only for a season. That is when you want to eliminate what they think should be eliminated. Once the season is over don't expect them. In the right season these can be as many as ever! When the season is gone you'll have trouble locating any.

Now.... which associates do you have?

It's dangerous to associate with a comrade thinking they are a confidant. It's worse to treat your compatriots like your confidants!
You must know where your friends fall. Look at your closest 5 friends... Which category do they fall in?

Can the friends you have take you where you want to go? Can you get there with them?

If you can't then change your friends. Associate with other people who can take you there. It's not sinful to do so. Don't associate with people simply because you say "tumetoka mbali" [we've come a long way together].

Ask yourself this: are they going WHERE you are going?? Be sure they are.
Be sure they aren't just against what you are against! You may "toka mbali" all you want but if all they want in life is to start a tour company to operate in Arusha and what you want is to become the African real estate mogul you better part ways! If their mission is to preach in the villages and yours is to preach to the nations part ways for God's sake!

Don't associate with people who are going to Namanga whereas you are headed to the Philippines!
Don't even invite them in your team or else you surely will be frustrated big time.

So look at your associates today and ask yourself OBJECTIVELY:
~ Are they seeing what you are seeing?
~ Are they making you a big dreamer and big thinker?

If you are the best and smartest person in the group get out fast (while you still can), coz you can't learn anything by being told you are the best.
Associate yourself with people who think you "ain't nobody" as the Americans would put it.

Don't throw your dreams away by pleasing people. You are not here to please anyone. Even God doesn't concern Himself with pleasing anyone. He "goes about His business" as though no one is watching. Humans or no humans, angels or no angels, heaven or no heaven He is still God. He knows He can't please all his creatures. Give them sunshine some won't like it..rain some won't like it.. Give them peace in their land some will say they want war for progress.. Let them have war some will ask where is God when people are suffering like this. Be silent some will say there's no God. Answer them by thunder and lightning and some will say what kind of God scares his own children...etc.. See God Himself cant please everyone. Don't try to outsmart Him. Don't stay in a group because you want to please people. Be yourself.

Value your dreams and vision enough to walk away from associates who aren't adding value to you. Who aren't challenging you to become more. Who aren't challenging you to work harder and sleep less.

Be sure where you are going is WHERE your current associates are also headed. Or you won't get there.

Above all ask God for guidance. Seek and ye shall find. People who are waiting to associate with you are available if you look for them. There's no point to lose your dreams because you wanted your friends to b there with you. Sometimes God doesn't want them near you for a good reason. Find new friends. Where would you be really if you associated with your best kindergarten or pre-school friends?

Look at your dreams today and look at your associates. Then determine if their feet are headed where you are. If not, its time to say good-bye, or, even adieu!

All in my upcoming book....
Watch this space..

Andrea G. Muhozya
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
East Africa