Monthly Archives: June 2016

Handling The Giant – Your Obstacles

David and Goliath, right? Or at least how David took down Goliath regardless of him being such a giant, regardless of everybody being too terrified to challenge Goliath.

There are 5 powerful life lessons from David and Goliath that you can learn from and they relate to almost ANY situation.

1. Be bigger than your fears

Twice a day for 40 days Goliath would challenge the Israelite’s demanding a 1 on 1 battle. All the Israelite’s were as terrified as a Lions prey on the verge of death. None of them would dare to challenge Goliath. But after David heard about the reward for defeating Goliath, he accepted the challenge as if it were nothing but a child’s game.

When David confronted Goliath who had armor and a javelin, all David had was a staff, sling and 5 stones. Not to mention he was like a baby in size compared to Goliath. But did that stop him? Yeah right. Not long after the battle started, he pulled his sling back with a stone attached to it then he let it rip right into Goliath’s forehead!

Killed him in the process. If that happened to be any of the other people around him, they would have ran in the other direction and backed down, because the Israelite’s were smaller than their fears, and David was bigger than his fears…

But are you?

If you’re not, you’ll end up settling for the things that are LESS than your fears….And you’ll be enslaved by your fears no matter what situation you’re in or what decision you need to make. Look at things logically, look at the facts, get out of your head and take action already!

“Thinking will not overcome fear but action will.” – W. Clement Stone

2. Size doesn’t matter

In life you’re bound to come across big challenges, small challenges, tiny challenges and enormous challenges. But the size of the challenge, problem or obstacle is Irrelevant. Why? Because that doesn’t determine what’s possible for you.

The only thing that determines what’s possible for you is YOU, your mindset and your beliefs. If size mattered to David (as it did with the Israelite’s) he wouldn’t have had the courage to take on Goliath. Especially with just a staff, 5 stones and a sling.

David knew size doesn’t matter, it’s HEART, COURAGE, and COMMITMENT that matters. You can apply the same principle and same level of thinking to your life and the challenges you’re facing. Think bigger than the challenge, be bigger than the obstacle, and act as if it’s impossible for you not to fail. Have self confidence, conviction and believe in yourself MORE than you believe the challenge is too big to handle.

 

3. Make use of what you already have

Many people complain about:

  • What they don’t have
  • Why not having what they don’t have is a problem
  • Why they need “that thing” before they can get started
  • Why not having “that thing” is holding them back

But the truth is you have to make USE of what you’ve already got to get what you want. Compared to the armor and the weapons Goliath had, David seemed insignificant. After all he only had a sling, 5 stones and a staff (Even though he turned down armor that was offered to him).

Yet he made use of it and it happen to be more than enough to get the job done. He still defeated Goliath regardless of the comparison in weight, strength, Armory, weapons, etc. David didn’t moan or whine because of the differences like the Israelite’s would have. He had a “so what?” attitude and left everyone in shock after defeating Goliath so effortlessly. With nothing but a sling and a stone.

Stop making excuses!

You want to start a business? Improvise and use what you already have. Want to start singing? Record through your phone If you’re not ready for the studio. Want to make YouTube videos? Record videos through your phone instead of complaining about needing expensive equipment. Want to be a graphic designer? Watch tutorials on YouTube instead of moaning about not having “Photoshop” yet.

 

4. Believe it’s possible

The Israelite’s didn’t believe it was possible to defeat Goliath which is why they feared him. If you were to rate their self belief on a scale of 1 – 10, their self belief would have to be less than 5.

But on the other hand, David’s belief would have been at least an 8 or more. That’s why it wasn’t an issue for him to challenge Goliath head on and even take him down. And don’t forget David turned down the offer for armory, which proves he strongly believed it was possible.

Do you believe it’s possible?

Without a strong belief that what you’re pursuing is possible, you’ll fail. You’ll quit on yourself before you even get half way. Think of it like the guy who’s too afraid to approach the girl he likes. How come he won’t approach her? His self belief isn’t strong enough, so he quits on himself without making a move.

If your fears are stronger than your self belief and faith, you’ve shot yourself in the foot without knowing it. Until you believe in yourself more than the fear or the obstacle, you’ll continue to quit on yourself.

“In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can.” – Nikos Kazantzakis

5. Don’t underestimate your capabilities

It’s always dangerous to underestimate yourself. When you underestimate yourself and your own capabilities, you end up achieving less. Judging how Goliath looks and appears compared to David, you’d think Goliath was the superior one.

But the outcome of the battle turned out to be a lot different than the Israelite’s expected. David didn’t underestimate his abilities or himself. He had self confidence and lots of it. He was smart enough to know that he was more than capable of succeeding.

Stop underestimating yourself!

It doesn’t matter If: You’re a writer, a pianist, plumber, real estate broker, personal trainer, musician, parent or college student; You’re capable of much more than you believe. You’ve just yet to see it because you haven’t given yourself the chance to.

If anything you should be overestimating, because then you’ll end up giving and doing more than is expected and you’ll end up achieving more and reaching your potential in the process.

“It is always dangerous to underestimate anybody.” – Abdallah II of Jordan

someone is achieving a great feat or showcasing there talent, some people will like to pull them down. but we should all know matter anywhere we may find ourselves, and in anything we may be achieving, we should shut our ears to antagonists and keep on moving as if nothing is happening. because whoever is trying to pull you down knows within them, that they are below you. again; it is always good to trust in the lord….nice article one again

Charles Wahome
Is a Product Management Consultant

16 reasons why some people get taken for granted

I was always the first one to answer. The first one to crush down goals but always never got my share of deals. I’ve done enough for someone. Always constantly trying to do something more or do something better just to compensate for what, you believe, you’re lacking in.

Fresh out of high school, wearing ambition on my sleeve, dreams on my lips and goals set and focused in my heart. Then an offer came through hurrah….so I thought. Year one was hell. But noooo I am Steel hardened by fire. Day in day out the individual or his “people” always had a problem with my style. Style of business, style of walking, I was dreaming “too much” I was this I was that. The 16 reasons below are what I had to eventually overcome. To what I am today after solving…..let’s put it as it is after clearing the skeletons of my closet I styled up and I shone my dreams of a different life. Did I waste a year and a half…. no I just learnt. My beloved reader I don’t want you to undergo the same.

From Lovepanky.com

Does this seriously show respect for who you are, or do you need someone else’s appreciation to reaffirm that you’re a great person?

The easiest way to judge yourself and find out if you’re someone who could be taken for granted by others is by testing your own character.

There are a few traits and characteristics of people who are vulnerable to be being taken for granted. And chances are, you have a few of these traits in yourself.

These 16 reasons why some people get taken for granted, and if you see these traits in yourself, chances are, you’re more prone to getting taken for granted than many others around you!

#1 You can’t say ‘no’. You have a very hard time declining something to people. You’d rather take on more commitments or responsibilities than utter the word ‘no’. You may think you’re being sweet, but your inability to say no will only make others take your sacrifices for granted, and hate you when you don’t help them again!

#2 You’re predictable. Everyone around you, especially your loved ones, can totally predict your behavior. And since you’re so predictable, they subtly manipulate you and get you to do what they want. You may feel manipulated and used, but you feel helpless at the same time.

#3 You’re too sweet. You’re a people pleaser, and you just can’t be rude to others. You convince yourself that you’re the sweet person in a bad world, but in reality, you may be the idealist idiot in a real world who’s too sweet and nice, and forces others to take you for granted even if they don’t realize it themselves.

#4 You postpone decisions. You’d rather make excuses or postpone issues that bother you instead of dealing with it or concluding it immediately. You may think pushing decisions away is the easy way, but in fact, it’s the spineless way of dealing with your problems.

Your family, lover or friends who understand your inability to take tough decisions may abuse that side of you and make decisions on your behalf, and manipulate you into doing something you wouldn’t want to do because they know you can’t say no anyway!

#5 You can’t confront people. If you feel like you’re being taken for granted, confront the issue. If you can’t confront the issue, you’d end up unhappy and fill your head with resentments and frustrations, which would eat you from the inside.

#6 You’re scared. You’re scared of people who are loud, outspoken, bossy, and confrontational. You just can’t handle them and they stress you out emotionally. You’d rather accept what they say than ever go against them because you don’t believe you can handle them.

You may think it’s the best way to deal with rude people, but in reality, you’re setting yourself up to be used and taken for granted by these kinds of people for the rest of your life.

#7 You lie to yourself. You lie to yourself and make excuses in your head when someone takes you for granted. You console yourself and tell yourself that the person probably took the right decision anyway and they’re not using you or taking you for granted.

You’re not happy doing what you’re doing for this person, but you console yourself with false words that you’re doing it out of free will and not out of this person’s manipulation.

#8 You don’t believe in yourself.Somewhere deep inside, you doubt yourself and don’t believe in your own capabilities. You find flaws within yourself and you see other people as virtuous and flawless. You’re broken from inside, and you feel a constant need to please others to be accepted by them.

#9 You can’t be alone. You constantly feel the need to have someone as witness to your life. Independence scares you and you find it easier to go out of your way and be nice to someone who treats you badly instead of being lonely.

#10 You seek approval. You constantly need this person’s approval to do anything at all, be it to go out with your friends or do something for the first time. When someone starts to take you for granted, without realizing it, you’d allow them to emotionally control you and use you as they please. And before long, you lose your sense of judgment and you forget that it’s possible to independently make decisions for yourself.

#11 You don’t know your own desires.Every time you want to do something, even as simple as getting a new haircut or deciding on a restaurant, the voice in your head wonders if the object of your affection would like your decision. You always try to please this person, in everything you do, in the hope that they’d see just how loving and accommodating you are, hoping that they may realize just how much you’re doing for them someday.

#12. You crave for appreciation. You don’t like going against people you want to impress or win over. You accommodate anything they say, and you bend over backwards to please them in the hope of winning their affection. Hearing a small line of praise from them would mean the world to you.

#13 Low expectations. You intentionally keep your expectations low around people, especially the ones you love, because you know what constant disappoints feel like. But at the same time, you give far too much, in the hope that the one you love will see just how giving you are, and change and become a person just like you.

But on the contrary, this person may just assume they’re perfect for you already because you’re not pointing out any flaws in them, nor are you pointing out any of your wants or expectations from them.

#14 You respect them. You respect this person and you can’t ever think of going against them or offending them in any manner. This person is the center of your world and you know you’d do anything to keep them happy.

#15 They know you respect them. The people who take you for granted are usually the ones who know that they matter a lot to you. They see the love you have for them, and constantly expect more from you without even realizing it.

And when you keep giving more, their expectations too grow all the time, until it reaches the critical stage where you feel completely taken for granted, and this person starts to believe that you’re changing for the worse and being mean to them because you aren’t doing the things you once used to do for them

16 You give more than you get back. You just don’t know when to stop giving. And you always end up giving way too much before you even realize it. And by then, it’s probably too late because the person you’re giving to, may already be taking you for granted. And even if you back away, they’d only be upset and say you’re the one who’s changed for worse.

If you see any of these traits in yourself, there’s a good chance that you’re extremely susceptible to being taken for granted by those close to you.

You may not realize it at first, but it’s these very traits and reasons that force you to lose your own self respect, and depend on someone else for your happiness and achievements.

And before you know it, the person you love *and who loves you back* may unwittingly take you for granted, even if that was never their intention in the first place!

Once you understand these reasons why you’re being taken for granted, take a stand, and communicate with your loved one. After all, your life won’t get any better until you decide to stop giving other people the opportunity to take you for granted!

Charles Chambers Wahome
Product Management Consultant
at Zinjaka & Cee Consultancy Limited
The pioneers of modern day business solutions.

bbchambers254@gmail.com

Business Lessons from “Unlikely” Sources: Joseph.

Whether you’ve read it in the Scriptures or you watched productions of the Andrew Lloyd Weber classic Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, many know the story of Joseph. The spiritual and moral significance of the account is clear, but what can we learn from Joseph’s experience that will help those running a business?

Joseph’s Story

Joseph rules in Egypt

The account is in the Bible book of Genesis, chapters 37, and 39-45. Here are the main features of the account: Joseph’s brothers, jealous over the fact their father Jacob favored Joseph and angry at the dreams Joseph related showing them in a subservient position to him, sold him into slavery. The slavers eventually sold him in Egypt to an influential man named Potiphar, the chief of Pharaoh’s bodyguards. Due to his industriousness and skill (all of which he attributed to his God, Jehovah), Potiphar advanced Joseph to the most important position in his household, that of a superintendent. However, Potiphar’s wife found Joseph attractive and repeatedly made advances, all of which Joseph rejected. One day, when Joseph was the only other male in the house, Potiphar’s wife insisted Joseph have relations with him. When he refused and ran off¸ she grabbed Joseph’s coat and used this to concoct the story that he tried to seduce her. When Potiphar heard this, he became enraged and had Joseph thrown into prison.

While in prison, Joseph continued faithful to his God. He adhered to the standards and principles he learned during youth. Although initially treated badly, his exemplary conduct won over the chief prison officer. Eventually the officer appointed Joseph to a position of trust, giving him authority over the other prisoners and allowing him to manage the daily affairs of the prison. He likely had a measure of authority even over some of the guards. It was in prison he received the ability to interpret dreams, relating the positive meaning of the dream of Pharaoh’s former cupbearer, and the disastrous meaning for the former chief baker in Pharaoh’s court. Eventually he interpreted a dream of Pharaoh and, because of his God-given insight coupled with his intelligence, diligence, and industriousness, Pharaoh appointed him second in the kingdom. This allowed him to help save the lives of his entire family, including his 10 half brothers who sold him into slavery decades earlier. You can read the account in your copy of the Bible and this entry in the online version of Insight on the Scriptures for more details.

What Do We Learn?

No doubt this review was faith strengthening. Yet we’re here to learn about things that can help us in business. So what lessons can we pull from Joseph’s experiences? Here are a few:

Don’t let your circumstances define you.
Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, yet he never saw himself as being lowly or unworthy. Instead, he worked hard in whatever situation he found himself, and excelled. Whether in the service of Potiphar or while in prison, Joseph distinguished himself as trustworthy, industrious, and capable. Similarly, sometimes we find ourselves in less than desirable circumstances. We may suffer financial reversals, find ourselves cheated out of rightful income, or have a natural disaster wipe us out. Yet those things happen to us; they aren’t us. Keeping that in perspective is often the difference between giving up and digging in to fight on.
Whatever the circumstance, do your best. 
Joseph didn’t ask for slavery. He didn’t wish being removed from his family and the life he knew. He certainly didn’t want the false accusation of attempted rape leveled against him, nor desired his subsequent unceremonious delivery to the prison. He still made the most of each situation. Since he couldn’t immediately change his circumstances, he controlled the one thing he had complete control over. He did his best, day in and day out. Likewise, we should always give our best. We’re not always in the situation we want. It may feel as though life has a grudge against us. Yet, no matter our circumstances, no matter how many things happen which are beyond our control, we can always control what we do and the quality of our efforts. Like Joseph, doing so allows us to grow personally, and eventually those efforts reap rewards both short and long-term.

Always operate with integrity, letting principles and experience guide you.

When approached by Potiphar’s wife, Joseph refused. He knew it was wrong, and considered it a sin against God. No doubt, Potiphar’s wife was beautiful. Being married to a man with authority in Pharaoh’s court, she could buy quality garments and use the best makeup available. Interesting, at this time there was no Mosaic Law, hence no prohibition against adultery. So why did Joseph resist, considering the act a sin? No doubt, he remembered that God gave Eve to Adam and said the two became “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). It’s also possible he remembered discussions held in his household concerning God’s dealings with his people and how patriarchs like Abraham and Isaac received divine protection against others violating their wives (Genesis 20:1-18; 26:7-11). Thus he built on his knowledge to make a wise choice. Even though he didn’t enjoy the short-term results of his actions, he gained long-term benefits. We also need to operate with integrity. In today’s changing landscape, we’re often confronted with choices that may bring short-term gain. Yet we know that they provide no long-term benefits because they require we violate core beliefs and values. Like Joseph, we must reject such a course. Additionally, advances in science and technology may present never-before-seen choices and opportunities. By using our past experiences and staying true to our values, we can make effective choices even in these areas.

It’s not all about you.
Joseph accomplished much in the service of Potiphar and while in prison. Yet he never took all the glory for himself. He recognized the hand of his Creator in all things. He was well liked, and likely was also liberal in giving praise to others. We also do well to recognize that our gifts and abilities are the result of others. You certainly recognize the hand of teachers, mentors, and the collaborative efforts of others in the development of your abilities. The things we learned which form the basis of our knowledge and experience are a result of others imparting their knowledge. Additionally, if you work along with others to accomplish tasks, then you definitely depend on their efforts. So give others due credit. You’ll endear yourself to others, and it helps keep you grounded.

The end result to Joseph proved a blessing to him, his family, and an entire nation. Although I can’t guarantee you’ll have the same experience, I certainly feel the lessons learned from Joseph’s example serve as a guide for all who want to conduct business with integrity, industriousness, and ingenuity. If we put into practice the four points above, we’ll be more successful in business and in life.

Posted by;
Charles Wahome
Product Management Consultant
@
Zinjaka & Cee Consultancy Limited.

Business Lessons from “Unlikely” Sources: Joseph

Whether you’ve read it in the Scriptures or you watched productions of the Andrew Lloyd Weber classic Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, many know the story of Joseph. The spiritual and moral significance of the account is clear, but what can we learn from Joseph’s experience that will help those running a business?

Joseph’s Story

Joseph rules in Egypt

The account is in the Bible book of Genesis, chapters 37, and 39-45. Here are the main features of the account: Joseph’s brothers, jealous over the fact their father Jacob favored Joseph and angry at the dreams Joseph related showing them in a subservient position to him, sold him into slavery. The slavers eventually sold him in Egypt to an influential man named Potiphar, the chief of Pharaoh’s bodyguards. Due to his industriousness and skill (all of which he attributed to his God, Jehovah), Potiphar advanced Joseph to the most important position in his household, that of a superintendent. However, Potiphar’s wife found Joseph attractive and repeatedly made advances, all of which Joseph rejected. One day, when Joseph was the only other male in the house, Potiphar’s wife insisted Joseph have relations with him. When he refused and ran off¸ she grabbed Joseph’s coat and used this to concoct the story that he tried to seduce her. When Potiphar heard this, he became enraged and had Joseph thrown into prison.

While in prison, Joseph continued faithful to his God. He adhered to the standards and principles he learned during youth. Although initially treated badly, his exemplary conduct won over the chief prison officer. Eventually the officer appointed Joseph to a position of trust, giving him authority over the other prisoners and allowing him to manage the daily affairs of the prison. He likely had a measure of authority even over some of the guards. It was in prison he received the ability to interpret dreams, relating the positive meaning of the dream of Pharaoh’s former cupbearer, and the disastrous meaning for the former chief baker in Pharaoh’s court. Eventually he interpreted a dream of Pharaoh and, because of his God-given insight coupled with his intelligence, diligence, and industriousness, Pharaoh appointed him second in the kingdom. This allowed him to help save the lives of his entire family, including his 10 half brothers who sold him into slavery decades earlier. You can read the account in your copy of the Bible and this entry in the online version of Insight on the Scriptures for more details.

What Do We Learn?

No doubt this review was faith strengthening. Yet we’re here to learn about things that can help us in business. So what lessons can we pull from Joseph’s experiences? Here are a few:

Don’t let your circumstances define you.
Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, yet he never saw himself as being lowly or unworthy. Instead, he worked hard in whatever situation he found himself, and excelled. Whether in the service of Potiphar or while in prison, Joseph distinguished himself as trustworthy, industrious, and capable. Similarly, sometimes we find ourselves in less than desirable circumstances. We may suffer financial reversals, find ourselves cheated out of rightful income, or have a natural disaster wipe us out. Yet those things happen to us; they aren’t us. Keeping that in perspective is often the difference between giving up and digging in to fight on.
Whatever the circumstance, do your best. 
Joseph didn’t ask for slavery. He didn’t wish being removed from his family and the life he knew. He certainly didn’t want the false accusation of attempted rape leveled against him, nor desired his subsequent unceremonious delivery to the prison. He still made the most of each situation. Since he couldn’t immediately change his circumstances, he controlled the one thing he had complete control over. He did his best, day in and day out. Likewise, we should always give our best. We’re not always in the situation we want. It may feel as though life has a grudge against us. Yet, no matter our circumstances, no matter how many things happen which are beyond our control, we can always control what we do and the quality of our efforts. Like Joseph, doing so allows us to grow personally, and eventually those efforts reap rewards both short and long-term.

Always operate with integrity, letting principles and experience guide you.

When approached by Potiphar’s wife, Joseph refused. He knew it was wrong, and considered it a sin against God. No doubt, Potiphar’s wife was beautiful. Being married to a man with authority in Pharaoh’s court, she could buy quality garments and use the best makeup available. Interesting, at this time there was no Mosaic Law, hence no prohibition against adultery. So why did Joseph resist, considering the act a sin? No doubt, he remembered that God gave Eve to Adam and said the two became “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). It’s also possible he remembered discussions held in his household concerning God’s dealings with his people and how patriarchs like Abraham and Isaac received divine protection against others violating their wives (Genesis 20:1-18; 26:7-11). Thus he built on his knowledge to make a wise choice. Even though he didn’t enjoy the short-term results of his actions, he gained long-term benefits. We also need to operate with integrity. In today’s changing landscape, we’re often confronted with choices that may bring short-term gain. Yet we know that they provide no long-term benefits because they require we violate core beliefs and values. Like Joseph, we must reject such a course. Additionally, advances in science and technology may present never-before-seen choices and opportunities. By using our past experiences and staying true to our values, we can make effective choices even in these areas.

It’s not all about you.
Joseph accomplished much in the service of Potiphar and while in prison. Yet he never took all the glory for himself. He recognized the hand of his Creator in all things. He was well liked, and likely was also liberal in giving praise to others. We also do well to recognize that our gifts and abilities are the result of others. You certainly recognize the hand of teachers, mentors, and the collaborative efforts of others in the development of your abilities. The things we learned which form the basis of our knowledge and experience are a result of others imparting their knowledge. Additionally, if you work along with others to accomplish tasks, then you definitely depend on their efforts. So give others due credit. You’ll endear yourself to others, and it helps keep you grounded.

The end result to Joseph proved a blessing to him, his family, and an entire nation. Although I can’t guarantee you’ll have the same experience, I certainly feel the lessons learned from Joseph’s example serve as a guide for all who want to conduct business with integrity, industriousness, and ingenuity. If we put into practice the four points above, we’ll be more successful in business and in life.

8 Life Pro Tips

As at prsuit a success development site. I loved their life hack. So I decided to reshare; Pick and adjust.

Everyone has their various bright life pro tips  or life hacks that help them get things done faster and presumably more effectively.

Those are great and certainly practical for the average person but I wanted to craft a list for a certain group of driven individuals. Those people who are creating, dreaming and doing.

So, here are 8 quick life pro tips that I have used in my own life as I create, build and grow.

1. Like to listen to music while you work but find it distracting? Listen to video game soundtracks instead. They were produced to function as background music and not disrupt focus.

2. Place a light behind your computer monitor when working at night. It is called bias lightingand will reduce eyestrain at night.

3. If you need professional looking photos of a small item, use the white backdrop of your bathtub (seriously).

4. To best proofread your own work, change the font to something you would not normally use. This allows you to be more critical.

bonus: paste it into Google Translate and click on the speaker icon to have it read to you in order to notice mistakes.

5. Use the Pomodoro Techniquefor improved productivity – 25 minutes on, 5 minutes. After 4 cycles take a longer break.

6. Don’t have time to read entire books? Save time by reading book summaries.

7. Need to quickly cool down hot coffee? Simply pour it from one cup to an other a few times (assuming you have another cup handy). This keeps you from waiting or having to dilute your beverage if you are in a hurry.

8. Working from home? Get dressed up as if you were heading to the office. Your mind will switch to work mode (and stay there).

Regards
Charles Wahome
Product & Brand Management Consultant at Zinjaka & Cee Consultancy Limited

Get yourself some sharks in life.

SOME LESSONS OF LIFE
Japanese have always loved fresh fish. But the water close to Japan has not held many fish for decades. So to feed the Japanese population, fishing boats got bigger and went farther than ever.
The further the fishermen went, the longer it took to bring in the fish
If the return trip took more time, the fish
were not fresh. To solve this problem, fish companies installed freezers on their boats. They would catch the fish and freeze them at sea. Freezers allowed the boats to go farther and stay longer. However, the Japanese could taste the difference between fresh and frozen fish and they did not like the taste of  frozen fish. The frozen fish brought a lower price.

So, fishing companies installed fish tanks. They would catch the fish and stuff them in the tanks, fin to fin. After a little thrashing around, they were tired, dull, and lost their fresh-fish taste. The fishing industry faced an impending crisis! Though today, they get fresh-tasting fish to Japan.
So, how did they manage…?

image

To keep the fish tasting fresh, the Japanese fishing companies still put the fish in the tanks but this time with a small shark🐋 The fish are challenged and are therefore  constantly on the move.
The challenge they face keeps them alive and fresh!

Most of us also live in ponds but much of the time are tired and dull….
In our lives we need sharks 🐋. Sharks  are new challenges that keep us active. Keeping you fresh, happy, and fulfilled if you are steadily conquering
challenges because they will keep you energized.
Challenges are Driving Forces for Innovations and the foundation blocks upon which Successes, Achievements and Progresses evolve
Above all a life without challenges is a dull, boring, complacent and uninspiring one. In challenges are opportunities to keep refreshed and re-invigorated.

    Pray, not to have a challenge-free life, but for God to equip you with abilities to overcome.
   Don’t create Success and revel in it in a state of inertia.
   Always view challenges positively. God has equipped us with the resources, skills and abilities to make a difference.

♤. So place a shark 🐋🐋{challenge} in your tank now and see how far you can really go..♧

image

♤ Posted by Charles Wahome
♤ A Product Management Consultant

♤reach on: bbchambers254@gmail.com

Doing Business in Islamic Countries

As our brothers and sisters are celebrating holy month of Ramadan I happened to notice very few people get ahead in negotiations with Muslim business people. Once you understand them and their culture, you have quite loyal business associates.

The business scene in the Islamic world may be as complex as its 1.3 billion people, but one rule is nevertheless quite straightforward for Westerners who want to do deals.

Business people, who work in the Persian Gulf and other Islamic regions such as Asia and North Africa, need to appreciate the extent to which religion and Islamic law are intertwined and permeate all levels of society, including commerce, to greater and lesser degrees depending on the country. “This law is seen as deriving from direct, divine command,” said Vogel. “This is important to grasp.”

Executives who understand the basic tenets of the Islamic religion as it relates to commerce will have an easier time abroad, they said. According to Hayes, the following principles of comportment are expected among businesspeople:

Contracts should be fair to all parties. Partnership is preferred over hierarchical claims.Speculation is prohibited. “They don’t like gambling.” “For instance, if you invested in an Islamic mutual fund, among those industries which would be barred from representation as funds would be the gambling industry. But gambling also relates to futures; it relates to currency hedging; so it’s a major situation that you have to be aware of.”Interest is prohibited. “This is the probably the thing that is most often identified with Islamic finance. Back in the time of the prophet Mohammed, some of the most rapacious individuals were the moneylenders; and so as a response to the things that these moneylenders did which were so reprehensible, part of the religious belief is that you do not charge interest or accept interest. Now, of course, that isn’t always practiced, but it is the theory.”Compassion is required when a business is in trouble. “In any country that has Islamic influences in its legal structure, if somebody is in bankruptcy or if somebody is experiencing financial reversals, you can’t put pressure on them, because that is not an appropriate thing to do when somebody is down. You don’t kick them when they’re down.”

On a practical basis, names are very important for doing deals in Islamic countries, as in most of the world. Who you know is key. Similarly, relationships and family connections are vital in business. “Relationships that have gone on over time inspire confidence, and of course that’s no different than in other countries.

Personal staff can be very influential and should not be underestimated, he continued. The man who meets you at the airport or who chats you up in a company’s waiting room may turn out to be a relative or confidant of the person you’re there to do business with.

While it’s good for Westerners to be able to speak Arabic socially in the Gulf region, many people would be insulted if you try to speak Arabic about something as important as a deal: “That would be like suggesting that they don’t speak English well enough.” Those at the business level have usually gone to college in the U.S, Britain, or Australia. Speaking English is a status symbol.

Doing Business During Ramadan
The Muslim holy month is upon us, and that means business practice in the Middle East in particular needs some cultural sensitivity. Stephanie Williams, our governance manager in the UAE and Qatar, gives some tips on how to do business during Ramadan.

It’s not that business comes to a standstill for a whole month – far from it. But doing business in an Islamic country during the holy month of Ramadan can be a challenge.

By government stipulation, working hours are reduced – and, of course, you won’t be able to conduct business lunches.

The reduced working hours also relate to Government and Authority offices, including banks, which tend to work half days, normally 9am-1pm, during Ramadan. When coupled with reduced hours elsewhere, it does mean that business transactions slow down. Many signatories or business heads tend to travel during this time as it is easier to conduct business outside of their home country.

But there are other, more cultural considerations that need to take place. For example, Shoulders and legs should also be covered, as more conservative dress is considered respectful and polite.

Muslims spend a large part of their days during Ramadan in prayer, and some offices in Saudi Arabia have been known to shut for half an hour five times a day to allow prayer. The religion also calls for fasting during daylight hours, and days can be long when pre-dawn and post-fast feasts come into play, so workers may be tired and less productive than normal. In fact, Samer Sunnuqrot, an economist in the Jordanian capital of Amman, claims that the productivity of workers declines by 35-50% during the holy month as a result of both shorter working hours and the change in behaviour.

Business lunches are often replaced by meetings during Suhoor, the meal after Iftar, or the breaking of the fast, normally at 8pm or 10pm. If you find yourself invited to an Iftar itself, this is a sign of trust and friendship, so accepting is advised. Building strong relationships is one of the keys to successful business in the region.

While business practice does need to change during the holy month, it should not deter you from doing business with them.

Providing you remain respectful and culturally sensitive, you will find plenty of opportunities to build relationships with your Muslim counterparts during Ramadan.

Posted by Charles Wahome
A Product Management Consultant
Zinjaka Consultancy Ltd

Aim at Wealth not Money

This is slightly detailed unlike my other blogs though you should take your time because it has been one mis-understood topic lines for quite some time.

Money Is Not WealthIf you want to create wealth, it will help to understand what it is. Wealth is not the same thing as money. Wealth is as old as human history. Far older, in fact; ants have wealth. Money is a comparatively recent invention.Wealth is the fundamental thing. Wealth is stuff we want: food, clothes, houses, cars, gadgets, travel to interesting places, and so on. You can have wealth without having money. If you had a magic machine that could on command make you a car or cook you dinner or do your laundry, or do anything else you wanted, you wouldn’t need money. Whereas if you were in the middle of Antarctica, where there is nothing to buy, it wouldn’t matter how much money you had.Wealth is what you want, not money. But if wealth is the important thing, why does everyone talk about making money? It is a kind of shorthand: money is a way of moving wealth, and in practice they are usually interchangeable. But they are not the same thing, and unless you plan to get rich by counterfeiting, talking about making money can make it harder to understand how to make money.Money is a side effect of specialization. In a specialized society, most of the things you need, you can’t make for yourself. If you want a potato or a pencil or a place to live, you have to get it from someone else.How do you get the person who grows the potatoes to give you some? By giving him something he wants in return. But you can’t get very far by trading things directly with the people who need them. If you make violins, and none of the local farmers wants one, how will you eat?The solution societies find, as they get more specialized, is to make the trade into a two-step process. Instead of trading violins directly for potatoes, you trade violins for, say, silver, which you can then trade again for anything else you need. The intermediate stuff– the medium of exchange– can be anything that’s rare and portable. Historically metals have been the most common, but recently we’ve been using a medium of exchange, called the dollar, that doesn’t physically exist. It works as a medium of exchange, however, because its rarity is guaranteed by the U.S. Government.The advantage of a medium of exchange is that it makes trade work. The disadvantage is that it tends to obscure what trade really means. People think that what a business does is make money. But money is just the intermediate stage– just a shorthand– for whatever people want. What most businesses really do is make wealth. They do something people want. The Pie FallacyA surprising number of people retain from childhood the idea that there is a fixed amount of wealth in the world. There is, in any normal family, a fixed amount of money at any moment. But that’s not the same thing.When wealth is talked about in this context, it is often described as a pie. “You can’t make the pie larger,” say politicians. When you’re talking about the amount of money in one family’s bank account, or the amount available to a government from one year’s tax revenue, this is true. If one person gets more, someone else has to get less.I can remember believing, as a child, that if a few rich people had all the money, it left less for everyone else. Many people seem to continue to believe something like this well into adulthood. This fallacy is usually there in the background when you hear someone talking about how x percent of the population have y percent of the wealth. If you plan to start a startup, then whether you realize it or not, you’re planning to disprove the Pie Fallacy.What leads people astray here is the abstraction of money. Money is not wealth. It’s just something we use to move wealth around. So although there may be, in certain specific moments (like your family, this month) a fixed amount of money available to trade with other people for things you want, there is not a fixed amount of wealth in the world. You can make more wealth. Wealth has been getting created and destroyed (but on balance, created) for all of human history.Suppose you own a beat-up old car. Instead of sitting on your butt next summer, you could spend the time restoring your car to pristine condition. In doing so you create wealth. The world is– and you specifically are– one pristine old car the richer. And not just in some metaphorical way. If you sell your car, you’ll get more for it.In restoring your old car you have made yourself richer. You haven’t made anyone else poorer. So there is obviously not a fixed pie. And in fact, when you look at it this way, you wonder why anyone would think there was. [ HYPERLINK “http://paulgraham.com/wealth.html” \l “f5n” 5]Kids know, without knowing they know, that they can create wealth. If you need to give someone a present and don’t have any money, you make one. But kids are so bad at making things that they consider home-made presents to be a distinct, inferior, sort of thing to store-bought ones– a mere expression of the proverbial thought that counts. And indeed, the lumpy ashtrays we made for our parents did not have much of a resale market.CraftsmenThe people most likely to grasp that wealth can be created are the ones who are good at making things, the craftsmen. Their hand-made objects become store-bought ones. But with the rise of industrialization there are fewer and fewer craftsmen. One of the biggest remaining groups is computer programmers.A programmer can sit down in front of a computer and create wealth. A good piece of software is, in itself, a valuable thing. There is no manufacturing to confuse the issue. Those characters you type are a complete, finished product. If someone sat down and wrote a web browser that didn’t suck (a fine idea, by the way), the world would be that much richer.Everyone in a company works together to create wealth, in the sense of making more things people want. Many of the employees (e.g. the people in the mailroom or the personnel department) work at one remove from the actual making of stuff. Not the programmers. They literally think the product, one line at a time. And so it’s clearer to programmers that wealth is something that’s made, rather than being distributed, like slices of a pie, by some imaginary Daddy.It’s also obvious to programmers that there are huge variations in the rate at which wealth is created. At Viaweb we had one programmer who was a sort of monster of productivity. I remember watching what he did one long day and estimating that he had added several hundred thousand dollars to the market value of the company. A great programmer, on a roll, could create a million dollars worth of wealth in a couple weeks. A mediocre programmer over the same period will generate zero or even negative wealth (e.g. by introducing bugs).This is why so many of the best programmers are libertarians. In our world, you sink or swim, and there are no excuses. When those far removed from the creation of wealth– undergraduates, reporters, politicians– hear that the richest 5% of the people have half the total wealth, they tend to think injustice! An experienced programmer would be more likely to think is that all? The top 5% of programmers probably write 99% of the good software.Wealth can be created without being sold. Scientists, till recently at least, effectively donated the wealth they created. We are all richer for knowing about penicillin, because we’re less likely to die from infections. Wealth is whatever people want, and not dying is certainly something we want. Hackers often donate their work by writing open source software that anyone can use for free. I am much the richer for the operating system FreeBSD, which I’m running on the computer I’m using now, and so is Yahoo, which runs it on all their servers.Working HarderThat averaging gets to be a problem. I think the single biggest problem afflicting large companies is the difficulty of assigning a value to each person’s work. For the most part they punt. In a big company you get paid a fairly predictable salary for working fairly hard. You’re expected not to be obviously incompetent or lazy, but you’re not expected to devote your whole life to your work.Measurement and LeverageTo get rich you need to get yourself in a situation with two things, measurement and leverage. You need to be in a position where your performance can be measured, or there is no way to get paid more by doing more. And you have to have leverage, in the sense that the decisions you make have a big effect.Measurement alone is not enough. An example of a job with measurement but not leverage is doing piecework in a sweatshop. Your performance is measured and you get paid accordingly, but you have no scope for decisions. The only decision you get to make is how fast you work, and that can probably only increase your earnings by a factor of two or three.An example of a job with both measurement and leverage would be lead actor in a movie. Your performance can be measured in the gross of the movie. And you have leverage in the sense that your performance can make or break it.CEOs also have both measurement and leverage. They’re measured, in that the performance of the company is their performance. And they have leverage in that their decisions set the whole company moving in one direction or another.I think everyone who gets rich by their own efforts will be found to be in a situation with measurement and leverage. Everyone I can think of does: CEOs, movie stars, hedge fund managers, professional athletes. A good hint to the presence of leverage is the possibility of failure. Upside must be balanced by downside, so if there is big potential for gain there must also be a terrifying possibility of loss. CEOs, stars, fund managers, and athletes all live with the sword hanging over their heads; the moment they start to suck, they’re out. If you’re in a job that feels safe, you are not going to get rich, because if there is no danger there is almost certainly no leverage.But you don’t have to become a CEO or a movie star to be in a situation with measurement and leverage. All you need to do is be part of a small group working on a hard problem.Technology = LeverageStartups offer anyone a way to be in a situation with measurement and leverage. They allow measurement because they’re small, and they offer leverage because they make money by inventing new technology.What is technology? It’s technique. It’s the way we all do things. And when you discover a new way to do things, its value is multiplied by all the people who use it. It is the proverbial fishing rod, rather than the fish. That’s the difference between a startup and a restaurant or a barber shop. You fry eggs or cut hair one customer at a time. Whereas if you solve a technical problem that a lot of people care about, you help everyone who uses your solution. That’s leverage.If you look at history, it seems that most people who got rich by creating wealth did it by developing new technology. You just can’t fry eggs or cut hair fast enough. What made the Florentines rich in 1200 was the discovery of new techniques for making the high-tech product of the time, fine woven cloth. What made the Dutch rich in 1600 was the discovery of shipbuilding and navigation techniques that enabled them to dominate the seas of the Far East.Fortunately there is a natural fit between smallness and solving hard problems. The leading edge of technology moves fast. Technology that’s valuable today could be worthless in a couple years. Small companies are more at home in this world, because they don’t have layers of bureaucracy to slow them down. Also, technical advances tend to come from unorthodox approaches, and small companies are less constrained by convention.Big companies can develop technology. They just can’t do it quickly. Their size makes them slow and prevents them from rewarding employees for the extraordinary effort required. So in practice big companies only get to develop technology in fields where large capital requirements prevent startups from competing with them, like microprocessors, power plants, or passenger aircraft. And even in those fields they depend heavily on startups for components and ideas.It’s obvious that biotech or software startups exist to solve hard technical problems, but I think it will also be found to be true in businesses that don’t seem to be about technology. McDonald’s, for example, grew big by designing a system, the McDonald’s franchise, that could then be reproduced at will all over the face of the earth. A McDonald’s franchise is controlled by rules so precise that it is practically a piece of software. Write once, run everywhere. Ditto for Wal-Mart. Sam Walton got rich not by being a retailer, but by designing a new kind of store.Use difficulty as a guide not just in selecting the overall aim of your company, but also at decision points along the way. Here, as so often, the best defense is a good offense. If you can develop technology that’s simply too hard for competitors to duplicate, you don’t need to rely on other defenses. Start by picking a hard problem, and then at every decision point, take the harder choice. [ HYPERLINK “http://paulgraham.com/wealth.html” \l “f9n” 9]A startup is like a mosquito. A bear can absorb a hit and a crab is armored against one, but a mosquito is designed for one thing: to score. No energy is wasted on defense. The defense of mosquitos, as a species, is that there are a lot of them, but this is little consolation to the individual mosquito.Startups, like mosquitos, tend to be an all-or-nothing proposition. And you don’t generally know which of the two you’re going to get till the last minute. Viaweb came close to tanking several times. Our trajectory was like a sine wave. Fortunately we got bought at the top of the cycle, but it was damned close. While we were visiting Yahoo in California to talk about selling the company to them, we had to borrow a conference room to reassure an investor who was about to back out of a new round of funding that we needed to stay alive.The all-or-nothing aspect of startups was not something we wanted. Viaweb’s hackers were all extremely risk-averse. If there had been some way just to work super hard and get paid for it, without having a lottery mixed in, we would have been delighted. We would have much preferred a 100% chance of $1 million to a 20% chance of $10 million, even though theoretically the second is worth twice as much. Unfortunately, there is not currently any space in the business world where you can get the first deal.The closest you can get is by selling your startup in the early stages, giving up upside (and risk) for a smaller but guaranteed payoff. We had a chance to do this, and stupidly, as we then thought, let it slip by. After that we became comically eager to sell. For the next year or so, if anyone expressed the slightest curiosity about Viaweb we would try to sell them the company. But there were no takers, so we had to keep going.It would have been a bargain to buy us at an early stage, but companies doing acquisitions are not looking for bargains. A company big enough to acquire startups will be big enough to be fairly conservative, and within the company the people in charge of acquisitions will be among the more conservative, because they are likely to be business school types who joined the company late. They would rather overpay for a safe choice. So it is easier to sell an established startup, even at a large premium, than an early-stage one.Get UsersI think it’s a good idea to get bought, if you can. Running a business is different from growing one. It is just as well to let a big company take over once you reach cruising altitude. It’s also financially wiser, because selling allows you to diversify. What would you think of a financial advisor who put all his client’s assets into one volatile stock?How do you get bought? Mostly by doing the same things you’d do if you didn’t intend to sell the company. Being profitable, for example. But getting bought is also an art in its own right, and one that we spent a lot of time trying to master.Potential buyers will always delay if they can. The hard part about getting bought is getting them to act. For most people, the most powerful motivator is not the hope of gain, but the fear of loss. For potential acquirers, the most powerful motivator is the prospect that one of their competitors will buy you. This, as we found, causes CEOs to take red-eyes. The second biggest is the worry that, if they don’t buy you now, you’ll continue to grow rapidly and will cost more to acquire later, or even become a competitor.In both cases, what it all comes down to is users. You’d think that a company about to buy you would do a lot of research and decide for themselves how valuable your technology was. Not at all. What they go by is the number of users you have.In effect, acquirers assume the customers know who has the best technology. And this is not as stupid as it sounds. Users are the only real proof that you’ve created wealth. Wealth is what people want, and if people aren’t using your software, maybe it’s not just because you’re bad at marketing. Maybe it’s because you haven’t made what they want.Venture capitalists have a list of danger signs to watch out for. Near the top is the company run by techno-weenies who are obsessed with solving interesting technical problems, instead of making users happy. In a startup, you’re not just trying to solve problems. You’re trying to solve problems that users care about.So I think you should make users the test, just as acquirers do. Treat a startup as an optimization problem in which performance is measured by number of users. As anyone who has tried to optimize software knows, the key is measurement. When you try to guess where your program is slow, and what would make it faster, you almost always guess wrong.Number of users may not be the perfect test, but it will be very close. It’s what acquirers care about. It’s what revenues depend on. It’s what makes competitors unhappy. It’s what impresses reporters, and potential new users. Certainly it’s a better test than your a priori notions of what problems are important to solve, no matter how technically adept you are.Among other things, treating a startup as an optimization problem will help you avoid another pitfall that VCs worry about, and rightly– taking a long time to develop a product. Now we can recognize this as something hackers already know to avoid: premature optimization. Get a version 1.0 out there as soon as you can. Until you have some users to measure, you’re optimizing based on guesses.The ball you need to keep your eye on here is the underlying principle that wealth is what people want. If you plan to get rich by creating wealth, you have to know what people want. So few businesses really pay attention to making customers happy. How often do you walk into a store, or call a company on the phone, with a feeling of dread in the back of your mind? When you hear “your call is important to us, please stay on the line,” do you think, oh good, now everything will be all right?A restaurant can afford to serve the occasional burnt dinner. But in technology, you cook one thing and that’s what everyone eats. So any difference between what people want and what you deliver is multiplied. You please or annoy customers wholesale. The closer you can get to what they want, the more wealth you generate.Wealth and PowerMaking wealth is not the only way to get rich. For most of human history it has not even been the most common. Until a few centuries ago, the main sources of wealth were mines, slaves and serfs, land, and cattle, and the only ways to acquire these rapidly were by inheritance, marriage, conquest, or confiscation. Naturally wealth had a bad reputation.Two things changed. The first was the rule of law. For most of the world’s history, if you did somehow accumulate a fortune, the ruler or his henchmen would find a way to steal it. But in medieval Europe something new happened. A new class of merchants and manufacturers began to collect in towns. [ HYPERLINK “http://paulgraham.com/wealth.html” \l “f10n” 10] Together they were able to withstand the local feudal lord. So for the first time in our history, the bullies stopped stealing the nerds’ lunch money. This was naturally a great incentive, and possibly indeed the main cause of the second big change, industrialization.A great deal has been written about the causes of the Industrial Revolution. But surely a necessary, if not sufficient, condition was that people who made fortunes be able to enjoy them in peace. [ HYPERLINK “http://paulgraham.com/wealth.html” \l “f11n” 11] One piece of evidence is what happened to countries that tried to return to the old model, like the Soviet Union, and to a lesser extent Britain under the labor governments of the 1960s and early 1970s. Take away the incentive of wealth, and technical innovation grinds to a halt.Remember what a startup is, economically: a way of saying, I want to work faster. Instead of accumulating money slowly by being paid a regular wage for fifty years, I want to get it over with as soon as possible. So governments that forbid you to accumulate wealth are in effect decreeing that you work slowly. They’re willing to let you earn $3 million over fifty years, but they’re not willing to let you work so hard that you can do it in two. They are like the corporate boss that you can’t go to and say, I want to work ten times as hard, so please pay me ten times a much. Except this is not a boss you can escape by starting your own company.The problem with working slowly is not just that technical innovation happens slowly. It’s that it tends not to happen at all. It’s only when you’re deliberately looking for hard problems, as a way to use speed to the greatest advantage, that you take on this kind of project. Developing new technology is a pain in the ass. It is, as Edison said, one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. Without the incentive of wealth, no one wants to do it. Engineers will work on sexy projects like fighter planes and moon rockets for ordinary salaries, but more mundane technologies like light bulbs or semiconductors have to be developed by entrepreneurs.Startups are not just something that happened in Silicon Valley in the last couple decades. Since it became possible to get rich by creating wealth, everyone who has done it has used essentially the same recipe: measurement and leverage, where measurement comes from working with a small group, and leverage from developing new techniques. The recipe was the same in Florence in 1200 as it is in Santa Clara today.Understanding this may help to answer an important question: why Europe grew so powerful. Was it something about the geography of Europe? Was it that Europeans are somehow racially superior? Was it their religion? The answer (or at least the proximate cause) may be that the Europeans rode on the crest of a powerful new idea: allowing those who made a lot of money to keep it.Once you’re allowed to do that, people who want to get rich can do it by generating wealth instead of stealing it. The resulting technological growth translates not only into wealth but into military power. The theory that led to the stealth plane was developed by a Soviet mathematician. But because the Soviet Union didn’t have a computer industry, it remained for them a theory; they didn’t have hardware capable of executing the calculations fast enough to design an actual airplane.In that respect the Cold War teaches the same lesson as World War II and, for that matter, most wars in recent history. Don’t let a ruling class of warriors and politicians squash the entrepreneurs. The same recipe that makes individuals rich makes countries powerful. Let the nerds keep their lunch money, and you rule the world.

Charles Wahome
Is a Product Management Consultant
bbchambers254@gmail.com