8 DIFFERENT WAYS TO GET GREAT IDEAS

We asked eight innovative Stanford GSB alumni entrepreneurs including Kiva’s Jessica Jackley (MBA ’07) and Design Within Reach’s Rob Forbes (MBA ’85) to shed light on how they come up with their best ideas. From collaborating with others, to observing consumer behavior, to taking naps, read tips for boosting your creativity:

1. “Interrupt the logical mind and allow space to daydream”
“What inspires me is beauty and the human desire and capacity to create it. I listen to Glen Gould’s piano pieces or other acoustic music in the morning. My best ideas come randomly. I take naps and steam baths. You need to interrupt the logical mind and allow space to daydream.

Einstein said the theory of relativity came to him when he was riding a bike. The best ideas will not come from slamming three espressos and grinding it out, but rather at weird moments: in the middle of the night, when you are traveling on a train, when you are receptive to oblique inspiration and the suspension of disbelief. Zen teachers refer to this as ‘the beginner’s mind, where possibilities are many.’ We are all too finely tuned. Our mind uses us more than we use our mind.”

— Rob Forbes (MBA ’85), Founder of Design Within Reach and PUBLIC Bikes
Read the full interview

2. Listen and reflect
“Every real insight I’ve had has come from being a good listener. I need to have time for quiet reflection to digest it and consider how it affects me, to figure out my voice and how I can contribute to that story.”

— Jessica Jackley (MBA ’07), Cofounder of Kiva
Read the full interview

3. Expand the “adjacent possible”
“I have worked in so many different industries and niches: big companies, small companies, government, for-profit, not-for-profit, etc. For me, it is about expanding the adjacent possible. Steven Johnson, author of Where Good Ideas Come From, explains that the world is full of many possibilities, but only certain things can happen. Only by opening doors to new opportunities — a new adjacent possible — can you create what I call a palace of possibilities. I have more doors open — a larger palace of possibilities — than most people, so I can see connections others may not see. My best ideas come from this collage of experiences.”

— Denise Brosseau (MBA ’93), CEO of Thought Leadership Lab
Read the full interview

4. Don’t seek out great ideas
“Great ideas find you. I don’t think you find great ideas. As a venture capitalist, you don’t come up with ideas. The entrepreneurs come up with the ideas. It is a lot harder to be an entrepreneur than to be a venture capitalist. And the great ideas that lead to great businesses generally find the entrepreneur, not the other way around. The ones where the entrepreneur is looking for the idea tend to result in flips. Look at Microsoft. EBay. Dropbox. Airbnb. None of those guys was looking to start a business. The ideas just hit them. The great ones just know.”

— Lecturer Andy Rachleff (MBA ‘84), Cofounder of Wealthfront Inc
Read the full interview

5. Collaborate with others
“I come up with my best ideas by engaging and talking with other people. Great ideas are not solitary things. Feedback from other people is the best catalyst.”

— Trae Vassallo (MBA ’00), General Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Read the full interview

6. Spend time away from your industry
“I get my best ideas when I get off the grid and detach myself from my industry. Spending time thinking about fashion, toys, or architecture frees me up to think imaginatively. It’s hard to be innovative when you are stuck in your own industry. You see artificial boundaries around what you can and can’t do.”

— Laura Ching (MBA ’00), Cofounder of Tiny Prints
Read the full interview

7. Observe consumer behavior and culture
“I enjoy observing consumer behavior and culture. I like to envision what could be, and I ask myself: Why isn’t this better? How could it be better? I start to play out that scenario in my head. The best ideas come out of pain points I experience in my daily life and based on what I learned of gaps in financial services at Progreso. I am already working on my next company.”

— James Gutierrez (MBA ’05), Founder of Progreso Financiero
Read the full interview

8. Free up your mind
“For some reason more ideas come to me when I am near water — even taking a bath. I just did a weeklong meditation retreat. Freeing up the mind is a good way to get to inspiration. We fill our lives with so little space. Inspiration looks for crevices to parachute into. The fewer crevices you create in your life, the less likely you are to have inspiration come through you. You need to allow yourself to be a vessel so that something can come through you.”

—Chip Conley (MBA ’84), Founder of Joie de Vivre Hotels

HOW TO MAKE QUICK PROGRESS IN LIFE

I have a greenhouse where we grow vegetables. In the greenhouse there is a controlled environment – temperature, soils, air, light, water and chemical supply. Plants in the greenhouse grow very fast. This is the greenhouse effect. This is the effect abiding in Christ has on your life. Your life progresses in a controlled and protected environment when you are in Jesus.

The capacity to progress and grow is build into all of us. When we don’t grow frustration sets in. Life is dynamic and organic – when it becomes static death starts. Your career, business, relationships, income, ideas, networks and net-worth should be growing. You will agree with me that if there is no growth in one of these areas it could be weighing you down.

KEY THREE: Your POSITION determines your CONDITION

Jesus is an accelerator and enabler …He enables you to do much!

John 15:5
I am the vine, ye are the branches:He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth MUCH fruit:for without me ye can DO nothing.

Meditate on these nuggets as you go through the day and you will experience productivity and an endless supply of strength and resources. All stagnation in your income, business, relationships, job will cease when you know where you live – in Christ!

KEYS TO FRUITFULNESS & PROFIT (PART TWO)

You have ideas and you just can’t get started? The business is struggling? The marriage is out of steam? The career has plateaued? The finances are barely enough? I have got news for you. Jesus is your source. When you don’t have anything, with Jesus you have everything. Don’t build your dreams based on money…if it doesn’t come your dream will die. But when you build on Jesus – your dream will always live because Jesus is alive!

KEY TWO: Your SOURE determines your RESOURCE

The key to resources lies in connecting to Jesus who is the source of it all.

John 15:7
“If ye ABIDE in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ASK what ye WILL, and it SHALL be DONE unto you”

What you need is not money, it’s the house, car, business, education – in the place of abiding all your needs are met. Don’t wait a day longer to start that project or business. What you need is not a Fallopian tube, it’s the baby – Jesus will supply. Go house hunting, car shopping and company registration. Get the nursery ready and do baby name search. He is the source of your resource. Surrender to his provision and you will know the truth of the scripture “The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want

KEYS TO FRUITFULNESS & PROFIT

A few weeks ago I struggled to log into my online account. I was so frustrated I could not access the resources I wanted until I got new log in details. Life can be pretty much like that if we are not “logged in”. Let me suggest to you what I call “the abiding principle” which means what you are connected to determines what you collect. A plug connected to mains power brings electricity. A tap connected to a water tank brings water. As a marketplace prophet, I want to share you insights that will profit you:

KEY ONE: Your ROOTS determine your FRUITS

Connected to Jesus you bear much fruit.

John 15:4
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

Reflect on the areas where you have not experienced fruitfulness. As you come to the knowledge that you are connected to Christ you will experience fruitfulness and productivity. Areas of barrenness, lack of profit and progress will disappear.

BURY YOUR FEARS & GROW YOUR GIFT

Matthew 25:24-26
“The servant given one thousand said, ‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was AFRAID I might DISAPPOINT you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money….The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least?”

A lot of people look at their jobs as a means to pay bills. That is very limiting and enslaving. Your work or job is an expression of your gift. God has designed it that way. The more you can express that gift, the more success and impact you can make…the rewards will naturally follow. A number of principles to ponder:

1. Principle One – be motivated by faith and not led by fear. Fear buries your gift, faith grows it

2. Principle Two – if you work to be seen by people or to please people you completely miss the point of your existence and the real purpose of work

3. Principle Three – your work is an expression of your uniqueness, make it worthwhile. No one was created for spare parts. You count and matter

4. Principle Four – your gift is a seed – size does not matter – multiplication does!

Bury your fears and grow your gift!

PRAYER: WEAPON OF MASS RESTORATION

Job 42:10

Then, when Job PRAYED for his FRIENDS, the Lord RESTORED his wealth and happiness! In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before!

FACT : isn’t it interesting that it is only when Job interceded for his friends, he was restored.

LESSON:Intercession is a seed. When you come through for others God will come through for you. Job was so stressed, depressed, suppressed and repressed, but when he prayed for his friends he was BLESSED. Job was deformed, but after his intercession he was transformed. Where he was discomfited,he was comforted.

Intercession activates the recesses of restorative and transformative blessings.

ACTION : Pray for others today. Sow prayers. Stand in the gap. Make petitions for others.

ACTIVATING YOUR PERSONAL BRAND

Years ago when I started my career I was full of the drive of youth. I wanted to conquer the work world yet I didn’t know what weapons to use. I desired to scale the corporate ladder quickly, yet there was no ladder in sight. I wanted to run a multi – million dollar organisation yet I only had one year experience after college. I was a diamond in the rough and unfinished article. There was a strategic innocence and tactical naivety in how I approached issues. You do not just get promoted because you have a degree. Getting a job is one thing, climbing the ladder (if you can see one) is another? I bought and started businesses too. Deal making and running business is not a guessing game – there must be strategic intentionality and tactical nous in your approach.  You need to stand out to be noticed. Nobody deals with a ‘no body’. It was until one day I decided to consult the great within – I went inside myself and discovered there was more in me. I have learnt my lessons and want to say ‘there is more in you too!’

I write this article for the one who has worked for too long with no promotion, yet I speak to the one starting their career to say ‘there is more in you’. I write to business people to say the greatest capital you have is not in the bank, it’s in you, yet I write to job seekers to say ‘you don’t bring anything to the table you are the table!’  So you are worth more. I don’t want to excite you, I want to provoke you. I am not writing theory, but I write with the ink of my spirit, so I can stir your great within. To go higher you need to dig deeper and mine the great within. External growth is an extension of internal growth. This is the essence of your personal brand – that which is uniquely you. In this series I want to activate your personal brand and divine purpose, awaken your leadership and position you to flourish in the marketplace.

Turn On The Power

Your current temporary position is not your permanent condition. Your situation is not your destination. Your personal brand has nothing to with where you are, it’s to do with who you are. A Mercedes Benz SLS AMG Roadster in a Mini Cooper dealership in no less than a Mercedes Benz in the showroom or assembly line in Germany. It may even look as small as a Mini Cooper, but there is something wired into that car. You just need to turn on the Merc ignition to prove it. The ignition sets ablaze something hidden under the bonnet and wired into the engine – sheer power. What is my point? When you turn on the power hidden in the great within, you connect with that which defines you – that which is in your DNA or wiring. There is conversation which happens between the ignition key and the car engine – the engine does not have to think what to do – it just has to turn on! When you have a conversation with your great within – you awaken that which was in a slumber, you provoke that which was in recess and fan the embers of that which must light the world. How do I actually do that? Good question, but the answer is in Part Two next week.

LEAVE YOUR VILLAGE PART THREE

In the last two articles I took you through the journey through ‘passover’, a ‘makeover’ and ‘crossed over’ stages. Today you are ready to takeover. In the last article I wrote “When you crossover you need a specific toolset and unique set of skills to deal with uncertainty and the unfamiliar” This is the import of this article which focuses on ‘Takeover’
Takeover has to do with the behaviour set , skill set, tool set and mental set that makes you flourish in the new territory. Not every child of Israel who went into Canaan possessed their own piece of land. Not everybody who is given necessarily receives. The hand that gives must be met with the hand that receives. The end game in believing is possession. Takeover is about becoming a possessor. It’s the turning of your dream into reality.

Takeover Stage – ‘Go In’

For the children of Israel the 40 year journey in the desert was not a stroll in the park but it was in search of their promised land. It would be have been tragic for Israelites if after leaving Egypt, crossing over the Red Sea and their makeover into a ‘mean war machine’ they had still remained as slaves with nothing to their name. They had to takeover! Let me quickly share the Takeover set of behaviours, skill set and mental attitude:
Skill Set and Tool Set – Takeover is a game of finesse and panache. In the wilderness the children of Israel were used to manna. It was all hunky-dory. However in Canaan – ‘the manna ceased’ – they had to learn a new skill set: animal and crop husbandry. Once you leave your village you need a new set of skills to survive in town. Develop a new skill set. Each year I have to improve myself because the environment is dynamic. In the last two years I became a Certified Prosci Change Expert and a Certified Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner. I am building a strong ‘war chest’ of skills and competency ‘tool set’ to dominate or takeover every sector I operate in. Empires of the future are empires of the mind – are you building your skill set?

If you want to improve in your career, business or ministry you need to be learning ALL the time. Each stage of your progress requires a new skill set to unlock and to sustain it. The difference between your current and the next level in your job, business or ministry is in a new skill. Apple, the US maker of iPad, iPhone, Mac and iPod is continuing to define and redefine the post Personal Computing (PC) era by using its unique corporate competencies to develop revolutionary products such as the recently launched ‘resolutionary’ 4G iPad 3.

Behaviour Set – Takeover is a game of strategy. There is‘deliberateness’ about taking over. Like a mother pregnant with child, when you are pregnant with purpose you are selective of what and how you do things. You are strategic. Joshua led the children of Israel in the takeover of Canaan. He was a smart leader. Joshua sent some men on a spying mission in order for him to draft the right takeover strategy. He gathered enough “takeover target intelligence” or information. He then organised the children of Israel into regimented bands before executing a well timed and coordinated takeover strategy of Canaan. The key lesson is that you need to be calculative and wise in gathering key information of what you want to takeover and then you implement a clinical and swift takeover strategy. I wrote an article in 2011 on Takeover Mentality (see http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=495780833197) where I shared at length on how to deal with “strongholds, kings, giants and beasts” when you want to takeover.

Mental Set – Takeover is a game of faith. Believe you can and you will! Faith is the confident assurance that what you hope for is going to happen. Faith demonstrates to the eye of the mind the reality of those things that cannot be discerned by the eye of the body. Faith marks the boundaries of how much you can receive or possess. There was an old man called Caleb who was 85 years when they entered into Canaan. He didn’t ask for a small piece of land – he asked for a whole mountain at that age! This is the attitude that you must have – dream big. Think of taking over whole nations, industries, professions, towns. Launch into the deep. You don’t have to launch your net into the shallow where you see everything happening. Just launch into the deep waters of faith…the big fish are found in the deep waters.

Hold your nerve – stay focused until you takeover.

LEAVE YOUR VILLAGE PART ONE

As a coach and mentor one of the things I have learnt is that personal transformation is a journey and not an event. However along this journey there are defining moments or events. A lot of people fail to make the transition from one level of success to the next because they fail to read these key stages. The world abounds with stories of people who did not get great opportunities but made great of the opportunities life presented them. An opportunity of a lifetime exists in the life of that opportunity. The secret is in understanding times and seasons.

There is a simple story in the Bible in Mark 8: 22-26. Jesus encountered a blind man. He took this man ‘by hand’ out of his village. The first time after being laid hands upon this man could see ‘man like trees’. The second time around his sight was completely restored. Jesus then told him not to go back to village. I want to share the 4 vital stages of personal transformation for your success. These stages are Passover, Makeover, Crossover and Takeover in that order.

Passover Stage – ‘Go Out’

Jesus took the matter of this blind man literally into his own hands, by leading him out of the village ‘by hand’. In order to progress in life you need to leave your village. Village represents familiarity, limitations, little exposure and limited vision. Village is not necessarily a place but is also a state of mind. Village is a place of surrender and condemnation. In Africa the old, retired, sick, rascals and hopeless folk are send to the village. The children of Israel once stayed in a village called Egypt for over 400 years until a time to ‘passover’ came.

In order for your career, marriage, ministry, business or project to flourish you need to leave your village. A village or cradle mentality makes you a slave to the familiar, daily grind and routines. In order to experience growth you need to break out of the familiar and go out of your village. For some your job, industry or country has now become your village while others the village is in the mind – you want to stick to the knitting and you think there are sharks out there. This year dare the undared, try the untried, venture into the unknown, blaze the trail, go out, break out – passover!

Makeover Stage – ‘Go Under’

Your mind-set determines your life-set. To upgrade your life you need to upgrade your mind. You may come out of the village, but it’s also important for the village to also come out of you. Your mind needs to go under some transformation. Jesus did a bit of ‘surgery’ on the man’s eyes laying hands and spitting on them. Some scales which were blinding the man had to come off so he could see clearly. Once you come out of the village you need to do a mental and physical makeover. When the children of Israel left Egypt they were used to saying “Boss, yes Master, I am a humble servant, I am a slave”. In the wilderness God wanted to get Egypt out of them and change their slavery mindset. You cannot continue to wear village clothes in town; neither can you walk like you used to do in the fields. Change your style!

There are simple makeover tips such as changing your talk – your talk determines who listens to you. Dress the way you wanted to be addressed. Change how you walk, because it determines where you walk and who looks at you. Urban decorum and etiquette demands a certain finesse and deportment different from a village context. For example while it’s okay to brag about having killed a rabbit in the village, in an urban context this may be frowned upon. In conclusion I want to challenge you to do a self assessment of some of the ‘village’ or cradle mentality elements which have been limiting your progress. You may have passed over from unemployment to a job, but for you to now go to the next level you need to do a makeover. Is it self-evident that you are now ready to assume significant responsibilities and have outgrown your current position? Transition from village to town. Mental transformation is a key element in the journey towards achieving lasting results in life. Without a complete mental makeover you will not be ready to Crossover and Takeover…to be continued…/

As a coach and mentor one of the things I have learnt is that personal transformation is a journey and not an event. However along this journey there are defining moments or events. A lot of people fail to make the transition from one level of success to the next because they fail to read these key stages. The world abounds with stories of people who did not get great opportunities but made great of the opportunities life presented them. An opportunity of a lifetime exists in the life of that opportunity. The secret is in understanding times and seasons.

There is a simple story in the Bible in Mark 8: 22-26. Jesus encountered a blind man. He took this man ‘by hand’ out of his village. The first time after being laid hands upon this man could see ‘man like trees’. The second time around his sight was completely restored. Jesus then told him not to go back to village. I want to share the 4 vital stages of personal transformation for your success. These stages are Passover, Makeover, Crossover and Takeover in that order.

Passover Stage – ‘Go Out’

Jesus took the matter of this blind man literally into his own hands, by leading him out of the village ‘by hand’. In order to progress in life you need to leave your village. Village represents familiarity, limitations, little exposure and limited vision. Village is not necessarily a place but is also a state of mind. Village is a place of surrender and condemnation. In Africa the old, retired, sick, rascals and hopeless folk are send to the village. The children of Israel once stayed in a village called Egypt for over 400 years until a time to ‘passover’ came.

In order for your career, marriage, ministry, business or project to flourish you need to leave your village. A village or cradle mentality makes you a slave to the familiar, daily grind and routines. In order to experience growth you need to break out of the familiar and go out of your village. For some your job, industry or country has now become your village while others the village is in the mind – you want to stick to the knitting and you think there are sharks out there. This year dare the undared, try the untried, venture into the unknown, blaze the trail, go out, break out – passover!

Makeover Stage – ‘Go Under’

Your mind-set determines your life-set. To upgrade your life you need to upgrade your mind. You may come out of the village, but it’s also important for the village to also come out of you. Your mind needs to go under some transformation. Jesus did a bit of ‘surgery’ on the man’s eyes laying hands and spitting on them. Some scales which were blinding the man had to come off so he could see clearly. Once you come out of the village you need to do a mental and physical makeover. When the children of Israel left Egypt they were used to saying “Boss, yes Master, I am a humble servant, I am a slave”. In the wilderness God wanted to get Egypt out of them and change their slavery mindset. You cannot continue to wear village clothes in town; neither can you walk like you used to do in the fields. Change your style!

There are simple makeover tips such as changing your talk – your talk determines who listens to you. Dress the way you wanted to be addressed. Change how you walk, because it determines where you walk and who looks at you. Urban decorum and etiquette demands a certain finesse and deportment different from a village context. For example while it’s okay to brag about having killed a rabbit in the village, in an urban context this may be frowned upon. In conclusion I want to challenge you to do a self assessment of some of the ‘village’ or cradle mentality elements which have been limiting your progress. You may have passed over from unemployment to a job, but for you to now go to the next level you need to do a makeover. Is it self-evident that you are now ready to assume significant responsibilities and have outgrown your current position? Transition from village to town. Mental transformation is a key element in the journey towards achieving lasting results in life. Without a complete mental makeover you will not be ready to Crossover and Takeover…to be continued…/

UNBUNDLING YOUR ASSETS

In this series, we have been focusing on how to ‘Unlock Your Value’ in order to make a difference in this world. You are a bundle of blessing waiting to be unpacked. A divine endowment was deposited into your life. It is evident in the beauty of your thoughts, spirit, ideas, meditation and imagination. This endowment is the divine equity in your balance sheet. There is no deficiency, insufficiency, high gearing or inadequacy on your life’s balance sheet. God took care of all your life’s business. He has front end loaded you with His blessing. O boy when you talk of ‘His blessing’ you are talking of the whole Deity being tabernacled in your hood. His blessing is about His sufficiency becoming your sufficiency. You are complete in Him.  You are loaded – filled with the fullness of God. Hallelujah!

Let me hold a mirror and just show you who you are in a few words. You are endowed with amazing talent, great personality, incredible skill, awesome spirit and vast knowledge. Friend that’s all you need to rock this world. I am your witness and can testify that there is much more in you. The day you were born some called you a ‘bundle of cuteness’ others called you a ‘bundle of greatness’. However for the world to experience your beauty and glory, you must be unbundled. Let’s unpack this in the following principles:

Unbundling Principle One: Create

If businesses do not create value they destruct or destroy value. A few years ago Nokia was the king of the mobile phone market. Over the years its value has been locked in creating a phone for everybody. The business is no longer exciting and is losing money and market share. It’s very simple to understand – it’s because they use the Symbian operating platform, which has now been overtaken by Android, Blackberry and iPhone operating systems.  In order to once again unlock their value, they are going to dump their trusted Symbian and embrace the Microsoft Windows Mobile platform. In one stroke they will once again create value by leveraging the popular Microsoft platform. Time and space will not allow me to look at the strategic upshot of what Nokia stands to achieve, but suffice to say this is a strategic master stroke!

The key lesson in the example of Nokia is that there are certain past accomplishments which can easily become an encumbrance and limit progress. Holding on to past achievements can rob you of the sweetness of present victory. God created the first Adam and realised He wasn’t good enough hence created a superman – the last Adam, Christ who is matchless. The destruction of the old, leads to the construction of the new. To unbundle your assets you need to let go of limiting behaviours, negative attitudes, narrow mindsets and warped philosophies which are contrary to your progress. I can’t define these for you, but as you read right now, they are being defined in your heart. You know better. Start to create new ideas, ways of doing things and imagine solutions. God the Great Imaginarian and Creator deposited this creative ability in you. If you are not creating you are destructing. Everything you come into contact with must change because you came. Create!

Unbundling Principle Two: Multiply

You are a divine masterpiece. A miracle in motion. The possibilities in you are unfathomable. When God created you, He gave you a simple mandate, which was:  “..be fruitful and multiply”. The word “be” is an imperative implying that God can’t demand of you what He didn’t deposit in you. This was what God intended for you. The law of first mention states that whatever God said the very first time about something was His original intention. Being fruitful and multiply was what God said first about you. God can’t ask of you what He didn’t put in you. In creating you, He wanted you to be fruitful and multiply. Multiply is a compound word –‘multi’ means many and ‘ply’ means layers.

You are supposed to live a multi layered life. Let’s break it down. Going to an 8-5 job is a single layer. Having one business or branch is a single layer. Having one church assembly is a single layer. Having one revenue stream is a single layer. Multiply! Never allow job descriptions, grades, geography, laws, policies, industries or organisations to box you. Brother Sower, are you advocating for chaos and anomie? No friend, just inspirational dissatisfaction – that you do not accept current limitations and boundaries. I want you to raise the bar.

This is your time. The world is waiting for your unbundling (manifestation). It waited for Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. It’s now your time. You have something in you for which they have been searching. Nobody can take it away from you. Just give your best to every opportunity. Every deed must be a finished product. Your every act is a glimpse of the greatness in you. Manifest!

 

SWEAT YOUR ASSETS

In the previous article Unlocking Your Value, I briefly shared that businesses unlock their value by sweating their assets. These assets include among others material, human, financial, intellectual resources. Your life too has a number of assets which are: your talents, personality, hands (skills), your heart (passion) and your head (knowledge). These are the assets in which God has deposited your keys to a successful life. I want to share a number of insights on how you can sweat these assets. To sweat your assets means to maximise the value you can get from your skill set, personality profile and knowledge set.

Stir Up Your Talent

Businesses and organizations have a core competency – what they are really good at. This is what gives them a competitive edge. MacDonald’s core competency is convenience and Nandos’ is flame grilled chicken, yet they are both into fast foods. Core competency is a talent – it’s what separates you from everybody. Talents are like a fire, if you don’t fan them they will lose their flame. If you don’t use it, you lose it. You need to keep you gift ablaze by exercising it. To get an edge in life, you need to do that which nobody else does better than you. What are you good at? What are you known for?

Each one of you is gifted and graced in a particular area. Your gift is your area of strength and competency. This is what gives you the ‘in the zone’ feeling or the state of being in ‘your element’. You will get the most astounding results when you play to your strengths. You succeed the most when you live life according to how you are wired. A fish is gifted in swimming. It would never do well in flying. When you keep your gift ablaze soon people will come and see the brightness of your light or just bask in the warmth of your glare.

Know Too Much About A Little

Talent is so specific and narrow. Tiger Woods is a prolific golfer, never mind his off the course misadventures, of which none of us should judge him – we must intercede for his salvation. His short game is not as good as his swing or long game. He has mastered his swing and fully understands the physics behind the swing. He is good when he is using the driver to swing the ball. He practices his swing by hitting 1000 balls on the driving range. This is why he has a prolific under par – he hits the least number of balls (birdies or eagles) to get a hole. He plays to his strengths.

For the non golfers let’s use an example from soccer. Barcelona’s Lionel Messi is a prolific soccer striker. I doubt he would be a good defender like Chelsea’s Ashley Cole. Messi doesn’t have to be all over the pitch to be successful – he focuses on getting behind defenders and putting the ball in the net. The best sermons are not those preached with too wide scholastic erudition, but with simplistic depth. I worked in consulting and the best consultants where those who had narrow depth (knowing too much about a little). What do you know?

The plant which yields the most fruit is not the one which spreads its branches the widest, but the one which sends its roots the deepest. Your seeds of greatness are hidden in your hands, heart and head. Don’t try to do, just be. You are not a human doing, you are a human being. It’s not about what you do, but who you are. Just be yourself – sweat YOUR assets.

THE POWER OF THOUGHTS & DESIRE

This week I had a visit from a friend from Burundi. He shared with me a most profound story. Years ago he observed in his village that a lot of the people had gaunt cows which were ‘basically good for nothing’. They had low milk yield, their grazing habits damaged the land and because they were all over the place, no meaningful dung could be collected for manure. In most cases they were sold aged and sick hence could not fetch much money for their ‘proud’ owners.  He so ardently desired to change this.

Inspirationally dissatisfied, my friend sought to change this. He went to Tanzania and bought two Friesian cows which were fat and sleek beasts like the biblical cows of Bashan. In no time the two cows were producing 30 litres of milk per day and a mount of manure. All the villagers noticed this simple success story and asked my friend to help them. He obliged, and today through his initiative in this village there are 65 Friesian cows in 65 households each one producing 15 litres of milk per day for sale in the capital Bujumbura. Livelihoods have been changed, and there are testimonies of villagers who now have decent houses from milk money! The whole village has been turned into a ‘milk factory’. The young men and women, who had flocked to the city in search of the elusive Burundi franc, have been lured back to the village by the milk miracle. Transformational impact!

This simple story is pregnant with some principles which I want to share. It doesn’t take an earthquake to change a nation let alone your life. It doesn’t take billions to end poverty. The simple ideas you carry can change a nation. It’s not in the mystery of Keynesian and macroeconomic theories that the nations will find their salvation. It is when revelation comes to people that the salvation of nations will come. The profundity of your convictions and depth of your desire will make you change the landscape of your life.

Principle of Thought

In order to change the landscape of your life you need to THINK. What you can imagine, reflect and ponder upon will eventually come to pass. If you ardently desire and vividly imagine something it eventually manifests. The reason why lust is wrong is because it eventually gives birth to sin. Covetousness is an urgent desire which may eventually lead to stealing, robbery or even murder. This simple principle works both in the negative and the positive.  If you nurture thoughts of success and progress, it eventually gives birth to projects and results.

My friend from Burundi, told me that he STRONGLY desired for many years to change the fortunes of his fellow villagers. He wanted to come up with a simple model which could be used to tackle many social ills caused by years of war and poverty. In his owns words, he then “got a revelation”. The principle of thought gives birth to revelation. Revelation means the unveiling of preexisting ideas and opportunities. It is insight into realities that are hidden – the unravelling of concealed treasures and mysteries. I want to challenge you today, brood over your thoughts, incubate over your ideas and soon  revelation will cause you to birth simple and nation changing ideas.

Principle of Seed

There is a universal principle in all creation. Every seed produces after it’s own kind. The ability to reproduce after the same kind is inbuilt in every seed bearing fruit. Hence an orange seed will produce oranges. In order to create this success story, my friend put in initially his own money and gave the villagers a few cows. They did not need to pay him in cash but in milk. In a short while a group called Samaritans heard about this simple project and invested a further 20 cows into the project. The simple principle is that your ideas represent your thoughts, and you demonstrate your commitment by investing into your ideas. The power of a seed is not in it’s size, but in the ability to reproduce. Start today to invest in your ideas. Step by step the picture will soon be complete. As you sow, the power of your ideas will multiply and soon the whole universe will conspire to bring multiplication.No idea is too small or too simple. Muhammad Yunus started the billion dollar Grameen Bank by lending as little as UD1 to rural Bangladeshi women.

Applying the principles of thought and seed will quickly usher you into your inheritance. Start today with what you have and where you are. You can change the landscape of your life today. Surround yourself with images of success. Meditate on success thoughts soon you will breed babies of success.

Copyright 2019 Lovemore Nyatsine ©  All Rights Reserved