Personal Development

How I Became A C.E.O | Lessons in Creating Opportunity

“Talent is Universal …Opportunity is not”

So yesterday I was telling my children about some of my childhood stories. We laughed so hard my eldest fell of the chair with laughter. A few things struck me in my story and I picked up some patterns, pregnant with life lessons.

Let’s rewind to 1990 – I had just finished my junior certificate (Form 2). I arrived in Harare for the first time – yes first time to visit my brother who was already working. After a few days in Harare I got my first “job” working for my uncle – Bamnini Bevan who had a carpentry shop in Magaba in Mbare. Every morning I would wake up early and go to “work” – I was only 14. After working so hard he never paid me as agreed! Bless his soul. I was never bitter – we even laughed about it.

Fast forward to 1992 I completed my O levels. Even before the results were out I went to Gweru for the the first time – this time I went to stay with an Uncle – Sekuru Munhanda. He owned a small college which was a Pitman exams Centre so I started studying Accounts & Finance during the gap period! When O level results came out I suspended the studies because I had to go and do A level studies.

While at University, I invested about $500 of my payout in a recruitment business. Two smooth talking gentlemen – Phillip and Patrick talked me into it. I was naive I lost everything and was almost beaten up following up on my “lost investment”.

Years later the year is 2008, I am now working in South Africa – I am just a few months in a foreign country and I got myself a side gig as a columnist in Black Business Quarterly (BBQ) magazine. In no time I was already getting qouted in the respected IT Web’s i-Week(www.itweb.co.za) and national broadcaster SABC as an expert in my field.

When I was recently studying (2 week block release) in Kenya in 2013 I offered to go and teach Strategy at a local university for FREE- it was an exciting lecture. In 2014 I also helped a technology company in Kenya set up their Strategic Programme Management Office (SPMO) and I did some cool consulting stuff for them in my spare time for FREE. In short this is how I became a Creator of Empowering Opportunities (C.E.O) of my life.

Let me share some insights:

1. Don’t wait for opportunities – create them. Talent is universal – opportunity is not.

2. It’s okay to start small – my first job I was a carpenter crafting wood…now I am a strategy expert I shape organisations

3. When you go to a new place don’t think of checking out the fun places only – invest in networks, connect with opportunities. First time In Harare I picked a job. In Gweru I picked a new skill. In South Africa I build my personal brand. In Kenya by offering my skills for free I put a down payment for opportunities I may need to go and close one day!

4. You don’t always win or earn – sometimes you learn. I lost $500 in a bad investment

5. It’s not where you start that matters, it’s where you end up – I started working in Magaba-shed and now I am in the C-suite

6. Don’t be driven by the PROCESS (what, how, when)…be led by your PURPOSE (the WHY)

7. A skill is a seed. Don’t waste it invest it.

8. If you only link the value of your skill to a salary you will never grow your influence beyond job titles and job grades

Lastly because of an attitude of being a Creator of Empowering Opportunities (C.E.O) most times I don’t have to apply for jobs…I am given work. You can too!

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Don’t Create A Monument of The Past : Insights On Moving On

“So Moses, the disciple of the Lord, died …. and the Lord buried him in a valley near Beth-peor in Moab, but no one knows the exact place” – Deuteronomy 34:5-6

It is instructive that God buried Moses out of sight. The children of Israel up to now do not know where the grave of Moses is. It’s pretty clear God wanted the Israelites to move on and possess the land and not be sentimental about Moses the deliverer.

A few insights as I read this scripture:

1. Emotions take you to the past. Motion takes you to the future
2. You were created for movement, not monuments
3. Aim for attainment not sentiment. Sentiment affects your mood but brings no good
4. Not everyone who starts with you must finish with you
5. Move on…you are not a robot. Your feelings don’t always get it

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A FLOWER IS A WEED WITH A GOOD ATTITUDE

Another masterpiece from my 7 year old daughter. I will add my poetry to her art:

Flowers O flowers, beautiful flowers
I could smell you for hours
A flower is a weed with a good attitude
A weed is a flower without gratitude
A flower chooses to bloom
A weed chooses to gloom
Flowers rise in blossom
Weeds fall to the bottom

Today choose to be a flower!

If I Were A Boy …Not Just For A Day

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Disclaimer: This blog article bears no resemblance to Beyonce’s song not in the spirit or the letter….now read on.

I bet you almost trashed this blog before reading on. If you have just read this sentence you are doing so well…read on.

Let me take you back to the past – the year is 1980…am still a young boy. I think my father’s Peugeout 404 station wagon is the best car in the world. We live a simple house and I think we are in a mansion. Having chicken and rice once in a month is a big deal. Wearing my Sunday best crowns my wonderful week. Life is great. Life is simple. When my older siblings give me the crust slice of the bread – it’s an act of great favour – and I must be so thankful. I believe that my mother is my guardian angel – if I trip myself, she faults the stone, if I cut myself, she blames the knife. Life is beautiful…life is simple. All things are possible.

Oh the simplicity of being a boy.

Fast forward, 2014. Things must make sense first before I can do them. How we complicate our lives. If God wanted us complicated, He would have created us confused. He created us simple – made us in His likeness so we would never be confused about our identity. He gave us the measure of faith so all things would be possible.  He gift-wrapped us in hope so all things would work.  He gave us the gift of love so all things would be beautiful.

This is the simplicity of life as God created it. Let the girl and boy in you come out. Keep it simple. Believe the incredible, hope beyond what you see and love without reservation. Life is simple.

Lessons to reflect on:

  1. Life is simple, don’t complicate it
  2. All things are possible
  3. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication
  4. Have the faith of a child

Have an awesome day and remember simple does it!

Time for A Life Facelift & Uplift : Arise & Shine!

“There was a woman present, so TWISTED and BENT OVER with arthritis that she couldn’t even LOOK UP. She had been afflicted with this for eighteen years. When Jesus saw her, he called her over. “Woman, you’re free!” He laid hands on her and suddenly she was STANDING STRAIGHT and TALL giving GLORY to God” Luke 13:11-13 (MSG)

It’s a beautiful Sunday morning. You may be going through an ugly situation or dealing with a challenging matter. It doesn’t matter – God can deal with any matter. The condition might have gone on for years. So what? There is no condition beyond the grace of God to deal with. It’s time to know the following liberating truths:

1. Jesus makes the twisted financial, marital, business, work, relationship, health situations straight
2. If you are bending over under the weight of challenges today you are free.
3. The indignity and shame of your situation is taken away – you can now LOOK UP . You have a FACELIFT now.
4. Where you came short, Jesus has given you an UPLIFT – you can stand tall again

Declare this:

I have a major facelift and uplift. Every shame has been replaced with fame. I can rise and shine above the crushing weight of inadequacy, guilty and shame.

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Small Steps To Solve Big Problems

There is a proverb that says “You eat an elephant piece by piece” This is an approach that you can use to tackle some of life’s goals and challenges in 2014. It’s good to set big goals at the start of the year. The enormity of the goals can be overwhelming if you don’t apply wisdom. There is a common story in which Jesus fed 5000 from a boys lunch of 2 fish and 5 loaves. How did he do it?

“For they were about 5000 men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by 50 in a company” – Luke 9:14

Let’s look at simple practical steps of solving a big problem:

1. Know your problem – the problem in this instance was hunger
2. Establish all the facts – the depth, height and width of your problem. They counted 5000 mouths to feed
3. Sit your problem down. A problems looks big if you “look up” to it. Look down at your problem
5. Organise your problem into small chunks. The 5000 was broken down into groups of 50

You may be facing a big problem or goal to today. Relax – problems gravitate towards solutions. You are a solution bringer. Go ahead and solve it!

Declaration

I am a problem solver. I create an opportunity for the supernatural to happen in my life by being organised. No problem is too big for me to solve. I am ready and equal to every task and challenge.

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EXTRAORDINARY DECISIONS need EXTRAORDINARY REFLECTION

The New Year requires making a lot of key decisions. Your life is shaped by the decisions you make and fail to make. The quality of your decision making process impacts the quality of your decisions. Jesus chose his twelve disciples after much consideration. These twelve went on to impact the world. How did he do it?

“And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued ALL NIGHT in prayer to God.
And when it was DAY, he called unto him his disciples:and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles” – Luke 6:12-13

It’s extraordinary that Jesus didn’t go in the valley – but went to the top of the mountain. Let me unravel this.

KEY LIFE LESSONS HIDDEN HERE:

1. Never make major decisions backed by minor prayers
2. When you spend time in the night with God you will see clearly in the day before man
3. To make major decisions take an elevated view – Jesus went up the mountain

Declaration

I make sound decisions. I gather enough facts and information backed by prayer to make impactful decisions.