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Food for Living: The Effect of Digital Age of Innovation

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By Henry Ukazu

Greetings Friends!

I will like to begin this article by thanking the first founders and inventors of internet, Robert E. Kahn Internet who developed protocol suite (TCP/IP) in the 1950’s, and Vint Cerf in the 1970s. It’s also important to mention the Computer Scientist, Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web. This giant idea led to other great inventions and innovations from great minds such as Warren Buffet – the inventor of Microsoft Corporation and Mark Zuckerberg the founder of Facebook.

Before we proceed proper, let’s have an overview or background information on digital information. There are two main areas where the nature of innovation has been changed as a result of the direct impact of the digital revolution: 1. Research and Development which is mostly used by big corporations and government agencies. R&D is one of the most important units of any organization because it helps to bring new products to the company in order to make it contemporaneous with the demands of the world. 2. Product and process innovation which is used by mainly used manufacturing companies. Digital technology made it possible for new products and services to produce quality advantages and business model innovation. This is mainly used by entrepreneurs and business oriented companies. 3. Business Model innovation which allow businesses to entirely re-imagine traditional business models by leveraging a powerful mix of emerged digital tools, advanced machinery and adjusted workforce, giving price and quality of service advantages over incumbents. The modern innovation of business models is originated by the tech professionals’ community and is taken further by business professionals that have acknowledged new opportunities

This is not really a technological and digital article per se, rather it is an article that sheds light on the effects of digital innovation. Today’s article will be a little bit controversial, but I will encourage you to think out of the box in order to appreciate the message inherent in it. It’s undisputable fact that the internet has made the world a small village. A lot of transformation has taken place between 19th century and now. The 2Ist century can literally be called the jet age. This progressive view of life has made many companies to scot for exceptional beings with ideas who will add value to their company as opposed to the theoretical knowledge (formal education) that comes with fundamental trainings and procedure. It is on this note we shall be discussing about the formal education and the informal education which we have been exposed to in contemporary times.

I strongly believe it will be right to say ideas rule the world. With the invention of technology, the world has seen and felt ingenuity of ideas which has led major innovations. This digital age of innovation has caused some controversies in some quarters because of the ingenuity of ideas that has sprang up from it. Some of this ingenuity of ideas has made many people to believe that skills, talent and ideas are the ultimate in life. No doubt to a reasonable extent, that is true because many companies are always looking for ideas on how to take their business to the next level in addition to maximizing cost, but at the same time they also know that having a form of theoretical and formal knowledge and background in the industry is also necessary.

This is a topic of interest to me because I see a lot information making rounds in the world with respect to people who have achieved success without formal education. Some of this people achieved success with their skills, network, ideas and talent. Some of them also achieved success with little or formal education. And even people who have formal education figured out that true success lies in thinking out of the box in addition to developing themselves by thinking out of the box.

As an advocate of education, I strongly believe a good education is priceless. Even though you are talented it is also good for you to attain some level of formal education if you have the opportunity because there are certain information which you may not be exposed to on the street or talent. Even the Book of life stated in Proverbs 4: 13 “Your education is your life, guard it very well”. Even though education is not the yardstick for success, but it helps to prepare the way for success. I think it’s only percent of the world who have been extremely humbled to have attained amazing success without having formal education. Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gate attended one of the best schools in the world before dropping out when they discovered they had a lot to offer to the world. I recently gave a talk to the Urban Male Leadership Academy in Borough of Manhattan Community College in New York, and I remembered asking the students what does success mean to you? Most of the students gave various answers which sounded right and indeed were right based on the area their thought process. I explained to them success is indeed relative and true success is doing better than you did yesterday. I also enlightened them about skills acquisition and value creation which I call ideas for sustainable growth.

As mentioned earlier, the focus on this article is about making us to think out of the box by comparing and contrasting formal education and informal education. In as much I believe in informal education which I likened to skills, talent and ideas, I also believe formal education is the foundation of all information. Some schools of thought opine that life begins after High school and college. This is because it is what you do with the knowledge you have acquired that makes the difference and how you apply it to solve the problems in the world. In today’s labour market, employers also look for candidates who have really distinguished themselves with ideas because ideas truly rule the world. Yes, it is true, I however, think it also depends on the nature of the involved. Some jobs needed theoretical knowledge and expertise like medicine and law.

One of the major reasons some people agree that ideas are more valuable than formal education is because some of the disciples of this school of thought have been able to generate good money with their creativity. For example, the app and robot inventors. Without sounding immodest, I will like to state that formal education is still very important in today’s society. In fact, it is a plus for you if you have it and have other great ideas. Acquiring it will go a good a long way to create opportunities for you. I’m speaking from experience because I have seen and tasted it from various aspect.

I have a question of interest. Has the effects of digital age of innovation done more harm than good? I will say no because it has really made the world a better place. However, the only negative influence I can think of which is not really a negative influence per se is that it has influenced a lot of people to think formal education is not as important as it ought to be due to the ideas some creative minds have been able to conceive.

Further more, it is important to note a real education enables a rational mind to think out of the box. When you add your skills the value increases. I’m particularly interested in this article because contemporary youths are paying more attention to what the society is showing them, thereby making it hard for some students go to school or even concentrate while in school forgetting that rational and informed youths combine both academic knowledge and informal knowledge. As a matter of fact, if the only knowledge you have is what you have upstairs which is devoid of formal education, your chances of conquering new grounds might be limited. The world has truly grown and new business needs some form of knowledge and information which can come in form of formal education in order for it to properly executed.

 

Let me share a personal experience with you, I have a legal background, but that has not stopped me from exploring other options. During the course of writing my book, I shared valuable and resourceful information relating to my legal background, tax background and all my professional work experience and the message has really resonated with so many people when they read my book. Some of the opportunities I have received in recent times came from people who have interest in my professional and academic experience. All this experience add up to and make me a resourceful being when I write and speak. What people often see is the finish work (public speaking), but they don’t see the background work. To some people, I am a great public speaker and writer but I know for a fact a lot of factors and experience contributed to it. I didn’t allow my skills to overshadow my professional and academic accomplishment.

 

In conclusion, since we are all concerned about achieving success, the best way to do go about it is to know yourself just like Bill Gate, Mark Zuckerberg, Barack Obama, Richard Branson and Henry Ukazu did. By so doing, you’ll will be able to know the path to thread because each and everyone of us is different.

 

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with New York City Department of Correction as the legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success.

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Food for Living: Go the Extra Mile

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By Henry Ukazu

Dear Destiny Friends,

“One of the most important principles of success is developing the habit of going the extra mile” – Napoleon Hill

Going the extra mile is the habit of champions…it’s the key behavior that separates the professionals from the amateurs, and the champs form the chumps” – Gary Ryan Blair

The journey to greatness is not a joke. It’s not for the faint hearted because it takes a lot to be great. Whoever wishes to achieve success must dare to succeed. It’s either one dies trying to succeed or they don’t try at all, and still die. So, why not take the risk to succeed by going the extra mile.

Did you know that giving success a try is like wooing a lady. The worst one will get is a no, which is an indication to restrategise and start again, and apply the principle of going the extra mile. Going the extra mile is a strategic step in business, and a risk worth taking for the unfolding of maximum success.

If you ask a thousand and one persons, their desires in life, you will be surprised at the responses you will get. But if you ask them what they are willing to do to get to their desired destination, you will also be shocked to know that some of them, if not the majority of them, are not willing to go the extra mile. It’s sad to note that most people want to go to heaven, but they are not willing to die. How ironic can that be?

It’s sad to see promising people settling for less than they deserve. It’s pertinent to note that the top is scanty while the bottom is crowded. If you want to associate with the top 1%, you must distinguish yourself by going the extra mile.  Per Gary Ryan Blair, “Average is over. Mediocrity is a death sentence. You must embrace the fact that for you to remain competitive, relevant and of value…you have no choice but to go the extra mile and always exceed expectations.”

Most of the successful people we celebrate today dared to succeed by going the extra mile. They didn’t succeed because they were lucky, though luck contributed to some extent, but the greater part of their success can be attributed to the extra work they did because the more they explored opportunities, the luckier they got.

If you truly want to succeed in life, you must be intentional in going the extra mile. Nothing happens in life if there’s no action. Every action comes with a corresponding reaction. When you go the extra mile, most people will see and reward you generously in due time.

On a personal note, I have taken the extra steps in the pursuit of success. Writing a weekly article is not a joke. Being an author of two books and a co-author is quite tasking, being interviewed by New York Times, being on television several times, partnering with the United Nations Development Programme amongst others did not come easy. All these acts didn’t happen overnight; they happened because I went the extra mile, and my extra work attracted the opportunities.

So, if you are interested in succeeding, you must be intentional in going the extra mile.

It’s instructive to note that your success in life will come because of the corresponding effort you are willing to put into your work. This is called going the extra mile. It should be noted that, on this extra mile journey, there are usually no traffic jams. It is a lonely stretch, and takes so much effort.

According to Gary Ryan Blair “The distance between those who achieve their goals consistently and those who spend their lives and careers merely following has everything to do with one’s ability to go the extra mile.”  So, for those, who work in a corporate environment, the fastest way to get the attention of your boss is to go the extra mile. When you go the extra mile, management will notice you, your boss will notice you.

Gary Blair further stated that “It’s simply not enough to just show up and do your work. Superior performance is not, never has been, nor will it ever be, the by-product of ordinary efforts.” He further stated that The masses are always foolishly on the lookout for a new gimmick, a shiny new performance hack, a shortcut…but the truth is, the quickest way to advance your career, earn trust, persuade people to buy from you and to be first in line for new opportunity is by developing the habit of going the extra mile.” — Gary Ryan Blair

Going the extra mile does not entail working extremely hard, but what it really means is doing just a little bit more strategically. So, if you are advised to work eight hours a day and you work ten hours, that’s extra mile; if you are supposed to resume work 9am and you resume 8am that’s extra mile; if you are supposed to leave 5pm and you leave 6 or 7pm, that’s extra time you can use to do some work. In all of these, your boss and management will notice you are investing in the company and in yourself and you might be surprised when you are rewarded with financial and managerial position.

Going the extra mile also means showing people you care. For instance, sometimes, people care less about your money, they need your presence and attention. In customer service, the extra mile means asking a customer if there’s any other thing you can help the person with. You can give your clients a little more to show appreciation. This helps to set you apart from them.  According to  Nelson Boswell, “Here is the simple but powerful rule… always give people more than they expect to get.” – Nelson Boswell

Going the extra mile in life and in your career, endeavor is not about fantasy. It takes love to go the extra mile for what you like. It’s on a few occasions some progressive minds engage in careers they don’t really like just to pay the bills. In some situations, when they get what they want, they tend to follow their passion. Gary Blair was right when he stated “Going the extra mile is about love; it’s a passionate obsession with excellence. It is the result of good intention, uncompromising standards, sincere effort, intelligent design, attention to detail and skillful execution.” — Gary Ryan Blair.

It is easy for one to say he’s passionate about a cause, but one might not be involved in any activity. It may surprise you to note that people see those that participate. The easiest way to show people you are interested or passionate about a cause is by showing your work.

Let me share a practical experience with you. In 2019, I was invited by Harvard University for an information session to study master’s in public administration program, from my understanding during the interview session, my trajectory path played a critical role in considering me for the admission because I have worked as a Case Manager, written articles, published a book, and had videos which portray my interest in leadership and human capacity development. Why is this important, despite studying taxation in New York Law School, I wasn’t passionate about the tax major.

Assuming I settled for a Taxation job, it will be hard for me to align my profession, vocation, and ministry. As a matter of fact, I turned down a good paying job by the New York City Department of Finance to work as a Tax Associate for a low paying Case Manager job which offered almost three times less pay compared to the New York City Department of Finance.

In retrospect, do I regret my decision, no, as a matter fact the Case Manager job has continued to serve as a litmus test to my passion for humanity. So, I’m going to ask you a question by Gary Blair, “What is the one thing you can do to persuade people that you are the one for the job, the one thing you can do to earn someone’s vote, the one thing you can do to persuade people to open the doors of opportunity? The answer is as simple as it is profound. Develop a reputation for going the extra mile.”  The moral here is that whenever you go the extra mile, there’s this feeling one normally gets knowing fully, they have done their part for posterity to judge.

I will conclude with a quote from Gary Ryan Blair to assist you in going the extra mile“To win big in life, the solution is simple. Go overboard…do everything you can to overwhelm, over-deliver and overcompensate, and you will overcome any obstacle that stands between you and the goal you desire.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator.  He’s the founder of Gloemi. He’s a Transformative Human Capacity and Mindset coach. He is also a public speaker, youth advocate, creative writer and author of Design Your Destiny Design Your  and Unleash Your Destiny .  He can be reached via info@gloemi.com

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Food for Living: Succeeding with Grace and Favour

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By Henry Ukazu

Dear Destiny Friends,

Everyone needs a support system as they journey through life. This support system can come from any source; family member, friend, associate, colleague, mentor, mentee, boss, spiritual leader, or even a stranger. Without a strong support system, the journey to life will be an arduous task.

It’s imperative to note that we live in a wicked world where not everyone wants to see you succeed. They fail to understand they are not the creator who destined everyone to succeed at different times and seasons. These set of people have the Pull Him Down (PhD.) mentality, and don’t want to see the success of their perceived enemy.

Success is not limited to any shape, size and colour, it only produces results, and that’s what people care about.

It’s worthy to note that nobody achieves genuine success without favour and grace. Favor is like a perfume, which when sprinkled on someone, the aroma will attract people to them.

Overtime, I have come to the sublime realization that when you shower people with favour and love, it has a way of coming back to you in ways and manners one may not understand. However, some uninformed people think that when they have money, they are blessed and favored.

I agree that money is necessary for success, but there are certain levels of blessings that money cannot buy, and this form of blessings come with favour and grace, especially when one is not qualified to have it. Just to give you an example; there are people money cannot buy, and so, one’s prayer should be they agree to work with you because they are literally priceless.

In life, we all need the blessings of our parents, mentors, boss, and authentic spiritual leaders to speak into our life. This is because no matter how hard you work in life, there’s a limit you can go, especially when you don’t have a favor following you. You can have favor, but favor comes in different ways. For instance, if you are destined to be an Accountant, and you decide to study Law or Business Administration just because you feel they are lucrative courses or you just like the name, you might “succeed” but may not get the true fulfilment.

To understand how this works, at creation, everyone has an assigned angel following them. This angle is designed to help you succeed in your place of assignment.

Did you know there are people who have been positioned to assist you in your place of assignment?

So, imagine if you decide to study Law while your destiny helper is an Accountant, you might be frustrated having a boss, who is an accountant or even a colleague who is making life unbearable for you despite having money. This ordinarily might not happen if you have studied Accounting. In fact you’ll thrive with relative ease in the profession and might be offered more lucrative offers just simply because the universe is working in your favour.

To understand how the grace of success works, when you have it in your journey, you will attract favour from men, you won’t have to work as hard as your counterparts, your product will receive recognition even though it might not be the best. In the journey of life, most of us struggle too much and get little or no result, while some of us work less and get more results. One may be wondering why. Well, the answer is not far-fetched. I call it the spirituality of success because the universe has a way of connecting people when they are working according to its purpose.

Let me share a practical experience: In 2019, I met a great mind, Sulyman Sodeeq A’akeem who reached out to me on X According to him, he has been following me on the app. He requested me to be his mentor, an offer I gladly accepted, especially when he showed me a series of quotes he got from reading my articles.

When we began to relate closely, he shared touching information based on his trajectory in life. We didn’t spend more than six months relating closely, I made him the Chief Operating Officer of my company when I saw enormous and ingenious talent in him. For a lack of better word, he is extremely resourceful. He’s simply awesome! I call him an ideal hand for every progressive mind interested on resourcefulness.

Fast forward to four years, many people have a disdainful attitude towards him and look up to him for succor. The moral of this post is that not only did I bless him, but I also became the greatest recipient of his knowledge, wisdom, loyalty, profound articulation and understanding and most especially, honesty and steadfastness. The interesting part of our friendship and brotherhood is the grace that has found both of us. It’s instructive to note that, I’m not the richest nor the best to work with, neither is he the best of the most resourceful, but we tend to have bonded and mutually benefited from each other because we greatly share similar interests and values. I call it grace and favour.

When you have the grace of success following you, you will attract favour like a magnet. Whether you are in business, academic, pastoral ministry, or marriage, you will receive mercy wherever you step.

You might be the least in a company, you may not even look or have all the qualifications or experience, but when favour locates you, the rules will not only be broken for you, you will see people agreeing to work together just to make sure you succeed.

Did you know that when favour is at work, people will buy your books and share it among their friends and network as an author; your business will be referred to people of interest, people will unusually trust and like you. When people google your kind of business, despite seeing other people doing what you are doing, they will be attracted to settle for you for reasons they can’t understand or explain. When you have favour and grace following you, it will be easier for your talent to be unleashed.

While most people work hard, strategic, and smart people understand the role luck has to play in order to actualize their vision.

According to a renowned Economist and philanthropist, Tony Elumelu, luck played a big role in making him who he is today. While he acknowledged the role of hard work, he knows truly well, there’s a limitation to hard work because luck can trump hard work.

Did you know that if you can do everything in life without anyone assisting you, you are not favored. You should be able to get to a stage in life where people will naturally assist you in doing somethings for free. For example, if you are a success, you don’t need to pay for all the services you get.

In conclusion, as your journey through life, be intentional in seeking favour because it will save you numerous stress.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator.  He’s the founder of Gloemi. He’s a Transformative Human Capacity and Mindset coach. He is also a public speaker, youth advocate, creative writer and author of Design Your Destiny Design Your  and Unleash Your Destiny .  He can be reached via info@gloemi.com

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Food for Living: Push Yourself Harder

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By Henry Ukazu

Dear Destiny Friends,

Life is indeed a journey! It’s a adventure everyone will continue to explore until they eventually bow out. But in order to explore life, and by extension, the world adequately, one has to explore many options, and that is where being tough and pushing yourself hard come into play. This is because when one door fails to open, it’s only wise to try another door, and yet another door.

There’s no area of life’s adventure that has proved so easy no matter the angle one is exploring from; as a child, youth, parent, clergy, entrepreneur or career professional. It’s worth understanding that anyone celebrating or at the top today never had it easy, and will never continue to have it easy. They must remain tough on the terrain and continue to push themselves harder with productivity. Everyone has experienced one challenges or another in life, but while one may think that theirs is more serious, they can never tell what the next door neighbor is experiencing.

Being tough or hard on yourself doesn’t in anyway conote negativity, it’s so positive that it inspires one to improve in productivity.

In my native Igbo belief, we say that all lizards lie prostrate, but no one can tell which one has a belly ache. This is literally true because just like our faces are different, so also our problems. Hence the reason one must treat other people with empathy.

Life can be tough; in fact, being alive on its own is tough. Not everyone likes to see you alive, not to talk of doing big things. Not everyone is happy seeing you in a position of honour. Trust me, it is difficult to stay alive because you must battle many wars to stay afloat. Just imagine being a family man/woman taking care of the bills with little or no support from your partner. Just imagine starting a business and trying to secure contracts or attract clients/customers. If you are a student, some people will feel jealous of your potential achievement and the corresponding success it will bring to you. The list is literally endless.

According to Dr. Yomi Garnett, an accomplished author, “there’s an inverse relationship between you and life. When you are tough on yourself, life will be infinitely easier on you. Conversely, when you take things easy, life will become very tough for you. The path of self and spiritual development is a very long and arduous one, but it’s a journey worth taking.”

This is so true because if one is interested in living and experiencing a soft life, one must be intentional in doing the hard work which entails being hard on yourself.

My late dad, Chief Lazarus Ukazu, use to say that “any name you want to be called, you must work hard to earn it”. Success does not come to you on a platter of gold; you must till the soil, read books, be above board at your place of work/assignment, invest in your business, learn new trades, skills and leave your comfort zone. All these entail being tough on yourself.

We are all capable of achieving success because we all have the seeds of greatness living in us. It is sad to see people who just live their life by luck. They are not eager to pay the dues which is likely to catapult them to the next level if judiciously implemented and executed.

As rightly stated by Dr. Garnett, when you are tough on yourself, life will be generally “easier” for you if you play by the rules of the game which will enable you to live the fame you desire. When I published my first book, I didn’t really know what’s ahead of me, nor did I know the book would bring me relative fame and opportunities. I can vividly remember the sleepless night and risk I had to undertake during the process of writing and publishing the book.

Today, the book made the New York Times to interview me. I became a regular guest on television because of the book. I got to meet Captains of industries and leaders of thought. Why am I saying this? Life has been fair to me by blessing me with opportunities. It’s important to state that I was tough on myself when I was working on the book. As a matter of fact, I can vividly remember that at a point in time, I was out of job. I used the time to concentrate and do befitting research for a book of that nature. Moral: When you pay your dues, people will pay your bills.

Question. What dues are you willing to pay so that people can pay your bills?

In conclusion, today, I charge you to be intentional in being “hard” on yourself so life can be relatively soft on you.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator.  He’s the founder of Gloemi. He’s a Transformative Human Capacity and Mindset coach. He is also a public speaker, youth advocate, creative writer and author of Design Your Destiny Design Your  and Unleash Your Destiny .  He can be reached via info@gloemi.com

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