Dealing With the Grinch

I remember the days when I used to look forward to the end of the year with so much excitement. December could never come fast enough. For most kids, it was the thought of unwrapping presents but for me it was different. I know this because there were a couple of years growing up when I didn’t get presents as punishment for bad behavior of bad grades but I still got excited about the end of year. Maybe it was all the excitement and buzz of activity all around me or maybe it was the usual annual trip to my grand parents place when I got to see all my cousins but something always got me excited.
Fast forward a few years and December gradually lost its appeal. It became more of a season of reflection as I got older and responsibilities started to become a part of my life. Everyone sets goals for themselves at the beginning of the year and for me, December became a time to reflect on whether or not I’d come close to achieving those goals. It became difficult for me to find joy in the moment because I always found a way to beat myself up over the many failings in my life and overlook the fact that regardless of how bad things were, I was somehow still alive.
Enter my mother, she was always there to talk some sense into me and remind of the many reasons I had to be thankful about how the year went. She became my crutch and I was totally dependent on her to always bring me out of that funk. She was the only person who I could truly call a confidante, who I could bare the “ugliness” of my soul to. This is why when God saw fit to call her home in 2011, I was angry and bitter and questioned why He would take away the one person who knew me more than I knew myself.
Without her to guide me back into the light from the dark place I had made a habit of visiting during this period, Christmas was doomed to be a season of depression. However, I had entered a serious relationship and even though she was outside the country that December, she somehow found a way to help me deal with my issues and I gained a new confidante. These two women have no idea how important the roles they played in my life are.
Fast forward to December 2013, the relationship had ended and I felt I had no one to talk to during this period. Everyone around me was buzzing with spirit of Christmas and I was just there putting up a brave front. I was dealing with the fact that my life seemed to have stagnated at that point. My younger sister had been married for almost a year, my brother was about to have his court wedding, my engagement had ended just over a year ago and my business was not where I expected it to be. I was a failure on many fronts in my own eyes and the many prying comments about when I too would be getting married was not helping. That year, when Christmas day came along, I was so depressed that I simply switched off my phones and absconded until the 27th. No Christmas calls or massages, I just needed to be alone and clear my head. Needless to say, when I eventually surfaced, everyone was upset with me but I honestly felt like an outsider looking in even with my family. Everyone was moving forward except me. Even my father had remarried and we had only recently celebrated his retirement.
2014, was a good year though. Business picked up and I was a busy busy bee all year round. The highlight of the year was a massive contract I secured at British American Tobacco. That was what took me to Ibadan before I fell in love with the city and decided to stay. I was making good money and I had come to terms with my single status. I felt no more pressure on the marriage front. But then, the December blues reared its ugly head again but this time I wasn’t about to let things spiral like they did the last year. I still had no one to talk to but I decided I could at least face God. I left Ibadan and came to Lagos a month before Christmas to clear my head in time for the festivities. I didn’t stay in the city though. I took off to Eko Beach Resort to be by myself and talk to God. It turned out to be the best thing I could have done. The beach was beautiful, quiet and serene. It was just the perfect environment. See pictures below (sorry about the graininess, I didn’t own a proper DSLR camera at the time so my phone had to do the work).
Eko 1

Eko 2

Eko 3
This one is my favorite.

Eko 4
There were so many palm trees. Too much beauty I tell you.

Eko 5
By the time I came back to town, I was in the best of moods and Christmas couldn’t have been better. 
Well, December is here again and I feel the funk coming on again so I have started planning what I about to become my annual December getaway. I haven’t decided where to go yet though. Somewhere beautiful for sure. Somewhere where I cannot help but be in awe of God’s glory every single second of the day. It has been a tough year. My sojourn in Ibadan went from a glorious one to an epic tragedy in the space of a few months and the marriage pressure has resurfaced in full force. Both my younger siblings becoming parents hasn’t help the cause of my singularity at all, don’t get me wrong, I am the PROUDEST/HAPPIEST uncle/big daddy out there but the pressure is not getting any easier to bear. I need my getaway now more than ever. I am operating on a tighter budget this time though so suggestions on cheap getaways are very welcome.

Always The Bad Guy

I don’t know if this applies to ladies but guys, if you break up with your girlfriend, you will always be the bad guy. This applies even if she was the most evil thing you had ever had the misfortune of coming across.
I have had two serious relationships in my thirty plus years. I say two because there are only two women I can truthfully claim to have loved so others don’t count as serious relationships in my book. Let me cast your mind back to some of my first posts, specifically the “broken by love series”. I lied when I said that story was a friend’s experience. I wrote that post as a way to help me heal something that was damaged a few years ago. Something I had not been able to fix because I never told the full story to anyone till then. I also added some fiction to throw people who might have an idea it was me off the scent.
For those of you never read those posts, this is the abridged version. I met and fell in love with this girl. During the course of a relationship that spanned three years and some months, I caught her cheating four times. The last incidence was the one that finally broke me. The one that made me come to my senses and push love aside for my own good. I broke up with her but somewhere in my heart, I was waiting for her to come back to me and make things right. I didn’t completely cut ties with her in hopes that maybe we could somehow mend what had been shattered. She was my first love after all.
She was serving at the time and I had hoped that she would get back to Lagos immediately after passing out and we could talk things out. But no, she first of all went to play in the North for a month and then came back to tell me she was sorry and wanted me back. By this time, I had practically finished shutting that door and only true remorse on her part could have shoved it open but she was still not saying/doing the right things. Even at that point, she refused to divulge the details of the people she had cheated on me with which led me to believe that she had not cut ties with them (this was later confirmed when one of them gave her brother a job and another offered her a job with his own company).
Anyway, she was hanging around quite a bit but I had become unresponsive and started getting close to another lady. The she found out that I had started a new relationship with said lady was the day it hit her that the games she was playing had backfired. That was the first and only time I saw anything resembling true remorse and brokenness concerning what she had done to me but it was too late. What was I supposed to do? Call off a relationship that was barely a week old? That was the last time we saw each other until a few years later.
Fast forward about two and a half years. Within that time, I had gotten engaged and broken off the engagement. Apparently she had been keeping tabs on me the whole time because she knew about the engagement. Anyway, we ran into each other at a function and reconnected. I thought maybe we could gradually become friends again. That was until the day we talked about how things ended between us. Now, I don’t like living in the past and up until that moment, the only person who knew the true details of why we broke up was my late mom. Even now that we were talking about it, I didn’t bring up accusations about the cheating. I just wanted us to leave that chapter in the past but as it turned out, she was accusing me of being the one who broke her heart. Come and see shock! Say what now?! Next thing I knew she was telling me I was foolish for leaving her the way I did. Somewhere in her twisted mind, I actually dumped her for another woman. 
Let me put this in perspective. I broke up with her in January 2010 and started dating someone else in May 2011. Over a year and I DUMPED HER FOR ANOTHER WOMAN! How in the world did she think we were still dating for over a year when I never did any of the calling, I never took her out on dates, would ignore her calls and messages for extended periods of time, etc. I guess my mistake was not cutting her out completely.
Anyway, I later found out that while I protected her integrity all this years, she was going around telling people I left her for another woman. This was when it hit me that this girl was evil and I finally cut ties completely and categorically told my family members that if I should hear that any off them had any contact with her there would be a problem. 
What still baffles me is how quickly she forgot how she tore my heart to shreds and only remembered that I broke her heart when I left her. What kind of selective memory is that one? 
Something similar happened with my second serious relationship which led to engagement. Not that she cheated on me. The circumstances that led to the break up were totally different. What is similar is that today, as far she is concerned, I am the bad guy and she did nothing wrong. While I acknowledge that I could have handled things better with her, I also know that my reasons where valid but she doesn’t see it that way. With her I also tried to give time to see if things could be mended but she immediately started announcing the break up, deleting my family members from her social media, returning or giving way every single gift I had ever given her including a dress my step-mom gave her (with the tag still on it) and excusing herself from my sister’s bridal train. In short, she never gave me a chance to rethink my decision.
This post is already too long for my taste so I’ll reserve the full gist of that one for another day. What I need to know is; do all ladies reason like this? Do you all find a way to blame the guy even if you were the one who messed things up or at least played a significant role in damaging the relationship? I need to understand this so I know how to deal with it in the future.

I’m back and a couple of things are chapping my hide.

let not your hide be chapped

My people, I am sure you’re tired of me by now. I’m just the worst abi? I’m scared to check the date on my last post. I’m not sure I want to know exactly how long it has been. To be honest, the decision to post today was informed by a friend of mine who somehow figured out that I am the writer on this blog. I know right? Too many sharp people around me… 1st my brother and now a friend who sees me maybe once a year. 

So much has changed since the last time I was here. Where do I start? I may have to break things up into a few posts. Let me start with the major one. NB has move back to Lagos. For several reasons which will be revealed over my next few posts, I have relocated again. This year has been one of great upheavals and small victories. I just thank God for life and that the year is almost over. I also think I’ve finally learned the lesson God has been trying to teach me over the last few months so I expect the coming year to be one of GREAT VICTORIES. I don’t know why I always insist on learning the hard way.

Anyway, so I’m a “Lagos boy” once more. Been around for a couple of months now and already a few things are bothering me. I started attending the church I left when I moved to Ibadan and there has been a recurring theme almost every Sunday. You see, my father is an Assistant Pastor in the church and my mom was one too before she passed on (some sharp friend will figure this one out again I’m sure). Anyway, now all the “elders” call me Pastor NB now because I naturally must become a pastor just because my parents joined the ministry. It irritates me to no end when they start with their shenanigans but nothing or say or do makes them stop so I have resorted to sometimes pretending like I didn’t hear them. The day God decides to call me into the ministry, I will not resist but it has not happened and I actually do not pray for such a calling. Those who lobby for such titles don’t understand the gravity of such a calling. As a pastor, you are responsible for your flock and they look to you for direction. Anything you do (no matter how innocent) that misguides or derails them will be brought against you on judgement day. Frankly, that level of responsibility scares me.
That isn’t even my main grouse. I keep hearing the same question every Sunday. “Where is your wife?” Followed by “What are you waiting for? Stop wasting time o!”. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? How about questions like “How’s life treating you?” Why must it always be wife matter? Why has it become a taboo for men and women my age to be single within the church especially? I got into a discussion a couple of weeks ago with some other singles and they were talking about starting their own fellowship and holding separate services for themselves. They shared the same sentiments I have on the matter. We have become alienated in our church just because we are not married. I have noticed that quite a few people have actually left to find places where they are accepted. I may be wrong but I’m sure a churches where singles are celebrated in Lagos are few and far between. 
It used to be that men and women were pressured into marriage by their parents but now the church has joined. I can only imagine how many people have entered into bad marriages just because they felt pressured by the constant barrage of “stop wasting time” statements. It has gotten so bad that people look at you like you have some kind of disease. I personally have seen my social circle shrink over the last few years because most of my friends have gotten married, All of a sudden they don’t want to hang out anymore and one even confessed that his wife doesn’t want him hanging around with single guys anymore.
Something needs to change o! I cannot come and go and marry the wrong woman just because I want to fit in. Kilode? I have enough wahala to deal with already without adding a miserable marriage to the list. Unfortunately, some of my peers don’t share this resolve. I actually know someone who got married and two weeks later, we stopped seeing his new bride. He later told me that she left him after two weeks. That has to be some kind of record. What were they thinking before they got married? Meanwhile he had made it a point to rub his wedding band in my face for those two fleeting weeks.
I recently got the “what the hell is wrong with you?” look from another friend when I told him I’m still single (yes, the girlfriend from my last post is no longer in the picture). I guess my case would have been redeemable if I was at least in a serious relationship.
We need to learn how to enjoy being single. I am not anti-marriage by any means. I wake up every morning wishing I had someone to say good morning to with a kiss but that doesn’t mean I will kill myself in order to find a wife. And for those of you who have found your significant others and tied the knot, we are truly happy for you but stop making it your mission to rub it in our faces. We too will join your club on the day that God has ordained.
I need to stop here before I start rambling. I have sha vented and made my point.
Before I go… 
Atilola, I know I need to be flogged but just give me one more chance first. I won’t wait so long to post anymore. 
Toinlicious!!! My heart still belongs to you o! Please do quick and make that move you spoke of.
Shout out to Calabar Gal who actually read every single post on this blog after discovering it. You even commented on each one. Your attentions span must be on steroids.
Now I need to find time to catch up on everyone’s blogs. Expect my comments soon.
Till next time…

Out with the egusi, in with the chicken soup

My people, my people… It’s been a while huh? First of all let me apologize for my absence and shout out to Neisha for calling me out on my lack of posts. Soo…. What’s been been happening since the last time I blogged? Not much actually. Finished setting up my new shop and waiting for the inventory I ordered to arrive. That process was so stressful ehn. Between the artisans and making sure I complied with all Oyo state regulations concerning the kind of business that will be operating there, I got so worn out and I’m glad we will be opening soon.
What else? … Ehen! Remember the post where I talked about my battle with weight loss motivation? Well, your comments seem to have helped to ginger me. One comment in particular by Ada_ugo inspired me. Now I’m changing my lifestyle instead of looking at it as a diet and exercise thing. What does that mean? It means I’ve simply decided to change the things I eat to more healthy stuff and now I try to make exercise part of my daily routine. Sounds just like dieting and exercise but trust me, my mind processes both differently. 
So instead of eating agege bread, I now eat whole wheat and unleavened bread, instead of ice cream, I satisfy my cravings with vanilla flavored farm fresh yogurt. Shout out to Toinlicious for inspiring my try farm fresh. It’s totally amazingly delicious. I’ve also been experimenting with taking boring cream of chicken soup and making it an amazing experience for my taste buds. See pic below.
I cut out all carbs for a week to kickstart the fat burning process and reintroduced starchy foods in very moderate quantities in week two. The sight of regular bread, garri, yam, etc, already puts me off and I’m glad. I love those foods so much but they must go for now. I still eat rice in small quantities but I’m hoping to acquire a taste for brown rice soon so that I can switch to that.
For exercise, I haven’t started going to the gym but now I try to walk as much as possible. So if I want to buy gas from the nearby gas station, i walk instead of drive. If I need tomatoes and pepper, I walk to the nearby market instead of sending someone. It’s a gradual process but it will be worth it. I haven’t noticed a difference on the scale yet but I already feel better than I have in a while. My body is responding well. And now that I’ve told y’all about it, I’m a bit more accountable. Won’t want to eventually run into one of you and still be as fat as I currently am.
Anyhoo, not much else to say today and yeah… I’ve used this post to show off my less than spectacular culinary skills again but hey, it’s my blog and I’ll boast if I want to *tongue out*. 
Wait, one more thing. This has nothing to do with diets or exercise. I was talking to an acquaintance the other day when someone drove by in a Range Rover and he made a comment about waiting  for the day God would send his own. Sounds like a simple enough desire but what struck me was the fact that he’s waiting for God to magically send him a Range Rover. This guy has never had a job since he graduated several years ago, he has never started a business, he spends his days wishing something goo will eventually happen to him. My question is this… When did we get into the business of simply asking God for stuff and hoping it will magically appear or happen? What happened to asking God to show usnhownto achieve our goals and dreams intead of asking Him to just do stuff?
I don’t know about you guys but when I talk to God I’m practical. I wanted to open another store and I couldn’t afford it so I asked God to show me how to afford it and He came through. Most people these days would just sit at home and pray for God to send the money but would ignore all the signs He points outs when trying to show them how to get the money they need. God performs miracles but He is not a magician. We need to get real and stop being lazy.
This was supposed to be a short post o. Need to get back to my research. I promise not to be gone for a week before I post again. I’ll also make some time later tonight to make my blog rounds. I’m sure I’ve missed a lot since I last travelled through blogsville. Later peeps. NB out.

my name is Naija Bachelor and I AM A MAN!

Say it with me
My people, my people, my people… How many times did I call you? Hmm… My people, I have one gist I have been keeping since Sunday night. I did not want to spill it yet because I needed to really take a look at myself and think how twisted the world around me has become. Hmm… My people, you know I told you I would be spending some time with a lady who could become Bae if things went well… Well, we did spend time together, she even slept over at the hotel for a couple of nights. We even had quite a good time (not that kind of good time…). Sounds great right??? That’s what I thought too. So how come when I dropped her off on Monday morning, she was pissed and today when we spoke, she was downright cold? The answer sounded strange to me at first but after making some enquiries, I realised that it’s not so strange to other people.
So here I was having a good time hosting this company retreat and winning brownie points with the company’s MD who was impressed and having quite a bit of fun himself. He even asked me if he could bring his wife to join him and I of course said yes. I too carried by big, bearded (I found out a certain someone likes bearded men today so I’ll be making sure to mention that I’m bearded as often as possible in all my posts from now on), head and called my toastee (let’s call her Liv) to come over and join us too. She joined in on the activities and later on, when the facilitators and company management were hanging out later, she was the life of the party. The hotel we chose to lodge at had a nightclub, a strip club no seriously, they had a strip club, and a bush bar onsite so were partying every night. Conversation was good and she actually got me to dance (I dance like an oyinbo so I usually don’t even bother getting on the dance floor and no one has ever succeeded in convincing me otherwise).
Back to me and Liv… She came over on Saturday and we had such a great time hanging out. She ended up chilling with us after hours and when we retired, it was too late for her to go anywhere so she spent the rest of the night with me. We talked until the early hours of Sunday and only slept a couple of hours. We really got to know a lot about each other, I mean really intimate stuff. I dropped her off at home early on Sunday morning and went to church. After church we would be rounding up the retreat with a motivational talk, team building exercises and a trip to the beach. I of course invited her to the beach and we again had a great time (I’m known to be pretty serious most of the time but I love playful, talkative women). She spent that night with me and again we talked late into the night before going to bed.
Monday morning came and it was time to start packing up. That was when the wahala started. I’m packing up my laptop when I hear “NB, how could I sleep in your bed for two nights and give you all the signals and green lights and you didn’t try to take me?” Me I’m just standing there with my mouth wide open like “huh???”.She didn’t stop there o! “You are not even a man. I even rubbed this body all over you and you just dulled yourself”. My people, I could not answer o. I was embarrassed and enraged at the same time. Here I was thinking I was being a gentleman and now I was being told I wasn’t even a man because I did not try and take advantage of the fact that we slept in the the same bed for two nights. I sha gathered what was left of my dignity and left the room until my cab arrived. We didn’t talk again until I said goodbye as I dropped her off at home.
Since yesterday, I’ve heard several girls tell me that I should have made the move and I dulled. Apparently, it is now a sin for me to respect a woman enough not to demand sex a day after meeting her. I’ve always known men take advantage of such situations and expect that there will be sex once a lady has gone clubbing with him but when did the women start thinking the same way? i actually felt very bad and had to take a while to think about what had happened? I’ve been accused of acting like an old man but I’m sorry, my father did not raise me like that. I may not be the most moral of men and I have had my own fair share of trouble making but I have never been able to bring myself to act the fool and disrespect women. But now that kind of behavior is expected of me.
After taking a day to think about all this, I came to the conclusion that I AM A MAN and no one can take that away from me. Men have done so many evil things to women and now they have come to expect ill treatment from us but I will never stoop to that level. I hear all the stories of men forcing themselves on women just because they made the mistake of ending up in a room alone with them. I’ve heard people blame girls for putting themselves in bad situations and getting raped or worse. While I agree that some could be wiser, it doesn’t make the way some of us treat women any better. It does not absolve us of blame. We need to be able to show some dignity and have some respect for the opposite sex and if that means exercising self control and not making sex the first thing on ours minds when we hang out with women then so be it. I mean, how can we start a relationship with sex as the foundation? That relationship cannot be healthy. I know this from personal experience (story for another day).
I’m not sure if I set out to make a point with this post. I simply wanted to vent and get it out there that no one can make me feel like any less of a man just because I have some self-respect and I translate that my relations with the opposite sex.

NB’s Diary – Blog Therapy

My people,  just look at the picture above. I mean… Who in the world came up with this idea? I feel like blessing and cursing the person simultaneously. I mean… Just imagine how good this would taste? Why does slow death have to taste so good? Pizza fries… Get the behind me junk food.
For those of you trying to get that weight loss journey started, I feel your pain. I’ve been trying to kick start my own weight loss for the last 15 years. I don’t know why I’m so diligent at other things but when it comes to weight loss,  I’m downright lazy. I’ve tried all the motivational techniques known to man but I simply don’t have the drive needed to sustain a weight loss program.
I don’t believe I’m destined to be overweight and I’ve never given up hope. I just need to find a way to turn fitness into a passion. In a lot of ways,  it’s like my business. Sometimes a proposal needs to marinate for a couple of years before its ready to be pitched. Sometimes after pitching,  the idea needs to incubate in the minds of the potential clients and that too can take years. I’ve learned to be patient and now a lot of deals that I though we’re dead a couple of years ago are suddenly springing back to life.
If I’ve learned to be patient in my career, why then do I lose patience when I don’t start seeing results after a few days of exercise?
Anyway,  this isn’t even what I planned to blog about today but I guess I needed get this out. This blog has so quickly become therapeutic for me.
In other news…
I’ve been on the road a lot the last couple of days. Between setting up my store,  putting together partnership agreements for a few ventures (including mine), and attending meetings between Ibadan and Lagos, I’ve had to squeeze out time to post. I’m thoroughly enjoying myself though.
NB is going to be in Lagos starting tomorrow and will be there for a week. I’m facilitating my first ever company retreat. As in ehn… I’m having butterflies in my stomach. Starting Friday,  I will be dictating how 30 professionals spend their weekend. The assignment is team bonding and I think I have an awesome package planned. Let’s just say that by the time they leave the hotel on Sunday, we would have exposed all but the deepest and darkest of their secrets, from analysts to CEO *cue evil laugh*.
I will also be spending sometime with possibly the next Madam Bae/Duchess Boo/Lady Sweetness I’m NB’s life. Very soon,  a sixth person, 7th actually,  will know my secret. Where did the 6th person come from abi? Somehow my younger brother stumbled on the blog and put two and two together to equal his egbon. That’s what happens when you let your aburo marry before you. They suddenly become wiser than their egbons.

NB’s Diary – From setbacks to passion.

I had a speaking engagement today. I was asked to come and talk at a seminar at the University of Ibadan about setbacks and how to overcome them. As usual, my life was the source of the material I used. I don’t do speaking engagements unless I can use my life as an example. This particular time though, I was speaking on a topic which I could completely relate to having had several setbacks (of my own doing) before getting to this current point in my life.
You see, NB has been a trouble finder for a long time. I will be 33 in a couple of months and in those 3+ decades, I’ve been expelled from school, arrested and done jail time in two different countries, deported from one of them and finally had to come home to start all over and all this happened before I turned 23. Between then and now (10 years), I’ve managed to turn my life around (with the help of family and friends) and pretty much caught up with my peers who left me behind back then (except for the fact I haven’t started my own family but all in due time).
Every time I speak about that part of my life, I end up feeling raw with emotion. There those emotions consisted of regret, anger, bitterness and self-loathing but now all those are gone and have been replaced with PASSION. That’s the raw emotion I feel when I speak about my past. Today, it pains me so much when I see teenagers, especially the guys, going down that same path. I remember all the trouble I put my family through during those years and I feel for their parents and siblings. That passion also translates to wanting to help the people around me succeed. I remember when I was in my 3rd year at uni and I realised a few of my friends were sitting at second class upper level. I started tutoring them in the subjects were I could help and told each and every one of them that I could not stand by and watch them barely scrap through while I was excelling and only needed to puch myself a bit more to make a first class. I didn’t make the first class but I made a very strong second class upper and I am glad to say at each all those people I tutored made the same grade.
It is this same passion that I have put into my consultancy business. It’s cool that I can write awesome business plans (see how I plugged my busness there?). It’s also cool that I can successfully coordinate a market research effort of a business start-up. But and good consultant can do that. I go the extra mile with my clients, I recently wrote a plan for a company that was applying for a grant. They were thrilled with the business plan but imagine their joy when I called to set up another meeting where I would guide them through the filing of the application form. We have also set up an appointment for a training session where I’ll coach the MD on how to succeffully defend the business plan and his vision for the company in front of a panel of business experts. That is PASSION. Someone who consults just because he can do it and needs to make money will not go that extra mile. That client wrote my firm a recommendation and called me a GREAT BUSINESS CONSULTANT. That is the word I want to hear from all my clients when I deliver a service. I don’t want good reviews, I want AWESOME reviews.
Before I go, let me just say that I now realise everything I went through has directly contributed to what I am passionate about today. All the setbacks have led to to this point where I’m typing this post. God knew what He was doing all along and I am grateful that I was able to pick myself up each time and try again. I am grateful for being surrounded by a family that never lost faith in me and friends who helped me stay focused (even though most of them had no idea that they were helping to mould me). 
I’m done for now. Guess this was left over from my talk earlier today. Now if only people would start paying me to speak at these seminars. NB out!

NB’s Diary – First, a rant, then some quick motivation Steve Jobs style.

My people, how una dey? First of all, I need to rant… What is it with Nigerian artisans??? These people act like someone sent them to give me a stroke. I’ve been setting up my store and had plumbing, masonry, electrical and wood work done last week. They all did their jobs after a bit of haggling and I implored them to do a good job especially since I was clearly paying more than the going rate for their services (for some reason people automatically inflate prices as soon as the see me). I don’t mind paying a little extra as long as quality is guaranteed. So imagine how pissed I was today when I got there and saw that the plumbing has started leaking and the electrical work is faulty. The plumbing has been fixed but the electrician has refused to answer my calls. This puts me behind schedule for the grand opening and I AM NOT HAPPY. To crown it all, the signage for the store was supposed to be delivered yesterday and I still have not received them. The printer is blaming the welder and the welder has failed to deliver on deadlines he set for himself twice. We talk about government not working and we curse and abuse our leaders all the time but a good leader must be a good citizen even before he/she becomes a leader. If we can’t deliver on promises to deliver the promised quality even when overcharging, the how can we become good leaders? Like I’ve always said, our problem in this country runs deeper than the leadership level. It starts at the grassroots. If the change doesn’t start from each and every one of use, it will never reach our leaders.
Moving on… I know I’m probably the last one to watch it but I finally saw Jobs the movie today.I know it’s a movie depiction of the man’s life and things would have been added or taken out for theatrical purposes but I am pretty sure his passion was accurately depicted throughout. The rawness of that passion struck a nerve. I mean, this guy sacrificed family, friends and any other thing in his quest to achieve what others thought was impossible, I had to ask myself if I would I be willing to go that far to achieve my vision. My answer came when I watched how he lost what he had worked for because his sacrifices and drive left him open to attack. He didn’t know it but he was pushing the people who could have helped him away the whole time and in the end, he had to rely on people (he even developed a relationship with the daughter he wanted nothing to do with) to gain it back. He never lost his ruthless streak though. Is being ruthless a critical part of being successful? It seems to me that it is to some extent. Most of the business tycoons I know of exhibit varying degrees of ruthlessness. 
Anyway, I loved the movie in general and several scenes and quotes struck me and I feel like sharing my thoughts on them here so here it goes:

  1. “I’m not dismissing the value of higher education; I’m simply saying it comes at the expense of experience.” – I believe that life experiences are more important than higher education when it comes to being innovative. This relates to a post I read on TTT about book smarts vs street smarts (read it here).
  2. “How does somebody know what they want if they haven’t even seen it?” – This is the question every entrepreneur needs to ask when told the an idea or product cannot work. In 2010 who would have imagined that anyone would have asked for another device after owning a laptop and a smart phone. An iPad isn’t something any of us were wishing to add to our list of targets but then Apple gave us the iPad and now most people can’t live without it.
  3. It (what you choose to do) has got to be something that you’re passionate about because otherwise you won’t have the perseverance to see it through.” – This word again… PASSION… It always seems to be the bedrock of my talks at speaking engagements. Passion is a critical component of success. Your work is going to fill a large chunk of your life so it is absolutely critical that you find what you love. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. When you do find it, you WILL know in your heart. The only way to be truly satisfied with what you do is to do great work and the only way you can do great work is to do what you are passionate about.
There are other things I took from the movie but if I proceeded to write about is all, I would never finish writing this post. I will mention one other thing though. Jobs never tried to do a better job with what other had done. He always reinvented. One of the scenes in the movie consisted of him telling his board that he would rather take a risk on Apple’s vision that on a “me too” product. He believed it was better to do something different from.rather than something that was just better than the competition’s product.

Before I go, I want you to ask yourself one question tonight: Is everything you do as great as it could be?

This could be the most important question you ask yourself as a leader, entrepreneur, managing director, CEO, etc. Don’t just make it; make it great.

As usual, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below. NB out!

NB’s Diary – Val’s day was awesome

My people, how’s the post valentines day hangover? From all indications, it seems yesterday was underwhelming for a lot of people. I didn’t detect the usual buzz I get on Feb 14. So many people spent the day at home quietly with their bfs/gfs/side boos/spouses and some had no one to spend it with. I was in danger of falling into that last category. Despite all my bragado about having fun my myself, I started to feel lonely and I was able to relate to the picture below (for a while).

That feeling didn’t last long though. Some awesome ladies from church had other plans. I got the call around noon asking what I was up too. I was in the middle of movie number two but I had no qualms abandoning it when they asked me to join them in town.  To cut a long story short, I had the best time hanging out with 5 single ladies and felt like a chairman throughout. We acted up all day and didn’t care if people thought we were weird. There was none of the pressure of trying to impress anyone or trying to outdo the next guy’s gift. Just 6 friends hanging out like any other day.
On days like the 14th of February, it’s easy for the ghosts of relationships past to creep in and cause bitterness to flourish. Mine tried but God had a different plan. Hanging out with those ladies beat away those demons quick. Now if only I could get them to read my blog but that would mean more people knowing my identity. Or maybe they already read it in which case they now know exactly who I am. 
As promised, I revealed my identity to 5 of my readers yesterday. Tosyne, Erniesha, Godwin, Tasha and Lily are the chosen keepers of my secret. They happen to also be the only 5 people who indicated interest before the deadline passed so I guess it was written in the stars that they would be the first to know who NB really is.
This coming week is going to be spent doing some early spring cleaning. I tend to be untidy sometimes but every couple of weeks I wake up and go on a cleaning binge. Another reason why I have no issues with Mondays, I can decide to do whatever I feel like doing. 
Anyway, how did you guys spend vals day? Any new engaged blogville couples? Let’s here your gist.
NB out!

NB’s Diary

My people, what’s good? As you can see, I’m back on my feet.  A special thank you too all of you for your get well soon messages and show of concern. Some people (Erniesha & Tasha) even sent emails (Tasha I’m waiting for you to resend it o). 
I have been challenged by Mr. Godwin Uche to reveal my identity. A few days ago I would have said no way. However, given the recent “junk in your face” drama most of you have heard about, I think it’s only fair I compromise to an extent. It would go a long way to gaining y’alls trust if at least some of you know my real name and see what I look like (Atilola, you don’t qualify since you already have that information). 
Now here’s my plan. I will be keeping a close eye on my comment box for anyone who indicates an interest in knowing who NB really is. I must let you know that before you indicate interest, you should have a genuine interest in becoming actual friends outside blogsville. I will pick 5 people in a raffle draw and I will send them an email from my real address containing my full name, date of birth, phone number, BB pin and a selfie (plus whatever other info they may want). 
I’m not exactly sure how to execute the raffle in a manner that’s open and transparent. Does anyone know about a gadget I can use?
Anyway, this offer will end 24 hours from the time this post was uploaded. Winners will be announced shortly after.
I’m crossing my fingers and hoping some people will actually be interested in finding out my true identity.

Later peeps. NB out!