NOELINE KIRABO’S STORY final part

We’ve arrived at our final installment of Noeline’s story. There is even more to learn in this final segment. If you missed the first two, you can read them here and here for the first and second part respectively. Enjoy reading today’s post. 

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Along the growth path of your different initiatives, what are some of the challenges you’ve experienced?

“The biggest challenge was funding. It’s tough coming from the security of a paycheck to figuring out how to make it work. As a social entrepreneur, you are driven by the passion. You want to make a difference but then you realize it’s going to take money to run the venture. In the early stages, it’s really difficult to secure funding especially for purely local startups where you don’t have links to the US…or any other country. Secondly, you don’t have any record they can track for impact so it’s hard because possible funders are always asking for impact. So it becomes hard for you to prove yourself in that early stage. It does get better with time though.

Getting the kind of staff you need is also a challenge. You end up having to outsource many things because you don’t have the money to hire full-time people. This affects the quality.

In addition, the workload is really crazy. In my first year, I was doing jobs for like six people. You’re the accountant, the manager, the PRO, the HRO…yeah, so that was a very big challenge for me. The bigger challenge was in that initial start up phase. I’d say for people who are starting out that you just have to hang in there. The start is rough but it gets better with time.”

 

 

What was your lowest moment during the period of running your businesses and is there a point you wanted to give up?

She laughs at this point as she tells me there was not one low moment but plural – moments.

“There are moments I cried my eyes out. There are times I’d wait for all my staff to go and I’d just stay behind. I was frustrated. You see how hard your people work and you want to offer them better remuneration but you can’t and it kind of nudges you. They were really committed and I wasn’t able to offer them better money. Those were frustrating moments. And yes there were moments when I literally wanted to give up.

I got through those moments first, by speaking up. I learnt to speak up and ask for help and that’s where I’ll say that it’s important to have mentors and people that believe in you and also for me, the board that I have are not just people with profiles but they are my friends too. So I learnt to fall back to the support system I had. I once called a meeting and told my board I was done. They empathized with me and also appreciated what I wasn’t seeing and helped me see how much positive work I had already done. In addition, they committed and said they were sticking there with me and did all they could to help me. That helped me to cast my burden. You don’t have to carry it alone. I actually met Moses Mukisa in one of those times when I had a burnout. He sat me down and gave me a serious talk and told me I couldn’t live my life like that. He also gave me some useful advice and new angles for the business as well as useful links and contacts of people who could help. So that helped.

Furthermore prayer helped. When I was reading about kingdom business, I learnt the concept of having God as your CEO and business partner whereby I would involve God actively in the business. In that process, some ideas were birthed in prayer and He’d impress it on my heart to go approach some people and they actually helped. So, having a support system and prayer have helped a lot.”

At this point, I was amazed by all the knowledge I had gleaned. It appears to me she has already achieved quite a lot. I am curious to find out what she’s cooking for the next steps in her life.

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What are your future goals, dreams and plans?

“I aspire to become a CEO of a group of companies. One of the things I have discovered about myself is I am a starter. I have the grace to start things. So I see myself starting many companies and then training and equipping people to run these different companies.

In addition to this, one of my goals is to empower 10,000 startups.

My dream for Kyusa is that it becomes an international model which can be used anywhere and by anyone. So we can create tool kits for startups whereby one can log in and have a self-paced program which an individual can implement. That’s one of my dreams; to see what we do become a model that can run online and can be replicated in different regions.

One of my personal ambitions is to have written 60 books by the time I am sixty years. One of the people who have inspired me to write is Mike Maddock. I found close to 500 books of his and his writing model is to use smaller books. Some are as small as 30 pages but they give one a lot to think about. You have young people that are turned off by big books but they are desperate for information so I want to create 60 books that anyone can pick up and read.

In addition to this, finally, I want to travel the world.”

As I wound up this interview down, there were only three more things I wanted to ask.

 

What’s your personal mission statement?

“To empower people to identify their life purpose and turn their passions into skills for fruitful living”

 

Any favourite quotes? 

“If you can envision it, you can achieve it.”

“As a man thinks, so is he.”

“If you believe it, you can do it.”

“The dream is free. The hustle is sold separately.”

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Your most impactful books? 

As a Man Thinks by James Allen, In Pursuit of Purpose by Myles Munroe, Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren and Little Black Book for Stunning Success by Robin Sharma

 

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed sitting at Noeline’s table and soaking in her journey and lessons to learn.

Keep shining and keep on keeping on.

With the best of regards,

Keziah.

NOELINE KIRABO’S STORY part 1

IMG_1134Noeline is an author, writer, motivational speaker, life coach, career mentor, trainer, social entrepreneur and business development consultant. 

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It was a cloudy and threatening-to-rain day when I made my way to Kalerwe to the Kyusa offices. Noeline’s directions were precise to the dot and I got to the right office without any hiccups. Okay well, almost no hiccups. I almost went toward the wrong door until I spotted the Kyusa poster on the first door. Her welcome was warm. She sat next to an open window that showed an overgrown wild bush in the neighbouring plot. I had looked forward with anticipation to chatting with this vibrant young lady. Seated opposite her, I started asking her some questions. Her answers flowed like a river and her joyous laughter was plentiful.

Tell us a bit about your background and early childhood

“I was born in Jinja, then we relocated. I grew up in old Kampala for the biggest part of my life. It was an urban slum community and quite an experience because from a young age I got to see people hustle. I saw the challenges that people go through, the suffering and pain, the vulnerability and young girls becoming pregnant and eloping. That is where my connection comes from when it comes to community work because these are things I’ve seen and experienced. It is not something I read and researched about.

I was very sickly growing up so I had my own dynamic. On one side I was very fragile while on another side I was very adventurous so the combination was a big twist for many people. You either knew one side or the other side so my mum would go to school and argue how her daughter is purely innocent and the teachers would look at her with a you-have-no-idea-what-your-daughter-can-do look. I was quiet and reserved yet quite naughty. You’d walk into class and think ‘it can’t be her’ and yet everything tells you ‘it must be her’.” She laughed. 

“Also, because I was sickly, I was exempted from many things such as punishment and the hard work. So at some point I took the same laissez faire attitude with my academics. I knew that even if I flunked, it wouldn’t be such a big deal. This went on until either P.5 or P.6, when I was forced to repeat a class and that was a wake up call for me.

I was taller than most of the people in my class so it was on that basis that my sister insisted I don’t repeat because it would kill my esteem. She advocated for me to change schools. At that time, I was in Mengo primary and I was moved to Bat Valley primary. It was at that point that I woke up and improved my academics. I wanted to prove myself and I realized that if I just put in a little effort, I’d actually get stuff done. I was very good with the Arts. Mathematics was my biggest challenge, (laughs) I guess still is, but I’ve come a long way.

WhatsApp Image 2018-04-01 at 11.23.38For secondary I was put in Wanyange boarding school and that was a whole other experience because being sickly, away from home and having been pampered all my life, there I was. I had cousins in higher classes who watched out for me but that was my transition into independence, just learning to be able to stand. At first I became a bully then I outgrew it. I would get people to do stuff for me. Then I found my way into a leadership space though sadly at first, I used that to still get people to do stuff for me. Then I think it’s in my A level that I got to really serve and not to just get people to do stuff for me.”

 

Curious, I ask her what sparked that urge to change and use leadership for real service.

“I’d grown up in church all my life but it’s at that point that I became really serious with God. It was during my senior 4 transition. My mum fell sick and it’s in that moment that my faith meant more to me than anything. By the time I got to A-level I was really grounded and that’s what changed my perspective. I’m now a leader not to get privileges but basically to empower and mentor other people. I was a head girl and head of scripture union fellowship in my A-levels.”

How did your journey proceed after high school?

“After I did my high school, I passed and was admitted to university as a private student. I was super excited. However, I realized I wasn’t able to go to university. Mum was sick and going through chemotherapy. There was no money for university. I was brought to a place where I had to drop out not because I was daft or I didn’t want to study but because of matters out of my control. So that put me on a totally different path. To build my first CV, I did a number of online courses and that’s how I got a job which gave me formal training.”

What inspired you to get up and move forward from that discouragement of not being able to go to university?

“During that time I spent a lot of time with my mum in hospital taking care of her. Cancer, as a disease in Uganda was only starting to get on the rise and the perception toward it was similar to that of AIDS whereby it was assumed that when you get it, you die. But interestingly, my mum refused to die and it is something she verbalized. She said ‘I refuse to die’ and it would annoy me like crazy because I thought that it was her fate due to the general perception. A year later my mum actually pulled through and she is one of those cancer survivors that has no side effects…for me that was a miracle and the fact that she said she refused to die and that she needed to see her grand children, it was proof that her will kept her alive. So that’s where I picked the will to push for my dreams, to know that no matter where you are, you can actually push against the tides. I had seen her practically do it.

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I had wanted to be a journalist or lawyer so at that point I asked myself what it was about those two professions that I loved. I realized it was that I wanted to speak for the vulnerable and bring justice in some way. So I started reading very wide and realized I was more interested in humanities and that took shape for me. I hate it when people are marginalized and I want to do my part to make a difference everyday.”

So how and when did you start the different initiatives that you run and what was the progression from one to the other? Did it all happen at once?

“Definitely not all at once. My very first initiative was Kyusa which I started in 2014. I left my last formal employment in 2012 and took a gap year in 2013 where I got a scholarship to go to India and do a course in social entrepreneurship. That helped shape the idea of what I wanted to do and this led to the launch of Kyusa, my first organization that I started from scratch. It’s been an experience and it was my first baby.

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In 2015, I started getting offers from people who wanted me to do consultancy or training for them that didn’t fit within the Kyusa framework. This led to the birth of Newen consults, a company I started in partnership with a friend. Newen Consults does personal and business development consulting. Kyusa still remained my main focus though.

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Around that time, I was mentoring and coaching young women and there a was period when seven women approached me for personalized coaching and mentoring around the same time. I knew that it would be a stretch for me. I prayed about it and that gave me the idea to do group mentoring. After that group mentoring pilot, there were people on the wait list already. This gave birth to the New Generations Mentoring program. This program was branded under Newen Consults. This has been running since 2016 and now we are in the fifth cohort. It’s been an amazing journey.

While doing business consultation, one of the things that bothered me was how there was little space for faith as a woman within the different business transactions. It was this that led me to read and research about “Kingdom Business” and interestingly there was not so much information about it. I had questions like at what point do I tithe as the business? At what point do I uphold my faith in business? Is there room for it because I can’t be one person and then another when it comes to business. So for a year we had this whatsapp group where we basically discussed business as women. We talked about tithe, prayer in business, sharing the gospel with workmates and so on. The network itself just grew over time. It’s not something that I woke up and decided to do. However, because I had started the initiative, I came on board as the founding president. We structured and registered it as the Christian Women’s Entrepreneurship Network and put in place a committee that runs it. This took effect in 2017.

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Next in 2017 when I wanted to do my book launch for Find Your Significance, I published my book under Newen consults and now in addition, we offer this service as well as nurturing and training upcoming young authors and helping them launch their books.”

zcamera-20171216_102506I had more questions and there is much more wisdom to be gleaned from Noeline. Let’s drink in this knowledge together slowly and fully. The second part of this interview will be published next Sunday on this same blog.

I believe you are looking forward to it too 🙂 .  

See you next Sunday. 

Best regards,

Keziah.

IT TAKES TIME!

I was sitting across my mentor when she said to me, “It takes time”.

She was referring to growing a business. It takes time to nurture it before it can produce lasting fruit. Consistency in the market place builds trust in your business, when people see that you continue to exist and progress year in year out. Eventually, you begin to attract more clientele and start to thrive. Trust is seldom built instantly.

At that moment though, “it takes time” was not what I wanted to hear because I was exhausted. And yet, strangely, lying in those three words, I found comfort and reassurance. I found a calmness of mind and a call to patience that settled my heart.

When starting any venture, it’s important to recognize that you are entering a new realm of experiences. As such, you will need the ingredient of patience with both yourself and your venture.

Foundations                                                                                                                             Depending on the venture you are building, take some time to build the appropriate foundations you need. They will serve as an anchor when times get tough. More importantly, good foundations are a consistent solid base upon which everything else stands. Get the right people around you and on your team. Seek out the right life-giving ideas and plans to get you on the right path.

Flexibility of Design                                                                                                                  There is always room to adjust something that you may have got wrong previously, especially in the initial stages of your venture. Pace yourself. It’s your venture. Just like design, which is fluid in nature and goes backwards and forwards during the process, you can adjust the plan and activities as you go along.

Commitment to the Journey                                                                                                        There is no way to over-emphasize a commitment to the journey. Be in it for the long haul. Play the long game and don’t be distracted by short-term and temporary wins or loses. Celebrate the short wins but keep moving forward, not allowing them to puff you up with pride. Learn from the loses and pick yourself up very quickly and keep moving onward and forward. I have addressed the importance of the journey in better detail in  The Process Matters .

Know this: most things that are worth a lot will require their due labour. The value of hard, smart and persistent work cannot be underestimated. Most people that eventually succeed do so not because they are the most brilliant but because they applied persistence and patience over a certain period of time while traversing different challenges. Victory usually comes after a fairly won battle.

When I established The House of Kea, I was stepping into new territory. I have come a long way. I am not where I want to be but I am certainly not where I was. My victory will come from learning the lessons due from this season and using them to propel forward. It’s still taking time but there is progress and growth, and that matters most.

So be encouraged, it takes time.

Love,

Keziah.

NOTE: Most of the images used on this blog currently, are downloaded from the internet through random searches. Where an image source is not acknowledged, this blog DOES NOT claim ownership of it and we therefore acknowledge alternative ownership. Thank you.

Tangerine Sunsets

Imagine sitting on a beach gazing at a tangerine sunset while sipping a strawberry mojito. Now imagine that you could do that everyday. Furthermore, imagine that all day, every day, your days felt like they were filled with perfect, warm, irresistible tangerine sunsets from the beginning to the end of day. Wouldn’t that be breathtaking?

Sadly, that’s not how life is designed. The rain is as real an occurrence as the sunshine. Some days will be great and others not so great. At every level, there will be challenges of different kinds. It is simply how life is.

So how does one keep hopeful, determined and enthusiastic? Three things.

 

One.  Persevere.

To persevere is to continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty.

Pearl, a pageant contestant, gave a speech at the recently concluded Miss Malaika Ghana. She spoke of perseverance and how she believed in herself despite the discouraging remarks from naysayers who told her she was too old to contest and therefore shouldn’t even try to enter the pageant. She persisted and persevered. Through her hard work, intelligence and natural gifting, she rose to the very top five and finally took home the crown as Miss Malaika Ghana 2017. It would have been sad if she had given up at the point of being discouraged by others.

 

Two. Become a problem solver.

It’s important that one learns to enjoy solving problems. When you view each new challenge as an opportunity to solve a new puzzle and rise to the top, your perspective towards the bumps along the road will change. You start to see those bumps as opportunities to find solutions that will be beneficial to you and others. I can guarantee you that it is not easy and many times you will feel like giving up but I urge you to practice renewing your perspective each time, and solving those problems!

Last week my industrial machine had a ball of thread stuck between the enclosure where the bobbin case goes and the feed plate. As a result, it couldn’t stitch. I tried to get someone to fix it because I was worried that if I opened the machine up, I might have made the situation worse. However, as chances would have it, the technicians I reached out to were too busy to come over. At that moment, I told myself I needed to find an immediate solution and stop the hiccup to avoid any more time wastage. I put my “engineer’s cup” on and went to work. I unscrewed the plate, removed the needle and presser foot, and started removing the threads. After a little while, the solution was solved. I had never done this before. The situation taught me that being pushed into a corner isn’t such a bad thing for it forces you to think of a way out. In addition to that, it helps you grow and become more knowledgeable.

 

Three. Create your own tangerine sunsets.

When faced with a cloudy and rainy day, sometimes you need to deliberately paint some rainbows by being grateful for all you have and taking the time to celebrate what you’ve already achieved.

Enjoy your upcoming week of tangerine sunsets and strawberry mojitos.

Cordially,    Keziah.

 

NOTE: Most of the images used on this blog currently, are downloaded from the internet through random searches. Where an image source is not acknowledged, this blog DOES NOT claim ownership of it and we therefore acknowledge alternative ownership. Thank you.

The Know Yourself Sequels: The Fourth One – STRATEGY

Hello amazing multipotentialites 😀. Now that you know your top items on the list and have gained a sense of acknowledgement of different seasons, you can now refine your focus within seasons and plan strategically. If you have no clue what I am talking about I suggest you visit the first three posts in this series.

The Detail Tree

Incase you are wondering whether this is a certified term or method, it isn’t. It is simply a practical exercise I first learned how to do from a good friend of mine-Mrs. Nancy Lazaro Mwaisaka Nyambele. She’s an eclectic and multi-talented individual, a multipotentialite in every way.

While wondering a few years ago how to plan my activities, she taught me how to do what I have named a detail tree. This is a way of detailing your plans down to the very last detail sequentially. I have personalized this method and further tweaked and interpreted it in my own way to suit my activities and you can do the same. The bottom line principle is this tree is supposed to help you see every detail visually at a glance and thereafter, plan forward.

Prior to doing this tree, it helps to have a good general idea of your end goal. Write it down in one statement. That end goal should basically determine what you want to ultimately achieve in life. It can entail both social and work-related aspects. However, for purposes of this demonstration and this series, let’s use work-related activities. To guide your single statement, describe what you would want to achieve in your life.

Let’s assume Brianna, a hypothetical person, is an architect and a musician and her defining statement is “I want to be an accomplished and stellar musician and architect whose music stirs hearts and whose buildings become landmarks.”

These are the two things she’d like to be known for, professionally. It tells us what her end goal is. What does she need to do to achieve this? What steps does she need to follow and when? Assuming that she already finished her degree in Architecture and is a self-taught musician, she needs to define a path for success, beyond this point, in both.

A few themes to set the steps are education, practice and exposure. You can add your own categorizations. These three items are things that according to me are necessary to look at for professional development.

When I speak of education, I do not mean formal education exclusively. Learning never stops, at least it shouldn’t, and the same goes for growth. So when I speak of education, I mean ensuring growth by exposing yourself to new information and skills. Sometimes, formal education may be necessary to achieve this and other times, you can learn all you need through other avenues such as watching shows, reading magazines, apprenticing etc.

Practice is self-explanatory.

And finally, all her hard work would be meaningless without any exposure to a target audience or clientele.

With the above in mind, our person Brianna can do a rough detail tree as I have done below. It isn’t the most visually organized or neat tree and it doesn’t have to be. It simply needs to communicate every detail.

The Detail Tree
Detail Tree for Brianna

You will notice that the tree grows wider at the bottom as you add more activity to it. This tree is as organic as your life is and should be re-done as often as you deem fit to accommodate the various changes and growth patterns of your life. It may seem basic and primary, but do not minimize it for it enables you visualize every aspect of your undertaking.

Certain items on the list will be lifetime and routine occurrences, others will be seasonal and the rest one-time events or activities. A music course at X academy, for example, is a one-time activity that will no longer exist on the tree once the course is done, while other activities such as reading the Archdaily magazine for thirty minutes a day could be a lifetime routine Brianna builds into her schedule.

After doing the tree, Brianna needs to move forward to scheduling these different items on her calendar. Items that are daily routines can be slotted in at the same time everyday. She could slot her hour of guitar practice every day at 6:00 pm, for instance. It would all depend on the other activities and what times are suitable for each and every activity.

The seasonal or one-time events and activities need to have a timeline attached to them. An example is pitching to potential clients. This should have a clear deadline by which she should have accomplished this. Without a deadline, this could become something that hangs in the waiting lounge indefinitely.

To reiterate what we talked about the last time, all this planning has to be with a clear acknowledgement of the season you are in and your priorities within that season. It will predetermine how much time you give each activity.

We’ll wind up this series in the next two weekends as we look at the experiences of different multipotentialites and the benefits of being a multipotentialite.

Have a blessed week. Do share this to help someone. Read the previous posts to get a better idea of the genesis of all this and follow by email to get notifications of the next post. Keep being all you were created to be.

With the warmest of regards, Keziah.

NOTE: Most of the images used on this blog currently, are downloaded from the internet through random searches. Where an image source is not acknowledged, this blog DOES NOT claim ownership of it and we therefore acknowledge alternative ownership. Thank you.

The Know Yourself Sequels: The Third One-SEASON

My church, Worship Harvest-Jazzville, is amazing. I am ever so grateful that in this particular season of my life, this is the place and space where I go on Sundays to do some “garage time” as we call it.

We usually have a time in the service where you can talk to a leader and pray over anything. Perhaps over two months ago during this prayer time, I went to one of my church pastors with a matter I felt I needed prayer for. I told him I needed prayer for direction because I want to accomplish a lot since I have a number of varied interests and ventures. I needed to know how to do everything in the time I have. He asked why I was so concerned about time.

To which I said, “I am concerned because I feel I am lagging behind in certain areas and it’s hard to focus on everything at once.”

He gave me advice I’ll never forget. He said that God, who gave me all these abilities and interests is not worried about time. He made no mistake in giving me all the gifts I possess and has a purpose for all these gifts. What I simply need to be cognizant of is doing things within the right season. I should therefore ask God what season I needed to be in. Knowing the season would help determine my focus more.

I am grateful I received that advice. God is a God of seasons. He accomplishes different things in our lives at different times. The pieces of the puzzle come together eventually, in beautiful and wondrous ways. He knows the end picture. We need to simply walk in obedience and trust every season.

If you are a person of multiple interests and talents, knowing what season you are in, helps you focus on the right thing at the right time. It would have been severely damaging for me if I had started my fashion business in my fourth year of Architecture school when my fashion ‘light switch’ went on. My priority at that time and in that season was to excel in my Architecture school. I am glad I stayed on that path. Excelling in Architecture school opened up very significant doors in the next phase of my life after school. I got my first official job because of that excellence. And that job allowed me to think independently and grow even more. It is within the duration of that job that I started my fashion start-up on the side. My very first clients were my workmates. It is within that job that I concretized my love for both Architecture and Fashion design. The point I am making is staying focused on achieving the goal of the season you are in will ensure that you successfully move to the next season. Each time you learn something new, you are growing. It is important to highlight that all you willfully learn, even when it may seen unrelated will serve to make your overall unique story even more beautiful. The dots will connect even better than you could ever imagine. I know of a practicing lawyer who runs a successful interior design and landscaping business. Isn’t that amazing? Her story is unique and so is yours.

In my experience, I have learnt that different seasons come with different demands. I would like to classify, in my own way, some of the general seasons that I feel exist in any venture.

Inception: In this stage, your idea is conceived. You discover you have a love for something and that you can do it, and would like to pursue it further.

Incubation: This is the period when you are getting ready to launch your venture. A lot of research and planning goes on in this phase.

Launch: This is self-explanatory. It’s when your venture, whatever it is, has kicked off and is no longer just an idea on paper or in your mind.

Practice & Growth: This phase is characterized by a lot of movement. You are moving your venture forward by actively practicing it. Many unforeseen circumstances may arise in this phase. The key is to persist and stick it out.

Excellence: Here, one has achieved their goal and is moving even higher to greater things.

*Pause and Reflect: I really wouldn’t call this an independent season in itself. This is the time for you to reflect on your progress and hit reset or refresh if need be. There are times when things may not go as you planned. It is okay to pause and reflect. It will give you fresh momentum to proceed.

Different ventures have different seasons and they may overlap. You may be in the incubation period for one of your ventures while you are in the practice & growth period of another. For example, my inception stage for fashion happened in my fourth year of Architecture school, when I was already on the path towards a career in Architecture.

In addition, some ventures may have concurrent seasons. I currently lecture Architecture part-time. It’s a recent development. I do this while I continue to practice and grow my fashion business. They are both in the practice & growth stage.

To know what you need to be doing, and when you need to be doing it, sharpen your sense of recognizing the season you are in and learning the lessons that need to be learnt in that season. Excelling in that season is your key to moving to the next season.

BE IN SEASON.

I’ll end with the words of King Solomon in Ecclesiastes, “There is a time for everything.”

Next time, we’ll look deeper at how to lay strategies to accomplish your varied interests.

Until then, with love, Keziah.

NOTE: Most of the images used on this blog currently, are downloaded from the internet through random searches. Where an image source is not acknowledged, this blog DOES NOT claim ownership of it and we therefore acknowledge alternative ownership. Thank you.

The Know Yourself Sequels: The Second One

It’s beautiful to be a multipotentialite and it’s okay if you don’t have it all figured out yet. Life is a journey and the pieces of the puzzle come together step by step.

The next step in this series is how to know which of your passions and abilities you need to focus on, the most. You may ask why this is important if you can achieve everything. Well, time is the most priceless resource that anyone alive has, so it is crucial to be cognizant of time. Living without an acknowledgement of the importance and significance of time is to live without any direction and lack of a proper use of your best resource. Your time has to have a value. That value is determined by you. If your time has no value to you, it will not have value to other people and they will either waste it or steal it. It is therefore paramount that you appreciate your time and choose which items will take up most of your time.

Stephen Covey in his book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, mentions “begin with the end in mind” as habit number two. Before embarking on any task or venture, know why you are doing it and what you intend to gain from it, or what the outcome will be if you focus on that task. When you have a clear understanding of it and are happy about the desired outcome, it will give your venture more meaning.

So, with the knowledge that we need to be cognizant of time, begin with the end in mind and prioritize, I would like to propose a few practical ways in which to zero in on your main passions that you need to focus on as a priority.

Pompi, a Zambian musician says “purpose is found at the point of intersection between passion, talent and service.” I agree.

We’ll talk about service in a later post. However, with respect to passion and talent, there are things you are passionate about and not gifted in and others that you are gifted in and not passionate about. Prioritize the things which fall in the intersection of passion and talent. The things that you both love, and are good at, are your goldmines because you already naturally have the drive and passion to see them through. I will say though, that any amount of talent can be improved through practice. On the other side of the coin, when you have extravagant talent in a field and yet you take that for granted, and do not practice and perfect your talent, you are at a disadvantage. This is to say that having talent does not discount or disregard the need for practice and hard, smart work. Passion on the other hand is a non-negotiable element because it will help you keep the faith even when things do not seem to be going your way. For example, passion kept Tyler Perry doing his plays for many years without making any real money before he had his big break. Passion, and the drive it provides are simply non-negotiable.

So, your first exercise (yes, exercise) will be to take a deep look into your life and ask yourself which things you have both the passion for, and talent in. List them. Your list of things can be as long as you want it to be. Simply list them all. Be honest.

After doing this, you need to find out which of them should take absolute top-most priority. Here are a few questions to help you discover which ones you consider the top-most in terms of priority.

My absolute number one question is “If money wasn’t an issue and you had all the money in the world, which things would you still do simply because you love them?”

The second question is “If your life ended today, in which item on your list would you wish you had accomplished more?”

The third question is more flexible because you may not answer it accurately the first time and may realize the truth of the matter later with time. However, it still helps to answer it with honesty the first time. It is “Which of the things on your list do you envision a profession or business in, the most?”

Now that you know which of the items are your absolute top-most ones, you can further rank them in order of importance starting from the first to the last. Have an understanding of what each of them entails and a proper knowledge of why each of them is important to you.

When I first did this exercise about four years back, I realized that poetry, architecture, fashion and music are my absolute four main items. At that time, I further prioritized them and my order of priority was: Architecture, Fashion, Poetry and Music. This order of priority shaped the proceedings of my next years four years. Over time, my priorities have changed with the changing seasons. However, each time I have been intentional in making the changes happen. One needs to acknowledge the different seasons of life. I will elaborate further, in our next post.

Now that you’ve discovered your absolute main interests and which ones you want to spend the bulk of your time on, you can now delve further into how to accomplish the feat of succeeding in each of these things. It takes a lot of strategic planning but most importantly-practice and execution. We’ll explore this aspect in our next post too.

As a side-note though, once you’ve figured out your main passions and abilities, it does not mean that you throw the rest out of the window. It simply means that your priorities will help you decide what to spend the biggest bulk of your time on. The rest of the items on the list do not seize to have meaning. They will actually greatly help you improve the main passions. As an example: I love theatrical performances and fine art drawing but these were not in my major four. However, the fine art helps me greatly with Architecture and Fashion Design while the art of theatrical performances helps me greatly with my poetry performances. This should point out to you that some passions and talents are main while others are auxiliary depending on the person and context. We are all unique.

Until next time, keep believing in the validity of your dreams. YOU WERE BORN TO BE ALL GOD CREATED YOU TO BE.

Share this, it will help someone. Send me feedback either by commenting here or sending me an email at thepreciouseries@gmail.com. I would love to chat further with you if you are confused and have a few more questions about your passion, abilities and priorities. Also, follow the blog via email to get an instant notification for the next post.

With love,

Keziah Elaine Ayikoru

NOTE: Most of the images used on this blog currently, are downloaded from the internet through random searches. Where an image source is not acknowledged, this blog DOES NOT claim ownership of it and we therefore acknowledge alternative ownership. Thank you.

 

 

Make a Plan

So, you know who you are, you know where you are going, you know which path to take. Next-you need to make a plan and write it down. Lee Iaccoca, a prominent American automobile executive said, “The discipline of writing something down is the first step towards making it happen”.

To make a good plan, consult successful people who have walked similar paths and learn from them. Find out what worked best for them. Do your research and decide what will work best for you.

Follow this by setting SMART goals. There is a lot of literature out there on how to set SMART goals. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant/Realistic and Timebound.
It is generally accepted that the SMART acronym was first written down in November 1981 in Spokane, Washington. George T. Doran, a consultant and former Director of Corporate Planning for Washington Water Power Company published a paper titled “There’s a SMART Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives”.
Many people use this system all over the world in making sensible and well attainable plans. For further reading on this, check out this link: http://unlimiteddiscovery.com/be-s-m-a-r-t-when-setting-your-goals/.
In making a plan, have a short term and long term plan. Your long term vision should be bigger than you. It will drive you and motivate you. I have heard some say “Your dream should be so big, it scares you”.
To achieve your long term goal, there should be other short term goals you can achieve that will lead to the bigger picture.
Make a plan and analyse it. Don’t rush into any venture or decision. Seek guidance. Get a mentor if you can.
Make a plan! It will become your road map.
-Keziah Elaine Ayikoru-