Catalyst 1. Notes on (Making Africa Work)

There is a lot that will serve as a catalyst to MAKE AFRICA WORK. The environment has to be enabling else we will accrue more casualties than champions. The infrastructural deficit in Africa is a pit which has drowned and will continue to sink businesses if the right policies which are favorable for businesses in Africa to thrive are not in place. There has to be ease of doing business, incentives to attract and sustain businesses at all stages.

That was what China and India did to become the economic giant they are today. Countries in Arica must copy and redefine these models for their benefit. We can’t afford to turn blind eyes to these loopholes. At the end of the day when businesses thrive, the economy thrives and everybody smiles.

Making Africa work is possible, it may not be easy but it is not impossible. However, nothing good comes easy. We will stay on it till it works. That’s our only way out, anyway.

One of the first places we must start is Patriotism. Until we speak and act nicely towards Africa until we free ourselves from the shame and stigma involved with being an African any effort we put in will be futile. When patriotism meets diligence, a nation is built… Africa is built. There is no stopping us!

The Potential of Compounding

The rich are not rich because they earn a lot of money but because they save, invest and reinvest their money.

In lay terms compounding means to heap something upon another thing and unto another till it becomes many or unbearable.

Compounding works in two ways- you save a portion of your money regularly in a long time account that continues to pile up for you or you invest initial money and keep reinvesting the money and interest acquired over and over again. In simple money terms, compounding means interest upon interest.

Compounding has two types of growth – exponential growth; this growth occurs when the principal sum and the total growth of an investment earn money. The other is linear growth– where only the principal earns interest.

The Magic Of Compounding
A cup of coffee bought at $1.00 daily, if saved in a year will give you $365.00, if the same thing is done the next year it will add up to $730.00 or you can decide to put the $365.00 into a savings account or investment that gives 5% interest monthly by the next year you will have $465.84. These all started from saving one dollar cup of coffee daily.

Who had thought that money for a cup of coffee could make such huge difference, but you see that is the magic of compounding and why Albert Einstein calls it the eight wonders of the world, “those who understands it earn it, those who don’t pay it.” Those who earn it are the investors, those who pay it are the debtors. The magic is in your hands use it as you would wish.

With compounding small money adds up to become big money overtime- either in debt or in savings.


Start Early: the power of compounding is more profitable when you start early. Compounding has little or no benefit when you keep procrastinating it to someday in the future. Let’s look at a life scenario.

Kema starts compounding her money at age 25 in an account for 10 years at let’s say $100 monthly without touching a dim, when she turns 35 she will have $12000 + interest she gets for savings which depends on the bank she saves the money with. If Kema wait’s to start saving at 35 years, she would have lost $12000. The earlier you start compounding your money or that of your children the more you will be able to secure your/their future when you/they will need it the most.

The other benefit of starting early is that; If you start early you will need to save less and earn more in the long run cause you have time to spare. But if you do start late, to catch up with the time you will have to save more to compensate for lack of time.

Time Value: compounding has a future and present value; the more time you dedicate to compounding your money the more return you will have.

Interest Rate Is Useful: the more your money earns interest the higher your money will grow. Wealthy people use interest rate at their favor by lending their money to borrowers who give them interest at a time speculated. A 1% daily interest in 365days is a great improvement to your initial money.

Be Consistent: if you choose to save a certain amount every month or week be consistent in doing that. Don’t do it haphazardly, be regular and steady. Any money you spend is no longer counted as your money. The only thing you can lay hands upon as your money is that which you have in your savings.

Be Disciplined: compounding can be boring and a limiting venture to embark on at the start. You will feel the temptation to touch the money you’ve saved, but no matter how pressing the temptation is it will also pass. See it as those fleeting emotions or feeling you have once in a while but much more treat it sternly as you will treat the urge to cheat on your spouse or else they will wreck you big time.

Apply Patience: if a woman is important to a man he does not mind waiting for her till she is ready to come around. Ladies also apply patient when dressing up no matter how time-consuming others might think it is. Compounding does not yield result in a day, that’s why it is called compounding. You need to give it time to grow and it matures as you keep feeding it. The more patient you can apply the more beautiful your interest will be.

Wealth Is Investment

The sure way to build wealth is by investment. It is the strategy the rich and super-rich have used over the years to make themselves richer. While the poor get money to save and spend the rich get money to invest before spending. To the rich money is a tool for investment, to the poor money is a tool for spending.

The only reason the rich keeps getting richer and the poor keeps getting poorer is because the rich keeps investing and the poor keeps spending. Both the rich and the poor have access to money, how they treat and manage money is what matters at the end.

We have heard the colloquial “You use money to get money.” There is no truer money saying than this. The wealthy understands the power of money and how it can be accumulated through investments and they never slack in using it for their gain. A man’s wealth is not measured by the amount of money he has in the bank but the number of assets he has through investments.

Study the life of wealthy business or professional mogul’s you know, you will see they aren’t stuck in a job or with their company but also have investments that bring returns to them on a weekly and monthly bases.
The secret to wealth, if there is any, is- Make more than you spend and invest more than you save.

Sometimes we spend or waste our money in the bid of investing it; if it is an investment you will know by the returns it brings to you. If it adds money to you it is an investment, if it takes without adding it is either spending or waste. This is what Economics calls asset and liability. Taking clues from experience, I will share basic rules for investing.

How Not To Invest

  1. Never Invest In what you don’t understand
  2. Don’t easily invest in individual stock
  3. Don’t invest with your emotions
  4. Don’t invest out of greed
  5. Be slow to invest in quick returns
  6. Don’t invest to help the other party, that’s charity.

How To Invest

  1. Do your research before investing
  2. Physical assets(real estate, land, gold, talent, etc) are one of the best investments
  3. Invest more in private equity than in public or common markets
  4. Invest more for long time benefit than short time ones
  5. Have an open mind while investing

Investments are passive income that works for you while you go to sleep and it is worth to note; investment is a marathon, not a splint- So Patience is required.

One Sure-Proof Way To Succeed In Business

You don’t need gymnastics or plenty of rules to succeed in business. You just need the basic thing which in business is everything.

Before we go into what our sure-proof way is, let’s remind ourselves what the purpose of business is. The purpose of business we will all agree is to make profit and profit for the business person means exchange of his or goods for money.

How effective business is able to trade its goods and services for money will determine how successful that business is, because money is the lifeblood of any business.

You need money to pay your staff, suppliers and every other thing you could think of. But money is not a pie of cake, it does not easily come by. According to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. A whopping 80% crash and burn. Why? Because they can’t generate enough revenue to keep them going.

The money you need is in the hands of people, who you should seek to convert into customers. However, money in the hand of a customer is like chocolate in the hand of a child- the only way to get them to give it to you is to entice them with something which is more valuable than what they have.

So here brings us to our one sure-proof way of succeeding in business “VALUE.” “VALUE.” and more “VALUE.” The customer cannot have enough of it and they will not settle for less of it either.

The buying culture is becoming more dynamic and conceited. Customers are better aware and exposed. They know what they want and how they what it and why they want it and will go anywhere that can offer them what they want for. To succeed in business, you must know what your customers want and give it to them the way they want it.

It is that simple but tough work, because humans are complex and complicated- you might think this is not what they want but that is what they want, they think they want it but really they don’t.

But that is where you have to do your homework and crack the core of what your customer wants so you can be able to give it to them anytime and any day and get back from them what you want most “PROFIT.”

Which business person does not leap at the sound of that word? But profit is not free, you have to earn it by given value.

You don’t need ten rules you don’t need 100 ways, you just need to know what your customers want and give it to them when and how they want it.

When you do this you will be shocked at how much profit you will stack.

Richard Branson calls it “Making connection” and Steve Jobs defined what that connection is “Creativity is connecting things.”

You will need creativity as you go about giving your customers what they want. Creativity makes it possible to give your customers what they want in a unique way which they can’t have elsewhere.

Questions are Lifeguards

Lifeguards are amazing personnel who work at beaches, rivers, swimming pools, and water parks. Just like firefighters, their jobs demand all the urgency and trustworthiness that these words congregate.

The job description of lifeguards is to ensure the safety of swimmers, explain and enforce safety rules, prevent and respond to an emergency. They offer preventive measures but when that fails they also apply curative measures to rescue lives from drowning.

Questions do the same job. They are lifeguards; they prevent us from drowning in the pool called ignorance. They keep us safe from the danger of the unknown. One right question can change the course of your entire life. Questions save us from years of torture and darkness. He that ask questions never misses his way.

One important habit I had cultivated this year is the habit of asking questions. In the past, I was too full of myself, too proud and too arrogant to ask questions. I either try to figure it out myself, claim I knew, lied to myself that I know, assumed I know, act like I don’t care or that it does not matter. These have consequences and the end result isn’t always favorable.

Several times while trying to locate a place, rather than ask questions I will try to figure it out myself. While it is not bad to be a self-learner, it can be damaging when it is left unchecked. In the process of figuring it out myself, I waste time, energy and money, yet will most times resolve to that which I had tried to escape from.

Early January, I had plans to start a personal website, before now I would have gone ahead to do it my way. But I started at the very top, which was asking questions. I called up a few friends who could give me an idea of how to go about it. My initial plan was to pay someone to build the site, not because I couldn’t, I had basic skill in web development but didn’t want to because I thought it will be time-consuming, but after different brainstorming sessions with friends, I built the website and saved 80% of what I would have spent and gained more knowledge in the process.

I was to go into a business deal, again rather than just do it my way as before, I relied on asking questions and each answer opened me up spots I was blinded to. I pulled out of the business and months after those who had gone into the business were calling me up to lend them money.

Questions are important so you must be selective of the people you ask. Before you rush off asking someone question you need to know if the person has the know-how, because while questions are reflections answers are the direction. Whatever gives you direction will determine your destination. Quoting David Cooperdier, ‘we live in the world our questions create.’

Questions are seeds, the people we give them to our soils and the result we get are the fruits. If you want to get the right fruit, plant your seed on the right soil. What radiography is to the engineer is not what it is to the doctor.

Thomas Watson says, ‘the ability to ask the right questions is more than half the battle of finding the right answer.’ Don’t ask questions wrongly and expect to get the right answer. Put your thoughts in place and craft your question wisely. Have it in mind that what you give you receive.

Albert Einstein says ‘if I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depend on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.’

Don’t be obsessed with finding answers that you miss it when it comes. Take in every word and look out for clues. The answers sometimes lie between what is said and what is not. Answers are not rocket science that hit you on the spot, they flow through a person word and energy currents.

Like lifeguards the job of questions is to save us from our ignorance, prepare and open us up to the unknown.

A wise man is one who knows he does not know everything. Most misunderstanding in relationships will be avoided if people can just take the time to ask questions. Mistakes and pains will be averted.
Ask and you shall have answers, seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened. So what do you have to lose? Except for the loose that comes with acting without questioning.