Tuesday, September 27, 2011

GOING ORGANIC: Operating from your Strength Zone

You all have been on my mind!  So sorry couldn’t post this yesterday, even though I tried really hard at it!  Life happened and it just wasn’t possible, anyhow, here we are today, I do sincerely hope you will find answers within today’s post.

Recently I have been asked how best to grow a business, which businesses tend to do well and how does one identify which business may do well.  I have also had the opportunity to listen in on conversations centered on strategy sessions and how they help clarify the direction a business should go, and how to go about achieving the goals that have been set.

As you may be aware, I have nothing against lofty plans and ideas and strategies, it is just that simple does it for me.  I am a very simple person, and I believe that complicated does not necessarily mean more sophisticated or ideal!

So to help you find out for yourself which dream you should pursue and which ones will yield the highest return, I introduce you to ORGANIC.  In health sectors you may have heard about organic food, how expensive they are and how healthy they can be.  The question becomes what is organic?  Simply put organic is natural!  We are now been charged to pay more for food items that have not been processed chemically in any way.

To my mind this was how our great grand parents lived, everything was harvested and eaten fresh without the input of chemicals, but at some point we became too civilized and organic wasn’t good enough for us anymore, so today, with all the ailments flying around, some one has suddenly remembered that the natural way, was the best way all along.


It is no different with your pursuing a dream or growing a business, while the strategy sessions and lofty business plans have their place, it is my humble opinion that no matter the strategizing and planning that we do, if the dream does not stem from our natural abilities or from our core, the plans and strategies may be really great on paper, but they will not yield the desired results of impact and returns.

So what are the benefits of starting up organically?

1.       It does not benefit the Visioneer if he pursues a dream that is alien to his abilities.  It takes more work to excel at that which is not natural to you than when you stay within your strength zone, pursue with natural passion and work out with your natural ability.  Better results are obtained easily when we start up from our natural abilities.
2.       Because you are operating from your natural ability, your intuition is more alive and honed to make the right decisions.  My Mentor John C. Maxwell says that everyone is intuitive, just more intuitive in their areas of strength. When you run organically, you will be amazed at how you recognize opportunity and take advantage of it, without any kind of scientific radar.  This is because some how, inside of you lives this dream even before it is lived on the outside.  You will make more creative decisions just trusting your guts than in trusting in strategies and plans.
3.       When what you pursue is from your strength zone, it means it is a passion that consumes you, and because it is your passion, you will find that you have more grace to be able to persevere in the face of the challenges that will arise in the course of working that dream.  When you live on a dream that is either borrowed or forced on you, the ability to persevere is definitely not as strong.   The passion inside of you provides the assurance that you will some how be able to win no matter the challenges that may arise.

Please note that again, I am not against strategies, but I am saying that they ought to support your organic abilities and not dictate them.  The dream you are running with is found in your DNA and no strategy will be able to erase that or take its place. It is inside of you, so what you need to do is listen to your instinct and if you do, I assure you, you will make it NeverTheLess.

Love you loads.

Sistar B

Monday, September 19, 2011


Welcome!  It is another week and it is a great thing to be alive and have a dream to pursue isn’t it?  My daughter left for College yesterday, and I feel like a part of me was taken away.  Like I had told her a long time ago, growth is not always comfortable or pleasant, but it is absolutely necessary!  So after about three months of heart to heart talk on how what leaving home might be all about and how to conduct herself when she gets there, she finally left yesterday.

What stood out for me during the whole trip and even when we got to school was how prepared she was for this new phase.  Unlike when my son left for school, there were no tears and my daughter actually did a very great job of packing her stuff.  In one sentence ‘she was ready.’

This morning as I woke up, and started to meditate on a new week and what we should talk about on this post, I realized that part of what made it so easy for my daughter to transition was that she was actually prepared.  I remember that each month these last three years that we visited her brother in school; we used to have to look for her. Once we get in, she goes into the hostel and tries to fraternize with the other children. She would ask a lot of questions of them about their experience in the school.

She made it a point of duty to try and connect with others on each trip and she didn’t just do it for the fun of it, she always had a question that she needed answered.  So over time she had actually made for herself a number of friends that were not necessarily her brother’s friends.  What this did for her was that she had an idea how the school worked and she also had friends waiting for her to join them.

How can we translate this principle to working our dream you may ask, well, I guess I am doing this post to debunk the myth that there is any idea so novel or new that no one else had worked before.  It has been proven that for an individual to become an expert in any field at all, he will require to invest at least 10,000 hours in gathering information and knowledge in that field.  Now I know you do not have 10,000 hours at a go but at least you have the window of opportunity where you can approach those who already know to be able to enrich your dream using their own experiences. 

What my daughter did was borrow from the experience of the other children in the school, while taking every opportunity to familiarize herself with the environment.  Even though your dream will be strange territory to you, it is not strange to anyone who might have worked a similar dream before.  The first investment you need to be making right now, is identifying and connecting with those who have succeeded therein, so you can borrow from the benefit of their own experience.  

Let’s look at the steps again:

  1. Identify the dream you want to pursue
  2. Familiarise yourself with the working of that dream
  3. Connect with other people working the dream
  4. Make the effort to spend time with them and ask questions on what you don’t quite understand
  5. Keep the relationship going.  Make sure you come back whenever you have the opportunity
  6. Make the leap when the time comes.

Just like my daughter was able to transition into the college environment without friction, you can begin to work your dream from scratch too, if you will ride on the wings of what others have done within similar dreams.

You will make it NeverTheLess, just remember that expertise is available to you, if you will make the investment of reaching out to others.

God bless you

Sistar B

Monday, September 12, 2011


It was one of those days when I just have the urge to go book hunting.  For me books are treasures and a good book should be hunted. I therefore don’t go to bookstores and leave in a hurry; I go there and stay awhile. I go through every aisle until I find the book that speaks to me.

On this fateful day, one of the books that spoke to me was Woman Act Now by Coach Anna McCoy.  I bought a copy and I came home, even in the car I had started to read.  I knew this was a great book, and most of the principles contained therein were principles by which I was trying to conduct my life.  The book impacted me so much that I started to tell others about it.  I called the bookstore and told them they had a treasure in that book.

Incidentally, I had also just come to the realization that even though I was already training to be a Coach, I needed a Coach myself.  I had researched a lot of Coaches online and was contemplating contacting a couple.  One morning I realized that I had not prayed that God should send me a Coach, I had specifications and one on my list was that I wanted a Christian Coach… so I prayed.

So during a conversation with someone a few days later I remembered the book and I started to talk about it again, in the middle of this conversation, I suddenly felt the impression to contact Coach Anna McCoy and I did send a mail that day.  You will not believe how that effort has yielded a return and is still yielding returns… just scroll down to pictures from ROTH 2011 and you will understand.

Even though there was nothing certain about whether she was going to respond to me, it turns out that she had been told that it was time for her to launch into the nations and she was waiting for an opportunity.  My mail came at this opportune time and the rest, as they say, is history.

How was I to know that she was even ready in her mind to come to Africa?  Even though I cannot quite prove this, I doubt that if I had made this connection a year or two before, that she would have been open.

To live your dream and excel, Timing is extremely important.  You have to be sensitive to the timing of your dream.  John Maxwell in his book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership says “when the right leader and the right timing come together, incredible things happen.”  The issue of timing in walking your dream cannot be over emphasized.  Timing is both a difference maker and a deal breaker.

I have seen one of my children blossom tremendously just because we allowed something happen within the right time. I have seen families grow and expand because the time was right. I have seen businesses excel because of great timing.  The man, who sold his shares two days before the stock market crashed, has timing to thank for his success.

Your dream may be important, but until you can discern timing, you may not be able to excel in living it. 

I know you will make it and I know you will take action in the right time, for those who have yet to even begin living their dream however, the right time for you is NOW because it is only if you move now that you will have to discern what the right time is in a few months.

Make great timing your friend… you will make it NeverTheLess, I promise.


Sistar B

Monday, September 5, 2011

Your Own Voice

In the book, the 8th Habit, Stephen Covey focuses on people finding their own voice and moving on from there to greatness. On today’s post I want us to look at how your gifts are the tools with which you will drive your dream to greatness.

Like most of you may know, Effectual Magazine, which is the most visible of the dreams I am living, was born from my personal experiences and struggles.  The message comes from the stuff I have had to deal with and I have been able to overcome.  Even though they were mostly my personal experiences I also realized that others had to be facing different variants of what I was going through.

The issue therefore was not that what I was dealing with was peculiar, the issue became what vehicle I will use to let others know that what they face is not peculiar to them and that some people have found a way out.  In asking myself what the best way was to pass the information across, I considered a lot of options, but I kept coming back to the gift of writing.  It was in a bid to share of myself with others and to find a way to reach many more people than I may be able to reach individually in my lifetime that I chose to write.

The next step became how will I write?  Something occurred to me, and it was the fact that somehow, in our part of the world, people tend to know other people that something happened to, i.e. tell other people’s stories.   I chose to tell my own story, and initially people told me that was not safe, others told me that I was going to run out of stories to tell pretty fast.

Now none of the opinions have come to pass yet, the latter especially because as long as there is breath in me, and I am on a journey, definitely things will continue to happen that I can learn lessons from and share with others.

What is the point of this post? You will only successfully live your dream to greatness if you are able to find your own voice.  While it seems cool to live your life and dreams exactly as the other man is doing, your uniqueness gets eroded and you may never be able to claim originality of the idea. I have been told time and again that the size of Effectual Magazine isn’t what it should be, and I have said again and again that that difference is my unique selling point.

What dream is in your heart today? If you will find a way to express it in your own unique voice, there is no telling how far you will go.  In the words of Stephen Covey, “There is a deep, innate, almost inexpressible yearning within each one of us to find our voice in life.”

For your dream to hit the mark you must let your own voice out, you will be told like I was told that my voice doesn’t fall within any of the available notes, but you know what, it afforded me the opportunity to create a totally new and different note.

Step out today, and live your dreams, make sure you use your own voice though.  You will make it NeverTheLess.


Sistar B