Monday, May 28, 2012


Welcome, I am feeling better today than I felt last week; I hope you are doing better too.  I want to take a moment to really thank all of you who stop by week after week, day after day on this page.  It amazes me how you all come from all over the globe to glean from here.  It has also come to my attention that my most popular post of all time is the post on Define Your Dream: Asking the Right Questions.

This past week, I have wandered into your space and your minds to find out what it is about this post that has made it the most popular one yet.  While I don’t have feedback yet, I assume that it is because for most of us, it is a huge issue, identifying and living our dreams.  The truth is that we all can tell when we come across people who are living their dreams, the issue is we just don’t think we belong in that group.

This can be because every dream but ours looks like the most attractive one, or because we are still in the early stages of our dreams and we are not sure how we look to others. It can even be because we are yet to gather enough momentum to begin to feel like we are actually making an impact; for some of us, it maybe because we know what we want to do, but are not sure if it will work or not.

Whichever category you may fall, I am sure you have also asked today’s question, ‘What Works?’  I have asked this question time and time again and no matter the answers I find, one thing keeps reoccurring, and I hope that it will help you see that you are peculiar and called to peculiarly live your dream, irrespective of what others are doing.

When we started Effectual Magazine,, we had two major issues we knew we had to get right or we might just close shop within a few months.   The first was the size of the magazine. Practically every magazine around was at least A4 size, and filled with more images of cloths and shoes, than content; though they seemed to be doing well.  When we started out we opted for the A5 size with more reading content than images, people kept telling us that we were not going to last in the market.  They also told us that we had too much reading content packed into each edition that customers will not be interested to buy.  Some self-appointed Consultant actually told me that the faith-based content is bad for business, as well as the passion with which we talk about our relationship with God.  We listened, but stuck with what was unique to us, because we recognized that because it worked for others didn’t mean it will work for us.

The other issue was marketing.  We knew that our size was not street vendor friendly so we opted to be a Subscriber-based magazine.  We decided to use direct marketing and to keep expanding our subscriber base.  Again, we were told that subscriber based magazines don’t work because they don’t get as much advertisement as the other magazines. 

So you can imagine how we were treading in our early months with these two issues hanging over our heads.  Even though this was the case, we were sure that there was a market for us, and that it may take us longer than every one else to corner our share of the market, but we were going to get what was ours if we continued to follow our convictions. 

It has been years and a lot has happened, one thing that has worked out perfectly is both the size of the magazine and the content that we have continued to deliver on. Slowly but surely, our subscriber base has expanded with each edition and our market share is still increasing.

The point of today’s post is simple, when you are living a dream you need to have your own peculiarities.  Be bold to chart your own course and do your best to stick with it as long as you are convinced it will work out in the end.  Even if it takes a while, be willing to follow through on what you believe.  If we had listened to everyone who complained about our size, we will be lost in the sea of magazines on the market, because we will be exactly like them!  That it worked for others didn’t mean it was going to work for us.  We had to find our own way.

If you are willing to find your way based on the convictions of your heart and the passion in your heart, it may take a while, but you will make it.  Nevertheless, I promise you will make it.


Sistar B

Monday, May 21, 2012

Be Expectant!

Hi! Welcome to another glorious week of living your dream. You know there are those days when you wake up and just know without anyone saying anything to you that it is a special day.

There is a sound you hear in your spirit. 

 Sometime ago, on a Sunday morning, I woke up feeling this way. I felt like the clouds were literarily heavy with all kinds blessings but I got to church that morning and it felt like not everyone was expectant and had the kind of anticipation that I had. It was then it dawned on me that the scripture that says that ‘the expectation of the righteous shall not be cut short’ is a proclamation and promise quite alright but it is also a call to come before God with an expectation.

What are the things you are expecting out of life? How do you recognize that your season is here? There is a sound!!! Something that goes off in the Spirit that just tells you this is the right time to make your move.  Our lives are based on our relationship with God and our relationship with God is manifested in three different ways: knowing him, hearing him and obeying him.  

I have shared before about how my life turned around when Jesus came into my life and my diamond began to receive its due polish.  The thing about Christ’s coming into any life is that it brings a relationship.  So my question today will be what are you hearing? What is the sound in the Spirit, because expectation will come out of knowing and knowing will come out of hearing.

Your frequency needs to be tuned to the right source.  Tune out all the distractions and tune out all the frustrations, tune in to the spiritual channel that tells you what your day holds.  When you are tuned in here, and you begin to hear what is classified as life giving word, you begin to find out that your mindset changes and so do your expectations. 
I also find that talking about sounds a lot of us have not entered into the place of our destiny because we have chosen to be everybody else but us.  We all have sounds and our sound is the unique personality trait with which we are empowered by God to make a difference.  Samson’s sound was his strength, David’s sound was his courage and love for God, and Gideon’s sound was his ability to run in fear to his source… what is your own sound?

The call to make a difference is hinged on our ability to utilize your sounds and be who God has called you to be.  So maybe this week you have been able to peep into the future and you are finally able to say what your diamond will look like after polishing. Maybe the reality scares you because you seem so far from it, it is okay.

As long as it is your sound and you are willing to join forces with God, I can assure you that you will make it.  Gideon was the original ‘manless’ man.  But the day he heard a sound from heaven he realized that his sound was good enough.  He awoke to his reality and became a judge and a warrior.

I know the clouds are gathered and everywhere is dark and you are frightened but it is a good thing, because despite the darkness and the ferocity of the thunder and lightning, there still is a silver lining before behind the clouds. 'You will make it' Nevertheless is the sound of the Spirit today.



Monday, May 14, 2012

The Value Of Connectors

Good morning!

How did your weekend go?  It was a very rainy one in Lagos, what was it like in your own part of the world and how did the weather affect living your dream?

On the last post we looked at expanding our client base where we outlined a list of things we could do to increase our customer base.  Hope the tips worked for you.  As one of the things I said we could do to expand our customer base, I remember that I spoke about using word of mouth as a cost effective way to advertise.

Today, I will like to expand further on a particular kind of person that we all must identify if we want to effectively take advantage of word of mouth advertisement.  This kind of person is referred to as a Connector.

Connectors, irrespective of what field of endeavor they are in, are people who have a knack for knowing people.  They genuinely love people and take great pleasure in introducing people to people.  A Connector believes in people, is bold, quick and open to learning, which makes her versatile in different fields. She is very appreciative of others and their gifts and most of all takes joy in introducing people to people.

What you gain by identifying your own Connector and approaching them to help expand your customer base is that, you gain access into your Connectors huge list of people.  I personally have, as Connectors right now, two people: Coach Anna McCoy whom you all know by now and my friend and Sister, Audrey Joe-Ezigbo.

Audrey, since I met her, has taken it upon herself to intentionally look for ways to expand the reach of Effectual Magazine and other things that I do.  She takes great pleasure in introducing me and the magazine to people she knows will appreciate it and probably take out a subscription for them.

I want to use the opportunity of this post therefore, to celebrate Audrey for her contributions in moving my dream forward.  Sista, you have been an absolute joy to me and a great enhancer of what I do.  May God bless you, and may He raise connectors for you and ensure you succeed in all you do.

Now what is your part in your relationship with your Connector? First and foremost, when they introduce you to someone, you must follow up on the individual, you also should give feedback to them as the new relationship progresses.  Ensure that you don't abuse the relationship they have linked you to and definitely never try to take their place in those relationships.

Give credit when the introduction is converted into something that has blessed your dream and always remember that your Connector does not owe you anything.

Again, Audrey, thank you for all that you do to bring value to me and my dream, you are loved and appreciated!

  Till next week, remember that a dream is nothing except you are awake taking action.  It's time to whip out your list and take time out to identify who within the list is your Connector. 

With each step you take your dream gets better and you will make it NeverTheLess.


Sistar B

                                                           click here for audio blog

A special shout out to Irene Olumese of Touching Lives 4 Good for celebrating me on her blog today. Thanks Irene. You are loved and appreciated.
Please click here to visit Irene's blog.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Build your Customer Base

Blessings people! Welcome to NeverTheLess!  How time flies. We are in May already! My prayer is that this month will bring you all the grace and favour you require to move your dream forward.

I have been asked recently what the next step should be once an individual has recognized his dream life and started to live it.  A lot of people who have dreams to offer goods or services that are already in existence are wondering where their clientele and customers will come from.  The fear is who will want to spend their money on something new and not yet proven if they can just walk to their regular service provider and get what they have always gotten? Why will they want to change their buying habits just because you have something new in the market?  My post will center basically on two different ways we went about getting our customers and how we have kept them. Also, I will be addressing how we expanded the market at Effectual.


When we started publishing Effectual magazine, we knew that we had no track record in the business, and that we were going to be trying to break into a territory that has been controlled over time by a certain kind of publication, for a certain kind of woman.  While there was nothing wrong with the publications in circulation, there was a gap we wanted to fill so rather than just publish another magazine like all the rest, we made sure we had that extra element.
 Most clients and customers are usually pretty loyal to their service providers, so much so that crossing the carpet can be difficult. It is therefore your responsibility as the new kid on the block to ensure that you provide the extra, and let them decide over time that they need what you have on offer.


This was our second focus. We ensured that as much as it was possible, we responded to our customers on time, usually within the first twenty four hours and even though money was important to the health of the business, we didn’t make our service about the money!  For us, it was and it still is, a joy to be able to serve our clientele and we celebrated every single reader that joined us, as long as we were aware of them. 

They were special to us, and we didn’t hesitate to let them know.  It should be the same with you. You cannot make it about the money.  Remember this is your dream, which means it is your life work. Money cannot be the main reason why you are living this life, and your customers need to know that each one of them is important and valuable to you.


This is a hard one, but I had to keep telling my marketing team that their job was to make the magazine available to those who had need for them.  It was always easier to get the individual who has an interest and need that we can meet to subscribe than it was to convince just about anyone on the street.  That you have a new service or product doesn’t give you the license to become a pest and an irritant to others.  Always remember that while trying to sell, the customer reserves the right to buy.


When we started we had no budget for advertising and I know this applies to most new ventures and businesses.  So we resorted to the best and most effective kind of advertisement that we knew about, and that was by word of mouth.  Here we relied greatly on the Law of 250; we trusted that if we continued to give the extra, combined with excellent customer service and respect for our customers, both current and prospective, we will get to a point where existing customers become our greatest sales people.  And that has not failed us at all.  For every market in the different corners of the world that have opened to us, it is usually one satisfied customer that makes it happen.

While this is not exhaustive, I do know that if you begin here, you will go really far in what you have been called to achieve with your dream.  Remember it is not about the money, the customer is King, ensure you are giving extra and finally, trust your existing client base to help you spread the word.

Till next week don’t forget, that a dream is only as effective as the man who is awake taking action.  You will make it NeverTheless.  See you next week.


Sistar B