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Emeka Nwonu: Embrace Your Imperfections



It is alright to have dreams. One without aspirations will hardly find an incentive to do a thing. Our dreams and aspirations should be the kickstarters for the voyage of life. If you can conceive it, you can achieve it.

Hell yes, the only limitations you have are those you set for yourself. No one, has the right to define you and your limitations. But remember, if you do not define yourself and the situation around you, the society and the numerous naysayers will foist a definition on you – they always have unsolicited opinions. No one but you has the right to tell you what you can and cannot achieve. Lead your own narrative, else, you’ll follow someone else’s lead.

It is your prerogative to define yourself. Embrace your imperfections, they are the things that set you apart from everyone else.

This is about self-confidence, self-awareness and self-belief. Having worked with several entrepreneurs and managers, one thing I can tell you is that as individuals we have unique qualities and that is our differentiation. For survival, it is imperative to double down on developing and utilizing your strengths. Many people are often put off from doing things they want to do because they focus on their supposed weaknesses. This is a very wrong and dangerous attitude.

To be honest, from experience, many people are more afraid of how others will perceive their performance or achievements than the results itself. Many are afraid of being called failures, therefore, do not get to fulfill their potential. No one has earned the right to judge you. Keep your focus on doing stuff, and if you fail, learn from it and try again incorporating the lessons learned until you get it right. That’s how most inventors succeeded. Those who have not failed at anything have not done a thing. Do not let something outside your control hold you back, focus on the things you can control and improve on them, no matter how small.

Forget about being the next Amazon or the next Facebook. By the time you build the next Amazon or Facebook in its current form, it would have been irrelevant and trends would have moved on. Just focus on being the you of the world. Build businesses and solutions in the context of your experience; the problems you encounter and the solutions you conceive. Beware, people will always try to change the way you see things. Its easier to see difficulties and reasons why not to do things than possibilities and taking on chances. Be the architect and lead of your own future. It is better to try and move on from it than to live with regrets of not trying at all.

It does not take a strategic genius to identify a problem, yet many are shocked when we see someone solve the problem from making series of small progresses that blow into a massively adopted solution. It is not in the power of ideas, but in the powers that get things done.

Ideas are important but for ideas to see the light of the day, they need someone with determination and perseverance. You cannot always see the end from the beginning. You have to make a start in the right direction. Business and life in general are more of a marathon than a sprint. It is not always about speed. Power without control is a recipe for disaster. The average Nigerian is in a hurry. You snooze you lose, they say. No slacking. But speed without in-depth thought about the impact of our actions is why we get stuck most of the time. Sometimes, you have to slow down to move fast. Speed is a scalar, it has magnitude but no direction. Do not expend your energy without an aim. Do everything with purpose and on purpose.

Move your discussion from speed and being in a hurry to talking about velocity. Control your speed in a given direction and only then can you measure if you are actually making progress or not. Not all movements are progressive. Many make moves but because they have failed to plan properly, they land in the same spot they started. Expended energy in a meaningless circular motion and losing the most precious resources of all, time. Take some time and self-reflect. Ask the right questions and seek advice where necessary. I would even advice you find your tribe. By tribe I do not mean ethnicity but people who are of your inclination.

Creating Short Term Wins … Be Your Own Cheerleader
Creating short term wins is different from hoping for short term wins. The former is active but the latter is passive. Establish little objectives that are achievable in the short-term. These objectives should be visible, unambiguous and be related to what you want to achieve. These little wins will help you relax a bit and propel you on to bigger goals. Define the route and different stages to your journey. Remember that it is your personal journey. Make it for you and in a way that plays to your strengths. Success has many friends, whether they agree with you or not, if you succeed you will not lack friends. However, do not go with the crowd, sometimes the market place is the loneliest of places. Be your own cheer leader and set your own trend.

Festina Lente – Make Haste Slowly
This is a Latin translation of a classical Greek adage and oxymoron which means “make haste slowly” or sometimes used to refer to “more haste, less speed.” This simply urges people to make haste, but sensibly and without losing courage. Before committing your time, resources and emotions to getting something done, define what it is and clarify the purpose. Discover the what and why, the how will manifest itself in line with your overall vision. Always remember that every move you make is significant and should move you a step
closer toward your dream. If it doesn’t happen that way, no problem, ask yourself why things have turned out the way they have, learn from it and try it again, as you have better knowledge.

Do not set unreasonable goals or make unreasonable comparisons. You may not know the context of other people’s success or failure; therefore, I urge you not to be hard on yourself but keep focus, have faith and keep believing. Keep working. Always create and appreciate short term wins. You are a winner and a conqueror in your own rights. Be appreciative and grateful for your achievements no matter how little. Every little thing helps move you closer to where you aspire to be.


Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Emeka is a management Consultant and writes about Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Leadership, Strategies, Business Models, Change Management and Digital Transformation. He is an advocate for democracy, good governance, social mobility and financial inclusion. Follow him on Twitter: @Emeka_Nwonu  to see more of his thought and at for his articles.

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