5 magical SelfCare ideas for Christmas!

Ho! Ho! Ho! It’s Christmas season!

Tope Hassan Africa Travel

December always brings mixed feelings - it's not only a season of reflection but one that reminds us that the year is over and a new one is about to start! Suddenly, we begin to have anxiety asking ourselves questions like…

Did I achieve my New Year goals? Did I grow successfully in my career/personal life I am not yet married! I am still broke! I need a new job! I still have these bad habits! I have not lost any weight!

With so much to think about, we become fixated on “boot camping” our goals through the remaining days of December and forget to be intentional about the season. Here are some magical ideas that will leave you attaining a higher measure of selfcare during and after Christmas.

FAMILY

Spend some time with family that makes you feel inspired and loved. Truly our very own family are the ones that love us no matter what however if you are not able to visit because you are far away, find the nearest family you have - friends, partner, pen-pal, hosting resident family - They will be open to share the season and their table of love with you. Allow yourself go on adventures with them and remember to always give them warm hugs. Its a better and warmer gift!

Tope Hassan Africa

SPEND TIME ALONE - HOUSE SWITCH

The true essence of spending time with oneself is to discover new parts of oneself that we never knew before. While it would be so cosy and comfortable to spend time at home, try to leave your comfort zone this season and spend some quality time with yourself in a new environment. You don’t have to go big, you can remain in the same city and have a house switch with someone you know. Ask them to either allow you to house sit their home while they are away on holiday or swap houses - they stay at yours and you stay at theirs. The essence of this idea is to not move anything else apart from your clothes and not return to your home until the period is over (2-5 days would suffice). During this period, feel yourself opening up to new things, methods, ideas and finding a way around bottlenecks. During this period, take the time, NOT TO PLAN, but to write down everything you achieved in life and be thankful for it. I would usually get sticky notes and markers, then write everything I achieved and stick to a wall as I remember. Write the smallest and biggest things - you would feel much better after all.

TRAVEL

You may have a busy work load or not so much money to travel far and for long, but you can spare at least 2 days to go somewhere. Forget going big if you can’t. Take the bus to the next city. Try to book your ticket now before they become expensive or sold out. Rent a hostel - not only because you’re broke but because this is your chance to meet new out-of-the-box people. If not hostel, rent a shared AirBnB or get a host on CouchSurfing. Take something from home and share it with them. Let them feel some love from your home as they share theirs with you :)

Tope Hassan Africa

TRY SOMETHING NEW

This is the hardest part because we all wish to do something new everyday but we sometimes do not follow through so for this time of the year, find someone who will keep you accountable. You could even ask people on your timeline to keep checking to ensure you finish. Some of the new things I have tried over the years are Hiking 3 mountains at once, Yoga, Surfing, Swimming in the Sea, joining strangers in one car on a ride somewhere, singing at an open bar in a restaurant, baking cakes, learning to code, spending a day at an orphanage etc. In each of these experiences, I learnt something new that has helped me through Life. So think of that one thing you have been hoping to try, find someone with the skill and ask them to help you! If you can't think of something, take a walk down your street, find something interesting and walk in.

Apple Paris Bears Nikon Gloves

GIVE

It is the end of the season and you have accumulated so much over the year in wisdom, material and finances. Give back to people around you by sharing something of yourself - donate some material items to the needy, offer to teach uneducated kids something you know or donate some money to charity. Remember; it does not matter how much you have or how knowledgeable you are - what matters is the joy it brings to someone’s heart :)

Tope Hassan Africa
SelfCare is all about loving others like we would love ourselves, first.
— Tope Hassan

So, while trying to be the best person you can be, do not forget to share with others. There is no guide to selfcare apart from making someone’s heart smile - at this moment, you have loved yourself and shown others how it feels like.

I wish you and yours an enjoyable Christmas holiday!! I am going to try to attempt all 5 but have about 3 scheduled for the season :) Have you got any ideas planned and would love to share? I would love to hear yours!

as she breathes...

The Stars gathered

To craft a portrait 

Of the African Child's Nose

Her Nose, smells trouble up North

And vacuums the fires that be in the South

Her Nose, speaks a smile at sunset in the East

And bows to no souls in the West

Two rivers, one beside the other

bordered by a talking drum

Sharp as a giraffe's gaze

as sons "dobale” in obeisance

Oh Woman, thou African Child

Thy Nose spews pleasant aroma

stealing souls of passers by

Like a hurricane

Thy Nose, majestic as the ocean

An oracle without sound;

borne in deep truths of our ancestral strength

Against the foes of nature.

But God! Doesn't she wear the World well! 

A guide to enjoying your own company without a phone

IMG_8280.JPG
IMG_8261.JPG

Learning to enjoy one’s company is a necessity for life’s survival.


IMG_8283.JPG

To be honest, I’m not only always on my phone, I’m required to be on my phone because 

  • My company team is remote

  • I manage several company accounts 

  • As a desired influencer, I have to be constantly online as I hope to build my personal brand

  • I belong to diverse cross continent communities and the only way to nurture them is by being online

  • My yoga classes are online

  • My family and loved ones

  • I work remotely and earn money from these jobs

IMG_8130.JPG

See why I need to be on my phone always? I can’t even lose my phone for a moment; I’ll worrying about getting another phone. And this is the more reason why our generation must learn to be offline.

IMG_8292.JPG
When I was growing up, Kids learned to enjoy their company before they got a phone but in this time, kids get a phone before they realise self-awareness.
IMG_8288.JPG

It’s a conscious decision so that when you are forced to be without your phone, you can gratefully bring yourself to enjoy your time alone with yourself or people without your phone. 

My phone detox plans are an hour a day, a month per year  and every vacation I take. 

IMG_8293.JPG

To learn conscious phone and especially social media detox, you need to fix the following

  •  What are my hobbies? What are the things I love doing that won’t make me miss my phone. I love to listen to folklore and classical music. I would dance to it that it would make me feel so good I’d forget my phone. I love reading fictional and magical fantasy novels. I also love writing far fetched classic poems. I love water so i enjoy swimming, learning to surf, kayak etc. I love taking walks & visiting the gym. I love sleeping or meditation sessions. I can go 5 meditation sessions at once. I love practicing yoga. I can go 1hr - 2hr stretch at once. So whenever I want to tune out, I’ll do one of these. 
IMG_8273.JPG
  • How much time can I truly afford to be away from my phone? Do not deceive yourself and copy someone’s stamina from being away from their phone. Competition kills spirit and consistency. When you go through that list up there, I have evaluated my schedule and I know that I can give 5am - 7am, 12noon - 2pm, 9pm - 10pm free from my phone. So whenever I create my schedules, I try to leave at least one of them free. I race out of meetings just to catch 5 mins alone with myself. It’s the only way I can recharge. So be honest with yourself and look through your schedules to find what works for you. Even if it’s only 30 mins. It’s a start. 
IMG_8279.JPG
  • Mental Interval checks. Be conscious to take mental checks on yourself. You may have decided to spend time with yourself but you need to remind yourself to do it. I’ve come to a place where I easily run mental checks on myself. Within each hour, I would instinctively remind myself to put my phone down and breathe. In that second, I appraise if what I’m doing is truly necessary before I continue. If I was having a needless chat or surfing the internet needlessly, I would close all the apps and get back to the most important thing or pick up a book or write a poem or take a walk or do any of my hobbies. I have a friend who couldn’t remind herself so she set a reminder 3 times a day to “put down the phone and breathe”. 
IMG_8301.JPG
  • Find a community and make time to connect with them. Community is the most important thing in a human’s life. I remember years ago when I connected with communities that did not truly inspire me, it reflected badly on my work so I decided to setup my own type of community. One that I connected with. I was afraid I wouldn’t find my type of people because we’re very “country people style” but I put the word out there and started hosting minimal hangouts. Either bring your own food to share or minimal cost where you pay for yourself. Now my social media looks much different than that time & I’m constantly inspired when I come online. I’m so jealous of my new found sanity that I do not risk mixing up in the wrong communities. I’ve put in so much to come this far, I can’t let it go. Find time to meet up with your community offline and always try to do new things with them. You’ll see how much you can grow together and your phone will become useless. This also means that if you’re part of a community that does not inspire you, unsubscribe. 
IMG_8282.JPG
  • Travel & invest in experiences: one best way to learn to love your own company is by investing in experiences. Anything that requires materialistic fulfillment can only satisfy you for as long as that material is needful or relevant. Experiences are embedded in your memory. They’re unforgettable. Especially when you have a proof of a picture. So try to travel at least once a year. If you can’t afford to travel yet, go on an experience. From school, take a day and go to the beach. Meet people and connect with nature. Or travel to the next city. Take a bus down to the end of the city and back home. Enroll for a local city tour or group experience. You’ll hardly find the time to respond to your phone but rather, take pictures with strangers. Learn so much about them and make new friends. You can even send a DM to a travel agency or tour guide and ask them to give you a free trip locally or internationally while you offer a free service by being an assistant on the tour. Most of these tours use buses and they will always have a free seat. You can even pack your own food from home to reduce costs of which I doubt they won’t want to feed you. You can also offer photography if you’re a photographer or offer to be guide in your local government or area if you know a good tourist attraction there.  
IMG_8284.JPG
  • Love your company. Love her/him. He/She is going to spend the rest of your life with you and even in the after life. The earlier you start loving your company, the earlier you start doing amazing things together. I purposely set my phone to go mute mode after 10pm except for my family and loved ones so no calls, texts or notifications can come in. I also avoid needless chats. If a chat does not have an immediate action, I either ignore or reply asking the person for a purpose. Chats are the quickest way to drain your time and intellectual use. Call the person or create an alternative.
IMG_8275.JPG

My phone use is termed into two

  • Personal Use - I use it for what I intend. I make posts, read information and stay up to date. In this time, I’m not particularly answering texts or reacting to any information. 

  • Reactive Use - this is when I decide to answer messages, or texts or interact with people online. I’ve had people question my use of social media and not responding to them. I tell them the same thing, I’ve not had time to sort through my messages. I’d reply later.  Don't let your phone control your impulses.

IMG_8276.JPG
Practicing to be alone with one self is in itself an improvement to allowing one more time to be alone with one self. 

Exceptions should only be for emergencies or business hours. 

IMG_8274.JPG

LUFASI PARK

In a bid to take time away from the busy activity of the city, I spent a day at Lufasi Park in Lagos, Nigeria to relieve my soul with an amazing friend. You pay 1000 only to get to Lufasi Park and you can totally bring your own food and picnic pack. Be careful not to go with a professional camera because you will be charged for those however my iphone was just enough. The environment is perfect and the natural light is all you need and the sky as your backdrop!

 
IMG_8289.JPG

Outfit Haul

Dress Shirt by Fashion Nova

Sun Glasses by HauteSignatures

Skin Hose by BrunEtNoir

Ankara Shorts by Pop Beach Club

Ankle Boots by Timberland

IMG_8300.JPG

Photography Credits

Images Shot by @Tobbinator

Image Edits by AfterLight & Lightroom CC Apps

IMG_8294.JPG
IMG_8290.JPG
IMG_8296.JPG
IMG_8277.JPG
IMG_8293.JPG

why your Start-Up needs a Conflict of Interest Policy

In 2015, we introduced the Conflict of Interest Procedure to our robust Compliance programme in TOTAL. It was a necessary procedure the company needed at the time to save us from unnecessary law suits and biased business practices. Today, I will discuss on how Conflict of Interest can help Start-Ups achieve good governance and systems.

IMG_2683.JPG

The Conflict of Interest Policy states that any situation in which the interest of an employee or of one of his Close Relation or friend conflicts or could conflict with those of the company, causing a risk of biased decisions being taken, it must be declared and an action must be taken to manage the conflict.

In Africa, Conflict of Interest has been relegated to a Legal Department issue and ignored in the operations of a company. It is mostly only stated during court proceedings, negotiation dealings or contracts however Conflict of Interest issues contribute to over 60% of dangers to businesses today. Lack of Conflict of Interest policies in workplaces has nurtured nepotism, sub standard products/services, fraud, law suits etc. And may I say this is partly why systems suffer in Nigeria today?

 

Let's consider a scenario, 

Your company has opened bid for contractors to handle a project and you are in charge. Your brother bids for this project and on the day of negotiation, you identify your brother in the negotiation process but even after you declare your conflict of interest, no steps were taken to isolate you from the process. Your brother wins because his company is the best fit however the other vendor who lost finds out that he was your brother and sues your company to court.

How do you plead? In this scenario, either your reputation or your company goes down with a huge fine slam.

Now, in the era of entrepreneurship and startups, we find entrepreneurs have ignored the importance of compliance in their business operations. The basic Start-Up kit includes Tech, branding, product/service, business development and marketing. When Legal comes in, its only about equity, company registration or shares. I've seen several startups built to fail from the onset because its structured around non-compliance procedures.

Conflict of Interest Issues affect recruitment of new team members, bringing on board qualified & best practice contractors, in-house fraud, bad company cultures, biased judgement among partners and public officials, law suits, sub standard products & services, over spending etc.

Here's a case study of a distribution and warehousing company

Company XYZ ran a successful business through imposed profit (buy-sell difference) sale and distributing commissions. The CEO's friend drove one of the distribution trucks but could not explain his fuel expenditure playing the age mate friendship card to avoid declaring it. On the other hand, another friend worked pro bono to manage the company in the CEO's absence however 'sometimes slept' with the receptionist in the CEO's house nurturing a late resumption time.

Now let's begin to calculate the loss Company XYZ has lost and the bad company culture that resulted. Finally both were sanctioned and sacked.

Recommendations

So how do you avoid Conflict of Interest in your Start-Up

  • Get every team member including yourself, the CEO, to sign a Conflict of Interest Form at least every year. Also, introduce a policy where each team member declares a conflict of interest once it arises.
  • Isolate team members from negotiations where they have potential conflicts of interests and introduce mitigation measures to vendors/partners who have a potential conflict either within their company or in relations to your company.
  • Have each employee sign a confidentiality form on behalf of the company.
  • Extend a tailored Conflict of Interest Form to your Advisory Board and Directors.
  • Train your team on Anti-Bribery Compliance including Conflict of Interest.

I personally wish that Nigerian Government would install a robust Compliance Policy into our Systems.

When in doubt, always seek advice from your Compliance Officer/Consultant.

how to cop the perfect yoga poses on a hiking trip

being a travelling yogi can be frustrating in keeping up with your practice or spreading the yoga cheer as I love to call it. I believe that yogis are like evangelists. They bring mindfulness and joy to every space they are so when travelling, you need to bring that cheer with you and take advantage of the wanderlust atmosphere around you so you can cop magaical moments that inspires & fuels our imagination. 

IMG_0460.JPG

lotus pose & a peace in front of a native shrine symbolic of bringing respect and peaceful spirit to a place of worship. I don’t need to be part of them but I respect the ethnicity of what they represent because I represent God.


IMG_0394.JPG

the lord of the dancer pose is the perfect classic outside the mat. All you need is a wall or a sort of stand. It could be a bridge rail, door knob, wall, balcony, pole etc. Simply hold onto the object with one hand and raise into a lord of the dancer pose or wall split. And you get the easiest wall pose.


the compass pose - front side is great for depicting a view. Just as the name suggests, the leg up in compass direction is to be directed at where the view is featured. In this case, above the rock where the majestic layout of Olumo rock is situated. Just don’t forget to smile 😊


IMG_0453.JPG

The compass pose - back side is great for a calm view. Not majestic. It’s a great contrast for landscapes where the subject is rather closer to the camera. Try to pointe the toes and straighten the knees as much as you can. Keep the body upright and let the cameraman focus on the landscape with the yogi on either side of the frame.  


IMG_0461.JPG

the low lunge is every Instagram model’s must have. It’s great for revealing how far your splits have come and even when your splits have not come far, it makes you look like a great yogi. The palms are also great for showing information or a sense of awareness and obeisance. It can also be supported by placing hands to the ground. Totally simple! 


IMG_0458.JPG

this pose may look hard to get into however the hardest part is the angles by the cameraman. The camera must be set at the same level of the face or even an inch or more lower than the face. It should also be set from the angle of where the feet is pointed and align with the aesthetics of the background. Most importantly, the pose is best done on a platform above the ground and not on the ground. If not it looks like a weird chicken 😂😂😂 


IMG_0422.JPG

the down dog leg up split is great in between spaces. Down dog is a simple sometimes boring pose done on the mat however to get a dramatic feeling of it, find a space in between two objects or two walls close to each other, a bridge hand rail, the floor and a pillar, two rocks affected by erosion etc; set the feet firmly on one end and the palms on the other. Hold firmly and raise one leg up while the camera shoots from below through the side in order to get a good view behind the yogi. Makes for a great view. 


the splits is my personal favorite. Find a great park bench and a view. It’s best done on surfaces above the ground level. But even if you’ve only got the ground, have the camera on the floor to capture th same level with the background. Raise palms to the sky and gaze at the thumb or hold out hands to each side parallel to the legs, smile at the camera and be free. 


What are your go-to Yoga poses when traveling? can you share a link to your perfect pose? Would love to hear all about it. 

Namaste 🙏🏽 

a roadtrip & the many adventures experienced in Abeokuta

beginning this year, my goal has been to learn more about my home of birth, Nigeria & immerse myself in its magic. as an African backpacker to disrupt pan-African trade & multi-cultural relations, i believe my charity begins at home. my mind was made up & this power suddenly conquered carsickness as i knew what needed to be done without fear so i contacted TVP Adventures to kick-start my national tour. 


me at the top of Olumo Rock with an achiever smile & the cosy TVP Backpakck. 

me at the top of Olumo Rock with an achiever smile & the cosy TVP Backpakck. 

armed with a bad history of motorphobia, two large bottles of water and an extra legging, i set out on a tour of Abeokuta - the largest city & state capital of Ogun State.  


The ‘adire’ market

a longtime tradition from our fore-fathers and ancestors, the "adire" (tie-and-dye) market was a fascinating discovery for me. i discovered that "adire" wrappers were not made in a factory but by a small community of hardworking locals so exceptionally dedicated to the detailing of each piece.

each piece is unique & very different from the other. it was first designed using starch made from different types of flour to create the patterns, then dried under the sun. it was then collected and tied into tiny pleats at certain lengths and dipped into a bucket of dye. after it dries, it is then ironed by wooden slabs that were manually pounded on the material to smoothen and fold it into the perfect package for sale. 

that's me, iron pounding an adire  

that's me, iron pounding an adire  

it was here i swore never to price an "adire" material at the market ever again. the craft is the main source of income to this community but it is sad that the government has demolished their markets building over it major highways and have failed to relocate the market to another piece of land. this market is said to attract thousands of tourists which has reduced drastically; more so, their source of income declines during the raining season due to the lack of sun to dry their materials.

"what will happen to this community in the future?"


Olumo Rock

a place of refuge. a place of war. a place of peace. now a place of history.  

it was told that the ‘egbas’  hid under this rock during the war in the past. it was their source of survival and a shrine that protected them from the outside world. the rock takes on the shape of a pregnant woman lying on her back on a table. how symbolic! the rock featured a sacrifice room, the kings quarters and a kitchen under the rock where his wives cooked, the tree of Doggedness & Resilience, a shrine and it’s chief priestess which is still passed down to the new generation, aged trees, a fort and a magnificent view. 

The view is everything from the top :)


The Herbert Ogunde’s living history museum

this is a fascinating story about a man who married seventeen wives who became his co-actors and traveled far and wide acting and creating plays that deftly introduced the Nollywood industry to the world.

the entrance to Herbet Ogunde's living museum home

the entrance to Herbet Ogunde's living museum home

the Ogunde’s living house museum welcomes you with a large wall post - it is a huge bungalow surrounded by a bold compound housing the magnificent statue of the late actor himself, Herbert Ogunde. one of the grandsons welcomed us who was also our host. we were told not to touch anything, no phones were allowed within and not to sit on any chair or surface in the house. the house is filled with all his equipments, cameras, a helicopter engine used for cooking up a storm for his movies, re-enacted scnes from his movies, album upon albums, his drums, all his costumes, his passport, nigerian actors who were so young back and are now veteran actors, his bed where he slept, his clothes, his family tree & so much more.

this is why i don't have much to show you but you can visit the museum sometime and be entirely amazed. this museum will teach you to value the country Nigeria and its people.

if you would love to read more about Ogunde's story, check out this beautiful narration written by my sister girl & guide, Funmi Oyatogun. Click Here.


POSE POSE POSE  

Image Credits: Rachel

Tour Guide: TVP Adventures


  HEEL CLICK! 

heel clicking is a lovely happy jump to do after a tour... so i did one with Funmi.

heel clicking is a lovely happy jump to do after a tour... so i did one with Funmi.

See you on the next adventure :) Meanwhile, have you been to Abeokuta? Did you have any fond memories or favorite places? Would love to hear it.
 if you don’t achieve anything in this world,
by all means, TRAVEL!

HELP! Constructively building SWOT Analysis from Feedback

Today, I listened to the Devil and conducted a Leadership Test on the Johari Window. The Johari Window was invented by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham in the 1950s as a model for mapping personality awareness. After describing myself from a list of adjectives, I requested few of my friends to describe me from the same fixed list of adjectives to help create an overlap and difference in my personality. 

THE RESULTS WERE UNEXPECTED!

I felt great, flustered, worried, annoyed, impressed, amazed, surprised, depressed and every mixed feeling you can think of. Naturally, the human mind goes into defensive uproar when receiving feedback. The results showed over 70% of likable personality traits but my mind focused on the questionable traits... the ones that you doubt is really you. More so, I was dissapointed in my friends for not giving me this feedback initially but grateful they finally did. Here I was in Life, forging ahead with questionable attributes that my friends silently judged me about. Sigh.

So how do you build a SWOT analysis around Feedback so that those perceived questionable traits can be turned into a strategic advantage?

Credits: #WOCinTech Chat wocintechchat.com

Credits: #WOCinTech Chat wocintechchat.com

OWN YOUR EMOTIONS

Feedback is never easy and palatable. The fact that you are even getting feedback makes you a better person so if some of the feedback makes you feel bad, allow yourself to go through it and own it. When I received my feedback, these attributes Complex (16%), proud (4%), self-assertive (20%) and naive (which was not on the list but was personally sent to me by text) shook my very core and gave me a bad stomach ache. I even went as far as calling the parties and asking them to trace me back to an incident that formed their opinion because clearly I did not believe that was me. I allowed myself to understand that I did not like us (me, myself & I) to have such traits but it was okay to have such traits. After all, You are who You are; nothing more, nothing less - Wizard Zul Zeddicus Zorander

WEAR YOUR STRENGTHS

Force your emotions away from your weakness and focus on your strengths. Meditate on it and digest it. Allow yourself to think of incidents where you displayed those likable traits in the community, among your friends and even to yourself. Imagine what the world would become to have people with similar traits - would you live in such a world? The truth is when you build on your strengths, people begin to see you more in the light of your strengths than your weaknesses.

STRATEGIC OPPORTUNITIES

The fact that our likable traits are scaling in flying colors does not absent our weaknesses which could eventually become a threat to who we truly are. The World tends to judge us on the 1% of bad things we have done even though we achieved 99% of goodness! More so, you do not want to be caught unawares in a negotiation or appraisal with a weak trait that catches you off guard! I was watching the series "Madam Secretary" and there was an episode where she was negotiating with the Chinese Foreign Minister and he fired her with her weakness stating something like "I know what you are doing Madam Secretary. You cannot take advantage of me like how you strong arm your foreign ambassadors into having your way!" She was shocked for mini-second and  recovered from it stating "Foreign Minister, I know you want the best for your people which is why you must understand that America is doing all we can to ensure that Democracy prevails which guarantees that China maintains its political advantage in the Asian continent!". Imagine how the conversation would have gone if she went on the defensive and allowed herself to mope at the feedback of such weakness thereby probably losing the deal on the side of America.

MEDITATE ON YOUR THREATS

So as I recognize my not-so-great traits, I recognize that I tend to talk about my achievements and be proud about it however it must not be done arrogantly nor with conceit. Being self-assertive meant that I am unapologetic about sharing my opinions and contributing to educate people whenever I get the chance however I must be careful not to be forceful and be open to new ideas. I also recognize that being complex is good because there are many aspects to who I am as a Compliance professional, Entrepreneur, yogi, Surfer, traveler and podcaster however I must not allow that complex to seep into my work space so that my friends & colleagues can depend on me. I also recognize that being naive (impressionable) is not entirely true because if it were, Yogi, Surfer or Entrepreneur would not be part of who I am however who are we in this world if we do not open ourselves to other people's opinions and ideas? More so, it makes us better candidates for Leadership Positions.

 
We all need people who will give us (honest) feedback. That’s how we improve.
— Bill Gates
 

How do you deal with feedback? Kindly comment below.

Do you want to conduct your own Personality Test, click here

 

Here's my Results. Try not to judge me.

Arena

(known to self and others)

caring, cheerful, complex, confident, independent, intelligent

Blind Spot

(known only to others)

able, adaptable, bold, brave, clever, dependable, energetic, extroverted, friendly, giving, happy, helpful, idealistic, ingenious, knowledgeable, loving, mature, modest, observant, organised, powerful, proud, quiet, reflective, relaxed, responsive, searching, self-assertive, sentimental, spontaneous, tense, trustworthy, warm

Façade

(known only to self)

Unknown

(known to nobody)

accepting, calm, dignified, introverted, kind, logical, nervous, patient, religious, self-conscious, sensible, shy, silly, sympathetic, wise, witty

All Percentages

able (4%) accepting (0%) adaptable (16%) bold (32%) brave (20%) calm (0%) caring (24%) cheerful (16%) clever (4%) complex (16%) confident (36%) dependable (12%) dignified (0%) energetic (36%) extroverted (8%) friendly (32%) giving (16%) happy (4%) helpful (20%) idealistic (8%) independent (48%) ingenious (8%) intelligent (32%) introverted (0%) kind (0%) knowledgeable (20%) logical (0%) loving (8%) mature (12%) modest (8%) nervous (0%) observant (4%) organised (20%) patient (0%) powerful (16%) proud (4%) quiet (4%) reflective (4%) relaxed (4%) religious (0%) responsive (4%) searching (4%) self-assertive (20%) self-conscious (0%) sensible (0%) sentimental (4%) shy (0%) silly (0%) spontaneous (24%) sympathetic (0%) tense (4%) trustworthy (12%) warm (16%) wise (0%) witty (0%)

Created by the Interactive Johari Window on 8.5.2018, using data from 25 respondents.
You can make your own Johari Window, or view Purity Tope's full data.

This is why Your Frenemies/Haters will stay Winning in Life

Yesterday, my best friend and I were gossiping about one of my "farewell fre-enemies" and their new updates on Life that was splashed on Social Media.

While we are very serious minded hard-working business women who have goals in Life, we indulge in occasional gossips - good or bad. After-all, it is healthy for the soul. (Duh... go ahead and judge us for it.). You just won't find us hawking gossips Haha.

It turns out that this frenemy is finally getting her Life goals and we were so here for it! Inasmuch as were not friends, I still respect this person & support her work from afar. I understand that supporting one's business does not require friendship nor does friendship requires support for one's business. These tenets must be of free will.

I had decided to cut ties with this person because after simultaneously hurting me, they were also hurting my business & my friends which created a toxic environment and made me the worst version of myself. So one day, I sat myself down and told myself: "Inasmuch as you like this person, you are gonna have to let them go or else you would slowly die - spiritually & mentally." There are times when we need to take desperate measures so that we can save our own souls from hell.

So even though we were no more friends, I had resolved my feelings about them and was able to celebrate their successes when it came around and even recommend them for contracts etc. This morning, I had similar experience where someone heard news about their frenemy winning in Life and they were not having it. The person yelled out about how it will never last and nothing good will ever come to them. Whooaaaa... Chill! 

Now I know that naturally, the human nature is never prone to celebrating people who have hurt us deeply in the past but I will share two reasons why you need to love your enemies and resolve those feelings in your heart.

1. The Earth Has No Feelings

God has provided everything on Earth and in each human that they need to succeed. Do you remember how God said Go and be fruitful and multiply... How he made man to have dominion over everything on Earth from the trees, animals, universe etc? Can you remember how some of Earth's most accomplished heroes and historians were oddly wicked men? There is no amount of curses that you rain upon a man that will prevail against him as long as his own mind is made up to succeed and achieve his/her heart desires. Even the Holy Word forbids us from cursing & swearing. Whether a man is evil or not, the sun and moon will shine upon him, he will dominate the land, have water and food, breathe the very air you breathe and most importantly have new chances every single moment of time and in the eye of every new person he/she meets. Think about the lifetime and billions of multitudes (World Population) of chances he/she has? We talk of Karma and how it deals with our enemies. Get your mind from the gutter haha. Karma is simply the Law of Balance and it happens to everyone besides you can avert it. Karma happens to everybody whether you are evil or not. However, if such a person repents from their evil ways and change their mindset to do better, guess what? Karma is averted. I'm sorry but that is just how the world works. Let's put it this way, If you fall from a Plane freely, the Law of gravity will attack you and pull you hard to fall against the ground but if you suddenly put on a parachute, guess what, you're going to fly and you wont end up smashing your skull against the ground. So let that person go.

 

2. Redemption

As a Christian, you may have heard of how Christ died for our sins and redeemed us on the Cross. This implies that before our enemies carried out their acts, they have been redeemed and forgiven on the cross! How cool is that? Or uncool? I mean why would Christ just give wicked people free passes and not let them suffer for everything they did to us rewarding them with eternal damnation? I am sure if it worked like that, at the age of 8, we would have been eternally damned and by 18, our parents would be justified to send us to hell for all our teenage tantrums! That means mortality rate would be an all high at 99.9% after-all is there a teenager that never hurt their parents? It's as bad that a killer (say a Serial Killer or Terrorist) who has killed so many people (you probably know one of the victims) will end up in heaven on the last day and you would be asking God "Whhyyyyyyyyyy?! I can't even begin to understand my dear Angels! Why he gotta let this man in here? I can't live here with this guy in my backyard!" God will point to his son and say "Jesus has redeemed him!"

Seeeee?

This is simply painting a worse case scenario about the very worse people on Earth much less than the person that hurt you. Do you know what even shakes me more? The fact that if you hold a grudge against your enemies and do not totally resolve your feelings about them and wish them well, God will accuse you of things like "Lowkey Hating, Eye-Rolling Grudges, KMTing, Bad Desires, one-line responses, replying with an ill-mannered 'K' and using mean emojis (Lmao). These wrong things alone without committing other sins can remove your name from the final guest list in Heaven. More so, it can blindside your heart from receiving blessings from the universe.

So Dudeeeeee... let your enemies go! Whether you like it or not, they will succeed. Just like how you equally hurt people in the past and yet, you stay winning everyday! Open your hearts - let them go, love them and celebrate them. 

 

Every Human is another Humans’ Enemy and Every Successful Enemy is another Humans’ Super Hero. Embrace an Enemy Today!
— I said it.

Celebrating 3 years on my Yoga Journey

FullSizeRender.jpg

March 2018, I celebrated 3 years of practicing yoga and journeying through meditation, mental health and lifestyle. I remember when I started practicing, I had never heard of Yoga except as an odd story and even at that, I didn’t really understand what it was. I just knew that even though I was not fat, I was greatly dissatisfied with my unhealthy lifestyle and declining health. I hated eating and perceived all food with utter abomination (I preferred junk). So I started jogging around my estate but since I usually closed work very late, it became risky to jog late at night. I remember jogging at 10pm until midnight and the dogs in the estate would literally chase me till I got to my house. Whewwwww.... 

 

IMG_4641.JPG

So I went online and started looking for domestic options to keeping fit and working out - that was when I found Yoga. The following Sunday, I told my pastor about it and he forbade me, stating it was demonic. So I went again into full extensive research and learned it’s extremes and safe spaces. I got myself a mat and yoga block off Jumia and started practicing. I remember going for sleepover in my cousins house and taking my mat with me. I would practice after morning devotion and at night before bed. One time my mom came visiting and she knowing that I never woke up early for morning devotion found me at the balcony around 5am in the morning practicing on my mat - she didn’t even have an idea what I was doing. She sat there and watched me till I finished and then she sighed

“Hmmmmmm... Which one is this one again?” 

FullSizeRender.jpg
IMG_4348.JPG

The truth is I never really understood it. Understood why I was practicing this workout that seemed so complicated & didn’t really involve cardio movement but got me sweating my nerves out just after 10 mins. I had downloaded an app called “FitStar Yoga”  and subscribed annually for yoga videos. Each session left me breathless and my mat soaked in sweat. 6 months later, I asked my brother for a photo shoot because I just didn’t know if anything had changed in my body. I needed to see some form of change or I would stop practicing. 

I searched Instagram and found advanced yogis like me online whose IG showcased starry eyed images of unimaginable and impossible poses. I screen grabbed some of them and headed to Jabi Lake in Abuja to shoot some pictures. To my amazement, I could get into about 70% of these poses even though I had never practiced them before. I had stuck to my basic practice. When the pictures came out, I could see that my body had improved. It seemed like someone gave me a new body. 

IMG_4177.JPG

That was motivation enough to keep practicing. I joined a yoga class taught by Basante at Transcorp Hilton and soon after, he encouraged me to assist some of his beginners classes. That was a huge step for me! A year later, I noticed everything about my health and lifestyle had unconsciously changed. I ate better. I had less anxiety & panic attacks. I grew an optimistic mindset and a tough determination to do things. My eating was regular and I looked to healthy foods and fruits instead of junk. I was able to wake early to pray and meditate. I learned to consciously breathe and be mindful about things and people around me. My arms and shoulders were toned out. Literally! 

Like, really toned out! Everyone began to ask if I lift weights! My Life had changed!

IMG_4650.JPG

Later that year, i made a huge step and moved to Lagos. I was really scared that I would lose everything I had managed to build into a habit. So I sought out a community of yogis. TRUPPR invited me to teach Yoga on their platform and I started hosting classes on their app. Later, Pop Beach invited me to host their yoga sessions at their beach retreats. After few months, I travelled for a 100 hr Yoga Teacher training with the goal to become better in my practice. When I came back, a friend of mine introduced me to Bodyline Gym in Ikoyi and I started teaching Yoga classes there and at few hotels in town. Then a Yogi friend of mine started her studio and I joined her studio in partnership to teach classes - Breathe Studio. Shortly after, a colleague introduced me to Lotus Gym VI to take their yoga classes. I began to earn from yoga and that’s another gift that kept on giving.

 

FullSizeRender.jpg

I remember sometime ago when I used a yoga pose as my WhatsApp dp and my mom went into shreds about it  it was a headstand with Lotus feet. She sworn that I was out to kill my unborn children and become infertile  she said I was gonna die and all one could imagine! That was when I told her I was practicing yoga and it was healthy for me. I grew up as an asthmatic child and it grew worse as I grew older. Practicing yoga had helped me to control my breaths and survive very sore asthmatic attacks helping me understand how best to take care of myself. My mom never cares about this improvement - she went strait to my Pa and told him that the Devil has claimed me. A week later, I walk out of my office premises and see my Pa standing just right outside. I was truly shocked but that’s my pa’s style. He quietly asks to follow me home so we get to my house and the first thing he asks is my Yoga mat. I show him and yadiyadiyadiyadiya... you can imagine.

FullSizeRender.jpg

After he was done, I then asked him to demonstrate how he stretches when he was hours at his desk working through the night. Irritated, he tried to show me some poses and then I began to correct his postures and helped him improve his breathing by maintaining more calm in each stretch. He said he felt better. I told him right then that I just assisted him in a short yoga practice of Backbends and shoulder stretches. He prayed for me that night and left for his Hotel. We never talked about it again since that day. My mom never mentioned it - I really don’t know what they think but I’m glad I could show them what I do - exactly.

 

IMG_9297.JPG

This journey has seen me frustrated beyond measure, fallen and injured from risky poses yet never giving up, unlearning & learning so many vital life lessons & philosophies, attaining a meta-physical mindset that I can do anything because if I could accomplish such impossible poses on the mat, certainly there’s nothing I couldn’t do; becoming patient with myself and mostly others, expecting nothing from anyone, focusing squarely on my goals & Never blaming anyone for any fault or issues, becoming sufficient for myself and learning self care, growing a community of yogis willing to live healthy and balanced lifestyles and more so, deepening my relationship with God beyond religion - I’ve learned to know God, to talk to him, to personally journey with him through all the tenets of my life and meditating on his word practically as it pertains to my daily life, learning to journal my thoughts, dreams, desires, troubles and mostly, my blessings to him. 

 

I’ve never existed in a more happier, golden, dazzling, faith-driven, purpose given, spiritual living and healthy lifestyle season in my Life. My mission is to live this way the rest of my Life. 
IMG_4638.JPG

 

So here's to many more anniversaries of my Yoga Journey 🥂 

Namaste

🙏🏽 

#IWD2018: Tory Burch Foundation & a Woman that inspires me to #EmbraceAmbition

As we celebrated International Women's Day, I reflect on the immediate women in my Life at this moment that spur me on for Ambition. The same Ambition that is looked down as a negative trait in women but "oh-so-positive" for the opposite sex... a trait most men have decided to beware of especially when picking a wife.

 
 

I remember back in college, when I would write the introduction for my CV for my very first internship, my roommate asked "Are you sure you want to place "I am an ambitious young economist?" because that is as aggressive and opinionated a woman can be. You may not get the job!" I bullishly submitted my CV and secured my very first internship at a project by the UN at the time. I later found out that the MD was a woman. That spurred me on... until few years ago, while working at a multi-national organisation, I had to delete my "ambitious tag" because I began to find it more under traits that portray weaknesses in women employees.

At first, I felt reprove for my former opinion that ambitious women were phenomenal. My role model, Magaret Thatcher's whole existence screams "Ambitious" so I interpreted ambition as a zest to achieve all my dreams. I became dedicated to work hard for it but people started making me feel like it made for a very bad colleague until my first interaction and lengthy discussion with TCJ, former EGM at a multi-Corp. I had never seen ambition so wildly voluminous in a woman who had years of achievements behind her with a very lengthy CV to show for it. Yet she felt she was just starting to take over the world. That was it, I boldly space-barred my "Ambitious" back into the equation with full force.

Now, Mrs. Olatowun, popularly known as TCJ, is my mentor and she recommended me for a feature at the Tory Burch Foundation website for the #EmbraceAmbition campaign and there has never been a bolder season in Life to be alive.

Olatowun Candide-Johnson

embrace ambition TCJ Tope Hassan

TCJ, as she is popularly known, was General Counsel, Executive General Manager, Management Services Division and Chief Compliance Officer at TOTAL. She was the only woman on the EXCOM committee as at the time she retired. By the age of 50, she completed the Trium MBA from HEC Paris, London Business School and NYU STERN while managing a very demanding job at Total. She then retired and went on to found her company, VOLTAIRE, a catalyst platform for all emerging creatives to showcase their work before an audience not easily attainable. She is also currently building an incubation club for girl bosses to access a safe space to work, play and network on a small budget while buidling their valid dreams.

 

Dear TCJ,

You encourage me to embrace ambition because you score beyond skyscraper points in every aspect of being a Woman as a Wife, Mother, Role Model for Women, Career Woman, Entrepreneur, Global Citizen, Charisma, Appearance and Intelligence.

Your actions are a silent force that drives every woman to believe she can have it all. As a Leader, you have not only stood for yourself but also for other women sharing your experiences all the way and never afraid to deal with risks or seeming failure balancing all aspects of Life to achieve your purpose.

More so, I am awed that you see me not in my present state but the future pan-African Leader that my future woman has become and with genuine support, you celebrate that journey whenever you have the chance to catch up with me.

So here is to you and all the days you quietly watch me as an Eagle does its eaglet, pushing resiliently towards my dreams, adjusting my sails, learning, falling, relearning, unafraid to dream bigger because you have been there, earned your seat at the garden of men and are disrupting a new space for Entrepreneurs. These same places that fill my ambition.

Thank You !
— http://www.toryburchfoundation.org/embraceambition/

Who inspires you to #EMBRACEAMBITION?

Dear BossLady! Here's how your business can take advantage of free drinks at the Bar!

If you're like me, then you are a Boss-lady who owns her business and hardly has time to go out but when you do, you go all out - dress, heels, party, drinks et al. Fun fact about Boss Women is that we have maximum fun because we can be playful, sassy, know how to turn off the stress, the party rocker, dancer & stepper and network faster than a bee. Now, let's talk about how to boost your business even when you're off business having fun!

Every Boss Lady takes cash to cover three vital things every time she's out partying - Uber, Drinks and vex money. It's the number 1 rule of business - always make conservative reserves for the worst! So as soon as we get to the party, we buy our own drinks! You will never catch a boss lady without her own drinks of which she drinks minimal and turns the fun to the red meter. She would be drinking either lemon water, red wine, a tough cocktail or a nice beer and that one drink is enough because she does not need alcohol to get high especially due to the stress piling up at work. After that drink, she switches it up on the dance floor or starts networking/conversing like a bee.

And then while she's in her element, a guy walks up to her with that popular phrase;

I've always been at a dilemma on how to tell a guy that I have had all the drinks I can have for the night and would simply appreciate him to get to the last point of what he needs from buying me a drink! LOL. As a business woman, I need my senses every darn time, I don't plan to get a hangover in the morning because I gotta work and I certainly do not need the walk of shame ;) But how do we turn that drink into something productive so that he really feels he's being a gentleman?

I found three stunning ways to take advantage of "Can I buy you a drink" and yet have as much fun with a handsome and charming lad like Ryan Gosling...  I mean if he's as handsome as Ryan Gosling, who wouldn't want to ogle that face for few minutes haha!

Switch that Drink for a Subscription for your Company: 

In this age of Digital media, there's got to be one subscription pending for your business. Either a domain name, canva subscription, Harvard Research Case Studies, a Ripl monthly subscription, Inter Nations subscription, a fitness app course payment, some Skype units, an ad on Facebook for a new project, Yoga at Cody App course payment, invoicing app subscription, Email unit, a VSCO filter, a conference/event fee etc. There's so much he can pay for using his card or transfer and deleting the details off the app so it does not recur. And these does not cost more than a couple dollars - say max $35. Some subscriptions are a mere $10 so take advantage of that lady. That way, if he really fancies a chat, he won't mind and you get to check something off the list!

Switch that Drink up for a Service Swap: 

A guy buying you a drink is just part of his ego making you believe he's working hard for what he eventually wants to get: a date, a relationship, flirtatious banter, some connection, some info, sex, a bet, whatever. So since he is willing to work for it, well how about he actually does the work? Instead of buying you a drink, ask him what he does professionally and also on the side. A photographer could take some portrait photos for your business outlook, a developer could help fix some issues or bugs on your website, a business developer could go through your business strategy, a lawyer could draft up some basic contract and partnership documents for you etc. Also, be willing to give back a service to balance out the equation but don’t over give. You are not charity. Afterall, speaking to you is a Privilege!

Switch that Drink up for something you actually want:

Have you ever been offered a drink and you just wished you had a bag of popcorn instead? Yeah! That's us. A Boss Lady does not go with the flow; she follows her guts! And if your guts says I would prefer a jar of Olives (gosh I love Olives), a bag of popcorn (fave), a pile of pizza, a cuppa coffee or smoothie, a bottle of wine or Ribena, a pack of broccoli or smoked chicken, a carton of water, a pair of alkali batteries, a painting date (costs 5000), a surf class, a salad or some good local food; then ask for that instead. Get your Happiness and Self Care! No need to drink just because he wanted a drink. And be proud of it!

These options cost right about the same price as a drink or less so no harm nor loss. Of course it’s a free World; If he does not feel like it, tell him to take a walk. After all, a Boss Lady always comes with her reinforcements in place.

Remember this and repeat after me: Any transaction outside my inner circle will be handled as business until it has been defined and its value has been ascertained.

And Oh! For the Men, You are also welcome to take the advice for your business in case a lady asks to buy you a drank!

You're welcome!!!

Steps to building Solidarity Friendships

Last year, I was in a state of exasperation because I was lacking Solidarity Friends who I could build my substance & worth with. I had recently moved to Lagos & the social scene was very shallow. I met people daily who could barely hold a seasoned conversation for 2 minutes. Gists were full of empty hype, gossips, complaints, ignorance & opportunistic wishes.

Now you must know that friendships are either Social or Solidarity in nature. The social friendships are casual, peripheral & popular while Solidarity friendships are built on partnerships, deep substances, trust and care. The Solidarity friendships are the people who share your weaknesses & strengths, those who would do anything for you and ensure you grow progressively together. So last year, after appraising my friendships, I posted this tweet;

A year later, I was cashing out on my solidarity friendships & had to update that tweet;

Bolaji & Tolulope inspired me to share tips on realizing good friendships in 1 year. Here are the basic tips that helped in building & keeping solid friendships;

WHO ARE YOU?

First of all, What are you bringing to the table? You cannot function dynamically in a friendship if you have not discovered yourself & your friends cannot openly tell who you are. Friendship is a partnership of selfless rewards for a better future, therefore, you need to identify what it is about you that is effortlessly remarkable. What is your brand? what are you passionate about? What would you love your friends to do for you? What do you seek that is beyond your present? What is your goal in Life? 30 years from now, what do you want to be doing with your friends? Be aware that discovering one's self is never ending and evolves with time however you need to be certain about the parameters your life will take. For Example, even though I don't know exactly what I'll be doing in 20 years time, I know that My Life's purpose is bounded by my love for Africa, Entrepreneurship, Media, Yoga & Art. These are a huge part of who I am & can give effortlessly. You gotta come into yourself confidently and be the boss of your own Life.

WHAT PERSONALITY TRAITS & TALENTS INTERESTS YOU:

Now that you have something to offer in a friendship, what do you love most in people and what personality traits can you accommodate. You will have a lot of social friends but you will need solid friends that will embark on Life's journey with you. A lot of people make friends but are hesitant to share their goals, their desires for life, discover the passion & goals of the next person, introduce possible methods to reach those goals together. If you cannot talk about your life purpose & mission with your friends, then they are not your solidarity friends. You also need to figure out what character traits irritate you the most and learn to avoid such toxic people. I love making friends who are entrepreneurs & yogis but one of the things I can't stand are cheats, male chauvinists, pompous people & tale bearers. I have had friends who cheat on their partners openly in front of me and that is something my values will never accept. People who are truly amazing but tend to make you fall short of your values & principles are very toxic for your Life. No matter how talented they are, remove them from your inner circle. You can still be peripheral friends to them but you don't have to be solidarity friends.

MAKE AN INVENTORY OF YOUR FRIENDSHIPS AND OPEN YOURSELF TO NEW ONES

There is need to appraise the friendships you currently have and identify the trend of people you keep. Are they aligned with the two terms above? Do you constantly have toxic friendships & rebound off the same people that potentially influence you badly? It's time to demote those people to the bottom of the pyramid. However, the fact that someone has flawed character does not mean you cannot learn or benefit one or two things from them so there's no need to condemn or hate them. Moreover, for the potential friendships you have that have helped to improve your growth as a person, begin to draw them closer. Open up discussions about your personalities, goals & purpose, what they are going thru in life, the opportunities/possibilities you both hope for, talents, SWOT analysis, common causes etc. This will help you appraise the kinds of friends you have and the types you need to bring closer to achieve your Life purpose & effect change around your community. Observe potential people and walk up to them to introduce a friendship. From the beginning, tell them what you hope to build with them so they can show you by their actions if they are dedicated to it. Remember, No man is an island! To achieve your goal in Life, you will always need help & what better way than the help of friends who would do anything to see you grow because it correlates with what they know to do best. When I founded my company, ISOKO Africa, the creative process from my logo to my first few podcasts was in partnership with my friends who had companies that provided these services. I've always said that Business Partnerships tend to make lifelong solid friendships than social friendships.

FORM A WINNING SHARED HABIT

Most of the time, we get into really great friendships and go to sleep. Soon, we see this amazing friend doing something great and it suddenly seems like we are on the sideline not the friend and you wonder what happened? It becomes hard to even get them on a call or ask for a favor. What happened to the friendship? How did it slacken? Truth is, it's not their fault. You both neglected to build a winning habit for both of you. If a friend is important to you, chances are both of you have similar goals for Life. Which means that you may not have the luxury to hang out always like you do with your social friends. Solidarity friendships are hard to come by. They are the future Avengers or the next top executive cliques which means that in your twenties, you will be busy building yourselves and in your thirties, you will be busy building your empires. Maybe in your forties, you would have the luxury to hang out more often but right now, you will be scarce. The sooner you accept this, the better you are able to achieve more from your friendships. So, how can you keep the friendship blooming? Try Shared Responsibility & Trust; introducing partnerships between your companies, or occasional friend retreats to update each other of your growth, send them documents of new things happening in your life & determine periodical updates for accountability, ask for help & give it,  follow their work closely and support it at every milestone (cash or simply sharing on social media/your area to tell everyone about it), form a habit to use their services either through partnerships or pay for it (even if at a discounted price), create an opportunity & involve them, embark on a simple short-term project together (a cause, a short book, a community fundraiser, a small donation, a trip etc), avoid excessive social hangouts & encourage strategy brainstorming sessions or conferences, invite them as a guest on your blog, show, event etc, network on their behalf (find a person with a service they need & connect them both. Follow through to their satisfaction). Forming winning habits can take any shape but the most important thing is to form habits that are effortless to render that's why number 1 is important & your inner clique has to be kept small, tight & relevant. Few of the many things I can give my friends easily is a shared yoga workout, a quick business branding session, a connection to a platform/person anywhere in Africa, setting up their digital presence & actually paying/partnering to use their services amongst others.

BE THE CORNERSTONE & BUILD YOURSELVES (DO THE WORK)

You may be wondering why you should be responsible for building shared winning habits? One of the spices for a happy life is expecting nothing and appreciating everything. In every clique of friends, a cornerstone is needed however no one wants to take responsibility because the world right now does not "give a damn" (pardon my french). No one wants to do the work, nor check on others, nor go the extra mile nor build together because people of the world want to be the Boss but not a Servant. So, if you really want to inspire solidarity friendships, you are going to have to accept that you are responsible for it and dedicate yourself as the cornerstone. Pump your brakes! I'm not asking you to be Jesus Christ. Think of every clique you come across and how there's one person who is the most influential. If that person is sick, everyone will be on a roller coaster! Yes, that's you! The extra effort you need to put in is to ensure you are dedicated to your own growth as a person first, be kind and humble, say sorry a bit more, occasional calls or storm their social media & share their work, introduce a common cause & work towards it (ie: Politics, Family, Entrepreneurship, Career, Tech etc), write words of inspiration or a little dedication for them, know all their personal details (bank account, email address, skype id, social media handles, home address, family history etc). Most importantly, create a network around your clique by introducing your solidarity friends to each other. Let them know they are dear to your heart & why they should love each other. Discuss each other's work with the others and when one of them is in need, inform the others so they can also be part of each other's lives. If one is getting married, invite others to fundraise a gift together no matter how small or write words of encouragement for someone's birthday (that is how my website was created). That way, you are encouraging them to grow & build with each other; making you a reference point and a person that everyone wants to introduce themselves to. Remember, you cannot receive what you haven't given.

While you're constantly repeating this process at major points of your life, be aware that friendships take the time to define. There are some people who will welcome you with open arms from day 1  while others take longer to connect with them. Our zest for friends who challenge & inspire us constantly may tend to attract older or more successful people than we are so we may lose our confidence & identity in the overwhelming flood of their presence while trying to get our footing back. Think of them as humans with superpowers. Without the powers, they are simply humans. Also, you must always remember that if anyone despises you as a friend, then they were never meant for you in the first place. Quit trying to prove to them your worth and move on to others who will build with you. After all, there are so many fishes in the sea.

Disclaimer: You don't have to be an introvert or extrovert neither do you need a crowd to build meaningful friendships. You just have to be passionate enough to grow towards a desirable future. And remember to be true to yourself and find out what works for your own clique!

Solidarity Friendships come in morsels.

 

* Here's an image to help you remember & keep these tips at your fingertips. You can share with your friends, on social media & Pinterest *

 

*******************

Enjoyed reading? kindly drop a comment below & share on your network. Thank You!

Africa Needs Brands Destroyers

Have you heard of a Brand Destroyer? Is it part of your Brand package? Do you know what it means to vanish a brand from the face of the Earth like it never existed? NewsFlash! This is a Life Career Alert and Africa needs more of You.

Let's paint a picture: BUSINESS

Say you started a company 30 years ago called "LURK" and it has been remarkably successful and popular across Africa but then you suddenly hit the 21st century, where business has gone digital and your business model has sunk! Experts tell you that your model needs to be revamped and a new business idea born. The first concern you have is; How can I start a new brand that is not affected by the old failing company?

And another picture: FRAUD

Your shipping company, a major contractor for the biggest brands in the world from oil companies, fashion houses to technology recently came into a Compliance Scandal. Unfortunately, you did not win the case and have had to pay $509 Billion in fine and as a result filed for bankruptcy. Your old clients have abandoned you & it's impossible to win new clients because no one wants to be associated with scandal. You desperately need to pay your debts and cater to your huge manpower which means you need to fix your brand. Your first thought is; How do I erase the old brand so that it won't affect the new one?

Yet another picture: BRAND

You are a fast market. You start shit fast and end shit fast. Basically, your company model is to start new market trends, kill them & replace with new ones. From fashion to political trends to music & so on. Your company owns over 100 brands. You have some brands in the market that need to die completely without any trace. Your plan is; Who can I hire to erase these brands from the face of the Earth because you hate the taste of failure?

The guy you need is a Brand Destroyer! They are skilled at varnishing any trace of a brand from records, people's recognition and the Earth. They withdraw the product from the market, erasing counterfeits also, re-orientating your community to forget and replace the brand with something new, deleting the product from the web even the dark web, all media publications, search engine optimisation, all publicity, all partnerships, all legal records etc. 

Their job is to give you a clean slate, an empty paper and advise you on how long you need to remain underground before coming back & the branding mistakes to avoid any semblance to the old brand.

AFRICA

Africa, our beloved continent. Popularly known for Human & Raw Material Resources. A vamped land that exports her raw materials only to import it in finished products & her people laboriously slaving to enrich the pockets of the foreign market. Largely, it is slighted, not seen, perceived to lack potential, ravaged by wars & unstable political systems hence dangerous. Now, here we are with a bad reputation on our hands in a dire need for a new perspective. A perspective that shows how our economy grows with its human capital investing on our own lands towards a better future & harnessing our own natural resources. The one where our youths have ventured into ideas of a new world and our political systems are ruled by the people for the people.

Will you join to build a new brand? Who will be our Brand Destroyer? Africa needs US !

You & I <3

WATCH: AKON Talking Branding AFRICA & Telling our own Stories

* Pin this image to your pinterest *

 

*******************

Kindly share your experiences about this story & share on your social media platforms.

 

How to remain endlessly Charming!

Few days ago, a new friend visited my office and his verdict was: I am highly popular! Which is weird because I am not actually popular in numbers LOL. I met him a week ago and within a week, he had experienced all parts of my three personalities; as Founder of ISOKO Africa, as a Yoga teacher and a Corporate Professional. As we walked through the office to the restaurant and seeing him off, he analysed that at least 1 out of every 3 persons that passed knew me from colleagues to random strangers. Hell! Even the Police and Security were frantically waving.

This is not an article to "hoot my toot" but I thought to share basic tips on maintaining a charming personality which is different from being popular. I was not always charming. As a teen, I had self-esteem issues which I learned to conquer with time but never recognised that my true personality could be charming. The truth is;

  1. Everyone should be Charming
  2. Being charming is simple and I think I know 5 things about how to remain Charming as Pomp!

Let's go;

  1. SMILE THROUGH YOUR EYES: I am not talking about the thing you do when you're flirting because that has an ulterior motive. When you walk around and see people (you don't have to know them personally), smile through your eyes genuinely. When I see people, I look for something on them that I could like. I also don't leave them without a compliment on either their dress or hair pin. If I have nothing to like, I try constructive criticisms like "Hey! That dress looks lovely! If it came in Blue, then all the men, even I, would fall hopelessly in love with you!" That person is bound to blush & if they are smart enough, they recognise you just told them that bright or blue colours fit them most. But remember, never lie about your emotions. If you feel low, don't pretend to be nice. People can tell when you're faking it. If people around you know you to be lovely, they are bound to recognise your downcast mood when you're not smiling. It also helps you to discover those that care about you.
  2. CONFIDENCE & HUMBLE ARE DIFFERENT THINGS: Don't play yourself. Accepting a compliment or a pleasant tease does not mean you are not humble. For example, someone walks up to you and say "Hello Globe Trotter! I love your style and wanna be like you!" There are three elements in this phrase; a pleasant tease, a compliment & an unreasonable remark. I would reply "Hey! Thank you for confirming my dreams coz yeh, I'll soon become a Globe Trotter but you can't be like me. Your style is just as amazing! Don't lose it". I have not exhibited pride but confidence in who I am by accepting the compliment but thereby maintaining humility. Plus, yeah no one can ever be like you! It's just 1 of you in this lifetime ;) Stop saying "Me? I am not a Globetrotter oh! Stop teasing me!" YUCK! That's not humble... it's Crappy Self-esteem!
  3. READ YOUR PASSION: Crap to the Myth about reading hardcore, sense-making, ideology-bullshitting, formula-coughing, biography-boring books. If those books rock your boat, read it. If drama & fantasy novels rock your boat, be proud of it. We all have those books that we think would make us look good but actually hate reading! My point is, what matters is how you read the book. A person could read an inspirational book and yet learn nothing while another person could read a book about love, learn its systems and help lots of people to understand how romance works. Remember, be comfortable with what you read but never forget to understand the mechanisms behind what you read.
  4. LOVE YOURSELF FIERCELY: 999,999 out of every million people hate themselves. The population of the world that truly love themselves can fit inside the eye of a needle. People go around seeking for love to wash off on them because it's simply a commodity you cannot buy. However, hateful people want to feel good about themselves knowing they are not alone in the hate clan so they tend to tear you down first but the fierce ones that strongly proclaim self-love, end up becoming role models to look up to.
  5. SUBSTANCE & INCLUSION IS KEY: Learn the art of actually connecting with people individually. Ask yourself, for example, if you had to raise a GoFundMe page today to raise cash for a new project, how many of your thousand followers actually care about you to donate? Exactly. They would make it popular by sharing but hardly a 100th of them would give. People tend to invest in people, not the really the cause. The more you can humanise a cause, the better chances of people investing in it. So learn to create inclusion and substance in your interactions. Start with their birthdays, to a new promotion, or following up on an issue that is important to them, or sharing an uplifting nugget/quote with a personal note to them, give full hugs & linger a second to converse with them, introduce them to your friends, even if you can't call occasionally, put up their images to tell the world how proud you are of them, know about their projects & tell everyone about it, find an angle on how you can work together or just buy their product or support their event even if its just once. That is the true meaning of social capital. Learn to be included in people's life.

The downside of being exceptionally charming is that you tend to look for the positive traits in people & see them for who they truly are and vice versa which tends to spark up butterfly feelings. Sometimes, when I begin to feel this way, I mutter to myself "You're such a people whore!" & remind myself to stay focused. But this would happen rarely if you learn to keep everyone on your radar and manage them lovingly. The best way to cure this is Cross Networking. After few months of meeting gorgeous & amazing people, I host a hangout/cookout where I bring everyone together and help them get comfortable enough to network.

During these sessions, people fall in love, start up new businesses, partner on projects and make new friends. There are weak personalities who tend to fall prey to the cunning ones by succumbing to their demands thinking you set them up but that's a post for another day. What you have successfully achieved is create a cross-dimensional mechanism where you become a point of reference within different clusters of people bringing you more charming points, referrals and credibility. 

Stop expecting reactions from people. You're not Physics! Think of yourself as Jollof Rice!

Most of all, be very clear about your purpose. If you mention Tope Hassan, everyone would shout "AFRICA!"

 

*******************

kindly drop a comment below & share on your social media platforms!

4 Founders from Republic of Benin Disrupting Africa

Several weeks ago, I went backpacking to Benin Republic not for holiday but to discover its Business and Tech community. I connected with 4 young entrepreneurs in Cotonou who are disrupting the African startup space with very innovative products. I was impressed by their resilience to defy the odds in a closed economy and seek a market more diverse than their origin, satisfying a diverse demand with innovative products featuring unique African attributes.

Sarah, a young Beninese entrepreneur is the founder for PERLICIOUS, a handcraft brand dedicated to all things beads, corals and precious stones. She started out making handcraft beads specifically for men and with time expanded to female designs including complete jewel sets, beaded bags (which she produces with her team from Masai, Kenya), Wedding glam (which she produces with her team from Nigeria) and her newest line in beaded & stoned luxury fabric for occassional wears (sourced from Turkey, Senegal, Nigeria & Dubai).

In a bid to respond to a large demand from consumers outside Africa, understanding that Benin provided a limited resource base for her craft, she teamed up with experts from other African countries who had the skills needed for her product; training them and providing them specifics of what she needed to hasten mass production.

Perlicious is a unique brand in that each piece must feature at least 2 precious stones from 2 different countries in Africa. A necklace could feature black onyx from Nigeria, melted glasses from Ghana & a crystal from Czech Republic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Her dream is not only to create a great Brand but also a global vision where Africa comes first and is revealed to the world. Sarah is a "disruptive diasporan", being a Beninese designer, sourcing raw materials from all parts of Africa, Turkey, Dubai. Her Brand is very diverse having her marketing manager from Ivory Coast, a Perlicious store on Etsy covering Northen America & Canada and a huge market in Europe. 

"It's important for me to mix the culture because you learn a lot by mixing cultures - Sarah"

She graduated with a masters from Senegal where she studied with mixed students from different continents equipping her with major teamwork skills. She has worked with several companies however discovered she loved being an Independent woman.

"My dream has never been to work for anybody. I prefer to work for my Clients. My Clients are my Bosses - Sarah"

Jean-Philippe is the founder of TRITON where instead of the customer to go to the car wash, the car wash comes to the Customer. It's a mobile platform saving the planet by decreasing the amount of water to wash a car by a third (20-30litres). Triton also started its own car-friendly bio-soap, providing jobs for community women. Triton has provided over 2500 car wash services in the past 8 months & plans to enter the market of big cities in Africa.

Jean-Philippe started the company because everytime he wanted to go out, he had to visit the car wash miles away & wait hours for his turn. For someone who lived in New York for years, he knew life was much easier than that. He thought "what if someone came to wash my car while it sat idle during work hours?"

Triton's mobile car wash services works through an app where a user books the nearest car wash tricycle or via whatsapp, giving your location & simply opening your car. His customer base targets majorly the middle class population who works & have no time to visit the carwash. Payments are done either thru mobile money or cash.

 

 

Thanks to his engineering background, Jean-Philippe's tricycles are very unique. A commercial tricylcle is broken down to bits and a new model is built from scratch. Each Triton tricycle includes 1000litres of water, a vacuum connected to an energy generation system created specifically for the mechanism, soap and towels.

Gladly, TRITON has no competitors in Benin but are there any competitors out there? I believe TRITON should franchise this platform because the African Continent & its cars need a saviour. Jean-Philippe plans to target Niamey, Ouagadougou, Bamako, Lome & Accra markets next.

Nadiyath KAFFO

Nadiyath is the founder of EWA OKE, a handmade craftwork company. Her Brand mixes leather and the popular "Aso-Oke" to make handmade goods like bags, belts, bracelets, travelling suitcases etc. She sources her leather from Morocco, Dubai & Italy and Aso-Oke raw materials from Nigeria. Her brand is widely known to mix both materials in very innovative designs and products. 

 

 

She produces her products with peculiar attention to quality, autheticity and poise. One of the challenges she faced were the demands from customers to recreate foreign designer brands which she refused by creating unique and classy products. Nadiyath's company is less than a year and her new line has began to make waves in a large market beyond Africa who are intrigued by the cultural fusion with modern designs and its longlasting durability.

Nadiya is interested in Nigeria, Ghana, Sengal, Cote D'Ivoire, Burkina Faso Markets. She encourages entrepreneurs to persevere and authentic in their work.

 

Tania Okanla, is the founder of A.M.T HOUSE founded in 2002. It is a platform dedicating to showcase African products online and has evolved into a product that sells Made in Africa "ready-to-wear" clothing lines. AMT House has two brands; one targeted to producing ready-to-wear clothing for target markets and install mass production centers for Made in Africa fashion brands produced by Africans in African cities.

Although Benin's market is not a real potential to consume "ready-to-wear" clothing, she is targeting a wider market in Africa in countries like Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya. She dedicated 1 year to train skilled talents in Cotonou's fashion industry due to lack of fashion schools, completing the value chain in Fashion from production, model training, photography, marketing, digital platforms, logistics and shipping.

"If Africa wants to be part of the global indsutry, we need to think mass market" - Tania

*******************

kindly drop a comment below & share on your social media platforms!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Reasons to Love Cecilia Ibru #TechpointInspired

Last week, on Democracy Day, Techpoint's CEO, Adewale Yusuf invited me to discuss Education & Entrepeneurship with Cecilia Ibru at a Fireside Chat. I had 20 Minutes with a Philanthropist and Financial Executive who is recognized as the First Lady of Nigeria's financial sector as well as a noted contributor to humanitarian efforts & founder of Michael & Cecilia Ibru University, a large scale educational system qualified as an international standard university education in Nigeria.

tope+hassan+cecilia+ibru+techpoint+inspired

Cecilia Ibru & I

at Techpoint Inspired

In these 20 Minutes, I gained a wealth of insight that everyone needs to know about Cecilia Ibru. And just because sharing is caring, I'll give you 10 quick reasons why you should love Her. 

  • Her Late Husband, Michael Ibru was a Genius and she adores him!

She says & I quote "Being married to a Genius is a rare Privilege... My husband taught me a lot about combined entrepreneurial pursuits... He inspired me most in my Life". Her husband (25 Dec 1930 - 6 Sept 2016), did not attend university but instead negotiated for a managerial training. He would have become a film star in Paris but ventured into business and finally found his niche in Fishing, Aviation & Oil blocks. It is believed that he was the first man to introduce ice fish into Nigeria.

  • A Sociologist & Educator

She is from an educational background where her father pioneered primary & secondary commercial schools when there were none in Delta state which offered courses from Choreography to Welding. She says "You educate your mind & also educate your body physically (sports, dancing etc). I feel that Nobody should be without Education. You just need to be able to read & write and express yourself either in English, Yoruba, Ibo or Hausa; which ever way, but be able to express your mind." 

  • She's rooting for Nigeria Entrepreneurs

"Every Nigerian is an entrepreneur because we love Trading & exchange of values. Nigeria is an el-dorado and money is flowing on the streets; that's the average talk among Europeans." She lived in England for 17 years & built a career as a treasurer but felt unfulfilled, seeking excellence within herself to contribute to the Nigerian Economy which led to her return. She further implored on professional and entrepreneurial Nigerians not to quit their nation. She says "It is the private sector that will move Nigeria into its rightful place in the economy of Nations. The government won't be able to do it because they are not that way inclined."

  • A Motivation & Inspiration

"You need people to tell you that you are better than you think are". She advises young people to find their passion and discover how to create a niche to it, working hard until they become successful. "Do you have a niche? What is the passion behind your niche? How do you create that niche and work through with it until you become so successful? Perseverance, dedicated pursuits of those ideas, ability to articulate, strategise those ideas and keep on nurturing it without losing sight of it"

  • A Business Woman

She shares her mantra for building a good Foundation for a Growing Business; "Your thoughts must be written down; and then analysed, packaged into bringing out the business proposition."

  • On Mentorship

"Many of us need to have a mentor that has been through it before. Be submissive & listen to him/her. I was submissive to my husband. He was teaching me what to do in business and I listened to him and we became successful in Oceanic Bank."

  • Watch Out! She's planning a Comeback!

Talking about Oceanic Bank, She Says "If not for the tsunamis of the banking industry, we would still be there. But never mind, you never know, we will come back!" 

  • Motherland Mogul

She Says "After leaving the banking industry, there was no where I could go apart from large scale education. At Oceanic Bank, we had over 500 branches across Nigeria and I was managing it so going into education now, the primary school is not good enough. It won't task me. We had to scale it through Creche, Nursery, Primary, Seconday & University". 

  • No Segregation

She says "In our school, there is no question of being rich or poor. You come according to your ability. Whether you can pay or not, we insist you must pay even if it is N20. We try to achieve an even playfield in that the uniform & home clothes are the same, no food in the dormitory & they are fed 6 meals per day."

  • A Mother

Even at age 70, she's gunning hard to ensure her children (Students) are well fed and educated. She believes that they are young and need to feed their brains. She says "Students at MCIU are fed 6 meals per day! We believe that if you feed a child well in a good environment, he/she will excel and give all his/her best." 

Additionally, she has joined the Tech vision and implores on Leaders of Industry to invest in IT education. She is soon introducing Skype lectures with professors from HAVARD university in her school who have pledged to render this service pro bono.

This is a new kind of woman. Are you still blinking your eyelids? Watch the full video of our chat in the following video by TechPoint. Fast forward to 2:37:15:

Download my version of her bio here to learn more about this Badass Woman!

 

***Click on any of the share buttons below to Share this post. Thank you.***

Learning How to Walk

May 2017 was an iconic month of realization, appraisals and pure Joy! It gave birth to my official website by wonderful people who have challenged me to squeeze the fire out of my Skin. That is what this website is about.

The first decade of my Life was filled with childish curiosity and exciting imaginations. In those years, I received an international passport, discovered I loved the butterfly feeling in my stomach whenever I flew and resolved I would rather live on a plane. I experienced all sides of an economic coin and rocked harder than a Tomboy. I was told I was a genius so I believed it and threw caution to the winds.

In the second decade of my Life, I saw the sea and lived in it. The turbulence of my teens were characterized by double lives, complexes, experiencing Africa from its core and cleaning up the sins of our Black Heritage. I visited the ruins in Porto Novo, planted trees with the local community in Nyrutarama, ate the best oven baked rice at Kenyatta airport, fell in eternal love with Waakye at Aflao, sang in the choir at Lome, played the piano at Kabeza, fought with my identity at GHA, had my first job at 14, designed my first frock at 17 and fell in love for the first time in Ethiopia.

Now, I am in my third decade, and life is zipping fast down the Zipline. I am fully evolving into someone who is passionate about something. So everyday, I reach out and test new things, theories, discover new likes, proove my passion and gradually find labels. In the third decade of our lives, we begin to experience what fear really is, we learn patience and just like a baby, we must learn to walk. We step into our path and only we, can create where that path leads to.

So in this time of my Life, before I exhaust the peak of my Life, I will learn to Write (relevant stories), Think (invention and growth) and Walk (in my Path). I will tell stories of Africa where I am from, My Life as it grows, Life Lessons as Experiences deals with me, Badass Humans, Events that shape my progress, Yoga to inspire healthy lifestyles and the Disruption of Diaspora.

Hopefully, we can do it all together.

 

***Click on any of the share buttons below to Share this post. Thank you.***