Welcome to #InspireAfricaProject! I discovered that some people believe that the lifestyle of excellence is not for them because they are petty traders or artisans. They believe that excellence is for wealthy people alone. This mentality is the major reason why some people will end up as a local champion. No wonder some of them have been in a particular business for forty years, yet nothing has changed.
Excellence is the ladder to the top. The bridge between OBSCURITY and POPULARITY is called excellence! Someone can become a millionaires by offering cleaning services. How? By becoming the best among equals. It’s not really the magnitude of what you do that matters, but how you do it.
No wonder Martin Luther King Jr said, “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets as Michaelangelo painted or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven will pause and say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
You can migrate from doing menial jobs to executive major contracts if you can imbibe the culture of excellence. You can move from the remotest part of your city to the elite neighborhood if you can make excellence a lifestyle. Let’s look at the last two lifestyles that will guarantee excellence. (You still have the opportunity to advertise your goods and services on this platform. Send the materials to, firstname.lastname@example.org)
3. Insistence On Quality. In my book, The Pursuit of Excellence, I said that, “The difference between a biscuit produced in Denmark and the one produced in Nigeria is neither machine, weather nor skin colour, it is the attitude if the manufacturer! It is not demons or ancestral powers, it is the culture of excellence.”
In one of my articles I wondered why Ivory Coast should be one of the world’s largest producers of cocoa, yet they don’t have quality chocolate. A company in Switzerland would purchase our cocoa, take it to their nation, and produce quality chocolates out of it, and send them back to us at three of four times the price we told the raw material to them! The other day I saw what looked like made in Nigeria chocolate and I felt like calling the company to explain what they mean.
As a manufacturer of goods or provider of services, you can only beat your competitors if the quality of your products surpasses theirs. If you want me to buy made in Nigeria products we must offer products that can compete with the ones we import from other nations.
A woman that sells akara (bean cake) in Surulere can have customers from Victoria Island and Ikeja if her akara is the best in Lagos. A woman that sells food at Idumota can get clients from London if her food is the best among equals. How can that happen? Very simple. Somebody from Lekki or even London can come into the market to buy something and on the process eat that woman’s food. If it tastes better, the demon of poverty and limitation she has been binding for years will be bound at last!
Some of the demons we are binding are actually the offshoot of mediocrity! Some of us will rather pray, fast and bind demons instead of going for training or to further our education in order to become the best in our calling. I told somebody not to intimidate me in the name of being a Christian brother, if you’re not the best in what you do, I will never come to your office.
Excellence can turn a one man business into a conglomerate if you are ready to learn what it takes and imbibe the culture of excellence. Anytime I teach excellence, I usually tell my audience that offering excellent products or services does not only help your clients, it helps you to climb the ladder of success! Stop cutting corners and insist in offering quality products and services.
If you’re a preacher, shun mediocrity. If you are a fashion designer, insist on quality designs. If you’re an employee don’t offer services base on your salary, go extra mile, and on the process, you will develop yourself and connect with those whom you served well. A lady built a house in the city within one year by offering what you will call an ordinary product in an extra ordinary way. Go for quality today!
4. Continuous Improvement. You may not have perfected your craft, but don’t relax there. Keep improving yourself. As a speaker, I discovered that the more I speak, the more I master the art of public speaking. I try as much as possible to hone my skill on daily basis. Although I have been speaking for close to twenty years, but I have refused to relax.
Success is a journey not a destination. Somebody said to one of my mentors whom God helped to build a global ministry that, “Sir, looking at your achievements so far, I think you have fulfilled your ministry.” He turned to him and said, “Never! I am still on the journey and I have not arrived.” I was surprised the day my mentor said that he reads my articles because he is still learning. This is somebody who has graced many platforms around the world for over twenty-five years!
To become a star in your field you must become a lifetime student. What you call an accomplishment today will become antiquated, obsolete and moribund in the next ten years. The world is on the move and only those who are equally on the move will end up as pace setter, trailblazer, pathfinders and history makers in their generation! Don’t ever get to a point where you feel you have arrived. Always be on the move and keep developing yourself.
Lionel Messi said, “You cannot allow your desire to be a winner to be diminished by achieving success before and I believe there is room for improvement in every sportsman.”
Christian D. Larson puts it this way, “Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. Live in the faith that the whole world is on your side as long as you are true to the best that is in you”.
Benjamin Franklin concluded the matter by saying, “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning” Dear friend, I urge you today to become a clear example that Africa can take her rightful place in the comity of nations if we can shun mediocrity and pursue excellence with passion! Welcome to the world of unlimited possibilities.
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