12 Lessons 2018 Taught Me!

2018 was some year…

Went through 3 jobs.

Got a new car.

Lost it, don’t ask me how…

Earned my first moolah online.

Earned a design thinking and growth marketing certification.

In all this, my son still didn’t call me “Daddy”.

But let’s not digress, we were talking about 2018.

lessons from 2018

2018 was also an inflection point for me, revamping how I approached life, relationships and my career. Out of the many lessons learnt during the year 2018, here are the 12 that really stuck with me:

  1. It’s all your fault: The earlier you learn to stop blaming others for your mishaps, the faster you move towards your goals. Yea, sometimes it totally looks like this was a non-avoidable risk, but you should ask yourself; did I classify this as an unavoidable risk, and then go in knowing the consequences if this decision/action went belly up.
  2. Your mindset is everything: Its all in the mind, and I mean everything. It affects how you approach your career, finances, personal development, family, relationships, and how you lead or engage with people. A growth mindset drastically improves your ability to succeed in all areas of life.
  3. Everything, including freedom, has consequences: Nothing on earth is free; with every smile comes pain; you just need to decide which you prefer at each decision point. Most times, because we don’t consider second-order effects, we assume its all good.
  4. The ego is never satisfied: Always remember your past or how far you have come. In the race to slay, justify, measure up, we keep wanting more, and forget where we are coming from.
  5. Meditation is a superpower: I haven’t started leaving my body yet , but man, it does have some major benefits. My ability to do deep work or zone out into the flow has increased, but the biggest benefit for me is the ability to detach yourself from your ego when assessing a situation.
  6. Building a knowledge stack is the fastest route to mastery: It might take time, but trying to learn so many things at once is definitely not the right way. Our educational system actually sets us up to be a jack of all trades; but your best move would be to niche down, then build a stack atop that niche once you have mastered it. That way, your mental models are all linked, not disparate branches trying to find the network signal like the average Nigerian ISP.
  7. If you must learn one skill, learn MARKETING & SALES: Sometimes I hypothesize that one of the many reasons why Nigerian businesses don’t scale is we are really poor at marketing and sales. Asides product development, you must be really good at marketing and sales, but if you ain’t, please hire or invest in a system that is pretty good at that.
  8. Delegate outcomes, not tasks: Most business leaders are doers, which comes with the itch to butt your long nose into every single thing your team is doing. This not only stifles innovation, but it stifles creativity, and induces lethargy into the decision-making process, as your team sub-consciously waits for your “final” input before moving forward. Focus on the outcomes, and allow them to run, mistakes and all. We’ll be fine in the end.
  9. You can’t control another person’s perspective of you or behavior towards you. They own it. You can, however, control how long you hold onto it, what you learn from it, and whether you grow from it. That’s yours, OWN IT.
  10. When people ask you not to be selfish, you are being asked to indulge a selfishness of theirs. Figure out what that is, and ensure you are fine with it.
  11. Nigeria has many stories, we just need better storytellers: My friend Tunde Leye released a brilliant book this year; Afonja. The book left me wondering about how many untold stories we have out there, all looking for a pen ( or a laptop) to bring it to life. I mean if they have Narcos, we have Fred Ajudua and the famous Brazilian bank heist.
  12. Drink your Own Kool-Aid (but don’t swim in it): It’s important that you believe in yourself, so drink your own kool-aid, however, don’t become arrogant enough to swim in it. You are doing amazing things, but so is everyone else. Stay level-headed, regardless of how much of a winning streak you are on. Someone else will always win more than you. Respect that.

That's it folks.

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