Your soul print

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Not many people know this about themselves, but just like you have a personal thumbprint, you also have a unique energetic imprint, soul-print, that quietly influences the scenarios, people, outcomes and ‘coincidences’ that are drawn into your reality.

Throughout most of your life, have you noticed your career and finances following a similar pattern?

Do you notice that no matter where you are in life, you often attract the same kind of people, friends and companion?

Do you find yourself consistently at the receiving end of good fortune and serendipity or (hopefully not!) bad luck?

Your soul print is your spiritual signature.

When you pick up a pen…turn a door knob, shake a hand, touch someone’s face, you leave behind an imprint of yourself.

Even after you let go, a part of you remains.

The people & places touched by your soul are imprinted with your mark, with your essence.

 

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That famous elephant in the room

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We talk about “the elephant in the room” when there is an issue that cannot be spoken about, even if everyone knows it is there.

It can be very destructive and stressful as people affected by the issue cannot address it and people around them can feel the tension.

As a minimum, it is distracting.

At it is worst, it can tear teams and organisations apart or have unethical actions and decisions go unquestioned.

The thing about not confronting the elephant in the room is that the elephant doesn’t go away, it actually sits down and breastfeed other baby-elephants.

Soon you will have an untidy room full of elephants and no place for you to sit.

The problem you can’t talk about… is now two problems.

 

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Feel free to let me know….

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Feel free to let me know…

… if I can help you with anything.

… if you would like for me to prove myself on the job.

… if I could help with welcoming guests at your event.

… if I can maybe get an internship at your company.

… if you ever need a babysitter.

… if you would like me to do that for you.

… if you would be willing to come down on price or have more favorable terms.

The world is looking for people who are problem solvers, position creators, artists who make great art no matter the naysayers.

The world is looking for you to rise up and decide to: “Let me know.”

It’s time to stop sitting back passively awaiting a magic email or phone call.

No “random position” is going to pop up, and if it does, it won’t be reserved for the “feel free” crowd.

“Feel free to let me know what you can do to solve my problem.”

Answer that statement and you will have people knocking down your door, begging to work with you.

Stop putting the ball in the other person’s court.

Take responsibility for yourself.

No one is going to let you know if they need your services.

No one is going to remember to call you to ask you to prove yourself.

You take the first step, and announce to people to “feel free to let you know if they will need your assistance.”

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Start a delivery company

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There comes a point in the life cycle of a project when you just have to bite the bullet.

It can be frightening and it is definitely a questioning time.

  • Did we do everything we could to make this perfect?
  • Is the homepage the right color?
  • Are we even sure if this is a good idea or not?

The questions never seem to end.

That is when we start a delivery company.

Call it what you want, but we literally have a delivery company.

It is not logistics in terms of DHL, FedEx, UberEats or Mr Delivery, but we deliver and we deliver consistently and efficiently.

You can be the best graphic designer who comes up with amazing brands and concepts, but if all you have is a portfolio of unseen ideas, it is fun to look at, but that is all you do.

You can have the greatest ideas, and I have friends who literally have a filling cabinet of ideas and sketches. And they keep having more, I have stopped listening to most of their ideas, because they never see the light of day.

What do you want to be known for?

Do you want to have perfect ideas that are polished and sit in a secret folder on your hard drive?

Or do you want to be the CEO of a delivery company and live the adventure of the quest between success and failure?

One is an entrepreneur.

The other is an inventor.

Both are important, but the risk of shipping is what takes an idea to the next level.

Deliver more.

It is scary, you risk being involved in accidents or hijacked.

But overall, delivering your idea is more fulfilling and a lot more fun.

When you deliver, you learn.

You learn about everything from what coffee your clients like to what people really like to buy (sometimes it’s your product).

If you fall in love with delivering and learning, your idea gets refined and grows.

Eventually, those ideas start to arrive at their destination.

Start a delivery company.

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LORA Centre Peter Mamabolo Scholarships available to 16 entrepreneurs: APPLY NOW.

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Start-ups drive the economy, providing jobs and consuming goods and services offered by other companies, so entrepreneurs are vital components of healthy economies.

As a result, we at LORA Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship are excited to announce that through the Peter Mamabolo Scholarship Fund, we have set aside financial aid aimed directly at entrepreneurs who want to acquire and improve their business skills.

Scholarship Award

LORA Centre will award 50% scholarships to 16 entrepreneurs for the 2018 year.

The scholarships will be awarded in the form of covering 50% tuition for the 6 months New Venture Creation program which commences in January 2018. The entrepreneur covers the balance of the tuition.

Scholarship Deadline

The deadline for the 2018 scholarship is: Friday, 15 December 2017.

Due to the selective and competitive nature of the program, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early in the recruiting process.

Space is really limited.

Eligibility Requirements

You must be running your business full time to be eligible for 50% scholarship.

If you are working but want to apply, you may secure 40% of the scholarship and you cover the remaining 60% of the tuition.

The LORA Centre classes are in Midrand, Johannesburg. Class attendance is compulsory. Entrepreneurs are expected to also attend compulsory mentorship sessions with their assigned business mentor.

Preference will be given to students who demonstrate that they will attend the classes and those who apply early.

We are considering offering classes in Pretoria, on condition that there are enough applicants in Pretoria.

Program

LORA Centre is an entrepreneurship environment that nurtures and inspires great entrepreneurs to think creatively and create innovative solutions.

The program includes 6 months mentorship where you are assigned a business mentor to assist you with implementation what you study but also share the business journey with you.

For more information on the program, visit: LORA Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Attending students at LORA include freelancers, independent professionals, entrepreneurs and corporate employees.

What does the 50% mean?

The 6 months course fee including mentorship fees for the program is R6,000.

The Peter Mamabolo Scholarship Fund will cover 50% [R3,000] to full time entrepreneurs and they will cover the balance of R3,000. [Payment arrangements may be made to pay R3,000 over 3 months, however registration of R1,000.00 is payable on registration]

If you are working, you may be eligible for 40% [2,4000] scholarship, and then you pay the balance of 60% [R3,600]. However registration of R1,000.00 is payable on registration

To apply:

Send an email requesting application forms to: roche@loracentre.com

Closing date: Friday, 15 December 2017. 

Successful applicants will be notified by Friday, 22 December 2017 and classes resume on  Saturday, 20 January 2018.

Only 16 scholarships are available, you are highly encouraged to apply early in the recruiting process.

Very important note

We give priority to early applicants who know they want to do the program and take the leap.

If you are eager to secure a spot in an upcoming session, the benefit for applying the first priority round is that (a) we give priority to applicants who apply early, and (b) you get to find out your admissions decision within one week, earlier than everyone else.

We may fill up the 16 scholarship spots before the closing date. Apply early.

Again, the sooner you apply, the sooner we can review your application and see how it fits into our overall class.

What does LORA stand for?

Besides standing for a dream [lora]

It might stand for alternative method for becoming amazing…

But what we truly stand for is the posture of taking responsibility for creating work that matters.

We stand for speaking up, speaking out and listening, too.

We stand for embracing an informal process for growth instead of needing an authorized, accredited piece of paper to prove that you’ve somehow absorbed a bunch of data.

We stand for you, in the future, making a difference.

See you in class.

 

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Teaching bravery

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What does it take to motivate a student to put their best self forward?

I believe teaching them bravery is the first step.

Without bravery you are not going to challenge the status, or be creative and innovation.

At LORA Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship we challenge our entrepreneurs to be brave, to question the why that informs why’s, to say “here, I made this, what do you think?”

Some people see a struggling person and turn away. Others see a human being and work to open a door or lend a hand.

There are possiblities all around us. Not just the clicks of recycling a tired cliche, but the opportunity to be brave. If we only had the guts.

In our best possible future together, I hope we will do a better job of learning to see one another and be brave enough to do work that matters.

At LORA we teach bravery.

Apply for 2018 programme and be challenged, grow, be innovative and entrepreneurial.

When you are scared but you still do it anyway, that’s brave.

Be brave

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The new definition of being smart

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Imagine you were living during the days of Thomas Edison.

He invents the light bulb, then electrical currents are installed in streets, then into businesses, then homes. Now you can have light in your home.

Can you imagine walking into a house that had electricity for the very first time?

The hum and the whir of the transistors. The crackle of the lighting flying through the wires to ignite an incandescent light bulb.

It would have been exhilarating. And you would have been scared to death.

Apply this same thought process to what’s happening with computer [machine] learning today. It is commonly known as AI [artificial intelligence.]

Robots, computers, machines will be taking all of the routine, autonomous jobs and more in the coming era. In fact they have already started. The 4th Industrial Revolution is here.

If you have seen the movie I, Robot, then you will have a good idea of what this may look like.

Being smart will no longer mean what it means today.

Being smart will not be memorising facts and being able to sort through knowledge and data faster than your classmates.

A computer will obliterate any patterns or algorithms your mind could process.

But, AI cannot do the intangibles, emotional intelligence. [Have had interesting dialogues with my leader Rre Mokgoro, and I suspect he might hold a different view :)]

Ed Hess wrote in Harvard Business Review:

“The new smart will be about trying to overcome the two big inhibitors of critical thinking and team collaboration: our ego and our fears. Doing so will make it easier to perceive reality as it is, rather than as we wish it to be. In short, we will embrace humility. That is how we humans will add value in a world of smart technology.”

Humility is challenging because it is not something you can just assume or put on. That’s called false humility, when you give the appearance of being humble, but for an underlying motive.

True humility comes from who you are, what you believe, and what your purpose is in life.

There is a popular proverb that says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Is it not ironic that all these years later and the AI revolution is showcasing the value of humility.

We write about this a lot, but it is valuable to ask yourself regularly:

Who are you and who are you becoming?

Smart does not mean what it used to.

(photo via Loving AI)

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Dodge vs Ford: What is the Purpose of Business?

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Recently I gave a talk about how Henry Ford used disruptive innovation to democratized and made accessible to millions of people what used to be an elite product for an elite few.

Before Henry Ford’s Model T, cars were toys for the rich.

They were only accessible to the rich, kings and queens. Henry Ford revolutionized the ownership of cars by millions of people who could not access or afford them before.

My talk was but one side of the equation. Here is another equation, more interesting angle.

By 1916, the Ford Motor Company had accumulated a cash surplus of $60 million (the modern day equivalent of $1.35 billion).

The price of the Model T, Ford’s signature product, had been cut over the years, yet the wages of the employees had increased dramatically, and these generous investments had been publicized.

Two brothers, John Francis Dodge and Horace Elgin Dodge, owned 10% of Ford’s company.

They had been the manufacturers of the main chassis for the Model T for a dozen years.

Henry Ford to clash the prize of Model T so that it was affordable and accessible to thousands of people who couldn’t afford them.

But more than that, he took one of the most controversial decisions at the time.

In 1914, Henry Ford made a big announcement that shocked the country. It caused the financial editor at The New York Times to stagger into the newsroom and ask his staff in a stunned whisper, “He’s crazy, isn’t he? Don’t you think he’s crazy?”

That morning, Ford would begin paying his employees $5.00 a day, over twice the average wage for automakers in 1914.

In addition, he was reducing the work day from 9 hours to 8 hours, a significant drop from the 60-hour work week that was the standard in American manufacturing.

Henry Ford understood that paying his employees would do two things:

  • It will encourage worker to remain in their jobs and continue to do monotonous work that the assembly line required. You see, when the industrial revolution started, people left their jobs within two months because they couldn’t mean doing the same thing over and over again. It was boring, dispiriting and inhuman to work in a factory. A $5 wage per day was a good incentive to keep them working.
  • Lowering prices of the car made is affordable and accessible to normal customers.
  • A $5 wage per day meant that they can afford to buy the very same cars they are producing. This is good for Ford because it increases his sales revenue.

The Dodge brothers saw this and they were not happy.

They decided to challenge Ford’s idea of investing these surplus funds into the infrastructure of the company and giving raises to the employees.

They argued, it is a business, not a charity.

“The Michigan Supreme Court held that Henry Ford could not lower consumer prices and raise employee salaries.”

The court ruled that the primary focus of a for-profit business is to profit the shareholders first. However, this has been extrapolated as a case that is the rule for profit maximisation and wealth creation. Rather than a single case that was ruled on over 100 years..

This true story is where we get the idea that business profits are for the shareholders first, not the partners, not the customers, not the employees, not the community. But solely for the shareholders.

“The myth that profit maximization is the sole purpose of business has done enormous damage to the reputation of capitalism and the legitimacy of business in society,” wrote John Mackey, founder and president of Whole Foods Market.

“We need to recapture the narrative and restore it to its true essence: that the purpose of business is to improve our lives and to create value for stakeholders.”

The end of the story is interesting.

Ford threatened to start a rival competitor to be able to obtain complete ownership. But ended up, the Dodge brothers used their $1.9 million [$42.5 million today] earnings from the settlement to continue to fund their own booming business, Dodge Brothers Company.

This case is only one. Contrary to myth, it is not the rule.

Boards, committees, executives, and managers have to make decisions that favor the stakeholders, but that does not mean their decisions have to slight employees and communities in return.

There can be a double-bottom line more often than not.

There can be many roles of great business. What is yours?

  • Create value for stakeholders.
  • Create meaningful employment for thousands.
  • Provide healthy and high-quality food for customers.
  • Serve communities.
  • Make lots of money for yourself.
  • Solve local problems.
  • Change the world.

Be very selective when you choose partners.

Know your roles.

Recruit the right partners.

And go change your part of the world.

Henry Ford made “taking a Sunday afternoon drive” or “taking a road trip” possible for common people.

Enjoy your ride.

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Doers: Kamau Gachigi

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Often we are told that many successful startups started from humble beginnings by starting a in a garage such Apple, Microsoft, Google.

In Africa, where having a house with a garage is a luxury.

In Nairobi, a garage is something most entrepreneurs don’t have.

Meet Dr Kamau Gachigi. He has spent a number of his years in Engineering working towards, not only having more engineers through lecturing, but also having engineers who make stuff.

He is the founder of Gearbox, a non-profit organization that provides members with access to modern machines for prototying and low volume manufacture.

Gearbox also does training and incubation and acceleration services in order to broaden access to manufacturing in Kenya.

I met Dr Gachigi recently at a TED conference. He was doing his talk there. Such an amazingly unassuming remarkably humble man.

Despite all his achievements, successes and after giving a great talk, what made an impression on me was his humility.

It is important to practice humility.

Good behavior flows naturally from humility.

Generally, you can be humble only if you feel really good about yourself and you want to help those around you feel really good about themselves, too.

When we see people acting in an abusive, arrogant, or demeaning manner toward others, their behavior almost always is a symptom of their lack of self-esteem. They need to put someone else down to feel good about themselves.

You can be humble only if you feel good about yourself.

Don’t worry about the level of individual prominence you have achieved, worry about the individuals you have helped become better people.

 

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Doers: Gossy Ukanwoke

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Access to quality education in Africa is expensive.

The FeesMustFall movement is an example of the frustration students have about high university fees.

Meet Gossy Ukanwoke from Nigeria.

Gossy runs Beni American University, Nigeria’s first online university.

BAU provides cost effective high quality online courses to thousands of student by connecting Technology and Education.

In Nigeria, nearly 2 million students try to gain admission into about half a million spots available about 141 accredited universities.

Due to the lack of space and affordable quality education, offering online courses will unlock and give access to thousands of students who cannot afford or access university education.

Since 2014, BAU has graduated over 8000 graduates, currently has 2000 students enrolled and it boasts a 70% completion rate.

The thing with doers is that they do, even if they risk failing, they just do.

Most of the things that we do have two possible outcomes. They might work or they might not. Being able to live with the possibility of either is essential if we are going to move forward.

Make something great. Not because it’s your job. Not because it will sell. Merely because you can. Rossy did.

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