When you hear the name Omoyele Sowore, what comes to your mind? The former student union president of the University of Lagos, Nigeria? The publisher of Sahara Reporters? The Presidential Candidate of the African Action Congress of Nigeria in the upcoming 2019 general elections?

Sowore is all these and so much more and if this is the first time you are coming across his name, here are some facts about him that might interest you.

Sowore was born and raised in the Niger-Delta region of South-Westen Ondo State, Nigeria. He is the first child out of 16 children who learned how to ride a motorcycle and fish at the age of 11. He was a beneficiary of the free education system introduced by the late Obafemi Awolowo. Through this education, he proceeded to the University of Lagos in 1989 with the view of obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Geography and Regional Planning.

That same year, he took part in student demonstrations protesting the conditions of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan of $120 million to be used for a Nigerian oil pipeline — the IMF loan conditions were to reduce the number of universities in the country from 28 to just 5.

In 1992, Sowore contested for, won and became the student union president of the University of Lagos until 1994. During his tenure as the president of the SUG, he was passionately involved in anti-cultism and anti-military government protests and activism which led to his expulsion and reinstatement twice. He led 2,000 students in protest against Nigeria’s notorious kleptocracy. Police opened fire, killing seven. Sowore was arrested, interrogated and beaten, but he refused to back down in his struggle for decent education in his country.

[Read: Are You an Aspiring Leader? Here’s a Great Way to Start]

In 1999, he attended a peace conference at American University in Washington. Fellow activists recommended he seek help in the United States for the psychological aftereffects of torture, and one colleague put him in touch with the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture, an initiative that helps victims rebuild their physical and mental health. He had planned to go back to Nigeria, but doctors advised, for his mental health, against an immediate return. Instead, he sought political asylum in the United States and enrolled as a graduate student in public administration at Columbia University. Frustrated by his distance from his homeland, he soon realized that his re-entry into Nigerian political activism could come online.

In 2006, out of his desire to disrupt the media industry and promote free speech, he started Sahara Reporters, from his computer in a small room in Manhattan, NY. Sahara Reporters is an online news agency based that focuses on promoting citizen journalism by encouraging everyday people to report stories about corruption, human rights abuses and other political misconduct in Nigeria. A frontier news source for advocacy journalism Sahara Reporters has been referred to as the “WikiLeaks of Africa” by The Daily Beast. This platform has also been the recipient of grants from the Ford, Global Information Network and the Omidyar Foundation.

[Read: 5 Attributes of Exceptional Mentor]

On February 25, 2018, Sowore declared his intention to run for the president of Nigeria and on August 15, 2018, he became the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, a registered political party in Nigeria. Up until his declaration to run for the highest office in Nigeria, Sowore was an instructor of Modern African History at the City University of New York and Post-Colonial African History at the School of Art, New York.

Now that you know some details about him, it’s time to discuss the 16 qualities that make him a rare breed and an exceptional Nigerian presidential candidate:

1. Passionate: Sowore scores extremely high when it comes to being passionate about the Nigerian project. When Sowore is in the room, you can’t help but feel the burning passion in him for a better Nigeria. In Sowore’s lens, the Nigerian project is a project of possibility. He has a rare yet unique way of lighting up a fire within you rather than lighting up a fire beneath you. His words carry power beyond the ordinary. It’s an indescribable feeling that should be experienced more than imagined.

[Read: How to Remain Relevant in a Rapidly Changing World]

2. Vision: If you ever take your time to listen to Sowore’s vision about Nigeria and the world in general, you’ll observe how he takes you on a special journey to see the glorious end from the beginning. He has a special ability to envision the future, bring it to your conscious and map out a pathway of achievement. Through his vision and leadership, he was the first to establish a thriving online news publishing platform, currently valued at $10 million, in Nigeria. Other initiatives include launching a media laboratory in Nigeria to promote investigative journalism and free speech

3. Selfless: Each time you hear the name Sowore, selflessness is a word that will always stand out. His selflessness is evident in the way he attends to the needs of others, fighting for them and helping to restore hope, faith and dignity.

[Read: How to Start and Launch an Online Business]

4. Disruptor: Sowore has redefined the way political campaigns are done in Nigeria. He’s the first presidential candidate in Nigeria’s history who has taken it upon himself to meet with, deliberate and listen to every Nigerian no matter where they are located in the world. In addition to this, he is also the one of the few, if not the first presidential candidate who honors ALL Nigerians no matter that socio-economic, educational, religious or ethnic status.

5. Innovative: When you talk about being innovative, it’s impossible to ignore him. He is the first presidential candidate to have raised almost $100,000 transparently through the crowdfunding online platform, GoFundMe and counting.

He has also completely changed the way retail politics is being done in Nigeria with his use of social media and running a lean campaign to get the message of hope, liberation and freedom to the people.

He’s one of the few presidential candidates, if not the first, to give a clear proposal on how to increase power generation from 7000 megawatts to 24,000 megawatts within four years, the use of technology to fight corruption, the exportation of cannabis to generate revenue and so much more.

[Read: 3 Steps to Getting Customers Who Will Pay You]

6. Orator: Sowore is truly a great orator at heart. He has a rare way of engaging his audience from the heart, often times holding them spellbound. His speeches are mostly unscripted, articulate, and not only great in depth but also well thought out in breath.

7. Compassionate: He’s one of the few Nigerian presidential candidates that have demonstrated clear compassion to the plight of the Nigerian people. In June 2018, Nigeria overtook India to become the poverty capital of the world, with about 87 million Nigerian citizens living in extreme poverty.

In his bid to become the president of Nigeria, he’s the only one out of all the presidential candidates that has put the Nigerian workers first in his plans to alleviate the living conditions of the average Nigerian.

His proposal to pay 100,000 NGN as the minimum wage of a Nigerian Federal worker, though criticized by the current establishment, is a welcome development to all workers and their families who find it hard to feed daily let alone provide for their basic needs. Furthermore, his inclusion of the accommodation for people with disability, a bloc that has been totally ignored by other presidential candidates, in his plan, is highly commendable.

[Read: How to Go from Multiple Ideas to Gaining Clarity in 5 Easy Steps]

8. Energetic: When it comes to being energetic, Sowore is a rare breed which makes one wonder where he gets his energy from.

He’s the only presidential candidate in Nigeria’s history to have traveled extensively to almost every part of Nigeria visiting 31 out of the 36 states mostly on roads that are in deplorable conditions.

He travels almost daily, holding multiple events and never seems to get tired. He streams most of his meetings live and answers every question from every Nigerian both old and young without holding back or mincing words.

9. Ready: While many Nigerian leaders wait until they assume leadership positions to know what is needed to transform the country, Sowore is one of the extremely few who has demonstrated that he’s ready.

His rare combination of insight, depth and understanding makes him a rare breed and an exceptional leader who’s ready to hit the ground running.

[Read: How to Choose a Target Audience]

10. Clarity: He’s the only Nigerian leader I have seen in recent terms whose sense of clarity is mind-blowing. In the course of his bid to become the next president of Nigeria, he has been asked over 5000 questions and has successfully answered every question with clarity, poise and tact.

11. Resourceful: He’s the only presidential candidate thinking about using the resources Nigeria currently has to transform it into the country everyone would be proud of.

12. Motivator: There’s something extraordinary about Sowore that is not found in a typical Nigeria. He’s blessed with a unique ability to motivate others into not only believing in themselves but also motivating them into action.

Since he started his campaign and registered his political party, his story, life and platform has been a source of motivation and encouragement to many young Nigerians all over the world who believe in his message of hope, liberation and freedom.

[Read: How to Develop a Business Pitch That Helps You Stand Out]

13. Intelligent: There’s no question about Omoyele’s intelligence. He understands Nigeria as a pastor filled with the holy spirit understands the bible and explains it to his congregation from a unique perspective.

Omoyele’s knowledge and understanding of the complexities of the issues that have held Nigeria and its people back from the path of peace, progress and prosperity can best be described as “out of this world.”

Many of his followers have coined the name IOS for him, meaning Intelligent Omoyele Sowore.

14. Courageous: If you are looking for qualifying words that sum up the totality of who Sowore is, one word that will keep recurring is courageous.

Out of all the Presidential candidates Nigeria has ever produced, Sowore is simply a rare breed when it comes to being mettlesome.

He’s not afraid to speak his mind no matter whose ax is gored. He’s one of the few, if not the first presidential candidate, to have led countless protests against oppression, high-handedness and ineptitude of the Nigerian leaders and in the process, puts his life on the line. He is a pro-democracy campaigner and human rights activist that gives voice to the voiceless, decimated, forgotten and the oppressed even if those actions will cost him his life.

15. Incorruptible: Each time you think of the word, incorruptible, all you need to do is to think of Omoyele Sowore. While he was the student union president of the University of Lagos, he stated that he was offered and rejected the gift of a brand new car from the then military President Babangida. Also, due to his works and the fight against corruption in Nigeria, people with special interests continue to try to entice him with  “thank you money.” He has stated numerous times that he consistently rejects these types of enticing offers even when they appear like the right thing to do. Not only has he made this claim, but he has also repeatedly challenged anyone who thinks otherwise to provide evidence to disprove him. Till date, there has been no concrete evidence to counter his claim of not receiving any “thank you money” from anyone.

16. Emancipator: Omoyele Sowore has special abilities to free people from any type of mental and self-imposed bondage. He speaks with power, poise and wisdom such that you can’t but be liberated from whatever is holding you back.

With these exceptional leadership qualities, Omoyele Sowore is a rare breed which separates him from among the pack of those currently vying for the office of the president of Nigeria. Here’s wishing him astounding success in his bid to become the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria come February 16, 2019, which coincidentally is the day he turns 48 years old. To learn more about him and his plans for a new Nigeria, click HERE.

Thank you for reading. Enjoying Onpoint Success’s posts? Be generous. Leave a feedback and share with a friend.

 

I used to believe that top-level success was reserved for those who were raised with a silver spoon. Not that I wrote myself off, but it was just that somewhere in my little brain, I never thought I could rise above the status of a local champion let alone think that my story could extend beyond Abeokuta (also known as Rock City), a little city in the South Western State of Ogun, Nigeria.

My life took a U-turn and my story changed when my husband and I relocated from Nigeria and we had to start our lives from scratch. During that process, I was privileged to meet an amazing mentor who saw something great in me and was willing to guide me through the process of making my dreams come true.

As the days flew by, I also got myself acquainted with messages from Jim Rohn, Les Brown and Brian Tracy. I remember hearing Jim Rohn say he dropped out of college at 19, Les Brown said he never attended college while Brian Tracy even worked as a construction worker at some point in his life and there was I,  a graduate with a Master’s degree thinking being a local champion was my lot.

I decided to pause and reflect. In my moment of reflection, I said to myself, if all these people could succeed against all odds, I had no reason not to. That was my eureka moment!  My mindset began to shift and I began shedding away and overcoming my limiting belief. I went through an entire process of tearing down every wall of limitation I’ve built in my mind over the years and started recreating my reality.

After shedding and tearing down, I then decided to rebuild. I replaced fear with boldness, self-pity with self-acceptance and excuses with action. In the process, I fell and failed severally. Each time, I fell and failed, I was quick to remind myself of Thomas Edison who failed 10,000 times before finally breaking through.

[Related: One key to standing out in a saturated market]

Today, I look back with gratitude and all I can say is THANK GOD FOR THE PAUSE!! I feel liberated to now know that success is not reserved for special breeds, it’s for everyone and anyone who wants it.

Do you want success?

It is within reach, but there is a huge problem. Success is dependent on principles. If you follow its principles, it will favor you. On the other hand, if you don’t follow its principles, it will elude you.

NOW, I don’t know your personal situation but I want you to know that whatever it is that is holding you back – age, gender, location in the world, educational background or socioeconomic status etc – you can do more than you are currently doing and can achieve so much more than what you can currently imagine. The key is to PAUSE, shed every limiting beliefs and overcome your fears.

 

This year, cut out the noise, pause and reflect. Press that pause button right now, seclude yourself temporarily and spend time with YOU.

Discover (or rediscover) yourself, read as much as you can, look for a network of great minds (here’s one for you), actively search for great mentors and stick with them, restrain your wandering eyes and heart…follow very few people, believe in yourself and execute. Also, walk away from anyone who belittles your ambition or gets in your way of attaining great heights. You can do more and be more…and if you are ready to embrace your passion, monetize your skills, and build a profitable brand online in 2018, send me an email via seun@theonpointsuccess.com right now and I’ll help you get started!

Question: Did you find this article useful?  Do/Did you have self-limiting beliefs? How were you able to overcome them? Join the conversation and leave your comments below.  Thank you!

 

By virtue of being the first child of my family, I was a leader by default. I found myself in a role I didn’t choose but had no option than to keep tagging along. However, as I grew up and began to discover my purpose in life, I realized that my being a leader was so much more than being the first child of the family. That was when I decided to become intentional.

The first book I read about leadership was The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You (10th Anniversary Edition). After my first read, it was as though some scales fell from my eyes and could then see better. Out of all the 21 Laws, the law of vision stood out for me the most. What can a leader without vision achieve?

Since then, I have grown my leadership skills beyond what I ever envisioned for myself. All thanks to a worthy investment. If you are an aspiring leader and would like to grow your influence, I recommend starting with this John’s book by clicking on the link below.

 

What other leadership books would you recommend? Do you consider yourself a leader? Leave a comment and kindly share this post with a friend. 

 

 

Disclosure: I use affiliate links on my blog. If you signup for any third-party service using the links on my blog, I will get a small commission. This helps me offset the cost of operating my blog so I can keep on bringing the best to you and at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support.

There’s no faster way to rise in business than having an exceptional mentor. You could read all the business books in the world, attend every seminar or even go to a business school, if you do not have a mentor who will guide you through the early days, you would find out sooner or later that you are investing lots of time into personal experience which you could have gotten for a fraction if you had a mentor. That being said, not all mentors are exceptional and if you want to fly rather than crawl, you must choose an exceptional mentor. How do you know the difference between an exceptional mentor and one who isn’t? It is by their attributes. There are certain attributes associated with an exceptional mentor and in this article, I have listed 5 attributes of an exceptional mentor. This does not mean these are the only attributes of an exceptional mentor, but it does mean that your mentor should have these attributes before you can think of him/her as exceptional.

Okay, so before I delve right in, I will like to share the definition of a mentor according to the Merriam Webster dictionary, a mentor is defined as a trusted counselor or guide.

This means that at the basic level, your mentor must be trustworthy (meaning when you share your business details, it should not become the topic in town) and must be a guide. When a mentor is your guide, they simply help you navigate your path helping you avoid pitfalls that they have fallen into and ultimately helping you arrive at your destination faster than you would by yourself.

[Read: 3 Remarkable Lessons I Learned About Building a Brand from Zero]

Now let’s explore the 5 attributes an exceptional mentor.

  1. Your mentor must be available: an exceptional mentor must not be too busy, he/she must be available to attend to your needs. There should be a regularly scheduled time where you meet and rub minds
  2. Your mentor must multiply: when I say “multiply,” I mean your mentor must not only be satisfied in having you as a follower, he/she must be committed to equipping you to mentor others as well. There’s no
  3. Your mentor must be willing to learn: yes, while it is true that an ideal mentor is someone who has yielded results, he/she must continually commit to learning. The fastest way to becoming irrelevant is by failing to learn continuously.
  4. Your mentor must open doors for you: Good mentors teach you the “what,” but exceptional mentors will open doors for you. Your success is their priority and they are willing to bring you into their circle by opening doors for you and introducing you to those who might need your services. If your mentor is too busy to give you a shoutout, share opportunities with you or even too busy to share your posts on occasion, then your mentor is not exceptional.
  5. Your mentor must help you rise: This is the ultimate of all. One of my quotes, “mentors are like yeast. They help you rise faster”, succinctly captures this. If you have a mentor and your life is not better for it, it’s time to look elsewhere.

If you must choose a mentor, you must choose wisely. It is not enough that your mentor bears results, it is more important that they can help you bear results as well. Mentors are simply invaluable and when you have an exceptional one, the least you can do is to express your gratitude and not take the opportunity for granted.

If you are a mentor, do you do these for your mentees? If you are a mentee, does your mentor have any of these attributes? Share with me below and then go and appreciate your mentor!

Sometimes last year, it was reported in the news that 38% of US jobs will be replaced by robots by the year 2030 some people felt it was impossible but as it is currently, even the 38% sounds modest.

Robots are taking over every sector of the economy and employers are now investing more in robotic technologies and artificial intelligence to make the work process flow faster and better. From the food industry to construction to health, robots are making inroads fast thereby making employers questioning the need for them to keep a large workforce.

The jobs that have been deemed secure and recession-proof in the past are suddenly being threatened by robotic replacement which is a wake-up call for the complacent ones.

I’ve always made the campaign for personal development because I believe that it is the responsibility of everyone to work and improve their skills. It is a great disservice if a graduate had never taken any developmental course since after graduation. Schooling does not end after you receive your certificate, it ends on the day of your last breath here on earth.

I am taken aback by how much complacency people display thereby risking waking up one day and find out that they’ve been left behind.

 

In the past few days, I have received messages from people asking me what they can do to remain relevant in a rapidly changing world. Now some people have asked me, how do I update myself or how do I remain relevant?”

My first answer is “update yourself in your field or industry.” Do not wait for your employer to send you to training, research and send yourself to training. Look at the current trends and project into the future. Ask yourself, “in 5, 10 or 20 years time, how will this technology affect my industry?”

It is true that robots are taking over but truth is, humans are still needed on the back end so start thinking of how you can become relevant in the back end of things.

Also, other than assessing your industry and projecting into the future, think about how you can become the “brain” of your organization. Whether you are an employee or employer, improve yourself and become a person of value such that you cannot be easily fired. “Is this possible?”, you may ask. And my answer is, “yes it is possible” because other than reading stories online, I witnessed a situation first-hand about how an employer was downsizing from a 200-man workforce to an astounding 10-man workforce.

People were fired from top to bottom but there was a man who worked as a lab tech whose work was “fireproof”. You would think that under normal circumstances he should be one of the first to be fired but the man kept his job. I asked him how he did it and his answer was “they need me”. “I’m one of the very few people in the entire country that can calibrate this machine”, he further explained.

He told me of how he paid out of pocket to learn how to calibrate this special equipment that is needed at his workplace. Today, he’s not only relevant, but he’s also highly adored by his employers. They hold him in such high esteem, grants his request without hesitation and give him bonus checks just because they know if he decides to resign tomorrow, their work is at risk. That is the type of updating I’m referring to!

You don’t have to be an employee to update yourself. If you are self-employed or a business owner, you must commit to your personal development as well. Always think about better ways of conducting your daily business activities. Actively search for productivity apps that can help you work better and faster. Be that one person whose customers can’t do without because they know that you are one step ahead.

Look for ways to be better, not bitter that robots are taking over. Invest in training and seminars and stop saying “I can’t afford it for now”. Everyone can afford to invest in themselves, it’s just a matter of priority or what you think is important. Start thinking of training as an investment rather than an expense and always remember, the man on top of the mountain didn’t drift there.

 

Thanks for reading. What other ways can one maintain relevance in a rapidly changing world? Leave a comment and join the conversation