Sunday, 31 March 2013

Surprising Heart Attack Risks

Day in Health

Guys: Your hair, or lack of it, can reveal hidden heart attack risks, according to startling new research presented at the American Heart Association’s scientific sessions.
In fact, baldness or a receding hairline can signal greater heart attack danger than having high cholesterol or high blood pressure, the researchers reported. The study found that people (particularly men) with three of the following visible signs of aging were at 57 percent higher risk for a heart attack and 39 percent higher risk for heart disease, compared to people the same age without these warning signs:
  • Receding hair at the temples
  • A bald spot at the top or back of the head
  • Earlobe creases
  • Yellowish fatty deposits on the eyelid (known as xanthelasmata)
Danish researchers analyzed health data from nearly 11,000 men and women ages 40 and older. During 35 years of follow-up, 3,041 participants developed heart disease and 1,708 suffered a heart attack. Both individually and combined, the four signs predicted heart attack and heart disease danger independently from other risk factors, such as smoking, obesity, or high cholesterol.

Of the four signs, fatty deposits around the eyes were the strongest predictor and the danger rose with each additional characteristic. Earlier studies have also found a link between a diagonal earlobe crease and plaque buildup in the arteries.
“The visible signs of aging reflect physiologic or biological age, not chronological age, and are independent of chronological age,” said Anne Tybjaerg-Hansen, M.D., the study’s senior author and professor of clinical biochemistry at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, in a news release.
To find out more about surprising heart disease red flags, I talked to Amy Doneen, ARNP, medical director of the Heart Attack & Stroke Prevention Center in Spokane, Washington. In a recent presentation to healthcare providers, she highlighted these little known cardiovascular risk factors for men:

Gum Disease

People with periodontal (gum) disease are nearly twice as likely to have heart disease than those with healthy gums. That’s because the same bacteria that cause gum disease can also spark inflammation inside the body, damaging blood vessels. The American Heart Association has identified gum disease as an independent risk factor for heart disease in a 2012 scientific statement. One in three adults over 30 have gum disease and millions of them don’t know it. Ask your dentist to evaluate your oral health, advises Doneen.


 Frequent loud snoring can trumpet obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a dangerous disorder that lifts heart attack and stroke risk if untreated, cautions Doneen. OSA (bouts of interrupted breathing during sleep) often goes undiagnosed because people aren’t aware of the symptoms, which include waking at night for no apparent reason and unexplained daytime drowsiness. If you fit this profile, ask your healthcare provider to order a sleep study.

Being Single

It’s a bit of a mystery, but bachelors are much more likely to have a heart attackand much more likely to die as a resultthan married men. A study from Finland that mined data on more than 15,000 people who had heart attacks between 1993 and 2002 found that bachelors were 58 percent to 66 percent more likely to have a heart attack—and were 60 percent to 168 percent more likely to die as a resultthan married men. The researchers couldn’t say why single guys (and gals) fared so poorly, but suggested that married couples may lead healthier lives, be better off financially than singles, and have more health-promoting social support. Wedding bells, anyone?

Secondhand Smoke

Passive exposure to tobacco fumes is more dangerous to the heart than high cholesterol, diabetes, or high blood pressure, a new study found. Non-smokers with the greatest exposure to secondhand smoke were 90 percent more likely to have heart disease than the general population. The study is the first to show a clear link between the amount of passive smoke exposure and early signs of heart disease, demonstrating that being around smokers is more hazardous than was previously believed. 

Migraine Headaches

In a study that tracked 20,084 men for nearly 16 years, researchers found that male migraine sufferers had a 42 percent higher risk for heart attack. A new study also linked migraines with aura (visual symptoms, such as seeing flashing lights before the headache kicks in) to increased risk for heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots in women. In the new study, which included nearly 28,000 women, only high blood pressure was a more powerful predictor of cardiovascular danger. However, it’s not yet known if treating migraines reduces heart disease risk, Doneen reports.

Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

Guys, do you know that sexual problems can mean you that you have a broken heart—literally? Several studies show that ED can be a stronger predictor of heart attack risk than your family history, smoking, or high cholesterol. In fact, says Doneen, some healthcare providers now consider ED, which affects about 30 million American men, to be a “leading indicator” of heart disease in men. Guys in their 40s with ED have nearly 50 times greater risk for developing clogged arteries that can lead to a heart attack than do men the same age without ED, according to a Mayo Clinic study.

IMF sees Nigeria economy picking up steam in 2013

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Economic growth in Nigeria is likely to rise above 7 percent in 2013 with inflation slowing below double digits, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday.
In its 2012 review of Africa's second largest economy, the IMF projected that the pace of growth would pick up to 7.2 percent this year from 6.3 percent in 2012.
It said Nigeria's tightening of monetary policy was in line with the authorities' efforts to contain inflation below 10 percent. The IMF also estimated that Nigeria's currency, the naira, was "broadly in line with fundamentals".
Nigeria's central bank held rates at 12 percent last week for the ninth consecutive time, citing concerns about ongoing external price pressures. Nigerian consumer inflation rose to 9.5 percent in February from 9 percent in January, staying within the central bank's single digit target. Food prices rose to 11 percent.

The 10 Lowest-Paid Jobs in America

Here's another reason to start leaving bigger tips: the Labor Department's latest data on the how much American workers are paid.

Food service workers and their colleagues at bars and restaurants dominate the list of the lowest-paid professions, taking up six of the top 10 spots. Still, the people who shampoo your hair at the local salon take the top spot, at $18,600 per year. That's not much to live on, and if one of those workers is a single parent, it's not far above the poverty line, at around $15,800 for a single parent, according to the Census Bureau.

Below, the 10 lowest-paid workers as measured by average annual pay, according to Labor Department data from 2012:
Occupation Average Annual Wage
Shampooers $18,600
Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers $18,720
Fast Food Cooks $18,780
Dishwashers $18,930
Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concession, and Coffee Shop $19,430
Hosts and Hostesses, Restaurants, Lounge and Coffee Shop $19,570
Dining Room and Cafeteria Attendants and Bartender Helpers $19,690
Farm Workers and Laborers, Crop, Nursery, and Greenhouse $19,990
Amusement and Recreation Attendants $20,020
Ushers, Lobby Attendants, and Ticket Takers $20,320

How does that stack up? All of these jobs have less than half the average pay for all occupations, which is $45,790. And the highest-paid workers in America, anesthesiologists, average more than 12 times the annual pay of the lowest-paid workers, shampooers.

Happy Easter to you

5 Common Mistakes That Will Ensure Your Resume Gets Tossed

Here's a prediction: If your résumé feels boring, stilted, and borrowed, no one's going to want to hire you.

Recruiters look at a résumé for six seconds. So how do you stand out from the crowd, aside from awesome design?
By avoiding threadbare phrases like "stand out from the crowd," as David Mielach observes at Business News Daily. Once distilled, his points flow like this: Get as specific as possible, avoid tired phrases like the plague, and show--don't tell--the hiring manager why you're the person they need.
Chuck-worthy offenses include:


Don't lean on buzzwords like "innovative," "team player," or "results oriented," says Employmentology author Darnell Clarke. Better to get specific.
"Instead of saying you have extensive experience in sales," Clarke says, "note that you've worked in sales for 10 years, hit your quota the last 12 quarters, and note specific deals you've closed."

References available upon request

Never let the above phrase pollute your most precious page. The whole "references available by request" thing is already understood by recruiting and hiring managers--it's kind of their job to know that--so trotting out that formality is a waste. If they want your references, they'll request them.


Hiring managers want to know your skills and experience--they don't care about your objective, says Stefanie Carrabba, senior consultant at Eliassen Group.
"Candidates should never put an objective on their résumé," she says. "Their objective is to get the job."

Vague claims

Kimberly Bishop is an executive recruiter. She reports that on a recent search, 75% of the candidates had "transformational leader" on their résumé, a description that "doesn't specifically mean anything that translates to a specific experience."
Rather than claiming to be transformational--without explaining what that even means--Bishop recommends carving out exactly what your skillset is.

Qualitative descriptions

Want to get glossed over? Opt for jargon like "seasoned," "experienced," "creative," and, again, "innovative."
"I would leave off any qualitative description that is not accompanied by an example or metric," says Caroline Ceniza-Levine, career and business expert at SixFigureStart. "Just give me years of experience and what exactly did you start or improve."
And while you're at it, give a little thought to your cliche-strewn personal brand, as well.
Words to Leave off Your Résumé

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Things You Never Knew About Mike Adenuga, Nigeria’s Second Richest Man

Mention Adenuga, and the next thing that comes to mind is Globacom (Global Communications). But is this well-fed African all about Glo? Worth a head-spinning $4.3 billion, Otunba (Dr.) Michael Adeniyi Agbolade Ishola Adenuga (Jnr) is the 2nd richest man in Nigeria, according to Forbes. That makes him the richest Yoruba on earth (I once wrote a piece on Deinde Fernandez but he has refused to disclose his assets).

This reclusive billionaire has one rule that no one can change: he will only get across to you when there is the need for it, but you cannot get across to him. And when he wants to get across to you, he does everything possible to track you down. Nobody in his office gets letters or invitation cards without earlier notice irrespective of where they originated from. You just can’t reach him, and if you work for a courier company, it is nearly-impossible for you to deliver a package to his office. You feel the swagger? That was just an intro, let’s roll!
Although his roots are in Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State, he was born in Ibadan, Oyo State on 29thApril, 1953. The Bull will turn 60 in about two months when his 682-paged biography Mike Adenuga: African Business Guru (written by award-winning Mike Awoyinfa & Dimgba Igwe) will be launched. Mike Adenuga was so big at birth that he was called John Bull in the hospital.
His parents: Chief Michael Agbolade Adenuga Snr. was a school teacher while his mum Chief (Mrs.) Juliana Oyindamola Adenuga (nee Onashile of Okesopin, Ijebu Igbo) was a businesswoman. She got married at the age of 17, learnt sewing and succeeded greatly as a dressmaker. Well-educated, she was made the Iya Alaje of Ijebu-Igbo and the Yeye Oba of Ijebuland.
He studied at the Ibadan Grammar School (IGS) before jetting out to the US to read Business Administration with a focus on Marketing. While at Ibadan, he was very impressed with the Cocoa House (then the tallest building in Africa) built by the Awolowo government. He dreamt of having such an edifice of his own one day, and today, we all know Mike Adenuga Towers. Located on Adeola Odeku Street, the 13-storey edifice which took him 13 years to erect dazzles with gold-on-granite finishing. You just can’t miss it! The first time I saw his building, I was mesmerized. It has a landing pad for a helicopter and was opened in 2004 by Atiku Abubakar. Now, don’t ask me if I want to build one too…lol! He also has a mansion in Ibadan and he named it ‘The Gold Digger’s Place’.
The billionaire is a descendant of Pariola, a very wealthy and influential female trader born in the mid-19th century. Apart from being the ancestor of the Adenugas, Pariola would also produce the Adetonas, the family of the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona.
Upon his birth, his father was so overjoyed at having another son that he named him after himself. His elder brother, Demola explained that he was not given the name because as at the time of his birth, the fad was to bear purely Nigerian names. Otunba was the last child so his father took the opportunity to name him after himself. He would later die in 1993 in a car accident and his son did a superlative re-burial for him in 2005 with one of the most expensive coffins on earth.
While at IGS, he and his brother (Demola) were nicknamed ‘Ad Belly’ for their huge stature and protruding bellies. Both used to cross the Ogunpa River (which they called River Jordan) whenever they felt like sneaking out of school. They took the huge frame after their parents. Demola was more of his dad while Mike took everything, including his business skills, from his mum. As a child, and under the supervision of his mum, he hawked goat feed, and picked up the street wisdom that came with it.
Although Mike was more fashionable and even introduced his elder brother to the latest wears and perfumes, he still had to seek his help when it came to academic matters.
His mother had always been quite cautious about the adventurous and somewhat rascally nature of Mike. She really did not want him to go abroad to study & wanted him to join his brother who was studying biochemistry at the University of Ibadan. She reported him to a commissioner of police in Oyo State then but he encouraged Madam Juliana to let him go, perhaps, that was God’s plan for him. Worefa, his mind was made up. He was leaving Nigeria. And he left. When he also wanted to dabble into the very risky oil and gas sector and do what no other Nigerian had done before (drill oil), she made her fears known again thinking it was a senseless gamble. He calmed her down, and he would later announce to her excitedly: ‘Mama, we found oil!’
Today, his Conoil PLC is the largest indigenous oil production company in Nigeria operating six producing oil blocks in addition to owning ¼ of the Nigeria/Sao Tome Joint Development Zone Block 4, which has been proven to have almost one billion barrels of crude oil and about one trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Some people, like Dele Momodu, his mentee, believe Adenuga is actually the richest man in Africa. I must chip in here that in November 2011, 500 pensioners of Conoil engaged Adenuga in a tussle over unpaid pensions. #AneyeToto!
There is something about Adenuga that caught my attention: he would never disobey his mother. The late matriarch had enormous influence over her son, and the only time he went against her directive was the oil business issue. Friends say that whenever there was any disagreement, just mention his mother’s name, and he would mellow down. Such was the degree of tremendous respect he has for his mother. #Iyaniwura.
While studying in the 1970s, he had to survive and raise his school fees by working as a security man and a taxi driver, an extremely dangerous job for a blackman in the crime-ridden boroughs of New York -Staten Island, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. His curiosity in Nigeria where a little Mike tugged the steering wheel with drivers amused them, and they taught him how to drive. This, he made use of as a means of survival. If you are thinking he drove those shiny yellow New York cabs, you are wrong.
He drove an unregistered jalopy and had to ply areas where the police would not harass him. It was as a taxi driver that he met a man named Dele Giwa, who was also surviving as a cab driver. Giwa would later be blown out of existence in 1986 by Nigeria’s first parcel bomb. As a student in America, Adenuga suffered and laboured for months as he was not getting a kobo from home. He knew the consequences, faced the challenges and triumphed. He might not have finished schooling without his extra efforts. Did I tell you that he also worked as a waiter and a mortuary attendant in the US? Yes, he did. And by the time he came back to Nigeria then, he was with a bushy beard. #HustlingThins #IgboroORerin!
As a student in North Western Oklahoma State University, the school slogan was ‘Ride With Pride’, and he would later transform it to become ‘Glo With Pride’, when he launched Globacom
After graduating, he headed straight for Naija, and without wasting any time, started utilizing all he learnt. He did not seek any paid employment but took the risky road of entrepreneurship. He took over the management of the family’s small sawmill in Ogun State and was also selling removable car stereos at the same time as he had noticed the problem caused by the rampant theft of car stereos.
Civil servants awash with the Udoji Commission salary raise were buying cars but thieves would do away with the car stereos. With Adenuga’s stereos, people could then park their cars, detach the stereos and go to bed. Simple. And he made cool cash. If you want to make money too, look around you, find a pressing problem and create a much-needed solution.
By the age of 22, he had delved into the business of commodities, general merchandise, construction, importation (of mainly sawmill equipment, tomato paste, wines, beer and textile materials (especially lace) made in Austria). Why is my mischievous mind thinking that good fabrics and chilled beer are integral components of an Ijebu owambe parry? Anyways, just saying…lol!
Believe it or not, there was a time when Adenuga was so reclusive that it was nearly impossible for you to see even his picture in the newspapers. He even hired consultants to blank him out of the media and the general public. His daughter, Bella, corroborates this: “My dad has always been a kind of quiet person. It was Globacom that shot him into the limelight.”
In one of his very rare interviews, he narrates how he met an Austrian businessman to Newswatch: “I went on a trip to New York and when I was coming back, I missed my flight, being on British Airways, so I had to fly Swiss Air and I sat next to the owner of one of the biggest lace manufacturing factories in Austria. So, we were talking and he got me interested in importing laces, and all sorts of things.” Okay, you know why Iyaniwura had to point that out to you? Learn to identify and utilize opportunities! Adenuga later reveals: “The secret of my success is hard work, God’s blessings and luck.”
By 26, Michael ‘Aneye Toto’ Ishola was already a millionaire. Now, chill. At this point, some critics will take him up saying that he became fabulously wealthy by benefiting from the close and cosy links he had with Nigerian military dictators. Well, that’s not a rumour. Babangida’s oil minister, Professor Jubril Aminu came up with a policy to grant licenses to individuals and encourage private sector participation in oil exploration and exploitation. Otunba was one of the first beneficiaries of the Petroleum Act (MKO Abiola of Summit Oil was another). Upon getting his oil bloc prospecting license (OPL 113), Adenuga went straight to work in the South Western Niger Delta Region and in less than a year on 24th December, 1991, he struck oil in the shallow (offshore) waters of Ondo State in his first oil well (named Bella-1) becoming the first indigenous oil firm to do so. Other Nigerians could not take the risk, and had sold off their licences to expatriates. An incorrigible risk taker, he had hired an oil rig for $5 million BUT he recruited only Nigerian oil specialists to do the job (he has always been a patriotic man). Since then, he has never looked back. The first seed money that he used to start business was given to him by his late mum. It was a modest sum but he used it judiciously. #Iyaniwura.
At a point, he acted as a private middleman who got term-based oil contracts from the Nigerian government in the name of Tradoil & Crownway Enterprises while the UK-based Arcadia would handle the fuel cargoes. He also built military barracks (and the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna with Lt. General Ipoola Alani Akinrinade’s younger brother, Femi. Akinrinade, a former Chief of Army Staff, was the General Officer Commanding, I Infantry Division, 1975-1979 at the time), supplied the armed forces and the police with weapons while also working as a distributor for Coca Cola, Nigerian Breweries, Cadbury, Guinness and Continental Breweries. He was also a dealer for Peugeot Automobile of France. For him, it was to ‘go into anything that gives me profit.’
With time, his fortune grew so amazingly that he was buoyant enough to sink over $100 million into his own oil prospecting and drilling company, the Consolidated Oil Company. This company, founded in 1990, is the very first indigenous Nigerian company to discover, drill and produce oil. And you know na, we are not talking of palm oil here….lol! Thus, his fortunes are based on a tripod: telecommunications, oil & gas and banking. He is also into real estate, food manufacturing & processing (b*tter, cocoa cake and vegetable oil), domestic & international market activities and aviation (not many know he is the owner of Southern Airlines).
Under the General Sani Abacha regime, his Communication Investment Limited (CIL) was given a conditional licence and frequencies to operate. The licence has earlier been given to the Chagouris of Lebanon. Obasanjo would later cancel all the approvals given to him by previous governments. But a relentless fighter that he is, he told his men: “Let’s go into this thing. Let us forget going to court and all that. Let’s go under the new system and fight for the licence. We must fight with everything we have to get the licence.” When he made a second deposit of $20 million for Globacom licence, many scoffed at him and he was told to stop chasing shadows. His brother, Demola says of those dark days: “Mike lost $20 million, but he never lost hope. He never gave up hope. He kept hope alive; that is one thing about my brother: he is an eternal optimist. Something kept propelling him not to give up on the matter. He pursued it and he eventually got the licence.”
For those who believe he is a proxy for IBB, sorry to burst your bubble. They’ve been friends since the 1980s and have remained so till date. Here is what the top-of-the-hill-residing, gap-toothed General has to say about the widespread rumour: “We meet, we talk, like the good friends that we are. But I also have one policy that governs my relationship with friends that are very close to me. Whether it was M.K.O Abiola, whether it is Mike Adenuga, and probably five or so others, I don’t get involved in their businesses. You can go and ask them.” The General went ahead to describe Mike Adenuga as a very loyal and reliable friend, and one who never forgets favours, unlike many who abandoned him when he left power in August 1993. He states: “When I left office, a few of my friends honestly stood by me and I remain eternally grateful to them. Mike is one of them. Another man who doesn’t want his name mentioned any time I speak on this issue is one of them. What I like about them is this: they appreciate whatever little effort you did for them and so, they don’t abandon you.
Some people will tell you, ‘ah, when I was in the office, a lot of people used to come to me, now I left office, you don’t find anybody.’ This is the Nigerian factor for you. But these characters remain close and I honestly remain grateful.”
When his mother died, he gave her a most befitting burial in Ijebu Igbo, Ogun State on 13th September, 2005. A carnival-like ceremony, it was stormed by former President Obasanjo who buzzed in a helicopter (that man and effizy sha…lol!) and when he entered the church, no one else was allowed to come in except Titi Atiku Abubakar (wife of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and WOTCLEF Founder). Other guests: Aliko Dangote and Femi Otedola. Governors of Lagos, Ogun, Taraba, Bauchi, Niger, Kaduna and Imo also gave a new definition to the Yoruba parlance of olowonshoreolowo (the wealthy always mingle with one another). Even IBB showed up at the wake-keeping. But the Awujale of Ijebuland, who is the Paramount Ruler of Ijebus was not able to attend because it is against the tradition for the Kabiyesi to lay his eyes on a corpse. His staff of office was placed on her hearse. Encased in a casket made of gold, Mama Adenuga was laid to rest in a marble grave.
He faced a lot of troubles in the hands of fellow Ogun dude and former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. In his efforts aimed at procuring a telecommunications licence, he was thoroughly humiliated by Baba Iyabo (some felt he was being persecuted because of his ally, Atiku Abubakar who was then slugging it out with OBJ).
The following scenario occurred in Aso Rock Presidential Villa when Obasanjo still held sway: “Okay, I would show you that I am playing God and kuku (ultimately) destroy you once and for all” said Obasanjo; a threat to which the frightened and weather-beaten Adenuga replied with his knees crawling on the floors in Aso Rock and his palms stretched full length in the charged, steamy atmosphere: “Sir, I am your son. Please don’t be angry with me.” Obasanjo: “I shouldn’t be angry? Why shouldn’t I be angry? See you now. You would come and prostrate and when you leave here, tomorrow, you would go and be publishing your adverts, abusing me. No be so (Is that not true)?” Adenuga lost $20 million (N3.2 billion) when he was denied the license not even after he had donated a multi-million naira library to Obasanjo’s Bells University of Technology in Ota. But he didn’t give up. He applied again.
He would send people to beg OBJ and on occasions, he would prostrate to the Ebora of Owu as a Yorubaman but the former president would stare into his eyes and thunder: ‘I would not give you my licence!’ He would then mutter some curses. But Adenuga was undettered. He was always full of hope and optimism (that is important, I tell you). At another point, IBB tried to intervene on the issue of Adenuga’s licence with Obasanjo. The Commander-in-Chief was enraged, and accused IBB of using Adenuga as a screen to protect his vested interests. IBB denied the allegations and told Obasanjo that the so-called security report on the issue was a figment of the imagination of his EFCC boys. Obasanjo practically ordered IBB out of Aso Rock, and shouted at him as he left ‘‘Get out, just go!’ ‘. Still in his yet to be released biography, he talks of how Obasanjo demanded a sum of £ 1 million donation (N250 million) from him for his Presidential Library Project. Adenuga had no choice but to drop a quarter of a billion naira as the Chief Launcher.
In the book, the scenario was described thus: “Adenuga had gone to Abeokuta with Dr. Yemi Ogunbuyi for the occasion and the duo had decided to go to greet Baba first. But they were intercepted by a man in a white Kaftan robe who turned out to be Obasanjo’s cousin. The cousin politely said Baba wanted to know how much Adenuga was going to donate. Incidentally, Adenuga had raised this question with Ogunbiyi on their way coming. ‘How much do you think I should donate to this thing?’
‘I don’t really know may be N100 million,’ Ogunbiyi suggested.
‘That’s exactly how much I have in mind,’ declared Adenuga.
“Now the question from Obasanjo’s emissary was curious and unusual, he thought, but nevertheless, he had no choice but to inform the man that he planned to donate N100 million, thinking the man would be very impressed. Wrong. Obasanjo’s cousin brought out a piece of paper and handed it to Adenuga. ‘Sorry sir, but Baba says you can’t donate less than that amount,’ the man had written.
“Inside the piece of paper was the sum of N250 million scribbled in Obasanjo’s handwriting with a red pen. ‘No problem,’ Adenuga told the emissary, wondering if others were subjected to the same experience, but also knowing he dared not ask anybody, lest he be betrayed. He later showed Ogunbiyi the piece of paper. ‘I’ll give anything he wants,’ he told Ogunbiyi. ‘I’m afraid of that man o. N250 million is about the price of an oil well,’ Adenuga added.”
Never far from the corridors of power, he was arrested in July 2006 by operatives of the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Mobile policemen and security agents numbering about 70 were mobilized to arrest the titanic mogul. In a commando style reminiscent of the US Navy Seals, they stormed his Lagos residence, pulled down his gate with hammers, generators, welding equipment and other heavy machinery, and flew him to Abuja.
He was questioned for some hours before he was released, then he visited the Aso Villa. What actually transpired that day, only Chineke knows but he was so traumatized and when reports were coming that he may be rearrested and prosecuted, he left for London and did not come back until a new government was in place. He has had his brushes with the law, and at a time, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) sealed up his oil companies for allegedly evading taxes of about N89 billion. Some believe he, alongside other tycoons are stifling Nigeria’s development while some people sharply disagree highlighting his contributions to the economy. What do you think?
At this juncture, it is worthy of mention that Otunba Adenuga is one of the most heavily-guarded billionaires in Nigeria. Some reports indicate that he is actually the most heavily-guarded. You will never miss his retinue of fierce-looking bodyguards. He has been described as extremely paranoid about his personal security but you will know one reason for this later on. A man who guards his privacy jealously, his Victoria Island office is underground and he was very rarely seen in public until recently.
His biographers say of him: “Yes, Mike Adenuga is more of a spirit. A spirit who is hardly seen in public, who hardly grants media interviews, who jealously and zealously guards his privacy, who shuns publicity of any type and who even in the past, paid PR and media consultants full-time to ensure that stories about him and his pictures didn’t appear in the media at all… For Mike Adenuga, elusiveness is the word. He is the “Invisible Man” of fiction turned real. A man who’s always playing hard to get. Now you see him, now you don’t. The fact is you don’t even see him at all…”
Still on his elusiveness, Soyinka narrates his experience, calling him a magician: “I can’t remember when last I saw him or spoke to him. Adenuga has a vanishing habit. He would just disappear.” At a time, there was supposed to be a meeting with the Bull in London but WS never saw him and he left in anger. Soyinka continues: “All I know is that I see Globacom advertisement everywhere. I also know that Adenuga supports sports, especially football. I wish he could do more for the arts.
I have sat him down once. I told him: ‘Listen, you have the money and the enthusiasm, but we have the ideas. Let’s sit down and work together and let us do more for the arts. He would agree, but I said, he would then disappear. He has this vanishing habit. My wish for Globacom is that they would do more for the arts. I feel envious about the amount Globacom is committing to sports. I wish I could get his attention sufficiently to do even half for the arts. If Adenuga is reading this, he should stop running away. He should come and sit down with me so that we can do something for the arts.” Otunba later apologized ( and they made up.
Stanley Ebochukwu, Editor-in-Chief of BusinessDay (I like that paper die! ) says: Adenuga is somebody one would call an enigma. You can’t see him, if you want to see him. If you call him, he can’t take your calls. But if he wants to see you, he would see you. And if he wants you to see him, you would see him. Most businessmen tend to behave that way, because of the fear of people.
But if you think that is all about his disappearing acts, listen to what his fellow billionaire and Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote has to say about him: “I haven’t seen Mike for a very long time. I don’t have his number. I don’t know where to reach him. Even if you put a gun on my head and you ask me to lead you to Mike, I will never be able to. He is just nowhere to be found. Mike is a mystery to me.” The most surprising thing about this is that both of them have their residences on the same lane in Victoria Island. Amazing!
The Evil Genius and Nigeria’s only military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida had this to say about the suave and debonair Ijebu billionaire: ‘One thing stands out uniquely about it (Globacom). It is the brain of a Nigerian. He is really trying to make it the leading telecommunication outfit, not only in Nigeria, but also in Africa. Adenuga is a very serious businessman. And he is not a flamboyant man who goes to sleep, folds his arms, saying business is doing well.
No, he works very hard. I think he is worthy of emulation.’ #Gbam! Una don hear am with your ears. Nobel Laureate and also fellow Ogunite (abi how I go call am na…lol!), Wole Akinwande Soyinka also gave his full support: ‘He is a young entrepreneur I have come to admire. I like his drive. He sought me out when he was to begin his Globacom business. I thereafter made enquiries about him. I was actually told by somebody whose judgment I respect that Mike Adenuga is somebody with enormous drive and ideas. And he said I should give him as much help as I could. I checked him out and I discovered that he likes challenges. He has the drive to deliver.’
His elder brother, Otunba Demola Adenuga says of him:
“Mike is the star of the family. Not just our family but the whole of Nigeria. I see him as my benefactor. I should not be ashamed to say that. He has helped me in all facets of life.”
In another piece written by Mike Awoyinfa and Dimgba Igwe (I say the finest authorities on him), they narrate the words of one of Adenuga’s closest associates, Dr. Rafiu Ladipo: “He takes risks and he is ready to stick it to the end. He never gives up. Is there anything he touches that doesn’t turn into gold? He is such a determined person. He is always charging like a bull. When he wakes up in the morning, he thinks about his business and nothing but his business. He is not a socialite. You can never catch him attending parties. He works Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday…He goes on and on like that facing his business.” Reminds me of another billionaire in Nigeria who works for 18 hours a day. Yes, you guessed right.
Well, just like a raging bull after a doomed matador, he didn’t stop his entrepreneurial triumph in the oil industry. In February 1990, he made a bold entry into the banking industry. He floated Equatorial Trust Bank (ETB). And later on, he launched his biggest and most ambitious project ever, Globacom which drastically crashed the rates of phone calls (I still find it very hard to forgive MTN for calling at N60 per minute!).
His calm mien belies an underlying aggressiveness and relentless determination of a tycoon. He can also be very ruthless with lazy and incompetent workers (if na you too nko?). According to Mohammed Jameel, Glo’s Chief Operating Officer (COO): ‘Two, three days after joining Globacom, he called me to his office. The first day I met him, he was very quiet. And I didn’t want to say anything.
I just watched him. Of course, a lot of my colleagues were there. I was very impressed with him. He was planning to launch the brand Globacom. I saw in him a lot of passion. I saw in him a lot of commitment. I saw in him a lot of vision. He wanted the brand to succeed. And the kind of figures he was talking about in terms of subscribers and putting in infrastructure did really surprise me. Jameel continues: ‘He is a very successful entrepreneur who can turn any venture into good. He is a very, very aggressive manager. He is a very target-oriented manager.
He is a manager who has a huge vision. He always thinks big. If you are hearing him for the first time, you would think this man is just joking. But he is not joking. Whatever he says, he is determined to achieve it. He is very passionate about whatever you do with the business you do for the brand. Even things like branding the street, he gets into the details to get things right. And he doesn’t take instant or spontaneous decisions. He has to think it across. He doesn’t take decisions on his own. He respects the views of others. (something a lot of people have to learn, especially those with coins and small small change who at the slightest opportunity, insult others who disagree with them. I added that ajasa myself!). He calls all of us and gives us the opportunity to air our own views, share our thoughts, and share our ideas. He also makes his own input and we end up coming up with a collective decision. He lends his ears and mind to whatever is being talked about; irrespective of whether it is the COO or the person employed in the customer service.” #Gbam! Una don hear am again. Shey e ring abi make I redial am? #Lmao!
He actually saved the National Oil & Chemical Marketing Company (NOLCHEM) from the jaws of death. He bought it and transformed it into what many of us now know as Conoil Nigeria place, one of the most profitable entities in Nigeria. NOLCHEM was the first indigenous petroleum products marketing company, and the current Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Adeyemi Ajimobi was a Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, he joined in 1979.

He is divorced from Fola, his first wife and the court awarded him the custody of the children and even the pregnancy Fola was carrying at that time. She was immensely pained by the court’s judgment. Today, he is married to the delectable Joyce Titilola Adenuga (nee Adewale) (see pictures on our website). Okay, there is an interesting story here. She had come for a job at Devcom Merchant Bank owned by Otunba when he was enchanted by her natural beauty and endowments. According to Adenuga’s early friend, associate and fellow IBB boy, Orji Uzor Kalu, he and Otunba had a slang for heavily-endowed women.
‘Burkina Faso’, with Burkina standing for the heavy ‘fronts’ and the ‘Faso’ for the superloaded ‘rears’. #StopRollingYaEyes,AreYouALearner? LOL! Adenuga did not prefer women with Burkina but remained ‘Fasoless’ (chai! Burkina Faso don suffer…lol! #AFCON). Baba prefers the complete package. Otunba was titillated by Miss Titi, and today, the rest is history.

12 Shocking Facts About Nigeria

 by aare07

1. Nigeria is home to seven percent (7%) of the total languages spoken on earth. Taraba state alone has more languages than 30 African countries. The importance of this fact is appreciated when one understands that language is the “soul of culture” (as Ngugi wa Thiongo famously said). It is language that births the proverbs, riddles, stories and other aspects of culture that give us identity. UNESCO puts forward that the world’s languages represents an extraordinary wealth of creativity. Linguistic diversity correlates with cultural diversity. This means Nigeria can look inwards and drive itself to become the greatest hub for cultural tourism on earth, and consequently empower its citizens tremendously in the process.

2. The Walls of Benin (800-1400AD), in present day Edo State, are the longest ancient earthworks in the world, and probably the largest man-made structure on earth. They enclose 6500 square kilometers of community lands that connected about 500 communities. At over 16000km long, it was thought to be twice the length of the Great Wall of China, until it was announced in 2012 (after five years of meticulous measurement by Chinese surveyors) that the Great Wall is about 21,000km long.

3. The Yoruba tribe has the highest rate of twin births in the world. Igbo-Ora, a little town in Oyo state, has been nicknamed Twin capital of the World because of its unusually high rate of twins that is put as high as 158 twins per 1000 births. In a video I watched last year on YouTube presented by Titi (a white lady who speaks Yoruba), and which was centred on twin births in Igbo-Ora, one of the locals boasted that every family in the town has at least one twin!

4. Sarki Muhammad Kanta The Great of Kebbi, was the only ruler who resisted control by Songhai, West Africa’s greatest empire at that time. He founded and ruled the Hausa city-state of Kebbi around 1600 A.D and built Surame its capital, a planned city which was almost impossible to penetrate during war. In fact UNESCO describes Surame as “one of the wonders of human history, creativity and ingenuity”, and probably the most massive stone-walled constructions in West Africa. He is listed in Robin Walker’s 50 Greatest Africans.

5. Africa’s oldest known boat is The Dufuna canoe which was discovered in Dufuna village, Yobe state, by a Fulani Herdsman in May 1987, while he dug a well. Various radio-carbon tests conducted in laboratories of reputable universities in Europe and America indicate that the canoe is over 8,000 years old, thus making it the oldest in Africa and 3rd oldest in the world. The discovery of the canoe has completely changed accepted theories of the history and sophistication of marine technology in Africa.

6. Sungbo’s Eredo, a 160 km rampart equipped with guard houses and moats, is reputed to be the largest single pre-colonial monument (or ancient fortification if you like) in Africa. It is located in present-day Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State and when it was built a millennium ago, it required more earth to be moved during construction than that used for building the Great Pyramid of Giza (one of the Seven Wonders of The Ancient World). The most astonishing thing is that Sungbo’s Eredo was the biggest city in the world (bigger than Rome and Cairo) during the Middle Ages when it was built!

7. Sarki Abdullah Burja of Kano (ruled 1438-1452 AD), the 18th ruler of Ancient Kano, created the first Golden Age in Northern Nigeria and ushered in a period of great prosperity. During his reign, Hausa became the biggest indigenous language spoken in Africa after Swahili. He is on the list of 50

Greatest Africans in Robin Walker’s wonderful book, “When We Ruled”.

8. The Jos Plateau Indigobird, a small reddish-brown bird, is found nowhere else on the planet but Plateau state, Nigeria.

9. The Anambra waxbill, a small bird of many beautiful colours, is found only in Southern Nigeria and nowhere else on earth.

10. The Niger Delta (which is the second largest delta on the planet), has the highest concentration of monotypic fish families in the world, and is

also home to sixty percent of Nigeria’s mangrove forests. You should know too that Nigeria’s mangrove forests are the largest in Africa and third largest on earth.

11. According to the World Resources Institute, Nigeria is home to 4,715 different types of plant species, and over 550 species of breeding birds and mammals, making it one of the most ecologically vibrant places of the planet.

12. Ile-Ife, in present day Osun State, was paved as early as 1000AD, with decorations that originated from Ancient America suggesting there might have been contact between the Yorubas and the Ancient Americans half a millenium before Columbus ‘discovered’ America.

Friday, 29 March 2013

How to kill a business…quickly!


Ugodre Obi-Chukwu
Several factors affect the survival of a business no matter how big or small. While some are within the control of the managers of the business others are beyond it. In my opinion, factors within your control are by far the quickest ways to kill a business. Let us explore some of them;
Not separating the business from the Owner –Majority of small businesses in Nigeria are owned by one person and are run incoherently without any formal structure. Most times they do not understand the importance of separating personal cash from cash meant for the day to day running of their business.
They are either cashing out from the business or lending to it without any record to show who is “owing who”. Sometimes, cash generated from one business is used to fund the startup of another, which often leads to the end of the initial business. The cycle continues so long as the owners are making ends meet.
Cash flow – Liquidity is the lifeline of any business. Without cash your business will simply fail and it doesn’t matter how much assets you have. I know a businessman who believed cash must be invested at all times. If he lacked cash he simply borrowed. Soon his borrowing increased and he had problems repaying his lenders. He was soon staved of cash and ended up going bankrupt. As a small business, you must always keep adequate cash reserve to remain solvent and in business
Too much debt – Small Business loans such as overdrafts and short-term lines are used to fund running cost or pay for purchases hoping to pay back when revenues materialise. However, most divert the money into other uses that add no value to the growth of the business ending up in a deep spiral into insolvency. A company with too much debt will someday have to repay the debt and without finding other sources of repayment the banks will have no option but to liquidate the company.
 Too many creditors – “No credit today come tomorrow” is a regular signpostused by traders. The reason is pretty much clear. Selling goods and services without receiving payment immediately is a recipe for disaster. Whilst it is nearly impossible to do business without giving some form of credit, how your credit is managed is crucial to the survival of your business. Some businesses are best suited for credit whilst some aren’t at all. It is important you find out where you belong.
Poor human resource management – In 2011, a young banker in the UK almost brought down a bank due to lack of proper over sight. It is important to instill proper internal controls that provide specific roles and properly delegates authority.
Employees are also one of the most important assets of a business. The more skilled and qualified your employees arethe more likelihood you are expected to succeed. Small businesses should endeavor to recruit the best possible employees they can find at the right price. No point employing out of pity when you have the financial resources to employ quality.
Fixed cost – A common feature of shopping malls in Nigeria is the turnover of shops at office spaces. You go to a mall today only to come back a few months later and the shop is no longer there. Some attribute this to poor sales and lack of patronage.
Another major reason is fixed cost such as rent and asset replacement. Imagine having a shop at a mall where you have to pay a yearly rent of N12m. That means your business must be able to generate cash revenues in excess of N12m annually just to atleast be able to pay the rent. Businesses that incur high fixed cost are more likely to fail quicker than those who manage their cost properly.
Overestimating the market – Most of us go into businesses without a proper business plan. Even when we do it is not a guarantee that the business will be a success. This probably is because we make optimistic projections without a properbackup plan should our projections fail. For example, we may believe that sighting a business at a particular location is a good idea due to the high population density. However, purchasing power and effective demand for the product is also a crucial factor. sometimes, we over estimate the demand for a product because it appears scarce. There is hardly a reprieve for businesses that overestimate the market. They fail quickly.
 Bad publicity – Recently, a very popular company had a huge problem on their hands. Someone had spread a rumor that their food contained chemicals that had some consumers killed.
They immediately went on a massive publicity spree to debunk the claim and solicited the help of regulators such as NAFDAC to help discredit the claim. They knew that negative publicity could in one day wipe out all the brand assets they have toiled to build and nurture over the years.

Maintaining your ipad


The new iPad 4 / iPad 3 boasts a built-in, 42,5-watt-hour rechargeable, lithium-polymer battery sealed up in an aluminum-and-glass shell, hard to open for customers, while iPad mini / iPad 2 / iPad is less avid for power and content itself with the battery of 25 Wh.
Apple claims that a properly maintained iPad battery is designed to retain up to 80 per cent of its original capacity at 1000 full charge and discharge cycles. So, the question is how to treat iPad battery to extend its life?
Following are a few simple iPad tips, first five are the most important:
- Make sure that you fully recharge iPad’s battery at least once per month (fully recharge means running the battery down to 5 per cent and then charging it to 100 per cent)
- Don’t drop the battery charge to low (less than 5 per cent is very risky as lithium-polymer cells being near their critical voltage drop the charge very sharply, so you may face completely dead battery that has no juice to start new charging cycle.
 Each battery cell has its own safe-voltage-limit (~ 3 V). Except the cells in the battery are perfectly matched for capacity and voltage, whereas you both charge and discharge them as a whole battery, there is a chance that sooner or later individual cells will be driven outside their safe voltage range even if the pack, as a whole, stays within it.
The cells will start out balanced and tend to stay that way. It can cause the failure of the battery as a whole. Mind you, a good point is that you should start charging Apple tablet when the battery charge is less than 10 per cent.
Over discharging the battery will shorten the lifespan of its battery. The red indicator that will pop-up on your iPad screen is a good signal to start the recharging cycle.
- To prevent failure, never store the battery fully discharged. Apply some charge before storage, and then charge fully before use
- When possible avoid frequent full discharges. Instead, charge the battery more often. There is no concern of battery’s memory when applying unscheduled charges. A high residual charge before recharge is a benefit rather than a disadvantage for chemistry of Li-Pol battery on all iPads. The best way is to keep battery between 40 per cent and 80 per cent charged
-Do not overcharge iPad. Overcharging iPad by leaving it charging for the whole night shortens the battery lifespan
-Avoid iPad from both overheating ( 35 °C)and under-cooling ( 0 °C). The optimal temperature for IPad is 22 °C. The elevated temperatures hasten permanent capacity loss for iPad battery. The worst condition is running iPad with a fully charged battery at elevated temperatures. While the battery is kept fully charged, the inside temperature during operation rises to 45 °C
- Apple claims that temperature is the most important factor that influence the lifespan of iPad battery.
- Free iPad from its leather or any other case when charging the battery. These cases prevent from adequate ventilation, and cause extra temperature rise while charging
- To safe battery’s power: turn off Wi-Fi when it is not in use, and/or adjust screen brightness, and/or minimize the use of location services, and/or turn off push notifications, and/or turn off push mail, and/or increase Fetch New Data interval, and/or turn off push mail, and/or turn off the sound effects (if they are frequent and as they are activated by default). This can be done by going to iPad / iPad 2 / iPad 3 “Settings”.
- Be aware that disabling PING service in the Restriction area of the tablet’s Settings will dramatically improve the life of its battery.

CBN cancels N100 monthly ATM maintenance fee

CBN Governor, Lamido Sanusi
Apparently bowing to public outcry, the Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday announced the cancellation of the N100 monthly Automatic Teller Machine card maintenance fee introduced by some banks recently
The CBN in a circular titled, ‘Revised guide to bank charges,’ posted on its website, however, pegged the maintenance fee at N100 annually.
It also pegged the mandatory cost of Short Message Service alert at N4 subject to the Nigerian Communication Commission directives.
The circular, which takes effect from April 1, read, “In order to reflect current developments in the market and provide clarity on banking terms, the CBN recently conducted a review of the guide in consultation with all the banks and discount houses, Bankers’ Committee, financial experts and also considered inputs received from other stakeholders to produce the revised guide to bank charges.”
On electronic transfer, the bank said N70 would be charged on transactions below N500,000, while N100 should be charged on transactions between N500,000 and N1m. Transactions above N1m will attract a charge of N500.
It said issuing fee of a debit card should not be more than N1,000, while international withdrawals per transaction on debit cards should be charged at N240 rather than N1,000 being currently charged by virtually all the banks.
The CBN pegged the interest on savings deposit accounts at a minimum of 30 per cent of the Monetary Policy Rate per annum.
The Bankers’ Committee, had during a meeting in November 2012, scrapped the N100 interbank charge on the use of ATM cards.
The Governor, CBN, Mr. Lamido Sanusi, had said customers would no longer pay N100 on ATM withdrawals whenever they use banks other than theirs from December 17, 2012.
Following the scrapping of the N100 withdrawal charges on ATM by the Bankers’ Committee, some banks had recently introduced the N100 monthly maintenance fee on ATM cards.
The development had drawn the ire of bank customers, who complained bitterly that the banks were exploiting them and indirectly taking back the suspended third-party ATM card withdrawal fee.
Also, some banks charge as high as N50 for SMS to alert their customers of transactions on their accounts, far above the N4 that all Global System of Mobile communication providers charge for each text message.
Other arbitrary charges include N500 monthly maintenance fee for every current account, depending on the bank; and N5 inter-state commission for every N1,000 transferred into or withdrawn from savings accounts in a state different from where the savings account is opened or domiciled.
Consequently, customers have cried out against the fresh charges introduced by the banks.
The customers, who had envisaged low cost of running accounts following the various cost-cutting measures carried out by the banks and reforms introduced by the CBN, complained about fresh and arbitrary charges they were being made to pay by their banks.
A customer, who simply identified himself as Tunde, had earlier this week complained to our correspondent that his bank was deducting all sorts of charges from his account without notice.
“Guaranty Trust Bank Plc deducted N1,000 from my account for ATM card renewal. I never had a card and they deducted money even without me applying for a card. Are they not supposed to provide an ATM card for me on request?” he queried.
A businessman, Mr. Chike Korie, also said, “The deductions I get on SMS alert in a month sometimes run into thousands of naira. I’m a businessman and I get alerts on my accounts on a daily basis. They charge me N50, which I consider too much because the banks use bulk SMS, which should be cheaper.”
A salary earner, who simply introduced himself as Oni, said some of the bank charges contradicted the cash-less policy of the CBN.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Does Being Passionate About the Work You Do Increase Your Chance of Success?

Often times I am asked to speak on topics such as entrepreneurship, leadership, corporate culture, and so on.  Whenever I speak at universities, one of my favorite questions to ask students is, “What career do you want to pursue,” or, “What business do you plan to begin?”  After I hear their initial response, I then like to ask, “Now, suppose I gave you a check for $10 million dollars today and told you that you could pursue any career path or start any business you wanted to, with no expectation that you would ever pay me back or generate a return on my investment – in fact, I couldn’t care less if the business never makes a dime. Now tell me what career you would pursue or what business would you want to begin.”  It is amazing to hear how often their answers will change to something completely different.  Why is that?
Further discussion typically leads them to share the same conclusion: they are pursuing the path they believe will be the safest bet to a steady income, and in most cases that path does not include pursuing the career of their dreams or the idea that they are most passionate about.  So then one has to consider if they are making the right choice.  Does being passionate about the work you do increase your chance of success?
I can’t say that there is an exact right or wrong answer to that question, I can only share my own thoughts about it and then invite all of you to share your comments as well, respecting the fact that there are likely a wide range of opinions on this topic.  Here are my thoughts:
I will start with a story about myself. I started working in healthcare at the age of 15. At the time, I can’t say that I took a job in healthcare because I had a passion for it. Heck, I was only 15!  All I was passionate about was being able to afford name brand jeans. As the years went by and my experience in healthcare deepened, it was the obvious choice for me to launch my first company in that industry. I understood the industry, I felt confident about it, and I had the contacts and the network in that space. Was I passionate about the industry? I suppose I never stopped to ask myself that question at the time. By then I was a mother with two small children I needed to support and my passion was being able to keep them fed and clothed with a roof over their heads.
As I became an entrepreneur running my own company, I quickly discovered that the things I was most passionate about were being able to see a problem and then figuring out a way to solve it by designing software that could simplify and streamline the problem. I also had a passion for wanting to become a good leader for my people. Note that neither of these passions required industry specificity. The truth is that I could have fulfilled them in any type of business, but with my past experience and knowledge, healthcare technology became the industry of choice to pursue my passion. And thank heavens I had that passion because when times got tough – which they always do in business – it was my passion that drove me and helped me persist through the worst of times. Had I not had the passion I honestly don’t believe I could have led the growth of the company to the level that we achieved.
For some, their passion may be tied to a specific industry, like medicine, or law, or science, but I tend to believe that for most their passion is tied to a desire, such as to lead, or to teach, or to help others. And often times these passions can be pursued in a myriad jobs or industries.
What is important is for each of us is to figure out what is the passion inside of you that will drive you to become the very best you can be. What is the passion that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning ready to take on the world? What is the passion that will help you keep going when everything around you appears to be falling apart? What is the passion that will make you want to give 110 percent of yourself, rather than putting in the minimum requirement to pick up a paycheck?  What is that passion for you? Then, once you identify your passion you can really begin to figure out what roads lie ahead that will allow you to pursue it.
I find it interesting that when interviews have been conducted with some of the most financially successful people of our time they almost always contain a similar thread, which is that the key to their success involved following their passion. Warren Buffett, in giving secrets to success, expressed the importance of finding what brings meaning to your life and making it your focus each day. Steve Jobs of Apple Inc. expressed that people should do what they love doing, sharing that it was his passion for his work and a belief that “people with passion can change the world for the better” that drove him.  Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook states that people should find that thing they are most passionate about and pursue it.  Zuckerberg said, “I think it’s important if you’re going to take on any big challenge, that you just love and really have faith in what you’re doing. That I think is the most important advice I would say.”
I do believe that if you are truly passionate about the work you are doing, you will have the greatest chance of achieving financial success. I believe that when we are passionate about something we have more energy, we work much harder, we get more creative, we search more diligently for solutions when difficult problems arise, and we inspire others who work alongside us. Each of those elements helps to increase our chances of success. But above all else, I believe we are the happiest when we are pursuing our passions in life, and that is the very best kind of success.
~Amy  (you can follow my daily blogs at )

How To Become A Top Networker

Networking can be intimidating. But it’s an important task for those who want to set up future jobs, business deals, and partnerships. More often than not, it’s not about what you know, but who you know.

Sure, I had a great mentor who helped me to launch my Web design company, Ciplex, but throughout my career, I saw it was a struggle for any young professional to make the connections they need to succeed. Plenty of people want to move up in their industry or profession, but don’t know how to approach top executives or other industry leaders.
The fact is, networking can be overwhelming and downright intimidating. But throughout our lives, we’ll end up in these situations in which we have the opportunity to build successful professional relationships.
For those aspiring to move up, what’s the best way to network while building credibility? To find out, I spoke to Jim Riley, founder of Kaleio, a company that aims to revolutionize global workforce communication. Here are his tips:
Have a goal. Before going to a networking event or reaching out to a networking contact, it’s important to ask yourself what you want to get out of the interaction. Ask yourself: Do I want to get introduced to a certain person? Do I want advice on reaching a specific business, professional, or personal goal? Or, do I want to offer my skills to a particular professional or company? Approaching a professional with a clear goal in mind will help you to communicate clearly about what it is you need.
Focus on high impact conversations. Develop a 60-second elevator pitch to quickly communicate who you are and what it is you’re looking for. Keep it simple and short, and always ask questions–ask the contact if they have time to chat more over coffee in the future, or if you can elicit some advice. Remember, networking is a two-way, mutually beneficial relationship. If you’re at a networking event, don’t get stuck talking to one person for too long–keep focused on memorable conversations with as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time. To gracefully move on to the next conversation ask for their contact information.
Stick to a schedule. Networking is most effective when it’s done for long periods of time–not just once or twice. The best networkers create a schedule and stick to it. Create blocks of time you’ll devote to networking. For instance, commit to three networking events per month, or make it a goal to reach out to one professional a day via LinkedIn or email.
Show enthusiasm. It goes without saying that the best networking professionals are happy in what they do. Show you’re passionate about your industry, and people will notice–they’ll want to engage with you and hear your ideas. Ultimately, this will help you to move forward in your networking goals.
Stick to your word. If you tell a professional you’re going to do something for them, do it–and as quickly as possible! Remember, professionals in any industry are busy people. Show your credibility by following up on your word.
Swap out business cards for email. Instead of collecting business cards, send the professional an email immediately after the networking event. That way, you won’t be just another name on a list–they will have your contact information right when they need it.
Keep a list. Networking means talking to tons of different professionals in a short span of time. Often, this leads to information overload. Organize a list of professionals as you meet them, and include tags or labels that will help you to remember their contact information, the company or industry they represent, their expertise, and notes about your conversation.
Be brave. Being a great networker means not having fear when it comes to approaching others who have achieved great things. When you’re engaging with others, people will recognize that you’re not fearful, and they’ll embrace it. In short: Don’t think you can’t change the world. You just have to get out there and do it.
Networking doesn’t have to be difficult or intimidating. In the end, successful networking can be chalked up to a time commitment and focused energy.
Image courtesy of Victor1558; Flickr

Heir to late Chief Obafemi Awolowo family is dead

By on March 28, 2013

Chief Oluwole Awolowo, Son of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo  and Publisher of the Nigerian Tribune, is dead.
The only surviving son of the late political icon died in a London hospital
after a protracted illness.
Between 2011 and 2012 he was on admission for about a year at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State.
Late November,2012, he was in a British hosipital to get treatment for an undisclosed aliment, but just days
after he got back home, the sickness persisted and he was again flown out immediately.
Chief Oluwole Awolowo was born on December 3, 1942 to the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Mama Hannah Idowu Dideolu Awolowo.
He attended the prestigious Ibadan Grammar School in Oyo State and the Leighton Park School, Reading,
Berdshire, England.
He was also an alumni of the famous Leeds College of Commerce where he read Business Studies.

Eating right for every part of your body


Eating right for every part  of your body
Ours is an age of high stress, what with all sorts of issues clogging our thinking, keeping us awake at night, and driving us silly during the day.
We worry about identity theft, internal and global insecurity occasioned by terrorism, economic issues, health scare… The list is endless.
We engage in work—in the office, while commuting, at home, everywhere. Obviously, modernity and its trappings have come at a huge price, and we all seem caught up in its grip.
In our bid to catch up in one area of life or the other, we have become so busy that we engage in diet of convenience, eating foods that are lacking in essential nutrients that should nourish every part of our bodies to good health and keep them going against all odds.
Our diets, because we get and consume them mostly on the go, are now full of sugars, fats and empty calories that literally bloat us up, giving us unwieldy weight that can make the scale squeal uneasily.
Yet, experts assure that we can help our body realise its full potential by eating right, such that, in a short while and henceforth, our health sill peak, literally from head to toe.
Nurturing your hair
To start with, having a head full of hair is an indication of good health, even when you are already greying. Trichologists (experts in scientific study of the health of hair and scalp) say hair loss occurs as a result of many factors, among which aging, hormonal factors, medical conditions and medications.
Worse, the type of diet we take can affect our hair health. If you love processed foods, know that they often lack vitamins and essential minerals that one needs to maintain a healthy hair and prevent hair loss.
Researchers at Cleveland Clinic, united States of America, looked at 11 studies on the relationship between iron intake and hair loss, and concluded that treating iron deficiency may help hair to grow and stay healthy.
To maintain hair health, therefore, you need a diet that is high in nutrients. You must cut out junk food and include more variety with fruits, vegetables, and proteins. Also, eat iron-rich foods such as lean red meat, turkey, egg yolks, dried beans, dried fruits and whole grains.
Brighten your vision
Your eye is the window to your body, as they reflect what is going on inside of you, literally. Nutritionists say people who consume the most lutein — a carotenoid found in plant foods — are 43 per cent less likely to develop macular degeneration (leading cause of severe vision loss in people over age 60). Lutein — also called “eye vitamin” — helps filter blue light, preventing it from damaging retinal tissues. Foods rich in the carotenoid include carrots, spinach, broccoli, eggs, tomatoes, corn, pepper, avocado, among others.
Pamper your skin
Experts say the skin is the largest organ in the body, with an adult person’s skin weighing some 3.6kg and two square meters! Dermatologists say the skin does a lot more than make us look presentable and that, without it, we’d literally evaporate.
Consultant Dermatologist, Dr. Simeon Akindele, says, “The skin acts as a waterproof, insulating shield, guarding the body against extremes of temperature, damaging sunlight and harmful chemicals. It also exudes antibacterial substances that prevent infection and manufactures vitamin D for converting calcium into healthy bones.”
In addition, he notes, the skin “is a huge sensor packed with nerves for keeping the brain in touch with the outside world, while at the same time, allows us free movement, proving itself an amazingly versatile organ.”
This being the case, why not take care of your skin? You can do this by eating foods packed with vitamin A, which helps balance the pH of your skin’s surface, making it just acidic enough to fend off harmful bacteria. Again, researchers at the National Cancer Institute, USA, found that people with the highest intakes of carotenoids — pigments that occur naturally in carrots — were six times less likely to develop skin cancer than those with the lower intakes.
Guard your heart
Your heart is the intelligence and must be protected. You need a healthy heart to engage in all sorts of endeavours open to man. Cornell University researchers say eating one red delicious apple a day can block LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol) oxidation, resulting in an eight per cent drop in LDL levels. Better still, apples contain soluble fibre, which scrubs artery walls clean.
Tone your muscles
Physicians say muscle mass peaks between age 18 and 25, after which it starts to decrease every decade and progresses as we age. To maximise muscle growth, they advocate health diet. Beef happens to be the perfect muscle food because it’s rich in protein, zinc, and creatine — a naturally occurring amino acid (protein building block) that’s found in meat and fish, and also made by the human body in the liver, kidneys and pancreas.
Strengthen you bones
We use our bones a lot, since it’s the skeleton that holds up every other part of the body. However, experts lament that until one snaps, we hardly give them much thought. They recommend two glasses of vitamin D-fortified low-fat milk every day. This provides the body with the right amount of calcium and vitamin D — perfect combination of nutrients for break-resistant bones.
Say no to beer belly
In oder to make your body stay in fat-burning mode and prevent pot belly in mid age, eat foods that will not raise your sugar level but rich in protein. They include low-fat plain yogurt and greens. Then, avoid all sorts of carbonated beverages. Instead, drink pure, fresh water. In fact, experts advise that we start each day with a glass of warm water containing lemon.
Recharge your manhood
Experts say when it comes to keeping your side of the bargain during intimacy, a certain amino acid known as L-Arginine improves heart health, as it works like Viagra by increasing nitric oxide to help relax blood vessels and allow more blood flow to the penis.
Author of The Orgasmic Diet, Marrena Lindberg, notes that some studies suggest that getting three grammes of L-Arginine a day could make for better erection.
Good news for men: apart from the fact that the body makes it, L-Arginine could be found in foods such as red meat, fish, poultry, wheat germ, grains, nuts and seeds, dairy products, seafood, walnuts, and sesame seeds.

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