Excerpt for Life Beyond School by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Copyright 2015.Ty Okojie


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Table Of Contents


Preface

Chapter One

1.The Hook and the line.

Chapter Two

2.A Guide to personal Branding.

About The Author

Connect With Ty Okojie

Other episodes on this Series

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Preface


The continental African economy right now has a GDP of $2.8Tn, and a population of 1.2bn. Our economy is bigger than India’s and more than twice that of Russia’s. It’s time to think differently about who we are and what we can accomplish. I have served in different roles and places, even in cultures and languages entirely different from mine across Africa, especially Nigeria. I’ve sat with children in Juvenile detention and opioid addicts who told me their lives could’ve turned out differently if they had something to do, an after school program or somewhere to go. I’ve met factory workers who know their old jobs aren’t coming back and are trying to find their place. In all of this places I see one thing common. A people who are tired of the status quo and want to bring positive change and development, but don’t know how. This material is a key address on such issues as these. This piece was not just written for a particular geographical region, race or culture but for the man who wants to put his/her name on stars. Just stay on course as we take this walk together.

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Chapter One

The Hook and the Line

The world unlike the school system, is an open class. We all have the right to choose where we must belong, irrespective of race and culture. However, this is not by election, selection or declaration. It’s a function of diligence by those who will wake up and take responsibility for their lives.

Twenty friends cannot play for twenty years. In twenty years they’ll be in twenty different classes. As the morning shows the day, so the child shows the man. The world as we see today is faced with different labor issues. Every year, millions of jobs are lost as technology advances and skills become obsolete. In our society, especially “Africa” my side of the world, we often don’t do big things because we’re so afraid of making mistakes that we ignore all the things today if we do nothing. The continental African economy right now has a GDP of $2.8Tn, and a population of 1.2bn. Our economy is bigger than India’s and more than twice that of Russia’s. It’s time to think differently about who we are and what we can accomplish. History may have walked against us, but I can tell you with all assurance that prophecy is on our side.

Can you imagine China without Alibaba.com or Tencent? Or Japan without its Hondas or Toyotas? How about America with its Apple, Google or even Microsoft? Africans do also want to look up and see large African enterprises. Companies like Econent and Dangote groups are there as beacons to new generation of Africa enterprise builders who have dreams to build global companies that will also create wealth for Africa. It will interest you to know that 25years ago most of the above listed companies never existed. And in 25years time some the giant companies that will shake the world may not even be existing now.

I have served in different roles and places, even in cultures and languages entirely different from mine across Africa, especially Nigeria. I’ve sat with children in Juvenile detention and opioid addicts who told me their lives could’ve turned out differently if they had something to do, an after school program or somewhere to go. I’ve met factory workers who know their old jobs aren’t coming back and are trying to find their place. I have practically tasted unemployment coupled with the mass exodus of our active youths to overseas countries, because of the way things are. In all of this places I see one thing common. A people who are tired of the status quo and want to bring positive change and development, but don’t know how. However, in all of these issues, the man who will stand and remain relevant is the man who is always willing to upgrade. To learn, unlearn and learn again. For he must see beyond the present job hunting phenomenon and working for money to earn a living, into the realms of value and job creation. This has to be a man that celebrates apprenticeship and volunteerism. He must be ready to make discipline, dedication, determination and sacrifice his core teachers in this open school called life. He may be a graduate with a college diploma, but he must realize that in the school of life there is no graduation, you can only keep learning. He may be an MBA holder, but he must realize that true practical lessons about business aren’t learnt in class rooms but on the streets. Class room lessons are OK. But no pilot (high flier) is rated by his college certificate, but by his number of flying hours in the air. Fellow Africans let’s wake up and take off the veil of schooling to obtain certificates. No one cares about the ingredients you used in cooking until they have tasted the food and confirmed that it is sweet. The rule of the game as changed.

As an undergraduate, there were so many struggles as to what course we wanted to study. Some of us even had to switch departments and faculties and lost a year just to get what we wanted. I personally almost transferred from Production Engineering to Electrical because the grass seemed greener on the other side.

But once we leave school, most of us realize that it is not much of the courses we studied that counts, or the good grades. In the real world outside of school, something more than grades is required. Some persons on the street call it “guts”, but I choose to call it “a good sense of confidence combined with a purpose and skill”. This factor ultimately decides one’s future more than school grades. Back then, it broke my heart to see students know the answers, yet lack the courage to act on it. Often in the real world, it’s not the smart that gets ahead but the bold and skilled. We all have tremendous potentials, and we all are blessed with gifts. Yet, the one thing that holds all of us back is some degree of self- doubt, I call them “what ifs…” It’s not so much lack of technical information that holds us back, but the lack of self-confidence, purpose and skill.

Now as a graduate outside of the school walls, I’ve come to discover that the whole idea of school in this generation is to teach you how to turn your certificates into payable skills via these basic elements.

A rich content

A creative package

And a solid network.

What you study in the end really doesn’t matter.

So how do I accomplish these three elements above? That’s exactly what we shall be looking out shortly.

The Hook and Line Principle

In the account of Matthew 17:27. Jesus told Peter “go to the sea, and cast your hook, and take up the fish that first comes up; and when you have opened its mouth, you shall find a piece of money; that take, and give unto them for me and thee”.

There are many fishes in the river, but only a hook and a line will bring it out. The hook and the line principle states that “money is changing hands every single time. But you have to have a hook and a line to get it out”. What does this mean? Every single time you pay for a service or goods, money changes hands. And every single time people pay you cash for a value given, money changes hands. Therefore, the one that gets bulk of the money is the one that gave more values, or solved more problems. When we look at the life of Jesus and His disciples on the earth, we discover that they all had skills aside ministry. For most of them Jesus found them on duty when they got the call. Jesus himself learnt carpentry by the reason of his father being one. Peter was a great fisher man with a long track record of fishing skills who later upgraded from fishing fishes to fishing men. James and John too were fisher men too, who also upgraded as well. Luke was a doctor; even Judas Iscariot had accounting skills. None were idle. School used to be a very good place of obtaining skills for the real world. But today it’s obvious the world has gone beyond what you studied. Now especially in the private sector, it’s about “what can you offer?” What do you bring to the table? What’s your contribution? What’s your skill? Why should I employ you and not others? Nobody wants liabilities, we all want assets. So the question is; how can I be an asset and not a liability?


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