In a country like the one we live in, it is easy for everyone to have a common view or opinion on certain issues, if not on all. But of course, with exception of a few personal and family issues. This approach is not peculiar to Nigeria; there are several similar occurrences in other countries where there is a collective opinion on issues that eventually transforms into a norm. In Nigeria, most of the norms are ‘Norms’ because as a people, we are too lazy to fact check opinions, too ignorant to tackle inconsistencies and unbelievably myopic to ask questions for possible second outlook on issues. To a large extent, this explains why someone will have his perspective easily sold out. If it is then a negative view, the effect they say spreads even faster than good news. It then becomes difficult to be objective on certain things because it is generally accepted.
This is why today, because of the notion about Nigeria to be a country where nothing works, you tend to approach everything with that mindset of “nothing sha work in this country.” so where there is an opportunity, what you see is a reason to recite your slogan, “nothing sha work in this country”. There was a story about two sales men who were sent to Africa by a British shoe company to identify market opportunities. After their separate market surveys and analysis, the first man returned and reported there was no market potential in Africa because they don’t wear shoes. The second sales man reported there was massive market potential in Africa because they don’t wear shoes. The two sales men faced the same market, had same experience but saw different possibilities.
The fact remains; it takes the ability to recognize opportunities before you can maximize it. This is why some sales personnel, executives, leaders, professionals in any field excel. When there is a situation, instead of seeing a ‘It is Not Possible’ sign post, what they have worked their mind to see is ‘Another Opportunity to do what had not been done.’
Opportunities are mostly covered up in muddy situations. The situation might even look so bad that, to think there might an advantage to it is like the eleventh commandment ‘thou shall not dare to think it’. But, every bad situation provides you an opportunity to do well. The situation was bad when God created heaven and earth, from the void and dark situation He created beauty and life. The situation was equally bad When He gave His son to men. When there is a problem, there are several profitable door attached. But on your part, you need to work on your ability to find them.
Have your own opinion: General opinions sometimes are not right. Side by side the general opinion, establish a personal opinion on same issue.
Get information: With information you are a step ahead. Most of the time, you don’t see an opportunity in a situation because you are unaware of available facts. Be aware of your environment and policies. Fight for information daily.
Challenge the norm: A friend said to me, no matter how reasonable someone or an idea sounds, he still try to ask questions looking for loopholes. Yeah, that probably sound cocky but trust me, it will open doors to new possibilities. Challenge the norm; everyone say it is normal, it is okay but ask why.
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