How to Increase Your Value


“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” - Alvin Toffler.

Increasing your value is tied to what you have to offer which is your value proposition. Your value proposition determines the measure of your compensation.

People will only part with their money when they perceive and believe what you offer is of value to them.

Whether in the workplace, business space or social space value or worth is important and is a strong differentiator between those at the top and those at the bottom.

Here are 7 ways that you can increase your worth:

  1. Upskill – Learn new skills

Your impact is measured by your skills and your worth is a measure of the skills you possess.

“If you don’t sharpen your axe,it will be harder to use; if you are smart, you’ll know what to do.” Ecclesiastes 10:10

Any job requires certain skills and to do the job effectively the right skills must be acquired. You increase your value proposition by obtaining skills which are relevant to your endeavour, profession or business.

So how can I obtain new skills? The underlisted points will provide some ideas.

2. Organised Training

That task or job is only difficult because you don’t have the right tools. Training helps bridge the gap between what you currently know and what you need to know to the get the job done.

Organised trainings might be expensive but are useful because they are more structured and require that they are completed within a specific time. This can help address procrastination and deferment of development goals which is common in less organised set-ups.

Trainings are more flexible with on-demand training courses becoming more common. Sources such as LinkedIn Learning and Coursera, and Udemy provide a rich variety of both live and on-demand courses which can be completed from any preferred location and at any convenient time.

3. Personal Study

Personal study is one of the best ways of increasing one’s worth and this should be continuous, if not daily.

It is a productive habit to set aside a minimum duration each day for personal study.

I set aside 30 minutes minimum each day for study. Study could vary from reading books to watching informative documentaries or completing an online course.

Whatever your field of endeavour you should keep a personal study journal which contains your personal study on subjects beyond your day to day responsibilities.

4.Take on new challenges

There is no quicker way to learn than taking on something you have never done before. If one is not learning then one simply isn’t growing. Taking on new challenges will not only stretch you but will also make you realise what you are capable of doing.

Here are some tips on how you can take on new challenges:

  • Take on a new hobby. Learn a musical instrument, learn a new language, learn dance, take writing lessons etc
  • Volunteer to do something new, something different. Volunteer with a charity or a political organisation depending on your preference.
  • Offer to take on more work at your work place. This shows that you have initiative and the capacity to do more and could lead to you being promoted.
  • Choose to be a mentor or a mentee.


Travelling has a way of expanding one’s perspective beyond one’s locality.

Travelling is also a form of education. As you see and experience, you will be left with an unforgettable experience essential to your personal growth and value.


The stronger your network, the farther your distance.  

You are as strong as your network therefore it is necessary to leverage on the power of having great networks. If you are conscious about building networks and relationships then a great network is inevitable.

Make it a point of duty to always connect with people who add value to you and who you can add value to in every situation.


“If I have seen further it is bystanding on the shoulders of Giants.” Isaac Netwon

Someone said, ‘you are the average of the closest 5 persons to you’.  Who you associate  with will influence your value.

Your association influences the course and impact of your life.

It is recommended that at every stage of one’s life you have at least one mentor with regards to an aspect of your life.


3 Ways to discover your purpose

“What is my purpose in life?”

This is probably one of the most asked questions in the journey of self discovery.

Everyone is born with this question hanging over them and some never find out the answer sadly. It does not matter what your age is, it is never too late to discover what your purpose in life is. For some, purpose is easily identified and for others it may take a number of years and failed attempts before they find the elusive answer.

I believe purpose is a journey and not a destination. Also, what you enjoy doing is an indication of your purpose. Your purpose is the why to what you enjoy doing.

The answer to this question lies at the centre of one’s life. If identified, everything else will align. Our friends, career or business choices, hobbies, social life etc are all linked to the answers to this questions. Rick Warren’s book, “The Purpose Driven Life”, posits that when you discover your purpose you become focussed on what matters spending less time on distractions – Your life becomes more productive. (I would strongly recommend this book if you have not read it).

In his book, Understanding the Purpose and Power of a Woman, Myles Munroe of blessed memory said “When purpose is not known, abuse is inevitable”.

In addition to focus and productivity, discovering and understanding your purpose also brings great joy. You begin to enjoy your life as you spend more time doing what you love doing and embrace your uniqueness.

In a previous post, How to identify what you are good at, I identified passion as one major indicators of purpose. I would like to add 3 questions you should ask yourself (and others) which can help anyone identify their purpose.

  1. What can I do with minimal preparation?

This refers to something that comes naturally to you. Something, such as a task or activity, which when called upon you can do without spending hours, days or months in preparation.

For example, I love to teach people. I am able to teach or speak about topics which I have prior knowledge of with minimal preparation. As a matter of fact if I am woken up from sleep suddenly and asked to teach on a topic I know something about, I am able to deliver with reasonable impact. I can’t boast of such ease with other activities such as say singing.

In the example above, I can identify that I have a purpose to positively impart the lives of others which is expressed by teaching others.

     2. What do people find most intriguing about me? (What do others keep coming back to me for?)

This is an indirect indication that others have identified what you are great at doing and this is linked to your purpose. This may be related to soft skills like guidance and counselling, confidence, encouragement etc.

I recently requested feedback from friends and family by asking a simple question, “In one word, how would you describe me?” and the answers were very informative!

     3. What do you do and time passes by without you realising?

Please don’t say ‘watching TV’ or ‘sleeping’ or ‘playing games on Xbox’.

This simply means you are enjoying what you are doing and you are having fun doing it. It means it is easy and comes naturally to you. They are indications to what your purpose is.

Lets see some examples.

I enjoy being a parent. My purpose is caring for others.

I enjoy fighting the cause of the less privileged. My purpose is to fight social injustice.

I enjoy Photography. My purpose is to discover the beauty in nature and share this gift with the world.

I enjoy feeding the poor and taking care of the homeless. My purpose is to alleviate the impact of poverty.

I enjoy teaching and writing. My purpose is to educate, inspire and motivate others.


Understanding our purpose is a key which unlocks our unlimited potentials. It brings happiness and fulfilment in life. It is never too early or too late to discover purpose. Have you identified what your purpose is? Can you commit to spending time to discovering your purpose? I would really love to hear your thoughts and help anyone who needs help in discovering their purpose.


When time stood still…

Time and how to effectively manage it is probably the most talked on subject in business and personal development circles.

The reason being that we are all allotted the same amount (at least in a day irrespective of different time zones in different parts of the world) but the results of its use are widely different.

Besides, the common cliché ‘time is money’ suggests that time does have the same value as money. Some might argue that time is even more valuable than money since you can regain lost money but time lost is never re-gained.

So why does it seem some people have more time than others? Why does it seem like time stands still for some and for others they seem not to have enough. Some seem to be able to achieve much more  than others within the same period of time available to both sets.

This is where time management comes in. Here are some tips for effective time management:

  1. Plan your tomorrow today: Make a clear plan of what you want to do a day before hand. Time can be likened to water passing through the cracks in a rock in the sense that time which is not allotted can very easily be lost to ‘valueless’ activities.
  2. Be resourceful – Delegate: While you might think that you are Superman or Superwoman and you can do everything yourself there are a lot of activities which can be delegated. Avoid the trap of micro-managing too. Find competent persons to handle things you are comfortable giving up. If you find that you are not comfortable delegating anything to anyone around you then there is a problem 😉
  3. Have a clear vision: You are not likely going to get to a destination you don’t know. Your vision informs your goals and your goals informs your activities. If you have a clear vision, it is more than likely that you will engage in more activities which are valuable to the vision.
  4. Be disciplined: While this is not a pleasant topic, time management requires discipline. I do not propose an obsession with doing all tasks strictly within the allotted time as time management implies the ability to manage and direct time and not vice versa. That said, if you do not allot time, it will go out of control.
  5. Invest your time: If indeed time is money and you can invest money then you can invest time. Invest your time in activities that you bring reward in future. A great way to invest your time is in activities such as reading, building relationships, networking amongst others.
  6. Prioritize your activities: Do the most important things first. Enough said.
  7. Do it now! Putting things off can seem convenient but is a recipe for disaster. Procrastination is a thief of time as bad investments are a ‘money eater’. Do something, no matter how small, daily towards your overall vision and objective. It’s amazing what difference 365 days can make if we engage in valuable activities.

Have you personally got any time management hacks you would like to share? Use comment field below.


3 things which will get you ahead in 2019

Every year presents a new opportunity for a fresh start. Get ahead of the year and position yourself for success by doing the following.

1.Set goals early.

The only way progress can be measured is if goals are set. Get a pen and paper and get to work. I suggest you make goals in the following areas:

    • Relationship goals: Make specific goals you want to achieve in your relationships. For example you might want to strengthen existing positive relationships, end negative and destructive relationships and build new positive relationships.
    • Financial goals: Decide early what your financial goals are. Some examples of financial goals are reduction of debt or total clearing of debt, start saving or increase savings, increase your streams of incomes etc. You might also consider defining your financial goals in terms of your annual earning. This will require some work and investments in books, mentoring and finance but it will be worth it in the end.
    • Educational/Academic goals: Set realistic educational goals to achieve in 2019. Completing or starting a course or degree is one example. You could also consider enrolling for an online course or program. The advantages of increasing your education is highlighted here;  How to Increase Your Value.
    • Physical goals: Do you want to lose weight, become more fit or build yourself. Do you want to improve your self-image? Set realistic and attainable goals with an action plan to achieve. If it helps, get a gym-buddy or someone you become accountable to.
    • Spiritual goals: Set spiritual goals. For example, If you are a Christian you might consider setting a goal of reading the entire Bible during the year. You might also consider working on 2 or 3 gifts of the Spirit. With the help of the Holy Spirit you can also break the chains of destructive habits. You could also consider setting fasting and prayer goals.

2. Make the most of your time.

Time, they say, waits for no one. Make a conscious effort this year to use time productively.

You don’t want to regret not taking certain specific actions at the end of the year.

Decide to spend less time on frivolities and things which won’t positively contribute to your goals. As time is money, ensure you invest your time in fruitful endeavor. Decide to spend more time on what matters like spending time more with family and loved ones.

3. Be courageous…

This is probably easier said than done but the harsh reality is that if you and I want to be our best selves then we must be intentional and courageous. Intentional about our goals, we must take action. Enough blaming our past, our parents, perceived prejudices or past performance.

We must decide to take action, bearing in mind that we are masters of our own fate. No man can decide our fate unless we give them the power to.

Take on new challenges and new tasks. The quickest way to learn and increase your ability is by doing things you have never done before. Decide to not let fear limit you this year. Decide to be your best self. Get help if need be from supportive friends, family and even colleagues.

What is holding you back?

Here’s to a more fulfilling 2019!

Take that leap of faith

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” – Lao Tzu

We can give 1001 reasons why we cannot, for example;

  • Start that journey
  • Write that book,
  • Start that fitness program
  • Start that business
  • Relocate
  • Love somebody or
  • Break that bad habit.

All our excuses could seem plausible.

Are they really?

I think that the real reason why we don’t take action is more closely related to our lack of conviction on the new course. It is not yet a ‘life or death’ matter.

We still have alternatives. We will continue to give excuses until we no longer have alternatives.

You see, until one has a more compelling reason to take action, greater than the comfort of the status quo, no motion, or action, will occur. Unfortunately, this valley, between comfort and lack of it, is where many reside in their lives. This is where the ‘comfort zone’ is. This is the valley of indecision.

One very common excuse people give is the ‘I don’t know where to start’ excuse. While this could be a cogent reason sometimes, it’s not always the case.

It is not our duty to know where or how to start. It is our duty to decide to start.

No one was born an expert at whatever they do. There was, and will always be,  a process of learning.

So start where you are, with what you have. This is good enough.

Once you decide that you want to start your journey, the resources (people, finance, knowledge, you name it) will begin to become visible and obvious. There is nothing mystic or metaphysical about the preceding statement (I have nothing against the assertions of The Secret) but it is simply logical. You will only see the relevance in a resource when you have need of it.

So the real reason why we don’t take action is not because we don’t know where or how to start or do not have the resources we need to start. It is simply because we have not decided we want to start that journey.

We when truly decide, every excuse will dissipate in the strength of our conviction.

Decide first, this is your first step.

It’s okay if you fall…

It’s not okay if you remain there…

I remember a time when I beat myself up whenever I made a mistake or did something wrong. I would remain bitter for hours even days. This led to me being constantly on my toes, meticulously crossing every ‘T’ and dotting every ‘I’. I felt even worse if my ‘error’ was discovered and pointed out by someone else. ‘How could I make such a mistake?’, ‘What will people think of me?’.

I was very hard on myself.

The fear of falling even prevented me from taking action. I would rather maintain my flawless record than taint it with failure. No action was as important to me as my stainless record.

This high and lofty status gradually morphed into pride. It seemed to me I had attained a state of perfection – as long as I kept within my boundaries, with no failure, I was fine, self-sufficient and above others.

Boy was I wrong.

Reality hit me in the face when, having put everything under control, the one thing that was out of my control happened bringing down the whole plan.

I wept…

And I had a mental re-configuration.

Perfection is simply unattainable. This is the harsh reality. It is a mirage.

Over the years I have come to terms with the reality that I am not perfect and ,equally important, other people are not either. I still have high expectations of myself but have learnt not to push myself too hard. I have even less expectations from others having learnt from experience that using my lofty scales of perfectionism to assess others simply leads to constant heartaches.

I have learnt that it is okay to fall. Yes it is! This is how your learn to stand, and walk and run!

It’s not okay if you remain there…


Perspective is everything

A problem is only as big as our minds make it to be.

Large objects like mountains or even the heavenly bodies (stars, sun, moon, planets) look minuscule to the viewer standing at a distance or on earth. With the proper light, a small object can cast a gigantic shadow and seem very intimidating.

Irrespective of the conditions (distance to object and light), the actual size of the object remains the same. Perspective, however, will influence the size of the object in the mind of the observer. (Imagine your mind has eyes and it requires a lens to see the world)

Our perception is influenced by our position.

Challenges can seem gargantuan depending on our position – when we are on the same plane of reference to the problem then it would seem as big as, if not bigger, than what we can handle.

And there are two major ways one can respond when faced with a problem;

  1. Become paralysed with fear and retreat.
  2. Decide to change one’s position.

Since the latter response is not what we hope to achieve, let’s explore the second response. How do you change your position? In practical terms, for example, I have my rent to pay in the next few days and I do not have a dime in my account, what has my position on the matter got to do with resolving  the issue?

Firstly, let’s get the issue of fear out-of-the-way. Fear cripples the mind, clouds one’s judgement, stifles creativity and prevents one from seeing solutions.

You change your position simply by changing your thinking. You stop thinking of yourself as a victim. This is the first step.

When you stop believing that you are a victim and start thinking like a solution provider, you subconsciously instruct your creative mind to begin to hunt for solutions to the problem.

As you begin to find solutions, you begin to get elevated above the issue and it becomes smaller in proportion.

Changing one’s position (feeding, educating and training one’s mind) is a process. Thinking straight in the face of adversity is not an easy task which is why one must constantly and consciously feed the mind with empowering and faith-building material. This becomes the new ‘lens’ through which your mind’s eye sees your entire world.

Don’t let fear cripple you. Be encouraged, all mountains can be conquered.

Before you can, you must first believe that you can. This is why perspective is everything.

how I stopped looking to others for approval and why you also should stop

I could begin by giving reasons why I felt the need for the approval of others. The reasons will include my childhood being the youngest of many children and constantly being told what and what not to do. Or I could mention my social need to be noticed and acknowledged which has now be digitized into my longing for ‘likes’, ‘views’ and ‘comments’.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with seeking and getting the approval of people we hold in high regard but I think there is everything wrong with building our lives around the approval of others.

It is one thing to seek approval as a feedback mechanism and it is another thing to rely on the approval of others to validate our existence.

Approval seeking should be a part of a process or more appropriately a part of a greater goal. There is something narcissistic about wanting the approval of others just for the sake of it.

As I dug deeper into the origin of my craving for the approval of others I gradually began to see a correlation between my need for approval and the size of my dreams, goals and visions. My craving for approval was greatest when I had no goal I was actively pursuing.

The greater the goal or vision, the less the need for approval for the sake of it. I only sought approval as a means of feedback. Only to see if I was making progress towards my goal.

If you find that you have built your life around the approval of others or someone in particular you might find that it is a moving target. It is even more shocking to realise that not all whose approval you seek mean you well.

My advice is that you recognise your uniqueness and your individuality. No man, or woman, is a deity and has all your cards in their hands.

Look beyond others, and yourself, to a goal or vision greater than yourself and others.



Forgive? Not me…

We all have had the experience of being hurt by someone. It hurts even more when the perpetrators are loved ones.

We experience some form of indignation, betrayal, anger and the overwhelming nudge to retaliate.

We react in different ways when we are hurt by those closest to us. Some withdraw, bearing a grudge and with it unforgiveness. Others lash out immediately, sometimes in retaliatory action or simply ‘putting the offender in their place’; the ‘don’t you ever try that again or I’ll (fill in the blank)’ stance.

One proverb goes like this ‘even the teeth disagrees with the tongue’. Disagreements, hurt feelings and conflicts are natural. How we choose to handle these is entirely up to us.

Agreed our natural disposition or temperament has a part to play. For example, as an introvert, yours truly has the tendency to begrudge others when hurt. However, one can choose to and learn to react differently.

No one said it will be easy to forgive.

In the spirit of the season of Easter, one is reminded of its origin. It is not a story about eggs and bunnies rather it is one about forgiveness.

About a man who was betrayed by those closest to him. Those he called friends and family. Betrayed by those he fed, healed and supported.

Betrayed by those he prayed for and loved so dearly. The same mouths he fed later called for his execution.

Even his bosom friend denied him when he was arrested and being charged to court. He was afraid of being accused of being a co-conspirator.

This man had every right to die without forgiving his betrayers and executioners. Yet with his dying breath he expressed his forgiveness!

This is the message of Easter – Forgiveness.

I learnt to forgive a long time ago. It has not always been easy. It is not any easier now either. But I learnt that when I hold a grudge, I am imprisoned and the other is free. I carry a baggage of unforgiveness and I become a slave to bitterness.

I have learnt to free myself from this burden and move on.

To err is human, to forgive is a divinely inspired act.



Different, is good.

Image credit: Sports Illustrated

Michael Phelps is the most decorated olympian of all time with 28 medals and 23 of them in gold.

His success has been attributed to many things including his anatomy. According to Scientific America (SA), “Phelps’s arms extend 80 inches (203 centimeters) tip to tip, and his body measures in at 76 inches (193 centimeters) in height. Most of the time, a person’s height normally corresponds closely to the distance between his outstretched hands. ” In other words, his (Phelps’s) arm span tip to tip is longer than his height.

The most celebrated swimmer is also said to be double jointed. With his giant size-14 feet reportedly he can bend 15 degrees farther at the ankle than most other swimmers, turning his feet into virtual flippers writes a Detroit News blog. This flexibility also extends to his knees and elbows, possibly allowing him to get more out of each stroke.

It is said that in his early days his peers poked fun at his absurd physiology and called him names. His ‘absurd’ physiology turned out to be a strength in future.

Does Michael Phelps’s anatomy give him undue advantage to succeed in the field of swimming? Did Albert Einstein’s IQ give him an undue advantage in the field of theoretical physics?

Are success genes hardwired into some and not others thereby given them the undue advantage?

By the way, Kosuke Kitajima is a 5ft 8inch (according to SA) Japanese swimmer who has won gold medals in the 100m and 200m breast stroke events. Michael Phelps is 6ft 4inch dwarfing Kosuke in comparison…yet he, Kosuke, also succeeded in swimming.

While expressing one’s gifts and talents in the right field (Yes, Phelp’s physiology gives him some advantage in swimming) gives one a great start in the sprint of life something(s) else is required to get to the finish line. Just ask Usain Bolt.

Something called, for want of a better phrase, the will to succeed makes the difference.

The will to succeed is what makes one go on while others quit.

It crystallizes into disciplined actions aimed to succeed.

It gives you the mental strength to do what others are not willing to do. The willingness to go the extra-mile, deferring present comfort in exchange for future victory.

Private victory always precedes public victory. It is the late nights spent working while others are sleeping.

The additional time, effort and energy we put into perfection that makes the difference. Paying  attention to the details in our craft.

Yes, talent gives an advantage but when talent is not used correctly or at all it can, like a useless muscle, atrophy. The world is filled with casualties of this abuse.

Kudos to the man quoted to have said “If you want to be the best, you have to do things that other people aren’t willing to do”.

Talent is not enough.


What is holding you back?

While thinking about my next inspirational post, my thought process was interrupted by the singing of my 3-year old toddler and just then I caught inspiration on what to write.

We came into this world without fears, inhibitions or limitations. Over the course of our lives we begin to acquire these for the reason of, amongst other things, self-preservation.

Once burnt by a hot object we become trained by the experience to stay away from fire and hot objects. Our experiences shape our behaviour and informs our future decisions.

A child has no such inhibitions initially. The world is truly their playground.

As we grow, personal experiences, education and parental influence amongst others begins to limit our expectations and exploration.

Our past experience of being burnt can either become a cautionary post preventing us from being burnt again in future (self-preservation) or we can allow our entire lives to be limited by that experience – in order words, we can become slaves to our fears.

Courage is not being unaware of danger or risks but it is the ability to take action in spite of them.

The world is full of fearful people. We were not born this way.

The greatest achievements in history and the world today were made by people with courage. People who did not allow their fears, societal influence and past limit their ability to achieve greatness.

These are people who continue to make the world their playground, like the toddler.

Society will tell you you can’t. Only you can tell yourself you can.

Education, on the other hand should liberate and not limit minds.

We should tell our children about the dangers of fire but educate them about power in fire.

We should tell them about the dangers in darkness but educate them that they are the light.

We should tell them about the dangers in the world but the world is still their playground.

Let them grow being aware of danger but not being crippled by it.

What is holding you back?


I can and I will…

“Every sustained change in a man’s life begins with a change of lifestyle”

Jacob had struggled all his life. Everything he had acquired involved some form of subterfuge. Again and again he conned his way to get what he wanted. The course of his life seemed to be controlled by his name; Trickster.

Could he truly escape from himself?  He must have found himself in a vicious circle. Resolving at the start of each day to change his ways but breaking that same resolution before sun down.

“Can a leopard change its skin?”.

And what did the world think of him? If he ever changed, would his society accept him, the new Jacob?

Like Jacob, these are a few things that keep us from making the changes we would like to see in our lives:

  • Societal status; what the society thinks of us and calls us.
  • No desire for change.
  • Disability

Jacob began his journey to greatness the day he decided to burn the bridges to his past and forge a path to a new future. He was determined to forget his societal status and move on.

It doesn’t matter what name your society has called you, neither does the self-imposed limitations.

But what matters most is your level of commitment to what truly matters to you. That perfect body, that relationship, that career, breaking that habit, determination and the amount of sacrifice you are willing to make to see the change you want.

Nothing comes cheap. If making money was easy, we all would be millionaires and if getting fit were easy we all would have the perfect bodies! So it is time to get up and:

  • Write that book you have been putting off for so long.
  • Tell that person you love them.
  • Make that call, send that email and if you prefer old fashioned communication, post that mail.
  • Hit the gym.
  • Learn that new skill.
  • Learn that new language.
  • Start that course.

Set priorities for the goals you want to achieve. Ideally, these should be goals that have some sort of motivation behind them. The greater the passion behind a decision, the more likely it is that it will succeed.

In John L. Mason’s ‘An enemy called average’ he recommends the ‘6×1=6’ principle. This means that you devote one hour a day, six days a week to do the thing that is important to you and you want to be good at. This easily, well after one year, equates to 312 hours!

It will take a lot of discipline to accomplish that but if you take it a day at a time, you will get there.

You can and you will, end of story!

How do you inspire yourself?

The only images that can be produced are those which are captured.

In other, less cryptic words, your reality depends on what you see.

Worlds, countries, houses, architectural masterpieces, sculptures, fine artwork all originate from a single thought in the mind of the creator.

But this ‘single thought’ comes from somewhere.

In a way, one could argue that no thought or idea is original…and this is where I am going with this.

Results can only be birthed when action is taken. Action is as a result of right motivation and inspiration. What or who we allow to influence or thoughts sows the seeds of action in us.

But we are not puppets. We are creators, inventors, innovators with the capacity to control what feeds our thoughts. We can create our world by being selective to allow only what we want to become our reality into our mind.

We can intentionally surround ourselves with words, people, images who inspire and motivate us to become our best and be most creative.

For example, when I want to travel to places, I get images of those places and look at them over a period of time and soon enough everything begins to work together for me to go there.

I have come to the understanding that we are the masters of our destiny, the marshalls of our fate and we can choose to either be victim or victor.