By Dr. Wilfred Isak April
LAST week I was fortunate enough to be afforded a once in a lifetime opportunity by the University of Namibia (Unam), to join many fellow Namibians to attend the Myles Munroe seminar at a local Windhoek hotel.
As a lifelong learner/educator, I attended the seminar with two goals in mind. Firstly, how could I best share what I learned with other Namibians? Secondly, how could I develop myself as an individual to serve others? At the end of the seminar I had two more critical components I was able to add to my initial goals. These are the power of association and God’s leading animals (namely the eagle and the lion).
This week we look at the ‘Power of Association’. Ladies and gentleman I learned that the power of association is real. This implies that the less you associate yourself with some people; the better the chances that your life will improve. If we, as Namibians, at any time in our own lives tolerate mediocrity in others, it will only increase your own mediocrity. If we want to be successful at anything that we do, in this case ‘entrepreneurship’ we have to decide at this moment not to tolerate negative thinking or people who choose to act in a negative manner. With personal growth your associates are also likely to change. Some of your own friends, family members, colleagues and acquaintances will not want you to progress in life. They will want you to stay where they are and those that don’t want you to climb the ladder will wish for you to crawl. The people with whom you share your entrepreneurial vision can either help you stretch your aspirations or choke your dreams.
Now, I encourage you to consider this: never receive advise from people or friends who themselves are not productive. But how can we tell someone is not productive? You will feel it in your heart, trust me. Even more important never discuss your problems with someone who is incapable of contributing to a solution, because those who never succeed in their entrepreneurial dreams are the first ones to always give advice. Be open to listen and/or to receive advice from others, but not everyone has the right to speak in your life, as this could have devastating impacts on either your business or personal life. Imagine yourself exchanging your brilliant business concept with the wrong person; you will certainly get the worst bargain. In short, do not follow anyone who is not going anywhere. It is likely that you would spend an evening with some people; while with others you would be investing your time. Whether you are an entrepreneur, public servant or wherever you find yourself at this moment, always listen to the beat of your own heart, and look out for those moments when you stop to inquire for directions along the road of life. Life is a journey worth living, so always try to associate yourself with people who encourage and push you to be the best you can be. If you end up running your business with wolves, you will learn how to cry, but if you associate yourself with eagles (one of God’s leading animals), you will certainly learn how to follow your vision and reach greater heights. I would like to leave you this week with this task: I challenge you to wake up tomorrow morning and look yourself in the mirror. “The mirror will reflect your face; but more importantly it will show you the kind of people you associate yourself with.” Stay focused and remain blessed and do come back next week and learn more about ‘God’s leading animals’.
Dr. Wilfred Isak April holds a PhD degree in Entrepreneurship and currently lectures in Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Organizational Psychology at the University of Namibia in the Department of Management Sciences.