I’ve always wondered what life would have been for the huge population of young people particularly in Africa, if there was no access to technology; especially digital technology. What the rate of unemployment and under-education would have been like. Although technology is proven to continue to widen the gap between the rich and the poor, it has given a significant number of young people the opportunity to move above poverty on to prosperity.
Many young people have been able to move from nothing to a fulfilling and impactful life, thanks to digital technology. Yet many young people still think the best thing to do online with their phone is watching Netflix, post short clips on TikTok, post pictures on Instagram and argue on every top on Twitter.
Every day, new people get access to the internet. So the population of internet users continues to increase. Most of these people are consumers of technology. They use technology to feel cool, entertain themselves and cure boredom. But technology is much more powerful than that. It has the capacity to transform lives and move anyone to fame and fortune. This is why I believe that when people change how they see and use technology, among other things, it can change their lives for the better. For the rest of this video, I’ll share with you 7 hard and not so hard changes a poor person should make today if they want to be successful. Before we get to it, be sure to subscribe to After School Africa for more insightful videos like this.
1. Use technology to your advantage
If you find that you are spending too much time on any app unproductively, delete the app from your phone. You won’t die. You will rather get your life back. You should be using technology to build your network, get a better job, develop new skills, gain new knowledge, and build your career. If you are still poor or broke, change how you see technology. Start seeing it as a tool to your advantage.
2. Spend more on experience than on things
I have lost a lot of money starting different businesses. And I have gained as well. The way I look at it is that I’m spending the money gaining experience. I could as well spend that money on some designer wears a better car and bigger electronics. It’s still money lost. The difference is that using the money on ventures left me with valuable lessons that have helped me be better at business. I doubt if an expensive designer, a better car or bigger electronics would have thought me any valuable lesson.
Someone I was trying to convince to invest in a business told me he would rather spend his money on nights out dining and wining than risk losing it in business. That is the attitude of most poor and average people.
Scientific studies have consistently proven that people who spend money creating memorable experiences are happier and more fulfilled than people who spend money buying things. If you spend money on experiences, as opposed to material or quantifiable items, you are going to experience much more joy and contentment in your life. Experience is what makes people, not the things they buy. If you want a good job, want to form partnerships with reputable people, want to raise kids, or want to lead people, you need experience, not things. Start investing in your experience.
3. Stop following celebrities; start following role-models
I want you to think about all the time you have to spend thinking, discussing, or fanning about celebrities. Put all that time together; could you have lived without this activity? Or is there anything memorable about it? It was probably wasted time. Pop culture celebrities are not worth your dreams and ambition. They are people living their lives. And their blind fans are often people who pause their own lives to become spectators. There is nothing wrong with closely observing someone you admire to learn from them. But what fanatics often learn from celebrities is how to live a fake life.
Stop wasting your time checking up on what some celebrities are doing with their lives. Unfollow them and look for people who inspire you to be more confident, take more courageous steps and achieve greater results. Most pop culture celebrities only feed off your insecurities and fantasies. Unless you are taking a class on social media strategy and human psychology, you don’t need celebrities, you need role models.
4. Write Down your story
Even if you don’t write it down – though it’s better written down – create your story in your mind and tell it to yourself consistently. I discovered from a young age that I love to inspire people. I find satisfaction in helping people break away from stereotypes and unleash their potential without losing themselves. So I fashioned my story; it was going to be a story of going from nothing to financial success. I didn’t want to be the one who only reads to inspire. I wanted to set an example with my own practical story; to prove that it was possible to succeed from nothing living in a poor country. For this reason, I left my engineering degree certificate behind and jump into business with zero capital. I could have failed. But this story was what kept me going in the face of all adversities. My winning mindset with every challenge was, what would my story be like to overcome this? And I can tell you from experience that creating your own story is a powerful tool to create the future you want for yourself. It’ll become your secret weapon against criticism, rejection, distraction and adversity.
Think about where you want to be in the next 5, 10 years. Think about who you want to be by then. Create your story of getting there, and then start living through your own story. It will definitely not play out the way you want it, but you will experience a new enthusiasm for life and an unending drive to succeed.
5. Reduce Media time
This is similar to the point of using technology to your advantage but it deserves a point of its own. The mass media is driven by businesses that want to keep your attention. They understand human nature and psychology more than anyone else. They understand that people respond more to negative news than positive ones. People respond more to controversy; people respond to us versus them. So they deliberately lookout for and feed the masses what they want. The problem is that this creates anxiety and fear in people; emotions that are enemies of productivity.
What should you do? Drastically reduce the time you spend watching TV, listening to the news and consuming mass media content. Most successful people spend as little time as possible watching television.
Nowadays the usual thing the average person does as soon as he wakes up in the morning is to go through their social media account and email for notifications. What you do within the first hour of waking up goes a long way to determine your energy level throughout the day. Make your morning more energizing and rejuvenating.
6. Work smarter not harder
Zig Ziglar was a door to door salesman of pots and pans in the 1960s. Most of the 3,000 representatives in his company followed the same plan. They filled their cars with samples and hit the road. They’d visit a town, make all the easy sales, then get in the car and drive to the next town. But Ziglar had a different strategy.
He got in his car, found a new town and moved in there. He took a room for weeks at a time. He showed up and kept showing up. The people started noticing he didn’t leave like all the other salespeople that they had seen before. He stayed. He got to know the people in the town. Some days he made no sales. But once he had broken the resistance in a town, sales went through the roof. He soon became the top salesperson in the company.
Stripped to its most basic form, working smart is about finding and sticking to a repeatable and automatable process. For instance, most successful people are known to have daily habits, to the point that it becomes a ritual. Going out every day to look for new customers for your business is hard work. Using technology to reach 1,000 existing and potential customers twice a week is smart work.
7. Become a Reader
Can we agree that the reason you are where you are today is because there is something you don’t know? If you pick two random people with the same background, the same social and financial status and observe them through life; to a large extent, their achievements will be dependent on what they know; which informs how they see and approach life.
If what you know is this important for a successful life, then most of your life should be spent on curiosity to know. Becoming a reader is not a choice, it’s a necessity. You can save yourself years of mistakes and regrets from the knowledge you gain from one book. Pick up a book and start reading. Become curious. Until next time, YOUR SUCCESS MATTERS!