Thursday, December 22

Merry Christmas

I sincerely hope I am not writing because I needed to blog something o; but I really do wish every reader whatever it is you wish for yourselves during this season. I hope that the 'reason' for the season, the birth of our saviour, will, for once in possibly a long time, mean that to us; JOY.
A lot has happened this year, personally, and to the world in general; a lot of bad things still happening, but in all this, we should be grateful nonetheless; it really really could be worse.
That the 'reason for the season' is being celebrated at year end is no coincidence, it means we can decide to end the year on a very positive note, if we so desire.
In the spirit of the season, I say a very heartfelt 'merry christmas' to all my esteemed readers, thank you for taking time out to click on this blog, from where ever you are, and I pray the next year will be for you one of the best years of your lives, even as you continually visit Zouzousmuses *wink*

'JOY to the world,' why?? Because 'The Saviour is come!'

Be Free Oh.

Friday, December 16

Tree by the River

This is one of those blogs that I DID NOT plan o!

I woke up jeje to read my holy book and stumbled into this part where I have read times without number over the years, I must also say that I was NOT thinking along the lines (this morning or before I went to bed) of where it took me, it goes to prove then, that this thing about business or the work of our hands, needs to be re-visited, re-vamped, or ‘re- plain do something about!

Let’s go there…Jeremiah 17: 7-8

Believe it or not, I had to Google ‘tree,’ and ‘root’ to get a better grasp of all the thoughts that were streaming, rather furiously, through my mind, I couldn’t write fast enough so I started to voice record… questions like ‘where are you (your business) planted?’ 'What is your vision/mission statement?' 'Why are you doing what you are doing?' 'What is your source?' 'What are your values?' 'On what stands your feet?’ were running through my mind.

Is it possible that things, our businesses do not prosper because we are planted elsewhere other than By The River? If yes, what do we even consider to be our ‘river?’ That is first a problem, which, if not properly addressed, culminates into the ‘root’ not spreading  towards the stream. I understand that roots do 4 things: absorbs water, anchors the plant body to the ground, stores food and nutrient and prevents erosion!  So clear and so self-explanatory. Your ideas, plans, creativity, strategies...these are the roots of the business. On what are these founded? Are they really working like the root is supposed to? If this is well balanced, if we get them right, market survey, dynamics of the market, projections, economic situation etc, will not matter, why, because being in the right place gives (tacit) access to ‘inside information’. I recall Isaac (for some reason)…only a mad man (or well, someone who knows something no one else does) will continue to plant during a famine, but hey, he got a 100% returns on his ‘madness!’ Gbam. I say he had access to inside info. #Selah

And as you (re)-position your business ideas and strategies, you will not ‘see’ heat come. The pressure will glide off your back like water off the duck  because you have already passed that stage! You are not worried about the period when everyone is depressed because ‘there is no market’…think of it, is it possible that there is no market for anything at any point?? Is it? I am not sure. Didn’t people make it during the stock market crash? Some people hit gold where others hit the bottom, wrecked. And difficult as it may be,  yours can only always be green and fresh, you never stop producing, you product remains relevant, at all times, you never lack an idea, and because you are the one producing that particular product, (do I sense a rhyme in there? Lol) there is always a ready market for it.

So, I am thinking a trip back to the drawing board is in perfect order a this point. That soup business, cake business, fabric business, gifts business, water business, gold business and all other  n’importe quoi business is in need of being re-vamped!  Vision and mission statement needs to be reviewed! #PlantByTheRiver o!
This blog has to be for someone because I cannot say how I landed here, and if I may say so myself, coming so quickly on the heel of previous post ‘Announce Yourself?’ A coincidence?? I say divine orchestration. Biko!

Oh. By the way; trust me, you do not  want to consider vs. 6 of this chapter, it is just as graphic…in the negative!

Take a cue, be like the tree jor!

BE FREE OH.

Monday, December 12

Announce Yourself!

I knew this post had to graduate from ‘drafts’ to ‘published’  when a friend told me how, over the weekend she ended up at a high-profile party where her big(ger) boss was at and how she walked up to him, introduced herself and told him what she does for him!! And people around her commended her for being bold…she told me that she felt he needed to know what an asset he had...even my own eyes popped; strange, since I had this draft waiting since last week!
That is exactly what I feel we should do! Why shouldn't we announce ourselves? Why do most think it is better if others do it? 'Beauty being in the eye of the beholder' and all, (not the best of illustrations but I am sure you get my drift!) What if you waited endlessly for 'others' to blow this trumpet on our behalf but they are just so consumed with their business to remember us??
First I thought, oh, why broadcast your 'business' in order to get ahead? But people/companies advertise their products na...in fact, that's what sells products! We must announce our gifts, talents and abilities, because we are just what someone is looking for. Tell of how good you are and reasons why you should be checked out! Its not pride to reel out your CV...in short, I feel I should be like my Father; He never misses any opportunity to tell you about the great works He did (does), He tells you how He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, He tells you how He moves mountains from one location to another, He tells you of His power to do and undo, He recounts, unceasingly, all the mighty things He did to bring Israel out of Egypt, He tells you how He numbers the stars and call them each by name, how He puts hail into storehouses, He tells you how the seas writhe in His presence, how the hills skip like lamb when He shows up....whats more? He tells, no, He commands you to tell your children from generation to come all the things He does! Talk about 'self-announcement!'

So, declaring what you do and how good you are at it is not boasting in the negative way in which we have come to regard 'boasting!' No one else is going to do it as well as you would, people can only affirm you, but they cannot tell what you do as well as you can. However, the key issue here is to maintain a balance so that you don't fall into 'self-pride', and thinking you are who/what you are by your own intelligence.
I should now announce to you that Zouzou's Place (yes, that email address is actually a Company name, duly registered and all) organizes  aso-ebi. Professionally and expertly takes care of all that business of going back and forth the market, assembling your aso-ebi for you. All you have to do is 'hand it over' to us.
I dare you to put yourself and your business out there o, 'they' are waiting to hear you, whats more, the tools to do it freely is available...why not take advantage...dust off those proposals, re-brand, re-launch, re-print, re-furbish...re-whatever it takes and get it on! You can do it, DO IT. #AtOnce.

I have a mind to add: you don't own a business, but you are good at something, you know that you are very good at that 'something'...can you make a mini-flier and begin to announce yourself, no?...just do it. do it already.
Zouzous's Place carrier bags
I have freely expressed myself...you had better Be Free Oh!

Wednesday, December 7

No Pain

‘No pain! No pain! No pain!’
These were the words that Rocky's (Sylvester Stallone) coach drilled into him as he prepared to defeat a Russian who towered over him, in his (the latter's home turf) in the 4th part of the Rocky movies.

7am yesterday morning I flipped through the channels and landed on Rocky 4 showing…and for the first time since the last 100 times I had seen all the movie parts, I learnt two very good lessons.

Ivan Drago, Russian and a giant of a man, had come to America to ‘look’ for a fight. Apollo, Rocky’s antagonist-turned friend, elected to fight him even though he had passed his prime, boxing-wise. Long story cut horribly short,  Apollo died during the course of the fight.

Rocky, heartbroken, swore to a re-match. Venue of the fight was in Russia, so off he went.
But the Russians were hostile and unfriendly to Rocky and his team, they were given a shack for accommodation in the middle of nowhere, put people to watch them (as if they could escape!) and worse,  it was winter!

But Rocky needed to be able to train to fight so, while the Russian had sophisticated and state-of-the-art equipment to train with, and within the confines of a (most likely) warm sports gym, Rocky was left to improvise in the raging cold. He had his long run in the snow, he lifted rocks packed in a bag, used as weight a wheel-barrow in which sat his wife and brother in-law; he did whatever he could to make sure he trained. He improvised; he manufactured all he  needed using the things available to him. He didn’t lament his woes and conditions of accommodation. He didn’t call the US Embassy to protest the gross breach of n’importe quoi on the part of the Russians. No, he did not.
His objective was to defeat his opponent, whose picture he placed on his bathroom mirror….'you aren’t getting away from me’, I can imagine him thinking. And while he was being pounded almost to death…all he could hear was ’no pain’.

What are our challenges? They are big, great and many.  How hostile is our environment? Very; bombarded daily, left right and centre with all sorts. What resources are available to us? A lot. Are our eyes on the challenges or on the prize?? Depends on each person. Are we thinking about the pain? Obviously yes, reason why we are still in the same spot!

What do we want? Do we want it badly enough to do whatever it takes to get it, within the confines of what is right? After all, what is easy to come by in this life? No gain without hard work, abi? I am trying to remember what they say about overcoming the mountain: jump over it, go around it, push through it….@DoWhatEverItTakes. Selah.
What are you hearing? What is your 'coach' telling you? Can you hear the chant of ‘no pain’ or its equivalent, cheering you toward the finishing line, urging you on, no matter what batters you?

Rocky won the fight of course but long before he even got there, the Russians who were chanting ‘Ivan Drago’ changed to ‘Rocky, Rocky, Rocky’.

Biko, what is your pain?

Be free oh.

Monday, December 5

Project N1M: Executed

I am pretty sure you would agree with me if I said that the report of the last blog appeal should come before any other blog. I mean, I had started to post something else but thought, nah, give a report on the Garage Sale.

I must tell you though that this second Garage Sale dragged...I mean, it dragged. I tried my best to summon up the will to chase, harass and badger people into giving me something like I did the first time, but I couldn't find the will, not even from deep within...anyway, toward the  end of the journey, something came over us all and things began to happen, stuff began to roll in, fridge, brand new gold club set, shoes, original designer bags...suddenly our cordinator tagged the Sale PROJECT N1M; I am here to report that it was duly executed and delivered, gbam! 
No need to say much, except to thank all who supported us, we are so happy because we are making a difference in some lives.
The next GS will come in the first quater of 2012, I look forward to receiving stuff, anything, from all the countries of the world where my blog is being read...I see it. More details on that later....

Feed your eyes...and Be Free Oh.



The Star of the Garage Sale