How to Break Out of The Shackles of The Third World and Build a Global Personal Brand.
As a Nigerian that grew up in a Christian Family one bible verse that I was forced to memorize was “You are the light of the world & Salt of the earth”
I didn’t understand what it meant until recently.
Stay with me.
If you are born in Nigeria or you are a Nigerian or you live and grew up in Nigeria or you have a Nigerian passport then you are at a GREAT DISADVANTAGE even before you knew your name.
This might hurt but the truth hurts and hurt heals.
You know what’s the worst?
If you come from a poor background and you had no quality education.
See, I am sorry if this hurts but this is the truth! You are at a great disadvantage if you have any of these qualities.
As a Nigeiran, the government is not for you but against you. Daily the government comes up with policies and laws that make living in Nigeria hard.
In 1980 the value of N100,000 was $200,000 but now N100,000 is barely $230.
How did that happen?
In 40 years the value of Naira has been falling for dollars like they are in an abusive relationship.
What is the problem?
Well, we are not here to talk about problems but to create solutions for the future.
I just need to let you know that as a human living in a 3rd world country you are at a greater disadvantage than those living in the 1st world and what’s worse is if you are poor or from a poor background and you live in a 3rd world country.
I don’t have data to back this claim up yet but I am forced to say that a poor man in a 1st world country is richer than a rich man in a 3rd world country.
Because of access to basic amenities. Their right is their right and not a privilege given to them by the government.
Basic rights/amenities like;
- Access to quality education
- Access to quality health/hospitality
- Job Security
- Ease of doing business
- Access to quality maintained infrastructure.
- Access to 24/7 power supply.
In a 1st world country these are the basic things you get for being human living in a 1st world country but the difference is the case if you live in a 3rd world country. As citizens you have to work twice as hard to have access to these things.
Now, what is the solution?
I am sure you were expecting an aspire to perspire so that you will not backfire sort of talk. It is time for us to call a spade a spade! It’s time we put motivation aside and talk about solutions to problems we face as a people.
What is the solution and how can you escape the shackles of the third world chains holding you back?
When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain and sat down. His disciples came to Him, and He began to teach them, saying:
…You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its savor, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden
How’s this the solution?
First of, I need you to understand that you are a personal brand.
Whether you like it or not. Even if you are a student, teacher or whatever it is that you do. You are a personal brand.
I need you to understand this.
When you mention coca-cola what comes to your mind?
Fizzy drinks right?
When you think about Apple? What gets to your mind?
When you think about Davido what gets to your mind?
My point here is…
Everything and everyone here is a personal brand.
You are a brand.
And by now you should know that what you do, the type of contents you put out, your values and the type of ideologies you support determines how people perceive you and how people relate to your BRAND.
The question now is, how can I break out of the shackles of the third world and position my personal brand for global dominance?
You are the light of the world and the salt of the earth.
There is a problem with how Africans think. When they build they are building for Emeka in Aba. Damola in Ibadan and Aisha in Kanu.
And that itself is a huge problem.
The people in 1st world countries don’t just build for their friends and families they build for the world.
You are the light of the world.
Your purpose/brand/calling is not just for Nigeria alone but for the world.
You can start what you do from Nigeria but ask yourself…
How can people that don’t think how I think, that don’t speak the language that I speak use my products/services?
How can my purpose be felt by people outside my geographical zone?
Jesus Christ started from Nazerreth but his message is across the world.
Mark Zuckerberg started from somewhere but right now Facebook and the rest are being used all over the world.
Same thing with Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Milton Tutu, Richard Brandson, John Obidi, etc.
Before you build anything or do anything start with building for a global audience in mind.
Can my product/service or whatever I do compete on a global scale?
What is the reach of the contents I put out?
As a writer am I only writing for Nigerians or I am writing for the world?
As a baker how can I set up shop in Dubai?
As someone that is into ecommerce how can I go beyond selling on my WhatsApp status to serving the global community?
You are the light of the world, yes but how bright your light will shine is determined by the loftiness of your dreams.
Are you comfortable with little or you are ready to shine your light to the global audience?
How can you start serving the global audience and charge $$ for what you do?
If you are a speaker how can you speak to the global audience?
Let your light so shine………
What type of light do you wish to be?
Candle light, ring light or light of the world?
I know that you might be saying…
“Milton, all you are saying right now is just pure vibes and inshallah”
What do I need to do to position my brand for global dominance?
What strategies and techniques do I need to imbibe?
First things first, start with the end in mind.
And what is that?
Building for a global audience.
Is it okay to start with the local audience? Hell yes! But don’t forget that you are the light of the world and not the street light in Ikorodu.
Secondly, Seek global and local partnerships.
When I was planning the Square Business Summit I had it in mind that the people that will stream the summit won’t just be Nigerians but people around the globe. And one city I am looking at conquering is Brazil.
So what did I do?
I seeked a global partnership.
I reached out to my friend, Sauanne Bispo who is a Brazillian. We became really good friends and I told her about my idea and she was more than willing to speak at the summit and that was how I had brazillian audience.
Now, Susanne and I just met some few months back and before I pitched my idea to her I made sure I added value to her and what she does. I gave her more value than what she was asking for.
You are the salt of the earth…
How can I add more value to anyone that I meet?
How can I be a person of quality value?
How can I be the most valuable person in a relationship?
Always relate with people from a position of value and not from a position of need. When people see that you are in need they will either take advantage of you or avoid you but when they see that you are a person of value and you are valuable to them they will always want to be around you, give to you and say yes to whatever request you ask of them.
Be the salt of the earth.
Use the power of social media to seek global partnerships.
Sauanne and I have never met before but we are working on projects that are really huge. Our Nigerian-Brazil exchange program is kicking off in 2021 and we have other projects we are working on too.
Always seek global partnerships and be the most valuable person in that partnership.
Beyond global partnerships, also partner with Local brands too. That’s why at Square Academy we always work towards partnering authorities in the Nigerian space at our weekly Square Business show.
Social Media is your arsenal. Use it to fire quality shots.
BE visible on platforms that gives you global and international access
There are a lot of platforms that give you access to global/international partnerships. We have platforms like Yali, Mandela Washington Fellow, Model UN, etc. There are a whole lot of platforms and communities like that. Look at how you can get access to platforms and communities like that and be part of what they do.
For service and product providers how can you make your products/services visible to the international audience?
You have Amazon (for household products & books)
You have Product Hunt, Gumroad, JvZoo and the rest to sell your softwares.
You have Square Academy, Teachable, Udemy, Kajabi, and the rest to sell your online courses.
You are the light of the world and not the light of your WhatsApp status. You are the salt of the earth and not the salt of “DM me for price”.
Use the hybrid approach
Social Media has given us access to unlimited resources and thanks to Online advertising we can stay in the comfort of our home and reach out to someone outside our geographical location.
One thing with a lot of entrepreneurs in Nigeria is that they don’t spend money on advertising.
They think the world starts and end on WhatsApp status or Broadcast messages or saying “RT my customer might be on your TL”
In Fact let’s forget about products and services for now. How often do you spend money on advertising to build your personal brand?
Bill Gates spends money on advertising to build his personal brand. What about you? How much have you spent on advertising to build your personal brand?
While planning for the Square Business Summit we had it in mind that we wanted to reach out to a global audience but we knew that partnering with other influencers in Africa will not just do justice so we took it a step further.
We decided to partner with an international brand but we didn’t stop there.
We took it a nudge further.
We invested a lot of money on paid advertising.
Right now I am running ads that are not just speaking to the Nigerian audience but also to the Ghana audience.
Some days back a Ghanian from Ghana reached out to me and she said that she walked into an office in a company and everyone in the HR department was taking one of my courses on Square Academy and guess what? We just launched a few months back!
Invest money on paid advertising!
Have a monthly budget you can use to push your personal brand via paid advertising.
And also, you must have a website. Don’t wait for you to be a Milton Tutu to have a website. Even if it’s a wordpress do all you can to have a website. That is your own share of the digital real estate. Make sure you acquire your land.
Serve people even if it’s for FREE
This is something a lot of young people don’t do anymore. They are all about the money and I don’t blame them at all. The country is hard and people need money to survive but still you have to serve. I for one have served a lot of people in my industry and through this, I don’t just get access to them but to their friends and they have connected me to a lot of people and please when you serve don’t serve because you want something from them. Serve because that is what you are supposed to do — serve.
Lastly, seek knowledge. There is a difference between the education of the poor and education of the rich. You should always seek out the education of the rich because that is what will give you global access. The education of the poor will make you poor but the education of the rich will not just give you wealth but access to the benefits of the rich.
You are not born with a silver spoon, yes but you can read your way to having silver spoons. Invest in knowledge. Pursue wisdom and seek Understanding. That is the only way you can break the shackles of the third world limits. Understand how the rich think, understand what they invest in.
Go to where the rich go to, eat where they eat, read what they read,watch what they watch. Trust me this will set you light years ahead of your peers. The rich don’t sit around watching and binging on Netflix but instead they create platforms like Netflix to profit from the poor. The rich don’t sit around wasting their time on Big Brother but instead they create platforms like Big Brother to profit from the poor. The rich don’t even go about following gossip blogs on social media but instead they create platforms like that to profit from the poor.
The rich create and they don’t consume. If you want to compete on a global scale you need to learn how to create more than you consume. You need to learn how to lead the trend rather than following the trend. You have to seek the education of the rich.
Put yourself in positions where you can get access to the knowledge of the rich even if you have to pay for it. I have paid millions of Naira to get access to the wisdom of the rich right from when I was a teenager so don’t say you are too young to do that. Recently I started reading books written by Nigerian business men on how they built global businesses from Nigeria. If you have to pay to have access to this knowledge, pay. Your future will thank you for it.
Seek ye first the Kingdom of God (Wisdom, knowledge & Understanding) and every other thing shall be added unto you. When you close your mind to knowledge you close the doors of your destiny.
I urge you this day to invest in knowledge, pursue wisdom and seek understanding.
You can’t break out of these shackles with the knowledge of the ignorant poor. You have to seek the knowledge of the rich for you to be free of these shackles.
You are the light of the world. Do what you are born to do — shine for the world.