In life, things would not always go as planned. There would always be times of uncertainty, worry or danger. And during such times, it is important that you maintain a healthy mind by staying positive and productive. 

When you are in the middle of a crisis, whether as a result of family issues, financial issues, health challenges, global or national crisis as a result of plagues, pandemic or war, you may find yourself feeling unmotivated, as though the problem has come to stay and will never be over. 

As humans, it is natural to have an episode of fear and negative thoughts in our heads when things are not going the way we planned. And with so much negativity and fear, it really becomes extremely difficult to concentrate on the things that are important like your job, family, health and even yourself. It would seem extremely hard to move forward with your normal schedule, going about the task set out to be achieved would seem unnecessarily hard and many would feel unproductive, lost and may even fall into depression. 

You must realize that a challenge, no matter how big it may seem is not the end of the world. 

It is important that you understand that bad things happen and soon enough, a way out of the situation would present itself. You shouldn’t let your life run into chaos because of one thing that went wrong. Think on all the good things that may have happened in the last few days. Focus on a way out of the situation instead of drowning in it. You should be able to create more value in your personal and professional life even during a crisis. 

Don’t forget, if you leave your source of income unattended to because you are sad and emotionally drained, soon enough you would go broke. Your boss wouldn’t continue paying someone who does nothing for the company and if you are your own boss, your clients or customers will no longer seek your services because you no longer deliver as expected. You would have no money to feed, pay tuition or afford other services. You need to make money. Therefore, you have to bounce back. 

These are a few ways you can stay positive and productive during a crisis.

  • Take it slow: you are not feeling 100% emotionally. It is normal that you would be feeling physically drained all the time. I’d advise that you take it slow. Don’t try to take on a week’s task in one day. Take it slow, breathe and take a day off if you have to. Organising your tasks in a hierarchy of importance is a great way to start. Do those tasks that are closest to their deadlines. Learn to say no to new tasks if you lack the mental strength to pull it off on time. Now is the time to stay extra focused on what matters the most. But remember to take it slow. 
  • Create new routines: Consider scheduling your time in blocks with frequent breaks to help manage your emotions. Time management is key to staying productive whether you are working from home or in an office. Take breaks to just breathe. If you try to neglect what you are going through by focusing too much on work, you would not heal properly and your work wouldn’t be as efficient as it would normally be. Factoring in new routines and rituals during a crisis can be very helpful. If you were used to staying home all day, you can opt to learn a new skill, language or hang out with friends. This would help you feel positive, motivated and more productive.
  • Practice self-care: it is definitely not the end of the world. So do not neglect your physical, mental or emotional well-being. It is normal that when you are in a crisis and under stress you would feel frustration, fatigue, anger, self-pity, depression, fear and other negative emotions. But in times like this, do not neglect self-care. More than ever, it is important that your well-being is a priority. I would advise you to eat healthily, avoid the use of alcohol and other substances and stay away from negative energies or people who talk in the negative. You should also exercise; exercising can make you feel energetic and happy. Remember to always take time out to rest. Engage in self-calming practices like yoga, intentional breathing and breathing exercises. You should also learn to meditate. There are also other practices that can help reduce stress levels by helping you relax and quiet the mind. 
  • Delegate: you might want to let your employees handle a few tasks on their own, without you micromanaging them. This is the time to get as much help as you can. Seek help from team members. Learn to accept assistance instead of trying to do things on your own. Let your spouse pick the kids up from school if he has the free time. Allow your relatives to help out with a few chores. You already have enough to worry about. You should leave a few things in the hands of people you can trust.
  • Do not neglect opportunities: you know the saying that there is sunshine at the end of a tunnel? A crisis can birth to new opportunities. It all depends on how you approach it. If you are stuck at home because you can’t go to work due to a national crisis, it is an opportunity for you to tick one or two things off your to-do list. Do something that you have been willing to do but have not found the time or opportunity to do. You can take up a language class, cut your hair or finally learn how to swim or play a new sport. Sort out that home bookshelf you always wanted to sort out. Learn how to cook, try out new recipes, reach out to that friend you haven’t heard from in a long time.

Finally, help someone else. I have found that when you help someone get through a tough patch while you are down, it motivates you to be happy and energetic once again. In times of crisis, remember that you are not alone. Everyone is experiencing the same thing at the same time. Reach out to family members, neighbours and colleagues at work. 

Remember, this too shall pass.  

How Young Africans Can Travel Abroad | How to Travel for Career Advancement

How Young Africans Can Travel Abroad | How to Travel for Career Advancement

Ways to Legally Travel Overseas; For Young People

A lot of young people are desperate to travel to other countries for a lot of reasons. And that desperation has led them to resort to illegal means or has made them susceptible to fraud. Also, when these young people are apprehended, they are either forced back to their country of origin or imprisoned in a foreign land with nobody the wiser. 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good thing to dream big and wish for a better life for you and your family and personally, I support the idea of leaving your comfort zone to get your hands on better resources and opportunities that would catapult you to success. However, doing it illegally is very dangerous and not advisable. 

Today we will discuss some of the best LEGAL ways young people can explore the world. 

Study programs:

Student visa is one of the most reliable legal ways to get out of your country. Choosing the right school in the right country is also major boost to your plans and will influence the speed and fluidity of your travel arrangements. Looking for a way to leave the country? Search online for schools that are calling for new students or are currently admitting students; especially those looking out for international students. Apply to them. Keep applying until you get one that would accept you. 

Through Scholarships:

Like earlier stated, studying abroad may be the perfect way to travel out especially when you can afford to pay for tuition and other logistics. However, if you can’t, there is no need to beat yourself up. You should consider getting a scholarship. 

Getting a scholarship is a great way to reduce your expenses when you wish to study in an institution abroad. It is an easier process now with the internet aiding you in finding scholarships best suited to you. There are many excellent universities and colleges with good academic standing around the globe, granting young people scholarships every year. You just need to find them. There are different kinds of scholarships and the different types will help you figure out which scholarship is best for you. 

If you wish to study abroad, and are wondering how to apply for scholarships, here are a few things you should do: seek professional help, research about different types of scholarships, search for scholarships online, Get your resume ready and just keep applying and remember to hope for the best. You can get a scholarship for a lot of achievements, not just academic success; so keep an eye out.

International Fellowships and Grants:

If you run a business, NGO, Social Enterprise or volunteer for one, then this might be a good way for you to travel out of the country legally. I say this because it is easier to be granted access to another country when it is very clear that you would be returning to your home country afterward. Your history and involvement with these organizations will show you are not travelling to run away and settle in a foreign country illegally. 3 or 4 2-week trips for different countries over 4 years will do your credibility a lot of good. Whatever happens, avoid falsifying bank statements. 

Some fellowships and grants give you the opportunity to visit a different country and network with people from all walks of life, exchanging ideas, experiences and gaining potential business opportunities and partners. An example is the Mandela Washington Fellowship Leadership with programs designed to empower fellows to lead in their communities through themes that span Business, Civic Engagement, and Public Management. Another example is the Obama foundation fellowship that supports outstanding civic innovators. The program selects 20 community-minded rising stars from around the world for a two-year, non-residential program that offers training and leadership development. 

Work Visa:

A work visa is permission given to a foreigner to travel and work or engage in business activities in a country in which he got a job offer. You can apply for jobs in other countries; it’s not impossible to get if you can satisfy the requirements. You just need to keep your eyes open for job openings in a country of your choice and keep applying. It’s that easy! And Remember, DO NOT lie about your location. There are different types of work visas depending on the nature of the work and length of stay. For example, a working holiday visa allows a person to take on employment temporarily while visiting the country. 

Finally, stop being desperate. When you go for visa interviews, stop acting desperate. Visa interviewers can see the desperation on your face and hear it in your voice. You won’t be granted a visa if the interviewer feels like you want to run away or have no plans of returning home. Your inspiration to leave your resident or origin country should always be; to improve yourself and return home to change your country. Statements like this would give you a better chance of passing visa interviews and securing a travel visa to a country of your choice.

Am I ready to start a Business? | Here’s a Checklist for You?

Am I ready to start a Business? | Here’s a Checklist for You?

Am I ready to start a Business? | Here’s a Checklist for You?

Thinking about starting a new business? Running a company can be an amazing adventure, and it can even give you more security than a regular day job. Being your own boss may sound like heaven on earth, but what you have to remember is that it’s still a lot of hard work.

It’s easy to feel ready much earlier than you actually are, and it’s equally easy to let fear hold you back long after you should have jumped. Here are 15 signs that show you might be ready to start your own business:

1. You have a passion for your new venture.

Passion is often overhyped. It’s not enough on its own, but it is essential. Make sure you have something you’re excited about starting, rather than just frustration with your current job.

2. You’re a true believer in your idea.

You’ll face a lot of closed doors and “no”s as you start your new venture. You need to have a tenacious belief in your product or service to give you the ability to weather the storm.

3. You have a product or service with a good market.

A great business exists where what you love meets what other people will pay for. Before you leave your day job to start a new company, be sure that your product or service has a market.

4. You know your players.

If you already know who you want on your team and you have their agreement, you could be ready to launch. On the other hand, if your intention is to start as a solopreneur, you can jump in at any time.

5. You have a plan.

Cashing out your 401(k) and expecting a new venture to suddenly appear is not a great idea. Before you leave your day job, make sure you have a plan for your new business — whether that involves a full business plan or a back-of-the-napkin outline.

6. You have a good brand idea.

Your brand is the way your company connects with the world. Are you irreverent, funny, professional or classic? Make sure you know your brand and how it connects with customers before taking the leap.

7. You’re ready to learn — a lot!

The experience of starting a business will teach you more than you can imagine — about yourself and the marketplace. Be ready to learn these lessons, even when doing so forces you to confront your ego.

8. You can face the fear of failure.

Being afraid to fail can paralyze you in business. We all feel it to some extent, but if you can’t face it, you aren’t ready to start a new business.

9. You can face the fear of success.

It sounds strange, but many people are also afraid of success. Success brings higher expectations, more work, and more visibility. If you aren’t ready to deal with these things, you aren’t ready to launch.

10. You have some cash available.

While there are businesses you can start with very little capital, the fact remains that it takes time to be successful. If you have some cash saved up or have another way to access the money you need while your company grows, you’re more ready than somebody who’s deeply in debt and counting pennies.

11. You’re not in the midst of major life changes.

Major changes often bring clarity that makes us want new work. That’s great, but make sure you move through the change before you launch. Only after you’ve given yourself time to recover should you think about launching a new business.

12. You have experience in your new industry.

If you have experience in the industry you’re going into, you’re more ready to make the jump into entrepreneurship. If not, consider a side job to gain experience before you quit your day job.

13. You know a lot about business itself.

Not everyone who’s a great baker should open a bakery. There are so many extra demands on business owners beyond simply doing the task itself. If you already know a lot about business — including things such as hiring, leasing and marketing — you’re in a much stronger position to start your own venture.

14. You’re good at managing your time.

Many times, people want to start a business because they don’t like their boss. But are you skilled enough to be your own boss? Being in business take self-discipline, and if you already manage your time well on your own, you’re much closer to being ready than if you rely on others for motivation.

15. You understand the risks of owning a business.

Business owners understand that they’re taking a risk. It’s possible that you’ll never make a profit, and it’s possible that you’ll grow so quickly you’ll be overwhelmed. Being ready to understand and manage those risks is a sure sign you’re ready to launch.

16. Write a Business Plan

Following all everything on this checklist. You need to write a Business plan. You’re allowed to change the business as you go. But you should never start a business without a plan, A BUSINESS PLAN (written and surveyed) in place.

Certainly, this isn’t a comprehensive list, but it’s a good place to start to determine whether you’re ready to start your own business. If you’re not, consider this your guide to the steps you need to take to get there. Have fun, and good luck!