– ARE YOU REALLY READY It has become the evasion excuse for failure, stagnation, on-performance and indolence. It has become the reference point for both the genuine and non-genuine. When there are discussions on why people are struggling, underperforming or not making any headway in life, the response you get automatically is ‘the economy’. Everybody blames the economic environment first for nearly every negative occurrence in their lives. They blame the political class, public service officials, and everybody in public administrative position for all the negative developments in their lives holding them down. Ask a man why he can’t feed his family, he says the economy, ask a woman why she’s not doing anything useful with her time, energy, talent and skills, she says the economy, ask why a very healthy youth is not engaged productively in employment he says it’s the economy. You hear almost everybody complaining about the state of the economy. It’s rife to keep hearing lack of this and lack of that, we do not have this in place or that in place. We are generally so quick to compare the state of our nation and economy to that obtainable in super power Nations; at times even African countries. We get irritated, upset at times dismayed about why we can’t just get many things right as it were, in Nigeria. No power supply, poor transportation system, no healthy food, no clean water supply; many sectors deteriorating, education, health, insecurity issues, growing unemployment, corruption and impunity. All these; yes! They are real and all nerve-wracking. These issues are our realities as a people, daunting, discouraging, overwhelming and devastating – very, very true. Hmmm. But you see, there is a difference between collective challenge and individual challenge. There is a difference between everybody’s problem and your own personal problems. The problem of all may not necessarily be the problem of everyone, because what one individual sees as a problem to another may just be the opportunity he’s been waiting for, that would make him super successful. You see whenever there is a problem anywhere; it would always come within it, an opportunity for success. Success is for he who can solve the problem. A problem is a problem to him lacking the solution to it; to him with an answer it’s an opportunity to earn.by solving the problem and creating value. Within many sectors in Nigeria today there are great opportunities everywhere, the more the challenges the more the opportunities. Many smart Nigerians today see a problem; they call it a gap, an opportunity to fill the gap and they create and extract value from the situation. Where there is lack, there is an opportunity. The will to solve a problem or address a need profitably is the concept of marketing. Where there are no issues, gaps and needs there are no opportunities hence a struggling economy can be a very fertile ground for smart and hardworking guys to make very good income. Running away from a place where you can fill gaps, solve problems and make money to a place where many of these gaps have been filled by human beings like you and you just want to run there to enjoy what people like you have put in place is a reflection of the quality of your thinking, your self-worth and personal pride. You see, as Nigerians and in Nigeria, what you see is what you get, what you interpret is what you internalize which subsequently informs your attitude and behaviors towards everything. You see, there is a difference between the world and your world. What is happening in the world may not necessarily be happening in your world. No single individual can solve all the problems in the world; these problems have been there for thousands of years and would perhaps remain forever. But you have what it takes; you have been empowered by right to solve the problems in your own world. Putting it straight you may not be in a position to solve the whole problems and challenges of the nation Nigeria, but you have the power to solve the problems in your own life. That’s why despite all the crying and complaint and lamenting there are so many Nigerians doing very well legitimately, achieving great feats, acquiring major assets; and becoming global contenders in enterprise building and wealth acquisition. In fact, there are so many non-Nigerians, living and working in Nigeria making good money daily, solving problems, creating value and building business empires at exponential growing rates. Many of our industries in Nigeria today are dominated and controlled by foreigners; Asians are now taking over faster than erstwhile Europeans as obtainable a few decades ago. Times keep changing and people who are opportunity seekers not just fault finders are cashing in while very many other people are looking on or running away. You see, many of us are lucky to have, as it were, good reasons for failure and non-achievement in our careers and lives; we blame it on social and economic issues. But think with me; just imagine if there is a sudden transformation in Nigeria and our country suddenly become that dream nation we’ve all been praying for. Vibrant economy, modern infrastructure, uninterrupted power supply, stable policies, stable currency, effective security systems, reliable legislative and judiciary systems, extremely low crime and corruption scenario, strong and growing sectors and very stable polity. Imagine a Nigeria attaining that world power status socially and economically. Imagine a stable, strong and prosperous Nigeria. I’m sure many of us are smiling at the thought of such accomplishment; we simply assume if Nigeria becomes very great, many of us will begin to experience prosperity, things would become affordable, employment opportunities, decent living standards and everyone would be happy. Dear friend, think about this critically and you would agree with me this may not be the case. A prosperous Nigeria does not automatically translate to better living standard for all Nigerians or even the majority of Nigerians. If you think with me you’d agree the best of economies in the world hardly ever serve or present opportunities for their citizens first, the first beneficiaries of any great economy are the best of brains and hands all over the world. A great and vibrant economy is always attractive to the very best and excellent globally. A great Nigeria would then automatically become everybody’s own. Let’s face it, only those ready and prepared for a better Nigeria would actually enjoy the better Nigeria. Give me a minute let me explain this. The first implication of a better Nigeria is increased and intense competition. All the people, enterprises and multinationals that have been ignoring Nigeria till now will then turn to Nigeria, They are not just coming to compete they are coming to take out mediocrity. From all over the world, companies will come in with superior strategies, superior resources, superior reputation; superior processes and know how. All the indigenous companies and local players that have been tolerating mediocrity, average performance, poor attitude to work, inefficiency in processes, poor customer service, half measures and inferior product and services will either have to up their game quickly or die. Now, be sure that many Nigerians all over the world with better capacities, experience and exposure than you; realizing things are now working well at home will definitely return; of course also with superior competencies, knowledge, insight, training, attitude and capacities. They will return and take over the very juicy employment offers available and most likely replace the mediocre and average performer in today’s Nigeria. Also, you’ll bet expatriates, not just Nigerians abroad but non-Nigerians from different parts of the world; Africans, Asians, Europeans, Arabians and Americans would come in with all the advanced methods and ways of succeeding in business and would want to take over. Then the difference between doctors and doctors, Engineers and Engineers, Managers and Managers, Marketers and marketers, broadcasters and broadcasters, policemen and policemen, lawyers and lawyers, bankers and bankers, tailors and tailors, Architects and Architects, public servants and public servants and so on would become very clear for all to see. Then you’d realize certificate is not always equals to knowledge and ability, you’d know, social media is not for jobless, un-serious young people, Power point, excel, and Microsoft word are not optional or unnecessary punishment and google is not sun glasses. Ladies and gentlemen, you may not realize but Nigeria is on the verge of superior transformation, suddenly it would happen and overnight everything would change for the better, dear friend would you fit into the superior, greater Nigeria? When the bar of performance is raised really high based on alignment with global best practices, will you be able to cope? Are you a world class performer or you can only fit into the current state of the nation? Can you apply and work anywhere in the world today or you’re purely local in style and competence? Dear friend a better Nigeria is not for everyone; many would lose out I promise you, only the excellent would fully enjoy the good of this land when eventually it manifests. That’s when you would realize for example, to become the public affairs manager of any company you may need to speak more international languages than English. French, German, Spanish and Mandarin may be criteria. See ahead dear friend and position yourself for relevance. Are you really ready for a global Nigeria?