Monthly Archives

November 2015

How To Choose Friends And Business Partners




My dad once said “If you are the smartest person amongst your friends, you are not very smart”. What he meant by this was that a smart person keep friends who are smarter than him. He went on to tell me a story about how he started his first business in his teens. He had been working with his father for a while but felt it was time to go out on his own.

On one of my grandfather’s weekend trips, he moved out because he was too scared to do it while Grandpa was in town. By that time my father had figured out what business he wanted to start and had done all the research he needed. He later spoke to his father who unwillingly agreed. In about 3 years, my father had a profitable business, two cars and was very content as a 22 year old. His only problem was that he felt he was not advancing fast enough.

He was doing better than most of his friends and he felt there was more. One of his buddies had been recommending that he move to a new neighbourhood so he finally acquiesced and relocated. My father tells me that the decision to relocate changed his life. He said his new neighbourhood was full of young, upwardly mobile professionals who were ambitious to boot. One thing led to another and before he knew it, he was invited to the local Full Gospel Men’s Fellowship. He said he had never seen so many zealous and successful believers in his life.

They had more than he did and yet they were more engaged in the spiritual things in life. He was challenged to give and contribute more to the world through that season of his life. He still credits much of his early success to having friends who were more developed spiritually, mentally, socially and financially than he was. The smarter his buddies were, the better the conversations he got to engage in and the more challenged he was to live a value driven life.

Many of us keep friends based on familiarity and experience. Why is she your friend? “I have known her since we were little.”, “He really listens to me when I talk and he also loves video games.”  These answers are good but incomplete. A better reason to keep a friend is to keep people who are going in the same direction as you are at least spiritually and mentally. The person’s proximity to your home and business are or minor relevance. For example, a childhood friend who laughs at your dreams without offering good alternate suggestions can be an acquaintance but not a friend. A friend should be someone concerned with your progress in life.

You want the kind of person who is moving forward and does not want you to be left behind. You want the kind of person who will recommend books, seminars, sermons and courses. The friend who will correct any anomalies in your value system is the best kind of friend. When a person bribery, favoritism or any behavior that is not consistent with the Bible, you should reconsider your criteria for friendship.

Acquaintances are many but friends are usually few.


How To Pick Friends And Partners That Will Prosper You

1. Find out what the person’s vision is. A person who does not know where they are going will either move slowly in life or go quickly in the wrong direction. I usually prefer having people who think bigger than I do. If you already have a friend or business partner who is not sure of their vision, do your best to help them get on the right road and to start thinking right. David Oyedepo’s book on Success Systems is an excellent read. You can get your copy Success Systemshere.

2. Pick people who are going in the same direction as you are

If you are planing to start your own business, find friends who have the same dreams or have already started theirs. A friend whose ambition is to climb the corporate ladder may be useful in other scenarios but not when you need to make some critical decisions. Before I started my own business, I worked as an intern. I quickly realized not everyone would be able to help me on my journey. I would hear stuff like “if we all start businesses, who will be an employee”. The only people who said this to me were those who had never started a business. There is nothing wrong with being an employee unless it is not your God-given assignment. For me, it wasn’t so I found people who had taken the path I was planning on pursuing.

3. Pick people who are not easily impressed
When I was a teenager, I had a friend(let’s call him Joseph) who never found anything impressive. Many of our other friends said this was a sign of arrogance since Joseph was not impressed by the money, cars and clothes most of our were drooling over. I never understood this until we got to college. I found out Joseph’s father was a millionaire. In his home, the conversations were usually about things that were higher than the average teenager’s ambitions. Today, I constantly look out for people who are not easily impressed so I can listen to them. This is a good heuristic for picking employees and business partners. If your business partner wants to make his first million dollars and retire at 35, he may not be the right fit for a person who wants to provide value for billions of people and receive billions of dollars a year. At some point, your goals are bound to clash. In addition to this, stay away from partners who over celebrate little achievements. A colleague once had a partner who would do anything for a celebrity. He would go as far as giving away free products to anyone who the media recognized as a celebrity regardless of the implications to the business’ bottom line.

3. Pick people who act the same regardless of their audience

If you all your closest friends/partners were in the same room, would you have to pretend to support certain views or opinions? If you are against something but have to pretend you are not when before certain people then your moral character is weak. That is really another way to say you are a hypocrite. No one should assume you believe something you do not just because you want to please someone.

4. Pick people with high moral standards

I was considering a collaboration with an old acquaintance from high school. I was planning on going over to his office but decided to speak with him over the phone first. He told me how his business had been prospering recently and a few minutes into the conversation, he said “you know in this country, you have to pick a political side and take care of the right people financially. That is what we have been doing.” It’s safe to say I knew we could never work together because I do not believe anyone can build a globally relevant business by doing business based on political connections and palm greasing(bribery). He called it gratuity but it was really corruption.

5. Most Importantly Pick A Person Who Has A High Reverence For God And Loves Jesus.

I am not saying you should only pick religious people to do business with. I don’t think it’s wise since a believer is supposed to be a light to the world. We are to influence the world with the love and power in us. Separation is when you are in the midst of worldly people but do not act or think in the same manner as they do. A person who respects God and loves Jesus will be more concerned about pleasing God than men.

This combination of values will guide this person to usually do things with the best intentions in mind. Once I tried to partner with someone who had a habit of insulting preachers online. I tried to overlook that since I needed a technical partner. A few days before we could sign an agreement, I asked him about what his thoughts were on money and I quickly realized I was setting myself up to partner with someone who would not make the best financial decisions based on his belief system. In my experience i find a person’s belief system permeates everything they do.


My thoughts on how to choose friends and financial partners in this post deals only with the soft issues. In the case of partners, technical competence is very important.

Just because someone is your rich cousin, does not make them a good business partner. Interestingly, good friends produce more good friends since like minded people usually flock together. Do you have any insights or experiences to avoid when picking friends and partners?

Book Recommendation: Success Systems by David Oyedepo


The Reason Entrepreneurs Need Mental Training

I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.

Winston Churchill

A friend (let’s call him E), told me about a conversation he had with a wealthy veterinarian.

E: how did you become so successful in your field?
Vet: between the hours of 4 to 7am many people go to the gym. I spend that time reading and training my mind.

Reading is an activity but what should be the ultimate result is mental training.

Some athletes train up to 4 hours a day in order to play their best for 90 minutes. Many entrepreneurs play(work) 12 hours a day with no training and yet expect to receive the best from their businesses.

Whether you should get an MBA, MSC or read a book a day is not the focus. The focus should be on getting the best mental training available to make you the most valuable person in your field. This could be through studying the best books on the topic that interests you the most or getting an apprenticeship. Whatever we do as entrepreneurs, it’s important that we train our minds. It’s the responsible thing to do as value creators.

Answer this question: if you weren’t the owner of your business, would your biggest competitor hire you to run his or business?

As going to the gym is training for the body, studying the principles of business is training for the mind.

To end with a quote from Abraham Lincoln,
Upon the subject of education, not presuming to dictate any plan or system respecting it, I can only say that I view it as the most important subject which we as a people can be engaged in. That every man may receive at least, a moderate education, and thereby be enabled to read the histories of his own and other countries, by which he may duly appreciate the value of our free institutions, appears to be an object of vital importance, even on this account alone, to say nothing of the advantages and satisfaction to be derived from all being able to read the scriptures and other works, both of a religious and moral nature, for themselves. For my part, I desire to see the time when education, and by its means, morality, sobriety, enterprise and industry, shall become much more general than at present, and should be gratified to have it in my power to contribute something to the advancement of any measure which might have a tendency to accelerate the happy period.
–March 9, 1832

Which forms of mental training work best for you? Reading? Apprenticeship/Internships?

A good book on training the mind is Releasing The Creative Power Of The Mind

Other posts to check out here and here.

Increasing Sales And Repeat Customers At A Barbershop Business

Devonte Brown has his hair cut by David McKnight in Sanford, Florida

This past weekend I visited a new barbershop with my brother in law and his son.
I usually look out for the fastest barber in the room whenever I go to a new place for a haircut.
I do this because I think of time like a currency most times.
30 minutes at the barber’s is 30 minutes that can be used to read, work, minister to someone or engage in some other activity that may be more profitable.
Time should be invested and not spent since it’s the same as spending your life.

Anyway back to the story.
This is about how to grow a barbershop business and other life lessons we take for granted.

When it was my turn I proceeded to ask the barber if he could complete my haircut in 10 minutes.
I saw my bro in law cringe a little because he didn’t want us to offend the guy.

The barber(let’s call him Kenny) said he didn’t want to rush it so I sat down anyway and hoped it would take about 20 minutes.
That was terribly presumptuous of me. Lol

In between barbershop banter, charging a clients phone, eating chips(Kenny did not me) and receiving a pretty good haircut, I observed the other barbers in the room and noticed they were simply giving haircuts and letting the clients leave without taking any details to follow up later with other value added services.

After my haircut, Kenny thanked us, took our money and that was it.
Since I teach people how to start and grow businesses I’ll share what I think Kenny and his other mates could have done to increase their revenue.

1. Customer data
My bro in law has been to that barbershop many times with his son but no one knows their details.
Kenny should have taken down our numbers or email addresses.
With these details I would call, text or email the a link to my professional Twitter page or blog where he shares insights on personal grooming, style or creating a personal brand as a young black man.

I say this because Kenny is not just in the haircut business.
He is in the personal grooming, style and image management business.
The more he acts as an expert in these areas, the more credibility he will have.

2. Value Creation And Marketing

I would call or email or text the client every two weeks with facial and skincare tips as well as a reminder to come by the barbershop since I’m sure they may need a shave or haircut soon.
I would recommend(and sell) products such as shaving gels and other skincare products to the client.

Since in this case my brother in law visits this barbershop with his son, I would create Father/Mother and Son packages that cater to parents who bring their sons to the shop.

I would also collaborate with service providers whose services would appeal to young boys.
I may even go as far as selling Star Wars, Pokemon or whatever merchandise these parents usually buy for their sons.


Having the skills to cut hair, build a bridge, write code or whatever gift you are trained in is not enough.
In a barbershop, what determines success in the long run is not the skill alone but the value the barber provides.
The barber who talks to you and advises you on what to do to have healthy hair or skin is ten times more valuable than the one who just cuts your hair.

The barber whose goal is to have the happiest customers will find out which of them prefer longer or shorter times in his chair and will tailor his services accordingly.

Value is only value when it benefits the receiver.

By the way, Kenny spent about 50 minutes on my hair that day.

P.S Here are some Advanced strategies for growing a business.

Book Recommendation: Get it The Ultimate Sales Machine

Did you find the guide useful? Click here 

Please comment below

How To Get Paid More Than Anyone Else In Your Industry

For about 3 years I kept hearing of a gentleman who was highly developed in his skills. Many people have never heard of him but in the last two weeks I came across some information that when an Arab firm wanted to invest over $300 million in a business in his nation, the aforementioned gentleman was called to help broker the deal. This was impressive because the firm could have hired an international consultant and paid him the same amount but there was no need to. They found someone as highly developed in his craft as anyone else in the world.

I love everything about this message by Pastor Christ Oyakhilome but more importantly it is very essential that entrepreneurs understand the power of continuous personal development. One day your old skills will not be adequate to command the highest prices because you won’t be providing the highest value.

Remember, as I always say “Value that is developed, promoted and delivered to those who appreciate it, will be paid for.” Any other kind of value is just a gimmick.

The wisdom for getting paid more than anyone in your industry is this: become highly developed.
Being highly qualified means you know all there is to know about your craft. Being highly developed is to be the one who can produce the greatest results in that field of endeavor. The most highly developed people are the most sought after.

If you want to learn how to start or grow your own business, please email me all your questions at

The First Step To Developing An Effective Workforce


Deuteronomy 24:14-15You shall not take advantage of a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether [he is] one of your countrymen or one of the strangers (resident aliens, foreigners) who is in your land inside your cities. 15 You shall give him his wages on the day that he earns them before the sun sets—for he is poor and is [a]counting on it—so that he does not cry out to the Lord against you, and it becomes a sin for you.

Sometimes as a business owner, you may be tempted to either verbally or physically abuse an employee. DON’T do that. First correct, then train the individual. If you can, re-train the staff member. If all attempts at renewing the mind does not work then replace the person.

About 9 out of 10 of entrepreneurs I have met or listened to speak of (read as complain) people as their greatest business problem. In some cases there is merit but more importantly I find they most often have no real solutions. Many of them have not taken the time to acquire in-depth knowledge on culture, hiring and developing staff members. They just expect people to magically act right. If you are complaining about your team members, let me ask you this; “how many books have you read on how to hire, retain and develop the best talent?”. For example if you want to get the most out of your employees, read Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and PurposeDelivering Happiness. Until you find out what the principles are, you will complain like everyone else.

Life is harsh on many people already so speak words of love that uplift others. Many people do stupid things not because they are bad but because their minds are not very developed or they did not think through before they acted that way. Children for example are not inherently evil so we do not blame them for doing wrong. Many older people are still in the low mental development of a child. It is our responsibility as people filled with God’s love not to attack the person, but to attack the problem.


Reading books that enlighten you; especially the Bible develops the mind. Finding out which businesses in your industry have the longest serving and efficient staff may give you the secret that you require to have a lovely, productive and vibrant team.

Book Recommendation:
Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh. Get it Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purposehere

If you have any questions, please write below or email me at