A few of the tools that make me effective

Efficiency isn’t about being perfect; it’s about knowing your limits and leveraging technology smartly. Tools like Todoist for tasks, voice notes for clarity, and VS Code for coding keep me on track. Success isn’t a destination but a journey of continuous improvement.

I wouldn’t call myself the most effective person, but I’m keenly aware of my limitations and a few strengths I have. Let’s just say I’m obsessed with personal efficiency.

Because I respect myself a lot and I don’t want to be insulted, I’ve respectfully cultivated a culture of using technology to make up for some of these limitations and I’m able to achieve a measure of personal effectiveness using different tools and techniques. 

I mean, I’m not yet a billionaire (when will maga pay? 🥺), so I won’t say these tools have taken me to the top. But I can say for sure that they’ve definitely taken me far. Case in point, I have the worst memory in the world and I can’t remember sh*t to save my own life. As a matter of fact, as I’m writing this, I can’t even remember my name. 

But in 2015, I discovered Todoist and just to show how bad my memory is, I don’t even remember how I managed to find it. Here’s the thing. There are so many task tracking tools in the market but this particular one caught my fancy because it was easy. It was love at first sight. The chemistry was amazing. I’m even considering getting married to it 🤣.

Something that stood out about Todoist was that I could use it not only on my phone, but on my laptop and PC as well, a feature which wasn’t common 10 years ago. The app allows me to record literally everything. I have details of everyone’s information like birthdays as well as all the tasks I have to do. I can set dates and times to these tasks and it has tons of reminders. I can’t say what exactly was so special about it. I guess I just fell in love with it. And one thing that made me stick with it is the fact that I literally get that dopamine hit when I mark something as done. It’s one of the most fulfilling things in the world, marking a task as done. 

So Todoist is one of my best tools ever.

Here are some of the other areas that I have applied tools to improve my efficiency

Recording voice messages

I work with a lot of writers at Lendsqr and personally. Before now, they sometimes got stuck when they needed directions for new writing directions or a summary of what to write about. Then I discovered that I could simply send a voice note when I am in between tasks or when I wasn’t using my hands. That made their lives so easy that they now love it.. 

The good thing is that I could send voice notes from different platforms – on Windows, I use the voice recorder. On my phone, I simply use WhatsApp to send quick notes. Google Workspace recently added voice notes to their mobile and web apps; I now terrorize everyone at Lendsqr with my half-baked ideas every minute of the day.

I’m so glad I don’t work for Adedeji Olowe 😂😂

Jokes apart, voice notes are incredibly helpful as it takes away the confusion and reduces the pain of so much back and forth or typing a lot. My fingers already hurt just thinking about this.

Note taking

For my notes, and things I keep to myself, I use Evernote, but I’m thinking of moving away from because they went shitty as f*.

Evernote used to be one of those tools that people used to praise and talk about, but they went bloaty, slow, and I’m sorry, extremely stupid. They’re just kind of irritating and I’m probably going to leave them.

I use Windows Notepad a lot, because sometimes I just want to take quick notes and I’ve found that Notepad, especially on Windows 11, is a really great tool to put my quick thoughts together. My brain is still begging to move to Notepad++. 

Unfortunately for my PC at home, I still use Windows 10. Isn’t that shameful? Not my fault! I have this badass PC I’ve been using for a while that is old, unupgradable, but really chocks along well. I also use Notepad on my laptop and it works really well. 

I use OneDrive to sync my personal information. But the Google Drive application on the PC is literally amazing. Instead of having to go into a browser to look through my files, Google Drive allows me to use it like it’s directly on my PC. 

Programming

I still write codes. Yes, even at my ripe old age.

My tool of trade is VS code and  I’ve a bunch of extensions and indexes like Prettier, Tabnine, etc. , which makes coding more fun and quite effective. I think I’m going to be working with data till the day I die. I have a feeling that even when I die, I’ll probably have a database of people that died before me and I’ll be arguing with the angels about the morality of using certain types of identity for each soul that gets into heaven.

I started my career with data on SQL Navigator, then  I moved over to Toad. I actually miss Toad, especially when you launch it and it makes that creaky sound. 

By the time I moved my ass to FCMB and the database was MSSQL, I switched to Microsoft SQL studio, which was pretty good. But now that I’m out of banking and life is different with everyone using MySQL, I switched to DBeaver. 

DBeaver, an open source data software, is absolutely fantastic. Like it’s super awesome and works very well for me. 

Security

At home, I have Ring cameras and they  keep me safe and secure everytime. From anywhere in the world, I can see my doors and monitor everything happening inside my home. Best thing is, everyone around me knows I have these cameras.

Emails and contacts

Google handles my emails and contacts and this works pretty well for me. I have nothing to complain about. Like I earlier mentioned, I have the worst memory in the world. One thing that helps me remember tasks alongside Todoist is my emails. I always tell those who work with me that conversations should be recorded via emails. 

Sometimes when I check-in on some tasks assigned, it’s easy to assume I go through my emails and remember all of them. I actually have a hack for this. I simply label the important threads as follow up and then add to my TO DO to check my follow up label periodically. Other times, I simply schedule an email ahead of time. 

With this technique, I’m always on top of priority tasks and I ensure packets don’t drop.

When saving contacts, I make sure  all my contacts are well saved with their emails, and recently this paid off as I was able to reach out to tons of my friends for marketing. I have a paid version of TrueCaller which ensures that when saving contacts, it finds their emails and save this as well

Video sharing

When it comes to being able to express my thoughts, Jam Dev is an amazing tool for use on the web. It’s able to show what you’re doing and help, say your developer, your friends or your customers with a lot of things by providing better clarity. It’s amazing. 

Jam Dev is probably going to be way better than Loom down the line. Loom was a choice for everybody in the beginning, but they’re kind of screwing up.

On my phone when I want to record some of the things I share with people I use XRecorder. It’s also pretty amazing. I mean yeah, it has some ads but they’ve got to make money, right?

Financial management

When it comes to monitoring my finances across all my bank accounts and figuring out how broke I am, I make use of Kolo Finance, an app that we built at Lendsqr. It works really well for me. It’s able to show me everything about my accounts in one shot, including my international accounts.

For banking,  Wise and Monzo are the best banking apps you could think of. For my individual account, of course I will give it to Monzo, but Wise is literally awesome in every possible way you can think of.

Receiving and making calls across the world

For telephone calls. I use Hushed. It’s an amazing tool for having virtual phone numbers. I’ve got a bunch of phone numbers with them, including the ones that I use for testing stuff. 

And last but not the least, I know this might seem like just a hype, but ChatGPT is actually f* awesome. It helps me to do a lot of stuff. We’ve recently been experimenting with using embedded GPT at Lendsqr and so far it’s been pretty great.I love it
So there you are. To everyone who thinks Adedeji Olowe is highly efficient and disciplined, my secrets are in the open. And maybe one day, I’ll successfully clone myself and this version of me won’t need to get anything done.

Why many don’t succeed in their careers

To succeed in your career, focus on crucial soft skills like reliability, integrity, initiative, self-awareness, situational awareness, and curiosity. These traits build trust, leadership, and adaptability, crucial for career growth and success.

Most people will never succeed in their careers. You’re probably wondering why this sounds so negative and harsh, right? But it’s the truth. 

It typically begins with young people at the start of their careers, hoping to become the best. I remember when I started my own career at United Bank for Africa as an intern, I had a friend then, Odia Okobieme and we used to daydream about starting our own tech company. I remember we used to disturb Tony Elumelu with emails at the time. Dude was probably so patient because I don’t know why he indulged us. 

So this gives way for us to question what it means to be the best.

The way I see it, being the best means, at the minimum, you are in the top 1% of the best people in your cohort. If we’re going to raise the bar, maybe one out of a thousand. And If success is defined as being in the top 1% of any field that you have decided to play in, then 99% of people you know in that space would either be ordinary, unremarkable, or downright failures and will go on to live average and unfulfilling lives. It’s what it is. These are the guys who grow up to become cranky, complaining that things don’t work well and that the economy is bad. Yes, the economy is bad, but it’s not eating the people at the top.

Who are the 99% who strayed from the path of success?

Let’s think about, if everyone sets out to become the best but only 1% ever make it, what happened to the 99% who never did and never will. Something we must have all thought about at one point or the other is probably why some people who were obviously smarter than us, are doing better than us. I mean, we’ve seen it, right? People we knew from our days in school or from earlier days in our careers, who didn’t seem as sharp as us but are now doing great things. Like African parents are known for asking “do they have two heads?” Then on the flip side, there are those with their first class degrees and straight As who are still figuring things out 15/20 years down the line. 

Makes you wonder what went right for the former and catastrophically wrong for the latter. Why don’t many people get to the top of whatever they’ve chosen to do? Some say it’s about competence. Others say it’s about connections. But I’ve come to realize that it’s neither. Of course, being smart is a given but that’s not what gets you to the top. It’s not just about what or who you know. 

Let me tell you what actually makes people stand out: it’s soft skills. You know, those intangible qualities like drive, accountability, reliability, integrity, going above and beyond – those are the real game-changers. And if you don’t have these things? Your career is dead in the water and you just don’t know it yet. But trust me, you’ll find out soon enough. 

When you’re young, you might get away with lacking in these areas. People cut you some slack, give you the benefit of the doubt. But as you get older, the world is less forgiving and these soft skills become non-negotiable. Without them, you’re simply on a path of self-destruction.

So yeah, it’s not a lack of competence or connections that kills careers – it’s the absence of these crucial soft skills.

Which of these are killing your career?

If your behavior mirrors the ones below, you are definitely not going to succeed. And no, I’m not cursing you:

You don’t keep your word

You make promises to people;your colleagues and your bosses, “ Oh I’m going to deliver this thing at this time” and you don’t keep them. You will never succeed. Because once people know that you can’t keep your word, they’ll stop relying on you. And once they stop relying on you, they’ll never use you for what’s important. You’ll just be some old relic they keep around until they’re ready to let go because they want to stop “hoarding”. 

You’re unreliable

This is also linked to not keeping your word but there’s a slight difference: not keeping your word could mean you just don’t have integrity but you might still be good .On the other hand, being unreliable means people can’t depend on you. All of us know people around us who we would never give a chance to if we had something super important to do because we can’t bank on them. Pay attention, if you’re not that person that the average person can bank on, you’re not going to succeed. 

You don’t have integrity

You lie. Why do you even do this? Once people know that you can’t tell the truth and you’re very coded, you’re never going to succeed. And it’s very simple because nobody likes liars. Nobody likes people who aren’t straightforward, so people will start avoiding you. 

You only do the bare minimum

“Oh this is what they told me to do” and that’s all you ever do; you never step forward to do extra or seize the moment. You’re never going to succeed because success comes from the extras that you do.

These extras include stepping forward when there is a leadership gap, or when a colleague has gone on leave and things are going crazy or if you come across a customer having a problem, even if none of these are your job.

You lack self awareness

You’re often exposed when you don’t know your capabilities. For instance, you step forward to say you can do something that you literally don’t have the skills to do. I don’t know whether you think you’re trying to impress anyone; of course you’re going to fail at that thing because you  don’t know how to do it. Duh.

Now, there’s a difference between being self-aware and pushing yourself. If you’re aware that you don’t have a skill, but you want to get better at it, you can push yourself and seek for support, knowledge and mentorship that can make you good at that thing. So this even shows that you’re actually self-aware. Lack of self awareness means you literally don’t know your limits and then you burn bridges and people dump you. 

You lack situational awareness

This is another key behavioral aspect. Take for instance, the company you work in is going through a grind; maybe systems are down or the government just brought out some regulation that turns things upside down for you guys and that’s the moment you tell everybody, “ I’ve got to go on leave. I need to take a few days off. I’ve already booked my leave. I can’t kill myself.” Of course you will go, but the truth is everybody will see you as irresponsible and nobody will depend on any irresponsible person.

You lack curiosity

You’re just floating and you don’t know what’s around you. You come into the office, see something is happening and you don’t ask “what the hell is causing this thing.” You heard that your competitor in the market is doing some things and you’re not asking yourself what those things are. It just means you will never succeed.

Do these to turn your fortune around

If you’ve read up to this point and you’re feeling attacked, that’s good. Keep reading, there’s still hope for you. Now that you know all these things above, you can easily (don’t quote me) turn your career around by running away from career killers.

If you made a promise to anybody, die keeping it. Never go back on your words and never make a promise you know you can’t keep. Let people be able to use your words like currency. Consistently deliver on your promises and communicate well to encourage confidence in your capabilities. These will also earn you a reputation as a reliable colleague and person. Give people a reason to trust you. When you are trustworthy with small things, life will trust you with big!

Integrity plays a crucial role in your professional rebirth. Speak the truth; even when it may be painful or embarrassing. When people know that you always tell the truth, they’ll respect you more and they’re more likely to bank on you.

Also, step forward as often as you can. Everybody loves leaders. That’s why people who have leadership skills always tend to advance faster in their careers. And if you need more motivation to do this, remember that leaders earn more and grow faster. 

Self-awareness is also quite critical to your professional growth. Take a long and hard look at yourself in the mirror and truthfully assess yourself, “these are the things I can do and these are the things I can’t do”.  For the things you can’t do, if those things are critical, you need to find a way to address these gaps. If you have to go for extra lessons or seek mentorship, then you better do that. Fast.

In addition to being self-aware, you have to be situationally aware, you have to “read the room.” Know what’s going on so that you can navigate complex professional spaces well and show better judgment. If your boss is not happy or your customer is not happy, that’s not the time to go tell them that you’re jacking up your prices. Be sensible.

Finally, you’ve got to be curious. This is a must-have because curiosity helps you stay informed and seize opportunities where they exist. 

I’m no self-help guru but do these consistently and see for yourself what happens.

The access to credit is a fundamental human right

The lack of access to financial services or credit can often lead to fatal consequences for those restricted. The value of life cannot be toyed with, as such, anything that could prevent needless death or anguish must be a fundamental human right. This is where access to basic credit must be elevated to the level of a fundamental right.

Four years ago, I shared a post on LinkedIn where I asserted that financial inclusion should be a fundamental human right. Years later, I still think so. Let me tell you why.

My argument stems from the fact that if someone is excluded from the financial system, it adversely impacts their access to opportunities and ultimately, their chance at survival. People can die from being excluded. It might sound overly dramatic to some but it’s what it is. I don’t believe that financial inclusion and access to credit are privileges that should be reserved for a select few; they’re rights everyone should have for a fair chance at a decent life.

Access to credit is a life and death determinant.

Let’s talk about human rights …

The basic decency of being human is enshrined in certain rights, yes? We know this, even without them being codified. But living with consciousness of these rights—not murdering anyone, treating people with respect, etc.— is basically what sets us apart from animals. And even to a certain extent, some animals treat themselves well. If you notice that the higher the animal is in the chain in terms of what we perceive as intelligence, the better they seem to treat themselves. 

Throughout history, from the ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians, to the modern world that we live in, the respect for basic human rights is what really creates a cohesive and organized civilization and once those rights start getting trampled on, what you see is a disintegration of society.

The United Nations, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), defined certain fundamental human rights which include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education, and many others. Everyone is entitled to these rights, without discrimination. And if we take a closer look at it, when a person breaks certain laws, they violate these rights e.g. if you kill someone, you take away their right to life, etc.

But as the world evolves, the conversation about what constitutes harm to others is becoming more nuanced. So it means that you may not need to kill someone by inflicting physical harm on them but if you take away their ability to operate and restrict them in some non-physical way, you can still be responsible for their death. 

For example, if you were hurt and I took away any means for you to contact emergency services and you died, would it be accurate to say I caused your death? Yes. But did I touch you? No.

In some western countries, emergency numbers are typically programmed to work even when your phone is without a network or even if you don’t have an active call plan. So if a hacker cuts off access to 911, resulting in any deaths, such a person could easily be prosecuted for murder or manslaughter. That’s how sacrosanct the right to life is.

What do human rights have to do with financial inclusion?

In the world we live in today, without access to financial services and credit, it’s quite difficult, almost impossible even, for the average person to lead a good life. That’s the truth. I share my views about this quite often and I know I’m not crazy for thinking this. 

Kumar (2014) built on Muhammad Yunus’ position to assert that if poverty is the absence of all human rights, then it means there is a case for considering access to finance or credit as a human right. This author also submitted that access to adequate and affordable finance has been recognized as an effective tool to realize the objective of inclusive economic growth yet, finance has rarely been connected to the robust discourse on human rights issues. I agree.

Think of it like the hierarchy of needs for the times we live in. It’s all interwoven. At the basic level, you have the infrastructure,then on top of that, you have telecommunications and financial services and finally, access to a decent life.

Take a look at the countries we call successful. The countries we all want to emigrate to sometimes, the ones in OECD with high rankings in human development, even though access to credit and financial inclusion may not be explicitly defined as rights and key drivers of their prosperity and high quality of life, it’s implied. In a way, one might even argue that the recognized human rights support a justification for financial inclusion to be accepted as a fundamental right.

A place like the UK doesn’t even have a written constitution, but the laws are still there, silently doing their job. Similarly, in the developed nations, financial inclusion and access to credit are a given. It’s not something you can take away—it’s woven into the very fabric of their society; just as easily as the rights to life or freedom of expression and all other expectations that make us human and set us apart from animals..

This issue is similar to how climate change issues have always been there but now it’s in the limelight and it’s got everyone’s paying attention. This is the level of seriousness and attention with which people having access to basic financial services and credit as a fundamental human right, should also be treated. This is even more crucial for the less developed countries than the developed ones.

We need to make it clear for everyone. Defining access to financial services and credit as a basic right elevates it to a level of consciousness where people understand that it’s not a privilege; it’s crucial for anyone to have a meaningful life. Leaders and regulators need to understand that you shouldn’t play with financial inclusion the same way you don’t play with healthcare.

People also need to know that this is their right and make demands.This isn’t about entitlement, it’s about what people deserve. On the flip side, people also need to recognize what they owe in return. Just like you have a right to free speech but a responsibility not to spread lies or incite violence; having access to financial services and credit comes with a responsibility to meet your financial obligations and pay back your loans. 

Basic vs. elective financial services

In moving from the theoretical to the practical aspect of this; a few details will need to be sorted out. Enforcing financial inclusion as a basic right isn’t as simple as just giving everyone access to every financial service/product ever created. Obviously, we’d have to determine what’s essential for a meaningful life without overdoing it.

This can be a slippery slope. But at the minimum, people should have the basics covered; they should be able to open and operate bank accounts without restriction; have access to basic savings products; be assured of privacy where their transactions are concerned, and have access to insurance to protect them in the face of unforeseen challenges that affect their lives or livelihoods. We can then consider everything else as elective services that can be reserved for those interested or those considered to be eligible.

I should also explicitly state that credit is a must .. duh. People should have access to credit with a reasonable debt-to-income ratio (DTI) where only about 35% of their income goes to servicing their debts so it doesn’t overstretch their finances. There has to be a line between throwing people a lifeline when they’re drowning and throwing them an anchor. 

Adopting these rights means that people should be able to trust the financial institutions and service providers that deliver these solutions to keep their money safe. These institutions need to have assets to guarantee that customers are protected and the regulators have to ensure that no bad guys or fraudsters are there to cart away with their savings.

I’m not clairvoyant but trust me when I say if we can crack this, life will become so much easier for everyone.

Vanity metrics are deadly but a slow poison

Lendsqr’s journey warns against the allure of vanity metrics. Success hinges on metrics like loan uptake and profitability, not superficial engagement numbers. Focus on what truly drives business growth.

About a year ago, my loan management SaaS company, Lendsqr, partnered with one of the most recognized tech media startups in Africa. We experimented with activations and a whole lot of other stuff and spent thousands of dollars to push the Lendsqr brand out there. The team was pretty excited about the partnership and we caught a lot of eyeballs. 

But you know what? What!

Despite all the attention we got, it translated to absolutely nothing tangible for the business. Zero. Zilch. And we only found out because we had put a system in place to track our inbound from all the activities.

This incident, amongst others, got me thinking deeper about some of the marketing efforts we’ve put in over the past couple of years at Lendsqr and their impact, and I realized just how dangerous vanity metrics can be. During those years, working with my technical assistant and marketing team, we designed different campaigns to drive traffic and sign ups, etc. and tried our hand at various marketing platforms. 

Here’s the jarring thing; when dealing with these marketing platforms where we splash a boat load of cash to get noticed, they’d only ever report metrics like views, clicks, downloads, etc. Vanity. And whenever I chatted with my customers and their marketing teams, it was always the same story – hyping vanity metrics like they’re the best thing since the internet. They’d say things like “This was successful. There are x thousand clicks” But for me, I’d always roll my eyes and think “What the h*ll are you talking about? Yes, people clicked and saw our stuff but what use was this to the bottom line?”

If your marketing isn’t doing this, stop, it’s a waste

When it comes to evaluating the effectiveness of marketing efforts, I believe it’s crucial to look beyond surface performance and focus on what defines success for your business. It’s also important that whatever you are doing for marketing is worth the money spent. At a time when everyone is watching cost like weight watchers, ensuring your money provides a real return is the real deal.

I understand the temptation to boast about these surface level metrics; sometimes, I love to talk about the number of lenders we have at Lendsqr and the number of customers (borrowers) we have by proxy. But the truth is these things are like barometers; they’re not the real thing, simply tools meant to indicate something else.

What really counts are the tangible outcomes. Specific to my business, that’ll be things like how many people are actually taking out loans, how many of them pay back and ultimately, how much profit is being generated for our lenders and us? These are the real indicators of the health and sustainability of what we do. Anything else falls apart under scrutiny.

It’s easy for anyone to get caught up in the kumbaya of measuring some feel-good metrics

But if you don’t know what’s most important to your core objectives and then work backwards from there, any other thing you’re doing is a waste of time and resources.

For us at Lendsqr, the things that are important are the number of loans booked by customers, our ability to facilitate recovery and the overall profitability of our lenders. Everything else pales in comparison. So even if I bring out a babalawo (dark magic practitioner) to do his stuff and help me achieve these core numbers in a sustainable manner, then it’s more important than if the whole world is reading about me raising a gazillion in TechCrunch when I’m not able to achieve the important things. 

Do this to beat the vanity trap

Given how easy it is to get swept by vanity metrics, how do you avoid that for your business? Well, it’s all about setting the right priorities from the jump (or doing a reset if you’ve already lost your way). Whether you’re a founder, stakeholder, or investor; you MUST figure out what truly matters for your business to survive and eventually thrive. 

Start by identifying those core metrics that really determine sustainable success. Maybe it’s profitability or the journey towards profitability. Break that down further into details like unit economics. How much are you making now, and how much could you make if you run your business as well as you possibly can?

Once you’ve gotten these details sorted then you can get down to it and take a look at what you need to do to achieve these vital metrics.You might even find that the path to achieving these is surprisingly simple. This assessment will make you face the reality; whether you’re on the right track or not.

So this means that as a founder, leader, or investor, it’s your responsibility to sit down with your team and guide them to distill the tangible results from the hype and noise. Ask the tough questions – “it’s okay that this content is trending and gathering views on social media but how does it translate to *insert your core metric here*?”

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that those who quote these vanity metrics are bad people who are out to deceive you. Not at all. They’re just operating based on what they know. It’s up to us as leaders to reorient them and make it clear that if whatever they’re doing doesn’t translate to real value, it’s a distraction.

So, the next time your marketing team comes to you with a proposal, challenge them to connect the dots. For instance, “if we invest in this video and rack up a million views, what does it really get us? How many new customers can we expect to sign up, and what’s their long-term value to the business?” That’s how you determine the success of your efforts. But if you don’t have these numbers, then it’s a waste.

Let’s find balance: Intangible results matter too

Before even my own marketing team comes for me, of course, I recognize that not all marketing efforts are about immediate addition to the bottom line. Sometimes, we’re aiming for those intangible wins like brand recognition and top of mind awareness which are also important and contribute to the groundwork for future success.

Think about Coca-Cola or Apple. We all know that these names mean something and add substance to anything they’re affiliated with right? It’s clear it’s not just about the products; brands like these have proven that building brand trust and a good reputation matter too. 

So, we can also say, “Let’s grow our brand equity,” because sometimes, that also paves the way to real value. Not every marketing effort will translate to Naira and kobo or Dollars and cents. Having a strong brand means people trust you, they’re willing to pay more for your stuff, and they’re more likely to buy from you in the first place. This is an intangible asset you can leverage to improve your earning margins significantly and boost your core business results down the line.

Additionally, beyond external projection of your brand; what goes on internally matters. How are your employees performing? Sure, a lot of people want to build a happy workplace. This is good. But here’s the thing: if your business is dying, no amount of employee happiness will save it.

You have to stay focused and ensure that your measure of employee happiness or the employee experience in your company is assessed within the context of sustainability. What benefit is it to you to have happy staff and a dead business? It’s utterly useless. But obviously, if you also have unhappy staff and you’re only fixated on numbers and driving results, your business will die. 

It’s all about finding balance. Happy staff produce good business and good business makes staff happy. Don’t break that cycle. 

Find what’s right for you, today and every day after that

As a company, you’ve got to know which metrics really matter, and that can change from time to time. The metrics that are important this year, may not be important next year.

Maybe in the early stages of your startup, you’re all about survival then growth before paying attention to profitability. Not because profitability is wrong but because you know that survival and growth are crucial to charting the course to profitability. 

For a B2C company, you may have to work a lot on your brand equity and find a good way to measure it, because you know that down the line, brand equity will translate to easier ways to sell and better margins.

Whatever the case may be, you’ve got to be able to call b*llsh*t on the fakes and focus on what truly drives success.

Lastly, do views, clicks, downloads have their benefits? I really can’t say but what I will say is that they have to lead somewhere meaningful. If a marketing agency tells you to spend $100,000, they better have an answer for what’s in it for the business, beyond the feel-good stuff, because if it doesn’t add up, you might as well just set that pile of cash on fire.

Gen Zs are lazy. Millennials are even lazier. I can’t stick with either of them

It’s hard to work with Gen Z and millennials because they can hardly get themselves to do anything. Who would want to work with such people? Definitely not me!

These guys don’t care about work. They are so entitled and they just want everything to come easy without having to put in the work. The only thing they talk about is work-life balance and bastardized  “Mental Health”, using it as an excuse to get out of doing anything worth the while. 

They have simply put those with real mental health issues at risk.

As a matter of fact, these are the worst people you could ever work with. 

This sounds familiar to you doesn’t it? 

But how true is this?

The story of how Gen Zs and Millennials are so lazy and entitled and don’t want to do anything has become so popular that everyone believes it as the gospel truth. As a matter of fact, if you look up the text “Gen Zs are lazy” you’re sure to find a gazillion people who believe this.

But is this actually true? 

It’s not! 

At least, not from my perspective.

Let’s start with this. I’m a 46 years old Gen X dinosaur and I’ve lived and worked with my generation and the generations before mine. My mother was a boomer. My uncles and some of my elder relatives are boomers (the ones that haven’t kicked the bucket yet). Most of my friends are Gen X.

I’ve had an incredible fortune and sometimes, misfortune, of working with Gen X, millennial, and Gen Z humans and I can comfortably tell you that practically everything you read online including the early part of this article is completely false.

In my life, some of the best people I’ve ever worked with and currently work with are young people. 

Let’s talk about Lendsqr. The average Lendian is 25 years old (yes, I run a professional kindergarten) The oldest person as of the time I’m writing this article is just 30 years old and I can say for a fact that these are the most hardworking people I’ve ever met in my life. 

I remember when we had a fraud case (or why do you think I’m strident about fraud?). Lendians came to my house at 2am and we battled the fraudsters, won, and got some of our money back.

These young people take so much initiative, and with extreme sense of ownership. They sometimes cry, not because someone is hurting them but because they care so much about their products or whatever they are working on. This is the power of commitment. This is the power of ownership. 

These young humans I’ve worked with have so many things in common: They are smart, they’re extremely hardworking, they’re not entitled, they go the extra mile and the list goes on and on.

When I counter some of my friends who believe that Gen Zs are lazy, we dive deeper into the fact that refutes these misconceptions, everyone starts seeing that the notion of lazy young people is an absolute balderdash.

Let’s even take a step back and look at the world we live in. Some of the biggest organizations and the biggest value creation that we’ve seen have come from these so called ‘lazy’ millennials and Gen Zs.

Zukerberg founded Facebook when he was 19 years old; with his diapers sagging behind him The Collision brothers were kids when they started Stripe, and they’ve built an incredible and valuable company. Coming to Africa, PiggyVest was built by young people who crawled out of the cribs to get it up and running.

All over the world, young people do amazing stuff.

The problem is that Social Media, just like I’ve done right now, has so influenced our thoughts with clickbaits; the internet traffic runs on clickbaits of bad news.

It’s all false. Gen Zs are  probably the best generation and the most hardworking I’ve seen so far. 

Now let’s talk about the so-called humans who ain’t lazy. I’ve had the fortune of a fast career in banking and sometimes people tell me that “you guys were lucky then, everyone was fast” but that too is a lie. My generation and the ones before mine had tons of very lazy people as well.

The truth is people have always been lazy. I have cousins and uncles that are lazy (Emmanuel, I’m not talking about you). I have family friends that are lazy. At the same time I knew people that were hardworking who did incredible things. I know a guy that’s probably 3 months older than me, and at the time when I thought I was good, that guy was god! 🙇🏿‍♀️ 

Every generation has hardworking and lazy people. However, Social Media has helped shine the “laziness” spotlight on the current generation and amplify click baits to prove this point.

Today, you have people who go on TikTok and talk about the easy life. What people don’t know is that they spend so much time and effort to even create the content, in a very hardworking manner. You look at the Kardashians and you think they are lazy people. Just try to go to social media and create videos. Then you’ll see that it’s not so easy. 

For example, we’re currently creating videos in Lendsqr for an initiative., which has been dragging for months and we haven’t gotten it right. Yet, you have people consistently putting out amazing video content online. And I’m scratching my head and thinking, “How do these low life millennials do it on TikTok?” I honestly respect them. These guys are hardworking.

To the dead ass old guys like me, trust these guys, they’re the best people you can have in your team. The older guys are getting tired. They already have gray hair and they have a few more years before they die off.

It will be the worst thing you’ll do for your business if you don’t recognize the value and the power and the ingenuity of these young people.

If after reading this, you still think millennials are lazy, then there’s only one thing that is sure, you are mentally lazy.