Do you know of the type B education? Some of us are looking for ‘it’ but can hardly articulate what ‘it’ is. My interviewee calls it a healthy sense of dissatisfaction. According to him, only type B education can cure it
The way these interviews are exposing me to people and things. that give me answers to questions I never knew I was asking… their answers are infusing life into my spirit.
Did you know there are different types of poverty? Do you also know the reason you are still in the same position year after year? Could be you are not dissatisfied enough? Are you dissatisfied? Enough to seek for change or you are waiting for ‘it’ while you hope it’s going to drop on your laps hopefully soon? whatever the ‘it’ is?
These and more are what my interviewee finds on his quest to finding his way out of poverty
Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.
Dr Ebune Ojochide Sunday
What do you do?
Primarily I trained as a plastic surgeon. I work as a consultant plastic surgeon with the Federal Medical Center. and visiting Consultant at the Specialist Hospital.
By inspiration I got into other things. I am into success coaching, training and empowerment of young people. through some of the exposures, training and studies I had. and with the discovery of self-awareness. I felt I could offer much more inspiration to young people. using knowledge to help unlock and unfold their potentials. and as we went ahead I saw that it was an exciting project
Thirdly I launched a social intervention and entrepreneurship project. what we call the Inspires Solar Project as an intervention to improve safety. Also, to encourage the use of natural but wasting resources in the sun. and create employment through the training of those we employ to work with us as a team.
Fourth part is marriage counseling, where we organize couples forum monthly. The idea is to grow healthy marriages through knowledge. We started that February 2016 and it has been fun.
How did you start?
During my Postgraduate training… that’s the training that makes you a Specialist in my field. While I was in that training, I noticed that there was a gap in the system.
My trainers, professors, colleagues. where all operating in the system that they had very little control over. and a lot of it had to do with control of work environment, personal control and financial challenges. Somewhere along the line I felt dissatisfied. What I will call a healthy sense of dissatisfaction.
Persisting on that path was going to take us to the end point where our trainers and mentors at that time where. They were already professors, surgeons, successful people in their right. but they had little or no control… lamenting and complaining about the dysfunctional system they worked in.
We decided to seek answers… why this gap? There were a group of intelligent doctors. but they were lamenting about a system they could do little or nothing about. the system was dysfunctional, theaters were not working. like the way we are still battling now in the health system. A few of us got together to find out what is wrong? Why are we so intelligent and yet have little control? We come to work and lament.
As a student I heard these lamentations, during residency I heard the same thing. Heading towards the end of the program, I was still hearing the same thing. I knew if I do not do something different I was going towards the same thing. That was what started my journey and quest.
In the background of that. my uncle who raised me encouraged studying. so I grew up doing a lot of reading but it was not targeted, it was more of leisure reading…
We grew up learning the usual religious and school activities. but there was another world which we were completely shielded away from. nobody introduced that to us, which is what I call the type B learning. That was the gap!
We asked ourselves what was the gap that our trainers did not fill? So we started looking around, discussing within ourselves. Someone encouraged I broaden my reading. Then I attended a seminar titled Investment Opportunities for Doctors. It sparked my interest. The resource person opened my eyes to another world outside the walls of the hospital. which many of us did not know about. Because the way our training is structured, you get in and you are locked in there. A typical doctor has no time for any other engagement. So we started probing and reading some of these other books.
I was in Lagos for an exam and I picked a used copy of Think And Grow Rich and it was an introduction to a whole new world. After that, my appetite was whetted. I started digging deeper and deeper. which started the entire journey of the quest to fill in the gap that the classroom did not.
Hundreds and hundreds of books later, I had clarity about what was wrong. and that was… there is a lot, that the typical training system we had all gone through did not expose us to. and that showed me that, what you do not know hurts you. And what you know can enlarge and expose you to yourself.
I got introduced to the world of self-awareness and personal development. It’s a big world that most young people are shielded from. Most adults and parents are shielded away from it, so they cannot even pass that information over.
I dug deeper and discovered there was a big world which I needed to explore. And I wrote a simple rule which was… READ MY WAY OUT OF POVERTY. Poverty is not all about money. but there is poverty of knowledge, poverty of thoughts, and poverty of inspiration.
One book followed another, then another. When you get into the world of personal development, it links to the next level. Once you get into that, you discover that everything is connected to everything. You are guided along the line of seeking knowledge in a particular area. Books, authors, they are all linked.
In 2006 the quest started, by 2008 three years after. I had realized that there was much more I could do. with my knowledge, time, influence, leveraging with everything I have. with the contacts, the network. I could make more impact in whatever environment I found myself with what I was learning. and that was the inspiration that led to all the other things outside medicine.
Before then, my primary interest was pursue academics. persist, finish the training, get into academics, work, publish books, become a professor. That was the first interest but as I saw this other world. I realized I could do more to impact the society outside the narrow wall of the hospital or academia as it were. As I did more study I became more dissatisfied. and I almost dropped out but I had less than a year to go to the end of the program.
But following the principle I learnt which says there is fatigue of an unfinished project when abandoned. I had to strike a balance. The best way was to finish the program. and leverage it with all the experiences and knowledge. Then begin to create a system where I could impact the environment and world. With increasing knowledge came enlightenment and better ability to see opportunities.
Also, I have had sorry cases of burn victims as a result of fuel and generator. I remember a case of a newly married couple who died on my operating table. The husband had gone to get fuel for the generator. Returning he passed where the wife was cooking. and the fuel caught fire. In a bid to free himself from the burning liquid, he flung the Jerry can away and it landed on the wife… it was a gory sight. They both died in the hospital. These cases disturbed me. What can we do to reduce these fuel and generator incidents? I kept thinking. Then, My family and I had relocated to Lokoja, Kogi State. and I was also thinking of what was available but underutilized in the state. While thinking about these things one night an idea dropped. The sun… it is bountifully available in Lokoja. I thought more on it and I realized it was the solution for both questions. I did a thorough research on it and asked all the questions. One day, my brother called and linked me up to a supplier, he came down to Lokoja and after negotiations we struck a deal. That was how the Solar business started.
I had the desire to inspire a lot of young people. The beauty of this system is that whatever you know, you can offer. It’s already yours. And I wanted to offer it to a lot of young people because I know they will benefit.
The first challenge I had was that, so many young people were not interested. The fact is knowledge and idea based system are not so attractive to a lot of young people. We launched a THINKSPIRATION mentoring system. where we packaged all these . and whoever indicated interested, we can informally admit into the mentor-ship program. have a one-on-one with you. Introduce you to the world of personal development and within a few years you began to launch out on your own. You organize a program and they don’t turn up. The solution to that was I learnt to leverage with existing systems. Rather than try to force young people to gather and learn. we looked for systems that already exist and ride with it to offer this training. We decided to work with churches, groups,Youth corp members. They have organized units. We tell them: “we have this to offer are you interested? If you are, do invite us whenever you are having a program.” and it helped us get access to this young people. who have already gathered under existing systems. and by the time you offer it you are able to filter the few who are really interested and follow-up
The second challenge was getting partners. The way the system is, I cannot do it alone. I needed people who share common values and that was difficult. One of the great frustrations is getting people with the right mindsets. Most people want a quick solution. The solar system and projects we are doing. I have tried to work with a few guys to achieve the purpose of creating employment. Training to them to acquire skills on how the system works. So, on their own, they can begin to offer services, installation and even the business of supply.
The first sets of young men that we started with were very passionate and enthusiastic. about the whole thing but along the line they backed down. Their excuses were market is tough, no one is interested, no money e.t.c. but I told them the problem is not the market but your mindset about it. Also, many of you are not dissatisfied enough. You are not working after 3-5 years of graduation. I am trying to introduce you to this new world of opportunities but all you have are excuses. I told them when they came in forget about the money and concentrate on learning. because you will learn several marketable and life skills alongside the Solar business.
We had people who stuck with us. currently showing great results and achieving things on their own. One of them recently organized a training program. teaching a group of people Solar Installation. I am glad he did not think of hoarding the knowledge. but realized that the world is big enough for everyone to shine in the same field. He had graduated about five years earlier and was stuck with no idea whatsoever . Now he earns from the training, installation and maintenance. that is one of the success story and that is the aim, replicating this in other youths.
The third challenge is products and systems. Dealing with partners in the area of resource persons and supply line. Many people want to make money but do not want to first pay the price. The first supplier I partnered with compromised on the quality of the product. delivering less than the quality they promised. We learned our lesson. pulled out of the partnership, reorganized. and set up a new agreement and partnership with companies that were more reliable. So we could deliver on our own promise of stellar quality to our clients.
We learnt to filter partners. to be sure they were people who shared the same ideas and values in their offering to customers. I believe that my word is my bond and whatever promise I make, if I don’t make deliver affects us.
Some of these resource persons and suppliers were graduates. who only got the type A education, they were ignorant of the type B education. which is partly, customer service and satisfaction. time management, human psychology, marketing, maintaining integrity, honour e.t.c. these are things you need to be trained on. It is not offered in the classroom. but you only learn it if you have a healthy sense of dissatisfaction. and it will be through mentors, seminars, programs and reading.
I cannot train them because they are already running their own systems. and some are comfortable with the system they are running. They are not interested in knowing/learning more.
They tell me I worry too much about the clients, why bother about them when you have finished your supply? My reply was: “No, you have to guarantee customer satisfaction and quality. Because through that, you convert your customers to marketers.” But they do not share that opinion. if you are in a business there should be an assurance that you can guarantee money back.
I did not have fears because it was a journey. It took almost a decade, at least about six years, so I was growing and learning for that stage. Like I said, I read hundreds and hundreds of books in varied topics. from human psychology to marriage, business, marketing, personal development, selling e.t.c. thousands and thousands of hours invested.
Another goal I had aside reading my way out of poverty. was to find out the concept of successful business models. All these reading gave me clarity on what we needed to do to achieve success. That knowledge empowers you to launch a project with an assurance that if you follow the rules. and obey the principles you will achieve the success because it is time dependent.
For any project we start, we are not in a hurry because it takes 3-5 years to really organize a system. Due to the clarity of knowledge, tapping into the experiences of those who have done this. and documented, the principles, experiences and lessons. There was no fear, more like an assurance that whatever we could launch following the rules, it will be a success. Based on what I know now, I can launch any project, likewise my team.
How do you get inspiration?
When I move around, I look at my environment. What are the things I want but cannot find, what do I need that I cannot get? What services do I desire but I am not satisfied with? I take all these and organize the service that solves these problem and I have an assurance that it will work… why? Hundreds of people are like me, also frustrated by that gap. Even if its water, chair, bakery or snacks. whatever services you want to offer; take the principles I have said. study them and expose yourself to that training and personal internal goals. You can approach with the assurance that if I do these and obey these principles. my clients are going to be happy enough. to guarantee that business keeps growing to the point that achieves success.
We do not worry about success in all the projects we started. The principles are the same, we apply them and then patiently wait out the incubation period.
Financially, most of the things I have mentioned do not need so much money. We are actually selling knowledge, behind all this is knowledge. The solar and power system is the knowledge of how it works. knowledge of the fact that people need it, Knowledge of the fact that it solves a frustrating problem. Then you offer it with an assurance and guarantee that it works which makes the client happy.
When a client relate with you and feels their capital or investment is not protected, they back out. But when a client relates with you and feels that the offering you are giving them. gives an assurance that you understand what you are doing. and your service solves their problem. you also display enough expertise in what you are offering. You move them from the point of seeing it as something they can consider to what they need.
If a client gets to that point, doing business with you is already a given. It may not be immediately but in the future, whenever they are ready. It becomes a question of affordability; the moment they can afford it they will call you to seal the deal
All these information are not taught in classrooms but you learn them from study. They are documented in books but it’s less than 5% of adults that engage in active study. Information is available, Google has so many answers; it’s a click away. if you can desire to look, A man’s level of success is tied to his level of knowledge. If you must go higher, you must know more.
Most successful people have one thing in common, an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. They seek it either through self motivation, mentors or authors. Whatever it is if you do not have that commitment you will struggle. Because your project will rise and grow to the level of your own incompetence. which is the level of your knowledge and get stuck there, if you must shift the bar, you must shift your knowledge. So what is your level?
Many people see reading and studying as difficult. yes, it is time-consuming and tough but if you understand that this is the key to success you will pursue it. I would have remained a typical doctor cutting and sewing people in the theater. (which is what some of my colleagues are still doing). and the other side would have remained dormant.
But exposing my mind to learning and leveraging on existing systems. helped me maximize my potentials. If you can add knowledge to skills, you will get success and within that is time… what are you doing with your time?
I do my job well, then I mind my business… when I am on my job, I focus on the job. When I am off the job, I focus on my business. I work Mondays- Thursdays most times. Then I have off period which I spend with my family. While at home I study, think, fine tune. My wife and family have access to me. and they can interrupt anytime with anything, from homework to questions or attention.
Juggling family and work/business is something you learn and grow with. till you become adept at combining without clash. I learnt multitasking through books.
By my own life my children grow to see books around, everywhere. and they see me reading it… they model what they see and pick up the habit. That’s the most powerful tool that we have employed, that we are engaged in constant study and they see it as a way of life.
Also we reduce their distraction; we do not let them watch too much TV. During school period, no television from Monday to Thursday; they know it and do not ask for it. school days are for work which is reading, studying, homework e.t.c, then weekend a bit of television. They earn the right to watch TV. Most times the TV does not come on, not even News.
We stimulate them by offering incentives, we pay them to read and they bank the money. You want to earn money, read a book and give me a summary of what you have learnt and you get paid. Then they save the money and we put it into their accounts, overtime we will invest it for them.
The lesson is they are being taught knowledge attracts earnings, the more you know the more you can earn. The more you read, the more you can earn. There have the incentive of earning money. but passively and progressively they are learning. imagine that over the next 5-10 years it will definitely be a way of life.
They need to see you leave it, children model their parents. if you are not doing it, it will be hard to get them to do it.
A child that reads becomes an adult that thinks. A child that read becomes an adult that leads. This is the future. We hope that with all this adding up there will come out with a broader view of the world. and find inspiration from all that happens around them. also see how to solve problems. it is the ability to solve problems that will determine what is success in life.
Gosh! so much sauce in an interview… I am happy for the dissatisfaction that set me on this journey… I now have a clue what I was feeling and searching for!
What are your takeaway?