#JuneWritingContest: A Book In A Year Reloaded(N100k Prize)

#JuneWritingContest: A Book In A Year Reloaded(N100k Prize) Here is another chance to win N100k by doing what you love. Recall that we formally started writing A Book In Year in June 2023. Before that, we had sessions and posts on how to achieve the task. But after my 2nd post on the challenge, we lost steam. So we will go again this year and for this month, we will write about our proposed book project as a precursor to other activities that will help us realise this goal. TASK: A short book proposal detailing the following. An introductory background to your book, why you want to publish it and why you think it will be a viable venture. A premise (if you are writing non-fiction, your story premise is the basic concept or thesis, usually identifying the need/problem and then proposing a solution). Your writing strategies/tools (Writing times/venue, target daily & total word count, MS Word, Google Doc, Scrivener, etc). Your preferred publishing pathway (Self or Traditional Publishing) and why you chose it. If you wish to collaborate then you MUST assign different colours to each author and highlight their contribution. Here is an example. As usual, you MUST publish your stories on Medium, LinkedIn, Substack or any alternative platform and then send the link to your published story to You MUST also attend the peer review session and provide useful feedback to stand a chance of winning. The total word count of your story should be 1500 words ± 10% and the submission deadline is on or before Wednesday 19/06/2024 at 11:59 pm. IMPORTANT!!! Read, research and understand the instructions before starting. For further clarification, send an email to The winner will be determined by peer review on a date to be announced on our social media pages. GOODLUCK! If you enjoyed this, please share it and hit the follow button to join our community of digital creatives at let’s grow together. If you wish to emigrate or collaborate, send an email to me let’s work together.

Blog, News, Resources

Peace Habila Wins N100k For The #ValentineContest 

The brain is very good at finding reasons not to attempt. But if you don’t attempt you will neither fail nor succeed. Yet failure is an integral part of success. ~ Cmoni The winner of our #ValentineContest emerged with 6 nominations but I would like you to read my commentary first. Let me begin by saying that I’m enjoying our sessions more and I’m sure you may be wondering why this is so. I will tell you. Following Seth Godin has been transformative in many ways. I don’t miss his weekly Akimbo podcasts. Please follow this him and thank me later. Godin made me realise that plurality is a myth.  You don’t need the numbers to be good at what you do. All you need is the smallest viable audience and the determination to show up consistently for them, and yourself too. Yes, when you teach, you learn. This is why I enjoy a session with 2 attendees as much as I do with a dozen people. Of course, I know about the saying “the more the merrier” but sailors also say “the fewer on board the larger the loot”. In any case, what I’m saying is that like fine wine, we are progressing fine! I intend to hold at least 12 sessions/contests this year. But not without your support. It can be 24, 36 or more but at the very minimum, we should have 12. Ok, let’s dive in. Do you know the origin of the word essay? You can look up the etymology on Google. Essay derives from the French word essai. It means trial or attempt. An essayist attempts. We try to convey our thoughts, ideas, and opinions as the case may be. Of course, not every story can be described as an essay but even your best fiction or poem reflects your thoughts..or at least some of it. Now it’s sad to see that some works didn’t qualify for this contest because they didn’t fully comply with the instructions. Some didn’t meet the word count or deadline while others were either not published on a platform or included digital products from other sources. I encourage you to learn from this unsuccessful attempt. That is the essence of what we are doing. Learning from attempts, both the successful and unsuccessful ones, and building on the lessons learned. However, it’s important to emphasize this; Writers should be able to comprehend and follow instructions or at least seek clarification.  One of my lecturers, Prof Igbigbi used to say that understanding or misunderstanding the question is part of the exam. In the first case, you will pass if you know the answer. If you don’t have the answer you can say what you understood by the question and earn some marks. (Medical students can relate) But once you misunderstand the question, you have already started failing. So always read, understand, and comply with the instructions. Seek clarification when you think it’s ambiguous or confusing. Furthermore, we need to allocate adequate time to tasks, or else we rush through and commit avoidable errors. For instance, I was planning a joint project with a friend. and we were to launch this 1st quarter of the year. Well, I did some reflection and realised I was moving too fast. I work 30+hrs/week. I am committed to work-related training until March 29th. I’m also writing a book in a year. I remotely run 2 businesses. I have an ongoing building project. I administer 3 platforms including this one. If you add regular chores like school runs, walks, gym, etc..whew! I considered all I had on my table and realised how tough it would be to add more. Thus, I suggested that we use the first quarter of 2024 to fully conceptualise the project, particularly the revenue profile, before launching. So consider all your engagements and allow adequate time to achieve tasks. I wrote about this here. Don’t postpone until the last day because you will make mistakes. I have also repeatedly advised writers to use editing apps like Grammarly to correct grammatical errors. At our level, it is disappointing to see works dotted with countless red marks. As an editor your first reaction is to trash such drafts and I do that all the time. I only edit drafts with few pardonable errors. Again we also agreed to get our domains on platforms like Medium, LinkedIn, substack etc It is for our good. If you don’t get published elsewhere at least you can do that yourself. And in doing this you will learn more about publishing online. You will learn to hyperlink texts, embed images and videos and other skills that enrich your work. Now let me tell you this. I get a lot of joy from reading my old stories because they remind me of my progress as a writer. Improve your social media presence. And by this, I don’t mean scrolling and chatting away your time. Be productive, engage and follow those who post about your interests. My stories titled Digital Holy Grail did justice to this point. Moreover, it is a great way to build your platform as a writer. This counselling may sound elementary, but it’s worth repeating because we are never too big for small errors. The craft can be simple but not necessarily easy and we know this because we chose it. As I said previously I’m committed to this journey and I urge everyone to put in the extra effort. It is simpler when we navigate together. Recall that at the end of last year, we agreed to reward excellence. It is a step forward after a period of paying out tokens of encouragement to many. This is the right path for many reasons among which are these 3. We have passed the beginners stage. Yes, we are writing a book in a year and will also pass that stage soon enough. (More on this later) In addition to writing, we are learning other skills like publishing,

Blog, Diaspora Diary., FEATURES

Diaspora Diary: To Be A Man…

Family is not an important thing. It’s everything. ~ Michael J. Fox As a growing kid, my dad always gave me pep talks on how to become a responsible and successful man. More than once he ended the talks with one line; “Ayichaa ka ara fhulu ulo, ayia ka ara fhulu ogalanya”. It means that friendship will be according to age as you grow but it will later be determined by success. The lucidity of this statement wasn’t exactly grasped by my juvenile mind then but it is a line that nevertheless remained engraved in my subconscious. As a young adult thrust into the hectic terrain of the Nigerian oil business when I lost my dad at 21, I mostly related with older men who had years of business experience. The wisdom I gained is invaluable. In Lagos, I had a boss who wasn’t much older even though he was almost at the peak of his career then. I would visit him in the office and we’d chat about business, life and politics. On this particular day, I was going home from work and decided to pop in. He was staring out of the window overlooking the sprawling and ever-busy Victoria Island Lagos. After the usual pleasantries, we got talking and at one point he said, “I wish I could fly over this traffic to the welcoming embrace of my loving family”. I could feel him. Lagos traffic can be debilitating. With a wry smile, I told him to be calm since he just left them in the morning. He said “Well, my wife just left here a few hours ago”…and continued about how much he would have loved to have his family around him at work, at home and everywhere. I can’t be too sure now but I think I said he can imagine my situation. He’s aware that my family lives in Ireland. As we talked about family and the joy they bring he asked a question that triggered what I now consider a life-changing introspection. “ When last did you see your family Cmoni?” I replied that I couldn’t be exact but that it’s been at least 3 months. Then he asked another question I would remember for the rest of my life. “How do you cope?” Initially, the question didn’t sound too weighty because I smiled and said I speak with my family daily. Moreover, I visit regularly too. Sometimes twice, thrice a year and when I can’t bring them home for Christmas I rarely spend it without them. With a resigned look he told me he couldn’t possibly cope in my shoes. As I drove home that night I thought about our chat. Here is a man who is at the very top who could have anything, nice clothes, fancy cars and so on. He goes on vacation to the best spots yet his top priority isn’t money. It is his family. I remembered my father’s pep talks. Can I possibly claim to be responsible and successful if I don’t actively and fully play my role as a father? Yet living abroad was not my immediate or future consideration. I could move my family back home of course. After all, the initial plan was to give our child a second citizenship. My wife only stayed back because she was offered a path to naturalisation. On second thought the benefits of having European citizenship surpassed those of living in Nigeria. When a friend asked me what would put food on the table after I informed him about my plans. I replied that I would be visiting every quarter to oversee my businesses. He said, “Cmoni it is time to build”. Again, I thought about this statement hard and long. Relocation could trigger a mid-life crisis for me. I mean who would effectively run my businesses? What would I be doing abroad? 9–5 wasn’t an option because I needed some flexibility to travel often. However, I was relieved after some research. I realised that significant changes and accomplishments made early in life can prevent a mid-life crisis. In Igboland, your foremost responsibility as a man is to your family. The resources you should deploy to provide for them go beyond money. To provide counsel, affection and protection you must devote your TIME. Following all the musings I concluded that for now, ‘building my family’ was more important than ‘building my business empire’. The reason for this is simple. You can always build an empire at any time but if you miss parenting and the bonding that a single roof provides especially during your kids’ teenage years, you can never recover it. Hard decisions are often the best. So, on the 15th of January 2015, I relocated. For a man who, barring a few years in the UK, had lived his entire adult life doing business in Nigeria, it was indeed life-changing. All the same, my family was already well settled in Ireland. And with my versatility, I could easily adapt anywhere. I had things planned, or so I thought… Yet, it is one of my best decisions. If you enjoyed this please share it. You can also hit the follow button and join our cmonionline community of digital creatives let’s grow together. Thanks for reading.

Blog, Creative Essays, Writers

Toxic Ghost by Peace Habila-Okwoli

When it happened, I didn’t have the courage to lift my head for fear of becoming the meat on bloggers’ tables on social media. Picturing myself on each blogger’s page with captions like ‘Proposal Gone South’ and how they would add what didn’t happen to spice things up as well as attract the gullible kept me still. I would rather remain in this position: one knee down, eyes fixed on the ground and tears flowing like a river till the mockery-induced laughter and smirks fade away. I blame myself more than I blame Adunni who propelled me into this mess. I was too foolish to forget how she had jinxed great opportunities for me in the past. I hate her guts yet enjoy her company. She is my only friend and because we function like the negative and positive forces of the universe, I had held onto our friendship like life. On the day she got engaged, she couldn’t hide her displeasure over my inability to get Dayo to man up and put a ring on my finger. I recall how we sat on the floor like two hopeless birds mourning the death of the wind before she snatched us back to reality with “What if you propose to Dayo? It is the 21st century, girl” “Come on, my ancestors will disown me’’, I added as quickly as I could before her words settled in my bones. Days turned to weeks and I began to rationalize her suggestion. Dayo was beginning to act sweet. He was the sweetest shade of himself. Then the demon possessed me. ”Hello Dayo, do you have a minute to spare?”, I asked over the phone with the words quaking through my vocal cords due to fear. ”Sure, shoot babe’’, he replied swiftly. ”I want us to do dinner tonight’’, I added almost immediately. “Ok, I will pick you up after work. Our usual spot, right?”, He asked. “No! Dayo, I will send the address to you and I will find my way there, don’t worry”, I replied. ”Ok”, he said before dropping the call. Fear welled up from my tummy racing for my throat to choke life out of me. I wondered why he didn’t add the usual “I love you” closing. It got me anxious but the thought of wasting 10 years of my life and the possibility of another 10 gave me faint hope. I rushed to the makeup studio to fix myself. The red gown was perfect for the day because it was Valentine. When I was ready to step out, I loved what I saw in the mirror- I was intimidating to the eyes yet soft on the heart. Dinner was beautiful but the thought of what was ahead made me uneasy. Thankfully, he didn’t notice it. ”Dayo, I love you so much’’, I said as I let my feet enjoy the freedom of stretching. Like a robot, I walked to his side and knelt on one knee. ”Please, marry me’’, I said. ”Get up, you are embarrassing me”, he said. I asked again and again till my voice lost discretion and got people around clapping. Guess he really couldn’t take it as he hurried out, leaving me to my fate. I felt empty yet determined to salvage what was left of my self esteem. I stayed there for a while, enduring the arrows of shame and mockery that were directed at me. When my romance with fear was over, I started counting the feet of people leaving the restaurant. The restaurant was almost quiet when someone tapped my shoulders. I lifted my head to a cute young man urging me to get up. ”You have punished yourself enough’’, he said. He wondered why I allowed them to take pictures of me. His indirect speech confirmed my fears. The only available consolation was the hope that none of them got my face. I am Samson but you can call me Sam, he said as he disrupted the silence that had engulfed the table we sat at. One thing led to another and I found myself in love with Sam barely six weeks after meeting him. He wasn’t the conventional Abuja guy. I enjoyed his pranks and the air of mystery around him; it kept me longing for more. My mum was excited the day I told her about Sam’s proposal. I was over 40. That explained the over 1000 congratulatory messages that glazed my social media timeline. However, the low key wedding was disappointing to a lot of people. They expected us to throw a big party. My mother concluded that I was overprotective of Sam. “E no easy to see husband”‘was all I had the courage to say in response to her question. She had so many issues with Sam and how he couldn’t get his people to show up for the wedding but what doused her fears was that he was working on his papers to relocate to Canada. It was only decent to rush the wedding and process our documents as a couple. That explanation calmed a lot of wagging tongues. After the wedding, he moved in with me. I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of joining him in a hotel where he had spent about 5 months plus. Like they say, marriage is an eye opener but in my case, it opened my eyes to the beauty of love. I enjoyed waking up to his bright eyes jealously watching over me. I felt so much in love and wished Dayo could get to see this in addition to knowing that I got married two months after he walked out on me. He was my world and I threw myself helplessly into his net of love. All was going well until this same Adunni called to register her concerns. ”I think your husband is a narcissist’’, she exclaimed. ”You are in his web o!” “Do you feel fulfilled?” “Are you truly happy?” “Can’t you see he has

Blog, Creative Essays, Writers

In Search of My Better Half: A short fiction by Chukwuemeka Oluka

Photo credit: freepik How the Durex Mutual Climax found its way to the ground in the full glare of introspective eyes is what beats my wildest imagination. Using his Instagram page, Aproko Doctor would preach against putting condoms inside wallets. He also discourages men from putting their wallets in their back pockets and then sitting on it. However, I would just laugh over his sermons and consider it all cruise. I love to put stuff in my back pocket notwithstanding. Especially my handkerchief. Though this would teach me a lesson I would never forget in a hurry. The moment I dragged the handkerchief’s tip to clean the sweat bubbles having a swell time on my face, the condom pack followed through immediately, like a child who would give the dad close marking to monitor when he goes out. I was still spreading the hanky generously on my face when an instinct beckoned on me to take a pause. I saw pairs of eyes locked on the condom. Their jaws dropped freely and their mouths went ajar. If I did not die that day in the mall, I might never die again. Shocking! I melted. I wish I could disappear. Many weird situations I have witnessed in life, but none came close to this. The other day, it was bedbugs. Yes, bedbugs! That day, I donned an immaculate white shirt with its crimson red buttons opened to the chest level. My pants looked sharp; razor sharp. The belt gripping my waist matched with the pair of shoes I wore. I also wore the costliest cologne in my wardrobe. I was giving fine boy vibes. However, all these meant nothing to bedbugs. Did I tell you I was heading for a date? She was already seated at the reservation. I joined her, ready to wear my heart on my sleeves. “Nothing will make this date go the path of the previous ones,” I said to myself. I was ready to hold this relationship so gently and tightly. It wasn’t going to slip off my fingers. The previous relationship before this didn’t last longer than an orgasm. It came crashing like a pack of cards because of the weirdest of reasons. She accused me of pressing the toothpaste from the middle and not from the bottom. Well, as we sat holding down discussions and waiting for our orders to be served, her eyes spotted two tiny creatures crawling out from under my collar. It was a white shirt, and this meant that spotting their movement was effortless. They moved haphazardly like male and female in a frenzy. They looked like tiny cockroaches. You would reckon the male was giving the female a last-minute chase for a mating session. The female stretches the companion to the limit to ensure the mating right is earned. Her attention was divided, but her eyes focused on something. We lost eye contact. I became worried. “Baby, what is it? You look so troubled.” “Oh… It’s fine” she responded. At that moment, Romeo and Juliet had found their way back under the collar. They were having a swell time with their relationship. Unknown to them, they were the village people sent to destroy mine. She wore red lipstick and the heart shape her mouth took while she sipped her drink kept me gazing at her with relish. Her face was moisturized and bright. I was making some mental pictures of how beautiful my children would look. One of her palms was placed on the table. I put mine over them and ran quick massages. Then I stretched my neck, ready to sink a kiss on her forehead, when she exclaimed; “Again? What are those things that keep crawling from under your shirt?” This time, they were three. There is no telling me it wasn’t kpakpangolo game they were playing. “Bedbug! Jesus! How come?” The moment she heard ‘bedbug,’ she froze. The glass wine she held, found its way joyously to the ground. “You nurse bedbugs?” “Babe, I don’t understand what you mean. Don’t say that,” I responded. She got up, dabbed her mouth with tissue paper to ensure the red colour on her lips was still within circumference and then she took a walk. I was gobsmacked. I couldn’t muster the ounce of energy to beg her to stay. It was our first outing and it ended in an embarrassment, not just for me, but also for her. As soon as I found my senses again, I dashed to the restroom, took off my shirt and closely observed it. I found a red coloured stain on the back of the neck. I had also seen a similar stain on the headrest of the bolt ride I booked. However, it didn’t catch my attention, as I was consumed by the wild thoughts of how the date would go. It dawned on me that the padded cushions of the bolt ride were infested with bedbugs. I might have snuffed life out of one of them when I rested my head on the seat. The shock and shame the incident caused me will never leave my subconscious mind. That was why when the Durex condom fell to the ground, it felt like a déjàvu. Another embarrassment. I felt like speaking to the ground to let it swallow me. Did I tell you I was carrying a bible? Maybe I should have rejected the condoms. Valentine’s Day celebration was counting down to hours, and that day, the NGO distributed free condoms as part of their enlightenment campaign for safe sex. After the 4:00 pm fellowship, I was heading for the mall when they foisted one pack on me; the way some kingdom preachers would foist gospel pamphlets on passersby. *** I resumed cleaning my face with the hanky, confused about the next step to take. Then, someone touched me gently on the back. “Have it” she encouraged me. I ran a quick scan of the faces of onlookers and summoned the courage. Everyone burst into laughter — hysteric

Blog, Creative Essays, Writers

Husband Ghost by Daniel Ogba

image credit: Unsplash Try as I might to deny it, some part of me knew Tobi was not real. It was a strong knowledge, couldn’t shake it off, no matter how many times I coaxed my mind with pep talks about not allowing the trauma of my past relationships ruin the one good thing I had going for me. No matter how many times I confronted him about it — how little I knew about him despite how long we’d been together, about how I feared that one morning I would awake to find straightened sheets in place of the slender, solid weight of his frame, and his palms would no longer slide into mine as it had every morning for the past nine months. He had laughed when I told him. His laughter, carried as if from a hollow, came to my ears, encircled them, slithered down the corridors with warmth so intense, powerful and complete with an assurance I could almost touch when he said in his sing-song baritone: “I will never abandon you, Ifem. You have nothing to worry about.” My previous partner had said the exact phrase to me. I will never abandon you, my light. I’d be directionless like the wind. But he’d carried his big head to go and die in a road accident while traveling from Enugu to Lagos, for what he said was a business trip. And at his requiem in his hometown(one of his coworkers, a friend, had taken me), I was bone-shocked to discover that the woman sitting behind the condolence table, garbed in white all-through was his wife, and that the three young boys surrounding her like soldiers, were his children. The trip he’d died making was in return to his real family for his wife’s PhD convocation at the university of Lagos. I had been enraged then, walked stiffly behind my friend in a queue leading up to the table. I contemplated telling the woman as I shook her hand that her husband was a cheat, and that he deserved to have died in such horrible manner. The line proceeded slowly, I fiddled the promise ring he’d fitted on my middle finger after a wild round in my house, the one he paid for in full with his money, finally taking it off, slipping it inside my purse before my friend left the table and it was my turn to offer condolence. I told her I knew her husband well, that we worked very closely. “I don’t recognize you. What’s your name?” A hint of suspicion danced in her tired, tear-reddened eyes. “Ifechukwu.” “Richard never spoke about you. I know all his close associates.” I wanted to say maybe it was because her husband thought telling her about me was like delivering arsenal into the enemy’s camp. He thought it best to leave me out of their conversations, smart, big-headed man that he was. He also never mentioned his family to me. He’d been good to me. It would’ve been senseless to ignite chaos. “I am deeply sorry for your loss, ma. Your husband was a seasoned professional at his job.” I discarded the ring as our vehicle sped past the undulating hills of Nike, folded up all the promises he’d taught my heart to believe. In my room that night, in the bed that had bore his weight, I thrashed madly about mourning something that wasn’t mine to mourn. * Tobi’s words buoyed me out of the morass I’d been wallowing in since he appeared in my life, held my arms and led me over the ledge, as I crossed from a world of skepticism into one where he was possible, where his presence was real as real can be — like the black mole on the arch beneath his right eye which I caressed on Saturday mornings that I usually woke up before he did, when he lay asleep undisturbed, as if in death, until it was noon. He was as real as the sweat that poured in rivulets down his back, denying me a firm grip of skin while he worked his weight above me; like the grunts and hot breaths that clung to my wet throat while we kissed, as my thighs vibrated from the ecstasy his hardness harnessed from my body. That, too, was real, in fact, I don’t think anything can be realer than an orgasm. Yet, the knowledge of his un-realness was a ghost that retreated into the shadows, because I commanded it to, never rearing its head for the longest time. But its presence was still apparent, lurking about. He owned only three shirts, three jeans trousers, a black tux, and a pair of canvas. When he moved in finally, two weeks after I asked him to, a month after we met at Ballroom, he came with just a carry-on slung over his shoulder. Nothing else. I thought he wanted to make it easier for himself to be able to leave me. Less load, quicker disappearance. I kept expecting to find more of his luggage occupying space in the wardrobe we shared. I kept expecting to wake up one morning, or return home from work one evening and not find the carry-on in the corner where he’d securely fit it on the top wardrobe shelf. But that never happened. And even now, I can see the bag, black and new, unmoved from its position. He’s no longer here, yet what belongs to him still is. I realize he’d taken to owning little not for himself, not because he was cunning and calculative of his plan to disappear after he tired of me. It was for me, to make it easier to forget him, to get rid of any physical memory that he was ever here. More bags, clothes, shoes, meant it’d be tasking to move him out of my space after he was gone. He’d left a note tucked in the side pocket of the carry-on, the white edge of the

Blog, Lifestyle, News, Writers

The Winner Of N100k For The 21-Day Challenge Is…..

Becky Peleowo! We had a peer review to select the winner of our creative assignment for the 21-day challenge on 7/01/2024 with the following criteria. i. No self-nomination ii. Nominate 2 ONLY and explain why they deserve the prize. iii. A tie will be broken by the publisher. After the contributions and nominations by some members of the community, Becky Peleowo and Victor Oladejo tied at 3 nominations each. Immigrants of the Turbulent Waters is a thought-provoking project that demonstrates Becky’s versatility as well as a testament to her progress in creating rich media content. Dear Netizens embodies Victor’s talent as a creative and its captivating cover image shows that our mantra of stacking up digital skills has been embraced by this young writer. As we agreed, the community will strive to reward the best works instead of paying out tokens to encourage everyone. Hopefully, we will start rewarding our intellect with millions of naira soon enough. To break the tie I considered participation and other factors but I will summarise my assessment by paraphrasing the honest appraisal of one of us. “Becky — I noticed that she attended the pre-21-day challenge meetings on Sundays and this helped her in chronicling her work. From her work, she worked on a vocalised poem and attended a skill acquisition which is a testament to her judicious use of time”  “Victor —  I like the fact that he listened to the advice to reduce his unproductive time on Twitter and created a work on Netizens. Hopefully, his next digital project will involve more forms of media production” The projects by Solomon Ekoja and Oluwaseun Osanyinro were equally good. We can be proud that our writers can now create multimedia content. It shows we have come of age. The baby step taken in 2020 has developed into adult strides that will eventually become giant leaps. The 21-day challenge will be a recurring fixture because it will form part of a digital product I’m developing. As we already know, the best part of our journey together is yet to come. By the end of January, we will meet again to chart the path for 2024 starting with our Book In A Year challenge which commenced in June 2023. I thank everyone for their support especially those who participated in this challenge. I’m fulfilled that we learned a thing or two. I also use this opportunity to appeal for more participation from our community. Happy New Year!

Blog, Creative Essays

Commentary On My Digital Product by Oluwaseun Osanyinro

1. Journey in the Media Unit: As time marched on, I discovered something big — more significant than just crafting digital stuff. It’s the power of being there, doing your thing, day in and day out. The power of consistency. This realization hit home when I joined the Media Unit at Living Faith Church, Total Garden. Being consistent in creating digital products for all sorts of church happenings helped me grow big time in content creation, social media vibes, and even a bit of graphic design. The once naïve content writer could finally create digital products worthy of commendation. What can I say helped? Time and consistency. Thinking back to my first week in the unit, I was no digital wizard. Writing was my comfort zone. A safe place, a hiding place. But, you know what? Curiosity kicked in, and I couldn’t resist diving into the world of graphic design. Maybe the creativity pulled me in or the play with colors and shapes that produced captivating designs. My environment, the Media Unit, encouraged my new-found passion. There was always something to create. A design to invite members and newcomers to church, a design to summarize the service, a design to invite members to concerts or children’s parties etc. Every task I embarked on brought me closer to competence. Fast forward a few months, and I was not just jotting down sentences during sermons; I was diving headfirst into creating cool graphic designs, empowered to create compelling digital products. Last Sunday was like a highlight reel of how far I’ve come. Two assignments, limited time. But my time management skills, which I’ve been polishing up, kicked in. First, I soaked in the Pastor’s words, capturing those moments that hit deep. After a bit of proofreading, which I did meticulously, I worked my magic with Adobe Photoshop, turning those phrases into eye-catching sermon notes. Posted them on social media with a short caption, and to top it off, a reel on Facebook. Our church activities never looked so vibrant. The likes and comments were testaments. For the other service bits, CapCut was my go-to for editing videos, throwing in some tunes, and sharing them online. My digital creations became the life of the party for our church happenings. Nowadays, I use CapCut to create birthday shoutouts for members of my church and to celebrate notable milestones. 2. The 21-Day Writing Challenge: Ever heard that you can make or break a habit in three weeks? Well, that is what Cmonionline’s 21-day writing challenge was all about. It happened at a time when my phone decided to go on vacation, whether I liked it or not. At the start, I had no clue what I was getting into. Balancing work, writing, and keeping up with online posts was a bit like juggling flaming torches. My writing prowess was taking a hit. I have had my fair share of disappearing acts — sometimes for a month or a few weeks — usually when life gets a bit too crazy. But this challenge was different. It was a learning rollercoaster, all thanks to the writing community. In our second meeting, we dug into Hal Elrod’s “The Miracle Morning.” It struck a chord with me. Taking charge of the day in the first 60 minutes — meditating, exercising, jotting down thoughts before the world wakes up. A way of staying consistent as a writer before the crazy day kicks in. It’s become my secret sauce, making me better at tackling the day. Now, what happens after the 21-day challenge? Can I vanish into thin air forever? That was the ponder as we ended the challenge. Buffer — the secret weapon our convener dropped on us answered my question. It’s a game-changer, linking all my social media, scheduling posts, keeping tabs on engagement. It’s like having a reliable sidekick, making sure I don’t ghost the online world for too long. I usually say What you don’t know is your older brother. I was elated and tried my hands on it and within an hour, I made my first post simultaneously to my Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn pages. On improvement, I would say I am already on my way. Having a faulty phone has helped me realize I could do well without a mobile phone on me at every minute of the day. I would love to cut down more of my social media activity to certain hours of the day and spend my time on productive activities such as getting a certification in creative writing and plot. In all, I would always thank Cmonionline for his passion for building a writing community not after prize money only but becoming better writers daily. It was three weeks I would not forget in a hurry.


A Commentary On My Purpose Driven Challenge by Solomon Ekoja

  Digital products created: Silent night Long time ago All things bright and beautiful That name Jesus I die daily He takes a beggar and makes him a king I have a shepherd BIBLE is good enough for me – YouTube I believe – YouTube As a creative, one may be tempted to expend energy on unproductive ventures while the wheels of creativity rust. This was my story. Though caught in this web, the 21-day challenge from distraction liberated me from the grip of this fruitless adventure. After engaging in a critical thinking exercise to come up with a creative idea, my mind went back to my dormant 3 years old YouTube channel, which had just a video on its dashboard. The challenge challenged me to create over 10 YouTube videos for public consumption. Reasons why I chose the Carol video production: *There was a need for digital contents with the capacity to lift one’s spirit during the Christmas and New Year celebrations. *I wanted to create a routine and cultivate a positive habit that could become a lifestyle *I yearned to revive my channel after years of dormancy *I desired to create content that could be consumed by kids and adults globally *I wanted to develop my music skills *I have always longed to impart my generation positively Method approach used: As a creative, one needs to study his environment for trends/seasons to create digital products that resonate with the needs of consumers. With Christmas drawing close, the knowledge helped me to leverage the season to create some carol videos. In creating the products, I first researched the lyrics of some songs from the internet to get a personal copy. This was followed by a series of practice sessions to be conversant with the tone, pitch, and keys. After gaining some mastery, I recorded and reviewed my first video draft to measure my performance and correct lapses. With the necessary corrections taken, I proceeded to record my final videos in a calm and quiet environment. This was done to avoid unnecessary distractions. When the final recordings were completed, I saved my files safely in a phone folder. For newbies, it is important to take note of this step because failure to do so may lead to the loss of an entire digital production output. After creation, I got a data package from my network provider to upload the files to my YouTube channel. This took hours from me and were it not for my resilience, I would have abandoned the exercise midway. From my experience, I noticed that it is easier to download files from the internet than to upload them. Digital creatives should always try to imbibe the virtue of patience during this stage because; uploading may sometimes be frustrating to newbies. In addition, I tried to monitor the progress of my digital products after uploading them to gain insight into areas I needed to improve upon to retain my audience. From my observation on the 18th of December 2023, my videos were able to have about 100 views from members of the public. This progress wouldn’t have been measurable without the skill of follow-up. Digital creators should please try their best to follow the analytics of produced works because in analysis lies progress. Finally, one thing I noticed about some digital creators is that they hardly extend their knowledge and failure stories to others. To escape this norm, I deliberately took it upon myself to teach my learners/orphans how to sing some songs and engaged them to create some digital products too. This I believe may be the spark they would need to thrive in this digital era while they age. What I learned: In the course of the 21-day challenge, I learned how to create and upload video clips to YouTube. This proved to me that anyone anywhere could be a digital creator. As I deliberately carved out time to exercise my body after the day’s work, it eased me from stress and helped me to think straight. This is a testament to the important role exercise plays in spicing up the creativity of a digital creator. My visit to the NKST orphanage exposed me to the bitter plight of disadvantaged members of the public. It further enlightened me about the voluntary role I needed to play in my community. As a lucky online attendee at the Drucker Forum conference in Austria, I learned that as a leader, I needed to normalize regrets to become a better negotiator, problem solver, and strategist. In the course of the challenge, I was able to complete an 8-week business management course organized by the Tony Elumelu Foundation in less than 2 weeks. Thanks to my resolve to deliberately shut out distractions and be productive. Through the extension of my music skills, I learned about the virtue of transferring knowledge across generations. After visiting a sick colleague, I understood the importance of purposeful rest. Areas for improvement: * With primary assignments calling for my attention, there’s an urgent need to learn balanced multitasking *I need to develop my networking skills amidst varying commitments. *Deliberately scheduling rest without feeling guilty.   Click here to read a richer version of this on Google Docs.

Blog, Creative Essays, Writers

A Commentary On: Dear Netizens by Victor Oladejo

Victor Oladejo has written an e-book and you can read the pdf version of DEAR NETIZENS here. Enjoy his commentary below. The best part of being a writer is not the writing itself, but the people you meet along the way.~ Stephen King. The Cmonionline community has been a home for me since I published my first work and whenever I think about my journey as a writer so far, this quote at the entrance of this essay beams with more meaning. In this community aside from giving my work a home on the website, the leadership has presented different opportunities in terms of cash rewards, workshops, and great seminars. I could recall that sometime this year, we had a meeting with a ghostwriter on how to ghostwrite. The opportunities here, I must say, are tremendous. The last community program we had this year, 2023, was the 21-day challenge. Here we had live sessions that I benefited from, also we were taught how to organize days in routines. For me, during the 21 days of the challenge, I participated in, I learned many things that inspired my digital product. One of which is time management. During one of the life sessions, I explained my social media life and everything about it. During the live session the coordinator, the founder of the community, Odogwu Cmoni helped break down what I should know in terms of time management and what I should stay occupied with online. Surprisingly, the need for the experience came in handy for my digital product. In the digital product I used my experience online and the lessons from the 21-day journey to weave a guild of three suggestions, however, other processes were involved in its creation. Aside from burrowing from the experience garnered into the process in the course of the 21-day challenge, I developed my ideas using research that involved other cultures like the Japanese work ethic, and the Latin wise sayings. The Japanese lifestyle intrigues me because of the discipline associated with it, if you read Tony Robbins’s book: Awaken the Giant Within, you’ll have come across the word: Japanese miracle and how kaizen a concept that translates as continuous improvement helped them, hence the reason I included Kanban in my product, I believe this would spark a light of curiosity into this amazing culture in the reader. As for the Latin words, I have a personal liking for words that originate from this place. I believe in the process of studying an important concept in two different languages, the understanding would slip in on its own. The writing process of the product was the bulk of the Job. The target title of the book was the first thing that woke my muse. At first, I thought the Netizen was a Nigerian slang until Mirriam-Webster shocked me. The writing process involved creating the drafts, fleshing them out, and with the help of Bard Ai, I corrected some sentences and punctuated the words in the digital product. Also while I was writing, I was careful to ensure the digital product covered social media life and time management with the three suggestions to the best of my ability at the time of production. As for the book cover, I applied my knowledge of Graphic Design to the Book cover design by adding the image of a lady lost in her thought with some social media icons floating about, this message here is that we have people who use social media and they spend most of their time in it as they shuttle from one platform to another in pursuit of trends. I also added links to related websites to the digital product to ensure the readers can have further knowledge on the central topic of the guide. I believe this digital product: DEAR NETIZEN, will help the readers manage their time on social media and see changes in their lives just like I have seen changes in my social media life, especially my timeline on Twitter and the 21-day challenge has improved my online presence as I now control my online presence. However, I still have to work on routine and time management as it is a continuous process. Also, least it slips away, in the challenge I explored the book creation and I discovered a new approach to it before I conclude this write-up, I would like to implore the readers to go through the ebook and put it to great use, also feedback is appreciated as they encourage me to write more.

Blog, Creative Essays, Writers

Commentary on my Digital Product : Immigrants of the Turbulent Waters by Becky Oludayo Peleowo

                                                                                                            I  I recall that the first time I became fully conscious of illegal migration was when I heard a first-hand story from a victim at an Illegal migration awareness conference, where I had accompanied some secondary school students to listen to the dangers of this shady business. The stories I heard that day tormented me for months and strengthened my resolve never to be desperate about leaving Nigeria. It was even more a resolve not to seek permanent residency in any country outside the coasts of Africa. You can say I was traumatised by the stories I heard and you would be right. Who would not be after hearing such gory tales?  That resolve waned with time but I would still vehemently discourage illegal migration. Many Nigerians are unaware of the peril that lies ahead of going through unauthorised paths to a foreign land. Many lack an international passport but will fall victim to agents who promise to take them abroad with seamless efforts. My commentary centres on this persistent challenge as the Japa Syndrome due to the financial crisis and insecurity in Nigeria is on the rise.  The 21-day self-evaluation exercise organised by the Cmoni group required us to do away with bad habits that were affecting our productivity and build new and better ones. Luckily I was taking a digital marketing course and the time I used to chitchat on social media was channelled into this course and also on writing in a platform, (Nircle community), where we had to write on different prompts monthly – For instance, December’s prompt is water. What could I write about water?  First I had to complete my Capstone Project for the Digital Women Boot Camp, then to make this commentary and finally to submit my entry on the prompt in Nircle Community. Merging this task was herculean for me but since one of the skills I tried to improve on during the 21-day retreat was time management, I decided to work on a vocalised poem as my digital product. The poem was my entry for the Nircle Community. I recorded the poem as a voice-over track, then used some stock and personal images to create content that emotionally appeals to the public. I used the Capcut app to achieve this and the experience of creating and editing my design was an exhilarating one for me.  The topic, “Immigrants of the Turbulent Waters” was chosen because I had to write on water and secondly because of a distant relative who was reported to have left Nigeria through one of these illegal means and her immediate family had no information on her whereabouts. A neighbour also shared his brother’s pathetic story on the same topic. Drawing my inspiration from these situations, I linked water to illegal immigration by sea and then I wrote a poem for the Nircle Community and made a vocalised poem in video form for my Cmoni Project, using the skills I had acquired from the Digital Boot Camp. Now I have one theme presented in different forms. You must be thinking of the cliche, “Killing two birds with one stone.” That’s just what it is!                                                       II  During the 21-day disengagement exercise, I acquired digital skills. I learnt Search Engine Optimisation, Google Analytics, Social media analytics, and web analytics amongst others.  Currently, I have confirmed my Google website and am already taking measures to increase the visibility of my business in search rankings.  Just like I mentioned earlier, my time management skill has improved. This makes me more productive and gives me a sense of fulfilment. The above-mentioned skill could not have been achieved without the Pomodoro app – Focus and Google tasks.  Regular writing on the Nircle app and reading from other writers expanded my knowledge, especially in poetry and non-fiction writing. Writing more often is one of the target skills I had to improve and I achieved this and got rewarded for my effort. I was able to read often too but this time my focus was on the resources for the Digital Marketing Course. I am glad to say I completed the course and I am looking forward to my certificate, a document that will propel me into the digital jobs sphere.  On improvement, I would love to spend less time using my mobile phone. I noticed that my daily dealings revolve around it. I’m already using my laptop for journaling but then the portability of the mobile phone makes it a better option. The time away from this device will be spent on family bonding. 

Blog, Lifestyle

Creative Assignment: For The 21 Day Challenge And N100k

The 21-Day Challenge will form part of a product I’m developing for digital natives who wish to improve their online productivity. So it is proper to finish up with an assignment that reflects the learning outcome.  For the N100k cash prize, draw from your journal and create a digital product of your choice. Then write a commentary explaining; 1. Why you chose the product and the method/approach used to create it. 2. What you learned in 21 days and areas that could be improved. The word count is (750 )± 10%, preferably in Google Docs. Submit via email to on or before Wednesday 20/12/2023 at 11:59 pm.

Blog, Lifestyle

Your pathway to online productivity.: Disappear For 21 Days.

Week 1: Welcome to our first meeting. I’m a stickler for punctuality but I usually give 10 minutes because we all know the frustrations with Nigerian networks. So after 10 minutes, we started with Becky Peleowo and Solomon Ekoja. The attendance was good enough for me to unpack my points without any feeling of disappointment. I’m experienced enough to know that doubts often follow disappointments. It is even more so in the early stages. Your response should be to hang in there with self-belief because you are creating value to build something bigger than yourself. The disappointment and doubts will eventually form an interesting part of your success story. So I thanked them for accepting the challenge and turning up. Now let’s dive in. I’m excited about this self-development step of having better control of your time. If you have been following my writing, you will know I’m interested in skills capabilities development with writing as the crucible. I develop compelling content including but not limited to articles that not only inform but also provoke thought and discourse. It’s a burgeoning passion fueled by the desire to give back to society. Before now, I wrote sociopolitical commentaries mostly on Facebook — arguably a complete waste of time. I could write multiple posts daily. It’s easy. I introduce the topic, smack down opposing views, then present my take and conclude. That’s it. Post done and arguments ensue! But if I have to be published in a newspaper — perhaps a worthwhile venture —  I take my time to research the topic, review the background, argue for and against it, and analyse the different perspectives before concluding with my opinion/suggestions. It’s a skill I learned in my Cardiff days studying Political Communication. It’s also a better way of articulating my thoughts in a more comprehensible manner. However, I decided to move on to scalable writing, investing my resources in building digital communities for knowledge acquisition that will enhance the productivity of our teeming youths. I no longer fall for cheap dopamine and the vacuous validation of uncritical minds. Now I derive real enduring pleasure in reading stories from writers in our growing community, in seeing their enthusiasm as we chat during Talkshops and in the vision I have for younger people to be more productive by creating solutions that add value. The cmonionline essay competition was a baby step I took during the pandemic lockdown of 2020 to improve the waning literary culture in Nigeria. Through repetitions and iterations, we developed consistency in writing and we keep growing. Already a member of our community Oluwaseun Osanyinro has published a book and more members will evolve into published authors at the end of our current “A Book In A Year” project.  We are also evolving into digital creators, educators and multiple solution providers as we acquire practicable digital skills through various e-tivities. It’s a process, and even though progress may appear slow now, I am certain the tune will be different sooner than later. By embarking on this journey we will reduce the distractions in a fast-paced world and increase our focus which of course is essential for improved productivity. During our meeting, I narrated my Facebook story which informed this challenge. I also shared my experience with Communities Of Practice, a module in my post-graduate studies at UCC which exposed me to the importance of group work and collaboration. Future write-ups will have these stories but for now, let’s focus on what we can start doing. Much of what we have to do in 21 days is in the text you read. In between we will meet thrice to discuss and learn on Sundays 19/11/2023, 26/11/2023 & 03/12/2023. If you haven’t read the post please find time to read it here. Let me repeat number 6 which will form the basis of the final creative project that will win the 100k prize. Journal: Finally, get a notepad/diary, traditional or digital and write down your daily routine/experience. As hard as it may seem, endeavour to write some words each morning. 100, 200 or more words will do as the following 3 weeks may well prove to be a turning point. And what better way to appreciate it than to record it for possible systemisation, productisation and monetisation! ACTIONABLE TIPS: You can start doing any or all of the following that require zero capital. 1. Create a routine if you don’t have one already. If your routine is based on your current job you need to modify it to integrate your aspirations. Don’t spend all your time working to achieve another person’s goal. 2. Start sanitising your social media TL Follow those who post value and your interests. Interact, engage. Social media is a mirror that works on algorithms. Your input determines your output. I follow and unfollow people daily. If you constantly tweet values like writing and other skills I’ll follow you. If you repeatedly tweet frivolities like betting and porn I will unfollow you. Read this post to understand more. 3. Use a reminder to think twice before you act online. eg I have a stop sign as my screensaver. It reminds me to stop engaging in frivolities when I pick up my phone. 4. Start creating online. I’ve written about this here. The creator economy is huge and guess what? It requires zero capital to start. You only need digital skills. There are tons of free and affordable knowledge tutors to learn from. Podcasts, YouTube videos, courses etc. 5. Use tools that aid your consistency. eg I use Buffer to schedule my posts every Sunday. If I’m driving or sleeping my scheduled posts are uploaded. You can start with free versions of these tools till you feel the need to upgrade. 6. Start learning a new skill or something. As you would expect I recommend writing ie if you are not writing already. But there are many other skills, especially digital skills to learn for free. Email and social media marketing, graphic design, copywriting, public

Blog, Monishots

How To Trounce Tribalism.

Equality is not the empirical claim that all groups of humans are interchangeable; it is the moral principle that individuals should not be judged or constrained by the average properties of their group. ~ Steven Pinker I’ve been conditioning my mind and body for the upcoming 21-day challenge. When I wake up, I just pick up my phone to read ODB and then leave it in the room while I work away in my attic. So I didn’t plan to write this piece. Actually, I didn’t intend to write at all this morning. My writing aim for the day was to do a paragraph or two during my break later in the afternoon. Nor did I plan to be distracted by Twitter this morning. But here we are, so let’s start with the tweets below. I could have simply labelled the first two authors but on second thought, I decided to put pen to paper and make some sense with my experience. When I moved to Lagos in 2006, I settled for Northern Foreshore, a newly built estate in the Chevron area of Lekki. My agent Charles eventually got a nice bungalow for me to view. I loved the place. It was built to standard with quality ceramics and durable fittings Charles scheduled a meeting with the landlord for some sort of formal introduction. When we got there, he rang the man to confirm he was coming. But something strange happened. His countenance changed after the call. I noticed this and asked if everything was okay. Charles being a jolly good and progressive fella replied that all was well but the man would be delayed. He suggested that we should drive to the waterfront so I could better appreciate the beauty of the estate. We did and when I asked him to call the landlord again he had no choice but to confess that the man wouldn’t be joining us. I was curious to know why. He told me the man was already on his way when he overheard me speaking in Igbo. He immediately told Charles that he would not rent his property to me. I was stunned! Of course, I’ve heard similar tales countless times but never imagined it could happen to me. My perplexity trumped my anger really because Yorubas are arguably the most liberal people I know. Some of the best professionals I’ve dealt with in the petroleum industry were Yorubas. Before that incident, I’ve only had what I’ll call minor, even negligible experiences with tribalism. As Uniport jambites, my friend and I had an altercation with the chief security officer which resulted in our detention for hours. The man’s reference to our tribe hardened my resolve to make him eat his words. When my dad got the report he called my aunt who was the deputy registrar and she immediately sent her secretary to get us released. As we left the security post I mockingly told the man that after all the gragra he took orders from an Igbo woman..with emphasis on woman. It stung and I loved it. In another incident, while driving down to the east from Lagos, a police officer accosted me at Sagamu. During a heated exchange, he retorted “who be Igbo man for this country?” Well, I had to show him. I rang my uncle who was an assistant commissioner of police and in an hour he sent his men to bundle them down his station while I continued my journey. Overseas I witnessed what may pass as racism in Kassel, Germany while I was on my honeymoon. An elderly cashier with a contemptuous countenance repeatedly slid the note I gave her through a counterfeit detector, pinched it, scratched it and almost x-rayed it before finally deciding it was fake. My protest that the note was from the same bundle I had been shopping with right from Frankfurt airport was to no avail as she insisted on calling the cops. The cops came and after what seemed like an eternity of screening, my note was certified as authentic while the counterfeit detector was deemed faulty. Furious and implacable, I dumped the clothes including a fine bargain Hilfiger denim shirt on her counter and demanded a refund. Not even an apology extracted by the cops could change my mind. She said it in German by the way so how was I to know if she didn’t rattle on? I still ask forgiveness for the invectives I rained on that poor old lady. Back to my Lagos story. The action of that ethnically challenged landlord amplified my determination to live in that estate. And I made sure I communicated that resolve to the man with a stinker. A few weeks later, I secured a better house for a cheaper rent. The crib was even closer to the waterfront and my landlady had planted a garden so exquisite that she could pass for a florist. She tastefully fitted the house too. And guess what? She was a Yoruba woman! My point is that discrimination will always happen so long as nomenclature is part of human nature. As Paulo Coelho said, the world is full of idiots distributed strategically so you can meet at least one per day. So it is how you deal with the situation that matters more. Some may not have the ability to punish such idiots, but I would say do what you can to shame them for your own good and the larger society. Or at least ensure that you are not deterred from achieving your objective. Yet, being widely travelled and having lived among different Nigerian tribes I know discrimination isn’t peculiar to a particular people. The idiots are also strategically distributed among different tribes, races and groups. But you can choose to focus on the positives because there are definitely more good people out there. The best boss I had in the petroleum industry was a Yoruba man. During one of the usual fuel crises in Nigeria, I was almost bankrupt when I

Blog, FEATURES, Lifestyle

Success Journey XXV: Digital Holy Grail 

Make friends over the internet with people who are great at things you’re interested in. The internet is one of the biggest advantages you have over prior generations. Leverage it.~ Patrick Collison Follow People Who Inspire You. In September 2022 after several Facebook restrictions, I decided to quit the platform since I’m not one to be gagged. I need my freedom to write and say whatever I want. Moreover, Facebook banter consumed a lot of my online time and I figured it should be channelled to more productive areas. By then I had built quite a sizeable audience there with a community of many real-life friends that I enjoyed chatting with, but every beginning must have an end because change is constant. I had to challenge myself on what has become an addiction and I also needed to build elsewhere (on Twitter) for reasons I stated earlier here. I did quit. But that was till Messi lifted the World Cup in December. Having jumped back in, I had to stay on for the 2023 presidential election campaigns. But in January I decided to leave once the campaign was over. At least till I establish a stable source of income in Euros so that when and if I return, I’ll be in better control of my activities there. There’s definitely no way I’ll spend income-earning time on social media. Long story short I quit again. My last post was on 31st March 2023. And while I still engaged on Twitter, the lengthy political back and forth was largely absent because I had little personal relationship with most of my followers on the app. It was there I came across @Dankoe and others who have helped shape my writing and productivity. To be clear, there is absolutely no rocket science in what these guys tweet. But what attracted me to Koe particularly was his unique style of point-blank, almost narcissistic manner of lacing valuable philosophical and productive words together. He’s a man on a mission and really worth following. I set my Twitter notification for ALL his tweets, started reading his newsletters and gulped down every episode of his podcast. Now if I close my eyes and you read out his tweet I will tell you it’s Dan Koe. The one thing you can do is to follow those that inspire you. It’s not necessarily about what products or services they have to offer. Actually, some of them have no service or product to sell to you. Their products/services are those inspirational words/actions they offer for free. For instance, I haven’t paid for any of Dan Koe’s courses. Why? Because I know what to do but haven’t been consistent in doing it till NOW. It will be different for a beginner though. I mean I have over 2 decades of experience in business. Many of his concepts are not new to me. But I hear him now and the next thing I’m off to the gym to condition my body and empty my mind. Or I read his tweet and one line hits. I’ll go back to a story draft that resonates with the line to develop it further just like I’m doing right now. Don’t follow people because the digital platform allows them to give themselves the title “influencer”. A lot of them are influencing rubbish! Follow those who truly inspire you with the value they dish out regularly. It doesn’t matter whether or not they follow you back. If your messages start resonating with them, they will reciprocate. The journey toward improved productivity begins with writing, which is why our writing community was birthed in 2020. So in appreciation of the camaraderie and support, we have received so far I want to put these 3 points on marble to serve as your Holy Grail. Get your own domain. I have repeatedly said this and it gets easier each day. There are loads of alternatives to Medium like Substack, LinkedIn, Quora, etc. Curate your work and start building your platform. Write! Just do it! Don’t wait till there is a reward or competition. Reward yourself and inspire others by writing regularly. Stop worrying about the audience because you can’t have one without consistency. But if you write regularly, the audience will surely come. Share and engage. Sharing is caring they say and the icing is engagement. Learn and grow by supporting each other. Share ideas, resources, and publications. Engage each other and take advantage of this community. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. It is necessary to repeat this here; “Make friends over the internet with people who are great at things you’re interested in. The internet is one of the biggest advantages you have over prior generations. Leverage it.” You should see your online community as a team. The main characteristic of a team is that they are driven by a common interest/goal thus everyone has each other’s back. If there is a need for a volunteer, all hands should be raised. If we have no competition we should have 3..4..5 publications weekly from writers. If no one is leading 3..4..5 others should lead. Don’t believe the other person should do it when you can and should do it. It’s always easier when we support each other and activities in a community of practice are periodic so why shouldn’t you volunteer? Take a conscious decision to set and work towards targets. The worst gatekeeper is your monkey mind You can spend an hour worrying about a task that will take a minute to complete. Make an effort instead. Reduce overthinking and start acting! I’ll leave you with two seminal quotes. Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up. Day by day, and at the end of the day-if you live long enough-like most people, you will get out of life what you deserve. ~ Charlie Munger If you want to walk fast, walk alone. But if you want to walk far, walk together. ~ Ratan Tata If you enjoyed this, please share it

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