You have probably wished a hundred people a happy new year, right? We are big about these greetings and wishes but a new year doesn’t stay happy unless work is put in. Every aspect of life has a corresponding effort needed to move from insignificant to great. To turn a year from bland to happy or successful, you need to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Turn those New Year resolutions from mere rhetoric to action points and follow through effectively.

I know that I am not the only one that has heard that there are two types of people; the ones that see the glass as half full and the ones that see it as half empty. We know that both sides are correct; it’s all a matter of mindset and perspective. Some people have embraced 2024 as their year of possibilities and endless opportunities. They are facing some hard times but are excited at another chance to try other options that can make their situations better. They are eager to explore and exploit whereas some other people are seeing only impending doomsday and they are all but writing their wills, ready to give up.

The one I find quite disturbing is this whole narrative about the leap year and how it always harbours tragic events. There have indeed been a few disastrous events in the world occurring in leap years. A quick example is the case of COVID-19 that coloured the world in 2020 and caused a lot of losses both in human resources and the economy. Some would say explicitly that the world was nearly shut down entirely with movement and contacts strictly restricted. Many businesses folded up and death toll was in hundreds of thousands. The fear of death was quite real and even those who did not believe that the COVID-19 was more than a political scare were still careful to keep their distances from those who had been diagnosed as carriers.

It was a horrific time for everybody and again, we were told that it was characteristic of a leap year. Those who have given the leap year this colouration have a number of examples about incidents that have happened around the world that, taken singly, could look like a whole story. I believe that a year is as good as decisions taken previously, that is to say that poor decisions in the past would definitely lead to difficult situations in the new year or new month, etc. Using the example of COVID-19, the problem started in 2019 but the world felt the tremor of those poor decisions and steps in 2020.

There is no reason to sit back in apprehension and expect 2024 to come with a barrage of problems, just keep taking great and profitable decisions and the year will turn out great. While the world was ravaged by COVID-19, there were other opportunities that came up that positively impacted the world. There was a major shoot up in the online business space which transformed the way businesses are conducted globally. Today, the world is indeed a global village and people can work full-time remotely and conduct their businesses from anywhere in the world. There were also giant strides in medicine and research that have impacted positively on health delivery methods and influenced behavioural patterns globally.

Indeed there is always a silver lining. You can choose which narrative to believe and accept. I try to review my options as often as possible and adjust where necessary. With this mindset, I am always prepared to put in the work for a better next year. Today, I have professorial seats in several universities and colleges across the globe and this was because I decided that a lot had been put into me and it was essential to share the knowledge with people. This also, is what led to the number of books that I have written and published, it is what drives me to keep funding researches and studies. It is what pushes me to keep mentoring even when it seems that people are not always appreciative.

So let’s take a quick overview of the best decisions that you made in 2023 and how these decisions may affect this new year. Did you learn a new skill or invest in yourself in any way that converts to brighter ideas, more opportunities or even enhanced income? Did you invest in a new business or idea? A couple of weeks ago, I shared some lucrative online business ideas that anyone can start up with little or no funds. Have you tried out any of them? Successful business men and billionaires all confirm that it is important to have several streams of income. How many sources of income have you created for yourself? On a very personal level, did you pay attention to your health and choose a lifestyle that would improve your general wellbeing? Did you prune your relationships to keep your inner circle tight and positively impactful? Did you spend time with your loved ones and were you intentional about recreational time with them?

There are many steps taken in 2023 that will ensure a better new year. The good thing is that if you are yet to do any of these things, there is still time. Don’t fill your mind with fears about the tragedy that may never come; be deliberate about those things that you can control and contribute into your tomorrow.

Let’s get going!

I am all geared up for a great and fulfilling year. I hope you are too!

Happy New Year!


Fatherhood with Ibe


Some people never change no matter the effort put in to make a difference. All the inspirational messages and hand holding in this world will not stop some people from making the same mistakes over and over again… people like my dear younger friend, Philip. He was a very playful and likeable young boy that was put under my care in secondary school. He was two classes my junior and got popular in school quickly because he could get people laughing in a minute. He was a real born comedian and often senior students would call him and he never failed to entertain them.

Philip though was not as diligent with his academics. I used to find his lackadaisical attitude towards his class work quite frustrating. His parents had charged me to help him play less and stay focussed in school but Philip was extremely skilled at being academically lazy. His notebooks were always filled with half written notes. He would write two pages and skip four pages. On enquiry, he would say that he would get the note from his classmate and copy the ones he had skipped… but he never did. He failed most of his assignments because he always remembered to do the work ten minutes before each class and of course, he would do a shoddy job and fail. After a term, I decided that part of my duties as a senior friend was to help him get serious. I would borrow notebooks from his classmates and force him to copy the notes; but it was one thing to copy notes and another to read them. Philip could fall asleep within two minutes of opening his books but if it came to playing with his friends, making noise or singing/dancing and telling jokes, he was tireless.

I got frustrated when he failed his first year in school. I wanted to wash my hands off him because I did not see any improvement in his grades and I didn’t want to be associated with him. His parents persuaded me to keep trying. They told me that I might not know it but Philip was already getting better with his studies. I tried harder and by the time I graduated from the school, he had managed to pass into Year Three. You couldn’t call him a serious student but at least he was moving along. It took him seven years to complete the five year programme.

Philip carried this unserious attitude into his adult life. He started working in a lounge and I knew that was the best fit for him because he was great with people and hospitality. Soon, someone invested in him to start his own lounge and Philip truly excelled. His lounge became very popular within a very short time and his investor was even looking at establishing a night club as well. But Philip was still Philip. He would sometimes just abandon the lounge and take off without notice to anyone. All those empty pages in his notebooks became empty pages in his managerial pattern. His assistant became the real manager of the club and after a while, the assistant began to help himself financially until the lounge that was flourishing just a while completely closed down.

A few friends rallied round and started a low key lounge for him. We hoped he would be able to manage something small with just a few staff. As usual, it started well. He was quite busy and I thought we had found a perfect equilibrium for him. He was a one man entertainment squad; he sang, played the guitar sometimes and of course spiced up the day with jokes. All too soon, Philip started dreaming again. He wanted to have other branches and invite popular musicians and comedians to entertain. I personally advised him against the idea of expansion just yet because I feared that it was Philip’s usual route to failure. I was a lone voice. The other investors thought it was brilliant. He appointed managers to run the three lounges while he was supposed to go round and supervise. Philip would go days and not show up at any of his three businesses. One by one, they started closing up until Philip was left with what could only be called a local bar.

We repeated this process again, this time by getting him a job in the lounge of a big hotel. He was okay for a while but soon enough, he started leaving his job and giving flimsy excuses until they had to let him go.

Philip now works in someone else’s a bar, working from table to table, making jokes and encouraging customers to buy more drinks. I saw him a few weeks ago looking worn but quite enthusiastic, dreaming another big dream but not taking it step by step. I tried again to counsel him, he appeared to listen but with Philip, it’s anyone’s guess whether he actually even pays attention to anything said.

He told me that 2024 is his year to finally make it big. He talked about someone that was going to invest in his ideas and asked me to support him by standing as a guarantor. Immediately, I got a headache. I told him that I would not stand as a guarantor because I couldn’t vouch for his ability to give the job his 100% attention for a long period. But I know Philip, he will find another guarantor and he will dazzle his investor with brilliant ideas and he will put down money, perhaps even more than he had intended. It will start off well and then, the story will start again because some spots don’t ever fade.

Welcome to 2024! Please make your year great.