Wednesday, March 22, 2023


Do you feel stuck in your career? Is your business stagnating? Are you constantly working but not progressing towards your career goals? If you answered yes to any of these three questions and would like one-on-one assistance to get you moving again in the direction of your career aspirations, let's talk. 

In addition to the free insights on this blog, I offer a paid consulting service for entrepreneurs and their businesses.

The focus of my consulting practice is to three-fold. First, I help you pinpoint what is keeping you and your business stuck. 

With that clarified, I enable you to improve your performance by designing and assisting you to run innovative systems which unlock new value for all stakeholders - customers, business, investors, suppliers etc. 

Finally, we develop a plan to sustain and continually improve this performance.

Email me: Esi [at] to book a free 30-minute consultation to determine if my services would be a good fit for you and your business. 

Friday, March 17, 2023

Goals: how to direct yourself to a better life - Part 1

Last week, I shared the four categories of signs/symptoms that help us recognise when we need to better manage ourselves

To manage ourselves better then, is to work on those four signs [1]

For the next several weeks, our attention will be on remedying the first sign that we need better self-management : not having written down goals that we’re working on. 

There are three parts that need to be tackled in order to better manage this symptom. The three parts are the following:

Part 1 - The goals

Part 2 - The goals must be written down 

Part 3 -  We must work on the goals

In order to have goals, we need to know what they are, therefore this post will help you better understand goals.

What are goals? 

So what are goals? Goals are the things we want to be, create, experience, or have in our future. They are our dreams made concrete. They are the way we direct ourselves to a better life. Exciting? You'd better believe it☺

When we say goals are things we want in future, we can mean 10-20 years (also known as long-term goals), 3-5 years (also known as medium-term goals) or 1 year (also known as short-term goals. 

Today, I am talking about goals that usually cover a one-year period. 

The truth is that to live a meaningful life, your one-year goal needs to be tied to your longer-term vision for your life. But the other truth is that because visions are bolder and grander, and cover where you want to have reached by the end of your life, they can be difficult to tackle at the outset. When you are just starting out, it can be helpful to secure some wins by aiming for some easier-to-achieve one-year goals to bolster your confidence and your faith in the process before tackling your vision, and breaking that down into 20 year, 10 year, and 5-year goals.

Now you know what a goal is. I'll be back next week to tackle why we need goals. Until then, enjoy your weekend and Nyame nka wo ho!

[ 1 ] Management expert Peter Drucker has a book entitled Managing Oneself. I haven’t yet read that book. However, in preparation to write this post, I read his 1999 article of the same name published by Harvard Business Review. In that article what Drucker covers is how to manage oneself at work. He assumes that workers already have the more elementary kind of self-management which I’m going to cover in the next several weeks.

Friday, March 10, 2023

How to recognise if you need better self-management

 The purpose of all the posts in the self-management section of this blog is to help you better manage yourself. 

How can you know if this knowledge is something you need? How can you recognise if you need better self-management?

You can recognise that you need better self-management if you're trying to make progress but are being stopped by either internal or external forces? Being stuck. Also known as stagnation is usually a sign that you need better self-management. So look within yourself. Notice what is growing or getting better. Also notice what is dying or getting worse. What is true is that everything about you that’s getting better is getting better because you’re managing it well. The reverse is also true. If something is stagnant or getting worse, it is because that thing isn’t being managed very well. 

A sign of good management is good outcomes. And being stuck is a sign of poor management. 

If you self-diagnose yourself as being stuck in certain areas of your life, then better self-management can help you.

How can you know whether you are stuck or stagnating? Well, there are many symptoms but they can be grouped into four main categories: 

Some of the symptoms I had when I was managing myself poorly were the following:

  1. I did not have written down goals that I was working on.

  2. I was not well organised. The most visible sign of being disorganised is when spaces such as your room or your desk don’t stay neatly arranged for more than a few days after you straighten things out. Another is mess. Being messy is when even though you may know how to clean, you are not able to set aside consistent time for cleaning so that your space ends up being dirty. Not being well organised also shows up as lateness. Lateness is a sign of missing the mark. And when you repeatedly miss the mark, it diminishes your self-esteem just as repeatedly making the grade in anything improves your self-esteem. Even if you hide it, what matters is that you know. So your self-esteem is affected.

  3. I was not able to motivate myself to do what I need to do. There are many reasons for this and I won't go into all of them, but believing that some people were good at certain things and you are not is one. Not knowing why you should do things is another. Basically you can't see the benefits. Another is not having clarity about your future, and not taking action because you don't know what you should be doing. A lot of us are at A and we want to know what Z looks like before we take action. What I have experienced is that  action doesn’t simply move you from A to B. It actually improves your options. You now see Bx, By, and Bc which you could not see when you were at A. And all the B options belong to only those who moved from A to B. Someone still at A cannot access them. If you’ve read the book “Who moved my cheese”, B is the cheese available to only those who venture out of A. When you get to B, you can realise that even though you’ve been eating Laughing Cow cheese all your life, your favorite type of cheese is actually Edam cheese. By the time you move to G, you’ll be exploring how to make your own cheese. By Z, you'll be the world's best cheesemaker.

  4. I was not able to control or direct myself to get better results. 

    For example you're not able to learn complex subjects or develop more skills. Or you're continually in start mode. Starting gives us the feeling that we’re making progress but this is an illusion. It is continuing that is actually a truer sign of progress. So if you have a relationship, break up, and start another. Then you marry divorce, and start again. You start a business, it makes some progress then you get stuck. You start over. You take a job, get stuck. Quit and start another. You take a course, don’t finish. You start a different course, don’t finish. You start a book, don’t finish. Pick up a different one. Another is being addicted to things like food, drink, sex or all three for pleasure, satisfaction, or comfort. Addiction is a lack of control.

I don’t want to give you the impression that I have arrived. I am still on the journey to managing myself better. At my current stage, there are still symptoms but they have reduced considerably and as I work on them, by the grace of God, things get better. The places where I'm stuck have reduced.

So, do any of these symptoms describe any aspect of your current life? If so, you may be stuck. And if you’re stuck, learning how to manage yourself which I will be teaching in subsequent posts are for you.

Summary: In this post, I have shared one main idea. That idea is that the way you can recognise if you need to manage yourself better is that you’re stuck in some aspects of life. All stuck people show certain symptoms. In this post, I have shared several of them and grouped them into four categories. If you find yourself stuck, check this blog again next week to hear more.

Have a good week! Nyame nka wo ho.

Friday, March 03, 2023

How well are you doing at managing your life?

We're given a life when we're born. 

And for the first fifteen years, if we're especially blessed, our parents manage that life for us. They determine what our goals need to be and they set in motion the actions that will enable us to actualise these goals. Sometimes these goals aren't communicated to us but if we look closely at the consistent actions of those who raised us, we will see that they are there. 

At the same time that this is happening on the home-front, the schools that our parents choose for us will also have some goals for us. And those schools will also try to shepherd us to take the correct actions that ensure that their vision for us is realised. 

At the same time, our church will also have a vision for us. And if our parents' vision for us aligns with that of the church, our parents will encourage us to attend church however they can. They might set an example for us by going themselves. If they are able to, they might have a daily devotion at home to encourage us to become followers of Christ.

As far as I can tell, these three institutions that mould us all want what is best for us. And what might that be? I believe it is for us to grow into responsible adults. 

Then at eighteen, we become adults. We leave home and go to university. At this time, we begin to manage our own lives. 

It is at this time that the downward spiral might gradually begin. But because our pot of responsibility has hitherto been quite well stocked by our families, our church, and our schools, we often don't notice when we're letting the wrong flows in or when say our stock of faith in Christ is slowly depleting. Most people start to notice that things aren't going well at about age thirty when the stock has noticeably declined. Some also focus on only one aspect of life - education, and subsequently career and their success on this front at a stage when they have no other responsibilities make them believe that they are succeeding at life. Certainly that's what I thought. 

Here's what took me a long time to learn:

When we become in charge of our own lives, we're essentially given a management job. And how we do this job determines whether our lives will be profitable or not. 

How well do you think you're currently managing your life? Profits everywhere you look? Problems every where you look? Some profit and some problems? More profit than problems? When I speak of profit, I don't mean money. What I mean is good outcomes.

A well-managed life has many elements. See here for all the elements. By good outcomes, I mean: Are you maturing spiritually? Is your marriage thriving? Are you happy with your children? Are you healthy, however you define it? Are you proud of your character? If your life meaningful to you? Have you nurtured a few good friendships? How is your relationship with your extended family? Have you chosen a career? How well is this career going? Are you happy or chronically depressed? What is your quality of life like? Are you growing intellectually? Are you financially stable? 

Don't feel bad if you're not managing your life very well right now. Management is a skill and like all skills, it can be learned. If you'd already figured all this out, you'd have no room to grow. Also it never really ends. The top of one mountain is the foot of another mountain as the expression goes. You can start where you are and even though it's going to take several years to get there, I'm here to help you along your journey. 

I love management - both its study and practice. I hope that over time, you'll see why it's so awesome. And importantly, that you'll benefit from it as you apply its lessons to your life. 

Until next week, Adios!