Entrepreneurship

Richard Bekyi Receives High Performance Recognition

We have said time and time over that outstanding is not the same as normal—in fact they are opposites. This is actually a tautology of a sort. But often even those who think they understand end up confusing the idea. They have managed to convince themselves that different means getting out of line or perhaps start heading in the very opposite direction. You are different of course when you do that but different is not always useful. In a situation where everyone wants to live those commit suicide can also claim to be different. Those who rip off their clothes in public too are different of course but only because most of us want to keep our clothes on.

To address this conundrum we must first postulate a direction or perhaps a destination that will define progress for the larger society. When this is done, being outstanding will then mean you lead the pack in the set direction towards the destination. When you lead, you are different because the majority of people tend to hover around the middle bracket doing what it called normal, average or good enough. When they cook, you can eat it because it is ok. It has just about enough salt and pepper to give a fair taste. Those who are outstanding cook something that you can eat too, except you are left with a strong urge to indulge in infantile art of finger licking. It is just too damn good. Such persons are rare and we have found they are driven by a performance conscious mindset. Ripping off your clothes and heading in the regressive direction is the easy way out to different—way of the miscreant. Real performance takes more.

Mr. Richard Bekyi, a recipient of the SPID-UP® Performance Recognition Awards is one of such personalities who give you that strong urge to lick your fingers. He does this through graphic designing and printing. Richard’s customers are not ordinary folks either. They have a consuming appetite for outstanding. If you are normal you will have a tough time understanding this man. As one customer told us;
“I thought this guy was weird… I was sure he did not understand what we wanted and he won’t even compromise. He is very stubborn about quality and you cannot persuade him to do simple things. In the end I realized I really did not understand where he was coming from. You really have to stop thinking and let him lead the way because he wants to take you to new level”

Mr. Bekyi and his team at Iseeworks Limited craft some life-transforming designs and they are not going to sit around and let some printer make a mess of it. He controls the process from start to finish making sure their customer get exactly what he promised them if not more. It is easy to confuse his work with something that was crafted a Hollywood design studio. But that is not all there is to this man and his team. Anyone who knows anything about the printing business will tell you that it’s major plague in not only quality of work. There is also a severe case of untimely delivery and Richard Bekyi seems to have developed an antidote for this blight.

For us at SPiD-UP® that is hope. We are capable as a people to produce high quality only if we decide to and one of our many examples is Mr. Richard Bekyi. We hope he is inspires you to be performance conscious enough to give your best. Regardless of what you do, you ought to activate the urge to indulge in the art of finger licking in your patrons. Mr. Beckyi will be speaking at the Upcoming SPiD-UP® workshop on performance where he will share some thoughts on the importance of performance. We look forward to seeing you there. #spidup 

James Ebo Whyte’s Fellowship


I recently wrote an article about the symbolism of the mighty tree. The expression; a mighty tree has fallen is used often when a great person is deceased. This was the very essence of that article intended to honour the late Dr. Clement Hammond-Aryee who passed away recently. For reasons I now cannot recollect, I never managed to publish that article. I am now of the view that mighty trees must be recognized before they fall. This is not often the case as many of our standing mighty trees are not being recognized.  The great thing about might trees is that they are still extremely useful, serving countless purposes even when they have fallen. If you understand the word legacy, then you know what I mean.

I had an encounter with a standing might tree recently. Our search for high performing personalities led me to the Roverman production offices for a life-changing encounter with Mr. Ebo Whyte the playwright, entrepreneur extraordinaire and motivational speaker of a special class. One can always tell when he is in the presence of a mighty tree. The canopy of it’s leaves is a place of rest and comfort. You experience that phenomenon instantly when you are near uncle Ebo. Perhaps that is why he is called Uncle by everyone—he has the father to all kind of presence.

The roots of a mighty  tree go deeper than most of its neighbors— Uncle Ebo is a trained statistician, self-taught chartered accountant and marketing professional, whose career in management cuts across the Publishing, Financial, Pharmaceutical and Automobile industries. His wealth of knowledge and depth of experience is of great benefit to anyone who encounters him. When the roots are deep enough, they find sources for abundant minerals which manifest in the quantity and quality of the fruits. If you have seen an uncle Ebo play then you have an idea of what I am talking about.
The branches provide a place for the nesting of all kinds of creatures. Mighty trees are not made overnight. Og Mandino puts it in an interesting way in the book; The world’s greatest sales man;
 “To create the Olive, king of all tress, a hundred years is required. An onion plant is old in nine weeks”,
Uncle Ebo is not an overnight mighty tree and his depth and wealth of experience is demonstrated even in the simplest conversations. The impact of a mighty tree on its environment is very far-reaching beyond its majestic presence and this can easily be said of Uncle Ebo. He writes award-winning plays, produces and stages them. He writes for the monthly Roverman report. He writes and presents his daily food for thought on Joy FM’s super morning show and runs the whole Roverman operation all to the highest standard.  He has helped in the team building efforts and rebranding processes for many companies and is known to have helped and mentored numerous people in all walks of life through his hard hitting, inspirational and realistic presentations. He has successfully written and directed over 20 plays which have become reference points in many lives. I will not even begin to attempt a measure of the impact of the very personality and work of Uncle Ebo as it is not possible.

In the hour or so I spent with him, I got to meet some of his team members— very exciting people with high work ethics. I learnt about his abhorrence for corner-cutting while still managing to maintain a fun filled exciting climate. The whole atmosphere radiates with high performance. I asked questions about the production process and was baffled at how much work is injected into it. Uncle Ebo is uncompromising when it comes to quality and it reflects even on his choice of people. He wants to give the best possible and going the extra mile does not appear to cost him much in emotional labor. This will explains why his plays have revived what was almost a dead genre of our arts. He does not strike me as the type who is trying to be different—he is just doing his best and you are different when you are the best because everyone else is in the average bracket.

In the short while I was a there, I learnt a lot that will influence the way I do things. Sometimes you think you know what you are about until you meet some who actually knows. Uncle Ebo has a keen interest in what people think about his work; that’s the mark of a good entrepreneur who has a burning need to make sure that his patrons are happy. Personally my expectation was literally shattered when I went to see his play; Women on fire. If I could summarize his driving philosophy in one sentence, it will be;

think more about the world you live in and the contribution you make to it”.

He clearly does this and as the saying goes, as a man thinketh, so he is. We presented him with the SPiD-UP Performance Recognition Fellowship Status (The highest category in the program) for his work. All around you there are people doing ordinary things in an ordinary way. Writing and producing a play was ordinary until Uncle Ebo wrote his first. 

 

10 Branding Tips for CEOs

To begin with note that where the CEOs personal vision doesn’t align with the company’s vision the brand will eventually fail.

1. You are the first brand ambassador of your firm

2. Your personal brand is as important as your corporate brand

3. Communicate your brand’s value in simple English. (Simplify) succinctly

4. Wear your brand daily

5. Find out how consumers perceive your brand

6. Know what people like most and dislike about your brand

7. Invest in Employer Branding

8. Never neglect Social Media as part of your brand LinkedIn is a MUST for CEOs)

9. Your private and public life are interrelated as long as you are the head.

10. Stay transparent, stay trusted!

Bernard Kelvin Clive is Personal Branding Coach/ Amazon bestselling author of “How to Repair Your Broken Brand & Manage Your Reputation” plus over twenty-five published books.

How Startup Brands Can Survive in the Digital Disruptive Age



The four C’s that SMSs and Startup Brands must utilize to make it in this age;

1.      Content: you must have content, as it’s said “content is king”, however not just any content, you must have relevant content which your audience will crave for, that meets their needs.
Your content must be timely; there is nothing worse than dead news, so ensure that you deliver your content when it’s needed. You need content that has been tested and trusted; the fact that content is required doesn’t imply throwing unverified, untrusted information out there.
2.      Connection: the first stage is to have relevant, trusted, timely content. The next step is to build meaningful connection with your audience; that is your market, fans and followers. Businesses thrive on relationships. Take time to build key relationships. Having great content that doesn’t resonate with your audience is futile, so by constantly engaging with your audience you will better understand their needs and wants which will enable you provide tailored made solutions for them.
3.      Contacts: from your connection you step up your game by establishing key contacts; connecting with influential people who can help push your business/brand to the next level. Some of them are the gatekeepers in the industry which you seek to penetrate, without them it will be difficult to breakthrough such barriers. Your contacts are the people who have the ability and capacity to help you in various ways. They are influential in their various fields. Take time to make such contacts.
4.      Contracts: your contacts should enable you get other clients, repeat business, and contracts. This is the last stage of the process of sustaining your business/brand in this age. Businesses exist to make profit (whatever that means to your business). Most often than not, it’s your contacts that will lead you to your contracts. That is to say your key relationships/influencers are the ones who will bring business to you. If you build this properly, your business will thrive, if not you will be firing arrows without hitting your target.
In conclusion, take note that big brands can readily afford mass media promotion to compete with price but as a small business owner and startup, focus on delivering outstanding offer with excellent customer experience to win. To survive in business today requires that you keep this cycle running constantly; to have something of value to offer – content, to build a bridge with your content – connection, to connect with key influencers – contacts, to get income coming through them – contracts.
Bernard Kelvin Clive is an Amazon bestselling author of REBRAND: The Ultimate Guide to Personal & Corporate Branding & Rebranding, and over twenty-five published books. A Personal Branding Coach, Brand Strategist at BKC Consulting. He has consulted for and helped hundreds of authors locally and internationally to self-publish books and build author brands. Ghana’s foremost authority on Personal branding and Digital Publishing who hosts the #1 iTunes ranked Business & Career Podcast in Ghana. www.BKC.name 

Blakk ID’s modest groundbreaking launch

Product launches must soon become a collector’s item in the very near future. Brands try to outclass each other; innovating their way to mass attention leaving in their wake creative landmarks that sometimes even outlive the brand itself. Some of the activities can be that extreme. One worthy of note in recent times is the Star FM launch that featured camels and the works. Now that was a launch in a class by itself and it did get national attention. Perhaps it was all worth it as it seems to have worked miracles for the Star FM brand. I suppose it is what you can call a successful launch because it had the knock-punch effect—you couldn’t have missed it.
But is there an ethical question to be addressed in running these campaigns? Are the brands simply looking for attention or are they offering more. The world has gone past just doing things for your benefit only. Beyond that, phones now have cameras and flash lights. Some even have radio and TV. Innovation is when you can give more than your core promise in a creative way. A brand that seems to have captured this idea and is presenting what we think is bound to be a trend-setter is Blakk ID.

What if a fashion brand can sprinkle dashes of CSR over the launch even before they are fully in the market? Now, that will be a new way of thinking that also presents the full manifestation of the win-win-win idea. It also demonstrates that they are not just in the market to sell clothes; they also care about society they operate in. We can be sure then, that when they make a billion, they will give some of it back to help improve the lot of their fellow humans. Now that is a trait of a modern brand and the guys at Blakk ID clearly understand the dynamics of this thinking. So what are they doing exactly? They are going to the Akropong School for the blind to stage a fashion show as part of the launch of their fashion brand in an event dubbed Colours of Black. You might think there is nothing innovative about that until I tell you that all the models will be blind students. To answer your question, YES! Visually impaired people can model too. You may be familiar with the maxim “disability is not inability”. What it simply means is that, people you think are disabled may be abled in other departments and these blind students are going to demonstrate this idea in its fullness through fashion all made possible by Blakk ID.



YES! They have the materials; long legs, slender waist, muscular torsos — the whole works and Blakk ID is going to put them all to work on the 21st of May at the Akropong School for the blind. If you want to support a blind student, witness a trendsetting launch, experience top-end fashion and be inspired, let’s see you there on the 21stof May.


Blakk ID is an Accra based fashion brand run by Berima Kenneth Kobina Mensah; a Takoradi polytechnic trained fashion designer who has been passionately involved in clothing and dress making since his junior high school years.  

Blakk ID formerly known as Color Blakk is set to take African fashion to the next level. At SPiD-UP®, we are excited about the quality of their output and believe the future is bright for the Blakk ID team. It will be exciting to see you at Akropong on the 21st.  Whatever you do, be the best you can be. #spidup 

“YOU CAN RAISE CAPITAL IN THIRTEEN DIFFERENT WAYS” CALEB AYIKU

The guest for the second edition of the Role Model Africa Corporate Dialogue addressed the theme “Financing the African Business”. Caleb Ayiku, who is a corporate trainer, business coach and entrepreneur drew insight from his rich experience in business in addressing the concerns of participants. He has strong business development skill; he is a strong leader with exceptional strategic, communication and networking skills capable of building teams for flawless execution of business strategies. He is the founder of the renowned management consultancy, Breakthrough Consult and a co-founder of the Camarie Group and Rex Oil, an Oil Marketing Company in Ghana. Caleb has worked in a number of corporations across the continent, where he has gained key experiences and knowledge in business. He is a former Managing Director of Engen Ghana, Engen Kenya, Engen Tanzania, Herbalife and Oando Ghana. He is a Chemical Engineer by profession and offers career and life coaching to young and aspiring leaders and entrepreneurs. Caleb is also a Management Consultant, and has trained and consulted with several corporations including Barclays Bank, Citi FM, Enterprise Insurance and FEDEX. He is also an author books covering the areas of business, motivation and health.
Caleb, during the dialogue, educated the audience on the nuances of entrepreneurship and business. He emphatically stated that, the path to financial success requires a multiple stream of income. Hence, the need for entrepreneurship, exploring new ideas and transforming the ideas into profitable ventures. He postulated that, every business must have a business plan. He described a business plan as a document that spells out how you want to implement your business ideas. “As one who wants to start a business it is imperative to have a business plan.” He added that a business a business plan is the surest and best way to secure way to secure credit.

He further took the participants through some ways of securing funding to start a business and expanding it. According to him, raising capital as an entrepreneur is one of the many challenges faced and not the only one. The sources of funding, he mentioned include: one’s own money, through partnerships, free money from family and friends, loans form family and friends, loans from financial institutions, venture capitalists and private equity funds, angel investors, listing on the Ghana Stock Exchange and benefitting from government programs and from donors.

Caleb, in the course of the dialogue spoke against the Ghanaian mentality of wanting to own a business solely. He thus encourages partnerships among businesses. He urged the youth to learn to collaborate in partnerships in doing business. He stated that, “There is magic in partnership” he said as the discussion came to a close, stressing that, “credibility is the currency of business”. In a more compelling tone, he instructed all who have business ideas to start their businesses. He encouraged them not to be afraid of failure, but rather embrace it in order to learn new ways of doing things.

The Role Model Africa project comprises a variety of packages including an Exclusive One-on-One mentoring session, the Business Mentoring Class, the Mentoring Hubs on the various tertiary institution campuses and the Corporate Dialogue. The maiden edition of the Role Model Corporate Dialogue was held on Sunday 27th September 2015 under the theme, “Doing business with Integrity”. Dr. Samuel Onwona, an Ex-World Bank official was the role model for the first edition.

Role Model Africa, is a mentoring platform that seeks to engage African personalities whose influence span beyond Africa. The initiative, a project organized by INVENTS on a quarterly basis is designed to identify African personalities whose contributions to the continent and beyond are worth emulating. In a story telling format, a guest (role model) is engaged in a discussion by a host to a live audience. The dialogue engages the personality of the individual together with their corporate experiences.


The dialogue was moderated by Dr. William Okyere-Frempong a medical doctor by training and the country Chief Executive Officer of the HuD. The Co-founder and C.E.O. of Galaxy Capital, Mr. Samuel Bright-Kaitoo delivered the keynote address to start off the dialogue. He emphasized in his address, the role of mentorship in national development. He cited examples of some noteworthy individuals who attained notable feats by reason of their association with mentors. He mentioned Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg was mentored by Apple founder Steve Jobs. In a similar fashion Bill Gates was mentored by Warren Buffet. He further encouraged the participants to submit to role models in humility.

There were other high profile individuals present at the Corporate Dialogue, they included Mr. Martin Luther King (C.E.O., Journalist for Regional Integration), Henry Afrifa (Migrations Officer, British High Commission), Johannes Akuffo (C.E.O., ASN Financial Services), John Ntim Fordjour (2016 Parliamentary candidate), Edem Adzaho (C.E.O., Spec Consults) among others.

INVENTS Co-founder, Samuel Agyeman-Prempeh expressed excitement at the many young people who were present at the dialogue. He also announced that plans are underway to connect young people with mentors of different backgrounds. Mr. Agyeman Prempeh used the opportunity to award some executives who have been dedicated in their service to raising magnates and dynamic leaders across the continent. In concluding, he excitedly announced the date for the next edition to be on Sunday, 22ndMay, 2016. Further details will be made available in the press, he assured.  The date for the next edition was announced to be on Sunday, 22nd May, 2016 at 3pm under the theme “Employing the media to sustain the African Business”.

Role Model Africa is an initiative by INVENTS, a mentoring organization that focuses on raising young people as Leaders and Entrepreneurs before they turn 25. Since October 2007, Invents has been consistent in using personal Leadership models and projects to reach out to millions of young people. Our flagship programs include: She Magnate Project and Ideas Pulpit. Our events have attracted remarkable personalities such as Bishop N.A. Tackie-Yarboi; Founder and Presiding Bishop of VBCI, Dr. Yaw Perbi; Global C.E.O. of the HuD Group, Dr. Mrs. Ellen Hagan; Founder and C.E.O. of L’aine Services, Mrs. Comfort Ocran; Co-Founder of Legacy & Legacy, Dr. Samuel Onwona; Former World Bank Official, and Mr. Caleb Ayiku: Co-founder of Rex Oil..

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