I’m just returning from 10 amazing days in Thailand. The trip was not only thrilling and exciting it was enlightening. This was my first time in Thailand, but certainly not going to be my last. I have been to Turkey, Malaysia, UAE, to Singapore, to India, journeyed to even amazing paradises on the indian ocean – Maldives and Mauritius. All have their lessons, Thailand had a special zing to it. It not only positions as a wonderful vacation resort, it doubles as a place for enlightenment – spiritually, nationally, culturally e.t.c. This ranks as the best vacation experience organized by Avenues to Wealth till date, and from here, the future looks even more promising as we all compete towards being in Greece for the next company organized all expenses paid leadership event. Before I get engrossed in the past and future of the company however, kindly join me in learning some of the lessons from Thailand.
1. Everyone is trainable! Maybe it’s because I’m primarily a teacher before anything else, that I tend to see training and learning almost everything, but Thailand really opened my eyes to the fact that you can’t give up on anyone. I watched with awesome wonder as we were entertained by well trained Sea Lions – who clapped, danced, jumped, bowed, and performed all sorts of unbelievable stunts. I watched trained dolphins, watched trained tigers, crocodiles, elephants, it was amazing. It was a vital lesson in human dominion as elephants played football and basketball, tigers jumped through fiery hoops, crocodiles ignored human heads pushed into their mouth, birds rode bicycles e.t.c. The highlight of what animals can do, for me, was watching a number of elephants painting! Yes painting, they painted nice sceneries of trees, grasses and flowers. They were given a brush and they painted away in the full view of thousands of foreigners. I learnt that elephants were actually trained and employed in the farms a few years back in Thailand, when the cost of maintaining an elephant became outrageous. If animals can be trained to do so much, then it’s not worth it giving up on any human being. The gap between you and what you ought to be able to do, is discipline and commitment. With the right reward and incentives, you can do anything you truly desire to do.
2. Excellence has a hallow effect! When you demonstrate excellence in little things, it has the capacity to silence people about where you have obvious faults. All of a sudden the topic can change from what the problem is, to how wonderful everything else was. If you doubt this concept, then you need to go watch the Alcazar Show. This by far trumps any show I have ever watched in my life in terms of excellence of execution, stage management, lighting, sound and combination of talents. Some of the elements of this 1200 seater show are simply indescribable. With 7 layers of interchangeable stages, exceptional lighting, great sound and amazing talent, the Alcazar show has become an international wonder. Powered by 400+ staff of wonderfully talented artists and entertainers, the usually omitted downside of this great show is the fact that all the artists are either lady-men or gay. I had a VIP ticket to this show, met some beautiful angel looking ushers, got my ticket from some damsels, watched beautiful ladies dance and look like Shakira, the twist was they were all guys, all of them! When the show finished and it was time to take pictures with the stars, we were all stunned, but interestingly the discussions even by the people who should be the strongest critics of sex change and role playing centered around the excellence of the event. Whatever it is your hand finds to do, do with all your might. Be diligent in your work, strive for excellence, and watch even your critics applaud your progress.
3. 1+1>2 There is power in the group effect! Can you jump down from a 56 story building? How about feed a Tiger? Ride an Elephant? How about carry a life crocodile? Or Walk on Walking Street (Sodom and Gomorrah bows in respect here 🙂 )without succumbing to the temptation of watching an adult show or more? Drive at breakneck speed on a go cart? All these things are difficult things to do if you are alone. When you are in good company however, the power of the group helps you take the chances and do what would otherwise have ranked between difficult and impossible! I remember the first attempt I took in riding an elephant bare back, someone shouted “wow! you are courageous”, in less than 20 mins after however, everyone had taken turns in doing the same. There is a leverage we can tap into for doing great things, it’s the leverage of “if I can, you can and if you can, we can!” We did the difficult, attempted the impossible, simply because the air around was of camaraderie. If you take this way of thinking into your work and business it can take you far and above. A saying goes as if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together. In more than one experience I saw first hand what people can dare in the company of other bold people.
4. Increase your speed, increase your reach! In the Ambassador Hotel we stayed in Bangkok (also spent a few days in Siam Bayshore in Pattaya – both 5 Star Hotels) there were a few Thailand tailors. I normally would not go all the way to Thailand to sow clothes, but there was something about them that made them totally irresistible. Not only where they great tailors in their attention to detail, their speed was remarkable. The company visibly had 3 staff including the owner, but there certainly must have been an army behind the shop unseen. Whatever they measured and got advance payment from today, was ready within 24hrs. Can you imagine this? Let me help your imagination. About 10 of us stormed the shop in Nigerian style. I wanted a jacket, 4 trousers and two shirts, my wife wanted a complete skirt suit set, and two dresses, a friend wanted 2 jackets, shirts and trousers, and the list grew on. We got them all within 24hrs, some of us made fresh orders again and got them again, all 3 days before departing. I was so thrilled, I decided to get his measurement parameters and send him work to do. It’s amazing that if you are willing to pay you can get any thing you want sown in less than 1 week including air freight, compared to the 4 weeks that my local designer does for me. I saw first hand how much more you can achieve in your business if you put a little speed around your delivery. Ask yourself, how can I make it faster, and you might find a way to double your sales.
5. Poverty is man made! Thailand has found over 1ooo uses for Cassava! They are clear role models to Nigeria on the basis of agriculture. They export rice, tapioca, different derivates of cassava, clothes, jewelry, fruits, fishes, canned food and all sorts of wonders tied to agriculture. Export is big in Thailand and they are major exporters of rice, canned pineapple, black tiger prawns, Chicken e.t.c. They are not as blessed as we are with natural resources, but they have tapped deeply into the potentials of what they have. Agriculturally speaking, they provide us with a fantastic case study. Thailand has been able to reduce unemployment ratios from 60% to less than 10% with agriculture. They have reduced malnutrition, and driven their industrialization primarily with agribusinesses sector private sector driven initiatives. Interestingly, their growth in agriculture has been the growth of the small time farmer and not government initiatives that are disconnected from the people. Over 70% of Thailand is employed by the agriculture sector. Food is cheap, actually everything is relatively cheap.